Like last year, Bert's vacation was in May. Airline pilots rarely have vacation from their companies when other people do. This means family vacations at weird times. It has its pros and cons to be sure. The pros are traveling during off seasons and less crowds, and the cons are taking our kids out of school (though the boys don't see it that way).
We had the privilege of flying out of Bellingham to Honolulu. It was beyond sweet. We left around 5:00 in the evening, which was nice because we didn't have to wake up too early Sunday morning. We arrived in Honolulu around 8:00 at night, picked up our rental van (we learned our lesson last year)and drove to the Pililaau Army Recreation Center.
We were pleased with the two-bedroom cottage, though Travis had to sleep on the vinyl sofa the first night because we forgot to make arraignments for an extra bed.
Monday, May 2nd
I was the first one up at about 6:00 am. The three hour time change wouldn't allow me to sleep in. Marcus was up soon after, and insisted on going to the beach. The cottages are yards from the beach and we enjoyed a nice walk on the beach. Marcus was soaked by the time we went back to our cottage.
We had decided to take it easy the first day in Hawaii and hang out where we were staying. It was great. We ate breakfast at McDonald's and then went swimming.
We blinded the locals with our Washington skin.
The boys loved the ocean.
And the sand.
The highlight of the day was surfing lessons for Nathan and Travis.
Warning! Many, many surfing photos.
"Catch a wave and you're sitting on top of the world."
A big surprise
The surfing lessons were a big hit!
After the lessons were done, we drove up the west coast of Oahu, to the end of the road. We saw some beautiful beaches, and many homeless camps. We bought some groceries, the prices were high of course, $7.00 for a gallon of milk! After we got back to "our beach" the boys went swimming again. Bert was lighting our grill for dinner when it started raining. We ended up frying the burgers and watching an awesome storm. It was a great day.
Tuesday, May 3rd
Our fire alarm went off during the middle of the night, and was too high up on the wall to turn off, so we had to turn the power off to part of our cottage for the night. I still was the first one up and enjoyed breakfast on our patio.
We drove up the middle of the island to the North Shore and east to the town of Laie it was a beautiful drive.
The Hawaiian LDS Temple
We enjoyed the visitor's center at the temple.
We went to Polynesian Cultural Center as soon as it opened. Visitors can visit 6 different islands and learn more about their unique cultures.
Marcus and Travis trying not to hurt themselves long poi twirling in Aotearoa (New Zealand)
In Hawaii, the boys learned about Poi.
The Canoe Pageant was awesome, and I enjoyed the shade. It was really hot that day!
We visited all the other islands: Samoa, Fiji, Tahiti, and Tonga.
We loved the lau that evening, and no, there is not alcohol in that pineapple!
The purple poi rolls were yummy, even Marcus liked them.
They asked all the couples celebrating their anniversaries in May to go to the stage for a dance.
After dinner, we watched the show, "Ha, Breath of Life". It was stunning.