August 20, 2017-Hawaii Adventure!

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Around 5 this morning, I heard someone coming down one ofthe bunk ladders. It was Whitman and he was soon in bed with me. Now, all ofthis amazed me since he fell asleep at supper and somehow woke up in thepitch-dark room and was able to navigate his way down the ladder and into ourbed.

After tossing with Whitman for a bit, I finally got upand climbed into the shower. I decided that I might as well take my time andenjoy a warm shower. I did have a good laugh because I had told the boys thatthey would be able to go to the bathroom, wash their hands and take a shower atthe same time. Surprisingly, the bathroom was a bit bigger than I had expectedand Graham had been disappointed that he couldn’t multitask.

Keaton, Whitman and I were all awake and dressed beforeRobby was out of bed this morning. Whitman and Keaton were anxious to get tothe playroom for the pirate treasure hunt. They were a bit disappointed when Iexplained that it was much later tonight. Soon though we were upstairs in thebuffet. The choices were plentiful and a bit overwhelming. It was packed but westill found some food. Whitman picked a banana and yogurt and Keaton had eggs,sausage and a cinnamon roll. I tried a few different things for my breakfast.

The boys showed up and we all grabbed a box of cereal forour snack later. Before too long, Robby and Pops were heading to go and pick upour cars for the day. They had a bit of a walk and opted for an uber to takethem to the rental car place.

The rest of us left the boat and found a shady spot towait on the cars. Leaving the boat is a bit of an ordeal-two car seats, todaywe had 7 National Park passport books, 6 Jr. Ranger books to turn in, Robby’sbag and backpack (You may be on PDO but there is still work to be done), thegirls pineapple backpacks (I made those things so they are carrying them!), 8water bottles in an ice chest, some candy and probably a few other items. Itwas enough that I was glad to sit my bags down! Soon they were back and wehopped in the cars. From there, we headed upcountry to Halekeala National Park.The drive was pretty and full of turns but not exactly what I would expect forMaui to look like. Our trek tomorrow will take us to more Maui-ish looking sights.

We visited the first visitor center and then drove 10more miles of hairpin curves to make it to the summit. It was a rocky,moon-like place full of craters and a volcano that might be active again or sothey say. The visitor center at the top was closed so down we trekked to thelower visitor center so the kids could get their Jr. Ranger badges. Poor Reagannever seems to thrilled about becoming a Jr. Ranger anymore; I guess that sheis getting too old for it but as long as she is in the age range, she willstill be getting one.

After leaving the National Park, it was still a goodlittle jaunt to get back down the hill. We turned when we were almost to thebottom of the hill to stop at a Lavender Farm. Soon we were on a steep uphillwindy road and Robby told me that we had .8 miles on it. Jason was driving theother car so Pops was in ours and he shouted, “how many?” He had miss heardRobby and thought that he said 28 more miles!
It wasn’t nearly that far and soon we were at the mostbeautiful place. It was a lavender farm but they also had peaches, lemons andall kinds of succulents growing. The farm was on the side of a hill and youoverlooked the ocean and mountains. I figured that Oprah must live somewherenearby because if I had all of the money in the world, I would certainly livethere too.

It was nearly 2 and we were getting hungry so Robbybought 4 lavender scones for us to share along with some lavender lemonade. Thescones were good and you couldn’t really
taste the lavender but the lemonade was a bit toolavender for most of my kiddos. Either way, it did hit the spot-at least untilwe could get back on the boat.
From there we headed back to the boat, I jumped in Pops’car and everyone else but Whitman climbed out. Whitman was sound asleep-blessthat poor little guy; traveling is tough on a 4-year-old. Robby had planned onparking our cars at a nearby 24-hour grocery store but he was just a bit uneasyabout it so we sat in the car trying to find plan B. Thankfully, plan B wascheap and semi nearby.

We drove both cars to the Maui Beach Hotel where we paid5 dollars to park each one. Then he dropped Whitman and me off at the boat andwent back to park his car. I joined
everyone else upstairs in the buffet. They were closingit so there were few options but I do believe the kids found enough junk tosatisfy them until supper time.
Robby had to walk over a mile to get back to the boat-Iguess if he was counting his steps that would be a good thing. Speaking ofcounting steps, Pops is counting his and has a fit bit but sometime thismorning he tried to burn the boat down with his. Somehow, he dropped somechange on the fit bit and charger and blew their circuits along with burned hischarger up. Everything is well now and hopefully Pops won’t start anymorefires.
After the kids ate, we headed down to our rooms to put onbathing suits. Keaton didn’t want to go swimming but she quickly decided thatshe did once she saw everyone else wearing theirs. The kids had a blast in thetwo different pools going back and forth to each one. I did leave their gogglesin the room which probably wasn’t the best of ideas since everyone’s eyes soonlooked a bit red.

Robby left in the middle of swimming to go and grab him abite of late lunch to eat. He went to one spot and ordered his food. I wasunder the impression that he was coming back to join me but he didn’t come andhe didn’t come so finally I text. He said that it was a bit of a sit-down placeso he ate some there and tried to figure out how to bring me some.
He finally showed up with some brownie cheesecake for mealong with some loaded French fries. Soon the kids were finished swimming andGraham was anxious to play a round of ping pong with someone. Robby wentupstairs with him to play and before I knew it, everyone was playing a game ofshuffleboard.

We headed back to our rooms for everyone to change intotheir clothes. At one point Keaton, Whitman, Graham and Campbell were all inour room and it was a bit crowded! Ha! That is an understatement-we were justable to shuffle one way or shuffle another way.
When everyone was dressed again, we headed to theCadillac Diner. This is where Robby had grabbed his food from earlier in theday and I don’t think that they recognized him. I offered for us to sit at 2tables for 4 but we ended up all together and outside. Being altogether wasfine and being outside was fine for the first few minutes but soon the sun wentdown and it was chilly!

After everyone ate, we headed to the kid’s club to dropeveryone off for the Pirate Night. Whitman was beyond excited and could notwait to show me the pirate decorations. There weren’t too many kiddos around soI wasn’t too sure if my big ones would enjoy it or not. That is okay thoughbecause I just want them to try out new things-including new foods. Reagan hadbeen doing awesome at that and is trying some new foods all the time. Grahamwill eat most anything but everyone else, not so much!
The grownups ate supper at the other main dining roomtonight, Skyline. The food was good-I had minestrone soup, Szechwan chicken,lava cake and pecan pie (which was just a nut pie really. They needed to addsome Karo.)

By the time that supper was over, it was nearly time topick up the kids. Keaton and Whitman had the best time ever. They came out ofthe room all talking at once about everything that they did. Campbell had justas much fun on the pirate treasure hunt as the littles. The boys enjoyed it aswell and when I asked Reagan if she wanted to go back, she said that itdepended on what they were doing in the kid’s area and on what we were doing.

Once we were back in our rooms, we washed the piratepaint off Graham, Anderson and Keaton’s faces. Then it was time for bed-it isjust 10:20 and I am finished with the blog and about to lay down in bed. Thatis pretty much a record for me but it still will be a few hours before anythingis posted since we don’t have internet in our room.

August 19, 2017-Hawaii Adventure!

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We made it back to the house in no time at all. The traffic was light since everyone was at the Diamond Head parking lot. We were supposed to be out of the house at 10 and it was nearly 9 when we arrived back. This was fine but there was still a lot to do in the house.

Graham had a shower and I worked with everyone zipping up their suitcases and stuffing the last few things in their carry ons. I got myself presentable again (or at least tried to) and then we were pulling out of the driveway. I had one good shower at that silly house but we would still stay there again. It had plenty of room and was a pretty good location.

After leaving the house, our first stop was the Punchbowl Cemetery. We drove around it for a bit and walked around before loading up and heading down to Waikiki. We did a bit of sightseeing in Waikiki and jumped out to take a few pictures at a big surfing area.

Then it was on to the King Kamehameha statue for a few pictures. That statue is seen often on Hawaii 5-0 which we often watch. By this time, we had already driven past our boat and the kids were incredibly anxious. We bypassed going to Hilo Hatties and headed for the Pride of America.

Robby and Pops dropped us off and headed back to drop of the rental cars. We drug all of the suitcases into the cruise terminal. After stopping at a bench to rest and for a potty stop, we dropped off our bags and went back to the wait on Robby and Pops.

The kids waited patiently-Reagan helped Whitman do his coloring book and the rest of the kiddos played some card games. And speaking of Reagan-she can surely step up when she needs to. She had completely packed her suitcase and carry on and helped Keaton do hers as well. It is fun to watch the kids grow up and figure out how to do things for themselves.
When Robby and Pops arrived, they dropped off their luggage and then we went to check in. First was the security and then we were all presented leis. The girls received flower leis and the boys were given seashell leis. Reagan had been really wanting a lei and she was pretty excited to get her one. Too bad her lei is a real flower lei-It won’t last!

The lines at check in weren’t too long and we were soon having our pictures taken before boarding the boat. Once we walked inside the huge lobby, Keaton could barely understand that we were on a boat and it was also our hotel.

We dropped off some of bags and went upstairs to eat in the buffet area. There were plenty of food choices-tons actually. Everyone found something that they enjoyed eating. I did feel a bit bad for my little people since they aren’t tall enough to see the food offered and can’t really read the signs so they have no idea what there was. I just told Whitman to tell me what you want to eat and they will have it.

After we all ate until we were full, everyone walked around the ship some. The boys were quick to find the basketball court, big checkers and shuffleboard. We have played at least 244 games of shuffleboard. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the rules too well from jr. high when we learned them.
We walked by the pools, saw the game room and even noticed a few restaurants. When they announced that our cabin was ready we headed down. Nonna and Pops have a window so their cabin is just a hair larger than ours. Thankfully, we are all right nearby each other. Jason, Anderson and Graham are in one room, Reagan and Campbell are with Nonna and Pops and that leaves Whitman and Keaton with us. Don’t tell anyone, but we really have the easiest kiddos with us.

At 6, we all met back upstairs to the Sail Away party. People were jumping in the pool with their clothes on (the alcohol must really be flowing already) and Robby told Graham that he could go ahead and jump in. Of course, Graham had to ask a zillion times, “are you sure?” and “really?” before he headed towards the pool.

He was so excited to jump in the pool with his clothes on. Anderson was a bit bummed that he didn’t get to do it but he already had on his supper clothes. Campbell, of course, wanted to do it as well but Robby told her that some things the boys just get to do and the girls don’t. I should have used that as a segue way to discuss not wearing white t-shirts when you are going to get wet. There were even examples that I could have pointed out to the girls.

After all of this, Reagan had a snack and the girls hung with Robby for a few minutes while I took the boys to go and play shuffleboard. During this time, we sailed away. I took Whitman over to show him that we were moving and he cried out, “But I’ll miss Arkansas.”

We then headed back to our room to put on our supper clothes and then we hurried back to the restaurant for our dinner reservations. Tonight we ate at the Liberty dining room. I was incredibly proud of the kids for trying new things. Graham had steak, Reagan and Anderson had meatballs, Campbell had chicken tenders, Keaton had mac and cheese, Whitman had pb and j. Now only a few of them did try something new but still, any little bit makes me happy.

Reagan also tried a matzo ball soup and Anderson had siracha chicken legs for their appetizers. When it came time to order our food, Robby asked the waiter which one he preferred and he said that he would just bring Robby both. He didn’t want that-no one needs two entrees. Now, two desserts is another thing entirely.

Our food was all delicious. Robby and I both had crab cakes (wonderful yet tiny) and pork tenderloin. The black bean on our dish was excellent but I wasn’t too crazy about the meat. Robby however said that he really liked his.

Poor Whitman could barely keep his eyes open as we waited for dinner and after a while Robby volunteered to take him back to the room. After eating a few bites of his cookie, he soon fell asleep with his head at the table.

The desserts were great and our waiter was wonderful with the kids. When they told him what they wanted for dessert, he would even ask if they wanted ice cream. Not only that but he also cut up Graham’s steak when he saw him struggling with his wife.

Dinner last a good long while-long enough that Keaton and Graham could have fallen asleep on the table too. Afterwards, we headed back to our rooms and put on pjs. Whitman never woke up, Keaton was out petty soon after her shower, Robby didn’t last too long on his computer and it is just me awake working on this blog.

Overall, it has been a pretty great day and tomorrow will be lots more fun too! But for now, good night!