As promised, here are some photos from my family’s trip to Hawaii this past March. I know, I know, these are coming really late in the game, but they are finally here, nonetheless.
I flew separately from my family to Hawaii, since it didn’t really make sense to drive to Cedar Rapids, then fly to Chicago before flying to the Island. Adam picked me up at the airport, and I marveled at the full rainbow between the mountains. It was as if the Island of Oahu was welcoming me personally… Once we got settled in, we did some grocery shopping with Adam at the commissary, since we had a full kitchen in our hotel room, and we went out and took a walk on Waikiki beach later that evening.
Our next day, we scheduled our guided tours for the upcoming week, then took a trip to Hilo Hattie’s, a huge store with all kinds of Hawaiian souvenirs and goods. Hilo Hattie’s has, in their lobby, the world’s largest Hawaiian shirt, a 400XL.
Dad really enjoyed this shopping trip after we had been there for a couple hours.
The next day, Sunday, my dad surprised my mom, informing her that they would be renewing their wedding vows in Turtle Bay, where they honeymooned nearly 20 years ago. (Dad and I had been scheming for months secretly to set this up.) We visited New Hope Church, then visited Adam’s base at Palm Circle (he is really roughing it being stationed in Hawaii).
After our visit, we then headed for the north shore. On the way there, we stopped at a restaurant my parents ate at while on their honeymoon, Jamieson’s By the Sea. SUCH great seafood.
The ceremony, led by Ron Valencia – a pastor who my parents met on their first visit to the island.
At Turtle Bay, during the ceremony. I love the look on my mom’s face.
Family photo op – look for this one in the Christmas card, people.
The next day, we headed off bright and early for Hanauma Bay, a collapsed volcano-turned coral reef. It was our first time snorkeling, and we all had to learn the hard way how far down you CAN’T go before your snorkel fills up with salt water. It was an amazing experience. The snorkeling, not the inhaling seawater.
That afternoon, after returning from the bay, Sam, Jacob and I headed down to Waikiki again (a grueling 4-5 block trek) and relaxed by the shore. Thanks to Sam for making Jacob into a sand woman, anatomically complete. Classy.
An acquired friend, we built lots of sand castles and sand carwashes and sand jacuzi’s together.
I just couldn’t get enough of the beach… consider me a natural beach bum.
The next day was a busy one for us, we headed via tour bus to Pearl Harbor and were taken to the Arizona Memorial which rests on top of the actual ship sunk during the attack. It was sombering to be there, standing on top of a ship that became a permanent tomb for so many sailors, seeing the oil surface that still seeps up from within the ship.
Next stop was a guided tour of the battleship Missouri. This thing was gigantic, and amazing. Our tour guide was really great.
The next day was our big trip to the Polynesian Cultural Center, where Polynesian customs, dances, etc. are demonstrated throughout the day. On the way there, we saw a sign for a “scenic point,” and after getting out of the car, came to realize just what “scenic” really meant – a fascinating maze of lava formations stretching out into the water. We went exploring.
Mom included in the photo to give you a sense of scale…
We were hungry after all that exploring, so we decided to try out a Hawaiian McDonald’s.
We actually didn’t try the platters, but we DID all have Haupia pie. And oh, was it amazing.
More scenes along the way…
At the Polynesian cultural center
She was really excited about getting to try that Luau food.
After the night show
And fun was had by all…
I hated to leave Hawaii, but if there’s anything I can do about it, this will NOT be my last visit. Hope you enjoyed the photos!