The Philly-Stones were staying in Philadelphia for the holiday. Erin told us some months ago that she and her family had agreed to spend Christmas in Hawaii. Tough duty! It didn’t take Dana long to conclude that 1) she would not be seeing one set of kids at all for Christmas, 2) she would not see the other set of kids unless she was in Hawaii for Christmas, 3) we had never visited Hawaii, and 4) she could resolve items 2 and 3 by also visiting Hawaii. We were on our way!
We met up with everyone at the Disney Aulani resort next to Honolulu. Nelson, Erin, Hudson, and Parker went on a different flight with Angela. They arrived a few hours after us.
The resort was very pretty with palm trees and lots of water features. It also sits right on the water, so everything was very picturesque. Nelson loves Hawaii and settled in immediately. Dana and I were both a little sick with a serious cold, and the heat and humidity was nice, but the noise and crowd density was a bit exhausting. We did figure out early on that if we rose early, we could eat breakfast and watch the sun rise over the ocean in relative peace and quiet. Between our colds and our jet lag, that was heaven.
We had a very good time one afternoon playing on the beach and paddle boarding. Dana and the kids spent an hour in the bay, just roving and perfecting their style. It was an absolutely beautiful day to be out, though the sun in Hawaii is deceptively strong.
The next morning was Christmas Day and we had presents to open. It was a somewhat subdued celebration since we had to carry all our presents there and back, but Christmas is always a good time when you get hang with the boys. We followed up with a Disney Character Breakfast. The food was pretty good and the noise and “entertainment” relentless. I couldn’t tell whether the boys cared one way or the other. They did enjoy that their mother gave them free reign over the buffet with its collection of donuts.
While the Fongs spent another day and a half at the resort, Dana and I left Christmas afternoon for a few days on Maui. I know it seemed like a good idea at the time, but somehow, I reserved tickets on a turbo-prop plane that landed at the small airport on the other side of the island from our hotel. We took a very pricey Uber to get there.
We made our decision to visit Hawaii to late to make reservations in the same resort as the Fongs, but we stayed in another place, not far away. While ours didn’t offer the same luxury, they did have a wonderful shuttle service to the places we wanted to go. That meant we go to talk to locals about where we should go. The weather was beautiful th echo time, except we ha a fairly major storm one night that stirred up a lot of sand in the bay.
We spent lots of time with the Fongs when they arrived, but we also went out looking for sea turtles! Our first day out we swam around a reef. No turtles, but lots of small, very colorful fish. The sand in the water limited visibility, but it didn’t seem too bad.
The next day we hired a guide to help us find the turtles. We kayaked out into the deeper water. Unfortunately, the water was still difficult to see through, possibly worse than before, and despite having an expert with us, we still didn’t find a turtle. The guide said it was his first time in over two hundred trips without success. Bummer! We had to settle for sun shirts that had turtles on them.
We only had five days total to spend, so two days of turtle hunting was about all we had. We left that next day for cold Oklahoma and the real world.