Trip to Hawaii!

Flight: Our trip from Ottawa to Hawaii required 3 planes: from Ottawa to Detroit, Detroit to Salt Lake City, and Salt Lake City to Honolulu. We left at the ungodly hour of 1am EST, after an hour of “sleep”. By the time we had picked up our luggage and got the car and babyseats all set up, it was 11pm EST when we finally stepped into our hotel room! And Logan was so excited that he barely slept an hour the whole journey, too!! He had no interest in any of the toys we brought for him, because he saw the plane as a giant toy it its own right. ;) Luckily we had no problems keeping him in his seat at least, and he did enjoy some colouring as well as going over the flight safety manual, haha. Jake was easy; he was just happy to alternate between his toys and sleeping. I soon discovered that there are no changing tables on planes, either. So I attempted to change each child on the lid of the toilet. Just.. ew. And those washrooms are barely the size of a cubby, too!

Our First Day: We went straight to bed after we arrived in Hawaii, and woke up bright and early at 5am ready to start our first day! Hopping time zones, I couldn’t remember the last time we ate a real meal either – was it breakfast or dinner? So our first stop was for a buffet breakfast at the hotel. The watermelon there were lush! Next we packed up our stuff, stowed it all in the car, and walked across the street to visit our first attraction: the Waikiki Zoo! This was followed by a stroll along Waikiki Beach. :) Then we were off, out of the city and to a more secluded location on the other side of the island: North Shore. There we were to stay at the Turtle Bay Resort for the majority of our vacation. We were exhausted after a full day, so it was another early night for us! (And skipped dinner again too, oops!)

Day 2: Yet again we found ourselves waking up at 5 in the morning, totally starving too. So again we decided to go for a buffet breakfast at the hotel. It was a lot more expensive to eat here, but we had the appetite to get our money’s worth! I still wasn’t able to shake my headache that had gotten progressively worse on our first day, so we decided it take it easy. We wandered around the resort and sat on the beach. Then we went out to get some groceries and stock up our mini-fridge! Logan was in need of his usual frequent snacks throughout the day, and we didn’t want to be eating every meal at a restaurant as that would quickly add up! We got a giant jug of milk, cereal, buns, ham, cheese, bagels, yogurt, and a whole bunch of fruit, and we were set for our breakfasts, lunch, and snacks! On our way back to the resort we stopped by one of the many infamous shrimp shacks along the road and got delicious meals to enjoy back in our room, while watching the sun set over the ocean.

Day 3: My birthday! We started off with Paul getting a scuba diving lesson. I sat on the lounge chairs along the pool (which was a delightfully un-crowded location!) and watched with the boys. :) Again, we were kinda winging it as to what we would do for the day. We chilled in our room for a while after that, and then I decided to go ahead and enjoy a horse ride along the beach. The ultimate birthday treat!!! :) It was the best time ever, too. Our “group” ended up being just me and one other person, and we were both experienced to some degree with horses, so it was perfect. We went around for an hour – along the shoreline where we spotted large sea turtles eating the algae. We rode past a WWII pillbox, too. And through the forest where large banyan trees surrounded us. The girl leading us around also pointed out locations where Lost, Pirates of the Carribbean, etc. had been filmed, too. :) I had a blast and was clearly beaming from ear to ear. When I got back to the room, Paul greeted me and let me know that the boys just fell asleep. So he ran out to get some dinner outside of the hotel for us while I showered and kicked my legs up. After Paul had gotten back and we had finished our meals, he suprised me by presenting me with a slice of birthday cake from Ted’s Bakery – with a little candle on it and everything! What a sweet surprise! I blew it out quickly, so as to not set off the fire alarm, LOL! And we both sat and enjoyed our little after-dinner treats (Paul had gotten himself a slice too). In that moment I instantly became addicted to Ted’s Bakery – specifically the cheesecake. It was light and fluffy, with just the lightest hint of ‘cheese’, topped with fresh strawberries, and – oh! – the crust. I was in heavennnnn.

Day 4: We decided to hop into the car and go for a drive. Our first stop was a local fruit & veg stand nearby, Kahuku Land Farms. We picked up some fresh slices of mango which we took with us on our journey. Logan ended up eating most of them. ;) From there we drove to the Haleiwa shopping area. Quickly we discovered that bringing Logan into the stores wasn’t such a good idea, as he would try to grab things (with a keen eye for the most fragile merchandise) and throw fits. So Paul and I took turns while one of us waited in the nice air-conditioned car with the kids. Paul found a shirt to go surfing in, and I decided to get a bikini to replace the conservative suit I had brought with me – no matter how jiggly my post-baby body has become, it was wayyy too hot to be wearing a one-piece!! Perfect timing, too, as we also decided to pop by the beach upon our return to the resort. As we did with shopping, we took turns swimming in the ocean too, while one of us sat on the sand with the boys. It was a bit rocky on the feet, and the waves were quite forceful, so Logan wasn’t too keen on going in. I’m happy we got to go for a little swim, though!

Day 5: The morning started off with Paul getting a surfing lesson, while I enjoyed some lazy-time in our room with the boys. Paul returned from his lesson a little bruised, scratched up and sunburnt, but very pleased that he did so well and was able to go out and catch some waves! He ended up being the only one at the group class too, so he got the one-on-one lesson for a cheaper group rate! While Paul recovered in the room with our boys, I went out to explore the resort, and did a bit of shopping. :) As it was our last night there, we decided to reserve a dinner for ourselves at the restaurant Ola. Due to the 6-hour time difference, we had always eaten our meals in our room, as the boys would be out for the night! They were noticeably tired during our meal. Jake ended up falling asleep while seated in my lap as I ate, and Logan – after a lot of complaining on his part – eventually passed out in the stroller.

Day 6: We packed up all our belongings and begrudginly checked out of the Turtle Bay Resort. *sniffle* Paul catered to my cravings and we stopped by Ted’s Bakery one last time before leaving. They served cooked breakfasts there, and I also couldn’t resist grabbing one more slice of delicious cheesecake to go, along with a few bits of fresh cornbread for myself and Logan to share. :) We took a nice leisurely drive along the coast as we made our way back to the city. Stopping to photograph various mountains and ocean views. Once we reached Honolulu we decided to get out and look around. There was a long row of luxury designer shops for us to peruse, such as Chanel, Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Bottega Veneta – something we would NOT see here in Ottawa! Then we continued on, and soon found ourselves stopping for some ice cream at the Cold Stone Creamery. More deliciousness ensued! Then we were off to get ourselves set up at our final hotel. We ordered in some Papa John’s pizza, and then called it a night. We had a looong day ahead of us!

Last Day: Even though our flight back was leaving at a quarter to nine in the evening, we still had to be out of our hotel room before noon. We had a whole day ahead of us, so we decided to make the most of our last day in Hawaii. We started with breakfast at iHop – on my list of American food chains to try. Then we visited the Aquarium, which Logan absolutely LOVED. We ended up making two trips through the indoor aquariums just because Logan loved looking at the fishies so much! He would run up to the glass and say loudly to them, “HAI” After that we drove through Diamond Head, where we saw the crater and mountain peaks, more ocean, and some gorgeous multi-million dollar homes! Heading towards the airport we decided “what the heck, let’s keep going” and headed to our last stop: Pearl Harbor. It is a military base, so there was high security and we were only permitted to bring in Logan’s juice, the stroller, and DSLR camera. Pearl Harbour was amazing to see, so I’m happy we were able to squeeze the visit in!

Flight Home: I barely remember our trip back, which is good because that means I slept most of the way. ;) A couple hours shorter journey on the way back, we again took 3 planes: Honolulu to LAX, Los Angeles to Detroit, and Detroit home to Ottawa- where Al was waiting to cart our tired carcasses back home. :) Both kiddos were OUT from the start, so it was a relatively peaceful trip back. ..Minus the delay which had us RUNNING out of one plane and directly onto another. And Jake did have a screaming moment too, which was soon cured when I realized he was sick of me and just wanted to sit with his daddy for a bit. I cautiously passed the screaming baby over to Paul (seating on this plane was 2-aisle-2, and I was next to Logan while Paul was next to another person). I thought to myself this could either end well or badly, and thankfully Jake became quiet as soon as he was in his daddy’s arms! We got enough dirty looks on that plane as it was! YOU WERE ALL SCREAMING BABIES ONCE! (Picture me with dark bags under my eyes and frizzy, unkempt hair screaming this at the entire plane madly, bahahaa..) So we left at 8:45pm HST and were home-sweet-home by noon HST the next day.

* * * *

Oh man. This was the most fun I’ve had on a trip. Like, period. As I’ve mentioned before, a huge part of this is due to being in a healthier state of mind than ever before. We went with the attitude that we’re going to do as much as humanly possible, and to really live it up this trip. When we went to Jamaica with Logan, we stayed at an all-inclusive resort and found that most of the group excursions weren’t suitable for babies. So we spent our vacation stuck at the resort stuffing our faces with endless food and drinks instead. It was a little depressing, in a delicious sort of way. We came back 10 pounds heavier. This time we built our own trip, had access to food only when we were actually hungry, and had our own car to go wherever we want whenever we want, for as long as we want! ;) It was so totally ideal. Even with the compromises we needed to make out of consideration of our 4 month old and 2 year old, it was still an amazing time. I am looking forward to experiencing more travel already, especially knowing that our kids can handle it! Though, after having babies stuck to my side 24 hours a day for a whole week – Jake slept in our bed while Logan had the crib that he kept escaping from ;) – I appreciate having some space to breathe again, haha.

Hawaii was definitely “me” to a tee. I studied Japanese in high school and even visited Japan with my classmates, something I still talk about enthusiastically to this day! So I found the Japanese influence in Hawaii so freakin awesome! The food, clothes, shopping, etc.! With the added bonus that the weather was my kind of warm and barely fluctuated – always a high of 28°C, low of 24°C, and any rainfall was light and lasted no more than 3 minutes! Lots of sunshine, beautiful ocean everywhere you looked. No wonder Hawaii is America’s happiest state! :) Everyone was so pleasant there, too! It was also cool to get an early start on the day for once, as we natually woke up at 5am every morning, and went to bed around 8pm. Clearly I was meant to be Hawaiian. ;)

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One Response to Trip to Hawaii!

  1. Kris says:

    Wow, what a fabulous amazing trip!! I am really eager to go! Bravo to you two for managing it with the munchkins! I had been debating whether or not to bring mine, but if you can do it with a baby and a toddler, I’m sure I can manage it with mine who will be a teen and an 8-year-old at the time I’m planning! \

    lol @ the image of you on the plane: “YOU WERE ALL SCREAMING BABIES ONCE!” :P it’s true, people totally forget, even if they were parents themselves!!!

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