We have been back for over a week and I feel like I am finally back to normal. Most of last week was spent recovering from jet lag...more recovering from Henley's jet lag and getting her back in her normal routine. My goal this week is to get things back to normal and enjoy the rest of the summer with family and friends!
I would love to share our fabulous trip with you! It's going to take a few different posts because we were gone for a long time, so just hang in there and enjoy Hawaii with me!
We decided to spend the night at my in-law's house the night before our flight to take away the stress of having to get there on time super early in the morning. Good decision! I was up bright and early around 5 and we left the house about 6:30 for our flight. Side note: I was super nervous about Henley's ears since she has had a number of ear infections and she seems to always have her fingers in them, so I ordered a round of antibiotics just in case. Since they expired in 10 days and she get pulling at her ears, I started them on Monday. Tuesday morning, before we left the house, I gave her a dose and tried to feed her some breakfast. She wasn't super interested in eating. This side not only matters because it made for an interesting start to the trip. About 2 miles away from pulling into the airport, Henley started throwing up. A first for her. Thankfully, I had packed an extra set of clothes. After throwing up, she seemed perfectly back to her normal self. I think it was just the antibiotics, lack of food and the car ride. What a way to start a trip!
We left about 9:30 Texas time and made it to Honolulu around 12:30 Hawaii time. Henley did fabulous on the flight. She didn't sleep as much as I would have liked (she took about two 1 hour naps), but she was as happy as could be. Of course, she slept during the in-flight snack, so I didn't eat much on the plane and was STARVING by the time we made it to our hotel. We stayed at the Hilton Hawaii Village Waikiki Beach Resort...and so did everyone else! I actually enjoyed all the people! I think it's fun to people watch and get to see lots of people enjoying their vacation. Plus, you usually make friends!
Once we got settled in our rooms, we changed and headed down to the restaurant for lunch/dinner. It was about 2:00 and we knew we'd be tired in a few hours, so we ate linner and headed down to the beach. Thankfully, a sweet family who was leaving the next day gifted us their umbrella and boogie board. Henley did not like the sand, so after being in the water with Ben, she spent the rest of the afternoon playing on the boogie board organizing and re-organizing her bucket and shovels. She is her mama's daughter!
Sadly, Henley came to sit on my lap for a little while and all of a sudden she started whining. I looked down at her hand and there was a bee stinging her. Poor girl! It was the first of many injuries on our trip. Thankfully, Henley recovered within a matter of minutes. We took her back in the ocean and she was a happy girl! We thought that was our cue to head to one of the pools. The resort has a number of different pools and a little bay area, so we headed near the bay and went to the pool with the slides. Henley got to wear her puddle jumper for the first time and she and Ben swam and swam! She loved it! I even went down one of the slides with her.
I took this with my phone in a plastic baggie. That's why it's a little fuzzy.
It actually got a little cold because the pool was in the shade, so Henley and I walked around and played in the grass, chased the birds and watched people swimming in the bay to warm up. Eventually, we all decided we wanted to go back up to the room, read and shower. I think we originally thought we might all meet back up, but after playing in the room and showering, Henley was ready for bed at 6:30. Ben and I planned to watch the Bachelorette in bed, but I fell asleep the moment he turned it on!
Because of the time change, we were up bright and early around 6:00. It was awesome for Ben and I since I am a morning person and he is definitely not. Henley was up too, so we figured we might as well get going for the day! Ben, Henley, Ben's dad, Tony, and I all enjoyed an early breakfast. Ya'll...let me just tell you about this breakfast. It was a totally normal breakfast until I let Henley go up on the little stage we were sitting near at the end. She needed to do a little roaming, so she was just walking around. As we were leaving the restaurant, Tony went up there to get her, picked her up and all of these tourists started waving and taking pictures. Like between 30-40 people stopped to take pictures just of Henley waving and smiling at them! It was hysterical. The restaurant is caged in (I guess for birds), so it looked like they were super special or something. Ben and I were just sitting back cracking up (and took no pictures)! Then, we left the restaurant and let Henley look at the fish in the pond right in front of our hotel and there was another lady who literally just picked Henley up and asked us to take a picture of her and Henley. It was so crazy! I don't know if they just loved this little blonde haired, blue-eyed American girl or what, but it was nuts!
Today's purpose was to surf, so surfing we did! We met our surfing instructors and they drove us to a different beach since ours wasn't getting good waves, or swells as they call them. Surfing was a blast! I've done it once before in Cabo with a friend from college, but I was super nervous that I would fail this time after talking about how I got up the first time then. Thankfully, I got up every single time in Hawaii! Ben, Tony, Ben's sister, Katie and I all surfed while Henley and Karen, Ben's mom watched. We had a great time and were totally beat afterwards! I can't believe they do that for 5-6 hours at a time. Two hours was plenty for me! I would love to try some bigger waves though next time!
We headed back to the hotel for lunch, before I needed to take Henley back to the room for a nap. Ben went with is dad to workout and I read in the room, took a nap and then right when Henley woke up, Ben came back and I got in a good workout before dinner. Dinner this night was super interesting...one of my good friends suggested a local sushi place and all the locals said they loved it. Plus, tons of famous people apparently go there when they're in town, so we figured it had to be awesome. Well, Ben's family isn't super adventurous when it comes to food. They are not super into sushi, plus the atmosphere wasn't really their liking either. I will say, I think Henley also played into our lack of enthusiasm since she wouldn't sit still, cried and had to be walked around outside on shifts. Total bummer! Ben and I really liked the couple of sushi rolls that we got, but I think it was for the more adventurous sushi eaters since a lot of the their menu was just raw fish.
Since dinner wasn't a total hit, we went back to the hotel with one thing in mind...ice cream! There was a Lappert's at the hotel, so we all got what we wanted and sat by the pool to finish off the night. I don't know what it is about night time swimming or pool sitting, but I love it!
On our last day in Honolulu, we planned to spend it at Pearl Harbor. I absolutely love history, so I was super excited to get to see the Pearl Harbor Memorial and learn more about everything that happened. It was a little rainy in the morning when we went to breakfast, but nothing really more than a drizzle. Unfortunately, the company bumped our tour back because of the "rain." We were supposed to go from 10-2, perfect for Henley's nap, but they bumped us to 12-4. Ouch!
After breakfast, we hung around for a bit and then Ben and I went shopping for a Christmas ornament. Our hotel had lots of cute little shops around it, so we just roamed around for a little while. Ben even got a cool book about Pearl Harbor. After going back to the room and getting everything together for the tour, we headed down to the juice bar for a smoothie before meeting our van. At this point, Henley was doing pretty good.
Once we got to the memorial, we went through two different museum type buildings before waiting to see a movie. Henley was super whiney and fidgety doing the museums. I didn't really get to take anything in because I was trying to get her to go to sleep. Thankfully, once we sat down to watch the movie, she was out! The movie was great! I learned a lot about Pearl Harbor and have a feeling I will be reading that book of Ben's pretty soon. After the movie, you get a fairy that takes you over to the actual memorial that is placed on top of the U.S.S. Alabama. That was really neat to see. There is still oil leaking out of the ship all of these years later! Henley woke up as we were leaving the memorial, so once we were back on land, Katie stayed with her (it was raining) while the rest of us got to tour the submarine. This was awesome! You literally get to go on top of and inside of a real submarine! I have no idea how anyone bigger than myself was actually in there. It is pretty tight quarters! We didn't a guided tour with headphones and I took absolutely everything in. I highly recommend going through the submarine!
Since Henley got about an hour or so nap in, we decided she could make it to dinner. Once we got back, it was still a little drizzly, but we still went to the pool near the bar. It was a pool on the backside of the hotel that was much calmer and had a neat little area for Henley with little fountains coming up. She played and played and played with Ben and then played some more. She had a blast in the pool. We even met an Australian family that had just been to Maui that I talked to for a while. They had a little girl about 6 months younger than Henley that she just adored!
Since dinner the night before was a little bit of a fail, we decided to hit up Beni Hana since we knew we would enjoy it. It was great! I've actually never been, so it was neat to go for the first time in Hawaii. The restaurant is right by the pool we were at, so it was wonderful to get to just walk to it. Our chef was hilarious, which made the night even more fun. Henley was still a bit of a mess at dinner, but we made do while passing her around. Poor girl was tired!
This was our last night in Honolulu and it was a good one! We learned that Honolulu is like New York, beach style, but I still really enjoyed it. We knew we had things to get done in Honolulu, so I wasn't expecting a ton of relaxation...that was for Maui!