Just to warn you, this is a pretty long post!
Sometime after our 9th Anniversary in February, Jared and I began discussing what we should do for our 10th anniversary coming up that next year. We have never been on a trip longer than a couple of days together and when we’ve done that, it’s been in conjunction with seminars and conferences for Jared’s work. Even our Honeymoon was only a two-day jaunt up to East Canyon, UT. Because I am pregnant, we knew that we wanted to do something before our actual anniversary since, it takes me a while to be able to leave my babies.
Sometime in June or July, we learned that Jared’s Uncle who is the temple president at the Laie Temple on Oahu was going to be released at the end of October. Jared called his aunt and asked if there would be sometime that would be good for them for us to come down and visit them and see Hawaii.
I was super nervous about this trip for months and months. Frightened to leave our kids, concerned over the cost, petrified to fly over the ocean…you get the idea.
Thankfully, my sweet friend and neighbor, Bernadette, offered to take my kids so that we could go and I could have some peace of mind. She’s an amazing friend and I really love how picky she is about the things she exposes her kids to so I felt very safe leaving them with her.
My friend Christina was a sweet heart and dropped us off at the airport early the morning that we left.
It was beautiful rainy weather when we arrived and it was really beautiful driving up to the northern part of the island. Our flight had been delayed by three and a half hours so we missed some of the activities that Jared’s aunt and uncle had planned for us to do that day, which was a bit of a bummer but we were able to meet them for dinner at the Polynesian cultural center in their fine dinning restaurant. It was very fun to be their guests since many of the employees knew them and we got to meet quite a few people.
Here is Jared’s cute aunt Kaye (somehow, Ross escaped every time I pulled out the camera). The décor in there was absolutely amazing! I couldn’t believe the size of the place. The amazing torches and murals were incredible.
Jared, ready to start packing it in at the all-you-can-eat buffet.
After dinner, we were able to go to the “Ha: Breath of Life” show. It was amazing and beautiful and I was so happy and thrilled that I could experience the show in real life. We bought the DVD because I just wanted to remember the powerful feelings I felt as I watched this show. It really affirms how beautiful life is and how precious our children are.
The next day, we attended the temple in the morning and were excited to be able to go back to the PCC (Polynesian Cultural Center) again for the tour since we missed it because of our delayed flight. I wish we could have spent even more time there, it has such a fabulous atmosphere there.
On the tour we watched a few shows, and sadly, my camera was flaking out so most of these photos are from my phone. Thank goodness that cell phones have cameras!
This guy was amazing and he was able to milk a coconut with his bare hands!
Here’s this cute guy I was enjoying my experience with.
I loved watching the various styles of dancing that each group of islands displayed on the parade of colors that goes past in canoes. As you can tell, it was pretty crowded.
After our tour, we had fun talking to our tour guides and I learned that one of them is a cousin of our good friends. It’s certainly a small world!
After a busy day at the Temple and PCC, it was nice to go back to Kaye and Ross’s to just spend some time visiting with them.
The next day we had a new adventure that I’d never experienced before….we went snorkeling at Hanauma Bay!
Here is a photo as we walked down the bay…you can see the reef from up the hill.
I actually hate this photo of me…but at least it does prove that I really was there. I was so nervous about going snorkeling…poor Jared was super patient with me. I used to be so fearless…that is until I became a mommy. Now, I either know how mortal I really am, or it’s that I know that my kids need me but doing things that I used to think were fun adventures (like climbing up the face of mountains, snorkeling, flying over the ocean,…etc.) make me nervous. Too bad for Jared that I was less nervous about things before we got married, he was the one that was considered the more cautious one when we met. How time and experience can change things.
Anyhow, I convinced Jared to get me a floatation device for around my waist…which now I think I should have thought twice about….I was so buoyant with my pregnant belly that I kept being pushed back to shore. Poor Jared. We kept going pretty far out and then suddenly a big wave would come up and push me back to the beach. Thankfully, we were able to see some fish. The water probably would have cleared up a bit if we could have gone out a little further.
Here’s one of the best photos we got with the little underwater camera we got.
This photo of me cracks me up because I was trying to keep my head and body in the water enough to be in the photo I was just so floaty. The weirdest thing about snorkeling when pregnant is that when I was watching a school of fish I suddenly felt like that’s what was in me…causing a little wave of nausea that I didn’t expect.
After our snorkeling adventure that day, we had planned on going to the swap meet, but for some strange reason (called a game), they had decided to close it for the day. Too bad, because I was really looking forward to going.
We decided to head up around the island the opposite way that we came down and stopped at the Dole plantation just to look around at the gift shop and the pineapples growing around the front. We decided to pass on the maze since we wanted to see some other things on the North Shore as well.
Jared was laughing at me as we drove along and I was amazed at the red iron-rich dirt they have there…especially that I kept taking photos of the dirt. On the North Shore, Jared and I stopped to have some of Matsumoto’s famous Shaved Ice. It was pretty good, though I have to admit, I’ve come to the conclusion that coconut “flavoring” is not my favorite. I like real coconut but if it’s fake it’s yucky to me. Luckily, Jared didn’t mind and enjoyed the rest of mine while I enjoyed the rest of his.
After our little treat, we went on a little hike and wondered around the Botanical garden by Waimea Falls. It was simply GORGEOUS there, and one of my favorite things that we did (okay, who am I kidding…I loved most everything we did but this was one of the most beautiful).
Here we are in front of the falls. They were beautiful and there were lots of swimmers there even though it was going to close in about half an hour. I really enjoyed our walk there more than the falls themselves I must admit.
The next day was Sunday so we decided to walk over to the Temple’s Visitor Center and take some photos as well. Jared’s uncle and aunt also spoke in a two wards that day, which we got to attend and that was fun. I am amaze that they can speak so often and not run out of interesting things to say.
I had fun chatting with the sister missionaries there…I guess I’m just young at heart (or just immature), but I tend to get along really well with younger unmarried people…probably that’s why I loved teaching teenagers in high school (though I have to say that those who are junior high age are really difficult for me to be around…they are a little too emotional for me). I thought it was funny/interesting that all the sisters at the Hawaii Temple Visitors center wear matching dresses and it’s the color of Hawaii….and the background for the Christos there is that same Aqua-Teal color.
Just a disclaimer, it’s so windy in Hawaii that my hair never looked great outside—even if I had it in a ponytail.
The next day, Monday, we went to Pearl Harbor. It was really interesting and I would have loved to spend more time there. We walked around looking at all the plaques by the water and then only went to the free Pearl Harbor Museum there, the Arizona Memorial and the Bowfin Submarine and Bowfin Museum. By the time we had done all of those things oddly enough my left ankle was really swollen and I didn’t want to walk anymore. I wish we had more days to spend there because it was really interesting there.
Here are some survivors of Pearl Harbor that we got our photos with.
The “Tree of Life” art piece that was on both sides of the Arizona Memorial.
Here are some photos of Jared on the Bowfin.
So glad that the doors at houses are not this small.
Both Jared and I on the Bowfin.
After our Pearl Harbor visit, we decided to try to go and see if we could spot a turtle on this beach that Jared’s aunt and uncle called “Turtle Beach” we were excited to see this big guy.
The area around this turtle was roped off and there were people all around. It’s so cool that we could be so close to such a beautiful creature.
The next morning, we prepared to leave for home. We really wanted to watch the sunrise so we woke early and walked down to the beach (it wasn’t really much of a feat since I still hadn’t adjusted to their time zone and was waking at 4am every morning). The sky was pretty cloudy so it wasn’t the best sunrise but it was still beautiful. As most everything there did, it made me wish I had a better camera with a better lens that could shoot wider.
A runner came past us and offered to take our photo which was much appreciated.
I had seen this idea on Pinterest and thought it was really cute idea…I wasn’t expecting the wave to wash away our names right before I took the picture though.
I love this plant…so I thought I’d share a photo.
We went back to the house and then got ready and attended the Temple for a session. We got to see Jared’s aunt Kaye one last time and enjoy the peace the temple brings. Afterwards, we had a little time until we needed to head to the airport, so we took a walk above the Temple where there is a beautiful garden and an old graveyard with a beautiful view of the ocean and mountains on the opposite side.
At the bottom of the hill about to ascend on our walk.
Jared was cracking me up with his obsession with the coconuts on the trees.
I, myself was a little obsessed with the gorgeous plumeria flowers. Their fragrance is so AMAZING.
After our walk, we packed up the car and drove to the airport, we did take one detour past the Macadamia Nut Outlet Store to get some treats. It was pretty much a tourist trap but it was an interesting place to stop.
The airport was insanely busy and I was so homesick for my kids I was wishing that Scotty really could beam me up. I wore the Lai that Kaye gave us at the airport so it wouldn’t get crushed and got a ton of attention from that….not exactly what someone who’s six months pregnant wants but it was okay.
All I wanted was to see my babies but I was really thankful for the time that Jared and I were able to spend on a new experience together. I think it really has helped to strengthen our relationship to have spent some time alone together. I’m so thankful that we were able to go see a place that I’ve always dreamed of going to. I’m even more grateful that Jared is my best friend in the whole world and that I’ve been able to know him these past years and married almost ten years to him. He’s a great man.