Sunday, January 25, 2015

Hawaii Part 6 - Oahu, the final island

The last leg of our journey was a two-night stay on Oahu.  The kids were so exhausted from traveling and staying up late that Patrick and Charlie both fell asleep sitting up in the shuttle from the airport to our hotel.
 This is the view from our hotel.  The hotel wasn't anything spectacular, but it met all our needs.  We had two bedrooms, a living room and kitchenette.  Jim and I enjoyed a drink on the balcony after the kids were in bed.  We were walking distance from Waikiki Beach and several shops and restaurants.
On our first night, we walked to Waikiki Beach.  Along the way we saw people hula hooping in a park.  We all joined in!

We got dinner at a little stand at Waikiki Beach.
 The kids had fun playing in the sand.
 The sunset was beautiful!
The next day we took a bus to Peral Harbor.  We met Nana and Papa, who were staying at a resort with David and Melanie on another part of the island.
 We took a boat to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial.  It was incredible.  I found the aerial picture below online.  It shows how the memorial spans the middle of the sunken battleship where 1,177 crewmen lost their lives.
Pearl Harbor
Here is the entrance to the memorial from the boat.  As you can see, we visited on a beautiful day.  If it is too windy, they won't take you over to the memorial.
"To the Memory of the Gallant Men Here Entombed and their shipmates who gave their lives in action on December 7, 1941, on the U.S.S. Arizona"

Back on land, the memorial in the background.

That evening we walked back to Waikiki Beach.  We wandered through a really nice hotel along the beach and came across this awesome infinity pool.  So, of course, we decided to take a dip.
That's Diamond Head in the background.
The kids had fun floating on these bean bag like floatation chairs.  After we were in the pool for about 20 minutes, someone who worked at the hotel came over to tell us that the pool was just for people age 16 and over.  Oops.
So, we wandered out to the beach for a bit.
And watched the sunset.

Then we stopped for dinner on our way back to the hotel.
 The next day we wandered around town until our late, late flight.  Since we had so many people it cost just as much to take a limo to the airport as it would to take the shuttle.  Obviously, we opted for the limo!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

January pictures

As I play catch up with my blogging, I thought I would post some current pictures of our cuties.  Maggie is always a big help in the kitchen, especially if you find it helpful for someone to take everything out of your cabinet and arrange it haphazardly on the floor.
I took Patrick and Charlie to the Magic House today.  Charlie caught a fish!
Patrick caught many fish!
Jack and his friend joined us at the Magic House after school.  They built this castle.
It was such a fun day!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Hawaii, part 5 - The Big Island

After a week on Kauai, we spent 5 days on the Big Island.  My parents, David, Melanie, Cecilia, and Adelaide came, too.  One of the main draws of the Big Island was the active volcanoes.  We rented a great house in Kona and explored the island.  One day we went to the other side of the island to explore and see Volcanoes National Park.  We stopped at Rainbow Falls along the way.

These trees on the hike to the falls were spectacular!

When we got to the Volcanoes National Park, we were able to explore a lava tube.  
Maggie was such a good sport!
Five out of six Kellys are happy!  Actually, Jack was just hamming it up for the camera.

We drove along the Chain of Craters Road until the end, which is closed due to lava flow.  It was pretty amazing to see the lava rock.  We did not see any flowing lava on our visit. 

 The house we rented had an awesome pool!  There was a sandy-bottom shallow area, a deeper swimming area, a swim-up bar, a hot tub, and a few small waterfalls. 

 This is the back of the house we rented. 
We went swimming at Hapuna Beach one day.  It may be the most beautiful beach I have ever visited.  

I didn't get any pictures, but a girl I went to high school with lives on the Big Island.  She came over for dinner one night.  It was so nice to catch up with Natalie and hear first-hand about life on the island.  She also gave us some advice for what we should do while we were there.

On Natalie's advice, we ventured south to Punalu'u Black Sand Beach.  The black sand is formed when lava flows into the ocean and cools.
The black sand is coarser than regular sand.
We saw several sea turtles sunning themselves on the black sand. 

Charlie wore his shirt with a sea turtle on the back.

On the way back, we stopped at a little outdoor market in Na'alehu, the southernmost town in the U.S.
Our last sunset on the Big Island...
We tried to get a few more pictures on the morning we left for Oahu.

Our crew walked around downtown Kona for a little sightseeing as we waited for our next flight.
We found a bar called Pancho and Lefty's!
Nana entertained Charlie with "Round and round the garden..." a game Charlie's Aussie cousins love.
The boys got a kendama toy for a souvenir.   We were told by my friend that you can't get them on the mainland.  I found them at Target shortly after we got home.  :)