For those of you who weren't aware, we have never been on a family vacation. The closest we ever came was spending a long weekend in Vegas a couple of years ago, and even then we left Vincent at home with his grandparents. So we decided that this year was the year to finally do it! We bounced around a few ideas - Florida, California, New York.... But eventually Max had the idea to go to Hawaii. I said there was no way we could make it happen, but here we are 5 months later and talking about the most fabulous family vacation ever!! This is how it went...
Day 1 - July 11
This was travel day. We woke up at 4AM in order to get to the Las Vegas airport on time for our first plane ride. It went pretty smoothly. Max's sister Sara was gracious enough to drive us to the airport so we wouldn't have to worry about our car in Vegas. I cannot ever thank her enough!! It made things so much easier. So we had a nice little drive to Vegas and made it to the airport at the PERFECT time. We finally arrived at our gate only 10 minutes or so before they began boarding, so we weren't waiting long at all.
Then as soon as we got on the plane Vincent took a wrong turn and headed into the cockpit. I tried to stop him but before I could, the flight attendants told him to go right on in! So he got to say hello to the pilots and look at all the instruments and such for a while. That was pretty cool. After that, we found our seats and Eva went right to sleep and stayed asleep for the hour long flight. That was nice. We had a layover in LA, which went relatively quickly, and then we hopped on board our final flight. It was 5 and 1/2 hours long, and this time Eva did not sleep AT ALL. It was pretty miserable trying to keep her entertained and in her seat - but we made do and finally landed in Hawaii! After that it was more long waiting.... Baggage claim, rental car, traffic, etc.... Oiy! And in Hawaii it was only 3:00 in the afternoon - we still had a LONG day ahead of us. But when we finally got to our hotel, it was totally worth it. We stayed at the Waikiki Parc, and it was FABULOUS.
Our view from the hotel balcony on the 18th floor.
We spent a few of our mornings sitting on our balcony watching the ocean.
Eva made herself right at home in the hotel.
When we got to the hotel we unpacked our stuff and walked over to a nearby Subway for dinner. We barely managed to keep the kids awake long enough to eat, and they fell asleep. It was only 6 in the evening, but to them that was like 10. It was still light out, but we closed all the blinds and got some rest anyway.
Day 2 - July 12
The next morning we were up at about 4. It was still dark out but the kids were wide awake and wouldn't sleep anymore! So we headed over to Wal-Mart nice and early to get some basic groceries for our room. When we got back and fed the kids it was still only about 6AM, so we sat around and watched TV and played together until our first event of the day - Waikiki Aquarium.
The reason Vincent is latching on to his Daddy in the picture above is because he had a little bit of an accident before we went inside. There was a large, rounded, painted rock on the lawn in front of the aquarium, and I told him he could go play on it. But apparently he had mistaken it for a ball. A rubber one that you can push around and play with. So he ran into it FULL SPEED. Poor kid! He tumbled backwards, knocked off his glasses, and got a small cut on his face and on each of his hands and one of his knees. But other than that he was ok. Definitely not the best way to start our vacation, but we had fun at the aquarium after that fiasco was over! We saw lots of cool and interesting fish!
This fish has an awesome tail!
Jellyfish! We stared at this one for a while.
Unicorn fish! Craziest thing ever!
Grouper that could have easily swallowed Eva whole.
Shell of a giant clam.
It was great! We thought it would be a little bigger than it was, but we still had a blast. After the aquarium we headed back to the hotel and got dressed for the beach! Our hotel was in such a great location - the beach was only a minute and a half walk from the lobby. It was fantastic. And while we were there we had a GREAT time!!
Building sand castles!
Playing in the water!
Soaking up some sun!
And Vincent's favorite game - Burying himself in the sand and waiting for the tide to free him.
When we were finished at the beach we all took showers and went to get some grub for dinner. We ended up walking to the Royal Hawaiian Center, which is sort of like a mall. We ate at Panda Express (mostly because they had the ORIGINAL fried rice available there - whoo-hoo!), did some shopping and looking around, and then headed back to the hotel. The kids still went to bed relatively early - Vincent even put himself in bed at 7:30 because he was so tired! So Max and I had some alone time after they fell asleep where we watched the sun sink down into the ocean from our hotel balcony.
Ahhh...... So relaxing.
And the best part was that our balcony also overlooked an outdoor restaurant that puts on a show for its patrons every evening, so we were treated to ukulele music and we watched a hula girl dance as the sun sank down before we headed off to bed. It was a great first day.
I would absolutely LOVE to continue writing and reminiscing about the trip some more, but I have 2 children who need to be fed and a LONG shopping list to get through at the store today, so I will have to do this in a few parts! So sorry! I promise I will try my very best to write some more and post some more pictures before bed tonight. So until then....