Vacation. Oh how I love thee. I have always loved travelling. Travelling is not the same as it used to be and I don’t think that is something I can get back, no matter how hard I try. I have kids, and when it comes to vacations I just have to accept it. Sure I can go away without my kids, but they are always in the back of my mind, and well then there are family vacations. So vacation is what it is now. Travelling is what it is. Its still awesome, just in a different way.
We just returned from our annual family vacation to Hawaii. My older sister lives in Hawaii with her family, so it is a great excuse to get away from the frozen tundra that is the GTA and get a little Vitamin D. Every year my parents rent a beach house on the North Shore of Oahu, just north of a town called Kahuku on Kawela Bay. It is a little slice of Heaven. We generally just go and hang out, but this year was a little different, so I’m going to spread out my posts about our trip and do it in three parts, since we were there for three weeks, and each week was different from the other. Its mostly about the pictures (I have over 750, I went a little crazy) because really no one wants to hear my silly stories about the plane trip, or getting up early, dealing with jet lag, cranky kids, expensive groceries yadda yadda, it’s the pictures.
So here is the first week of our trip
That is the view from the Lanai of the beach house. Its spectacular. Its beautiful when its sunny, its amazing when its stormy and windy. It’s just crazy awesome
A while ago I read a book by Alan Brennert titled Honolulu. It’s a fantastic book and has a great history of the island. A major part of the book discusses what life was like as a worker on a sugar cane plantation. Although we had been to Oahu 5 times prior to this trip, we had never discovered the Plantation Village historical site. It was a great place for myself and my kids to learn about plantation life and what growing up on a plantation meant. We had a wonderful tour guide, Espe, who did in fact grow up on one, and she really gave us a good idea of what life was like for those families. It was fascinating.
One of my kids favourite places in Honolulu is the zoo. It is a pretty awesome zoo as far as zoo’s go. Everyone (at least in Toronto anyway) is always saying how amazing the Toronto zoo is, but it’s not. Its horrible, at least in comparison to the Honolulu Zoo. At the Honolulu Zoo the animals are always very active, they don’t seem to be stressed out in any way and they are always on full view. We saw so many amazing things this year. We heard some crazy birds making some really loud calls, we had an orangutan come up to the fence (which was about three feet away from us) and make a very loud call, and then there are monkey’s. The monkey’s and lemurs are so cool.
In the water about 50 ft off the shore, there is a very large reef. When tide is low, which isn’t often on the north shore in the winter (its known for its huge swells), you can walk on this reef and explore (its not coral its volcanic so nothing is being destroyed by walking on it). It also means there are nice shallow pools that are extremely calm. It’s the perfect place to just hang out and cool off.
My kids are getting older and slightly more bold. This year they decided that snorkelling was on the docket. Just south of the house is a place called Shark’s Cove. It is a very rocky outcropping in the ocean just off shore. When the waves are big, it’s a scary place. When the waves are small it is the perfect place to snorkel. It has all kinds of sea life, including Hawaii’s state fish the Humahumanukanukaapuaa (say that 10 times fast). My kids gave it a go. One kind of successfully, the other one not so much. My little one did not like it all.
We usually just hang out at the beaches close to the house but this year we decided to adventure to other beaches on the island because of stormy weather on the North Shore. It’s amazing how different the beaches are in the South (and how different the weather is) than the North. They are so calm, the water is beautiful and warmer and the colour is spectacular. Everything a nice tropical beach should be. One of our new favs is Waimanalo
Our first week came to a close and we were off to go and check out the Big Island and the Volcano. Stay tuned for Part II