Friday, July 19, 2013

Hawaii Vacation! Part 2

Hello again! It's been a busy day as usual, but I have finally found some quiet time to continue writing about our recent vacation. One thing before I begin, though. I realized I forgot to post this video in my last post on Day 2, so here it is:

video
Yeah, we had tons of fun at the beach. Eva was still kinda freaked by the water at this point in time, but that disappeared REALLY quickly.

Ok, now let's continue on!

Day 3 - July 13
We started the day off a teeency bit later than the previous day, but we still woke up before the sun. So once again, we played together in the hotel room until we could head to our first event of the day - the Honolulu Zoo!

Parking was INSANE here because they were in the middle of renovating their parking lot, so there were only 40ish parking spaces, all of which were filled and had a huge line of cars circling around them like sharks. So we found the nearest parking structure we could (which was still 2 blocks away!) and just walked to the zoo from there. We didn't mind the walk at all - it was a beautiful high 70s to low 80s the whole time we were in Hawaii - even at night - so it actually was nice.

The zoo was REALLY fun. I had NEVER been to a zoo before this, so it was especially exciting to me! We spent about 3 hours walking around and enjoyed every second of it. I took lots of pictures, but here are some of my favorites:

Rhino!

One of 4 giraffes that were there

Vincent watching the sleeping hippo =)

Happiest tortoise ever. We watched him eat for a few minutes - it was so cute and also really funny!

Elephant!

Crocodile! We spent forever looking for this guy! Max and Vincent wanted to see a crocodile sooo bad before we left - and we had already discovered that the alligators they had were moved to a different zoo on the mainland, so we were worried we wouldn't get to see any! But we finally found him just before we left. They were happy boys.

Flamingos! We also saw some white-ish ones that were cool, but I almost squealed when I saw these bright pink ones!

This is just a little taste of what it was like every day for us in Hawaii. The vegetation is everywhere, and all of it is gorgeous!

So after leaving the zoo, we headed back to the hotel. We had planned on seeing Teddy Bear World that day as well, but we were so exhausted from all the walking around that we decided to check out the hotel pool instead as an attempt to help us cool off. I didn't really get any pictures of that because I was busy chasing the kids around at the pool, but I did get a really cute snapshot of Eva before we left.

There's my sweet girl!

That was all we managed to do that day since the zoo took longer than we expected, but there is definitely something to be said for lounging around in the hotel room. Those were some of my favorite moments just sitting with the kids and being together as a family. So that's what we did before that night ended.

Day 4 - July 14
We woke up, once again, pretty early in the morning. But at least we woke up with the sun that day! Luckily for us, we had an early morning attraction to go to that day. Souvenir shopping! By the way, a HUGE thank you to my brother and sister-in-law Peter & Cynthia for the tip about souvenir shopping at Aloha Stadium. We were on a pretty strict budget in Hawaii and were worried we wouldn't be able to bring home much, but thanks to this AWESOME swap meet, we were able to bring home a lot more than we expected! So thank you!

It was also one of my most favorite things that we did in Hawaii. We spent at least a couple of hours at this swap meet - which really felt more like a street fair! Unfortunately I spent the trip chasing the kids around and holding a ton of shopping bags, so I got ZERO pictures!! But we have our memories, and also a bunch of cool stuff to show for it. Some of which is pictured here:

We look so Hawaiian!

Surprisingly, we actually weren't all that tired after walking around the swap meet for two hours. So we decided to hit Teddy Bear World since we missed it the day before. I took probably way more pictures than I should have there.... But they were all so dang cute! Here are some of the best ones:

Psy Bear!! I tried to get Max to go do the Gangnum Style dance next to it but he wouldn't... Lol!

Bear Mount Rushmore

Dinosaur Park - This was probably the coolest portion of Teddy Bear World. You gotta keep in mind that everything here is animatronic so it was all moving, and the dinosaurs were huge and life-like. Plus the ambience was neat - they had the lights turned down really low and played jungle noises. Vincent was actually a little freaked out by it and had to hold my hand all the way through it.

Aaaahhh!! Lol.


Bear-ack Obama. Hehe!

So that was pretty cute. They also had a little animatronic Teddy Bear Elvis show that was super cheesy... But still kinda cute. I don't know what it is with Hawaii, but they are freaking in love with Elvis. I don't really get it myself, but that's coming from someone who freaking loves Michael Jackson, so whatever. =)

The last event of the day was the Paradise Cove Luau. It was really fun. Here are some of the highlights from that.

Family photo in front of Paradise Cove

Souvenir entrance photo

Polynesian tattoos!

Vincent got a lizard.... He loves lizards... I don't know why.

I got a beautiful flower!

Eva spent most of the luau running around the lawn barefoot. She had a great time, judging by her squeals of laughter as she rolled down the hill.

Hula girl pre-show

Watching the pre-show

The main show while we ate a Hawaiian Buffet.

It was a lot of fun, don't get me wrong. Tons! But like with every vacation (especially with kids) there were some low moments as well, and our lowest moment on the trip happened this night. The kids got hungry and cranky before dinner was served, and then when dinner was ready they wouldn't really eat! Eva was screaming and disrupting everyone else's experience, so we didn't even get to sit and eat and watch the show for long before we had to get up and walk around with her. We finally found a spot in the back that she didn't mind being in, so we got to watch some of the show that way - but we had to stand the whole time we were watching it otherwise Eva would scream again. So we got tired pretty quickly. Eventually we made the decision to leave a little early. We were kinda bummed about missing the rest of the show, but we felt that it was a sacrifice that needed to be made. At this point in time it had finally gotten dark, so we stumbled our way back over to our seats at the table, gathered our stuff, and left - at least with the satisfaction of knowing that we were going to be beating traffic.

Now, Paradise Cove is on the West side of the island. We were staying on the East side. So it was a pretty long trip, especially since the fastest you could go on the interstate there was 50 in some parts. So we got almost all the way back to Waikiki when I realized something. I LEFT MY CAMERA ON THE TABLE. I panicked!!! Can you imagine?? Taking this amazing vacation and having absolutely no pictures to show for it?! So we decided that even though it had already been a long night, we were going to turn around and go get it. We made it back just when the luau was letting out, so we had to fight the traffic after all. Then I ran back in and checked the table we were sitting at and my camera was no where in sight. I FREAKED out a little, then finally the helpful staff guided me to their lost and found, where someone had turned it in. PHEW! So all these beautiful pictures are brought to you by one extremely stressful night filled with 2 cranky kids, 2 hours of nonstop driving, and one freaked out Mommy. You're welcome. =)

That was it for this day - and thank goodness! We could not hop into bed soon enough that night. The rest of the trip only got better from there, but unfortunately that is going to have to wait for another time! It is getting late, and it's been a long day. Time to spend some quiet time with the hubby and then hit the hay. Hopefully Part 3 will be coming tomorrow morning - and hopefully it will be the last one!! Until then....

Aloha!

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