It is also when we can finally give back to our daughter Marianne for the sacrifice she made in 1986. You see her high school class was going to Hawaii after graduation and we had paid for her trip. We were also in the process of buying a home. Our sweet baby girl went to the travel agent and requested a refund and gave the money back to us to use toward the purchase of the home.
Laura, a good friend of Marianne's, and her daughter Hailey, Awbrey's friend going with us, arrive to take us to the airport. We get the car packed, this kinda reminded me of a scene from the movie Home Alone, as we are making sure we have everyone and all the luggage. The time has finally arrived for our trip and we head off to the airport at 5:30 AM. As I said we are all excited as we leave Portland at 7:10 AM for our first stop, Honolulu, Ohau, Hawaii.
We arrive in Honolulu and the weather is perfect. We had told the kids that we would be taking the shuttle to our hotel but Papa and I had planned a surprise for them. We wanted them to experience their first trip to Hawaii the same way we did in 1989. So we had our travel agent setup limo service and for each to be given a Lei. Of course when we got off the plane the girls wanted something to drink so we headed to the nearest Starbucks. When we finally made it to baggage claim our bags were the only ones left and there was our limo driver with a sign that said "Richards Party." I wish that I had had my camera out and gotten pictures of their faces when they realized we were not taking the shuttle. The expressions were absolutely priceless when they each received their Orchid Lei. As we are heading for the limo it is then that we find out that Hailey has never been in a limo. Our driver has cold drinks for us and a box of Choclolate Covered Macadamia Nuts. We are all in heaven as we head for our hotel, Outrigger Reef on the Beach.
It is now Day 1, let the fun begin. Once we get settled into our rooms we decide to go for a walk and find some lunch. We head to the International Market Place where there is something for everyone. After our tummies are full we walk for a while and then head back to the hotel as the girls are anxious to get in the pool. Stephen, Marianne, Awbrey and Hailey head to the pool while Gary and I make arrangements for the Arizona Memorial Tour. The arrangements are made and we join the kids by the pool, have a Mai Tai and hang out for a while. So that everyone has time to shower and rest up we decide on a late dinner at the Kalu Pai Grill.
An evening stroll is just what we need to walk off the meal and maybe a little shopping too!
Day 2, Arizona Memorial and Downtown Honolulu Tour.
We are up early, since our tour bus arrives at 8:30 AM, and head to Starbucks for breakfast. Our tour guide is Cousin Kevin, in Hawaii everyone is your cousin, and we are off. The first part of the tour is Downtown Honolulu and Punchbowl National Cemetery. Here are a few of the photos taken of the government houses, the cemetery, and the kids.
We now head for Pearl Harbor with Cousin Kevin giving us a brief history lesson of what happened there December 7, 1941. He also explains that since 9-11 no one is allowed to carry their bags inside and we will need to check them. We can take our cameras but nothing else.
The Memorial Park has really grown and changed a lot since Gary and I were last here in 1998. Here are a few pictures.
The Arizona Memorial is a sacred place. I feel very humbled when I think of all the men and women that gave their lives so many years ago for my freed.
We finish the day off with dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen, sit back and enjoy each others company.
Day 3 is a down day for everyone as we hang around the hotel, swimming pool and beach as that evening we have reservations at the Pacific Beach Hotel Dining Room to begin the birthday celebration for Awbrey and her BFF Hailey who turned 16 this past June. Here are a few pictures.
Day 4 and it is time to leave Honolulu, Ohau behind as we head for Lahina, Maui.
Once we land in Maui the first we head over to the car rental area to pick up the vehicles we will be using for the next several days. we get a jeep and the kids have a full size crown victoria. We have the cars and now we head to Lahina to check into at the Royal Kahana. We get settle into our condos and the girls head for the beach.
It is now time to get ready for the big birthday celebration. Our beautiful granddaughter is "Sweet Sixteen" today. She is in for a real treat as we have made reservations for the Old Lahina Luau, her name will be on ticket programs for the evening and she will be recognized from the stage. Here are few pictures from the celebration.
Island Princesses Hailey and Awbrey
Island Princess Awbrey "Sweet Sixteen"
Awbrey "Sweet Sixteen"
We had so much fun and I think Awbrey will always remember her "Sweet Sixteen" Birthday.
Day 5 and so much to do. Stephen, Marianne, Awbrey and Hailey head out to do some snorkeling while Papa and I head out to do some touring of the botanical gardens. No pictures of the snorkeling but do have some of the beach and the gardens.
Day 6 has arrived and it is the day for golf and massages. Gary, Awbrey and Stephen are heading to Kapalua Bay for golf, Marianne and I are heading for a massage and Hailey has decided to hang out at the pool and read.
Day 7 and it is our last day in paradise so we decide to spend the day walking around Lahina and doing a little shopping. We stop for a Hawaiian Shaved Ice and us girls decide to have our tattoos touched up so they will last longer.
Day 8 arrives and it is time to head home. The weather has been absolutely perfect during our stay but this morning it is raining, really raining as we are catching of some tropical storms. We had so much fun and really hate to leave but it is time to head back to Vancouver, WA.