This year we weren’t too sure where to escape to for winter, but surfing was big on the list of things to accomplish. Initially we debated going back to Australia because we really enjoyed it, but mentally, the challenge of packing up and going to the other side of the world so soon was too much; with thoughts of long haul flights toting way too much gear with young kids was still pretty fresh in our memories. So, we started off with booking Oahu, and since we wanted a good chunk of our winter gone during our absence we chose six weeks. We felt that if we were feeling brave we’d fly to Tahiti from there… and a few weeks before we left, the courage came and we booked three weeks inside of our current six. Funny enough, we have only slightly less baggage, and now four 6 hour flights (which we now figure a short red eye is actually worse than a single long flight where you can get settled and the kids can sleep longer).
The main goal of our time in Hawaii (in addition to just being warm and spending more time outside) was to get the kids practicing their swim skills nearly every day, and for Josh to catch some waves. I had intentions on surfing, but as the days went by my desire never surpassed the urge to hit the beach or the pool with the kids instead.
We did a few tourist activities while here. First we visited the aquarium down the beach in Waikiki, and then for the first time we checked out the Honolulu Zoo, which was actually pretty impressive (penguins, lions, cheetah, monkeys, hippo, giraffe, zebra’s and elephants!), and we debated quickly to determine it might even be better than the Calgary Zoo!
Another day we rented a car and drove around the island, up to Haleiwa for a stop at our favourite cafe for whole food sandwiches, smoothies and $1 cookies. Then we stopped at the beautiful beach on Turtle Bay for some sunshine, and beach time before it was time for a car nap. We drove the North side down the west side of the island to check out the views, the pretty scenery, palm trees, road side stands, and the shocking number of burned out abandoned vehicles lining the highway. What?!
We took a stroll to Ala Moana Mall one day when the weather was supposed to pour rain (but didn’t) for diapers and a few groceries at Target. We found a sweet climbing structure for the kids to play on, and went to our favourite Jamba Juice for about the 10th time for Acai Bowls for lunch. Strategically, we opted to stay late in hopes both kiddos would fall asleep on the way back, since the older one NEVER naps otherwise, and needed to catch up. Sleeping all in one room with little people on different schedules can sometimes present challenges such as this. It ended up being a LONG walk home, but we achieved double z’s. Sleeping all in one room with little people on different schedules requires a bit of patience.
The girls are growing together on this trip, after spending countless hours travelling, playing in hotels, and enjoying hotel activities. They fed the koi fish every day at 11am, made key chains, nut/bead bracelets, and real Hawaiian flower lei’s. They also did a fantastic job of sharing the limited toys, colouring supplies, stickers, and beads we brought along to play with.