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Thursday, July 9, 2015

I have always wanted to take my grandkids on a trip as soon as they were old enough to remember it.  Finally as a extra special gift to Emily for her Sweet 16 we splurged and took her, along with her brother Joshua.  We tied it in with their Christmas gift.  It was everything I had hoped it would be and more.  I can't wait to take the other kids on their trips as soon as they get older.

Here is a little photo diary of our trip.  Blogs are read backwards, so here you go with the ending and you read on down (a long way down) to get to the beginning.

Day Twelve
We were up with the rooster and not quite the smiles we had as we left PDX almost two weeks ago. 
Waiting in the Kauai airport before our trip.
 one last look as we leave Honolulu for Portland

Day 11
Last Day.
We had a pool day mostly.  Tide was rough again and so we just relaxed the day away.

 Just relaxing only lasted a little while, though.  Pretty soon Josh got bored and a water war ensued.

 Time for some Shave Ice.  But WHICH flavor, Josh?

 We even shared it with some of the local chickens.

 and then one last time to boogie board.

 John bought Emily a lei for our last dinner. He made reservations for us at a really nice place right on the beach.  It was also our 41st anniversary.

 We had a photo bomber there.  :)

 one last Kauai sunset

Day Ten
The days are ticking by!  I loved that clock we had in the kitchen.  Best to keep time by the days and not the hours while on vacation.

 Emily and I went for a little walk to the Hyatt and hung out on their grounds for a while.

 The tide was even stronger than any other day.  This day, most of the time the kids spent surfing on the shore.  These waves were for the locals!

Day Nine
We started out the day at one our favorite places for breakfast.  Most of the breakfasts we had were in our condo, but we had to have one breakfast at this place.  Eggbert's.  We ate there years ago.  It was ruined by Hurricane Iniki and now has been relocated. They have banana pancakes with coconut syrup.  They were as good as I remembered them.

 We then drove up the Wailua River.  
 Opaekaa Falls
Wailua Falls
 And then came the Fern Grotto boat ride.  We loved the name of this boat, but it wasn't the one we rode up on.

 The Grotto was different than when we were there before.  Now you only get to a platform and look up at it, instead of getting to go all the way into the cave and look out.  I was disappointed about that.

 John and Josh were not very excited about the entertainment.

 On the boat ride back, Emily learned how to hula.

 She is so much fun.
 We stopped in Kapaa for some more shopping...and a few photo opps.

 Another cute church and then back for 'high tide'.   The tide and waves were getting higher and more vicious as the days went on.  I was happy that the kids decided to stay closer to shore.
 I was surprised to see what you do when you see a big wave coming and you know that you are not going to make it in time to ride it in.  You just dunk under and let it go over you.

 But hopefully you are able to time it right and ride it on in.
 I had a little candle that is a flower and when you light it opens twirls around and plays Happy Birthday.  Since we were there as part of Emily's Sweet 16, I bought some cupcakes and we had an almost 16 1/2 party for her.

Day Eight
We had a hang out at the place day.  Except for dinner, we didn't go anywhere.  We just stayed and enjoyed the pool, hot tub and waves.
I went out early to look for the dolphins.  It was raining when I left, but that is not a big deal, it is warm and the sun comes out in just a minute.  I loved starting out my day with this gorgeous rainbow.  I think God put it there just for me.

There are a lot of birds that I have not seen around Oregon.
 Years ago, when John's Dad was in the Navy, he was in Guam during the war.  I have a photo that was taken of him with a huge leaf.  When we went there with my kids we all copied that idea.  Well...again we had to have photos of Emily and Josh to complete the set.  

 Then off to snorkel again.  I love looking at all those fish! never know what you might find in a puddle. 
 Check out Josh's eyes.  haha!
 I love how Josh was directing them into the water.
And then it was 'high tide' again.  It just never got boring...for me or for them.  :)

 We love this pizza place.  They hand out little balls of dough to keep you busy while you wait for your pizza.   

 I have never had a dessert pizza before.  This was a Snickers pizza.  

 Day Seven
The Napali Coast Hike
Our favorite hike.  We discovered this hike on the trip when we first went there with our kids. On that trip it was muddy and mucky and slick and full of bogs of mud that you had no choice but to step in all the way up to your knees if you wanted to continue on.  We have done it a couple of times since that first time and it has always been the same.  One time we even took my parents on it!  Well, we knew we had to take Emily and Joshua on it too.  Normally when we go to Kauai, it is not in summer.  So for the first time, we went on the hike and it was not so muddy.  We had warned the kids to bring clothes that they would be willing to toss in the trash when we returned back because the red mud would stain them up.  But it was dry and smooth sailing, even though it poured down rain on us a couple of times while we hiked.  It is two miles in to a beach that can only be reached by foot or boat.  The views along the way are amazing!

 I have a picture of his Dad up in a tree just like this.

Josh and Emily went on ahead of us. Once again, I was reminded of
 my two boys as we met up with them.  
 Almost to the beach...

 You have to ford a river to get to the beach.

 We had our picnic lunch and headed back home. We HAD to be there for 'high tide'.

 And there is the beach where we started the hike.

I think the little churches on the island are so cute and cozy.
 A Taro field.

Ape Heads  (my kids had to pose for this same shot)

 Back through the Tree Tunnel

I think this is my favorite shot of Joshua body surfing.
 I love her smile!
 OK, so John and Rachel thought the kids could go to the pool alone, but when they were at the beach, it would be best if one of us were there.  So there I this little episode of our trip evolved...I felt kinda weird sitting there watching their every move.  Well, not so weird that I stopped taking photos.  lol
but every now and then I just had to find something else to watch.  There were these tiny tiny crabs, about the size of my thumb nail.  As the evening approached and people went home...all except for us who had extra reason to stay in the waves...and I sat there...these little crabs would pop out tiny little holes and skimmer across the sand. If there was any movement, they would be back to their hole and gone! 
 That night we walked for dinner at the beach restaurant right there at Poipu Beach.  Brennecke's
 Josh picked Emily a flower for her hair on the way there.

Day Six
I was up before everyone else, so I took advantage of it and went for a walk.

 I was rewarded with dolphins!!!  So exciting to see them our there.

 Every day we were there, the beach had an area where a Monk seal was basking in the sun.  They are protected endangered on Kauai.

 We stopped in at the Hyatt to find out what time the hula show was.  We were there at just the right time to get to hold a parrot.

 Our activity for the day was to go to Waimea Canyon, but first we stopped in to the Spouting horn.  The shot below was kind of a fizzle, it normally shoots higher, but I didn't get a shot of it going higher.

 This is the Waimea River, it was so red from the volcanic soil and was running into the ocean and even turning the surf red.

 Waimea Canyon.
 They call it the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.
 We stopped in for a Puka Dog for lunch on the way home.  They are so good.  A special hot dog inside a roll.  You pick your sauce and one of the special relishes to go on it.  They squirt it down into the bun. The first time I had one, I thought it was crazy to put those flavors on a hot dog.  Was I ever wrong!   Did I say they are soooo Good?!!!

It reminded me of my own boys so many times as I watched Josh.  One of his goals was to catch a gecko.  He never did, even with a net he found. Either did my boys way back when we went there.

 After a little time in our pool, they headed to the beach again.  They just could not get enough of it.

As I sat there watching them, I suddenly realized something was different that day.  Josh was liking body surfing inshore more and more and Emily was out there alone...well, not alone...she had a couple of new friends.  and they were boys!  She spent the rest of the day riding the waves in with them.  
 She always has a smile on her face, but that night she had a special glow to go with that smile.
We changed clothes and headed back over to the Hyatt for the torch lighting and hula show.

 We had Happy Hour dinner and Hawaiian drinks.

 I always knew when the kids liked something...out came their phones to take photos.

Day Five
The kids needed to keep up with their cross country training while we were there, since their teams were training at home while we were gone.  So a couple of days they actually did get a run in.
Then back to the beach they went!  There were a bunch of sea turtles swimming around each day with them while the kids boarded.  They rode the waves in with them and sometimes even came all the way to the shore and let people touch them.

Emily took right to the boogie board, venturing out further and further.  
 Joshua liked body surfing better.  He would ride a wave in and run back out for more.  He didn't need a morning run each day, he was getting a huge workout at the beach.
I loved this shot!

Grandpa got in on it too.

This is the view from our pool.

Day Four
 Off to Kauai!  We were so excited to be here, away from the commotion and crowds of Honolulu.
The Tree Tunnel

 While the kids took a quick look around with Grandpa, I was settling into our condo.  A local neighbor woman was out in her yard and asked me if I wanted some mangoes from her tree.  I thought one or two might be nice...ends up she gave me 10.  Emily especially loved them.

 The kids we so excited to get to the snorkel and boogie boarding.  They didn't know which to do first.  They ended up trying out the snorkel and then rushed over to boogie board.   
Here is a before and after of their room.  

Day Three
We hiked up Diamond Head.  I love to hike, but this was not what I consider a hike.  It was dry and hot and NO trees!  All we did was switchbacks all the way to the top.  I was going slow, and Grandpa and Josh hurried on ahead.  My hip is starting to give me a little trouble and I didn't want to hurt it and not be able to do the Napali Coast hike on Kauai, so I was taking it easy.  Emily had just made it almost to the top to this viewpoint when Josh called and asked us where we were.  He told us that it was super crowded and not that great a veiw and the last bit was stairs going straight up and up and up, so just to wait where we were.  So we did.  Below is a shot of what they saw.  I kind of regret that we didn't make it to the top, but we almost did, that counts, right?
 Below is a shot of the switchbacks...and the ugly, dry, treeless view...

 This was when we got back down.
 And once again, the kids raced to the beach.  Diamond Head is behind the kids from Waikiki beach .
 So the BIG event of the day was that while Emily and I went shopping, Grandpa and Joshua stayed at the beach.  It was getting close to sunset.  The beach was getting deserted.  John saw some men a little ways off diving down and coming back up really excited.  He looked down and thought he saw something.  He told Josh to dive down and see what it was.  He came back up with money!  So he headed down again, and again and again, each time handing what he was finding to Grandpa.  Finally when he had searched and searched and found no more, he and Grandpa headed to the shore.  They counted it out and it was $97!!!  They waited around in case somebody came looking for it, but after a while decided it was OK to head back with it.  What a find for Josh!!!  

 Day Two
The whole reason for going to Oahu was that the kids wanted to see Pearl Harbor.  They had studied it in school and thought it would be good to see it in person.  
Below is what Joshua posted on Instagram that day.  It shows what he got out of his day there.

I thought it was sweet that he asked Emily to pose for a photo that he wanted of her on his phone.
This is a shot of one of the displays of the Japanese aircraft carrier.  It was in a glass case next to the US ship. 
 These two are such good friends.
 The names of those who died.  This is on the memorial that is over the sunken Arizona.
 Oil still leaks from the Arizona.
 This is what you can see above the water of the Arizona.
 To get to the memorial, you take a free boat managed by the US Navy.  This is a shot I took as we left.
 We finished off the night with dinner at Hard Rock Cafe.
 Emily ordered a kids burger.  Cute plate, huh?
 Joshua ordered off the regular menu.  Can you believe the size of that burger?
One more trip through the International Marketplace.  This time we came out with Hawaiian shirts for Joshua and Grandpa.

Day One!
Off we go to Hawaii.  They were pretty chipper in spite of a 4:30 wake up to catch a 7am plane. They didn't even mind wearing the Santa hats and leis I had for them since it was a Christmas/Sweet 16 trip. We took off right on time, but an hour into our flight the pilot came on and said he was turning back around because the computers had gone down and he could not communicate with San Francisco.  So we flew the hour back to PDX, deplaned and then a little while later boarded a new plane to get us there, just three hours later than we expected.  
I wasn't worried until I spotted this as we landed.  Fortunately, it was not for us that these emergency vehicles were there.  
Even though we were later getting to Oahu than we planned, it was still too early to get into our room.  Emily and Joshua wasted no time in changing clothes in the lobby restroom and rushed us to the beach.  

After dinner, we discovered a version of the Old International Marketplace that I had been told was no longer in existence.  It might have been a little smaller than I remembered it, but it sure did not disappoint the kids.  They went for it, first checking out what was available to buy and then talking the shopkeepers into a lower price.  They came home with some treasures!
I thought it was pretty cool that nobody had to share a bed with anyone.  Have you ever seen a US hotel with 4 twin beds?  I have in international countries, but never here.  It worked out great for our 3 nights in Oahu.  (but a second bathroom would have been nice)