Back in February, Jon and I started talking about planning a trip to Hawaii - one in which we would take the kids. We have blinked and are already at the phase of life where our time with all our kids living at home is quickly fading. Family vacations are an important part of our life and we make a conscious effort to save money to do them. There are other huge things - like a remodeled kitchen - that we could save for, but for now, it's more important for us to spend this time with our kids.
Jon is such a good sport when I come to him with ideas for trips! I dreamed of taking the kids to Oahu (to do all the normal touristie stuff) and inviting our parents to go along. We started looking for places to stay and talked with our parents. My mom immediately said yes! She was so excited! My dad was hesitant to commit to come. He's had some health issues ever since returning from his mission and ultimately decided not to come. Jon's mom was also excited to come. I was thrilled when she told us she could come because she had lived in Hawaii while my father-in-law taught at the Church College (now called BYU- Hawaii) when she had just a couple of small kids. She hasn't been back since. But, then in August, she had a subdural hematoma and underwent brain surgery. This woman is incredible and has done amazingly well and decided that still going to Hawaii was possible. Bless her!
Diane flew to Salt Lake on Saturday (Halloween) and we left really early on Sunday morning. (I chose this particular week to go because it was the very first week of a new term. I felt bad having the kids miss a week of school, but since they don't ever miss school otherwise, I decided it was what we needed to do. We couldn't go over UEA because we didn't know what Emily's soccer team would be doing in the State Tournament and she was in Driver's Ed and you just can't miss drive times/class for that).
It was no easy feat to get packed and ready for this trip, while trying to do all the normal Halloween stuff. We actually took down our cobwebs on Halloween day so that they weren't up the entire week we were gone. I also treated myself and had my house cleaned while we were gone - definitely something I would add to the budget again!
We must have been quite the sight - 2 adults, 2 grandmas and 7 kids! But, the flights were great. We flew through San Diego and then onto Oahu. The kids were really, really good and even though the flights were longer than I remember, Alaska Airlines were fabulous and we arrived!
It took awhile to get our rental cars (yes, we got 2 - one minivan and one regular car). Jon took his mom and several kids and headed to our condo and I took my mom and a couple kids and stopped at Sam's Club on the way.
We stayed in Ko Olina, which is on the west side of the island. We stayed at the Ko Olina Beach Villas, which is right in between Disney's Aulani and a huge Marriott Resort. We had 3 bedroom/3 bath condo and it was awesome! We were right on the beach and had a kitchen to cook in. I would totally recommend it and if we ever go back, it's where we'll stay!
We were so tired and ready to get to the condo! I think we were all in bed by 8:30 (a 3 hour time difference, plus the night before we went off Day Light savings), so it was like 12:30 am the time we were used to!
We had a good size layover in SD. Jon went on a search for decent food. Funny note: the family in the background was on all our flights and we even picked the same day to go to the PCC. We kept running into them :)
Honolulu International Airport
Cute Diane looking at the Hawaiian sky once again!