Our family had the most amazing vacation to Hawaii for Christmas 2013. When my mom got called to serve her mission at the PCC in Hawaii we decided we just had to go visit her. Christmas seemed like the perfect time. How can you beat Hawaii at Christmas...especially if Grandma is there!
We headed out on December 17th and were able to travel to Hawaii without any travel issues. The kids did great on the flights. Our flight left Utah at about 11:20 am and we had one layover in L.A. We arrived in Hawaii at about 8 pm. It took quite a while to get our rental car and then to drive to our house which was about an hour away from the airport. With the time difference it was super late for the kids. They all fell asleep on the drive. We arrived at our house at about 10 pm (1 am Utah time) and were so happy to see my Mom there waiting for us. She had stocked the house with tons of yummy food for us. She gave each of a traditional Hawaiian greeting with kisses to the cheeks and a Kukui nut lei for each of us. The kids got a candy lei too. It was wonderful to see Grandma again!
When we made it back to Laie we went to Grandma's house to see where she lives and then went to the PCC to ride on the Christmas Lagoon.
I really wanted to take some family pictures while we were in Hawaii and decided Sunday afternoon was the perfect day to do it. So we walked down to our beach and took some pictures there.
This wave picture is a little out of order, but I think it's pretty so I'll just leave it. The waves on the North Shore were so huge. The were 15-20 ft swells for several of the days we were there.
I enjoyed spending time at the Temple. The grounds are very beautiful and there is a wonderful spirit there. I really wanted to see a sunset from the beach. So we headed over to Sharks Cove to watch the sunset. Grandma had a practice for a choir performance she was doing that night so she didn't come with us to Sharks Cove.
Day 7 we enjoyed another beautiful sunrise together. We all decided that snorkeling was one of our favorite things so we spent the morning snorkeling again while Grandma worked at the PCC.
We spent the afternoon at the Dole Plantation. We rode on the Pineapple Express train and learned about how they grow pineapples. Then we ate some yummy pineapple ice cream. There was a beautiful rainbow while we were eating our treats. I was just amazed by how many rainbows we saw while in Hawaii. I think there was at least one every day.
Then we went back to our house to open presents.
We decided to spend the day snorkeling at Kulima Cove. Grandma decided to come in the water with us. She spent quite a long time snorkeling with us and had a really fun time. James borrowed a GoPro from one of his coworkers so we were able to get some good underwater footage of our snorkeling adventures.
I have to say a big THANK YOU to my Mom for making our trip so amazing. For many people the blessings they receive for having a parent serve a mission are intangible and hard to define. We have received many of those kind of blessings while she's been serving. But we also were able to enjoy a very real, easily defined blessing in the form of this amazing vacation. It will be a fun memory we will have forever. Thanks Mom for all you did to help us have an amazing time!