Sunday, April 1, 2018

Hawaii Vacation

Me and Ben have been talking about going to Hawaii for as long as I can remember. It has been #1 on our list of places to visit. After years of saving and planning and preparing, we finally did it! 
We are so grateful to Mom and Dad and my Father-in-Law Daniel for watching the kids for us so just the two of us could go. 

Here we are on our 3 hour plane ride from Austin to LAX. We spent the night in LAX so we could get up early enough for our morning flight to Hawaii the next day.
Bright and early at 7:00 am on our way to Hawaii! 
We flew on Hawaiian Airlines, which was a pretty nice airline, despite all the flagrant advertising.

DAY #1: We landed in Hawaii at 10:30 am Hawaii time, so we had the whole day to explore! We were famished, so we got our rental car and looked around for a good place to eat. I found this place called "RED5" on Yelp that had super high reviews. It was tucked away at the back of a country club so we had a nice view of the country club pool while we ate. 
We both had the delicious "Furikake Chicken" dish, which was to die for! So so delicious. 
Here we are at the restaurant. After we ate lunch, we drove to the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail. We had to stop at this beautiful beach along the way though. It was too gorgeous, and we took a little detour to enjoy watching the ocean. 

 Then we headed to the Lighthouse trail!
 As you climb the trail, there are various overlooks where you can see the beautiful ocean below.

 Ben was a little more adventurous than me, and he climbed around and up sections of the trail where he found this nice graffiti that he photographed.
Panaromic view from the trail. 

 The lighthouse!

 It was super windy, as you can see in this pic. My hair kept whacking Ben in the face!
 We just couldn't get enough of that ocean!

After the Lighthouse Trail, we went to the Nuuanu Pali Lookout.
 You can see this beautiful valley below you from the overlook.


After lunch, our hike, and the lookout, we headed to Anna and Rob's house for dinner and to rest!
Day #2:  I woke up early the next morning to go on a walk around the neighborhood where Anna and Rob live. This is some of what you see from their backyard.

 You can't see the front of their house very well from this pic, but it is a gorgeous house!
The beach is just a few steps down the road from their house.
 We were woken up by all the wild roosters every morning. There are wild chickens and roosters everywhere in Hawaii! 
 After breakfast, Ben and I went on a nature hike up the mountain right by Anna and Rob's house.
 We hiked all the way to this waterfall. Ben was brave enough to use the ropes to climb up, but I was ok with staying at the bottom. 

 When you hike in Hawaii, you are basically hiking through the jungle! After our hike, we went to the beach, but we got rained out pretty quick, so we headed to Seven Brothers for lunch.
Ben enjoying the famous, "Shem Burger". I had one, too!
 After lunch we went to this really cool overlook called Laie Point. 

The ocean has made this really unique "window" cutout in the volcanic rock.

 The waves crash up against the rock and it's an amazing sight!
After Laie Point, we drove to Waimea Bay to enjoy some beach time. It was pretty cloudy, but warm enough to get in the water for a little while. 

This is one of the most crowded beaches usually, but there was hardly anyone there when we went.

On our way back from the beach, we stopped at Ted's Bakery for their famous pie. 
 It was pretty good! After our day of adventures, we went back to Anna and Rob's house and had dinner, played games, and relaxed!
Day #3: Since it was kind of cloudy again on our third day in Hawaii, we decided to visit Pearl Harbor. But on our way there, the sun came out and Ben suggested we go back to Anna and Rob's house to get our swimsuits. So we got our tickets for the 2:15 Pearl Harbor tour, went back to get our suits, and then headed to Aloha Moana Beach Park in Wakiki. 

The water was still pretty cold, but we enjoyed relaxing on the beach!
Here we are at Pearl Harbor. We took a boat to go and see the USS Arizona Memorial. 

 The Memorial is built over the sunken ship of the USS Arizona, and there is a definite feeling of reverence inside.
Here is the top of the USS Arizona. So many brave men died during Pearl Harbor.

Here are just some of the men listed that died during the attack. Maybe the Dohertys are related to my Mom! I took a pic just in case. 
After the USS Arizona tour, we walked around the Pearl Harbor museums and learned more about that fateful day. Ben wanted to go on a hike afterward, so we headed to Maona Falls.
All the plant life was gorgeous on this hike. All the trees are so tall and beautiful!

It had been raining on and off all day so there were puddles and mud everywhere. It was a good thing the trail was mostly paved.

Stopping for a quick pic in front of the Bamboo forest on the hike.
Right when we got to the waterfall, it started pouring down rain! We got completely soaked!

Luckily since we didn't get in the water when we were on the beach in Wakiki, we were able to change from our soaking wet clothes into our nice and dry swimsuits! Lol.
Driving to go eat dinner at Kalapawai Cafe and Deli. Anna recommended it because she said the food was amazing!

Waiting for our food at the restaurant. We had the smoked salmon bruschetta w/ boursin, lemon-caper relish to start out with, then we split the Grilled 8oz. USDA choice petit NY steak w/ romesco over roasted fingerling potatoes, peas & pearl onions, and then we finished it off with butter pecan gelato and blood orange sorbet for dessert. Absolutely AMAZING food! I regret not taking pictures of it because it was so beautifully presented, too!

Day #4: Since Saturday it was raining really hard all morning, we decided to go visit the much talked-about Polynesian Cultural Center. Rob was so sweet to get us in for half price since he works for BYU-Hawaii. Here we are at the Canoe Pageant.

This was by far our favorite thing at the PCC. We learned all about Wayfinding (yes, like in Moana!) and our guide had first hand experience! You can take Wayfinding as a class at BYU-Hawaii, and then go out on the ocean and test your skills for a week. This boat was built specifically to take students out on the ocean.
Aue, Aue!!!!! We set a course to find . . . a brand new island everywhere we roam . . . 
The island presentations were super cool! The Tonga one was hysterically funny. The host asked 3 men from the audience to come up and try to dance like islanders and bang on the drums. Everyone was cracking up! Super entertaining.
After all the island presentations, we went to the Lu'au where we got to eat this delicious roasted pig!
Hanging out at the Lu'au.
Waiting for the show Ha: Breath of Life to start. We couldn't take any pictures once the show started, but here is what the arena looked like. 

Day #5: Our last day in Hawaii! The sun was finally out and it was a gorgeous day. We woke up early and headed straight to Kokololio Beach, which is about 15 mins from where Anna and Rob live.
The ocean is so clear and absolutely breath-taking.

The great thing about this gorgeous beach is that it's far away from all the popular touristy beaches. We had the whole beach pretty much to ourselves!

Enjoying the crystal clear refreshing ocean.

Doing FaceTime with the kids and Mom and showing them what the beach looked like. Anna and Rob let us borrow their super comfy beach chairs!

Can you tell this was our favorite thing? We couldn't stop taking pictures because it was so beautiful. The day was perfect and relaxing!
After the beach, we headed to church with Anna and Rob. We realized we hadn't taken any photos with them the whole time we were there! So we had to snap a selfie real quick. I love little Luke's expression! Ben wanted to get in one more hike on our last day, so we skipped out of church after sacrament and headed to the famous Diamond Head crater hike. 

At one of the lookout points near Diamond Head. Just FYI, I DID wash our hiking clothes before I wore them again! 

We made it to the top! It was a very steep hike, but totally worth it for the view.

Ben's Panaroma of the view.

After the Diamond Head hike, we headed back to Anna and Rob's and got our stuff all packed up and ready to go back home! We really enjoyed spending time with them and getting to talk in the evenings and play games and chill. Our trip was so enjoyable not only because we got to spend so much quality time with each other, but also because we were able to spend so much of it with family! You might be wondering what those 3 cute kids of ours were up to while we were gone. Well, here ya go . . .

 Flashlight game with Grami!
 Reading books at Grami's house in Grami's hammock swing.
 Chillin' at Grami's.
 Getting spoiled with new PJ Mask toys from Grami.
 Spring picture day at school!
 Playing in the backyard.

 Glow-in-the-dark balloons that Grami bought.
 Sidewalk chalk on the back porch.

Playing at The Jumpy Place with Grandpa.

Playing at the park!
So, don't worry, they had a great time, too! We're happy to be back home after our wonderful vacation and so grateful that we got to go!