Sunday, September 27, 2015

Aloha {Part Two}

Ah, Wednesday. Glorious, Wednesday.  There was a planned group tour to go to the USS Arizona memorial but when our meeting leader said, “arrive 1-2 hours before tour time,” “no backpacks,” and “there will be a short 25 minute video prior to the tour,” all I could think was “red flag, red flag, red flag.”  This is horrible but I was envisioning my happy Camden at this somber place excitedly yelling, “Mommy, wook!  There’s a boat down there!”

Instead, we made it a family day and had as much pool and beach fun as we could stand (after we had our coffee, of course).  If you follow me on instagram, you are well aware that I over-grammed my heart out on this day, setting my personal record for posts.  And guess what, I’m not even sorry!  I felt like I was taking advantage of getting to capture some memories of our trip.  Let's face it, Ryan was having a hard enough time on his own - he wasn't at all worried about snapping pictures.  

After a busy morning, we retreated back to the room for a snooze-party before embarking on the hour drive to Paradise Cove in Ko Olina, where our entire group was attending a luau.  Like I said before, I was really worried with how Camden would do at this event.  I figured he would be entertained enough, but I just pictured him absolutely melting down.  The luau was four hours long for goodness sakes.

I think it was during our snooze-party that my sister-in-law, Cara, text me about a huge earthquake off the coast of Chile and a tsunami warning being issued for Hawaii.  Fan-frigging-tastic.

He was thrilled to get dressed in his Hawaiian best, but I promised dancing and fire throwing, so he agreed to tag along.

There were a ton of activities that you could do while waiting for dinner to start - spear throwing, kayaking, Polynesian tattooing, bird handling, and hula lessons.  We threw some spears, listened to the musicians while watching the kayakers, and the boys got tattoos from the pretty hula ladies.  Ryan got a Mike Tyson (I mean, Polynesian tribal) on his face.  Obviously.  Because where else would you get a tribal tattoo? And Camden got a sea turtle on his arm.  Zoey was fast asleep in the Ergo and stayed that way for almost the entire luau.

The show started after dinner and Cam was pretty much captivated.  He sat next to me on the lap of my co-worker's wife, Margi, and behaved far better than I would have ever imagined - insisting that all of my co-workers around us participate in the clapping and hollering of "aloooooooooha!" when prompted by the master of ceremonies.  

There were some amazing dance performances and Cam's new favorite thing - the "fire man" (the man spinning and twirling the blazing fire sticks).  A co-worker of mine was brought up on stage by the main hula girl, told to take off his shirt, wear the coconut bra and grass skirt, and dance.  I heard Cam tell Margi right before the "fire man" that he was getting tired, but she said his little body perked right up when the guy came out and started his routine.

We fled as soon as it was over and got the kids into their car seats.  I had asked my boss if we could drive our own car versus riding the tour bus with everyone else just in case we face a meltdown and needed to excuse ourselves.  Camden immediately leaned up against the side of his car seat and was asleep before we left the parking lot.  Zoey, on the other hand, woke up from her peaceful-Ergo-slumber all happy and smiley for about six seconds and then cried the whole drive home.  Thankfully, there was no traffic and we got back to the hotel in about 20 minutes.

Thursday meant back to the work and daddy duty grind for me and Ryan.  I survived death by presentation and a late side-meeting, and Ryan survived the day by taking the kids on walks around the resort.  I took the babies to the pool as soon as I got back to give Ryan a break.

Friday gloriously arrived and we got done with our meeting early.  I raced back to the hotel so we could soak up what was left of our "family vacation."  We spent two hours at the pools and beach before eating a ridiculously expensive lunch.  That's what we get for eating at the resort, I guess.

My co-worker and his wife had offered to watch the kids so Ryan and I could go have a much needed dinner date and we jumped at the offer.  We left the kids and practically ran to the Yardhouse and started reminiscing how we were there just over six years ago celebrating our engagement.  

We met back up with Jody, Margi, and the kids just in time to watch the fireworks show being put on by our resort.  Cam was clinging to me for dear life but loved the show and kept saying "they go boom in the sky!"

Saturday morning came and of course it was the first morning the kids slept past 7:00am local time.  We got all our crap packed up and headed to the "school bus" and airport.

Both kids were kind enough to poop before we got on the plane.

Zoey fell asleep right when we got on the plane but woke up when we were taking off and was not happy.  After that little episode she was fine.  Her brother on the other hand went through periods of being fine/quiet/easily entertained to bouncing off the walls and driving me within an inch of my sanity. Cam wasn't terrible by any means but this was by far our most exhausting flight with him.  No doubt he was just "done" being contained and ready to be a free wild beast.

We made it home safe and I cannot tell you how amazing it felt to be able to put the kids in their own bedrooms and close the doors behind me.  That sounds awful but staying in one room with four people is not super fun.  I think we were all very happy to be home. 

I lost count of the number of Japanese women who stopped and pointed and tried talking to our blonde haired, blue eyed boy.  At first I didn't really get what the fuss was over, but then realized that in Japan - they probably don't see too many little blue-eyed blondies.  So many women (mostly European) also came up and touched his face/cheeks and I about died because I didn't know what to do but was thinking, "stop touching my kid, crazy lady!"

This "vacation" wasn't really a vacation at all - more of a trip, if that makes sense.  It was easier and harder in ways that I didn't expect.  Easier in that the kids did amazing and harder in that Ryan and I were not communicating very well and struggled.  At the end of the day, even though it was really hard - I am so glad they came with me and we were able to share the trip and experience together.  I know Zoey won't remember but am hopeful Camden might some day - even if it's through pictures. 

s still talking about the "fire man" and walking around the house saying "aloooooooooha," so I'm hopeful.


Take Luck,

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