I had been so excited for this vacation. It’s been about 13 years since I stepped foot in Hawaii, and I have been eager to re-live my BYUH memories, and to share them with the kiddos. Hurricane Ana threatened to ruin our trip, but luckily she took a turn away from the islands and our flight was able to safely make it to Oahu. The kids spent weeks anticipating all the beautiful things we would see and fun we would have. This was spurred by Grandpa’s “fact of the day” where each day he would send them one new fact about the Hawaiian Islands. They absolutely loved this and learned so many fun facts. Their only disappointment was to learn that Oahu and Kauai only had brown sand beaches and not red, black, or green.
Of course, our animal siblings also came to Hawaii with us, and they couldn’t come unprepared. So they all got a new beach outfit for the trip.
The flight was long, but the kids did great. Except for poor Josh. He had a minor cold the week before and the pressure changes at take off and landing were killing his ears. The poor little thing was just sobbing as we descended to Honolulu.
It was a cloudy, slightly rainy day. We rented our car, which after a few arguments we named Dolphin Rider, and headed to the North Shore. Rusty and I oohed and aahed and we drove past all the spectacular scenery. As we made our way to Hau’ula, I wanted to stop and see where my college house had been. It took me a few tries to remember the exact road, but we found it. It’s so weird to know the house is gone. The new house in it’s place is much bigger and a whole lot nicer.
We finally arrived at the Kuilima Estates at Turtle Bay where we were staying. The kids absolutely loved that they got the whole loft to themselves, complete with a bathroom that they entered by a very tiny door.
Even though it was raining on and off we couldn’t wait to get to the beach. We walked down to the beach at Turtle Bay just to dip our toes in the water. That didn’t last long and soon the kids were fully clothed splashing and playing in the water.
We hit the hay early, excited to see what adventures tomorrow would bring.
The time change assured a very early morning for all of us. That turned out to be a good thing, as I was running the Gunstock Half Marathon at 7 am. Everyone was up, dressed, with breakfast eaten before 6:15 and we headed to Kahuku. I’d been pretty disappointed in the weather forecast for the trip, as the hurricane was making everything cloudy and rainy, but on race morning, that turned out to be a very good thing. I wouldn’t have survived the sun beating down. Overcast was perfect. The race was an Xterra trail race and the course was extremely beautiful. And extremely hilly. And a bit muddy. Within the first few miles I knew that this was not a course I could race well and so I just determined to sit back and enjoy the journey. It was my slowest half time ever and also without a doubt the hardest one I’ve ever done. I had a lot of fun running on single track trail through all the beautiful greenery, scaling big hills, and catching site of the ocean. I had been trading positions with this one girl all race and I was determined to keep up with her. But in the last few miles she started to pull ahead. I kept telling myself just to keep her in my sites. And I did until about the last mile. She had a considerable lead and I lost site of her. I was disappointed but I just kept plugging along. With about 1/2 mile to go, I turned a corner and saw her walking up ahead. I knew it was my chance! I had no more hills ahead of me and the trail was fairly groomed at this point. I dug down, determined to catch her. She started running again and I was still too far away to think of passing her. But then, she walked again! It was the break I needed and I blew by her with about 200 meters to go. She yelled, “No!” and started running again, but it was too late. I crossed the finish line first. I love racing!
The race was at a Ranch and the kids stopped to see some horses. Well, those horses came right over and stuck their heads in the window of our car, looking for a treat. Halle could have died, she loved it so much.
After that it was off to the North Shore! First stop—Sunset beach. The view of the coastline at Sunset has to be one of my very favorite views in the world. Even though the sun wasn’t out, the water was warm. The waves were crashing right along the shore line and everyone had fun on the body boards. The kids also loved letting the waves crash over them, or seeing if they could outrun the wave before it overtook them.
Next up, a visit to Haliewa for some Matsumodo’s Shave Ice and some Pizza Bob’s. Both of these turned out to be a disappointment. They didn’t live up the the expectation in my mind. Matsumodo’s was not good at all (although Rusty said it was because I had the worst flavor combo ever—pina colada and green apple. I thought Blake’s combo of bubble gum, lemonade, and green apple sounded much worse)
After our lunch was the moment I’d been waiting for. Tara Returns to Wiamea Bay. This beach is my favorite part of Hawaii and it felt so good to be here again. I have so many amazing memories here and I loved sharing this place with the kids. Blake is my little beach baby—he loves everything about it. It made my heart happy to watch him play and splash in the waves.
Now the rain really started to come down so we headed back to our condo for a shower and a rest. That evening we headed down to BYUH to meet up with Zack Cusworth, one of my cute Sunday School kids who started at BYUH this fall. It was fun to see him and to hear about all the things that had changed since I’d been there, and all the things that haven’t changed. 😉 Zack had to head to work at the Night Show at the PCC and we decided to eat dinner at the cafe for old times sake. WOW. I cannot believe I ate every meal there for 2 semesters. It was pretty gross. It was too rainy to really walk around the campus, but we did head the the temple for a few minutes. It’s such a beautiful building!
By this point we were beat! Another early bedtime for us!
We woke up early again the next morning only to be greeted by pouring rain. We had thought about doing the swap meet, hiking Diamond Head, or heading to Hanauma Bay, but all those ideas went out the window with the rain. Our flight to Kauai was scheduled to leave around 5:30 that evening, but we called Hawaiian airlines and bumped our flight earlier so at least we could be with Grandma and Grandpa and Landon while it rained. We decided to have brunch at Turtle Bay and try swimming in the pool. Although the rain ruined our plans, I do have to say, I LOVE LOVE watching the giant waves that were stirred up because of the storm. They are so beautiful. Our table at brunch faced the ocean and I was perfectly content sitting there watching the wave crash. We enjoyed our swim at the pool. The best part about Hawaii rain is that it is so warm! Then it was back to the condo to check out. We stopped for Dole Whips at the Dole plantation on our way to the airport. Kauai here we come!