The day after Christmas I had one last present for Cady. I stopped her in the hallway as she was headed to play with her new toys. I handed her a little envelope with a small piece of paper inside. She pulled it out and asked me what it was. I told her " It's a ticket to Hawaii. We're going to ride on a big airplane and go to a big island with palm trees, dolphins, seashells and pretty water!"
Cady was *so* excited! She could hardly contain herself. I told her that we had to go pack our bags because we were going to leave the next morning!
The next morning came rather slowly. The morning was rushed and filled with "Mommy, Mommy! Mommy when are we going to be there?!" The taxi pulled up out front to pick us up fairly early. We were dressed in our summer clothes already.. even though the night before it had snowed with Santa!
The taxi driver took is straight to the airport. The whole way there Cady had been asking me questions about how the plane ride would be. This was her first flight, and my first one in a long time. I'm not really a fan of flying either. ( I had to put on my brave face for her!)
|Waiting in line to check in!|
We checked ourselves in and all of our bags. I had to explain to Cady about the security system and how it looks inside of our bags, almost like an x-ray at the Dr. ( We passed.. of course, we did! Who are we kidding .. unless Cady planned on sneaking in some candy! )
After we passed the security gate we had to take a train to our gate to board the plane. Cady was so curious on how a train could be underground. The ride was fairly quick but a bit bumpy and noisy.
|Getting ready for take off!|
|Hawaii here we come!|
|Sun and sand!|
|We made it!|
We walked a short distance over a small hill and found our little beach house for the next week and a half. What a slice of heaven!
|We need SPF 70!|
|Sandcastle fit for a Princess|
|Our beach house|
We played in the sand and even swam around a bit for the afternoon. However, after a long day of traveling it was time for a small campfire and bed.
|Waiting to go hunt for shells!|
|The final result! Aren't they pretty?!|
It had been a long afternoon of crafting with the girls and the sun had begun to set already. I had a wonderful idea. ( I hoped they could stay up late enough as they didn't get a nap in, and we had been so busy!) I wanted to take the girls to see the Loggerhead Sea Turtles come to beach to lay eggs, as they only show up at night. So.. we had a quick bite to eat, changed our clothes (we were covered in sand!) and headed out to the beach to look for the infamous turtles. We were in luck! We got there *just in time* to see the Mommy turtles coming up on the beach. Ivy was so captivated by them. She still talks about them to this day. I explained how they make an incredible journey. (Mama's a sea-nut! I LOVE the Ocean!)
|Loggerhead Sea Turtles!|
We stayed there for hours, until night fell. I figured we would be there late and had prepped a camp site for us. We cooked a little bedtime treat of marshmallow's and headed to bed in a little tent.
|Taking off into the marsh!|
The boat dropped us off at a little picnic area and look what we saw! Ivy ran and hid.. she's afraid of monkey's. If you look close you can see lil Cady's head peeking at the monkey!
We were simply exhausted that night and slept like babies! I had anxiously been awaiting the next day. We were headed out on a whale watch. For those that don't know me well.. whales are my favorite animals (along with horses) .. and this was a dream. I expressed my excitement to the girls before we left. We headed down to the warf and I was amazed at what we saw. Thankfully, I brought my video camera and, Cady had brought the camera she got for Christmas. It was such a beautiful sight. We sat there for hours listening to the whales songs. ( I cried.. ssshh. )
|Mama's dream come true|
|Breeching Whale .. look hard, she's there!|
|Taking in the beauty with my two beauties.|
After I saw the whales swimming so freely in the harbor.. I knew I had to swim with them. The next morning I went to a small rental office on the island and got us some scuba suits and we headed into the deep (with a guide of course!)
|My dream come true!|
|We found so many fish!|
We had to go on one last big adventure before we headed home from vacation. So, we called some more family and they came to visit for a little adventure .. we went rafting and exploring in the rain forest! The rafting adventure was a big scary, but the girls were SO brave! The rope bridge was a bit .. scary as well.. although Maelie loved it! Ivy and I also found a lizard on our way back. We had to stop to take a few pictures of the animals we saw. (Maybe this is where our zoo stemmed from?)
|Down the river we go! Good thing we had helmets on!|
|This bridge was terrifying!|
|We found an iguana!|
Vacation was coming to an end soon... ( as much as we didn't want it to! ) The following day I thought we should make some memory jars. So, I took the girls out in front of the beach house to collect sand, shells, feathers and any other little treasure we could find.
Little did Ivy know.. but there was a small pink shell that I carefully placed on the beach that had a little note tucked up inside of it.
|The big moment!|
Ivy opened the shell and to her surprise...
|We love you!.. she said yes!|
|Working hard on our jars!|
Our vacation came to an end the next morning. The plane was waiting for us on the runway. We packed our bags and waved goodbye to the house.. and headed to the runway to head back home to a winter wonderland. However.. we gained a new heart into our family. We brought home the best treasure.
|We'll miss you Hawaii!|
Here we are at home. A winter wonderland.. and celebrating a new beginning with our little Hawaiian treasure, Ivy.
Thanks for re-living our Hawaiian vacation with me!
(I took 200 photo's on this trip.. it was hard to pick photos, and I hope I didn't leave any major ones out!)