Since as long as I can remember Hawaii has been on my “next place to travel” list. It has always been a number one place that I wanted to visit, but it never ended up happening. Well things have changed and thankfully a cousin of James’ decided that Hawaii was where they wanted to get married and so we were all in!
One of the biggest blessings on the trip was having my mom travel along with us. She stayed in the same condo and flew in on the same flight with us, with three kids (one being a baby) it made it so much more manageable and less stressful. Most of James’ family was also in Hawaii nearby to where we stayed and we got to visit them a lot and have meals together. Having so much family on vacation at the same time made the trip.
Most of our days were spent lounging at the beach, watching the kids splash in the water and looking for all the fish and cool shells that we could. Before we left that was what we decided, we wanted to take this trip and come back relaxed. Often times on days off or holidays we try to do as much as we can and end up feel more tired at the end of it. I am so glad that we made that decision and stuck to it because the beach never got old and we all felt so good because of it.
The first day of the trip I opened up my laptop to finish up a few blog posts that I failed to complete and my computer only showed a file folder with a flashing question mark back at me. I tried to restart it and let the battery die out but that thing was not going to work. After the first couple days I took that as a sign that this was my holiday, and there was going to be very little work happening. With that said, I found that I even was relaxed on the amount of photos that I took and the majority of them were taken from my phone. We brought out the “big camera” a few times, but not enough to capture our trip.
Enjoy the phone photos below, they may not be the best quality but they capture the essence of our trip.
We arrived to our condo late late in the evening after flying into Honolulu around 11:30PM. Due to my poor navigational skills we got a little lost and didn’t make it to the North Shore until after 1 AM. The kids all napped for most of the flight and the car ride up to our place so by the time that we made it to our condo they were pretty excited and ready to explore our new home. We settled in, had a snack and then decided to call it a night.
The next morning we did some exploring down at Turtle Bay. We were renting a condo through VRBO within Turtle Bay and it was about a five minute walk to the main beach.
Before we left for Hawaii James was telling the kids that they were going to get buried in the sand. They were so excited about it and Sophie especially kept talking about it. The first day at the beach James followed through on his promise and the kids thought it was so hilarious!
This little hut was a treasure that we found in amongst the shrimp trucks. Hidden behind trees and shrubs was Auntys lil Green Hut. My visit here proved to me again about how small the world is, as I chatted to the pretty girl inside the truck we discovered that I followed her sister (blogger Taylor Golden owner of My Wild Bird) on Instagram. She also shared that she has an online shop called Polaris Trading Co.
After two days of beaching it was wedding day. James’ cousin and groom had chosen Kualoa Ranch as their wedding venue and it was absolutely stunning. This ranch is a 4,000 acre private reserve and was where most of Jurassic Park was filmed. In the images below you can see what the ranch looked like looking up at the mountains and while we are at the wedding you can see the view of the ocean from the wedding location. If you look close you can see an island out in the ocean that was breathtaking in person.
The majority of our days were spent lounging, trying new foods (me not so much), and just enjoying the sun. We experienced some rain and stormy days/nights but it never lasted long and for the most part the over cast days were the best so that we didn’t have to worry so much about being too hot and getting severe sun burns. The kids were content and we all turned into little fishes (almost).
Ezra was in his glory on his boogie board and we saw so much growth in him on this trip. He loved splashing in the water and even was showing off at the end of the trip how he wasn’t afraid to dunk his head. Between dunking his head and seeing him trying to float we were all pretty pumped.
Evelyn did a whole lot of snoozing on the beach but she did pop in for a dip for a couple times. The photo above is her first time in the ocean, ever. We weren’t sure at first if she was going to be into it, but she loved it.
Sophie wanted to be just like her big brother and try to catch waves on the boogie board. Out of everyone she was the biggest beacher. If we weren’t at the beach, she was talking about stories from the beach or repeatedly asking us to go to the beach. This one caught the travel bug young I think.
One of the only things that we really planned throughout the trip (besides the wedding of course) was to check out this waterfall. You could hop into the swimming area and go right up to it. Ezra was a little timid and made it a little ways over then wanted to get back out, Sophie swam right up to it with me and we got to feel it splashing back at us in our faces. My momma held Evelyn as we all went in for this little adventure, just another example of what a blessing it was to have her on this holiday with us.
On the last day we went to Shark’s Cove, which was a little beach not far from where we were staying. The name of it kind of turned us off of going at first but we are so glad that we checked it out. The lagoon is blocked off by large barriers of reef making the shallow water super calm and perfect for snorkling. You really didn’t even need the snorkles to get a view of the fish, as you can see below. This was where Ezra felt confident to start trying to float for the first time, it was great to be able to spend most of our day here and see the kids thriving.
It was hard saying goodbye to the North Shore beaches of Oahu. We loved that it was impossible not to feel relaxed, it was so peaceful and quiet. The last day we flew out late in the evening and so we went down to Waikiki in the early afternoon to be able to spend some time there. We hit up some places that were referred to us and stopped at the Dole Plantation for Pineapple whip (yum!). When we got into the city we were reassured that our decision to spend the entire trip on the North Shore was definitely a great decision. The hustle and bustle of the city isn’t bad, but what we needed was the peace and quiet that we got from the North Shore.
This holiday was without a doubt one that is always going to stand out to our family. The kids learned new skills and they all had their first trip together on an airplane. I can’t wait to see where our next adventure might be.