August 19, 2017-Hawaii Adventure!

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We were again awake at 6:00 this morning. I wish that I could wake up every morning at 6, but I know that I will soon be snoozing well past 6. The first thing that Whitman did this morning was try to leave our room and go and see “the others.” We pulled him in bed with us and he was pretty quiet until we went ahead and climbed out of bed.

By 6:30, I was backing that silly van down the huge hill again. This morning, Robby, the kids and I were headed to Diamond Head. Nonna, Pops and Jason opted not to go so it was just us. I kept up with Robby as we zoomed down the roads.

Not many people were stirring on the roads until we reached Diamond Head. I believe that half of the population here was already climbing the mountain. We drove up to the parking area and it was already full. I had assumed that it was going to be healthy people headed up Diamond Head but it just seemed to be tons of tourist-including tour busses. I guess everyone flew in yesterday and they were all wide awake early in the morning.

Since the parking area was full, we turned around and headed down the mountain. Robby wasn’t too sure what we could do and even thought about skipping it. We parked one car at the bottom of the hill and all climbed into one. He drove us back to the parking area and asked some cabbies there if they would follow him and bring him back up. For a small fee, they did-just $10. My little girls had not been too keen on climbing Diamond Head this morning but I kept telling them that this was a once in a life opportunity and they couldn’t pass it up.

We hopped out of the car and Robby headed down the hill. I had a bunch of waterbottles in my backpack and started up the hill with my crew. I knew that it would take Robby a long while to get back to us so we headed on up. With me carrying the backpack, pulling Whitman and encouraging Campbell we moved slow.

Robby eventually caught up with us but was surprised at how far we had gotten. We made it about 1/4th of the hike before he joined us. We had just done the easy paved part. He put Whitman on his shoulders and we took off. It was warm, it was crowded, it was uneven ground, it was uphill but I so enjoyed the hike so much more today than yesterday. (Yesterday was great but it was just a bit too slippery for me.)

The hike was great up until the point when you look in front of you and see a wall of stairs-99 stairs to be exact though it seemed like much, much more. I kept telling the kids to not look up and to just keep taking steps. We made it without keeling over and at the end of that staircase was another story or two on a spiral staircase.

By this time, we were getting hot, tired and thirsty but we were there! The end of the trail kind of crept up on us which was a much-needed surprise. We took a few pictures but unfortunately there wasn’t enough room to take a back picture on the mountain (I am still looking for an opportunity for that.) Everyone sat down and drank their water bottles and then after taking in the view, we headed on down the mountain.

The hike down was much faster and much more enjoyable. We almost cooled off on the way down the hill. Robby caught a cab there (must be why they are all parked waiting to go) and grabbed the car. We pottied, bought an ornament and headed down the hill a bit so we could meet Robby and avoid the line of traffic.

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!

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