-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!
-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!
-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.
-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).