Our family loves adventure. So much that it’s hard for us not to be out doing things. So when Will was away at Disneyland, we decided that it was time for Lucy to see Hawaii!
Our flights to Honolulu went past her bedtime, so we brought a pink pig neck pillow for the plane. It was not used as intended.
We landed, picked up our rental car, and drove the 45 minutes to our lodging, all in the dark. Hawaii didn’t get a chance to properly greet us until the morning.
For this trip, we decided to get a condo with a full kitchen so we could do most of our own cooking, so the first order of business was to buy lots of food. We found a grocery store for most of the basics, but for fresh fruit and veg there’s no beating a good farmer’s market. The one we found even had a keiki* table, where Lucy happily made herself a sparkly pink crown!
*We learned a few Hawaiian words on our visit. Keiki is pronounced “kay-kee”, and it means “child”.
Me: (produces credit card to pay for groceries)
Checker: Are you connected to the Straub Clinic?
Me: …Not yet.
Lucy usually goes to bed around 7pm, and with all the busy days we had, she was usually out cold by 6:30. This left lots of time for Becky and I to get work done and keep up with email, in one of the most scenic “offices” we’ve ever had.
We spent an entire day at the Polynesian Cultural Center, just 10 minutes from our condo. We signed up for a guided tour with about 5 other families, and had a great day throwing spears…
…taking dancing lessons…
…getting our traditional tribal tattoos (Lucy got “princess”, Becky got “queen”, and I got “chief”)…
We watched a canoe parade, which featured seven different polynesian cultures…
…and learned traditional crafts and games.
Oh, and there was a luau. And a night show. With fire dancers.
Lucy tried really hard in her swim lessons this summer, so she’d be ready for snorkeling in Hawaii. We made sure to get her some decent gear.
The condo helpfully provided boogeyboards, so we gave that a try as well. Since we were basically living on the beach, we spent at least an hour every day in the waves. We made sure to sample several other beaches as well, to find the best spots.
Between all that, we relaxed in our lovely condo, and cooked and ate.
Another one of our destination days was to Kualoa Ranch.
While waiting for our first organized activity, Lucy decided to become a tree climber.
I became inspired, and tried to recapture my childhood.
This place offers a “keiki experience” – two hours for Lucy to go have an adventure without us. It turned out she was the only one signed up that day, so she got a one-on-one, behind-the-scenes tour, and had an amazing time. Apparently the guide did too; Lucy was featured on their blog!
Meanwhile, Becky and I went on a couple of tours that Lucy wouldn’t care about, or was too young for. You’ve most likely seen a movie that had scenes filmed on this ranch (Jurassic Park? 50 First Dates? Battleship?), and while Lucy hasn’t seen any of them, Becky and I wanted to go check them out. This is Hawaii’s most famous log.
We met up with Lucy, and took a boat ride out on Kaneʻohe Bay.
We also took a spin around an 800-year-old man-made fishing pond.
And a six-wheeled jeep ride through the jungle.
Which led to a very scary encounter.
A tradition that Becky started, but that we all try to continue, is eating shave ice. This snow-cone-like delicacy can really only be found in Hawaii – don’t try to find it here, it’s not the same. Yes, I know about this place. Not. The. Same.
We celebrated our last evening on the island with a nice dinner at a nice place. We were struck by how sun-bleached and tanned Lucy got in just one week here.
The next morning, it was time to bid aloha to our lodgings, and fly home. This was a great trip, and we’re looking forward to Will’s in two years!
I love the confidence on Will’s face throughout the photos. Hooray for a wonderful trip with grandparents. Memories to treasure all around.
Oops – just realized that Disney & Hawaii were all in the same post! Don’t want to neglect Lucy. I’m hoping to make my first trip to Hawaii next year to celebrate our 20th anniversary. Can’t wait! Lucy is sure looking grown up these days.
I love Will’s smile! How fun that he gets to share Margaret’s love of Disney. She must have been such a fun person!
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