Last month we celebrated my parents 50th wedding anniversary!! Not many can say they hit that big milestone! My mom made me promise on their 49th anniversary that I would not throw a party! My only comment was – we have to do something and going out to dinner as a family didn’t quite seem to fit the bill for that milestone! My parents decide they want the whole family to go to Hawaii! OKAY!!! Twist our arms! The kids were ecstatic and honestly, this may be the only time the ten of us get to do something like this. The trip is planned and we are all looking forward to it! THEN…….
Two hurricanes decide to head to the Hawaiian Islands!! It has been over 25 years since the last time this happened – of course!! We decide that if the airline is flying – we are going and will make the most of it! We were on the island of Oahu and on the west side. All we got was some clouds the day after we arrived with early morning rain. Yep – that was it!!! The other side of the island had some effects and Honolulu/Pearl Harbor shut down. All we had to do was rearrange our daily activities and we were good! (I am warning you now – this is a long post! I shortened as much as I could, but we had over 3,000 pictures!!)
The reason we are here!!
We arrived to this in our rooms
We stayed at the Marriott Ko’Olina Beach Club. We had stayed here before and just love it!!
Our first full day on the island was their actual anniversary, but this was the day most interrupted by the hurricane. We decided to hang around the resort and enjoy what it had to offer! We woke to rain, but it was gone by 10:00 a.m. and then it was overcast until just after lunch. The resort was “tightened down” awaiting the storm and not many were around – we took advantage of a pretty empty pool!!
We ate dinner at our resort at one of our favorites – Longboards. And seriously I believe they have the BEST mai tais EVER!! And now they have frozen mai tai’s! – OH MY! We enjoyed a few of these through our week!
Dad was going a little stir crazy – you flew me all the way here to sit at a resort! Not exactly his style! So the next day, Saturday, we decide to head towards the North Shore to check it out, plus a food truck Scott wanted to see, and then over to Bellows Air Force Station to boogie board. It was overcast all day, but it really ended up being a great day! North Shore had the smallest waves on the island I believe! And you can see all the debris that has washed ashore from the hurricane.
We then headed on and happened to pass the famous shaved ice store on North Shore that started it all!! 10:00 a.m. and shaved ice – hey we are on vacation – no judging! Besides you have to try it! Meagan actually did it with the sweetened condensed milk and ice cream, which was pretty tasty!
After this we headed our way towards Bellows, which took us right by the food truck Scott wanted to stop at. He had seen this on Drives, Dives, and Diners. We found it – but it was closed due to the hurricane. We were driving – so the picture is not that great!
Next stop – Bellows! This is the most beautiful beach on Oahu and it takes a military person to get in! Dad being retired military allows the kids to get to do things they will not get the opportunity to do in the future. There is a portion of Bellows that is open to the public before you get to the gate where you need ID. Scott and I learned to boogie board here in 1986. The sand is like powder! Again, you can see all the debris due to the hurricane – usually this beach is very, very clean.
We are able to get dad a special wheelchair to get him out on the beach. He so loved watching the kids attempt boogie boarding.
Rick injured his back the day before in the pool trying to pick Maddie and Nicholas up at the same time, so he did not attempt to boogie board since the waves were strong from the hurricane. He took almost all the pictures of the day. Luckily his back improved for the rest of the trip.
Nicholas boogie boarding for the first time. He had an absolute blast! These waves were perfect for the kids.
I love this picture of him!! He had so much fun!
The waves were strong – we would just stand out by the kids riding the waves and would be knocked over!
Noah rode a few waves, but he spent a good part of the day throwing his football with his mom or anyone willing to catch!
Sunday, Pearl Harbor reopened because the hurricane had passed and the second hurricane had turned north from the islands. It was a gorgeous sunny day!! The kids met a World War II Pearl Harbor survivor and even got his book and had him autograph it. We went out to the USS Arizona. While we waited for our turn to go out to the memorial, we toured the USS Bowfin (submarine). Mom and dad were not able to do this with us. While we were touring Rick had overheard someone mention the USS Utah, which is also still sunken in Pearl Harbor and has a memorial, but you have to go out on Ford Island which requires military ID. This was new to all of us, so we went to see that one too.
USS Bowfin, submarine
USS Utah, it is laying on its side. We had no idea there was another ship still at the bottom of the harbor.
That night we ate at the Tropics in Waikiki. This restaurant is known from the tv show, Hawaii 5-0. This is where mom wanted to do there dinner celebration for their anniversary. We were supposed to eat here on their anniversary, but the hurricane had come in that day.
Monday we hung out at the resort and went down to the lagoon in front of the Disney Aulani to rent paddle boards for the kids. Rick had also learned from a neighbor of ours just down from the resort that there was another small beach area where the turtles like to be. So we took off with all the kids after paddle boarding to see if we could find the turtles and sure enough – we did!! The kids swam with the turtles!!
The football was the best buy my mom made the whole trip!! Noah just loved playing and tossing it!
Tami and Maddie bringing the paddle boards over to the group.
The sea turtles! This was so exciting to see them out in their natural habitat! There was another dad and his son that had done the hike over to this area too that had learned about this secret gem!!
This turtle really hung around Nicholas the whole time!!
This was our view!
This is what we climbed over and around! Noah seriously thought we were trying to hurt him! He was so funny! It was rocky and hard to do in flip flops, but not seriously difficult. Water shoes would have been much better!
This night was our photo shoot. Our gift to our parents were these pictures. I highly recommend this photographer if you are on the island of Oahu!!! He was fantastic!!! These pictures are just a sampling of what we took and have not been edited yet! The kids loved him and he was able to catch a lot and make it a lot of fun.
The photographer is Anthony Callejara.
This was the location (shot by us).
I just LOVE this picture of Maddie and my dad. It is so much them and their relationship!! Anthony was changing the settings on his camera and Maddie sat down on my dad, which is typical for her. I grabbed our camera and took some pictures. Anthony was too and his shots are straight on, but I love this side version.
The following are some unedited pictures from the shoot by Anthony.
LOVE this picture of Scott and Tami with the wave hitting!
This is the same shot I took from the side that Anthony took.
This was absolutely hilarious!! Look at Noah’s face – he soooo did not want to kiss his mom in front of all of us!!
Our last full day on the island, Tuesday, we had a catamaran tour booked. Scott gave up his spot, so that mom could go. She had never been and had tried to go with Tami and the boys on a previous trip they had together and it was rained out. This was an awesome morning and one that I have always wanted to do!! We saw dolphins right in front of the catamaran within 1/2 hour of leaving port, enjoyed the ride and the scenery and then we snorkeled on the way back. The captain had told us we were going to head to what he believed was the most beautiful part of the island – which ended up where we were the night before for our photo shoot!!
The only problem with this trip – it went way too fast!! I just loved being on the water and sailing! While we were off on this trip, Scott and Dad headed back up to North Shore for the food truck – Scott waited in a very long line for food, but said it was good. The boys were not happy that they went without them! Probably a good thing we didn’t know until we got back he was planning that!
That night we went to a luau right at our resort. We had been to it before, but Scott and his family had never done one. This is one of the best on the island and is very family food friendly! The kids have their own buffet with typical kid food – chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, etc. They have stations set up before the meal, so you can learn different things. Maddie made poi, the kids all got tattoos, their is shopping for local items, learn how to play the ukulele, and learn to do the hula dance to name a few things. Through the show there was a part where men were picked to dance and all the kids pointed to Rick! AND he got picked!! Unfortunately, it was dark, so many of the pictures didn’t come out and I hear Scott videoed it, but I haven’t seen it yet! It was a great evening!
Scott and Rick claim to just be watching the hands that tell the story!!
Noah seemed somewhat bored through some of the evening until this guy came out. He made the funniest faces, stuck out his tongue, and made his eyes seem huge. Noah laughed so hard through this! This guy he could relate to because his personality seemed so much like Noah!
This was a fabulous trip – hurricane and all!! I think it was a great way to celebrate my parents and a trip that everyone will always remember!
Mahalo Mom and Dad!!