On Monday night I called the Air Force base that goes to Hawaii. (It is 1.5 hours away). All of a sudden they had two flights listed for Tuesday morning. One at 6AM and one at 9:30AM. (I had been calling all day but there weren't any flights scheduled, so I called Monday night to see what flights they had for Wednesday - they only tell you 48 hours in advance.) I told Jeremy to get out of bed and get these bags packed. We left at 3:30AM the next morning. After some delays we got on a plane and took off at 1PM. We rode in a C5. You can look that plane up but it is a HUGE plane and we had to walk up 2 flights of stairs to get to the passenger seating area. We had regular airplane seats but they looked 20 years old. Then they close the door and there are no windows and it got really dark. We had the lights above our heads for reading like in a real plane but I had a slight panic attack. Mostly because I wasn't sure if I was in a plane or a submarine because it looked like it could have been either one. (I also began to wonder if they would ever have submarines that could take you somewhere.) Anyway, 5 hours later we arrived in sunny Hawaii where the air smelled sweet from the minute we got off the plane. We stayed on base for the first night and then went to the zoo:
This was a crazy tree outside the zoo. It was a miniature maze.
This zoo was super cool. We didn't have time for everything but they had elephants, rhinos, crocs, alligators, even the flowers and trees were worth seeing.
These turtles looked fake but they weren't. And there were plenty of animals mating, as demonstrated here. (I couldn't not take a picture.)
So this is where we stayed on our second night. It was a house on the North side of the island. We were out in the country. But it was right on the ocean. We couldn't jump in it from the back, though. We just had a great view and the beaches were a five minute walk. We were right across from the Polynesian Cultural Center (No, we did not go the PCC. My kids and organized events don't mix.) and the temple.
Cody loved hiding in this closet. I don't know why. There were geckos living everywhere in this house but the worst part were the cockroaches. Ugh.
This is what we did most of the trip. Beach, Shower, eat, beach, shower...etc. There was one point where my cousins and I were doing a workout video and as we were jumping around one of the cousins had sand dumping on the floor from her swimming suit.
Nana Colleen and Papa Randy! Gotta get buried in the sand to have a real experience, right? This pic is seconds before a big wave comes and knocks her out of her hole. She didn't like that.
We didn't need a life vest for Cody. That kid wouldn't go near the water. He also hated the sand in his shoes and on his feet, so he played in the sand. He gave us lots of dirty looks when we tried to make him go swimming. He reminded me of my dad. "Leave me alone. Let me do my thing."
So we went to Pearl Harbor....My 3 year old HATED it. She cried almost the whole time. She was angry at everything. It sucked. Yes, I went to Pearl Harbor but I didn't really experience it. When we were leaving, finally, she cheered right up. GRRRR...KIDS!!!! Maybe she could see the dead soldiers. That is my way of making sense of something that made no sense and was frustrating.
Callie, Jeremy, Kevin...there are more pictures that everyone took but this is all I have.
The only other event not mentioned is the wedding. We have a rehearsal dinner and went to a fancy hotel for a bridal shower on the night before the wedding. We had an amazing "virgin strawberry banana daiquiri in a huge pineapple". Yes, we got weird looks from the bartender but it was sooooo worth it. We ordered room service and had amazing views on both sides of the room. But that was just me and my cousins.
We traveled back on Monday on a C-17 or an ABC9...or who the heck knows. It was a great trip and the plane rides were spontaneous but free! You can't beat that. I think we are going to like military life.