Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hawaii Days 5,6 & Coming Home

On day 5 was kind of a sick day. Devree and Dane really weren't feeling well so I stayed with them and we snuggled and watched tv. Todd, Noble and Shay had a scuba day. The Marriott offered a free dive lesson in the pool and for a little more you get taken out on a boat all day and go for a real dive! Todd has his Padi certification from when we lived in Hawaii before. Shay and Noble were so excited. They bought an awesome CD with all of their underwater adventures. Sea Turtles swam right up to them, beautiful tropical fish and a moray eel looked too close! Beautiful pictures.
They came back starving and we had a most awesome dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. I took Dane to lunch at a little Italian Cafe and Dane didn't want to eat and I spent $31 for a calzone and some pineapple juice. Food was really expensive but boy did we have exquisite food just about everytime we ate. I had the best lobster I have ever eaten one night. We had macadamia nut encrusted mahi mahi, guava infused ribs, steak, fish and oh so many wonderful things to eat. We went to Sandy beach above and it is the beach with the most neck and back injuries of any beach. It was a bit frightening.

This is a little place to buy Hawaiian plate lunch. We wanted the kids to sample local fare. We ate Shoyu chicken, Beef Curry, Mahi Mahi, coconut shrimp with lots of rice and of course Hawaiian shaved ice again. Oh we had mango everytime we found it in smoothies, ice cream, sorbet, fresh etc. We had mango crepes one morning for breakfast. Oh we had lots of taro items. Purple tortillas, bread made from taro were all very tasty.
In this same place we had plate lunch, the place is covered in bible scriptures...BUT Devree discovered this sign (Team Jacob) and we had Shay point it out for the camera.
You can't see it well but this is a beautiful turquise water on a white sand beach peeking through the trees.
Can you see how pretty it is? Oh what a beautiful day. I wanted the kids to see how green and clear the ocean can be in Hawaii. This beach was much better about being safer. But a great boogie board or body surfing beach. The waves were not as scary as at Sandy beach.
Here we are acting crazy to finally sit and eat dinner at the Cheesecake Factory after waiting for 1 hour. The place is so huge and there is always a huge line waiting to get in.
Our last day we had to check out of our hotel at 7am so we could have a final breakfast at Dukes and be at Pearl Harbor at 9am. Here we are riding to the Arizona Memorial. After waking up at 6am, everyone is not as chipper as we could be.
Shay is on the water side of the boat.
The Arizona Memorial. We did not find any Hamblin's or Mackley's. We did find a Rice and Rogers. The Pearl Harbor survivor that was supposed to be our personal tour guide, was ill. But we were very awed by the film before we went to the Memorial.

The remains of the ship with oil still coming to the surface.
We took everyone to the swap meet. It was so hot and muggy but the deals were always there. Devree stayed in the car we parked in the shade. Shay and Noble were always trying to buy things in Waikik and they each bought 1 thing. We tried to get them to wait until the swap meet. When they finally saw the deals, they wished they had waited. But they still bought some wonderful momentos. The cutest story is about stopping and buying some fresh mango. Dane asked if he could have 2 of the left over coconut shells. He made the sound of clopping horses MANY TIMES and was happy with his FREE entertainment. Dane didn't need to buy anything. He was so adorable about wanting to hold my hand or anybody's hand when we needed to go to crowded places.
Noble had been looking and looking for an ukelele. He made a good deal with this one and including a case to hold it in.
We went to Hanauma Bay. It has changed tooo much. There is no more feeding the fish and the toilet bowl is all blocked up. They now charge $7.50 per person to go down and there are not as many fish. But the snorkeling was still fun and the boys did see some fish.
This is the mandatory waiting to see the video before they let anyone go down. It was hot, muggy and then we they let us in, there was no seating. You had to stand and watch the video.
We had gotten too much sun the day before but we had to go back to the scuba people to pick up the CD with all of the pictures before 5pm. Traffic is always bad and we knew we were not going to make it before they closed so we called first and they put the CD between the doors so we could still get it.
We decided to find Chinatown and have chinese food. Chinatown is scary after 6pm. We had to drive around until we finally found a place that we thought that we could safely park and safely have dinner. We had a wonderful chinese dinner and by the time we got done, it was time to turn in our car and get to the airport. Our flight did not leave until 10pm. The flight home was horrible. We flew to San Francisco and there was a very STINKY man sat close to Noble and I. Then the arrangment to get home was fly to Phoenix then switch airlines to fly to Reno. In Phoenix we had to go to a different terminal on a bus and then we had to go through security again. That was a MESS! Anyway we finally got home at 2pm. That means that the family was up for about 30 hours! We can't complain though. This vacation was absolutley the vacation of a lifetime and THANK YOU Make A Wish! You made Devree's wishes come true and the families. It is hard to imagine we were in sunny, warm, sweet smelling Hawaii just yesterday. But now back to life and what a wonderful life it is.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hawaii Day 3 and 4

We started off Saturday by going to Walmart. It is interesting to see a parking lot and Walmart all in the same building in Waikiki. As we were driving to the North Shore Noble got to see the hospital where he was born. We went to Haleiwa and had the famous Matzomoto's Hawaiian Shaved Ice with sweet red beans and ice cream in the bottom. It was delicious. We saw all of the locals stopping at this beach between Waimea and Sunset. The waves were wonderful.
We got to the Polynesian Culture Center (PCC) a little after one pm. Here we are at one of the waterfalls.
A banana plant beside the Samoan village. I forgot to tell you that when we landed the stewardess told us about getting on to the "Wiki Wiki bus to go to the baggage area". Devree said "Did you hear that lady? She made a mistake and said Wiki Wiki"? I explained that Wiki Wiki means quick quick.
Dane loved the hibiscus flower. Because of all of the beautiful fragrant flowers at the temple Dane declared "This place smells like shampoo! Good Shampoo!" When we went to the movie theater Dane asked loudly "Why does this place smell like wet swimming suits?" A lady laughed at Dane. I tried to explain that when it is wet and moist everywhere, it has a certain smell.
We are watching the presentation at the Samoan Village. You can tell how entertaining Kap is. The jokes have been the same for 23 years and are still funny. They have made some new ones about being a fan of the coconut on Facebook and being part of the "Nut club".

This is Kap. Todd and I knew him going to BYUH and his charcoal portrait is hanging up in our den at home. He is the main fire dancer in the night show "Ha Breath of life". He remembered us and he even took water color classes from Uncle Wylie Swapp way back when. Kap is an artist in several mediums and sells his art work at PCC.
Kap called Noble up to drink some coconut water. Kap told Noble that he would be ripped like him (Kap) by tomorrow morning. But a few inches shorter. Ha! Ha! Noble said he wouldn't mind having muscles like him and would give up his few inches taller.

Posing with Kap. I told Kap. "Wow you are FAMOUS!" Kap's picture is on all of the advertising of PCC because he is the fire dancer.
The New Zealand part of PCC.
Learning the stick game where you beat and a rythum and throw the sticks across to your partner. Noble and Shay got quite good at it.
The kids all got painted on tatoos.

Another skill, sport where it is sort of like a relay.
We went back to the Samoan village and helped uncover the ground oven and helped sample all of the food they cooked. We tasted shark cooked in coconut milk, taro, green banana and bread fruit baked in little green bundles tied up with leaves.
In the Tahitian villge they called Shay up to demonstrate the male way to dance. He loved the attention and danced the "funky chicken" well.

This is the prize he got for dancing.
In the Fiji villiage we learned how to beat out songs with bamboo poles. The cow song was still sung in the car the next day. Moo Mai Mooooooooooo Maiaiaiaiaiaiaaaaa!
Shay was the only brave one to get on the bamboo raft with plyboard from our family and he got a turn pushing the 3 passengers around the lagoon for a bit.
Here we are at the luau where they uncovered the pig cooked in the ground and we received more orchid leis. The senior missionary that helped us at the luau had a son that went to the Philippines on his mission too.
Devree got a VIP tour backstage at PCC. This is called line up and the performers are getting told about changes etc.
This is Ricky. Through our friends the Mahoni's, they arranged for a private tour with the star of the show Ricky. He plays Manu.
The girl dancers came out on stage and were polite enough to pose for a picture with Devree and I.

The boy dancers posed with us back stage.

I can honestly say that PCC's "Ha Breath of Life" is the best show they have ever presented. It is so beautiful with the story that I was crying at the end. I LOVED IT! After the wonderful show Ricky posed with the whole family. Ricky was the perfect guide. So kind and attentive to Devree and really showed us all of the ins and outs of the performance. We couldn't thank him enough. Ricky is graduating in Information Systems and has already started Web designs for people. He will be graduating soon from Brigham Young University Hawaii and he has been married for 1 year. He is originally from Samoa but moved to Hawaii when he was a teenager.
This is the Mahoni family. How kind of their family to meet us after the show and let us meet almost all of their children. They even gave us wonderful gifts! They arranged the back stage tour and guide and gave us a really special gift. William makes replicas of ancient Hawaiian weapons. They are a type of knife made of koa wood with tiger shark teeth on each side like a blade. It is very beautiful and quite the dangerous weapon. What a treasure that was presented to our boys. I was so hoping to see the Mahonis when we came and now my wish came true and they were so hospitable and kind to us. Thanks again William and Tania.
We were on our way home in a pouring rain storm. The trip was almost 1 hour to get back to our hotel in Waikiki. About 15 mins. before our arrival back at the hotel Dane got sick and vomitted just about everywhere in the van. Do you know how hard it is to drive with your windows down in a rain storm with the rain going side ways? We usually have to park on the very top of the parking garage, out in the weather because we get back so late. We were blessed and found a parking space out of the rain. We had to strip Dane down and wrap a towel around him. Send him up to the room to get cleaned up. Noble, Todd and I took the rest of the towels to try to get most of it cleaned up. There was puke on all of the clothes. I took up a load of clothes and towels and tried to wash everything out in the bath tub with a bar of soap. The hotel does have a clothes line in the bath tub so I was able to get some dry, partly. The next day I was taking the clothes so we could find a proper laundromat at Waimanalo and wash them after church. Only one guy in the elevator gave me a funny look. He probably smelled the aroma. I didn't even know if we could make it to church. Everyone woke up feeling better and we got there really late.
We called Rosalie and arranged to go to her ward in Waimanalo. Her husband Mel waited for us to arrive. We came very late. Rosalie had made leis and he gave us the traditional Hawaiian greeting and we came into the back of the church. The meeting was wonderful and the High Councilman spoke of his son going to the Philippines and also their ward has a missionary in the Philippines too! Rosalie had the ward sing" Aloha Oe" after the closing prayer and we had to stand in the front. We really felt the Aloha Spirit there and they gave us more gifts of Scripture bags the women had sewed. That will help us remember the wonderful spirit we felt there. I am happy for Rosalie, but I miss her in our Dayton ward.

Make a Wish had arranged for us to go to Sea Life Park for Devree's Dolphin encounter on Sunday. Since it was only 10 minutes from the church we were able to go and change clothes at Rosalie and a new friend's place. They live in a senior complex with apartments. Rosalie and Mel live in a cute little place and were so kind to wash and dry our load of clothes! That is true kindness! They met up with us later at the park. Devree is getting acquainted with a huge sea turtle that had 3 blue "c"'s on him. We called him "Charlie".
Bye Charlie!

I paid and let Noble, Shay and Dane feed the California Sea Lions. They actually got to feed the sea lions all of their fish for the day. A huge bucket full! Each sea lion has a station and certain amounts and the trainers show you which sea lion you feed. Then they say "STATIONS!" and the sea lions go to their particular place and get fed. The boys loved it.Devree at her dolphin encounter. She is a little scared.

She kissed the dolphin and the dolphin kissed her. We have the really expensive photos to show you sometime. Ha Ha!
Go Devree Go! How does that dolphin tummy feel? Devree had the most cheering of anyone there because we cheered LOUD!

I couldn't get Rosalie and Mel to turn but they are down at the end. We were all watching Devree with the dolphin. I told the trainer "Thanks for helping my girl fulfill one of her dreams! The trainer was really nice and we talked.
Here is the final goodbye with the trainer with the mask up on her forehead.
We went and watched the final show with the dolphins, sea lion and penguin. Thanks so much Mel and Rosalie. You made our Sunday extra special. It was great meeting you Mel. Rosalie I am glad you have a wonderful husband and I am so glad we got to see you. Thanks again for doing our laundry. Love you guys!