Sunday, July 19, 2015


Tony and I took the girls on a vacation to Hawaii this past week. It was the first time our family of four have flown together. We all were so excited about this trip! It was an amazing week full of fun, new experiences, family time and relaxation. 

Here we go! 

The girls were so excited to see the waters of Hawaii and feel how warm it was, that our first stop (before the grocery store or our cottage) was the beach. Off the plane and straight to the sand. 

 Yes... the start of out Summer Vacation 2015!

Tony and just started laughing on the way from the airport to the cottage. We laughed because deep down we truly didn't know if this place was going to work for Tony and his chair. But to our relief the cottage was more than we expected and worked just fine with Tony's chair. 


Lola starting vacation off right! 
We weren't at our place for two minutes before the girls
were catching Geckos and swimming in the pool!

After we settled into our place the girls begged to go back to the warm waters of Kailua beach. It was only a 5 minute walk / two minute drive so we said why not. 

The girls were so excited about snorkeling we went straight to Hanauma Bay Reef Reserve to get our fix! It was a gorgeous day and the girls were fantastic at snorkeling. They laid across boogie boards with their snorkels in the water as I snorkeled and pushed the three of us around the bay. We saw so many cool fish and coral. 

Tony was in heaven... the weather was great, the sun was out, and he was able to relax and listen to a new Stephen King book. 
Tony's view while kicked back....

The girls loved looking at the chart of all the fish they saw in the water. 
They each pointed out their favorite find that day! 

A yummy snack after  a successful snorkel, the first of many Shave Ice on this trip! 

On our way back to our cottage we stopped at the Halona Blowhole, and found a hidden beach to hike down to. Actually this was a beach where my brother and I swam with turtles 15 years before, I was so excite to find it again... I knew the girls would like it whether there were turtles or not. 

Home for happy hour by the pool and a swim before heading out with my friend Marie for a fantastic dinner of Ahi Poke !

DAY Three
We headed to Ala Moana Beach Park before settling into Waikiki for the  day. 
Ala Moana Beach park was like a warm bathtub. Clear, warm, still water, perfect for a leisure paddle or swim. The best part about this beach was the beach mat for Tony that went all the way out to the water. We enjoyed this beach for a few hours. 

This is one of my favorite pictures of the whole trip! 

Waikiki Beach!!! Where the girls surfed for the first time!

I wish someone could have snapped a picture of the girls on this board with me. It was great. Lola and Ellie took turns and the two of us would paddle out to those waves and try our best to catch one. I will be honest, I was only able to catch one wave each girl, but if definitely left them wanting more. 

Diamond Head in the background of these cuties. 
The girls met quite a few friends on this trip! 

We got the opportunity to meet up with one of Tony's old surfing  friends. His name is Tony too and his family lives on the island. Him and his wife (Toni... yes there are a lot of Tony's this evening) work at Dukes, so we got the table hook up right on the beach. It was the perfect end to a perfect day! 

{Teagen, T.J., Lola, Ellie, Taylor}
{Tony and Tony}

DAY Four
Breakfast like queens. Nothing screams vacation like this shot!

This day we headed up onto the North Shore to explore all the surf spots Tony's always wanted to see. It was a good day to do it, since it was pretty wet and rainy. Though it's Hawaii rain and not all that bad. We took the scenic route up the east side of the Island and Shark's Cove {aka Dolphin's Cove by the girls} was our first stop. 

Shark's cove was perfect for a little tide pooling, we found some awesome shells!

Ellie, so cute! She was my partner in shell seeking!
Next stop, Waimea Bay. 
This spot is one of Tony's favorite to watch. Though this is summer time on the North Shore and the waves are not large by any means, but still cool to see where it all goes down come December. 

{note: Tony got stuck on this beach mat... not a fun 20 minutes for me... I'll tell you that!}
The girls loved this bay! 

Look close... there is a pod of dolphins out there... I was so bummed I didn't have a paddle or surf board with me because they were close enough to swim too. 
On to Turtle Bay, where we met one loan Sea Turtle... beautiful. 

Last beach stop on the North Shore was my very favorite... Pipe Line! You could almost tell how the perfect wave will break here sometimes. The beach was pristine and very peaceful. The girls also loved this beach for the shells and fun shore break. 

Time to take a beach break and head into Haleiwa,
 a popular but quaint surf town on the North Shore. 

The most popular Shave Ice on the Island... a much have!

Shrimp Truck.... can I say Garlic Shrimp... Awesome.  
Though the girls scrafed this plate up before I got more than just a taste. 

We also did a bit of shopping in Haleiwa!

DAY Five
We keep it simple and relaxing the next two days of the trip by saying close to the cottage and hanging at Kailua beach, not a bad place to hang... it was voted the best beach in the world for 2015. I started out with morning Paddle on Kailua Beach with my friend Marie (I used to teach with her, she moved to Oahu when her husband was stationed here). It rained when we first started out but the skies parted for us and we had a blast! 

 There were islands to paddle to, we made it out to Flat Island. 

 Then all of us just picked a spot and had a fun relaxing beach day!

 Home to more geckos ...
 and the girls favorite part of the trip... THE LOFT... where the slept every night. 

 DAY Six
Another day with the only plans on the books was to relax. I had to post this picture because one of the best parts of vacationing are lazy long mornings. Families cuddles-nothing like it. 
Lola's ready for the beach... Hawaiian style
Back to Kailua Beach! 

Daddy and his girl Ellie

Marie offered to watch the girls this night so Tony and I could escape and go on a date! 
She recommended this restaurant... it was AWESOME! Awesome enough to actually snap a shot of the food (something I never do)... Im talking the best fish I have ever had!!

  One morning I snuck out to have coffee on Laniki Beach. It's really the only beach Tony wasn't able to access but I had read how beautiful it was and took advantage of how close it was to our cottage. it was a lovely peaceful morning. 

DAY Seven... our last day
Well on our last day in Hawaii we took a break from the beach and headed out to Pearl Harbor. I had seen it once before, but Tony was really happy that we were able to go see the memorial and I think the girls enjoyed it too. 

We ended the day and the trip with an Hawaiian Luau at Paradise Cove. 
It was a great way to end such a fun vacation! 

Rides on the Outriggers

Hawaiian Tatoos

Luau Games
Getting the Pig

Tasting Poi for the first time... classic!

Lola, Ellie, and I got to Hula on stage... horrible picture but you get the jest... 
poor Lola was behind the Hula teacher. 

The Show... the girls loved the Fire!

Tony and I feel blessed that we were able to take this trip and show the girls Hawaii. 
We were able to make such fantastic memories and reconnect! 
Hopefully bringing a little of that Aloha spirit home with us!

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