Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Trip of a lifetime- Day 2

The overnight flight went as well at could be expected.
If you talked to me before hand about the trip you know that the long flight over was what I was worried about the most...right behind the idea of one of our kiddos falling into water of some kind.

Having a screaming kid on any flight is a nightmare waiting to happen, but add the pressure of a 6 hour overnight flight where everyone you can see is asleep...terrifying.

Eli was a champ. Champ.
Ileigh was uncomfortable.
Since we had to bring a full-size car seat for her anyway, I thought she might be more comfortable sitting in it than just the airplane seat. I mean, she sleeps in her car seat all the time, right?
Well, it didn't really work out that way.
The tilt of the airplane seat is really different than that of a seat in a car. She was leaning way forward and when she fell asleep, her head leaned forward into that uncomfortable head-into-chest position. I couldn't arrange her anyway where her head didn't go directly back to that position.
While she slept that way, I didn't. I was so paranoid that it was somehow cutting off her breathing or something. So, every 10 minutes or so I had to make sure she was still breathing...because I am that mom.

Soon she woke and had to get out of the car seat. I was between the two kiddos, wedged between the car seat and Eli laying on my shoulder, so Chris had to get up and take Ileigh out of her car seat. They walked around the entire plane a couple of times to try to calm her down.
When she saw me again, of course she wanted me to hold her...
Half of my body was asleep because Eli was laying on it weird and I didn't want to move him for fear that he would wake up, so I tried to turn more, away from the car seat and cradle a 2 year old.
Can you just hear the fun in my typing?

I was very thankful that the lady that was suppose to be next to Eli switched seats with Chris so at least the four of us could sit together. Megan was one row in front of us, apparently sitting next to a larger man who snored, and my parents were 3 or 4 rows in front of her.
Ileigh probably slept 3 hours, fussed off and on for 2 and was fully awake for the last hour. Toward the end we contemplated letting her watch TV shows that would never fly in our house just to distract her- like That 70's Show or some other prime time junk, but in the end her screen was broken and wouldn't read our card.
I just took it as a sign that we needed to suck it up and break out more fruit snacks.

I was so overjoyed to see this on the screen in front of me that I had to take a picture. 

When we landed in Honolulu, we had just enough time to grab a little breakfast and chill before our flight to the Kona side of the big island.

In case you were wondering, yes. Our children were the only ones on our overnight flight (as far as I could tell) and the only ones in their pjs at 6:00a.m. in the Honolulu airport.
They were lucky I had on jeans and a sweater. I mean, most days that is dressing up for me around the house.

Our next flight left at 7:20a.m. (12:20p.m. Texas time).
Daddy made great use of the vomit bags. Who doesn't love a puppet show?
Fun times.

We landed, all safe and sound. They didn't pull directly up to the building; we de-boarded off of a ramp. I told Megan I felt like the President.
Seriously, I was super excited about it! It might have been just eagerness to get off the plane, but I was excited!

The Kona airport was totally open-air. All the gates were their own little huts and the baggage claim was the same way. I immediately knew we were in paradise.

We met my cousin Stef, picked up another car and unloaded all our luggage back at her condo.

Once everyone was comfortable, Chris and I headed out for a fun little hike with all the cousins.


Waipio Valley 
It was the capital and permanent residence of many early Hawaiian aliʻi (kings) up until the time of King ʻUmi. It was the location of the ancient grass palace of the ancient kings of Hawaii with the nioi stands. 

 The valley floor at sea level is almost 2,000 ft below the surrounding terrain. A steep road leads down into the valley from a lookout point located on the top of the southern wall of the valley. The road gains 800 vertical feet in 0.6 miles at a 25% average grade, with steeper grades in sections. This is a paved public road but it is open only to 4 wheel drive vehicles. If classified as a road, it would be the steepest road of its length in the United States and possibly the world. The shore line in the valley is a black sand beach, popular with surfers. A few taro farms are located in the valley. Several large waterfalls fall into the valley to feed the river which flows from the foot of the largest falls at the back of the valley out to the ocean.

The valley was the site of the final scene in the 1995 sci-fi film Waterworld, at which the main characters found dry land.

It was steep! At first, I thought maybe we could've brought the kids...then, it just steeper and steeper. We passed lots of people coming back up telling us to turn around. We laughed at them.
We were naive.

Scotty taking it all in...
In case you don't know Scotty, he is pretty awesome. The kind of personality that doesn't know a stranger, can make conversation with a wall, knows all kinds of crazy trivia and he is awesome at what he does. Chris and I talked for about an hour about how we wish we were a little more like him.

Scotty & Stef
Don't even get me started on the awesomeness that is my cousin Stef. I just wish I had the talent in her pinkie, the love of a quarter of her heart and the openness of a tenth of her mind. 
She is one of the most beautiful people I know and her ability to keep her mouth shut in situations is a trait that I am sure I missed in our family's gene pool. 

Oh, and the reason were all there- the newly weds!
Kaci is fabulous. Seriously, I was thinking while we were all together, we have a very talented family.
She is the only female chiropractor in the Amarillo area, and she is showing up Dr. after Dr. everyday, and stealing all their patients. :)
Not to mention the gorgeous hair. Seriously, all my cousins are tall, blonde and beautiful.
Try growing up in that dynamic- I call another draw of the family gene pool!

I haven't been around Jason that much, but just through this trip I have gotten to know him a little more. Eli was enamored with him and Scotty. Both of them were so great with him! It make this momma so happy! 
Welcome to the craziness, Jason!

View of the way down, looking up. It was unbelievable gorgeous. Hazy and cool.

Looking down... 


Wait! There's Ashley! I have a better picture of her in a bit. She is my second(?) cousin and pretty much the epitome of awesome. She is a top-ranking female in the Air Force, has been deployed 5 times and been over to Afghanistan 3 times. That is her pack on her back, loaded down with water and everyone's "junk" we didn't want to carry! Her stories are amazing and she is hilarious to boot.

We all got a little thirsty. Thank goodness we found this waterfall.

Everyone we met threw us the "shaka" sign, or "hang loose". We tried it out.
Do you think we look like locals?
Maybe someday... 

Seriously, the beauty of Hawaii is unlike anything I've every seen. I don't know how you can look over God's creation and immediately not give Him thanks for His beautiful creation and feel unworthy and overwhelmed that He created it for us to enjoy.
I spent a lot of time just saying "Thank you" over the entire trip.

Ashley, chillin'. 

I will never turn down a chance to get my feet wet in the ocean...

Amazing tree roots... 

The Big Island is full of beautiful plants and flowers....everywhere except where the newest eruptions have happened. Apparently, according to a guide, they built the airport on some of the newer big lava paths (1980's). When we pulled out of the airport in our rental cars I was really disappointed in the scenery. It wasn't anything like I imagined "paradise" to be!
As we made our way around the island, it just got more and more beautiful. :)

This was the sunset from our condo on the first night. 

End, Day 2