Monday, April 7, 2014

My new happy place.

I don't really know where to start when describing our vacation to Hawaii last month. Jon's parents had found a truly amazing house on the ocean in Lanikai, which is the windward side of Oahu in a reefy stretch next to two small islands. It was filled with terrible art, but when I fell asleep listening to waves crash over the sound of my sound machine all was forgiven. Now, I'm sure everyone knows how much I love to shred up the waves in a boogie board (and I do! Small to medium easy to catch waves are my specialty)--but the calm waters were perfect for kayaking, paddle boarding, and for the kids. The beach was uncrowded and filled with white, powdery sand. It was pretty much perfect, even with the rain and wind that we got on a few of the days. I was so relaxed I hardly thought about the world that existed outside the island, got to read a lot, and didn't even get a tan. So my ideal beach vacation.

We had fun exploring other parts of the island also. The snorkeling at hanauma bay was a standout experience for me. It had been many years since I had snorkeled and I declared that I was terrible at it. And while snorkeling is very easy, I was still amazingly proud of the fact that I dove deep underwater, came back up, and did not choke. It was something I never thought I would do. It's nice to set the bar low for yourself. I had been to Pearl Harbor before but it was more fascinating than I anticipated. I also instantly identified the narrator of the movie they showed as the First Lady from the West Wing. Unfortunately Jon is the main benefactor of my avid voiceover identification hobby, but he humors me. I have to tell someone or it doesn't count!

Theo and Margot loved the beach. (Pearl Harbor...was not their best day.) Theo started a little apprehensive of swimming in the ocean but by the end swam underwater like a fish. They also loved playing with their cousins so (so!) much. Margot was obsessed with Paige especially. They endlessly played in the sand and one day caught a small crab and kept it in a bucket for a little while. That was easily the highlight of Theo's life. Paige named the crab Theodore Crab (so sweet!). Hollyn, who is nine, taught me how to do those elastic band bracelet things with your fingers, and I got pretty into it.

We loved catching up with family, as well as taking advantage of the available babysitters as Jon and I got to do some exploring on our own. We kayaked out to the Mokulua islands, seeing several sea turtles and also from the house to Lanikai beach. We got the whole family in the two man kayak a couple of times, which they loved. Margot loved being on the "boat." We frequented Island Snow nearby, Obama's favorite for a reason--it was the best we had on the island. I hope I don't anger people by saying Matsumotos' ice was much more course--but that was our highly scientific analysis. But I think Matsumoto himself offered to take a group photo of all of us, so he gets nice points.

It was so hard to leave! The beautiful green mountains and scenery actually made Oregon look a little bleak when we came back. Sorry kids, maybe we'll never go to Disneyland. I'm looking to spend all our vacation dollars here.

On both plane trips, the kids watched movie trailers for hours. Usually the same one over and over. 

Margot got really excited about chasing a bird and ended up far, far away. Can you spot her?

Of of the kids' favorite activities at the house was finding "coconuts" and throwing them over the wall into the ocean.

Island humidity did amazing things for their hair.