Yes, we were spoiled with two weeks in paradise thanks to my husband's generous parents who flew us out to stay with them before they move back to the mainland. I could have broken this down into multiple detailed posts, but instead I just decided to do one giant photo dump for your enjoyment... or annoyance. I am fine with either.
We were nervous about the long flight, but it went surprisingly well. Hawaiian Airlines is really nice and they give you pineapple juice, chocolate covered macadamia nuts, and real food that isn't gross! I wouldn't say it was easy, but I would say easily worth it. Jimmy enjoyed taking some picture out the window as we flew in.
Nano and Nana met us at the airport with open arms and beautiful leis.
Nano and Nana's lovely house on the army base was our home away from home for two amazing weeks.
We loved lounging on the lanai every day.
And playing our new game of Carcasone...
We took lots of fun exploration walks to discover the local flora and fauna.
We found some fun vines to swing on and bamboo to hide in.
The boys were excited to take their first convertible rides.
And where better to drive a convertible than to the beach...
We visited many various beaches in Oahu on our trip so here are the highlights:
Bellows is a favorite. It is the military beach with big waves for boogie boarding, trees for shade, and very fine sand that feels heavenly between your toes (but is darn near impossible to clean off of everything).
Alo Moana is near Waikiki. Gus loves the spots with "baby waves."
He loved "Magic Island" as well since it is enclosed by a rocky pier and felt kind of like a private pool.
Sailboats and a pirate ship went by.
"Lost" Beach on the North Shore (dubbed this by us since it is where they filmed Lost) is pretty quite because it is not great for swimming. It is the best place to spot sea turtles so we had to go.
The water was full of dozens of turtles and it was pretty amazing.
We hiked a bit to get closer to some we spotted on the beach, but it was worth it.
Sunset Beach on the North Shore is a better spot for swimming.
Hanauma Bay was by far the boys' favorite.
We spotted so many colorful and amazing fish. We took lots of cool videos with Nano's GoPro, but here is a sampling that doesn't begin to do it justice.
Gus wasn't quite ready for actual snorkeling, but we did take turns going out with him in an inner-tube and googles so he could see the fish, too. He was so happy when he found a humuhumunukunukuapua'a. If you see him, you should ask him about it.
Nora loved hangin' on the beach with Nana.
The boys loved it so much that we had to go twice.
All these long days at the beach usually ended with lovely naps on the lanai...
But while the beaches were definitely the best part of Hawaii, we had lots of other fun adventures as well. We went to the 4th of July parade in Kailua.
Some of Nano's friends host a fun party every year and we have been lucky enough to go twice now.
The kids loved the pool in their beautiful backyard.
We sported our best Hawaiian attire to church
We got beachside Mai Tai's and Lava Flows.
(sans alcohol for some)
The baby was so jealous so we gave her a taste of cherry.
The Hawaiian food is all amazing and we ate plenty of it. We hit up some delicious food trucks.
We visited to Dole Pineapple Plantation.
While there we went on the Pineapple Express.
We went in the World's Largest maze (as of 2008 I believe, but still pretty cool).
Jimmy thought this was amazing.
You have to find eight different locations inside the maze and then get yourselves back out. Dad might have purposefully got us lost a few times, but we survived.
And of course, the best reason to go there is because of the Pineapple Dole Whips, the best food in the world. I have gotten to eat it twice in the matter of months so I feel like it just isn't fair to brag about. I'll stop so you don't hate me too much.
But here are some picture of how happy it makes us...
We got to go to the Waikiki Aquarium with some cousins.
So glad we finally go to meet cute little Koa.
The boys loved watching this fast little Humu swim around. He was hard to capture on film. They are quick little buggers.
The Hawaiian Monk Seal did some tricks for us.
Just Jimmy hiked with Mom and Dad to the top of Diamond Head.
The view was pretty awesome.
On one of the rainy days we checked out the Bishop Museum which the boys loved.
We got to go to Nano's farewell party at he hospital. It was nice to meet all the people he works with and hear all his praises.
Nana babysat one night so Zach and I could go on a date. She recommended an authentic Tiki Bar called La Mariana Sailing Club. It really couldn't have been more up my alley. It has been there for years and is truly like stepping back in time. There are Hawaiian chotchkies everywhere and a blind piano player who was playing "Singing in the Rain" and other show tunes the whole time. There really is also a sailing club there so you can see all the boats parked in the marina.
We got fun drinks and enjoyed one of our last nights in paradise.
On our last night we had dinner with our cousins.
Then it was time to fly back home. It was hard to say goodbye as we watched it disappear out the window.