Big Family Vacation in Oahu, Hawaii
Thanks to the generosity of Alice, we had a wonderful Christmas vacation in Hawaii. We rented an enormous 8-bedroom house with a pool, and had a fun filled week long marathon of activities. I don't know when/if we'll be able to get everyone gathered together like this again, so I hope these photos will help us remember the good times we've had.
Day One 2015-12-20
We've just arrived at the house, and the landlord was kind enough to provide us a Xmas tree and ornaments so we can decorate it ourselves. We spent our time getting settled in and went to visit a nearby pier that'll serve as the sunrise lookout point for the coming days. We discovered that Henry's two big toes were badly infected due to ingrown nails, and that will impact his ability to play in the pool/beach for many days.
Day Two 2015-12-21
This is our most touristy day of the trip. We took a road trip around the island, starting with the Dole Pineapple Plantation. Then we headed for the shrimp trucks near North Shore, under a few trees that provided an amazing canopy. After lunch, we visited the Waimea Valley where after a short hike on paved roads, a waterfall waited for us. That was enough of a bus tour, the kids couldn't wait to get into the ocean already, so we stopped by Waimanalo Beach for some fun.
Day Three 2015-12-22
In the morning, Henry had to go visit a podiatrist to get his ingrown problem taken care of. The rest of us had a brief taste of snorkeling at the Magic Island in the Ala Moana Beach Park. By the way they were excited to see a couple of fishes in the water, I knew they'll be thrilled when we go to Hanauma Bay tomorrow. In the evening, we had a Luau at Paradise Cove on the west side of the island.
Day Four 2015-12-23
Hanauma Bay was amazing as always. Since we're not living in the busy hotels of Waikiki, we drove there in the evening to have a walk-about.
Day Five 2015-12-24
Grandma checked into a hospital due to high fever caused by a special strand of E.coli bacteria. We hiked the Diamond Head trail in the morning, and while the big kids went to take surfing lessons, I took the younger ones and Dad to visit for scenic spots. Christmas Eve, we had dinner at Roy's Restaurant in Hawaii Kai, meal paid for by the three grandparents.
Day Six 2015-12-25
Lots of places are closed on Christmas day, so we took a hike on the Lanikai Pillbox Trail. It's probably the toughest hike we had on this trip, but everyone made it and the view on top was worth every single drop of sweat.
Day Seven 2015-12-26
We visited Grandma at the hospital in the morning to see that she was doing much better from the treatment. Then we did some shopping at the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet. The Pearl Harbor Historical Sites was only minutes away, but the tickets to see the sunken USS Arizona Memorial was sold out. We were able to take a look inside the USS Bowfin submarine and re-live the day of the Pearl Harbor attack in the museum.
Day Eight 2015-12-27
Last day to squeeze in some more touristy spots before our flight in the evening. The Pali Lookout was cloudy and windy as I remembered and the view was still stunning. We then visited the Byodo-in Temple, which is a replica of the same temple in Japan. In the afternoon, the big kids went for more surfing while I took the younger kids for more snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. Henry's toes are healing up nicely, and I didn't want him to go home without experiencing Hanauma Bay because I think it'll probably be the highlight of the trip for many of us. Grandma was able to checkout of the hospital and come home with us, and we're all thankful for that.