Friday, January 7, 2011

Hawaii: Christmas Break, 2010

Katie and I went to Hawaii to visit her parents. And hey, it's Hawaii... Who can turn that opportunity down?

We justified the trip for a few reasons:
  • This is the last time we would be able to go on a trip without having to juggle a kid.
  • We wanted to visit Katie's parents anyway.
  • It's Hawaii.
  • Katie was off of school for the Christmas break, and Katie's parents didn't have a whole lot to do that week too because their students were also off for the Christmas break.
  • No housing/car costs for while we were there. As Katie says, everyone needs to have parents who live in a tropical paradise to go visit.
  • We wanted to.

Because I know I usually ignore/skim everyone's excessively wordy blog posts, I'm going to let pictures and captions do most of the describing here.



Christmas day was extended 3 hours because of the change in time zones. The Borens gave us some nice Christmas gifts, the most memorable of which was probably the pink girly Hawaii baby clothes, telling us that we are in fact having a girl (We mailed them the ultrasound telling the gender without seeing it ourselves beforehand).


I worked Christmas eve night for a 12-hour night shift. After staying awake for most of that day on airplanes, I had the best night of sleep in the world that night.

Church in the AM. The branch was severely depleted in numbers for the Christmas break. Katie was nominated piano player.

The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, or "Punchbowl national cemetery." I missed the origins of that name/nickname. Regardless, it's a memorial cemetery for military personnel, notably those involved in the Pearl Harbor bombings. Sobering.

We took a drive up in the mountains and jungle around Honolulu. Fun plants. I want a yard with a jungle in it. And not just because you don't have to mow it...

Phil and Reesa Boren's apartment, where we were, is in the building at the end of the arrow here, on the other side.

We went for a walk along the beach.

And yes, they decorate for Christmas, complete with "let it snow" signs, snowmen figurines, and snowflakes. I didn't see a bit of the actual stuff there.


We went to Pearl Harbor. I'll let the pictures (see slide show above) tell the story.

That night, we did Family Home Evening with the Boren's institute group. We made home-made pizza.


Up to the North side of the island. We went to the Laie temple, and then to the Polynesian Cultural Center. Tasty food. Good show.

This was kind of fun:  There were shops and such set up for people to walk through to get to the show.  Katie grabbed one of these shells and blew in to it.  There was a near immediate swarm of kids to both tables with these shells on them as people tried to figure out how to blow in them to make it make a sound.

Earlier at the PCC, we tried our hands at something called "Poi balls."  I'm posting the videos here of our attempts, and of people there who actually knew what they were doing.

Example one:  What it should be like:

Example two:  Finally a bit of success when we were able to accomplish one little move:


We went to the "Swap meet" in Honolulu: Essentially a tourist trap place where vendors set up stands outside of a stadium, and sell you touristish things. I thought this was kind of fun actually.

We then went back to the PCC.


We had planned on going to Hanauma Bay. When we got there, they had closed it because it was full, so we drove on and decided to do a nice lil' hike we had read about. We were under the impression that this was going to be a simple walk down a 1 1/4 mile path to see a pretty waterfall and walk back, and that's it. Wow. We were so, so wrong. Katie is the only one of us who even thought to bring a water-bottle. The hike took 4 hours because it was incredibly muddy, slippery, and obstacle-ish. I didn't bring my cell phone because, again, I thought it was a simple walk in the park. There we were: a type 1 diabetic, a pregnant lady, a man with two hips and a knee replacement (with the other knee in very bad shape) and his actually very healthy wife. I was worried that we were going to have to leave via medical helicopter, but then again, I didn't even have a cell phone to call one... It's a hike that was actually a very pretty and interesting jungle type hike. The plant life was great! The waterfall at the end was fun, with people jumping from both sides of the canyon into the waterfall pool. I was even swinging from large tree vines at one point. Would I ever do that again in our circumstances? Absolutely not. Besides mom and dad Boren, the people who were down there were almost all young, healthy mid twenties type people. I'm glad we made it out of there with little to report or repair.

We relaxed that evening.


We woke up early this day to do Hanauma bay so that we wouldn't get turned away again. We saved about $30 by going early too. Nobody was asking us for money, and we found out that if you go there before 7 am, you don't have to pay.

The pictures pretty much tell this story too. We saw hundreds of colorful tropical fish, and sea-turtle sightings too. I had 4 sea-turtle sightings. I'm not sure how many of those were the same one, but it was fun. We couldn't touch it, but it wasn't really afraid of people looking at it as it ate algae off of the rocks.

Afterward, the group appeased me as I went body-surfing for a while. Fun stuff! I could spend hours upon hours doing that. It also reminds you of how weak you are when the ocean is throwing you around underneath a wave, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.

We ate at Duke's restaurant in Waikiki with the Boren's missionary people. If there's tasty food, count me in.


We drove to the West side of the island to do some whale watching. We saw one whale out there, and a couple of "maybe" whales. Katie saw one that none of us saw, so it doesn't count :).
We left this night on an overnight flight from Honolulu.  We didn't get much sleep on the airplane, but Katie got a bit in Las Vegas on the floor of the airport.

Very fun trip.  A huge thanks to the Borens for letting us come hang out with them for a week.