I know it’s a few days in already, but “Hello 2012!” Since I last posted, we celebrated Christmas in Hawaii, New Years on an airplane, and my birthday home in Fargo.
Here’s the recap of our trip. Warning – this is a purrdy long post! Enjoy Folks!:
Friday, December 23rd: We flew out of Minneapolis early in the morning and arrived in Hawaii at about 3:30pm. It was an 8.5 hour flight from Chicago so we were pretty tired by dinner time (which would have been about 10:00pm in Fargo). We had dinner at a restaurant right outside our hotel, the Round Table. It was a little bar and grill that had good pizza and wings. After dinner, we were whipped and went straight to bed. It would take a few days to get used to the time change. I woke for the next few days at about 6am (10:00am in Fargo). Here are some pictures of our travel day. It was a tight squeeze in the back of my Dad’s Yukon for Melissa, Jake and I. Carrie got a little sleepy and took a snooze in the Chicago airport. The beautiful garden at the Honolulu airport. And we got to ride in the stretch hummer from the airport to our hotel! We’re pretty fancy 😛
Saturday, December 24th (Christmas Eve): On our first full day, we decided to go to Pearl Harbor. It was rainy and windy off and on throughout the day. We toured the submarine the U.S.S. Bowfin, explored the U.S.S. Missouri, and had to come back a different day to see the U.S.S. Arizona because it was too windy out that they shut down the boats out to the Memorial. It was really neat to see all of the historic landmarks and stories. I found out that I had a relative who died on the U.S.S. Arizona. My Mother’s maiden name is Williams, but she wasn’t sure which Williams it was on the wall. My Grandfathers were both in WWII so it was really amazing to get a small, small glimpse into what they were experiencing.
Sunday, December 25th (Christmas Day): I must say as nice as it was to spend Christmas in Hawaii, it was strange to not have our traditions on this day. No grandparents, no aunts, uncles, or cousins, no snow, no Christmas tree, no turkey, no stuffing, no potatoes, a different church. It wasn’t bad by any means…just different. We started our day out by going to a local church. It was a packed house with probably 800 people. I was surprised by how all over the board the attire was; from swimsuits to very fancy dresses – it was interesting. It was finally sunny out that day so we were able to lay out pretty much all day which was awesome! We then had dinner at a restaurant called Duke’s which was AMAZING! It was my most favorite meal of the entire trip. It was really neat to have Christmas dinner on the beach!
Monday, December 26th: We rented a car for the day and drove around a lot of the island. Our first stop was Pali Lookout. It’s close to the top of this point that looks over a large portion of the Waikiki area. It was SUPER windy up there so we didn’t stay long but the view was amazing!
Next, we stopped at this Temple. It was a burial ground for many different religions and there was this large Japanese style temple that we were able to wonder around at.
Our last stop was at a Macadamia Nut Farm which also had a portion of the Luau that we were going to see in a few days. The farm also grew various fruits native to Hawaii and we got to see where many films and television shows were/are taped. We ended the day by driving to the North Shore but unfortunately didn’t see any big waves. We stopped at Waimea Bay for about an hour and I got to take a little nap on the beach.
Tuesday, December 27th: My sisters and Dad went to swim with the dolphins. Because I get very bad motion sickness, Jake, my Mom, and I stayed back at the hotel and laid out by the ocean all day. It was another very relaxing day – just what I wanted and needed! (Sorry no pictures.)
Wednesday, December 28th: Every weekend and Wednesday there is a local swap meet (flea market). They have a lot of very inexpensive touristy things. It is held at the Aloha Stadium, so it was neat to see that (some college football bowl games and NFL Pro-Bowl games are held there). This was the day that we went back to Pearl Harbor to visit the U.S.S. Arizona. (Sorry no pictures, again.)
Thursday, December 29th: We went to Hanauma Bay for a day of laying out and snorkeling. We had to get there really early because they only allow so many people on the beach at a time. Luckily we got in right away. Unlucky for us that it was pretty cloudy and windy this day…definitely not ideal for laying out! It was a beautiful area though and it was my first time snorkeling, so it was really neat to see the coral and different fish. (Pictures farther below.)
That night we went to a Luau. It was awesome! It was at the JW Marriott (which if I ever go back would be the place I want to stay!!). The scenery, the food and the entertainment was great! Everyone was had so much fun. When my Mom asked us later what each of our favorite parts of the trip was everyone said the luau! My sisters and I even got pulled on stage to do a little dancing.
Friday, December 30th: Our last full day in Hawaii 😦 We took advantage of the beautiful weather and laid out for most of the day. We had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe that night which seemed to be a great way to end our family vacation.
Sunday, December 31st: We go home today 😦 My mom, sisters and I were able to lay out that morning because we had to be checked out of room by noon. The rest of the afternoon we sat at a hotel bar that was outside and just enjoyed the nice weather and tried to waste some time. Our flight left around 8:00pm that night, so we were in the air and traveled through a few different New Year’s celebrations before we landed in Dallas. We had almost a 4 hour layover before leaving for Minneapolis and then driving another 4 hours to Fargo. It was a looooong day – almost 24 hours of traveling! I must say it was really nice to be get home and to see Henry!
::: I want to say a huge THANK YOU to my parents for everything on this trip! I know that Jake and I are both so appreciative for having the opportunity to travel with you and to experience so many new things while on this trip. We love you very, very much! :::