Our vacation began with friends who opened their home to our family and led us on all sorts of amazing adventures in Oahu. When you ask the boys about their favorite part of the trip they mention, above all, making new friends. And our favorite part was definitely watching our kids become friends with our friends' kids.

The boys were up early the first day, so at the faintest sign of light we ventured to Lanikai to see the pillboxes, and after managing that steep climb enjoyed a big breakfast at Over Easy.
Later we swam in the Smith's pool and explored their backyard, gawking at the geckos and chickens and even a wild boar. We wandered deeper into the jungle beyond, discovering banyon trees bigger than the boys' imaginations, and covering ourselves in mud.
The next day we visited Kailua beach and tried to kayak to the Mokes, but the waves were too big, so went to Wilson's for shaved ice with lilikoi and snow caps instead. We hope to see the queen's bath and the monk seals on a return trip someday.

On March 7th we headed to Shark's Cove, stopping along the way at places like Turtle Bay and the Dole Plantation, Seven Brother's Burgers and the Polynesian Cultural Center for a short ukulele lesson. The boys wore snorkel masks for hours, finding urchins and anemone and eels and the state fish, humuhumunukunukuapua'a. At one point they were all jumping from a giant rock, rather than navigating back down the sharp lava surface. I may have prayed to king Kamehameha.
Later that evening we celebrated with ice cream cake and the sweetest double ukulele birthday song serenade.
There were ample opportunities for roadside banana bread and raw sugar cane and li hing mui dusted mango slices. We also enjoyed Ted's famous chocolate pie and poke bowls, and eventually sweet talked Nora into sharing her secret smoothie recipe.

One morning we managed the Lighthouse hike with the promise of another big breakfast at Over Easy, and then headed to Hanauma Bay - an old volcanic crater now nature preserve, a "living museum" perfect for more snorkeling. We stopped to see the Halona blowhole that afternoon, and headed "home" for more poolside drinks and play.

We spent our last full day at Pearl Harbor. Tolliver was specifically interested in the aviation museum on Ford Island, and all three boys showed remarkable reverence at the USS Arizona memorial.
We visited the Ko'Olina lagoons later that day where the boys played in the sand and chased crabs around the rocks.
We are all looking forward to a time when the Smith family can stay with us in Columbus!


Poppy John said...

Jenni Baby,
What wonderful friends!
What a wonderful vacation!
What wonderful memories!
Two very blessed families!


rht said...

Two beautiful families in such a magical place! Thanks for giving us a taste of your adventure and for capturing that sandy scalp and those muddy legs along with all the smiles. I'll practice pronouncing humuhumunukunukuapua'a while we wait for the next installment... ; >