Day 1 ~ Woke up bright and early and excited!! Flew into Oahu, rented a car, played card games in the hotel, ate at the yummiest Korean BBQ place "678 Hawaii", walked beautiful Waikiki Beach, watched the sunset...
Day 2 ~ Picked up some groceries (Hawaii is EXPENSIVE... we stuck with fruit and cup o' noodles!) before going to church to meet Steve and Marla... at Hawaii's original LDS Tabernacle! Incredible Pearl Harbor tour (including watching divers in the USS Arizona), then sightseeing: famous blowhole, Sandy Beach, Pali lookout, Lanikai, and snacked on granola bars to be hungry for buffet dinner with Lundgrens that night at beachside Dukes! Saw a storeowner grab a shoplifter... yikes!
The President's personally written notes on his speech declaring war...
Quote posted nearby that Eleanor Roosevelt kept during war: "Dear Lord, lest I continue my complacent way, Help me to remember, somehow out there, a man died for me today. As long as there be war, I then must ask and answer: am I worth dying for?"
Day 3 ~ 6am Early wake-up (difficult for the kids, still adjusting to 5 hour time change) to brave the ice cold early morning waters of Hanauma Bay to swim with the fishies! Then famous Leonard's (Portuguese donuts), temple, Lundgren's condo visit where we helped them move mattresses (their first day there!), ate their generous PB&J sandwiches, toured BYUH campus, then awesome luau at Polynesian Cultural Center... kids got called up on stage to dance!
The famous "Shaka" thumb-pinkie official Hawaiian hello hand waving sign came from an LDS sugar cane worker who lost his middle 3 fingers in an accident, but happily waved at everyone so people thought he was making that sign. It stuck!
The dancers: http://youtu.be/5PDnZUMXlNk
Day 4 ~ Played on the Waikiki beach! Perfect light rain (Kas said, "it's twinkling... it feels like daggers of rain death on my sunburned skin!"); thank heavens for McD's $1 menu!
Kassie the fish whisperer: http://youtu.be/sCQWdzD1Jjc
Day 5 ~ Discovered our hotel's FREE BUFFET BREAKFAST that they didn't tell us about! Whaaaat?? Flew to Maui ~ beautiful Marriott hotel right on the gorgeous beach (out our window we could see both green rainforest and blue water!) Stocked up on Safeway groceries
Day 6 ~ The world's MOST BEAUTIFUL BLACK SAND BEACH! Hands down Melanie's favorite part of the trip. Drove the Road to Hana... 42 miles of 600 hairpin turns - took us 8 hours! Breathtaking waterfalls, "Big Dumb Coconut Stand" (rated 7th best ice-cream in world), famous Hasegawa's General Store for PB&Js. Late night pizza and root beer at hotel.
Love this sand and water! http://youtu.be/Q8dHMOXmmWE
Final day 7 ~ A perfect relaxing day ~ swam at Hyatt's 3.5 acre pool with grottos and waterfalls. Fed penguins, swans, flamingos and koi fish. Dancing on the boardwalk to the live band at sunset... yummy subway dinner walking back looking at the stars. Sad to leave tomorrow!