Peri’s in Hawaii

I never really know what to write for personal posts, because, well they are public. The idea for some of these though is to record significant events in my family’s life, like a journal of sorts…while also sharing our life with our family, friends and anybody else interested in our adventures.

Last week we returned from a wonderful 2 week Hawaiian Holiday, it was so great spending so much time together without having to worry about the housework or the million other things we had calling our names back home…it was never about the location (though it was a bonus) it was all just about having adventures together and just enjoying each other.
When planning this holiday we realized that it’s the first holiday we have taken just as a family AND the first holiday Vanan and I have been on since our honeymoon 7 years ago that wasn’t with other people (Lucy isn’t other people, she is us)…so yeah, much needed.

If you don’t want to read all about the food or the day to day bits and pieces then skip down to the images (the best part, lets be honest)…I like to travel light and still take photos so we didn’t lug the DSLR around everywhere but we made sure to take it out enough to get some better quality photos…so excuse the mass iphonography set, those photos that only ever look good on your phone screen…that’s what you get for convenience.

BTW there are like a million photos…I make no apologies.

Lucy travelled really well, we were fortunate enough to be given an extra seat for her on both flights…I would have felt VERY sorry for the poor sap that would have gotten that seat had we not asked if they could give us an extra, let alone how sorry for myself I would have felt having a tired, wriggly toddler confined to our laps for so long.
We arrived at Honolulu airport at 6:30am (3:30 Sydney time) Lucy had managed to get about 5hrs sleep, Vanan had about an hour and I had exactly 0 minutes of sleep, needless to say, we arrived tired and keen to get settled in and hopefully have Lucy have a decent nap. That would have been great, but it was not to be, alternatively we had to wait 8.5hrs for our room to be ready…KILL ME! it was worth it in the end to get such a great room on the top floor with lovely views.

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We chilled out, took a bunch of selfies cos we didn’t want to get off the comfy bed, freshened up and then went for a wander into town.

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Although she’d had a nap in the pram while we were waiting for our room, it was short and certainly not enough, so, she fell asleep while waiting for a table for our early dinner…it was the funniest thing, I wish I had gotten it on video, Lucy is not one to fall asleep easily, and she wasn’t snuggled on a shoulder, she was facing forward in Vanan arms. it was adorable. Not knowing what else to do we figured we would take her back and put her in bed, we walked quickly but it was still a distance and she was a droopy dead weight, by the time we got her back and ready for bed she was up and ready to party again. We wandered downstairs for a not so great and overpriced meal in one of the resort restaurants before we all climbed into bed for a well needed sleep…for the next 2 days she slept in till 11am!!! yep, that’s some good holiday relaxing!

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We spent much of the first week wandering around town, swimming in the pools, playing at the beach, chilling out, having lazy lunches and early dinners and just taking it easy

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We did LOTS of walking, so we earned an ice-cream…Daddy chose, it was huge so we all shared, but Lucy clearly hogged it.

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We took a fun Trolley ride to the zoo one morning. We loved making the long walk back to our home at the other end of Waikiki, along the sand, through the water, amongst the people.

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On Friday night we enjoyed some poolside canapes followed by fireworks on the beach…Lucy had no idea what we were doing sitting on the beach at night, when they started she marveled, until they got loud and she freaked out a bit…when they finished she cried because she loved them.

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Saturday morning we were up early to head to the KCC farmers market. It was great, with lots of local delicacies. Hawaii has a very interesting mix of Island, American and Asian (predominantly Japanese) cuisine, it really is an interesting fusion. After getting our fill of Asian style shredded pork sliders (on taro buns), pina colada smoothies, kettle corn, fresh coconut and a belly full of food samples we set off on our trek up Diamond head. We walked through one side of the massive crater before hiking to the top of the other side for some magnificent views. It was a bit humbling imagining how it must have been for those battling in the war as we climbed up to a few bunker type viewpoints.

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Not wanting to wait around for a bus we decided to walk back to Waikiki. It was a long walk but we thoroughly enjoyed it. We feasted on some delicious Mexican food along the way, met a friendly bird man, came across a brilliant cactus garden, smelled flowers, collected rocks and shells, splashed in the ocean, marveled at it magical colour, walked a tightrope (pictured earlier) and bathed in the cool afternoon breeze.

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Our busy weekend continued with another early start to catch the first bus out to Hanauma bay…We missed the bus due to our poor sign reading abilities early in the morning but we made it on the next one with no trouble.
We had initially thought we’d give place a miss assuming it would be pointless with a toddler and that it would be crammed with tourists, the last thing I wanted to do was to witness a bunch of clueless idiots standing up on massive coral beds and wanting to slap every single one of them…but we went and it was great, not too busy, not full of stupid tourists abusing the place, just a whole lot of spectacular sea life close to the shore enjoying life while people swam considerately around them, marveling, not touching, not destroying, not being stupid. Im so glad we went, it was spectacular. We took turns at going out but didn’t stay in too long, the water was quite cool and we planned on getting back for lunch and Lucys nap.

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We saw these creatures, and probably more…Vanan saw some kind of eel but we aren’t sure which kind…he didn’t stick around to look too closely!

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After our busy weekend we spent the next couple of days taking it easy, doing some shopping, playing in the sand and catching a few moments of the crew shooting channel 7’s Sunrise out on the beach….we also “bumped into” Guys Sebastian that night, I may have ran after him and followed his group into a restaurant before chatting to him like an idiot and asking for a photo…no regrets. haha.

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Our next adventure was to hire a car and take a drive up to the North Shore, we briefly stopped in at the Dole plantation, mostly because we felt we had to…it was interesting enough but not the kind of thing we wanted to dedicate much time too…plus we needed a toilet break and wanted to grab some breakfast…we did eat actual breakfast though, and didn’t just share a dole whip.

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Next stop was Kaena point, we drove out along the airfield near a massive wind farm and parked the car then headed out along the beautiful beach and 4WD tracks in the hope of seeing Whales, Seals and nesting albatross. We struck all three, there were sooo many whales out splashing and jumping and shooting water in the air, I was like a kid at Disney on ice! mesmerized!! we saw a few soaring Albatross which was amazing, they are huge. We were disappointed to hear from other hikers that there hadn’t been any seals out on the point but we continued on regardless….and hoping with all hope that maybe they would show up anyway. Walking through the protected seabird nesting area was great, they have it fenced and gated to keep dogs and other pests out, and roped walkways so the birds and humans both had their place. They must be so used to people though, we came across a few nesting right close to the path and they didn’t even flinch, I guess their main objective was to sit on their eggs and no humans were going to scare them off their duties.

When we finally arrived at the point we were welcomed with an amazing view, surrounded by blue ocean, mountain and nesting area, we could see no seals. Oh well it was a good trek anyway. The sandy slopes weren’t particularly toddler friendly so Vanan went for a wander before we were to head back…and…found the seals!! they were there all along, snoozing in the sun, if you were keen enough to walk an extra 5m, big ask right? haha…ah so so glad! Three fat monk seals enjoying life, just like us.

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3.5hrs well spent, our feet were keen to get into some thongs and onto the sand so we headed back with a spring in our step and keen for the next stop…lunch and big waves!

We stopped in at the very vintage/retro Haleiwa, bought some shells, ate interesting food from food trucks, wandered a few shops, bought a print to hang back home, and cooled off with the original Matsumoto shave ice…im not sure what the fuss is all about, it was way to syrupy for our tastes (Ok, im sure Lucy would have been happy eating it all day) perhaps some of the modern ones in town would have been better, they advertised natural flavourings…but I did learn not to trust ANY American advertising…scammers.

We were keen to find some of the North Shore’s famous big waves, we were a bit late in the season but hoped we’d still find something, or at least any wave to catch, Waikiki is just so flat, us Aussies like a bit of white water. The day was fast escaping us so we chose 1 beach (rather than the 4 I was hoping to visit) Waiamea bay. But on the way thought we would chance it to see if there were turtles on the beach at Laniakea…and boy was there! A massive green turtle, the size of an adult human just chillin’. I wished I had snorkel gear though as there were a whole bunch in the water munching around the rocks, they would stick their heads up and wave their little arms (arms?? fins??) just amazing. I managed to get a great shot of one riding through a wave but due to the setting sun I couldn’t really get anything recognizable of the others having their feast.
Next stop, Waiamea bay, where waves get to 20 ft high!! …but not this day. They were a mean 4ft and EXTREMELY powerful, there were plenty of people on the beach watching as a handful of brave (experienced) body boarders we out in the thick of it, riding pipelines and getting tossed around (the photos don’t do justice to the size and force of these babies). It looked amazing, and the warm, blue water and masses of white sea foam called me in a way I could not ignore. I stood on the shore as the waves pounded my ankles before they raced up the steep sandy slope. I stepped closer and buried my feet deep in the sand and they pounded against my legs. My hands felt the thick foamy top as the water dragged back. I got on my knees and waited for the wall of water to wash over me, it hit hard and fast and it was so refreshing. Ive never been one to like being dumped by a wave but this was something else, it was humbling and exhilarating and made me feel so alive so I ran in (I was careful, don’t worry) and dove deep under the next wave and then rode one to shore, I could have stayed there all day, it was magical.

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We moved on because it was getting late and we still had to stop for pie and a shrimp truck before driving back down the scenic route. We got pie, it was amazing. Chocolate Haupia cream pie, its what dreams are made of…I must replicate it! We also got a slice of pumpkin Haupia cream pie which was also amazing…and I MAY have gone back for a second slice of the choc version to take home with me too, no sharing!! We stopped in at Turtle bay resort to watch the sunset and then set off for Giovanni’s shrimp truck…so excited for this, we had heard so much about this must try spicy garlic shrimp. What we hadn’t heard though is that the North Shore ISNT Waikiki where everything is open till 11pm, aaaand they were ALL CLOSED!!! whaaaaat? oh my goodness, and it was dark so the scenic route was pointless for the extra hour it would add to our trip so we headed back the way we had come, hoping with all hope to come across a shrimp truck operating past 6pm…no deal! so sad even now writing this. Instead we had the worst KFC drive thru ever, it was ridiculous, staff, food, everything, just a major bummer after such an amazing day, but it was still an amazing day!!

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The rest of our stay went pretty quick and was mostly just swimming, shopping and repacking our bags to fit in all we had bought. But we did also attend a rooftop Luau. I have seen plenty of Polynesian shows in the past but this one was top notch, I always have fun guessing which island/culture is being represented by the costumes before they are announced…mostly I find it fun because Im usually right, lets face it, it wouldn’t be fun being wrong all the time (so Im told) haha.  Lucy had a wild night, first she got inked, then danced, and stuffed her face at the buffet, then she (pretend) chatted for ages to Ruby, Grandpa, Nanna and Oakley on the hotel phone…love that Kid!!

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We checked out of the Hilton on Thursday morning then had a nice chilled last day in Waikiki, eating cheesecake and malasadas, hunting for the nearest farmers market so I could buy me some coconut peanut butter (yes you heard me, best ever!) painted our toenails and took in the beach one last time. before grabbing our bags and heading to the dodgiest (cheapest) motel we could find for the night near the airport. It was a bad night and not worth recapping haha, but we were delivered there in style, our very own limo! woot woot!!

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