Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Back To (Our Version Of) Real Life

If you have a toddler and you want to go on a big family vacation, say to somewhere like Hawaii, bring your mother! Seriously, we were blessed so many times on our trip, but one of our biggest blessings was that my mom was able to come with us as our grand-nanny! Jack adores her, I adore her, and I'm pretty sure Dave does to, though it's not his style to use the word 'adore' to describe his feelings about pretty much anything. But anyway, having my mom there really made for a perfect vacation! Dave and I were able to have our special family vacation, while still being able to snorkel and not be limited by Jack's early bedtime. And I'm pretty sure spending 24 hours a day for 6 days with Jack Jack is my mom's idea of heaven ;)

So, the rest of our trip... hmmm... where did I leave off? Oh yes...

As you can see from the picture I posted, we did make it to the Dole Pineapple Plantation on Tuesday! Our day started with waking up to see the sky getting darker and darker and the wind blasting like nobody's business. A few minutes later, it started pouring down rain, monsoon style! Crazy! 15 minutes later, Dave walked in looking like he had jumped in the pool fully clothed! We laughed so hard. He had gone running, and was about 1.5 miles away from the hotel when the monsoon started! I seriously don't think he could have been any more wet! Anyway, an hour or so later the rain had calmed down, and we decided that even though the wind was crazy, we should stick to our plan to go to the pineapple place, so we went. After all, we were on the Northernmost point of the island, and the plantation was likely much more protected from the vicious winds. We ended up having a great time at the pineapple place!!! Jack absolutely adored riding the train and started crying when the ride was over. Then we took a tour of the gardens, but Jack was slow and we lost our tour guide, so we just walked through the gardens and I got some fun shots of Dave and Jack playing. Then we went to the Pineapple Maze! Dave and I were really looking forward to this. Let me tell you, I am the woman that you want with you if you ever happen to find yourself in a Pineapple Maze! I have Iron Boogers (okay, you're only going to get that if you were a fan of Tim Allen's show, Home Improvement, but it means my nose is a compass: I have a great sense of direction!), and I can lead us in and out in a jiffy!

Anyway, when we finished there, we went back to the hotel and went for a walk around the grounds in the crazy wind! Jack thought the wind was hilarious, and when we took him on the sand he about died when he saw the ocean so close! He adores water and had a lot of fun playing in the sand and trying to sneak past me to get in the water! After our walk Dave and I left Jack and mom back at the hotel and we drove to Haleiwa to eat dinner. The next day we woke up to an absolutely beautiful sky and perfectly warm weather! Dave and I grabbed our snorkel gear and ran off to the snorkel cove next to the hotel, and mom and Jack came down a little bit later and played on the beach until we finished.

Then when we were done playing, we went back to the room, showered, and made our way to the Polynesian Cultural Center for another adventure! We ate when we first got there, and then Jack pooped. A lot. While mom and I went to change him, Dave took off to the gift shop to find some new shorts for him (kid hasn't done that in a looooong time, I didn't have a change of clothes for him!). He didn't have any luck finding any shorts, so we (cringe) let Jack run around in his shirt and diaper while we sought out another gift shop. Unfortunately, the gift shop that carried kids clothes was closed that day! Fortunately, though, the lady that worked at the main gift shop took pity on us and ran over to the one that was closed so that we could get exactly what we needed! She brought over a few outfits that she had found in 4T, and then said "I think you should get the blue one because of his beautiful blue eyes!" So, Jack spent the rest of the day in a cute, blue, Aloha outfit! We had a great time learning about the Polynesian Culture and all the differences between the cultures of each group of Islands. Dave and my mom even got to take a 'learn to play the Ukulele' class, and Dave bought a really nice Ukulele (which is pronounced, ooo-koo-LAY-lay, by the way), which he had been talking about getting since before we even took off from LAX! The weather was great and totally cooperated with us that day... we had a fun time at the Luau, ate yummy yummy food, and had great entertainment! The second we left the Luau the heavens opened and it started pouring, so that made us even more grateful for the nice weather we had had that day!

The next day, Dave and I made our way down to the South side of the island to the Wildlife Reserve at Hanouma Bay for some snorkling! There were a million people! We had a nice time, despite the crowd, but I was really disappointed that I hadn't realized that it would have been a great place to take Jack Jack! But mom and Jack had a great time at the hotel while we were gone. They swam in the hotel's pool... the one with the waterfall! Jack Jack loves water and I can only imagine how much fun they had together! Anyway, we spent the rest of the day at Pearl Harbor, where we had another poop adventure, the details of which I will spare you. Jack was so good when we went to the Arizona Memorial. He loved riding on the boat, and he whispered while we were on the Arizona, just like the man had asked of us out of respect for the losses our country suffered. That night we had dinner at the hotel and went to bed a bit early. We were all pooped! By this time we could tell that Jack was definitely done with vacation, and we were anxious to get him home and back on schedule. He was still really good, but he seemed really restless and not his usual self. So the next morning we packed up and headed to the airport!

Honolulu airport is definitely the worst airport we've ever been to! Worse than LAX, worse than JFK, just bad bad bad. But, we made it on our plane, we had our prayers answered when the lady that was supposed to sit next to mom and Jack Jack (the largest 'lap baby' on any airplane ever, I'm sure) decided to give her seat to Jack! Plus, a ver nice man across the aisle decided to buy Jack an entertainment set that the airlines offered! Jack was good on the flight... we had a lot of things to entertain him, Jack and I got a lot of exercise walking up and down the aisles, and I was able to finish my book! Jack was thrilled to see grandpa when we got to LAX, and he went to bed very smoothly when we got home! I was amazed, but the next day he made it clear that he was ready to settle back into his routine when he took an almost unprecedented 3 hour nap after not having napped for the last 6 days! I'm so proud of that kid!

Anyway, so we're back! Back to work for Dave (he's on a 96 right now), back to play for Jack Jack, and back to slowly checking off items from my longer-than-it's-ever-been To Do List! We had a great vacation, but we are so glad to be back!

For more vacation photos, click on the photo below:

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