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Hawaii!!

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Zach and I just returned from a great trip to Hawaii!

We used frequent flier miles from all of our work travels to get us there.  We left here around noon last Saturday and flew direct into Kauai (a 7 hour flight). We stayed at the Kauai Beach Resort for 3 nights, then hopped on another plane to Oahu. We stayed in Waikiki at the Hilton Hawaiian Village for 2 nights, then rented a car and drove up to the North Shore where we stayed at Turtle Bay Resort for two nights. We drove back to the airport in Honolulu and flew to San Francisco on Saturday night (a 5 hour flight). We had a long layover in San Francisco (long enough to get a hotel room) and then a quick 2 hour flight home. We got back to our house at 9:30 on Sunday night. Whew!

We left Ellie home with her Grandparents. Gigi & Gramps watched her one day, then Grammy & Papa watched her the next day. Everyday they took turns watching our sweet girl. They all had a great time! Since my folks are living in our basement this summer, it was perfect for them to be able to be here with all their normal nightly things, but still keep any ear out for Ellie while she slept – and that way Zach’s folks didn’t have to spend the night every other night. Ellie woke a few nights, but really did a great job. She missed mama and dada a lot the first few days, she would pitifully ask for us, but after a few days the pitiful tone left, and “momma – dadda” was more of a question of when would we be back.

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The only mishap while we were gone is Ellie dislocated her elbow the evening we returned!! She was holding Papa’s hand and turned and pulled away really quickly. He felt a pop as he was holding her hand still and she instantly started crying! We had given them Ellie’s insurance card and a “permission slip” for them to make medical decisions if we were unreachable — in this case we were on an airplane, and hour away from landing. They took her to the emergency room and the doctor quickly put Ellie’s elbow back into place. Ellie was instantly happy and hyper – her typical self! They brought her home and she was perfectly fine. No fun for grandparents to have to deal with that, but it wasn’t too traumatic! I dislocated my elbow when I was about 3, wrestling with my brother, and I was in much worse shape – even after getting it put back into place. So at least my folks had gone through this with me before and were happy that Ellie seemed to be doing better than I had done! 🙂

See what Ellie was up to while we were gone in the September – October 2012 Photo Album.

So – back to the details of our Hawaii trip! Nearing the end of our 7 hour flight to Kauai I was not feeling well. My back was hurting from sitting so long (you know, being pregnant and all) and I was starting to feel kind of sick. I figured the sick feeling was just because we’d been sitting so long and only eating snacks, no real meals. We picked up our rental car and headed to the hotel. We freshened up a bit and then headed to dinner. We ordered our dinner and I was still feeling sick – hoping some real food would make me feel better. I took one bite of dinner and rushed to the bathroom. I was sick, puking sick. Oh no, not on vacation!

We had a full itinerary planned – just going, going, going. Our vacations are always planned that way. Once I got sick, we decided we’d have to take things a lot slower… which was nice!

We had a breakfast buffet with our hotel in Kauai. While Zach ate some pretty decent food, I couldn’t eat anything – I stuck with white rice (yes, they had white rice for breakfast), toast and some bland cereals. Zach went to the grocery store to get me some apple sauce and bananas. I was on the BRAT diet for about 4 days – I’d try a little something here and there, but it would just make me sick again, so I had to keep it bland.

Here’s a view of the pool from the lobby at our hotel in Kauai.

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We did drive to Waimea Canyon one evening, it was a pretty drive but once we got to the canyon entrance it was closed because there was a wildfire! Who would have thought Hawaii would get wildfires! The next day we went up to Hanalei and snorkeled at Ke’e beach. That was the best snorkeling we did the whole trip. We stopped at the town in Hanalei and Zach had some lunch at Bubba’s Burgers and then we had Shaved Ice. That was the best Shave Ice we had on the trip!

We had to check out of our hotel at noon on Tuesday – I was still feeling pretty rotten. We drove down to Poipu beach and tried to waste some time. They have some neat shops and restaurants there. We also checked out the Grand Hyatt hotel – we heard it was amazing, and it was!

By the time we left Kauai, we had pretty much driven all the way around the island. The airport (and many places in Hawaii) are open-air. I was not looking forward to sitting in the heat, but luckily the gate waiting areas were air-conditioned! While waiting there, my stomach calmed down enough to make the quick 30-minute flight to Oahu uneventful.

We got to Honolulu pretty late Tuesday night and got a shuttle ride to our hotel in Waikiki. We planned to visit Pearl Harbor on Wednesday but I was still feeling yucky so we just hung around the hotel – there were plenty of things to do around there and it was nice and relaxing!

This is the view of the Waikiki beach from our balcony at the Hilton Hawaiian Village:

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Thursday morning we woke up and I finally felt GREAT! We picked up our rental car and drove towards Turtle Bay. We stopped at the Dole Pineapple Plantation on the way. We had some amazing pineapple and pineapple flavored soft-serve ice cream! There wasn’t much else to do there, so we walked around a little, snapped a few pictures and then left.

There’s a baby pineapple growing…

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We stopped on the North Shore to eat lunch in Haleiwa at Storto’s sandwich shop – it was AMAZING! So yummy! Then we headed to Sunset Beach to go snorkeling. We were looking for Shark’s Cove (we heard it was the best place for snorkeling, but we couldn’t find that beach). We did see a Sea Turtle while snorkeling at Sunset Beach and some other little fish. We drove back to Haleiwa to have shaved ice at Matsumoto’s – there was a very long line, but we waited because we heard it was so good. It was great, though we do think the one in Hanalei was the best.

We made it to our hotel in Turtle Bay just before it started pouring! It had rained a little here and there but this was a 30-minute downpour! We had a wonderful dinner at the golf club at Turtle Bay. After not eating much thus far on our trip, I devoured my dinner!! On Friday we hung around Turtle Bay – snorkeling and walking along some other beaches (we saw four more sea turtles!). We had lunch at the Waimea Bakery in Haleiwa – it was just as amazing as Storto’s…and, since we were there, we had another shaved ice at Matsumoto’s!

View from our balcony at Turtle Bay Resort:

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Saturday morning we had to check out and make our way back to the airport in Honolulu. We drove down the east side of the island and visited a few shops in Waikiki. By the time we got back to the airport, we’d driven all the way around Oahu also! Oahu had some beautiful coastal drives!

We got into San Francisco after midnight and took a shuttle ride to our hotel. There’s a 24-hour cafe down the street, so we walked there for some late night dinner because we were starving! We slept in late and then took a shuttle to “downtown” Burlingame – where we did some window shopping and had brunch.  Then it was time to catch the airport shuttle to head for home!

We are so thankful to be home and to see Ellie. We woke Ellie up when we got home and visited with her for about 30 minutes! She was so sweet – we were so happy to see her and she was so happy to see us! We left Ellie home because we knew the plane rides would be really difficult for her and we knew we’d be pretty confined to the hotels if she came with us. The way it ended up, we were stuck at the hotels a lot because of me! We really enjoyed our vacation, just the two of us, but never again will we go on a vacation that long without our kids! We also learned that our vacations these days need to be very relaxing and not go, go, go like we used to do.

All-in-all it was a great vacation! Hawaii Five-O is on the TV right now and I’m loving seeing pictures of the Islands, seeing pineapple plants, hearing someone use the world “Mahalo” (thank-you) and hearing a guy talk about his shrimp truck!

We didn’t take a lot of photos, it was kind of a hassle to lug around the camera and leave it on the beach, so sometimes we didn’t take it with us. Check out some of our pictures in the Hawaii Trip photo album.