Saturday, October 24, 2015

Hawaii 2015

August 25th???  That was the last post???  How embarrassing!!!!  I am so sorry.  I'll get better. Promise.

Well, we finally made it on our trip.  It seemed like it was NEVER going to get here.  I had convinced myself that something was going to happen or come up and we would have to cancel. I am unfortunately more of a Debbie Downer than a Positive Peggy.  And because I haven't even had the time to download the pictures from the good camera, all of these will be from my phone.  Sad, but true.  When I get my act together and put the pictures on the computer, I will share those as well.

And because we were there for eleven days...and I haven't posted in so long, I'll make up for it.  Grab a drink and snack, we will be here for a while.

We arrived on Sunday and spent the day reacquainting ourselves with the resort.  We knew this time was of course going to be more packed and we were pleasantly surprised it wasn't too bad.  Sure there were more people, but it was manageable and didn't detour us from wanting to do things.

I reacquainted myself with the poolside bar.  And I can report back that it is just as fabulous as I remember.

The infinity pool was new.  This was not there last time and it was a great addition because this was prime seating for sunsets.

The first morning we were there.  This is at 6:00am.  Clearly I was still on California time,

One of the new things we tried out was the Rainbow Reef.  We paid $20 per person for the entire length of the trip and we could go snorkeling as many times as we wanted.  Matthew was obsessed with this. He would just take off for an hour and float and watch fish.

Tuesday was probably my favorite day of the trip.  As a treat for the boys' first quarter in school, we decided to do a day long excursion at Kualoa Ranch. We lucked out on weather because the day before we went it was pouring rain and the day after we went it was pouring rain. And none of the excursions would have been enjoyable in the rain.

The first leg of the trip was a bus tour through the grounds.  They took us to bunkers from World War II and we were able to walk through where they stored ammunition and supplies.  

The next part was the movie tour. Kualoa Ranch is famous for all of the movies that are filmed there, with the most famous being Jurassic Park.

The famous tree in the first movie where the kids hid on the side as dinosaurs jumped over.  Our tour guide was amazing, and his photography skills were on point!

The second leg of the trip was the ocean tour.  This was my favorite.  We took a boat out to the secret island and spent some time looking for sea turtles.   Ryan looks like he is enjoying himself, but that was not the case.  He did not care for this part of the trip.

The last leg of the tour was the jeep tour through the jungle.  The boys LOVED this. It was like a real life Indiana Jones ride come to life.

The movie studio left the I-Rex cage from the last Jurassic World movie so it could be part of the jungle tour.

View from our first room.

Here is the Olelo Room at the resort.  We thought this was a an adult only bar.  We were wrong.  They allow kids.  This became dangerous for us because we would go and order drinks and dinner and wave to our kids from the other side of the pond while they were completely unattended. Parents of the year.  The great thing about Disney resorts is that there are lifeguards every ten feet by the pool area, so we were completely comfortable with the boys doing their thing and us doing ours.  

Do yourself a favor, don't count how many drinks you see.  That fruity drink there in the back was a DVC member drink that was dirt cheap. The first night we were there, Rich had five.  I had three and then tried two others.  Again...walking distance to our hotel room.

Feeling it...

Best part...after the lazy river closed, they joined us for dinner.

Also one of our favorite parts about the Olelo Room was the music they played every night.

On Wednesday, things changed.  We lost Ryan to Zoe and her family.  Well, more like Ryan joined their family and wouldn't leave.  Zoe is in Ryan's class and we had found out like two days before we were leaving that they would be there at the same time.  He was thrilled!!!  Her parents were beyond nice and kept asking if Ryan could join.  Ummm, for the rest of the trip he may join you.  Return him when you are done.

I am not embarrassed to admit that while we were there, I read eleven books.  Tablets are a beautiful thing.  And this was my view from my lounge chair while I read all day long.  When my battery would die, it was time to get in the water for a little bit.

A little shave ice. The boys and I got a kick out of the fact that they call it shave ice instead of shaved ice.  Not going to lie, a part of me wanted to walk up and add a "D".

Dole Plantation for lunch.

Giovanni's Shrimp Truck.

Ridiculous good.

The day Zoe left was sad.  Ryan was not happy and a little more emotional than we had expected.  Luckily we were able to run into them the last night they were there and the two of them could have some more fun together.

On Sunday, per Matthew's request, we hiked to the top of Diamond Head.  Check this off the "I am never doing that again" list!  That was not enjoyable for me and much, much harder than I thought it would be.  As we approached the last set of 90 stairs that went STRAIGHT UP, and I saw Matthew doing them two at a time, I questioned whether he was actually my son.

Character breakfast.

The boys took ukulele lessons several times.

Last night there dinner.

I am as sad as he looks in the picture.

Buffet for the last night.  Crab legs and prime rib.  He was in heaven.

And here are some of my favorite pics from my camera.

I haven't secured a date to go back yet.  Epic fail on my part.  But it won't be long.  There are few places that I actually find relaxing.  I'm not kidding when I say we would go an hour or two without seeing the boys and were completely at peace with knowing they were safe...that doesn't happen on many vacations.  This vacation was so amazing on so many levels, but especially because the boys were older and they make us want to do new things and spend time together learning about the history of the island.  This was just a quick snapshot of an unbelievable trip.  I treasure this time we spent together.