hAwaii VaCatiOn

It was Tuesday, May 2. It must have been midnight or maybe it was one, and we were still checking the list to make sure we had everything. I thought we were doing pretty good to even have a list even if we hadn’t gathered everything on it. Of course that list’s existence had nothing to do with me. What would Papa and Keana do without Mama? We were to leave for the airport to go to Hawaii in eight hours and it seemed we were nearing packing completion. We had clothes- outfit upon outfit- for the baby, diapers, medicine, books, toys, baby monitor, snacks, and more. As I looked at the 65 lbs suitcase I knew we must be forgetting something, though I couldn’t fathom packing even MORE stuff. When all was said and done, we had two suitcases and two carry-ons for a 10-day trip. Not bad, right? At least we weren’t hauling the stroller and car seat too.

We met Grandma Linda, Grandpa Sam, and Uncle Peter just outside Oakland International the next day to pick up Uncle Peter who was coming with us to Hawaii. This would be Keana’s first plane ride and we were all excited and a little bit scared (which seems to be the theme this past year-and-a-half). The five hour flight wasn’t really that bad. I must say the ratio of three adults to one baby didn’t hurt, and the fact we were heading to vacation in Hawaii certainly didn’t hurt either. We were also very excited to see the family out there who we don’t often get the chance to visit. It had been a little over a year since Keana had seen her Great Nana and Granddad, and she had never met Great Aunt Julie, Great Uncle Lance, and Cousin Sasha. Of course there were a few plane fiascos- like Keana accidentally dumping half a bottle of water all over herself and her Mama, and us foolishly not having a change of clothes for her (or Mama!)- but other than that, it was actually pretty smooth sailing. We arrived in Hawaii exhausted but in good spirits.

Our condo that we rented was in Makaha Valley in Waianae, which is about 30 or 40 minutes outside Honolulu. Waianae is an interesting little town full of locals. It was great to escape all the tourists in Honolulu, but it was also hard to find decent food. For those of you familiar with traditional Hawaiian grub, you’re probably smirking now as you read this. Most local joints in Hawaii pride themselves on a plate of macaroni salad, some SPAM or bbq pork, and a nice mound of rice with gravy on it. Not bad, really, but not exactly what we’re used to here in the Bay Area. The grocery store was also quite the experience. There were rows and rows of processed or canned food and the meat department had stuff in it that I didn’t even know was edible. The stuff you did recognize had to be bought in quantities of 2 lbs or higher. Afterall, these were not small people. Many people shopping were of Samoan decent. My brother and I could kind of pass for Hawaiian locals- from Honolulu maybe- but Sarah and Keana, with their light hair and blue eyes were catching everyone’s eye. Waianae was not the side of the island anybody really visited. Even my family that lives on Oahu never ventures out to Waianae. When all was said and done though, the beaches were beautiful, the people were really nice, and we were away from the big city.

Visiting with the family was the highlight of the trip. It was great to hear Nana’s stories of her life on and off the island and catch up on Granddad’s research. He’s a professor in the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii at Monoa. His field of research is immunopathology. Nana likes to tell how Granddad brought her to Oahu in 1965 with plans to leave by 1968, now, 40 years later, they may never make it off “the rock”. They do manage to make it off “the rock” pretty frequently though to visit family in L.A., and sometimes even make it up here to the Bay Area. Great Aunt Julie was also doing well, with her daughter Sasha being a real trooper considering she had to sit for hours while us boring adults talked about “boring” stuff. (Unfortunately the one family member that couldn’t make it was Great Uncle Lance. He was actually in California for a conference, so we’ll have to catch him next time.) Keana also got bored and preferred to walk around the restaurant and flirt with everyone else while they ate.

The other family we hadn’t had much time with lately was Uncle Peter. Peter was in Thailand and southeast asia for 6 months last year, almost half of Keana’s life! He lives in Santa Cruz, so even though he’s not that far from us, we still don’t get to see him on a regular basis. He and Keana had a great time playing in the condo, at the beach, and just getting to know eachother better. Keana absolutely loved having him around and started requesting Uncle Peter time as much as Mama’s or Papa’s.

We made it to the beach at least every other day, but the waves were a little scary for Keana. We weren’t sure how she would react to the sand either, and she didn’t seem to mind it, but didn’t exactly love it. I mean, she didn’t roll around in it like some of our friends’ babies. Eventually we took her to a man-made lagoon and she did love that- all the fun of the real ocean without the scary waves. It was quite hot every day, so we tried to limit our time outside to short trips. We spent just as much time getting ready for the beach as actually BEING at the beach. But really, who can complain? What a life.

The time in Hawaii flew by of course, and before we knew it we were packed up, in the car, and heading to the airport. On the flight home we upgraded to business class and it was beautiful. If only we could afford to travel that way all the time:-) I can’t possibly cram all the amazing details into this writing, but I think you get the idea of what our little excursion to Hawaii was like, and I think the pictures below will tell the rest of our story.

First plane trip!
Keana on Mamas lap by plane window

Keana by plane window

Keana with Mama and Papa by plane window

Uncle Peter! (Three adults:one baby-not a bad ratio on a 5hr. flight.)
Keana looking out window

Waiting for the shuttle. 7 hrs. into our trip.
Whole family with suitcases waiting for shuttle

Mama’s takin’ action.
Mama hailing shuttle holding Keana as Peter looks on

She looks a little worn, right?
Keana looking tired

Brothers with Baby.
Keana between Peter and Papa

Checking out the view from our lanai.
Mama holding Keana on porch

First trip to the beach. The undertow was crazy.
Sarah holding Keana on beach

Sarah getting feet wet holding Keana

Keana pointing as Sarah holds her on beach

Keana looking into sun on beach

Whole family on beach

Keana looking into sun

Keana being held by Peter with Papa too

Keana with Peter

Playin’ in the condo, escaping the heat
Keana smiling with water bottle on floor

At a taqueria with Makaha Valley in the background.
Keana at lunch with Papa and Makaha Valley in background

Keana with hat on in high chair smiling

Keana smiling with just diaper on

On our way to see Great Nana and Grandad, Auntie Julie, and cousin Sasha.
Keana in car seat

Great Auntie Julie and Cousin Sasha came bearing gifts!
Sasha and Julie with gifts for Keana

Great Grandad, Nana, and Uncle Peter catching up.
Grandad looking at camera while Nana and Peter catch up

Unwrapping gifts.
Keana sitting on Mama's lap unwrapping gifts

Mama and Keana share some dessert with Nana.
Keana eating spoon on Mama's lap while talking to Nana

Trading strawberry jams with Nana.
Keana on Mama's lap sharing jam with Nana

Keana on Mama's lap sharing jam with Nana

Keana on Mama's lap sharing jam with Nana

Back to home-base for some fun in the pool.
Keana smiling as Mama holds her swimming

Keana in swimsuit staning on pool steps

Keana with tongue out gettin in pool as Mama holds on

Keana on Peter's lap talking on phone

Keana with hat 1

Keana with hat 2

Keana with hat 3

Keana with hat 4

Loved that play time with Uncle Peter.
Keana playing on floor with Uncle Peter

Coolin’ out in a man-made lagoon, just for babies.
Mama holding Keana swimming in a lagoon

Mama holding Keana swimming in a lagoon

Mama holding Keana on beach

Papa holding Keana smiling

Papa holding Keana smiling at eachother

Papa and Keana pointing at the camera

“Mama, whatchya eatin’?”
Keana staring at Sarah's mouth

“It’s gum Baby Girl. Wanna see a bubble?”
Keana staring as Sarah blows bubble with gum

(pOp!) “No way! Hey-where’d it go?”
Keana staring at Mama's popped bubble

“Okay, G-R-O-S-S.”
Keana staring at Mama's popped bubble uncerain about it

(buzzzzing tongue) “Let’s go play.”
Keana buzzing tongue as Mama carries her away

Mama holding Keana on beach again

Mama holding Keana on beach again

Keana with Mama and Uncle Peter on beach

Time to pack (Uncle Peter’s stuff).
Keana packing Uncle Peter's stuff