Yes, we are too lucky- we got to spend Christmas in sunny, beautiful Hawaii. We spent 16 days there.
As you can imagine, we were not looking forward to the flight with a 6 month old and a 2 year old, but they did really great. They slept a lot and Nate watched his "bovies" on the dvd player and was entertained by Andrew's ipod touch. Kaitlyn was a doll and didn't even cry when the plane descended to sea level and my ears were killing me. We did travel all night though, so we were pretty exhausted when we arrived. Luckily, it was 9 pm Hawaii time so we got to go home and have a full night's sleep- almost. The kids slept so much on the plane that they got up several times in the night.
The next day was Tuesday. Andrew's parents and sister had to work, so we hit the beach. We went to Hukilau beach on the north shore, and loved swimming and basking in the sun. We built sandcastles for Nate to destroy and Andrew made a tunnel. Nate liked feeling the sand and he enjoyed the water, but if we let go of him even with one hand, he would say "Carry you!" (carry me). We even put KK in the water, but she didn't last long. We also tried out the rope swing and Nate looked like a little Tarzan. Life was great and carefree:) We then got in the car and headed to one of our favorite places to eat, Ku 'Aina in Haleiwa. The kids fell asleep, so Andrew ran in and got us our sandwiches. I got mahi mahi with ortega and Andrew got pastrami. Mine was better. We parked overlooking the harbor and ate our sandwiches. We then drove to Wal-mart for new swimming suits and some other odds and ends.
On Wednesday, Karen came with us to the swap meet in town to find some matching aloha wear- I figured we can do matching while the kids still don't have a say. We also got some other fun Hawaiian souvenirs. We decided to go on this day b/c it was supposed to be rainy, but we learned early on that the forecast in Hawaii is never correct. It was really nice and sunny. On the way home, we stopped at the Dole Plantation where they grow pineapples and rode on the pineapple express. Nate liked the train and taking pictures behind the pineapple people. He also liked feeding the fish, but his favorite part was the pineapple "happy cone" we got at the end. That evening, Andrew's best friend growing up, Perry and his wife, Amy, took us out for Mexican food at Cholos in Haleiwa. Karen and Dwight were great to babysit for us and we had some much needed adult time.
On Thursday morning, we went to Hukilau cafe for some good old Hawaiian sweet bread french toast. Other then Nathan spilling his ice cold water all over my lap, it was fun and nostalgic. By the way, the Hukilau Cafe they show in the movie "50 first dates" is not the real one because the real one is located in Laie. We then headed off to Hukilau beach again because we had such a good experience there the first day. However, we quickly learned that the beach is not always relaxing with little ones. After a few hours, both kids were hot and miserable and crying to let us know it, so we headed home. After naps, Andrew took the kids to the playground at Laie Elementary and Nate gave Andrew a tour of Andrew's old elementary school. I went to the beach to have some real relaxation time. That night we went to the Ward Christmas party in our matching aloha wear, but Nate fell asleep within 15 minutes of being there, so we were unable to see Santa. We still hadn't adjusted to the time change yet.
On Friday, the weather was not great, so Andrew and I went through some of our college boxes that we left in the shed. It was fun to go through all of our things and the memories that went along with them. It was funny to find dating journal entries and pictures and look back on how young and naive we were. In the afternoon, we went with Karen to Shark's Cove for a picnic. The weather got a lot nicer and it was a perfect day for a picnic on the sand! Shark's cove is known for it's great snorkeling and it has many tidepools for kids to look around in. Nate enjoyed seeing the fish and crabs and throwing rocks in the water with the other kids. Little KK even put her toes in the water! We then headed to Haleiwa for some Matsumoto shave ice! We told Nate it was a "big happy cone." He was kind of frustrated with it at first because it was so cold, but he got into it and really enjoyed his rainbow shave ice. That night, Andrew's sister Leilani, invited her boyfriend to come over for pizza and games.
On Saturday, Leilani, Andrew, Perry, and I went hiking in the morning to Mauna Wili Falls in Kaneohe. Andrew's parents were very gracious to watch the kids again- I think they enjoyed the time alone with them:) We hiked about a mile and a half through lucious green foliage and ended up at a magestic waterfall. We then climbed up the waterfall and found another waterfall to swim to. It was really refreshing to shower under it. It definitely seemed like we were in a movie. We then climbed back down to the top of the first waterfall and jumped in the pool below. I only jumped about 20 feet, Leilani and Perry jumped 30 feet, and Andrew, being the daredevil that he is climbed higher, and jumped 40 feet into the pool below. I am not a daredevil when it comes to jumping. After our refreshing swim, we headed back down the trail. It was a perfect hiking day- not too cold and not too hot. When we got home, we played with the kids for a bit and then took a nap. That night, Andrew and I went out for our anniversary. We got some take-out at one of our favorite local grinds- L&L's. I got terriyaki beef and he got chicken katsu. We then drove to the Turtle Bay resort, ordered a virgin pina colada at the bar to validate our parking, and found a picnic table near the hotel overlooking the waves. We were all alone, so it was quite romantic. The food was really good and inexpensive. We were debating whether to do this or go out to a nice restaurant, but I really liked our low profile date. We then took a stroll around the hotel enjoying the waves and each other's company.
On Sunday, we got up and went to church, but we weren't feeling well so we went home early. That night, we celebrated Andrew's birthday with some of his friends from growing up and some of my friends from college who are still on the island. We had a great time reminescing and enjoying each other's company.