Apologize in advance for how long this page will take to load. I uploaded all the images in hi-res and "large."
What a change of pace to come back from Hawaii to snow in Seattle. Argh!
The family used the Purdue at Hawaii game as a good excuse to head to the middle of the Pacific for a week. We spent a lot of time on the beach, in the Ocean, traveling around Oahu, and catching a few major attractions.
We got in late on the 19th (after midnight), so spent the first day sleeping in and relaxing. We stayed on Waikiki, which I'm not sure we'd do again. Didn't like the price of the hotel for what we got; then again, we didn't have to worry about parking.
We spent the first morning on the beach and enjoying "riding the waves" as they came in from the south.
After a lunch at the beach, took a drive around the southeast end of the island, allowing the kids to take a nap and Amy and I to see a little of the island. That night we were back down at the beach playing in the sand.
Next day, we visited Diamond Head. Here's Honolulu from the top:
After another short drive and naps, we hit the Pearl Harbor area, taking the opportunity to tour the decommissioned battleship USS Missouri.
Spencer loved the .50-cal machine guns! (yes, that's him running to it at the end of our tour)
The next day (Wednesday), we headed to Sea Life Park, located on the southeast coast of Oahu. We weren't sure what to expect, but they had dolphins, sea lions, and sting rays, so we were hopeful it would be fun.
Along the way, we stopped and enjoyed one of the beaches... the east coast is chock full of rock and lava rock.
We only stayed at Sea Life Park a couple hours, but caught a Sea Lion show and a Dolphin show. In addition, they had penguins and sea turtles... it was hard to pull Garrett away from either one!
On the way back, we stopped at a scenic viewpoint and snapped some pictures of the rock formations in the ocean.
That afternoon, we all crashed in the hotel, and enjoyed dinner at "Cheeseburger in Paradise" in Waikiki.
Thursday was Thanksgiving, obviously, and strangely enough we awoke just in time to see the Lions kickoff at 7:30 am our time! After the Lions gave up a 10-0 lead to go down 21-10, we decided the beautiful weather was calling us and we retired to the beach. After a lazy day, we had a turkey buffet dinner at a restaurant around the corner from our hotel.
On Friday I got up and headed to the east coast to catch the sunrise, and was treated to spectacular views from a vantage point I sought out.
That day we went to the northwest corner of the island, about a 60 minute drive from the hotel, and enjoyed real waves hitting the beaches of the north shore. Too dangerous to go in without a surfboard or other floating gear, but Spencer enjoyed getting knocked down by the waves.
Finally Saturday rolled around, and we spent some more time at Waikiki beach, and finally headed to the game. We missed kickoff due to parking problems, but the game was a blast, a first for Garrett, and the first time Amy and I have been to a Purdue game in two years. We met up at halftime with a couple former tailgating friends who also made the trip to Hawaii, and it was great to see them after such a long hiatus.
And that was that. Purdue lost, 42-35, finishing the regular season at 8-5 and a bowl game in Orlando.
A very relaxing trip for me. I didn't touch work once, and made a good dent in reading the Lord of the Rings (all six books... I got through three of them on the trip). We had a couple interesting incidents, one involving Garrett, an overflowed diaper, Amy cleaning clothes in the airplane lavatory, and me cleaning an airplane seat. The other incident involved me leaving a bag (my computer, PSP, GPS, and iPod) on the rental car shuttle on our way home. I learned I CAN jump a fence (although I did have to set Garrett down to accomplish that) and run up a set of escalators the wrong way.