It was such a wonderful, incredible, relaxing-yet-also-tiring trip and I'm so bummed that it's over. But I'm so happy to have all these wonderful pictures to look back and remember it by. I hope you don't mind me going overboard on picture sharing! After all, half the reason I keep this blog is for it to be my own diary of what goes on in my life. (The other half is to let our remote family know what we're up to.)
We left for Hawaii last Saturday on an early flight out of Sacramento. We had a 5 1/2 hour flight to Honolulu, had a 4 hour layover and then took a little 45 minute flight to Kona on the Big Island. My parents, JP, Alison and Kai just happened to arrive on the plane that touched down right behind us on the runway! So it was perfect timing, and we all got to rush to find each other outside of the separate terminals!
The property manager of the house we stayed at, The Dolphin House, arranged to have a driver pick us up in a big van at the airport (so we didn't need to wait in long lines for rental cars). He had leis waiting for all of us!
This one's going in the baby book: Bennet, thrilled to be in a Hawaiian paradise:
We took a boisterous ride to the Dolphin House...June has been waiting to spend time with Kai for months, and they immediately set to giggling and horsing around.
When we got to the house, we immediately scrambled around, exclaiming how beautiful everything was and generally just weeping at how excited we were to be there.
Seriously, I just can't say enough about this place. There were four bedrooms, one which had two full-size beds, which June and Kai shared. Each bedroom had its own bathroom. There was a huge kitchen full of all the flatware you could want, not to mention a lot of basics that were nice (aluminum foil, sugar, flour, salt, pepper, spices). A large living area and two dining tables that got absolutely no use because we ate every single meal on the gorgeous, big patio table overlooking the pool and the ocean.
It was just perfect for us. We had the freedom to put the kids down to sleep and still hang out in the common areas. There was so much room for the kids to run and play. We had the ability to just walk out of our rooms in our pajamas and make a cup of coffee and drink it on a lounge chair to the sound of the ocean. When I think about how different our trip would have been trying to work out of four hotel rooms...well, I'm just so thrilled with how the Dolphin House turned out.
The kids jumping on their beds when they found out this was 'their' room:
We were going to put Bennett in the den, but it turned out that it wasn't completely closed off from the rest of the house, so we put him in the laundry room! Worked perfectly for him!
Two different breakfast scenes at the Dolphin House:
Lots of room to play and explore:
This was the courtyard/garden. It was a big open-air area between one bedroom and the rest of the home, all behind the main door to the house. It was so beautiful, with real orchids and other plants growing. The little fountain was one of Bennett's favorite things to get into during the days.
And the pool. The place of many an hour spent and many a beverage consumed. The kids wasted no time jumping in here the first chance they got that first day.
Just outside the yard was a lava rock beach. We watched waves crashing up against them all day, and got to go out and explore the tide pools.
Just down a foot path was a little sand beach lagoon that was so perfect for our small children. It was completely protected from the ocean by a natural wall of lava rocks, so we weren't worried about strong currents or waves (or sharks!) but we still got some ocean life (urchins, sea cucumbers, fish).
But more about that at another time. What I'm getting at is that this rental house was a dream. There was nothing left for us to do but have a photo shoot with our leis, order the world's largest pizza and enjoy the sunset from our back yard.