|Selfie before our flight, had been up since 4:00 am|
In the 13 hours we flew, he screamed once. We booked the trip only a week in advance cause there were some last minute seat sales. Brett's dad had text him and asked if we asked if we wanted to go. Brett then called me and said, "Whits we have minutes before the sale is gone, I'm about to book if you want to go." Anyone who knows Brett, he takes an eternity to make decisions, except deciding to marry me, that took two weeks. So this was out of character for him, so it was a yes from me. After about five minutes of being excited, I began to think of every worst case scenario of taking a baby. Barfing, ear aches, teething, screaming, growing pains, four hour time change, and blowouts. Every minute Ronan was down for a nap, the internet was my friend for researching travelling with an eight month old. Thank you to all of the people who take time to blog about their tips cause it saved me life and my trip was smooth sailing. Also, by some miracle, the flight wasn't full on the way to Hawaii or the way back, so Ro got his own seat in between us. So every time he napped, we laid him on the seat. It was wonderful to give our arms a break.
Coolest thing about flying to Hawaii is you gain four hours once you get there. We left at 7:30 a.m. and arrived at 10:30 a.m. Weird I know. Greg and Linda booked their seats right in front of us, so it was nice to take the stress off in case RoRo had a meltdown. He only slept an hour and a half of the 7 hour flight, but he was happy and smiled at every person who walked past our seats.
When we landed we of course went to Costco. Watch out if you eat at the cafeteria there, the birds are as aggressive as the birds at disneyland. Then we settled into the townhouse and hit the pool and beach that day. My baby LOVED the pool. He couldn't get enough of it. Every time he would splash himself in the face, he acted just as surprised as the first time he did it.
Next day we went to see the temple and Greg and Linda did a session there. So many times people would post a picture of themselves in front of the temple on Facebook, and I will say pictures don't do justice for how beautiful it is. The temple is at the base of a jungle/volcano and has a million dollar view of the ocean when you are at the front doors.
When we were waiting for Greg and Linda, Brett and I hit the beach and did all of the paths around the temple. Then we watched the videos at the visitors centre and pretty sure I cried in three of the five movies. We learned there that forty percent of people who visit the Hawaii temple aren't LDS. The missionary couple working there said they get busses full of hundreds of people in the afternoon. What a dream job as a missionary just having people come to you with questions and eager to learn.
After their session was done, we ate at Seven Brothers Burgers. They had a delicious aloe sauce with their fries that was probably eighty percent fat, but to die for. The burger was so moist and the cheese didn't taste fake. Definitely would recommend someone to eat at this place.
Later we hit up the Polynesian Cultural Centre. (As I'm writing this, I'm realizing how much we packed in one day) Really cool experience seeing all of the mini shows they had, lots of laughs, watched a guy climb a palm tree and the food was delicious. It was a special experience to Greg cause he served his mission in the Cook Islands. Probably took him back in time forty years. The show "Breath of life" was too long, for my liking, ridiculously loud and very repetitive of what we had seen all day. But in the show, some people did some crazy stunts with fire and that was cool.
Next day was my favourite part of the whole trip, Waimea Falls. They had a paved path, so stroller friendly, and it takes thirty minutes to walk there. The vegetation was so luxuriant and we stopped many times to check out crazy looking tress and big exquisite looking flowers. You never wanted the hike to end because there was so much to look at. When we all arrived at the waterfalls, it did not disappoint. Ronan didn't like the cold water, so we took turns swimming. Brett and I went first, and Linda took our picture under the waterfall. When we got out of the water, I looked at my camera and every picture was blurry. I'm a camera nazi, and I made Brett swim to the falls again with me just to get a clear picture. Thanks for putting up with that honey. Bonus was doing it twice and it wasn't even that cold. Incredibly romantic as well. Linda was not wanting to get into the water but I gave her a really hard time. I asked her how many times she had swam under a waterfall. When she had no response, she and Greg were in there in minutes. They were glad they did it.
Once we were back to the car, we decided to hit up Ted's bakery. Ok, I had several friends recommend this place and sketchy doesn't even begin to describe it. The outside of it looked very neglected and could use some serious TLC. Inside we went to order this so called "best shrimp on the island." As I am typing, my mouth is watering. All four of us agreed that it was the most outstanding shrimp we had ever tasted.
Next we drove to the Dolewhip plantation. Never in my life, have I seen over a hundred people in line for ice cream. Brett said there wouldn't be that many people in line if it wasn't worth it. Agreed. We went on the train tour of the pineapple farm to see if the line would go down and then also hit up the maze. Back to the lineup we went with only a few people in front of us (because it was minutes from closing) and again we were not disappointed. I've been home just over a week and have tried several copycat recipes and none of them come close to as good. Apparently pineapple dolewhips are exclusive. They are only sold in Disneyland and Honolulu. Guess I'll just have to hit up one of those two places before I die cause it was beyond yummy.
When we woke up the following morning, it was the first time where I felt like I had the energy to get out of bed to watch the sun rise. Also Ronan was awake. Walking outside at 6:30 in the morning and it already being 27 degrees felt fantastic. Humidity is not only my best friend, it is fabulous for my skin. Missing it dearly every second we are back in Alberta.
It felt surreal that morning watching the sun rise with Brett and Ro by the ocean. Would've been nice if time just either slowed down or stopped, cause those few minutes were magical.
We walked back to our place, ate breakfast and I got Ronan into the cutest outfit! He had baby gap cream shorts (which I paid $2.50 for on sale in Missoula) a grey shirt and adorable little blue sneakers. As a mom, I've learned you don't get your kid dressed till you are about two minutes away from leaving the house. So I changed him, gave him to Brett and quickly went to brush my teeth. When I came out of the bathroom, Brett also was brushing his teeth but thought that was a brilliant idea while holding Ro. I looked at his outfit, two huge blotches of toothpaste on his outfit. Brett only got 3 death threats out of me and had to clean his outfit before we left. Men.......
On the road again and we hit up Pearl Harbour. After seeing the movie many times, it was on my bucket list to see it. The submarines were massive!!!!!! Seeing how tight the quarters were where the men in the Navy slept was loco. Think of bunk beds, but the bunk bed above you is only twelve inches away from your face. Claustrophobia maybe?
After checking off our tourist stuff, it was time to just do nothing which I was very much looking forward to. We had some beach time at Waikiki beach and did some snorkelling. Saw a fish that was every colour of neon. Pink, yellow and green. I'm sure if it was pitch black in the water you could still see it.
At the end of a fun filled day, we all went to watch the sun set. Hawaiian sunsets are so dreamy and listening to the ocean waves breaking was beyond whimsical. Bonus on all of us going together, we took majestic kissing pictures in front of the sunset.
On our last days there, we enjoyed more ocean time at turtle bay and spent time at the pool. Lots of beaches the swells were bad probably due to an earthquake the day before in Japan. It also rained for probably an hour one morning, but it cleared up and we had a great few days doing nothing. Ronan slept at the pool for almost two hours that afternoon, so I just sat in the shade and enjoyed the peace and heat. Once he woke up, I nursed him and he hung out in the pool with Greg and Brett for an hour, while Linda took a nap at the townhouse.
We hit up Waikiki beach one last time before we went to the airport and I thought to myself, "Hey I'm on maternity leave. I'll stay here and all three of you can go back to work. Ronan and I aren't ready to go home." But you can only dream.
Our flight home blew goats cause we had a nasty layover, that we knew about, in Vancouver. Bonus was the baby slept and we had Sunday afternoon when we got home to recover.
All in all, Hawaii was beyond marvellous and I would highly recommend if you haven't been to go. In 2011 Brett and I also went to Maui with Abby and Steve and still bring up funny stories from that trip. Which island is better you ask? They're both wonderful cause you get the beautiful beaches, gorgeous sunsets and great food. Differences are the tourist attractions.
Thank you to Greg and Linda for spending your first time in Hawaii with your only grandchild. Ro loves all of the time he can get with any of his grandparents or great grandparents.
Best part about trips is all of the memories you make, they are way better than gifts in my opinion. You'll talk about things from your trip for years to come.