Sunday, November 29, 2009

Family Vacation in Oahu

I really don't know how I'm going to blog about our week-long trip to Oahu! It was nice to have a family vacation, but the main reason why we went at all was for my brother's wedding. There's so much to share, and I'll try not to ramble on too much... Okay, here we go!

Day 1

-Got to the airport at 5am, but due to "weather" in L.A., our plane got delayed 4 hours. That's right- we were stuck at FAT for 4 hours! Needless to say, we missed our connection from LAX to Honolulu. We flew with Northwest, who is currently in the process of merging with Delta. A complete nightmare- in a nutshell, we were supposed to arrive in Honolulu at 12:40pm and didn't end up getting there until 8:20pm. The kids got really restless during all our waiting in the airports, but considering the 5 1/2 hour flight, I'd say they did "ok" on the plane. I will remember that day as the worst travel day we have ever had.

-For our trip, we stayed in a 2 bdrm. suite at the Aqua Waikiki Pearl. This was the perfect place for our family to stay! It was reasonable in cost, we had our own kitchen and balcony, and we were so close to everything (International Marketplace was across the street, beach was 2 blocks away, tons of restaurants nearby, etc.). My parents stayed with us, which was extremely helpful. Since they go to bed early, we were able to put the kids down for the night and then leave to go hang out with friends!

Day 2

-Headed to the beach and spent many hours there! Grace and Jason were able to go to the beach every day except our last day.

-Family dinner at a Korean BBQ place (yum!). It was the first time my brother's (Peter) and his fiancee's (Teresa) families met.

-Several of us girls took Teresa out for her "bachelorette scavenger hunt." We had to complete tasks such as ask a guy to marry us, get a free drink from the bartender, get a piggyback ride, get a guy's number, dance with 10 guys, etc... Teresa won!

Day 3

-Went to visit Pearl Harbor (got an audio tour of the USS Bowfin, a submarine, and then also visited the USS Arizona Memorial)-Got our camera broken by a docent (we have the worst luck with cameras! Jason ended up having to go to Costco later that day to buy me a new camera)

-Went to Germaine's Luau (Jeremy was completely mesmerized by the whole show)
Day 4

-Took an island tour of Oahu by car.

-Hung out at Kailua Beach (rated one of Oahu's most beautiful beaches), visited a macadamia nut farm, ate at a shrimp shack at the side of the road, got to see prawns close-up, tasted fruit at fruit stands along the highway, saw surfers surf at North Beach, and visited Dole Plantation where we ate delicious pineapple ice cream and took a touristy tour by train.
Day 5

-Peter and Teresa's wedding was held at the Kahala Hotel & Resort. It's known for being a beautiful resort, but also for having a dolphin lagoon (people can go swim with the dolphins).
-Reception was held at the beautiful Moana Surfrider. Day 6
-Went to the Honolulu Flea Market held at Aloha Stadium (it's huge!)

-Experienced snorkeling for the first time at Hanauma Bay (this was an incredibly huge feat for me- I have a real fear of drowning). Up until this day, the weather had been pretty nice, but it was overcast while we were at Hanauma Bay and even started raining- it was cold! (we took more pictures with a waterproof camera- have to develop those to see if any turned out!)

-Ate dinner at Oceanarium, a restaurant that has a huge aquarium lining one of its walls. This place was a big hit for the kids! We ate so much food- crab legs, salmon, sushi, seafood pasta, oysters, etc.

Day 7

-Hiked to Manoa Falls, one of the island's tallest waterfalls. It rained almost the whole time so it got really muddy and slippery. Jeremy was not feeling well and Jason had to carry him more than half the hike.
-Shopped at International Marketplace (actually, we visited every day on our way to the beach!)-Headed for home on a red-eye flight. Luckily, there were no delays this time. However, since Jeremy wasn't feeling well, he didn't sleep for very long on the flight. He was cranky and irritable, which made the flight home miserable for all of us.

-Got home at around 9:30am (and then napped until 2pm!)

Waikiki is definitely touristy, but there were plenty of other areas to explore, too. We were able to do a lot on our trip- we relaxed, shopped, napped, toured, explored, ate, hung out, learned, discovered, etc... All in all, it was a good family vacation! If we get the chance to go back, we definitely would (it'd be a really different experience without kids!!!). Next trip for us will be in February when we go to the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver- without kids!!! (There are more pictures in the Family Photo Album on the right).

Monday, November 16, 2009

Childhood Friends

Grace met her friend, Shannon, when she was 2 and they went to the same home daycare. They went separate ways last year, but met up again at school this year. The girls are in different classes, but have been able to remain friends. There was no school today (due to teacher inservices) so Shannon spent the day with us. Grace really enjoyed getting time to play with her special friend!
Shannon gave these roller skates to Grace for her birthday, so we thought it'd be fun to try them out today (Grace did really well for her first try!)I remember a time when she hated having her picture taken- now look at our little poser!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Grace's Soccer Season

Yesterday was Grace's last soccer game. She actually has one more game next Saturday, but we'll be missing it (Hawaii, here we come!). Overall, most of the games were tie scores, but the Kickers are ending their season on a positive note- they have won the last two games. Grace scored one goal a few weeks ago and she has improved over the season, but we'll have to wait until next year to see if she still wants to play. We have always wanted her to try out different things- so far, she's taken swimming (a few times), gymnastics, dance, and soccer... Hmm... wonder what she wants to try next?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Grace and Her Bike

Grace learned how to ride her bike with no training wheels today! Our neighborhood's roads are pretty bumpy, but there's a church near our house that has a big parking lot, so we decided to have her try out there. It was exciting to watch- I was nervous that she would get hurt and then be discouraged. Luckily, on her first shot, she started off with Jason holding onto the back, and she kept going after he let go. I almost started crying! She needs some practice pushing off and stopping, but I'm sure it won't be long before we'll be able to go on family bike trips around the neighborhood. Yay, Grace!