Hawaii:: December 2014

We had an amazing vacation to Hawaii last Christmas. I can’t believe it has been almost a year since we were there. We had a lot of fun while we were there.

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We visited the Dole Plantation in Wahiawa, HI. We rode a train, walked the pineapple maze, toured the gardens, and ate Dole Whips! That made me think of Disney World!

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We played on Waikiki Beach.

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We ate on the balcony of our room at Ilikai Condos overlooking the ocean.

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We rode the free trolley to the Hilo Hattie Flagship Store.

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We watched the sun set at the luau at Hilton Hawaiian Village.IMG_1005

¬†The kids got “tattoos” at the Hilton Hawaiian Village luau.

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Derek and I hiked with 4 kids to the top of Diamond Head and we saw whales off the shore.

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The we ate shave ice and tried not to get stung by the bees that wanted to share.

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We spent Christmas Day at Waikiki Beach.

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The kids rented a boat and went around the lagoon, or as Cara called it “the goon.”

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We went to the Big Island and took a helicopter ride with Blue Hawaiian.

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Then we went to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

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Cara had just woken up and was having trouble with the brightness of the Hawaiian sunshine.

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We also visited waterfalls.

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We saw the King Kamehameha statue.

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Derek and Cade went parasailing together on our Xtreme Parasail adventure.

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Cara and my Dad went parasailing together.
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There they are…way up there.
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Abby and I went together. I had to pretend to not be nervous so Abby wouldn’t be scared!

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Magic Kingdom:: Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday morning we rented a little two seater speed boat and took turns going out. Derek and Abby went first and then Derek took Cade. I found out later from Abby that “The lady told Daddy to slow down.” The lady would be lake patrol! haha David, Maddy, Jonah, Grace, Mom and Dad took turns too. We swam and relaxed by the pool and then had a light lunch before heading over to the Magic Kingdom for our last day at Disney World. Derek, the kids, and I met Mom and Dad at Liberty Tree Tavern for a late lunch. The food was very good. After lunch, Mom and Dad went on their own and we headed off to do some souvenir shopping, riding, and character meeting. Abby and I stood in line forever to meet the fairies, but Abby loved it. Silvermist, Tinkerbell, and Rosetta were there. We rode lots of rides after that and had some cold drinks, including one that had orange sherbet with pineapple juice. It was tasty! I made the kids ride Pirates of the Caribbean probably 4 times. It is my favorite. We stayed just long enough that we got stuck in a gift shop, blocked by the parade and made our way to the boat right after the parade finished. We got to watch the fireworks from the boat. It was the perfect ending to the night.

Disney World:: Saturday, June 19, 2010

We met in front of the hotel early in the morning and boarded the bus for the airport. I wanted to sleep on the way there, but the driver just kept talking and talking. We stood in line forever and checked in with the less than helpful desk workers and were separated from the rest of the family, even though we had already selected seats online. Frontier/Midwest was not the best or most accomodating airline. In fact, other than the fact that they didn’t crash, they were not good at all. We landed in Milwaukee, collected our luggage and vehicles, and were on our way home. Mom and Dad rode with us and we stopped at a McDonald’s on the way back to Roscoe. We stopped in at Mom and Dad’s for a rest and then made it the rest of the way home. It was an amazing trip that we will never forget. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Magic Kingdom and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique:: Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Another early day…at least for Abby, Grace, Beth and me. We took the girls by bus to Magic Kingdom for what we thought was a 7:50 Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique appointment. We got there about 7:30 and it was already super hot. Abby was tired and cranky and I wasn’t doing much better. We stood in line and waited. It was 7:50 and they still hadn’t let us in. Beth asked and they still didn’t let us in. By the time it was time to go in, Abby was crying and said she wasn’t going to have her appointment. I didn’t push it and we made it to the castle where the Boutique was at. It wasn’t even open. It opened just after 8, so apparently we weren’t late. Anyway, Abby looked at some pictures in a brochure and then decided that she would do hair and make-up, but not nails. That was fine with me since she had cute Mickey Mouse and polka dot nails from Downstairs on 1st before we left. She ended up with the wild pink hair Pop Star look. It was great. Abby and Grace really had a great time.

After the Boutique, we met everyone at Tony’s Town Square for a Grand Gathering Character Breakfast. Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Donald were there. Cade was starting to warm up to the idea of characters and actually got close enough for a few pictures (while clinging to me for dear life!). Breakfast was good, as usual, and afterward we explored the Magic Kingdom! We spent most of the time in Fantasyland. We stayed together as a group of 11, which was fun. We left early afternoon and went back to the hotel to swim and rest. After dinner, we went back to Magic Kingdom with Mom and stayed for the Electric Parade and the fireworks.

Epcot:: Thursday, June 17, 2010

We felt a little more prepared this time around, so we decided to try Epcot again. The first thing we did when we got there mid-morning was get fast passes for Soarin’. Then we rode the Nemo ride a few times, which Abby loved and Cade usually liked. We went into an activity center and the kids’ made velcro frogs. Then we made our way around the World Showcase. Abby got to meet Belle, Jasmine and Aladdin. We stopped in the United States for lunch. On our way past China, we saw Mulan, but she was getting ready to go on a break, so Abby couldn’t meet her…just look. I snapped a picture of Abby with Mulan in the background and Abby looked so depressed. If you ask her now about Disney World, she’ll tell you that she didn’t get to meet Mulan. Nevermind all the other characters she did meet, just that she did NOT meet Mulan. Anyway, Derek was ready to leave but I really wanted to go on Soarin’. Derek took Cade and headed back to the hotel and Abby and I stayed and went on Soarin’. Even with fast passes, we had to wait in line for quite a while, but it was a great ride. Abby really liked it, too. After the ride, we got caught in a downpour before we could make it to the bus. We waited it out in a gift shop and finally decided to just make a run for it. I carried Abby and we got wet, but we made it. We spent the rest of the day relaxing at the hotel.

Epcot and Askerhus:: Monday, June 14, 2010

We started the day early and got to Epcot before it even opened for an 8:00 reservation at Askerhus for the Princess breakfast. On our way in, we got a group picture with Belle. The food and service were great. There were tons of princesses. The girls got pictures with Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Ariel, and Cinderella. I think I was horribly unprepared for Epcot and we spent a lot of the day not really knowing what we wanted to do. It didn’t help that we had gotten in late the night before and got up early that morning and were tired. We went on the Nemo ride a few times and a few others, saw some characters, and we left by noon. We spent the rest of the day swimming and resting at the hotel. Still not a bad day, just not as great as some others.

Hollywood Studios and Hollywood & Vine:: Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This was another early start to the day. We got to Hollywood Studios before it opened for an 8:00 reservation at Hollywood & Vine where some of the Playhouse Disney characters were. Again, the food was great. The service could have been better, but the fact that Abby got to dance with Handy Manny made it all worth it. Leo and June from Little Einsteins were there along with JoJo from JoJo’s Circus and Handy Manny. After breakfast, Mom and I took the kids to see Pooh and Piglet while Dad and Derek went to the Toy Story 3 ride to get fast passes. The fast pass return was over 2 hours away, so we went to a Playhouse Disney show and Little Mermaid Show while we waited. The Toy Story ride was really fun. I wish we had gotten a 2nd fast pass before we went on it because I think we were still there when the return time would have been…oh, well. We were getting better at the fast pass thing. We waited in line to meet Buzz and Woody and then Cade fell asleep and we had lunch at Pizza Planet (just like from Toy Story). After lunch the rain started and we luckily had rain ponchos in the bag. It was the first day I had packed them. It was a complete downpour. We made it to the Indiana Jones set and watched some stunts and then were trying to make our way back to the Playhouse Disney when it absolutely poured. We took shelter and waited. When it let up quite a bit, we made it the rest of the way there and watched the show for the second time. Then we saw the Beauty and the Beast show. We got some icecream on the way out and had a great day.