Sunday, June 24, 2012

First week of Summer

The first week of summer was a good one. We kicked it off by heading camping on Friday after the kids got out of school. We were able to go to Detroit Lake and stay in the group site with 4 other families. The kids love this day and it is always nice to get away with friends and catch up. The weather was actually really good and one of the dads set up a rope swing over the lake that the kids loved. They also got to go fishing and ride bikes. It was a very nice weekend and I hope we do it again next year. Then through the week the kids got to have cousins visit, go to a dollar movie at Lancaster 11, go to the library, play tether-ball in our back yard, Ethan went on a date with his daddy, their Papa took them fishing and swimming for the day, they got to see Brave Friday afternoon at our local theater (very funny movie) and then have a cousin spend Saturday day/night so we could take her, along with our two, to Camp Tadmor Sunday. I think our summer started off fairly good, don't you? They are waiting for Papa to pick them up. So excited to go catch some fish! Ready for Camp! Ethan seemed a bit nervous about camp but he is with his best buddy and they seem to be doing just fine!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Leaving Hawaii

Today we woke up knowing we were heading home. I don't think any of us were ready. We thought 10 days would be sufficient but we were wrong. We could spend a month here like our friends were doing over on Maui. We didn't have to rush as our plane took off at 11:00 so we went for Starbucks and Jamba Juice and then returned our trusty jeep. We were at the airport quite awhile allowing some last minute purchases by the kids, stuffed animals and an ukulele. We were lucky as this flight was nonstop. We were back at PDX about 8 and Ben's parents were there to pick us up. The trip was officially over. Some last thoughts or pictures I wanted to share with you. Before we left I had heard about the Mickey lamps at Aulani. We are doing our room in a calm beach theme so I knew I wanted to buy the lamps. They do not sell them at there store anymore because they could not keep up with the orders!! I was able to have my name put on a list, and had a lady call me soon after we got home, so we should have 2 of them by the end of summer. The kids really enjoyed this vacation. I am not sure if it was going with friends or being near water almost every day but they would love to go back. I know both Ben and I wish we could go snorkeling more. I wish we had had more time at Aulani. We never got to see their Starlit Hui show, never played their scavenger hunt, didn't go snorkeling in their bay and on and on. We also never saw any of Oahu but the Memorial. If you have younger kids the Aunty's Beach House is great. My kids went the first day for about 45 minutes. I think it is probably best for ages 3-7. Ethan would have enjoyed it if he had someone with him and Alicia was just too old. It's free and they have a lot of fun things going on. They also have a great check in/out system so there is no way your child will be stolen. Aulani also has this water play area that Ethan enjoyed but again probably would have enjoed more with friends. When I was checking in for our flights I found they have a great area for those people who have late flights and need some where to stay. They also have computers for you to use for flight check-ins. Thank you for sticking with me as I took weeks to fininsh this trip report. I love looking back at the pictures and I know it will help me remember everything in the future.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mothers Day in Hawai Day 10

This morning we woke up and headed to the character breakfast here at Aulani. I loved it but the kids, especially Alicia, really didn't care to have characters come around and visit. It's sad when they out grow it. Anyway the breakfast was yummy and again so many choices for every picky eater out there. We found some chairs again in the shade and staked our claim. The nice thing about the pool chairs is that someone comes around and takes orders for you and then your food is delivered to you in cute bamboo baskets. We all spent time on our chairs reading or playing electronic games. It was very peaceful. We had almost the same day as the day before but a little after lunch Alicia and I headed off to a lei class. We also finally checked out the Disney beach and then headed out to dinner. It was a nice relaxing day and we were all sad that as we went to bed we knew we would be heading home when we woke up. I am wearing the lei Alicia made me for Mothers Day. It was nice to spend time with just Alicia. The last picture my camera took before it broke!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hawaii Day 9-Aulani

So I last left you we had just checked into Aulani. We were on the fourth floor in the Waianae Tower. It really is a beautiful building. We decided to go try out the lazy river before our dinner reservations at 7. It was about normal dinner time for people with little kids so the swimming area was fairly empty. Ben and I found some lounge chairs and the kids were off to find an inner tube. We lasted about an hour and then went back to our rooms to get ready for dinner. Earlier we had seen that the half beach area had been taken over by a company throwing an appreciation party. They went all out. It was gorgeous. When we went to dinner we sat outside and we could hear the entertainment they had hired--Gavin DeGraw and Lifehouse!! So we got a free concert. It was really cool to sit eating our dinner listening to LIVE music. We went to Makahiki a buffet for our first meal at Disney. It was pretty good. LOTS of choices and some yummy desserts. Ben and I really wanted to head down and watch the concert after dinner but the kids were really tired and vetoed that idea. Instead we wondered back upstairs to the small gift shop and then to our rooms for bed. Saturday morning Ben was off to find a Starbucks while the three of us went down to find some great shaded seats for the day. We decided to get seats at the pool area. Found some under an umbrella and we stayed there the entire day. It was just a relaxing day. Lots of swimming, lazing and eating. The kids and I had got refillable mugs and so we had pop, tea, lemonade or hot chocolate whenever we wanted to go refill it. That evening they had a Disney movie out on the garden laws. They had grass mats to lounge on and we watched The Muppets. Not my favorite movie or one I even remotely liked but the whole idea of sitting outside in Hawaii watching a movie was very nice. We were then off to bed. We really felt spoiled here and it was so nice to stay at one spot and just hang out together all day. If you ever get a chance to go with your kids take it. Up next. . . Mothers Day in Hawaii

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day 8 of Hawaii

Today we are leaving the Big Island and heading to Oahu for three nights. We drove to the airport and dropped off our jeep and made it to the airport with a lot of time to wait. AS we were going through screening Ethan was randomly chosen to be screened. They started to take him to a back room but an older gentleman said he could do it all right there at the end of the belt with our luggage. they took a fingerprint and ran it through a computer and then said he was free to go. they made it very easy and non-threatening, told him he could brag about it at school. I think Ethan forgot about it about 10 minutes after we walked out. Kona has an outside airport. So we were waiting for our planes in the beautiful outside weather, which was also windy. We also got there early so the area we would sit in was full for a different flight and we sat somewhere else. I tell you all this because we moved around a bit and it was windy and about 20 minutes before boarding I realized I had Ben and the kids boarding passes but had lost mine. We checked every bag a few times, all pockets, wandered the areas we had sat in and found nothing. The first lady I asked for help told me to go check my bags again. Sure, like I hadn't done that already. The second lady I asked was Hawaiian and I have to tell you the Hawaiians are just so nice. She so kindly just printed me another one off like it was n big deal. I had been so nervous and she made me feel like it was no biggie. We made it on the short flight and got off in Honolulu. We had tickets for Pearl Harbor so we got our next rental car, again a jeep, and found our way to the Memorial. We enjoyed our time in Pearl Harbor, Ethan especially. They do a good job of making it easy to understand for kids and giving all the information you might need. Ben's grandfather was in the USS West Viginian that was hit in Pearl Harbor so it was something we really wanted the kids to be a part of. Then we drove to our next resort-Disney's Aulani. This place was so much fun. We had ran around the week before so wanted to just relax. We rarely left the resort and that was only to eat. When we got to the resort they gave us each a lei and then we were off to find our room. To be continued. . .