Day 36: End of Vacation

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We are heading home now after 7 nights in Oahu. It was nice to get away and relax for a few days and I’m ready to go home and sleep in my own bed, at least for a night or two!

Some of the highlights we enjoyed in Oahu:
1. Laughing at the almighty wind forces at Pali lookout and trying to stay standing.
2. Swimming with the fish at Hanauma Bay.
3. Admiring the magical sea turtles at Laniakaia Beach.
4. Eating ice cream at Lappert’s and Shave Ice at Matsumoto.
5. Making drip sand castles with J and a pretend ice cream shop with C on the beach while warming up.
6. Exploring history at Pearl Harbor and touring the USS Arizona and the USS Missouri.
7. Paddle boarding at Waikiki.
8. Celebrating Father’s Day with Malasadas at Leonard’s.
9. Eating shrimp from Giovanni’s shrimp truck.
10. Eating poke almost everyday, especially at the good ol’ fashioned La Mariana Sailing Club and Tiki bar
11. Laughing at the cheesy luau at Germaine’s, while enjoying sitting on the beach at night.
12. Watching the kids “fish” in the lagoon with a bucket.
13. Seeing fireworks from our balcony across the Hilton Lagoon on my birthday.
14. Just enjoying family time and the Aloha spirit.

What’s your favorite island? Where should we go next time?

Day 38: Father’s Day

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Eating Malasadas (Portuguese donuts with sugar and fillings) at Leonard’s this morning.

Today I’m thankful for my dad and for my husband. Happy Father’s day to
My two favorite men!! I love you both!

Some of my favorite memories with my dad are playing hide and go seek in the house, going to get chocolate chip roll donuts at Foster’s, swimming at my Oma’s house and Grandma’s house, teasing him when he was reading the paper, body surfing at Zuma Beach, listening to loud music, riding on the back of his motorcycle, driving to Arizona in the blue van, camping at Twin Lakes, eating spaghetti and meatballs, and just loving him and being together

My favorite things about Jeff as a dad are that he provides for our family and loves us unconditionally. I love how he shares his passion for knowledge and history and education and flags and foreign languages with the kids. I love how even when he gets angry or frustrated, that he doesn’t hold grudges or hold on to anger, and is always focused on teaching the kids to do what’s right. I love that he wants to share experiences with them and to show them the world. And I’m
most thankful that he loves me, because I think this is the greatest gift he can give to his children – to love their mother. 🙂

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My favorite part of today was just sitting with Jeff on Waiamanolo Beach in Oahu, watching the kids learn how to jump through the waves and boogie board and body surf for hours. Happy Father’s Day! I love you.

Day 39: I Love Birthdays

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Today is my birthday, and if you know me, you know I love birthdays! I love celebrating life – mine, yours, family members and friends.

Typically I’ve had a dessert exchange with all my friends on the night of my birthday, where everyone brings something to share and we get to taste a little bit of everything. I like to just be with everyone I love and that’s the perfect way to celebrate for me.

Thank you to everyone who sent birthday wishes and celebrated with me via Facebook, and email, texts and phone calls! I loved hearing from you!

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I had a really great day in Hawaii with my family. We woke up early and went snorkeling in Hanauma Bay. We loved swimming with the tropical fish in the warm water. I was hoping to see a sea turtle, but no luck. J saw an octopus and Jeff saw an eel. I saw lots of colorful fish and schools swimming around. I loves being in the ocean, just floating around and exploring with the tide and my family.

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Tonight we went to Germaine’s Luau. I loved most of it, especially the fire dance and Tahitian dancers. The last time I was at a luau was when I was 11 in Tahiti with my soccer team. This one had an announcer who reminded me of Rodney Dangerfield, with his sidekick who reminded me of Tammy Faye Baker, serving up some Velveeta cheese! The roasted pork was tasty and the location was great. Having a good laugh with Jeff was well worth it, and the kids seemed to enjoy the show too. I’m still laughing just thinking of it.

Life is good and today was great! I hope you had a good day too.

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Day 40: Pearl Harbor

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Today was our hands on history lesson. We chose our first visit to Hawaii to stay on Oahu so we could see Pearl Harbor. We took a boat ride out to the USS Arizona Memorial where 1,177 men died and are enshrined undersea. It was powerful! This is where World War 2 began for the US.

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Afterwards, we took a shuttle over to the USS Missouri and took a guided tour aboard one of the last US battleships. The Instrument of Surrender was signed on board of the USS Missouri which ended World War 2. So we saw both the beginning and the end of the war in one day. Wow.

The best part was hearing J say that she could really understand history so much better by actually experiencing a part of it and not just reading about it out of a text book. That made the trip so worth it.

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Love is all you need…

Day 41: Big Kids Now

Two days into vacation, and I’m realizing we have big kids now. They are more independent and less needy which makes it easier. On the other hand, they all have big opinions and more needs that they tend to vocalize over and over again, which makes it harder.

I like to just go with the flow, especially in Hawaii; to have a general plan, but one that can change. The kids want to know what’s coming when and to have a say in the process and decision making. That’s probably ok with one kid, but when three kids are barking orders and I’m trying to please everybody, including my husband who hates the sand and being hot, it’s a bit more challenging to make everyone happy.

What I learned very quickly, is that I need to manage their expectations a little better. They just want a little bit of control over their world and knowing what we’re doing for the day helps them to feel more at ease. Duh… I’m the same way. It helps me to help them too and then we’re all happy.

So today we decided to spend the entire day on Waikiki beach without getting in the car. It was wonderful! We rented umbrellas and chairs, paddle boards, a paddle boat and a raft. We brought our lunch and a cooler with drinks and relaxed all day. It was perfect and we all had smiles on our faces!!

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Day 43: Aloha Vacation

I’ve wanted to visit Hawaii all my life and today my dream came true. I had that giddy feeling in my body and I thought I’d show you what that looks like…

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I love the warm air with a cool breeze, my happy kids and my happy husband, and all of us hanging out together, playing in the water with nothing to do!! Of course I have a list, but that’s just in case we don’t know what to do!! But I don’t think that’ll be a problem.

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(we’re big, dorks!!)

What are your favorite things to do, see, and /or eat in Oahu?