Friday morning was the first morning that I didn’t want to get out of bed so I slept in while the rest of the family headed out to Sharks Cove for another snorkeling adventure. When I finally dragged my sad little butt out of bed I found that Doug had stayed behind as well because his knee was sore and he needed to take it easy. Since we had some time to burn we headed across the street to the Hukilau Café. Yep the name of the little café from 50 First Dates just in case you were wondering. It’s not really the same place, which is kind of a bummer, but the food was good so I was happy. Once the family made it home and had showered we headed over to Surfin’ Tacos again for lunch.
Can you tell me LOVED that place!
Once we were nice and full he loaded up and headed out for our next adventure. The first stop was the Dole Plantation.
I really think it a cool little place to stop and I love looking at all the different kinds of pineapples they grow.
It amazes me that they still pick pineapples by hand! I also love all the bright, fun, tropical colors that cover the plantation.
You can’t leave without having something with fresh pineapple in it so we all had some soft served (no chunk) pineapple ice-cream that was to die for!
After that he headed out to the Hilton off of Waikiki where we walked around and checked out all the different shops in the area and they really beautiful landscape they had.
It was also fun to see all the wildlife they had including flamingos and penguins.
After walking around for a little bit it was time to board the boat for a dinner cruise while the sun set.
It was so much fun and while the food wasn’t on my top 10 favorite places to eat the boat ride was well worth it.
If I was ever to move to Hawaii it would be really fun to work on a boat like that.
We had a great view of Honolulu as well as Diamond Head, that fun crater we had climbed earlier in the week.
After the sun set we ended the night with an amazing firework show.
The only thing that would have been perfect would have been to have someone to cuddle with, but hey there is always next time!
Day 5 was all about relaxation for me with a large part of the day soaking up the sun and relaxing on the beach. The first beach we headed to was Waimea Bay, aka the home of the big rock.
For some reason I wasn’t feeling like swimming but I was happy just sitting on the beach relaxing and people watching.
It was really fun to watch everyone jump off the rock again and Lynn even gave it a go this time.
Jeff and Greg also did a couple of jumps together that looked really cool and were by far the best looking jumps of the day.
For lunch everyone wanted to hit up one of the shrimp shacks that are scattered all along the highway along the coast. Since I am not a seafood girl and Monika and Brittney were not feeling it either we made a quick stop at McDonalds before on our way out.
The rest of the family ate at Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, a popular stop if you like that kind of thing.
Everyone said it was really good so if you are ever on the North Shore looking for shrimp you should check it out.
As for me my McDonalds (a #2 large no pickles or onions with a Dr Pepper) hit the spot. The afternoon we spent a little closer to the house and hung out Hukilau Beach. The waves were perfect for boggy boarding and the boys spent hours on the water.
As for me I found a perfect spot on the beach to sit back and relax. It was heaven!
The night ended with a homemade dinner and the family huddled together upstairs watching a movie.
I love family time like that and just feel blessed to have the family I have.
Day 4 started out nice and low key. A couple people in the group wanted to go the LDS Hawaiian Temple and since it was right now the street I decided to go with my brother Doug to walk around the grounds. I will say this about the LDS temples, they do an amazing job of making their temple grounds breathtaking, and this was no exception.
A lot of the flower pictures from my blog before this were taken there. It was really nice to spend some time with my brother as he shares my same passion for plants and flowers. Once we were done we walked home and started to get ready to go to the Polynesian Cultural Center. You really could spend the whole day and evening there, I love that place!
They have done a great job of putting it all together and the landscape which sits on 42 acres was amazing. I need them to come and do my backyard like this!
Our first stop was the daily water parade that features a boat of dancers from each island that the Polynesia tribes come from. While we watched we had some really good fresh island ice-cream.
The islands are Hawaii,
and New Zealand.
(look at the abs on that guy in the back!)
(they had some amazing back muscles that when they dances you could really see them flex)
It would be amazing to be able to go to each of these islands someday! After that it was over we headed out to visit the different villages that they had set up around the park. Our first stop was the Samoan Village. The guy was really fun to watch as he showed how to make fire by rubbing two sticks together,
crack and open a coconut and then how to “milk” it, and talked a little about his people.
There was also another guy who climbed to the top of a coconut tree like it was the easiest thing it the world.
At the Tongan Village they talk a little about drums and music they make. The best part of it was when they brought up 3 people from the audience, one from the US, on from Japan, and one from Africa.
I think my favorite village had to be the Tahitian Village, not only can the girls really shake those hips but the men are not bad looking either.
(I am one happy girl in this pic!)
Greg and Monica also got pulled up on stage to dance with the dancers; they could not have picked better people to do it!
The both rocked the staged!
Next I headed over to that tattoo area to get a totally sweet turtle on my arm.
Ok so it was just a spray it still rocked. By then it was time to eat so we headed into our Lulu where he are given a lei greeting and feed traditional Hawaiian food including a pig that was cooked in the ground, sooo good!
( I don’t think those 2 ladies in the front are looking at the pig, but can you blame them!)
Once we were nice and full we had a little time to walk around and take some pictures.
As we were walking toward the outdoor theater the sun set on the horizon, it was picture perfect.
To end the night we were treated to a show, Ha: Breath of Life (sorry no pictures, no cameras were allowed). It was full of islanders performing traditional Polynesian songs and dances complete with fire dancers that took your breath away. It was a great way to end another amazing and fun day.
(As a side note I now want to find myself a Polynesian Man who not only lives on a breathtaking beach full of turtles but can also fire dance, I am just saying!)
Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE flowers and I am in constant awe of the beauty of the world around me. One of my favorite things about Hawaii is the warm, tropical colors that are splattered all around you.
I only wish I could grow half of the plants and flowers that I saw in Hawaii in my own backyard. Since that is just about impossible in Idaho the next best thing I could do was take pictures. So here are a few of my favorites, enjoy!
Day 3 started out nice and early again but since Hawaii is 4 hours behind Boise time it really didn’t feel that early. Our first stop for the day was the breathing beach of Waimea Bay.
The water is an amazing color or turquoise, green and blues with white sand covering the bottom of the ocean and beach.
During the winter months it’s a prime surfing spot but during the summer months the water is calm and peaceful. Our main reason for going to this beach was the big rock that is a popular jumping spot. The boys looked like little kids on Christmas and they could not get out to the rock fast enough.
We had a perfect spot on the beach to watch them jump, flip, and do crazy stunts off the rock.
Jeff and Greg even did a few jumps together even though in the picture it almost looks like they feel or pushed each other off.
After watching the boys (and Brittney) jump off the rock a few times I felt the oceans pull and had to get into the water myself. It was such a perfect place to relax in the water and in no time I had the rest of the family in the water with me.
After a few hours of being there the beach started to pick up with others who were swimming or jumping off the rock so we headed to our next location, Sharks Cove. Nothing like swimming at a place where the word shark appears in the name! Luckily the area is named after the white tipped reef sharks that have been found in that area and they are generally not aggressive. It’s a great place to go snorkeling and the water is calm for the most part during summer months. The rocks creates a perfect area for all types of marine life but it also makes walking difficult and painful if you are not wearing any types of shoes. In the winter the waves can reach 40-50 feet and pound the area making it unsafe for any time of water activities including surfing. While I didn’t see any sharks the water was full of fish! It was a great way to spend an hour or so.
By the time we were done we were starving and ready for lunch. We had packed a lunch before we left the house that morning so we loaded up in the cars and headed back to beach near our house for a little picnic.
With 12 hungry adults to feed it was a perfect way to eat lunch.
After we were nice and full our group split up. Jeff, Brittney, Greg, Monika, and Doug all stayed at the beach to go boarding and lay in the sun. My Mom, Lynn, Adam, Nadine, Steph, Nick, and I headed to secret local with a local to a beach that is always full of turtles.
(can you see the 3 that are in this picture?)
It was amazing! Everywhere you looked you could see little heads popping out of the water and then diving back down.
A few of them were close enough to the shore that you could get right up next to them.
You have to be really careful though because Sea Turtles in Hawaii are federally protected which means you can not touch, hold, harass, hurt or hunt them. Turtles amazing me and I have been in love with them since I first saw them years and years ago.
To be able to be on a beach that was covered with them was a dream come true.
Add that to the fact that there was almost no one around, the beach its self was breathtaking and I was in Hawaii, well I think I found the place I want to live…
Oh and as a side note to all my friends who watched the TV show LOST, part of it was filmed on this beach, cool right!!?!
The rest of the day was spent relaxing at home and on the beach. It was really a perfect kind of day.
Day 2 started out bright and early as we were all loaded into the cars and heading out as the sun was just starting to come up. Our first destination for the day was Hanauma Bay off the southeast shores of Oahu.
Since it’s a great spot to go snorkeling it’s also a popular hot spot for tourist so the earlier you can get there the better. The curved bay is a protected marine life conservation so it’s full of coral, fish, and every now and then turtles.
After watching the mandatory movie that basically tells you not to step or pee on the marine life we found a spot for all our stuff and headed into the water.
I love being in the ocean!!! There were a lot of great spots for looking at fish and it was just relaxing.
My brothers even found a turtle! Luckily they had the camera and were able to get some sweet pictures of it.
After a few hours of swimming we packed up and headed out to find some lunch. Since we need to run to Costco to pick up a few things we decided to have lunch there. While we were there the firefighters had the same idea for lunch so I had to take a picture of their sweet truck. Ya I am a 911 junkie.
Are next adventure for the day was hiking Diamond Head, a volcanic crater that is said to have some amazing views.
Now I am not going to lie a hike did not sound all that fun to me. I am fat and out of shape and I hate how it doesn’t take much for me to start breathing hard, its down right embarrassing. But on paper the hike didn’t seem that bad, it was only .8 miles and it was paved some of the way up. Plus it looked like people of all ages and sizes where hiking it and if my pregnant sister was going to do it then so was I! What I soon found out was it might only be .8 miles but it it’s a 560 feet ascend with very little shade. It’s full of switchbacks and very little of the trail was paved. There were sooo many times I wanted to turn around but with the help from my mom, Lynn, Steph and Nick I kept going. Once we got to the 74 steps I thought we were almost there but the steps then lead to a 225 foot tunnel and when you come out of the tunnel and come around a corner you run into this.
The stairway to Hell! Its 99 more stairs that go straight up. I just about broke down. My legs felt like Jell-O from the hike and the first set up stairs, I really did not think I could drag my fat butt up anymore stairs let alone 99 more stairs! I stood at the bottom of the stairs for a good 5- 10 minutes fighting back tears and frustration and then just did it. I have no idea how I got to the top of those dang stairs but I did it!
We were almost there, just a few more spiral stairs (if I never saw stairs again I would be happy) and crawling out of an old military bunker and we were finally at the top. The views were amazing!
But what was more amazing to me was the fact I had made it, it was just want I needed and a great reminder to myself that I really can do just about anything I put my mind to. I’m thankful that my family believed in me too and kept me going when it felt impossible.
After the hike we were all hot and tired so we loaded up and head to Matsumoto’s for shaved ice. I love that place!!! They are not shy on the flavoring and at the bottom they add ice-cream, it’s really really good!
(this pic was from another day but I didn’t get any pictures the first day)
For dinner that night we headed to a place called Surfin Tacos.
It quickly because one of my family favorite spots to eat. I have no idea what they put in their salsas but I think we were all in love with it.
By the time we made it home I think we were all ready for bed and ready to find out what tomorrow would bring.
For months now my family (my Mom, Lynn, Steph, Nick, Jeff, Brittney,Greg, Monika, Adam, Nadine and Doug) had been planning a week long trip to one of my favorite places in the world, Hawaii! As the trip got closer I started to try and find a couple of fun, romantic ideas for me and Steve to do while we were there and was so excited to show him some of my favorite parts of the island. Then as you all know my life exploded around me and I had no idea how I was going to go to Hawaii with my family. How was I suppose to get on a plane and go and have “fun” when all I wanted to do was hide in my house away from everyone and everything? While I knew it might be the best thing for me it felt overwhelming and almost frightening. I didn’t want to be that third wheel that everyone felt obligated to be around. I didn’t want my depressed heart to infect anyone else and drag their spirits down when they were suppose to be having a fun, relaxing time. But I also knew that there is something magical about that place that has a way of wrapping me up in its warm tropical breeze and calming my mind and soul. I needed to go, plan and simple. So on Sunday July 31st I woke up nice and early and found myself steeping onto that dang plane. The 2 hour ride from here to San Francisco was hellish, my seat was away from everyone else and I sat there trying to fight the waves of emotions that swept over me causing me to feel nauseated and overwhelmed. By the time we landed I couldn’t hold it back any longer and the tears started to flow. I felt so alone and helpless even though I was in a large group of family members who loved me. Luckily the flight from San Francisco to Honolulu I was able to sit right next to my brother and across from my mom and Lynn. It was night and day as I felt like I could breath and relax a little. When we touched down in Honolulu I felt in a way like I was home, like I belonged there.
On our way to the rental house we made a quick stop at a little beach that was just breathtaking.
Not only was the ocean calming for me but there were turtles right there on the beach! I LOVE turtles!
It made the hell I had gone through earlier in the day all worth it right then and there. The placed we stayed at was a nice sized house and was really perfect for the number of people we had in our group.
The one down side was the dang driveway had these cracks in it that was filled in by a very spongy grass.
While it looked nice, it was a death trap!
As I stepped out of the van I landed in one of the cracks causing me to fall right onto my hip as I smacked my head on the door to the car, ouch! Needless to say after that every time we got of the cars we would all yell “watch out for the cracks!” One of the biggest pluses of the house was it was right across the street from a nice sandy beach on the east side of the island called Hukilau Beach.
It was perfect to just sit on the sandy beach and watch the waves; I could sit there for hours!
After a long day of traveling and emotions I was ready for bed as soon as the sun set which was good since we were getting up nice and early the next morning to go snorkeling at Hanaumau Bay….
…. to be continued…….
Aloha! You found me! Any day I will be getting that dreaded piece of paper in the mail telling me I am no longer married and no longer a Charles. I have debated on when to start this new blog since official I am not a Galloway again just yet (or at least that I know of) but since I went on my first trip without Steve at my side I decided now was the time. So welcome to the new chapter in my life, it’s going to be a bumpy one! I am going to have a lot of rough patches and when I do I’m going to be honest with my feelings on here. I’m not looking for sympathy from anyone or for people to feel bad for me in anyway; one thing life has taught me is that everyone is going through something tough in their own lives. I have just found that sometimes putting my feelings down paper helps me to sort through things and move on. I also just love having a blog; it’s my way of documenting the crazy things (both good and bad) that happen in my life and having something to look back on in years to come. So sit back and hang on because here I go!