Hawaii – day 7: Last Day

As much as it would be nice to be home, it was hard to leave Hawaii. Checkout was at 10am. Thankfully the resort offers a place to store your luggage since the flight was much later in the afternoon.  We dropped off our luggage and took a trip to Costco for Hawaiian shirts for those who wanted and didn’t get one, and the much desired Macadamia nuts covered in coconut and chocolate. Yes we bought and devoured more than I should admit to.

We went to a sushi place for lunch. The sushi came around on a conveyor belt and you could choose from the belt or from the menu based on the color sections. We each got several different plates and enjoyed the sushi immensely. It was the best sushi we’d ever eaten. Probably because the fish was fresh.

We took a drive around the North Shore, saw the blow hole and some beautiful scenery, before heading back to the resort to pick up our luggage and head off to the airport.

It was hard to say good-bye to Hawaii and hello to work the next day but we managed. Would we go back – yes! But if we could avoid all the travel delays it would be a much louder YES!

Hawaii – day 6: Shopping, Souvenirs and Surfing

Shopping and Souvenirs and Surfing

After the surfing yesterday, the boys decided that they’d need rash guard shirts before they could go out on the surfboards again. So off we went to Target to see what we could find. We didn’t find any good shirts there but were able to get some little stickers for the car. We walked next door to Sports Authority and found some appropriate surfing shirts. We were then off to the stadium for some souvenir shopping. There were a lot of vendors. Some with good prices, some with not so good prices. We came back with a few goodies and spent a lot of time finding the perfect Hawaiian outfit for baby Ethan.

After our morning of shopping we took off to get some lunch and then go surfing. We went to a burger place for lunch that Mike thought was supposed to be the best Kua ‘Aina, (more like 2nd best). Back home to the resort to change into swim clothes grab the surfboards and hit the beach.

I read while Amanda splashed around in the water and the boys were surfing. There were a lot of local families at the beach with picnics and their chairs. We were there for a while, long enough that the sun started setting making the sky look like a beautiful water colored painting of pinks and purples. Amanda and I took pictures of the sunset as the boys finished out the night surfing. Then it was back to the resort to return the surfboards, clean up and pack for checkout the next morning.


Hawaii – day 5: Surfing and the Polynesian Cultural Center

Early Morning Quick Surfing Trip

We received a call early in the morning from Mike of Boarding House surfboard rentals. He met as at the front of the resort with 2 surfboards. After the boys changed into their suits we took off for the beach about 20 minutes away from the resort. After much trying, there were a few good rides on the boards before we headed back so they could change and we could go to the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Polynesian Cultural Center

coconutWaterWe took a beautiful scenic ride to get to our destination. On the way there was a man selling coconut water so we stopped to get a fresh drink. Before we even left on the vacation to Hawaii, many people recommended visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center. So Mike had our tickets set up for the Luau and the evening show Breath of Life. We started off by exploring the island nations of the Polynesia. Our favorite place to visit was Tonga. The main guy doing the presentation made us laugh. He was so funny. We learned how coconut milk was made – amazing to see how what you drink on a daily basis is pulled from the coconut. We saw a guy climb a tree – fast, really fast. and were able to sample a much needed, ice cold mango drink.  It was a HOT day! After visiting the different places, learning that Honolulu and ukulele are most likely to be pronounced wrong by main land Americans and learning about the Hawaiian dance we were off to see the “Rainbows of Paradise,” Hawai’i’s only water-borne show.

We found a place to sit on the lawn, since all the benches were already taken. When the show started, the emcee asked where everyone was from. When it came to the East Coast most of the noise came from our area. It was pretty funny that we were all sitting together.


We were next to some New Yorkers. They were the first to comment on the fact that those from the East coast seem to gravitate to the same places. It reminded us that we did, in fact, end up in the hot tub at the resort with people from New Jersey.  While we were sitting their watching the boat show a mother duck and her little ducklings walked past us on their way to the water. A short time later one loan baby duck started looking for his mother. I was reminded of the book from my childhood by P.D. Eastman, Are You My Mother where the little bird was looking for its mother. The poor baby duck was quacking up a storm and looking everywhere for his mom, I hope he found her. After the boat show we were off to the 3d movie of Hawaii (in air conditioning – yay!) and then off to the Luau.

pigWe chose the traditional Luau so that we could experience the tastes of Hawaii. After we were seated and eating our purple Taro rolls, the emcee got up and told us what we’d be eating that night. We took a walk out to the pit where our roast pig was covered with blackened palm leaves. It was then taken out of the pit by two men and carried into the pavilion. The luau was buffet style. We could choose from Spicy Kimchee, Hauula Tomato and Goat Cheese, Poi, salad, Lomilomi Salmon (yum!), fresh papaya, pineapples, steamed fish, mango chicken, Kalua Pork, Teriyaki marinated Strip Loin, steamed white rice, Honey Roasted Molokai Sweet Potato & Roasted Coconut (yum!) and Poi. There were some pretty yummy dishes and some that I wouldn’t want to eat again (Poi) but all in all we had a good time and enjoyed the flavors of the islands.

Before the evening show we took a bus ride to see BYU Provo and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Hawaiian Temple. We were able to get out of the bus and walk around the grounds of the temple as well as go into the visitor center. The feeling in this sacred place was peaceful and serene. It was a good place to be and reflect on what is important, as the sun was setting.

temple family_temple

We returned to the Polynesian center and made our way to watch the evening show. It was an interesting way to learn about the people of the Polynesian. There was dancing and a story and  some amazing fire effects. It was a great show.  I recommend going early to the Polynesian Cultural Center and taking time to see everything. Even with as much as we saw, there was still more we could have seen. It was a great experience.