Saturday, May 21, 2011

Spring Break 2011 - Hawaii

Quite a few years ago, when the boys were growing, growing, growing up way too fast, we decided that when Brian was a senior and Billy was a sophomore we would take a dream vacation to Hawaii. A last hurrah before Brian went off to college. We packed our bags and loaded up the van for the trip to the airport on April 1st. We had originally booked a direct flight from Minneapolis to Honolulu...and back again. About 4 months earlier, Delta airlines decided to change things for us and routed us through Salt Lake City on the way to Hawaii. The trip home would bring us from Hawaii to Atlanta and then Minneapolis. Great.

As we approached the Salt Lake City airport the pilot indicated that there was a problem with "some readings". Then he came back on and said that we would have to circle the airport a few times while they tried to get the front slats on the wings down...and that when we landed we'd be going in fast...but don't worry, they practice that, it shouldn't be a problem and we'd be escorted by emergency vehicles in case of fire. Swell. We landed without a hitch...the brakes were smoking though! Yikes. The trip from Salt Lake to Honolulu was much more relaxing.

Seeing the beautiful water and the green foliage in Hawaii was a welcome site....especially since there was still snow on the ground when left.

We had a lot of fun in Hawaii...enjoyed the views, enjoyed some adventures. The first half of the trip we spent in Kauai. This picture was taken at the Waimea canyon....home of one of the wettest spots on earth. No surprise that it was raining when we were there!

Brian had taken a motorized hang glider flight earlier on the first day there. The whole thing made me nervous, but he loved it. I think it was the highlight for him.

The boys suggested that we go horseback riding...which surprised me....I think that they were really wanting to do something they knew I'd like. I was happy just to spend time with them and breath in the warm air...but I wasn't going to say no. We rode on the north end of the island. I took this picture of the taro fields after our ride.

I do have pictures of all the things that we did, I posted my favorites on facebook, but for my "catching up" blog posts I'm just doing my favorite picture of the day. Sorry if the pictures don't match the post.

Our third day there we went ocean fishing. It was Billy's idea. We were hoping to catch a fish or turns out we had an awesome day of fishing. We caught 17 big fish. Yellow Fin Tuna, Kawkawa, and Wahoo. We were catching so many the guide asked if we wanted to stay a while longer on him. He sells the catch to the local restaurants, so he was having a good day too!

We found a spot to catch the sunset on this day. Most days we weren't in the right place at the right time, so I was pretty excited to get to see this one!

Our last day on Kauai we took a helicopter ride to see the island from the sky. So beautiful. This picture is of the Napali coastline. There isn't a road on that edge of the island, so the only way to see it is from the water or the air.

When we were landing we flew over a tractor with a big round hay baler. I couldn't help but think about my dad and how he would have gotten a kick out of that. Something that was such a part of his life is used in Hawaii too.

After our helicopter ride we headed over to Oahu. We stayed in a little cottage that we found through VRO....vacation rental by owner. The cottage was cute, right on the ocean, but the neighborhood was a little sketchy looking. The boys weren't thrilled. The large Hawaiian man chopping coconuts in half with a machete next door had them a little nervous. It all worked out fine...and we got to enjoy this view every morning.

I spent a lot of time taking pictures. The taking pictures part is fun, the going through them after we got home wasn't quite as fun. It took a few days. Yikes. But I'm happy to have them.

One of the first things that we did on Oahu was head to Snorkel Bob's for gear and then went to Hanauma Bay to snorkel. The first day it was pretty overcast so we didn't see as many fish as we had hoped to. We returned a few days later and saw a lot more. There's a whole new world under the sea.

Our second day on Oahu we spent at Pearl Harbor. There is so much to see there now. We visited the memorial, we toured the museums, we toured the submarine, we had a guided tour of the battleship Missouri and bopped over to the air museum too. We needed a few more hours to see everything.

Brian especially is interested in the history of WWII, so spending a day at Pearl Harbor really meant a lot to him.

The weather while we were on Oahu was rainier than normal. There were even thunderstorms. We snorkeled again between the rain storms and then headed to the north side of the island to see if we could see the sunset. It wasn't as good as we had hoped.

But it was good to have a somewhat laid back day after having a lot of busy days in a row.

Our final night on Oahu we spent in a motel a block from Waikiki beach. That was where we saw our best sunset.

We saw lots of things at Waikiki, but the sunset was the high light for me!

Our final adventure while in Hawaii was a submarine ride to see a sunken ship and some fish. Everything was blue under the water, it was an interesting ride. Then it was time to hop on the plane and say Aloha to Hawaii.

The trip was everything that we had hoped for. Warm weather, adventures with the boys, and most of all just spending time together. The flight home through Atlanta was painfully long, complete with a crying baby....but it sure was nice to be home.

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