Spring Break 2010

Every year, The University of Utah has their spring break the week before Murray School District has theirs, so we end up pulling out our girls for the week and they end up with a 2 week break from school. I always feel a little guilty, but the girls have straight "A's" so I guess no worries, right??

We had told the girls we were going to Vegas for the Jays Spring Break, but in reality the airfare to Hawaii, was MUCH cheaper from Vegas than Salt Lake. So we sucked up the drive...

the long boring drive....and embraced the opportunity for a sweet surprise.

After a check of the airport (to make sure we knew where we were going), a visit to the M&M factory, dinner at the Rainforest Cafe, a walk down the strip, a stop for diapers at a CVS Pharmacy, and a nap in the parking lot of the airport we woke the kids up and said we had to change plans and go to Idaho to check on family... I thought for sure they would question the Hawaiian Airlines? Ashtyn was pretty 'put out' that we were cutting our vacation to go to cold Idaho. When they started announcing preparation for boarding to Honolulu, I thought they would get it, so we told them our surprise and Ashtyn was in shock and Alayna danced the Hula, like the nut she is. Ashtyn later told me she thought the Hawaiian Airlines was to just make us jealous. She later wrote in a post card to a friend that her parents "tricked" her...I was thinking more like surprised, but oh well??

So tired, but so excited.

We landed just after 6am got our car and headed to the swap meet at the stadium. A recommendation from everyone. My wish for the trip was to find a pretty wooden bowl to hold the fruit I keep out on my counter. The girls loved everything and Jay wanted beach towel blankets....
The girls were excited to drink ice cold coconut milk right out of the shell, Jay was impressed with the way they opened it. Within the first hours of being on the island we had all the souvenirs we needed.

Next stop was the Dole Plantation.
A train,
a maze,
fresh Pineapple
and Beautiful plants everywhere.

Our first meal on the Island was once we got to the North Shore. Jay had asked all the players from Oahu the best places to eat. One of the first recommendations we saw was Giovanni's Shrimp Trump. So yummy! The best part was the shaved ice, that was just like snow. Pina Colada flavored and such a disappointment when Jacob dumped it on the ground.....

It wasn't quite time for us to check into the hotel so the girls changed into their swap meet dresses and headed to our first Hawaiian beach

Once we checked into our hotel, it was only minutes before Jay had us at the Hotels beach in snorkel gear ready for fun. Alayna was ready to see some fish and jumped right in with Jay. I don't ever want to forget they way she looked heading into the water with her snorkel, life vest and freckles. She makes me laugh.

Ashtyn was more excited just to play in the water and sand
Jacob loved to chase all the birds, get the towels sandy, go in and out of the water, undo any sand sculptures Alayna or Ashtyn had created, throw sand, wear his swimming jacket, get more sand on the towels, dig the girls out of their mermaid tails and keep mommy on her toes.
I think we made the girls mermaids at every beach we went to, this picture being the first of many.

After a VERY LONG and VERY FULL day we ate dinner at L&L and watched our first beautiful Hawaiian sunset. I missed out on the green flash, probably because I was making sure Jacob had not thrown something else off the balcony.

We had stopped at a market to get breakfast stuff so Sunday morning we ate our fruit and yogurt. We went to Church in Kahuku. I was a very quiet meeting even with all the windows and doors open. It started 10 minutes after the hour which I thought would be a great practice here in the states (wink wink)

After Church we went to visit one of Jay's recruit's parents. Jay recruits Utah and the kid lives in SLC with relatives, but his parents live in Kahuku. They were so gracious. It was fun to see real life Hawaii. The parents and siblings live upstairs and the grandma and others live downstairs. Their daughter took Jacob and Alayna out to pick flowers. Their favorites were the plumeria. The family lives across the street from the family of a kid that Jay played with at the U and the Warriors. Small world, beautiful community.
One day, I know it's going to happen and I can't wait til I live on the same street as my whole family...
Later we went to the LDS Temple in Laie. We watched some wonderful videos about the community of Laie and why it is the way it is. And another one about Jesus with an Easter message. The grounds are beautiful and one day it would be great to be able to go through it.

A bunch of friends and roommates from Ricks went to BYU HI, so we checked out their campus. Completely different from what I had picture, but exactly what you would expect, if that makes any sense. There is just something about a church campus.....

The clouds had rolled in for the evening as we stopped at another beach. The color of the water was gorgeous with the color of the sky. The waves were growing with each one. A breeze brought the salt right to your lips and gave a wildness to your hair that couldn't be tamed by Alayna. She was all over the beach.

We returned to the Hotel that evening, checked out the pools and trails around it, with plans to do a short hike/walk in the morning. Then fell quickly asleep.

Monday morning we walked to the Banyan tree on the the Hotel's property. (This is where they filmed part of Lost). The pictures don't do it justice. I remember a teacher who went to Hawaii and brought back pictures of this kind of tree and have always wanted to see one myself. It was incredible

Just down from the tree was another beach where we made sand castles and Jay and the girls snorkeled. They saw a puffer fish and a turtle.

Monday we went to the Polynesian Culture Center. One of the Players Dad works there and was so sweet to get us in for no charge. He was the cutest guy ever. It amazes me how hard these people work. And their passion for what they do.

Floating Parade
Culture Games
Luau dinner.
'HA the breath of life' was the night performance with AMAZING fire dancers

Tuesday we started off with breakfast at the recommended Hukilau Cafe. It also was our beach day. To prevent anymore skin cancer I made sure to keep 50 spf on. This day we lathered up all the kids. As for me I was sure I put it on but my skin was telling me different and I had decided I must have just forgot...UNTIL I saw another guy spraying on the sunscreen. There was always a breeze and when I watched him spray his back and legs not one ounce made it to his skin. It all blew away in the wind. I am guessing I did the same oblivious thing and unfortunately ended up a little red on my legs and back. So did Jay.
The water was so pretty
Jacob just bounced around in his swimming jacket

This little guy NEVER falls asleep other than his car seat and bed. BUT he came to me and said I want to go to sleep and he laid down and fell asleep for the rest of the time....So peaceful...

The plan was to go to Hanauma Bay after this Beach, but we didn't noticed the closed tuesdays part...oops! So we enjoyed the beautiful drive around the entire Island. We stopped just before the hotel at Waimea Bay for Jay to show off his mad body(boogie?) board(surfing?) skills. This unfortunately was cut short as the life guard station had to come over the intercom and request the 'novice' in red shorts with NO fins get back in before they have to come out and save him. "this is no place to learn how" The then got on the four wheeler and drove down preparing to go in after him, but luckily he made it himself....Next time you see Jay just have him tell you about his experience at Waimea. We finished off our night with a delicious plate dinner at Papa Ole's. Yummy, Yummy.

Wednesday, we headed to the southern part of the Island to stay at Ko Olina. The past few days we had been hounded by people to come to a 90 minute seminar and stay free there. I was soooooo glad not to have to sit through one of those for our hotel! We did that when we were in Orlando the first time and it was ridiculous. I think we may have made the people there just as mad with our sarcasm as we made Mr. Ripper...Anyway we woke up and enjoyed the pool at Turtle Bay one last time before heading south to Ko Olina and Pearl Harbor.

Pearl Harbor was definitely a place of reflection...The girls each got books at the Pearl Harbor Gift Shop to donate to their classes and Ashtyn was very interested in everything there. We would have liked to visit the submarine museum, but you have to be at least 4 years old and Jacob is not.... I really enjoyed hearing the history and interesting facts about this devastating piece of history. Any surviving members of the Arizona have been offered to be buried with their ship mates by cremation and then a diver will put their remains in the ship as their final resting place.

The flag first attached to the original Arizona mast and then later attached to the building, but it is the representation of the flag flying over the ship as it did before it sunk. All the other ships were repaired and put back into the fleet except for the Oklahoma which was too damaged. They finally decided to sell it for scrap. As it was being towed to San Francisco it began to fill with water and sunk into the pacific ocean. I loved watching Ashtyn get fully engrossed in her book and ask so many questions about that era. I hope she will continue to thirst for history and learn all she can.

After Pearl Harbor we checked into our hotel. I overheard a lady talking about the same two places we were staying at. She said how much she preferred the North Shore and Turtle Bay to The Marriott in Ko Olina because of the feeling. As we checked in I understood what she was saying. This was a beautiful, very nice hotel. There was just a different feeling of tourism and less relaxation. The Beach was beautiful.
Jacob asleep in my arms, matchless

Thursday after trying the Big Teddy's Burgers (HI's equivalent and superior of In and Out) we made it to Hanauma Bay. I may have dragged my feet a little for this one. A few short rain bursts didn't help.

Once we got there and I got in the not so warm water and I saw the amazing under water sea life it was well worth the effort. I can't wait for Jacob to be old enough or a time when we have another couple or someone to watch kids so Jay and I can snorkel together. We bought an underwater camera that I thought was disposable...it wasn't. So we had to buy another one at the Bay. Well worth it to capture memories of our snorkeling discoveries.

That night was Ashtyns choice for dinner....She had been missing out on her favorite meal (syrup drenched breakfasts) we stopped at Annies 24 hour diner. Alayna was thrilled with a chicken pot pie and lemon meringue pie. Ashtyn enjoyed every bite of her french toast and pumpkin pie. After days of trying the Island food they both enjoyed their own perfect meal.

One of Jay's souvenirs was a CD of IZ and as we listened to this song, it made us respect the island and the culture even more. I wasn't so excited to listen to it for the first few songs, but by the end we played it over and over. It has such poignant message.

Friday our final day there we took a whale watching lunch cruise. It didn't disappoint. We watched 2 adult whales and a baby. On the way back to the dock I saw a few more.

Alayna never misses an opportunity to volunteer. Ashtyn had to be coaxed up there to show how big the whales tale is

After the boat trip we went to the By-odin Temple. A replica of one in Japan. Completely constructed with out ANY nails. By ringing the bell before entering you clear your mind before entering the temple.

The amazingly beautiful ceiling.

We finished off our vacation with a trip to the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center in Waikiki. Watched a hula show, picked up a few final souvenirs, ate dinner and printed off our boarding passes.

Ashtyn jumped right into book while we waited to board and had it finished before we got home to Murray.

Alayna was out the second she sat down....must have been a good vacation....

To see the entire lot of pictures you see them in the slide show below


Wendy said...

SO fun!! What a great vacation.
James and I got kicked off the beach too with the same worry that they'd have to come rescue us. We felt like such lame haloe. (I don't know if that the correct spelling for whit person in Hawaiian.)

katie t said...

what a great trip and isn't it so fun when you "trick" them! we did that when we took them to CA last year.
way cute!!!!

Sarah said...

Looks like you guys had a great time! Love the pics!

Baccab said...

I really enjoy reading your blogs..what a very nice family vacation, kid's are enjoying...