Monday, May 28, 2012

Day 4- Princess Emma's Summer Palace/Dole Plantation/Shave Ice/YW Fundraiser Dinner and Dance

Day 4 started for Patrick and I with this view from our hotel room. We were staying in Waikiki, while Kristi and Mike were so nice and watched our kids over night. Kristi and Mike took the kids to the park and they all had a ton of fun getting to play with their cousin Hayden. They did have one mishap though. Joslyn looked the door to Hayden's room while she and Seth were in there and Kristi and Mike don't have the key. Luckily, they figured it out and no one was worse for the wear.
Patrick and I went to breakfast at a restaurant near the hotel and then headed down the Pali Highway to see Queen Emma's Summer Palace. Patrick and I were not impressed. We actually left the tour early. We left partly because they said the tour would be about 45 minutes and an hour and a half into it we still were only half way through. The main reason we left was because we were tired of being told that our culture is horrible and that the Hawaiian culture is so superior in every way and that we will never be able to even come close to as amazing as theirs is. The house itself was pretty and I wish that we would have just gone around on our own instead of going on the tour. I did get the chance to play Queen Emma's piano. Which is pretty special because anything that the Hawaiian Royalty has ever touched is considered sacred and you can be killed for touching it if you aren't of the royal class yourself. Luckily, Queen Emma gave her permission for other people to touch it before she died.
After we left the tour we headed back to pick up the kids and get them ready to go to the Dole Plantation. Joss has been wanting to see where the pineapples grow since we told her that pineapples come from Hawaii. She was even more excited when I told her that we would get to ride on the train too!
Here we are ready for the train to leave the station! This was about as happy as Seth got on the train ride. He wanted nothing to do with it and just cried the entire time.
Joss on the other hand was in heaven!
The train takes you through the fields where they grow pineapple, mangoes, cacao beans among other things. The scenery was gorgeous and the wind felt wonderful.
Here is one of the pineapples.
Some bananas in the trees
After the train ride they have some fun picture cut-outs. I did get my picture taken but I guess we didn't take it with my camera. Hayden playing the ukelele.
Hayden and Joss
Kristi and Mike
After the train ride, we went to the garden. My mom would have been in heaven getting to see all the different trees, plants and flowers. Joss mainly just liked walking around.
In the garden, they have a koi pond. A nice couple was feeding the fish and let Joss have some of their food to give the fish too. She was so funny because she would take one tiny pellet at a time to throw it in the pond.
A few of those fish were HUGE! They must be well fed in that pond.
Our favorite part of the Plantation was the Dole Whip! This was a miracle cure for Seth's crabbiness. As soon as he had some of that pineapple ice cream, he was a totally different kid. Joss also loved the Dole Whip. She still talks about the pineapple ice cream.
On our way to the car we saw a farmer's market and I bought some apple bananas. They were pretty good but I think I'll stick to regular bananas. My kids were pretty lucky that day. Not only were they in Hawaii, got to ride a train, see the pineapples, have a dole whip, but then we went up to the North Shore and had some shave ice. All my life, I grew up with Shaved Ice, but I learned that it is really Shave Ice- no d. We got Strawberry-orange flavoring with ice cream and Azuki beans. It was definitely different having beans in my dessert. It was good though. Not good enough to get it again, but good. In fact, next time I would skip the ice cream and beans and go for the sweetened condensed milk on top. That looked really yummy.
Joss and Seth really enjoyed this special treat too.
We couldn't give it to Seth fast enough.
The West's also enjoyed their shave ice. You can see that Hayden isn't very happy in this picture. It's because his mom stopped feeding him his shave ice so I could take a picture.
After our shave ices, we went home. We were totally bummed that we didn't have more time to go to the beach up on the north shore. We really liked the North Shore area. It has a very different feel to it than Honolulu. More relaxed and small town feeling compared to the big city of Honolulu. We would have stayed there longer but we needed to get back to Kristi and Mike's so we could get ready for Kristi's ward's Young Women Fundraiser Dinner and Dance. Kristi and I are twins and that was really apparent when we realized that we were both planning to wear the exact same outfit to the dance. We both have the same teal pants and didn't even know it. We should have gotten a picture of us both in them but we didn't. In fact, we didn't get a single picture of the two of us the entire week that we were there. Any way, back to the fundraiser. I thought this fundraiser was a great idea. The young women set up a little restaurant. The parents would come and drop there kids off in one of the nurseries depending on their ages. Then they would be seated according to their reservation. You could ask for a private table or a group table. Then we chose between a Cafe Rio style burrito and salad. The Young Women were our waitresses and they brought us our meals and dessert. After dinner they cranked up the music and everyone started dancing.
It was a lot of fun and with about half an hour left, they brought the kids in and made it a family dance. It was so fun and Joss loved getting to dance with everyone. She was so excited on Sunday when we told her we were going to Aunt Kristi's church because she thought we were going to get to go dancing again.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 3- A Day at the Beach/ Laie Temple

Thursday morning we spend our time at the beach. We went to a beach called White Plains Cottages. It was a really pretty beach and was really shallow for a long way out into the ocean. I was a little nervous about how Seth would do at the beach, but that kid loved the water! We did have to make sure that we were always on top of him though because he just wanted to go in farther and farther. Joss has been talking about going to the beach with Aunt Kristi for months now. She was so excited to be there and loved every minute of it. Kristi was nice and bought the kids sand toys to use while we were there. Joss loved filling them up with sand and dumping it out and doing it over and over again. She also loved jumping in the waves and rolling around in the sand. Joss and Seth tried to build a sand castle, but their sand wasn't wet enough and they didn't really want to use the wet sand that I brought up for them.
Hayden was not sure about the beach and he for sure did not like the water. It was a bit cold for him.
Seth started the day off with swim trunks but they soon came off because they were just too big on him. They were 18 month trunks and he is 21 months. My kids are very small.
Joss trying to get more sand.
Seth with his dad jumping over the waves.
That is one happy boy!
Joss loved rolling around in the sand. She did however learn that sand sticks to you every where!
Kristi's Relief Society has a group that goes to the beach and one of the ladies will teach you how to surf. We decided to go to the beach with them so Kristi and Patrick got to go surfing. Patrick even stood on the board for about 5 seconds. Pretty good for a beginner.
I mentioned how the water was shallow for a long way out, but I neglected to mention that the coral reef starts about 5 feet out from the beach. Kristi got a little scratched up when she was trying to get on her board.
One of the ladies from Kristi's ward had a water proof camera and took some pictures of Patrick out in the water.
The kids also got to get on the board. It won't be long before they are out there riding the waves too.
Our family picture at the beach.
And a picture from the beach. It was very beautiful.
After the beach, we grabbed some lunch and headed back to Mike and Kristi's for showers and naps. Later that afternoon, Patrick and I headed off for a date night. We had made arrangements with Kristi to watch our kids over night while we went to the temple and spent a romantic night alone. Thanks Kristi and Mike! Here we are in the car ready for our date night.
On our way to the temple we stopped at the Nuuanu Pali Lookout. The view is beautiful from these cliffs. It was also really REALLY windy and I was so worried about my dress blowing up, which it did a few times, that we decided to not spend too much time there.
It took us about an hour longer to get to the temple than we were planning because of the horrible traffic on the island, but it was totally worth the drive. We were able to do an endowment session and some sealings. It was really special for us to do the sealings because this was our anniversary celebration.
When we finished at the temple, we were starving, so we headed down the road looking for some place to eat and came across L&L Hawaiian Barbeque, which we love from back at home. It was fun to get to eat it on the island. :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 2- Polynesian Cultural Center

One of the things that we really wanted to do was go to the Polynesian Cultural Center or PCC. The PCC is a great place to learn about the different cultures in the Polynesian islands. The center also helps students from these nations gain an education by allowing them to work while they go to school at BYU-Hawaii, which is right next door. The center has different villages to visit and each village has shows to see and activities to try. Here is Joss and I standing in front of the entry waterfall
Joss learning to play one of the games
Patrick enjoying his pineapple delight while we wait for the parade to start.
Joss loved the pineapple delight, but Seth refused to even try it. He missed out because they were delicious.
The canoe parade, or "Rainbows of Paradise" happens every afternoon. The performers travel down the river that meanders through the center. While on these canoes they perform their native dances. Here is the Hawaii Royalty opening the parade.
Tonga- Joss said these were her favorite
Our favorite place to visit was Samoa. Patrick was so excited to try and make fire. Joss liked watching the guys climb the trees and the show was hilarious. Patrick and the kids also liked twirling the fire knives.
People were pretty impressed by Patrick's twirling abilities. When he was in high school he joined ROTC just to spin the rifles and he was really good at it too.
After the parade we decided to get in a canoe ourselves. The kids loved it and it got us to where we needed to be for the luau quickly!
We chose to attend the Ali'i Luau. We really enjoyed getting to see the dancers and the food was delicious. Some more than others. Joss also liked her lei, or her pretty flower necklace as she would call it. We weren't big fans of the poi.
Joss loved the purple taro rolls. And Seth refused to eat anything other than chocolate cake. Seth wasn't feeling well and was pretty much refusing to eat our first few days in Hawaii.
Here is our family picture after the luau.
We would definitely recommend going to the PCC. We really enjoyed our time there. We would have loved to have gone to the evening show "Ha: Breathe of Life". We decided not to go because it was just too late for our kids with the time change.