We arrived in Hawaii in the early evening on Tuesday, March 6. We were all exhausted, but so excited to be in Hawaiiʻ! Mom and I waited at the airport with the boys while Jason headed out on the shuttle to pick up our rental car. For this trip, we rocked a sweet (ha!) mini-van! At home, we have our Mazda 5, but we knew we would need more room on our vacation since we'd have more adults with us. It was nice to have the extra space, but it was definitely more challenging having to drive and park a bigger car. All props go to Jason who did all the driving and parallel-parked that van in spaces that didn't even seem big enough for a compact car!
We arrived at Anne and Tom's house and were very happy to get see each other! Their house is beautiful, and we were so lucky in that we had our own room, each of the boys had their own rooms, and my mom (and the second week, Judy) had her own little suite downstairs. After settling in, we all went to sleep and hoped the boys would adjust quickly to the five-hour time difference. The next morning, we discovered they had both slept through the night, which was great. The weather was stormy, no worse than what we get in New England, but quite unusual for Hawaiʻi. There is usually rain each day, but it is a quick-moving sprinkle. We had pretty constant rain (we didn't get the worst of it - the island of Kauaiʻi had 17" of rain in a 24-hour period, and other parts of Oʻahu had hail and even a tornado!), but we did not experience anything dangerous. My mother did wonder if we had really been telling her the truth about beautiful Hawaiian weather! :)
However, we definitely made the best of the weather. Hawaiʻi is still magnificent, even in the rain (and rain does make for beautiful rainbows!). On Wednesday, we spent some time driving around the island, giving my mom a chance to see some of the beautiful scenery and get acquainted with the island. We had a nice lunch out, and then we went grocery shopping to stock up on some basics. While Mom and I stayed home with Evan for his afternoon nap, Jason and Seth headed out during a break in the rain for the first of many beach trips! Later that evening we headed out to Kaimukī to meet up with my brother's girlfriend, who happens to teach at a school in Honolulu. The boys were still a little off their sleep schedule, and poor Seth fell asleep during his dinner. Even so, it was wonderful to see her and spend time with her.
On Thursday, it was still raining. It was just as well, since we spent the morning and the first part of the afternoon relaxing at home, as it turned out the boys hadn't adjusted as seamlessly as we'd first though to the time change. We enjoyed visit with Anne, and the boys got to know the family dog, Bandit. The boys napped until they got some "energy and gas" (as Seth would say), and then we geared up and headed out to the Waikīkī Aquarium. We had taken Seth here on our last visit, and it was fun to visit again with Seth and Evan. This is a perfect aquarium for the boys - only takes about an hour or so to walk through it, and there are some parts outside (saw some monk seals at feeding time, and got to see our favorite, Hawaiʻi's state fish, the humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa) and some parts inside. We had fun, and Mom really enjoyed seeing the Waikīkī area. On Thursday evening, we headed out for some yummy food at Champa Thai with our friend Sarah and her family. It's a weekly event, and it was great to see her and her mother and catch up on their news.
Friday dawned as another rainy day, so it was time to continue on with some more sight-seeing! We drove into downtown Honolulu (we had been hoping to catch a concert but it got rained out), and had fun walking around and showing Mom the sights of downtown, including the unique banyan trees. We had lunch at a food court, and walked to Chinatown. On the way, we stopped at Jason's friend's new Montessori school - it was fun to take a peek! We had a nice time in Chinatown - interesting to look around, and we all got some little gifts. After walking back to our car, we decided to drive to visit Punahou, the school Jason and his siblings attended, and where his parents worked. We had a great time walking around - and Mom was excited to finally see where Jason had gone to school. The boys had fun, and Seth got to play on the same playground Jason played on when he was in kindergarten (and where Judy taught). For dinner, we got take-out from Island Manapua - one of our favorite restaurants. We definitely made the most of the rainy weather and saw lots of cool things! Seth and Evan were good sight-seers, and it was fun to all be together.