2011 Christmas Celebration
 Hawaii Style

Day 1- We leave for Oahu bright and early.  We land and get our car, swing by snorkel bobs for our snorkel gear and head on to the resort.   A quick stop at our room, admire the view and the room itself. Beautiful on both accounts of course.   A quick change into Hawaii appropriate attire, saying goodbye to the jeans and jackets for the next week, and off to the pool and ocean we went.  To our surprise, who do we find between our room and the ocean?  Why Donald Duck.  Hello Donald!   We checked out the private cove. the pools, rested by the fire pit, attended the starlight Hui (where the girls got to make flowers for their hair) and then dropped into bed exhausted.

Day 2- Michele wakes up at 6:30 CA time, which means its a still darkness 4:30 Hawaii time.  The day starts with a Candice and Michele dark tour of the resort, a night time walk on the beach, and a balcony view of the sunrise.  After Kaylee and Michael woke up, it was time to explore the resort and head to our character breakfast. After breakfast it was time for a lap in the pool (or two or three).  Lunchtime we headed out to the lagoon and tried our hand at snorkeling, very cool.  Tropical fish galore, and four sea turtles hanging out- "duuuuude!" 

In the afternoon, we headed out to North Shore to see the 10 to 15 foot waves. The girls scoped the beach with Grandpa to check out the little sea creatures.  On the way back we hit the Dole plantation, went on a lttle ride and sampled some tropical fruit.   Come evening, the spa was ours alone, overlooking the ocean and the full moon peeking out from behind the resort.  We took a dip, relaxed and hit the bed relaxed but completely wiped out.

Day 3 - Today we started with a morning walk on the beach, stopping to write messages in the sand. Then it was off to the lazy river for a few rounds and the body slide.  The afternoon we headed out to East Shore to adventure in the Kualoa Ranch area.  Michael and Kaylee went on their own trail adventure, while the rest of the family took some arranged tours.  The 6 wheel drive tour was Indiana Jones style high speed jungle crash and climb fun along with trying edible flowers that tasted like mushrooms and sampling strawberry guava. We got a great view from the top of the mountain, and got to see the historic fish ponds and learn how the natives used them.  The bus tour had a wonderful history from a 51 year old native named Cowboy. From Cowboy we learned the history of the ranch, and what TV and movies were filmed there.  Kaylee adventure including tackling a 'slice' of pizza bigger than her head.   When we made it back to Aulani for the evening we took a swim and then they were showing a movie on the lawn by the beach.  We got some burgers and grabbed a mat and sat our soggy selves down to watch Tangled.   Right as we were done with our dinner, the heavens opened up with a full downpour.  Everyone on the lawn went running.   The announced the movie was over and we sent the girls for cover, and as we hadnt even dried from swimming, in the midst of the dounpour we helped the staff clean up the mats, towels and trash that was left behind by others running for shelter.  The rain wasnt cold, and we received many 'mahalo's' from the cast members. As we got back to the room early, the girls got some time to work on school work and journaling before going to sleep.

Day 4 - Today we hit the beach first thing for some snorkeling. The day was spent hanging in the resort and on the beach. For dinner we headed over to the Luau.   At the Luau we played some games, rode in a canoe, made flower headbands, and of course ate and ate and watched a Christmas themed show.  After the show, it was back to the resort for some swimming and spa time and an early evening.

Day 5 - Back into the van and to Waimea bay and search for the illusive shrimp truck.  We played on the beach in between the rain drops, and checked out a local shrimp truck. Of course the rain brings rainbows, they were everywhere we turned.  We watched the locals jump off the rocks that were labeled "keep off", and laughed at the shoe and lost beach items tree.  Next we headed to the Polynesian cultural center for an afternoon full of different cultures, events and experiences.


Day 6 - Today was a lesson in history and culture as well as fun and adventure.  After some morning slides, fish watching and swimming we took off for Pearl Harbor.  We visited the sight of the Pearl Harbor memorial, checked out the submarine and the USS Missouri - "Mighty Mo".  We all took a moment to remember the people who gave their lives to protect the country.   After touring the Mighty Mo, and realizing how much of a huge floating city it really is, we headed back to the resort for some night swimming and slides.

Day 7 - The LAST day.  This morning was rise and shine and get to the pool before leaving.  We hit the pool and beach and enjoyed the water and the warm for one last morning before heading to the airport.  We checked out the grounds one more time for the hiding little people, took a float down the lazy river, and documented the hidden marine life we found in the rock.   Once at the airport, the girls used their time to try to catch up on some schoolwork.   Awww... man... vacation is over.  Poop.       However, its only 6 months till summer, and of course more adventures await!