Northern California in October: Part 3, Hawaii

And THEN, we tried to get back to Okinawa…

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It took us a week to get from Sacramento to Okinawa.  And part of it was my own fault because I quite simply did not want to wake my kids up at 2 am to get on our connecting flight…oh, if only I had known!  We jumped on a Space Available flight from Travis to Okinawa that stopped first in Pearl Harbor and then again in Tokyo.  It was the only flight I could find.  When we touched down at Pearl Harbor, the airman at the counter told me to be back at 2am for departure. What?  Doesn’t he know I have 2 crabby children here who haven’t slept well in 24 hours?  so I ignorantly thought, “Oh, there’s a straight flight to Okinawa the day after tomorrow.  I’ll just take that one…” And that was my mistake.

Not only did that one get cancelled, but EVERY flight going to Japan was cancelled for an entire week.  It was insane.  They would appear and disappear.  Once we were accepted on a flight and then they booted us off.  Another time we were actually on the shuttle bus waiting to get on the plane (at midnight) when they shuttled us back to the terminal with no hope of another flight.  Maddening.

The wonderful thing about this experience was that my friend, Tori Light, and her adorable daughter live in Pearl Harbor and we got to spend a whole week playing and adventuring with them! Her husband was deployed at the time so it was just moms and kids. It was spectacular and I SO wish I could’ve relaxed more because it was so beautiful and Tori was such a wonderful hostess!  She never complained about us being there and she planned all kinds of fun little trips for us!

So here are our adventures!

Kailua:

Tori took us to Kailua on our first trip.  We ate some delicious hamburgers at Teddy’s Bigger Burgers (YUM) and then window shopped and headed over to the beach.  On the way I looked over at the bay and saw this AMAZING sunset.  So we parked and I rushed the kids across the busy street and told them to stay put while I shot it.  It was incredible!

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And I love these trees
And I love these trees
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Kailua Beach

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Little R
Little R
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The sand is so different here than in Okinawa; it’s much softer in Hawaii. On the East China Sea beaches we find TONS of intact shells but the sand is grittier and with all the coral, it’s not too fun to walk on. But this is like powder! But it’s also much harder to get off little bums!
Tori and the girls
Tori and the girls
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I love this shot! That little splash just kills me!

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Dole Plantation:

This was my first time at the Plantation!  I’ve been to Hawaii 2 times before this and never stopped by.

My little pineapple
My little pineapple

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feeding the fish is always one of our favorite past times
feeding the fish is always one of our favorite past times
And of COURSE, you must have pineapple whip!
And of COURSE, you must have pineapple whip!
Little G is allergic to...well, EVERYTHING. So this was a rarity - him getting to enjoy the same treat as everybody else! Thank you, Dole Plantation for this delicious vegan dessert!!
Little G is allergic to…well, EVERYTHING. So this was a rarity – him getting to enjoy the same treat as everybody else! Thank you, Dole Plantation, for this delicious vegan dessert!!

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North Shore:

My favorite part of Oahu!  My friends and I spent time here in 2005 together and I never thought I’d get back to it again!  The day we came here, there was a high surf warning and it was BEAUTIFUL!!

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I love this! Playing in the rip current caution signs!

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Baby R in the sand
Baby R in the sand

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Wall art under the bridge

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Look at these eyes!!
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And this hair!!

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Going out to surf in a high surf warning...so cool. Or so dumb.
Going out to surf in a high surf warning…smart decision??
Look at this Target limousine!! Perfect for 3 kids! And also have I mentioned that I LOVE Target??
Look at this Target limousine!! Perfect for 3 kids! And also have I mentioned that I LOVE Target??
We did NOT anticipate being in Hawaii for Halloween! So we borrowed a flapper costume from Tori, bought a mermaid costume from Target and put G in some striped leggings from his sister and a buff and called him a pirate = Halloween: done!
We did NOT anticipate being in Hawaii for Halloween! So we borrowed a flapper costume from Tori, bought a mermaid costume from Target and put G in some striped leggings from his sister and a buff and called him a pirate = Halloween: done!

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Paradise Cove Lagoon, Ko Olina:

There were turtles here this day and the water was so clear!!

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And yes, we did not bring our bathing suits on our October trip...oh well, still having fun!
And yes, we did not bring our bathing suits on our October trip…oh well, still having fun!
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Tori showing E the turtles!

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Adam and I actually have a picture with these same trees in the background…but from 2005!

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We had SO much fun playing with Little R's toys!
We had SO much fun playing with Little R’s toys!

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And here is our final attempt catching a flight home! We got here at 11pm, got to the plane which had maintenance issues so they shuttled us back to the terminal and told us to wait for 10 hours. But then they cancelled that flight altogether and we had to wait for the next flight which was taking off 8 hours after that. So we hung out in there terminal for most of the night and the whole next day.
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But we watched a lot of tv and they had a shoppette that we totally took advantage of.
They have a family room at each Pax terminal and that saved us! This one was stocked with movies and toys and Highlights magazines (which I forgot how much I loved)!
They have a family room at each Pax terminal and that saved us! It’s locked with a code so you feel totally private and safe!  This one was stocked with movies and toys and Highlights magazines (which I forgot how much I loved)!
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It has it’s own kitchen and tables…
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An outdoor play area that is completely enclosed…
Toys and play structures inside too...
Toys and play structures inside too…
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And a completely separate room for sleeping!
We were the only family there for most of the time so we pushed the couches together and slept in the night.
We were the only family there for most of the time so we pushed the couches together and slept in the night.
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And a bit during the day as well!
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I think I repacked our stuff 25 times on this trip! It was FREEZING in the family room and I had to break out our winter gear! in Hawaii!
And then FINALLY we made it onto a plane headed for Kadena! It was a C-17. And it was EXACTLY what I wanted to fly on! I really wanted to experience this kind of flight because really, when would I ever get to in my normal life??
And then FINALLY we made it onto a plane headed for Kadena! It was a C-17. And it was EXACTLY what I wanted to fly on! I really wanted to experience this kind of flight because really, when would I ever get to in my normal life??
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And yeah, these kids look happy now but for the first 30 minutes of this flight it was utter chaos! E was crying because she couldn’t get her ears to unplug…
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And Little G was scream crying because it was so incredibly loud and he wouldn’t keep his earplugs in and he just wanted me to hold him… but after that they fell asleep and it was the coolest flight ever!
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I mean seriously…how cool is this?
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And the crew’s just hanging out. Look, this guy next to me has his bedroll already out and ready! They actually just pile your food and blankets and pillows out in the middle and you go get what you need!
And you all just hunker down and sleep on the floor. Once, I sat up and looked around at everyone asleep and thought, "This looks like LOST. Like we're all sleeping in the fuselage for protection." Then I started picking out who would be Jack and Sawyer...I actually found the woman who would be Rose...and her name was ACTUALLY Rose! Then I started feeling uneasy about this flight...
And you all just hunker down and sleep on the floor. Once, I sat up and looked around at everyone asleep and thought, “This looks like LOST. Like we’re all sleeping in the fuselage for protection.” Then I started picking out who would be Jack and Sawyer and Charlie…I actually found the woman who would be Rose…and her name was ACTUALLY Rose! It was then that I started feeling uneasy about this flight…
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But we slept through it and made it safely to our island…without any polar bears…(sorry, Lost reference)

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So we had a HUGE adventure just trying to make it back home, and I was so stressed out about it…but looking at these pictures makes it look amazing!  Man, now I kinda wanna go back and do it all again…

heh heh.  

You know, minus all the terminal time and uncertainty and child meltdowns…

It’s good to be back in Okinawa!

Peace to you,

e

Next Up: Seoul, South Korea for Thanksgiving! (hopefully I can get to it before Christmas hits!)

 

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2 thoughts on “Northern California in October: Part 3, Hawaii

  1. I love getting to read the details of your life! This seems like the kind of adventure that is way more fun after the fact and you can look back at the ridiculousness of it all with a smile!

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    1. It’s SO true, Kara!!! I remember thinking, “this’ll all be such a great memory later”…or “I can’t believe this is happening right now…smile for the camera kids!” Actually, having the camera was a constant reminder that this was an adventure…one that was NOT going to be perfect, but was going to be remembered. And really, isn’t that just…life? Miss you, Kara!

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