Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Hawaii, Part I

Hawaii. Hawaii is unbelievable, as you know if you've ever been there. Gorgeous, breath-taking scenery. Beautiful, comfortable climate. Mostly unspoiled landscape. Generally friendly locals. Most of the amenities of home while still seeming completely unique. We were in Maui for 1 week, Honolulu for 2 days, and The Big Island for 1 week. A very long, satisfying trip. So much happened, I don't really know where or how to begin.

First, the travel. Travel with babies is difficult no matter how far you go, but 5.5 hours on a plane with my two terrors is bad enough, without the logistical nightmare of lugging two carseats, two carry-ons, two babies and a stroller through the airport. Isaac finally slept for about half the trip, after spending the first 3 hours kicking and screaming, demanding to "get down!", spilling soy milk all over me, ripping the airphone from its socket, and generally being exactly the kid who makes people say,"When I'm a parent, I'll never let my child behave like that." Vivian was not quite as loud, but she refused to sleep more than about 20 minutes, which meant the rest of the time she spent wiggling and bleating out her babbles to all our neighbors. I'm sure the first 30 minutes of "Babie? Babie? Digga digga digga, dada DA DA FEEE FEE FEE" were cute; after that, it's anybody's guess. On our trip out we were in coach, which on United Airlines means that you have approximately 3 inches of leg room. Fortunately for the return trip we somehow managed to be in "Economy Plus", which gave us quite a bit more room. That made a huge difference. Our other two travel days--from Maui to Honolulu and Honolulu to the Big Island--were not a whole lot better, despite the fact that those flights were short--about 30 minutes each. Still we had to pack all our crap, carry all the crap and the kids through the airport, return the rental car and entertain the munchkins while we waited at the gate. The only good thing to come of it all is that our trip home actually seemed fairly easy--now we are seasoned traveling-with-kids parents.

Hawaii is expensive. I don't know how anybody vacations there without help from their parents or some other benefactor. My parents paid for our flights and lodging; all we had to pony up for was the rental vans and living expenses while there. We are basically tapped out now for as far into the future as I can see. But it was all worth it.

Not only did we get an awesome vacation, I also got to see my whole family. I have mentioned before how much I miss them, and how I hate that my kids are growing up not knowing them well. So it was really fun for us all to get together and spend quality time learning about one another again.

Here's the clan:
Mom and Dad
Ann and Ed: my sister and her husband. She turned 38 while we were there.
Kitchel and Sawyer: my sister's kids. Kitchel (boy) almost 10. Sawyer (girl) just 8.
Chip: my younger brother. He's 30.
Leigh: Chip's "girlfriend". This is the first trip Chip has brought a girl, though it's very hard to tell if they are serious or not.
And us.
Total of 12 people. My brother and Leigh had to go back after Honolulu.

In Maui and the Big Island we stayed in private homes. Awesome homes, each with 5 or 6 bedrooms. In Honolulu we stayed at the Sheraton Surfrider Hotel.

We took close to 1000 photos while there, which I will share with you somehow. Perhaps I will finally use that Flickr account I set up months ago. But here a warning: this is going to take me a while. I don't even know how to use the new camera yet, don't know how to use flickr, and have a gazillion things on my to do list before I get to that. Also--my family doesn't know about my blog. Is it fair to post pictures of them without their knowledge? I guess not, but I'm really tempted to do it anyway. I'll have to think on that and come back to it.

Now I'm out of time again and I haven't even posted anything of value yet. I realize this is pretty boring so far but I'll try and get to the good stuff soon.

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