One of my favorite days in Hawaii was the day we spent in Waikoloa.
The guys and mom had arranged a tee time to play golf nearby, so the whole family drove up to Waikoloa for the day. We went to the Waikoloa Village Hilton, which is the same hotel our family stayed at over 15 years ago! This place was even more gorgeous than I remember!
We had arranged for Alison and I (and the kids) to have a day pass at the resort, meaning we had a room to use until 6 PM and had access to the pools. But the whole family decided to walk around for a bit and grab some lunch. I think we were all pretty excited when we walked down the main staircase and caught the first glimpse of the lagoon, waterfall and ocean in the background.
The sea turtle we saw in the lagoon:
We went to a casual restaurant located right on the dolphin cove, meaning we had entertainment for the afternoon too! June was IN HEAVEN. She had been so into dolphins in the weeks leading up to our trip, specifically spinner dolphins. Her nightly routine had started to include her playing on our bed, us throwing a pretend fish toward the end of the bed and her flopping to retrieve it.
After that, the guys and Mom headed off to golf!
Back at the resort, Alison and I had a really great time with the kids.
The resort has three ways to get around (it's a big place). The tram, a boat and lots of footpaths. We ended up taking all three! The main pathway to walk the resort had tons of art and statues along it, which the kids wanted to pose with.
The tram was definitely the fastest (and most air-conditioned!) of the three. The kids loved riding on it.
The resort was just so cool...so many things to see, like the flamingoes and the rope bridge:
We went to their biggest pool, which had a really awesome side devoted to kids. It was shallow (only going about up to June's chest) and had coarse sand all along the bottom. June loved it because she could have the freedom to go everywhere she wanted, but wasn't worried about going under water. Bennett was so happy to sit in the first few inches of water and play with the sand. Even Kai was totally happy to play here.
Actually, Alison and I were sort of waiting for Kai to tire of the kiddie section of the pool and ask to move on to the lagoon or the other pools, but he didn't want to! We had a mid-day ice cream (overlooking the dolphins again!) and asked where the kids wanted to go next. Kai and June both asked to go back to the sandy pool, so we did!
No doubt, watching all three kids was an undertaking. Especially for several hours in the sun, in water while two of the three don't know how to swim. But it was a surprisingly relaxed day, in my opinion at least. The kids were all so happy to be where they were, so we weren't dealing with tantrums. The biggest stressor for me was making sure the kids all got enough sunscreen...and I'm happy to announce that no one got a sun burn!
(Alison and I were laughing at the beginning that I hadn't brought any SPF less than 50, but I think it worked out in the end!)
There was even some time where Kai and June were off splashing around nearby and Bennett played happily by us and Alison and I got to just sit back and chat. I was surprised to get such a relaxing moment - I had not been expecting that when I was thinking about our day of watching the kids.
After another hour or two at the kiddie section of the pool after ice cream, we headed back to our little room. It was so nice to get some showers in and get everyone cleaned off and in fresh clothes for us to meet the rest of our group out to dinner. Alison was SO SWEET helping me get my kids ready. Kai is pretty self-sufficient, but my kids still require a little extra help.
I LOVED our day at this resort, but even the (maybe one) hour total we spent in the hotel room had me so doubly grateful for the Dolphin House. Bennett in particular was getting restless in that small space, wanting to climb on everything, lots of breakable things and getting fussy and ready to move on. I was glad to go 'home' to our house where he had so much more room to keep entertained.
After we were ready, we took the final mode of transportation - the boat! We all really enjoyed it - a fun little ride, getting to see the beautiful grounds with the setting sun. We even rode it past our stop to take another loop around, just for fun.
Then we met everyone else for dinner. We had a ton to catch up on and had such good food. Bennett fell asleep while nursing, so the sweet boy just slept on my arm most of the night, which I didn't mind at all! (It actually made it a lot more relaxing a meal than it might have been otherwise.)