We changed into our pool attire and then snapped a couple of pictures to document our arrival and how very tired we were. We were only able to stay up because of the expectation of seeing Scott for the first time in over a month at the end of his work day. The 6 hour time difference proved to be quite difficult and we were almost over the jet lag by Friday... the day we began our return home.
However, it didn't stop us from enjoying some of the most beautiful sights and exciting adventures of our lives. Ella was so charming. People every where we went stopped us to chat with her because she was being so animated in her enjoyment of our vacation. It was such a pleasure to travel with and enjoy only one of my beautiful daughters at a time!! I can't wait to take a couple (or three) much smaller scale trips with the other girls sometime soon.
We didn't see nearly as much of Scott as either of us had hoped. We managed to have supper, breakfast, and the time in between with him, but we had to sleep some too! While Scott worked during the days, Ella and I kept ourselves incredibly busy. In general, Ella enjoyed the scenery and all the people watching, but she kept telling everyone who would listen that she really preferred the beach at Hilton Hey-ud. I think it was because the beaches themselves, the sand part, were much shorter than they are on the Atlantic.... not sure exactly but that's my guess. I suppose we should just be greatful that she likes the closer, easier for us to get to, beaches of the Atlantic and leave it at that.
We wandered around Waikiki and several beaches on Tuesday with one of my great old friends from mine and Scott's newlywed days at Ft. Campbell. Lisa has lived for the past several years on Oahu so she was an ideal tour guide. The late afternoon nap that day turned out to be a bad idea. We ended up having to wake Ella to go to dinner at 6:30pm, and you can just imagine how much fun she was thereafter. Wednesday Ella and I struck out on our own for a morning at the Honolulu Children's Discovery Museum. We did our souvenir shopping and hit both the pool and the beach early that afternoon. Somehow Ella managed to skip napping altogether on Wednesday even though she was getting much, much less than her usual 12 hours of sleep at night. Regardless, we went to the Hula Grill for a very enjoyable dinner with Scott that night that was probably our best while on the island.
On Thursday morning Lisa drove into town, picked the two of us up, and we all went over to Lisa's side of the island to the Ko Olina Resort property. Oh my goodness, it was absolutely gorgeous! We played by the pool all morning, walked to one of the resorts for lunch, checked out all the lagoons on our walk back to Lisa's place, and thanks to a Benadryl Ella fell asleep in the stroller on the walk back. While she took a much needed 2.5 hour nap parked in the shade, Lisa and I got caught up with each other and chatted away the afternoon poolside.
Scott picked us up at Lisa's that afternoon. Ella indulged in an ice cream cone as her "just a little while till dinner" snack. It was probably a good thing, though, because as mesmerized as she was with our company and the cook at Benny Hana's, she really didn't eat a thing there except for the bag of cheerios I was carrying in my purse. We chose the restaurant because it is a favorite of Parker, Connor, and Taylor's. We really had a blast dining with Woody and the kiddos that night. After our dinner the kids and Scott ran around outside like crazy people... just like old times. The last time we saw these guys was right around 3 years ago. Ella was just a tiny baby, and Taylor was still a toddler! Wow, time really flies.
On our last morning in Hawaii, Scott didn't have to work. You would have thought we'd all sleep in since the jet lag was finally wearing off, but instead Scott wanted to go surfing. I am thrilled that he was able to try it, and apparently he isn't bad at it at all. He says he got up on the very first try... amazing! Ella and I got out to the beach just in time to watch him finishing up his lesson, and I managed to get a picture of the two of them together. I was so impressed with Scott's desire and determination to learn to surf. He's wanted to try it for some time, and now that he has I'm quite sure he'll want to do it again and again. Me, on the other hand, I have no desire whatsoever to try to stand up on something that will inevitably toss me off into the wake of those terrible waves... it's hard enough to fight them on the shore!
So, to recap, overall our Hawaiian vacation was excellent. The time change made it tough, but traveling around with only one child made even the sleep deprivation part doable. We could just slow down or speed up depending on her mood, and I think I mentioned earlier just how delightful her little spirit was most of the time! We thoroughly enjoyed spending any time we could with Scott. I am not looking forward to his being gone for such a long time up ahead, but we have great memories of our trip to keep us going.
Ella slept for probably 8 of the 9 hours on our flight home. It was a red eye that left there at 3 in the afternoon and arrived in Atlanta at 5:45am the following day. I did everything I could to keep her comfortable and asleep and as a result didn't sleep more than 45 minutes total myself. I have been tired for the last couple of days, but I think things are finally back to normal for now.
I've got tons of other great stuff to write about..... the girls 2nd birthday party, getting ready for preschool to begin, and a commercial or two, but for now I'll end with a random fact that I discovered after reading road signs and hearing my friends use Hawaiian words while we were there. Did you know that the Hawaiian alphabet is made up of only 12 letters: 5 vowels (a, e, i, o, u) and 7 consonants (h, k, l, m, n, p, w)?? No wonder everything sounded so similar?!?
We had a great time, but we are so glad to be home to Maggie, Kate, and Sarah.... now if Daddy will just join us we'll be all set!