Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Paradise Part V

Next up, our visits to Hickam AFB and the infamous palm tree, the whale watching cruise, and Punchbowl.

 This is exactly where Aaron's family took pictures for their Christmas cards in 1982 (I think). The palm tree is a bit taller now.

 Diamondhead and the runway in the background.

 See? THE palm tree is quite a bit bigger. In the 1982 version, the top of the tree could be seen in a close up shot. 

 Now, in order to get the top of the tree in the picture, faces can't be seen.

 The runway, which the airport and the base share, is built out on a reef.

 Every year, there's a big to-do for the lighting of the water tower on Hickam. It is very pretty...the lights change between red, white, and blue.

 One evening we went out to eat at one of the restaurants at the Hale Koa, the military hotel where Grandpa & Grandma were staying. I tried to get a picture of Daddy and the kids in front of a huge banyan tree in the courtyard...here's what I got.........

 Isaac's aim was a bit off in the bathroom, so we had to get him another outfit to wear. Luckily the Hale Koa has its own BX!

 Oh boy.

The kids each got little umbrellas in their drinks. Isaac would say, "Uh oh! It raining!" and pull out his tiny umbrella and hold it over his head. So cute :)

 Anna and Jacob both had Macadamia-encrusted Mahi Mahi. I'm really proud of them for being willing to try new foods while we were there. They both loved it, too!

The Hale Koa has a whole bunch of large Christmas displays every year. The kids really liked walking through and seeing them all.

 It's Bullseye!

Anna told me they were pretending that the teddy bear was Pharaoh, she was Moses, and Jacob was Aaron. :)

Our last day in Hawaii was very busy! It worked in our favor, in many ways, that we had a red eye flight and didn't leave until 11pm. That gave us one more day to fit in a whale watching cruise AND another trip to the beach!

 The naturalist showed us how big a whale is when it's born...15 feet long!!


 Can you see them out there?

 Dolphins!! We found, or rather they found us, several pods of spinner dolphins! It really did seem like they were performing for us. They came right up next to the boat and swam around and jumped out of the water. The kids really enjoyed seeing them!

We saw a submarine, too.

We went around Diamonhead to the "exclusive" side. Wow...there were some really impressive houses!

 We didn't see any whales, but I think the dolphins made up for it! They started calling it the "dolphin cruise" instead of the "whale cruise". 

 The pink building complex is Tripler Hospital, the military hospital.

After our cruise, we drove up to Punchbowl Memorial Cemetery. Breathtaking beauty...

 View from the edge of Punchbowl. On the lower right of this picture, you can see the Capitol building.

After Punchbowl, we headed back to Hickam Harbor for one last romp on the beach.

Then it was back to the house to clean up, pack up, and eat supper. No one wanted to go back to Kansas!!

 "Kansas is DUMB!! I wanna stay in Hawaii." Me too, buddy!

We had a 6+ hour flight from Hawaii to Denver and I am SO thankful that all 3 kids slept the entire flight. In fact, Anna and Isaac were asleep before the plane even took off! 

So there's our trip to Paradise. So much fun, so many memories made, and we can't wait to go back!!!