Posted by: monsonmadness | January 17, 2013

Traffic, aquarium, box sledding, Buddhist temple, and FOOD!

Hawaii – Day 1

Considering that we were flying with 6 children, the flight from American Samoa to Hawaii went extremely well. Seven of the eight of us slept the whole way (my RLS pain kept me up, it was so uncomfortable). The older kids were really helpful getting us around the airports, especially when we landed in Hawaii and had to collect our luggage. Hannah pushed the double stroller, Matthew, Benjamin, and Michael each had a cart of luggage, and Daniel helped me limp along slowly behind.

The first thing that we noticed when we landed in Hawaii? IT WAS FREEZING. Wow, my bones hurt it was so cold. It was dark and not much fun waiting for our rental car shuttle. Once we picked up our rental cars (yes, we had to get two mini vans because we couldn’t fit into one!) it was light outside and we were on our way.

Michael had driven in Hawaii a few months ago and convinced me that he knew where he was going. He had our GPS. I had nothing. I followed him (even when he went the wrong way because it was better than getting separated). It was pretty stressful driving in 3 or 4 lanes of rush hour traffic at much higher speeds than we were used to. Luckily the cute comments from the kids relieved some of the tension…

“Why have we stopped?”

“Because the traffic light is red.”

“What’s a traffic light?”


“Mom. Look! There’s a highway above us”


“Mom, why is it so cold here? Why is everyone wearing shorts instead of coats?”

Our first stop was Wal-Mart to buy phones so that we could stay in contact with each other. We also had breakfast and bought sweaters and jeans to wear on our flight to Utah. When we got back to our car and tried to activate our phones, we thought it was ridiculous that they could only be activated by another phone or on the internet! Dumb!

Our first real stop of the day was the Waikiki aquarium. Sorry that my kids look like homeless kids. They were all dirty and scruffy, but we couldn’t be bothered going through the suitcases to find them something else to wear, plus…it still felt really cold to us!

The aquarium was fun. We held hermit crabs and sea urchins, saw seals, puffer fish, sharks, jellyfish and more. Unfortunately, only getting 5 hours of sleep instead of 11 caught up with Mary who decided to have a massive screaming tantrum inside. No consoling or discipline was going to help, and with me stuck in a wheelchair we were limited in what we could do. People were staring at our huge family, and we decided we had to get out of there…fast!

Next stop of the day was box sliding (got to get these kids ready for snow sledding right?) The kids had fun and it was a nice change of pace before we had to get back in the car again. We had decided to spend our vacation on the north shore far away from all the tourists and where we could have beaches to ourselves. Renting a vacation house is so much cheaper than hotels too. We couldn’t check in until 3pm, so we had some more time to kill…

This is where it got ugly. We both knew where we were supposed to go next, and Michael just followed the instructions on his GPS, but when we got separated in traffic, I was on my own.

No way to contact Michael, nearly all of the streets are one way. I didn’t have any idea where I was. This was going to be a challenge! As I drove around trying to find my way to a freeway, the three kids that I had with me fell asleep. I was truly on my own!

It doesn’t help that the names of the towns and roads all seem so similar to me, Kalihi, Kaneohe, Kailua, Kahaluu, Koolau, Keaiwa…you get the idea. Anyway, I’m pretty good with map reading, so I finally made it to our destination with only a handful of turnarounds, arriving about 15 minutes after Michael. Not bad, plus, I got to see this gorgeous scenery along the way…


Finally we were together at our destination, the Byodo-In Buddhist temple. It was gorgeous. The kids loved ringing the bell and feeding the koi and the birds. It was a really nice stop.

Finally we were on our way to our vacation house. We stopped for a couple of minutes to see “crouching lion” a rock formation that looks like it’s name, and then we were “home”. Hannah and I went to the grocery store and had a grand old time picking out goodies and treats to eat. We’re going to enjoy the next few days, that’s for sure!!!!!! We were so exhausted that all of us went to bed at 7.30pm. We’ll be ready for another fun day tomorrow. Aloha!


  1. Fun!!!! I’m so jealous!! Not only because I STILL haven’t been to Hawaii, but because I would love to take my kids there and do all that fun stuff!! I hope the rest of your trip is wonderful!!!!

  2. I knew that in the time you were here in Am Samoa, even though you get lost and no where to turn to , you are such a smart, intelligent, strong woman. looks like you have so much fun over hula land..The kids enjoy so much over there. Missed that Mary mean .Am Samoa heavy rain, flood everywhere. Routine as usual..Happy is the best medicine..

  3. Looks like so much fun! A vacation home in Hawaii! Ahhh . . . heaven. =) Enjoy! (I love that you pack it in!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: