On Day 8, we checked out of the hotel and made our way back to town, stopping to say goodbye to our favorite spots along the way.
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
We saved the best for last. On Day 7, we toured the Laie temple grounds and visitors center and then headed to the PCC. I just can't say enough good things about what a great time we had at the PCC. When we described the attraction to the boys, they were a little skeptical, and, honestly, I wasn't sure we'd get our money's worth out of the ticket price, either. But, we had such a blast! The boys laughed and loved the village demonstrations, the luau was fun, and the night show was very quality and entertaining. So glad we went.
After warming up on the small waves in town, the boys were ready to graduate to some slightly bigger waves on the north shore. We rented a couple boogie boards and let them get pummeled at sunset beach for a couple hours.
Staying in town at the resort felt like a fun vacation, but when we relocated on Day 5 to a hotel in Laie, it felt like coming home. Along the way, we stopped at the Dole Plantation and competed (righties vs. lefties) in the pineapple maze, rode the train through the pineapple fields, and treated ourselves to a Dole Whip.
I was such a treat to be able to enjoy a physical activity together with Hank and Max without all of the accommodations that are usually required when we bring the whole family. The multiple flights of stairs were worth the climb when we ascended the top of Diamond Head and enjoyed the panoramic views.
As much as I love to relax, by Day 3 I was beginning to feel antsy and ready to leave the resort and explore the island. So, we ventured out to the swap meet where we scoured the market for treasures and souvenirs. Hank knew exactly what he was looking for and bought himself a Hawaiian print suitcase, a bracelet with his name on it, a snow globe for his collection, and a tiki statue. The only thing that I found that I couldn't live without was a couple jars of coconut peanut butter. After our shopping trip, we squeezed in a rest at the beach and a spin around the lagoon on a water bike before Aaron and I attended his company gala that night.
Day 2 started off with a lazy morning at the beach. Aaron and I rented a couple beach chairs and parked ourselves under an umbrella to watch the boys entertain themselves in the sand and tide for a couple hours. Hank and Max were enthralled with the small waves that broke along the shore and wore themselves out chasing the waves. That afternoon, we cleaned ourselves up and walked the short distance to the Waikiki strip where we refueled at the Cheesecake Factory. We splurged for dessert of maladadas at Leonard's Bakery.
This day was long awaited and much anticipated. Max had literally written down in his notebook a minute by minute itinerary for our vacation, including each detail like passing through airport security, picking out our treats at the gift shop, and checking in at the gate. To say that the boys were excited would be an understatement.
Sunday, August 7, 2016
After a family barbecue at Nana and Papa's house with Aaron's cousin Devon and her family, we broke out the fireworks. The pop-it's and sparklers are always a big hit, but this year's firework display included our first experience with aerials. The boys had fun selecting the order of the fireworks and taking turns lighting them, but we had a moment of excitement when one aerial knocked itself over and shot rockets straight towards us! Besides a few scorch marks in the lawn, all ended well and we learned a valuable lesson about firework safety.
We just couldn't stomach paying full price for Cowabunga Bay season passes this year, so when a sale came along, we took advantage of the offer and spent our holiday morning at the water park. As it turns out, we enjoyed it so much that when the chance to buy the passes at a discount mid-season came around, we couldn't pass it up. I love that we're finally at a place where the boys are all comfortable in the water and I feel confident in our water safety.