This is probably boring to some of you, so I won't be offended if you just want to skip it. We made it home in one piece; and, while we love Hawaii, we are all very happy to be sleeping in our own beds again.
Wednesday: We got up, made lunch, and drove out to Sea Life Park on the other side of the island. We had decided that this would be our one tourist-type splurge for the trip, financed with some birthday money we got for the kids this summer. The kids did enjoy the park, more or less, but I kept feeling like it was one of those amusement parks you see on The Simpsons. There weren't any run-down animatronic animals, but there were very few exhibits and at every turn they kept reminding us that we could pay even more money and swim with the dolphins. The most Simpsons-esque moment was the 80's themed dolphin show that included a very long middle segment accompanied by music from Styx. Nice. After the park we drove back over to Mr. Fob's mom's house. Both kids fell asleep in the car, so we just picked up my mother-in-law and headed to Mr. Fob's sister's house. That night we had a yummy dinner with barbecued steaks and way too much pie. After a brief detour to drop kids off in beds we headed out to meet up with some high school friends of Mr. Fob. It was a crazy, busy day!
Thursday: This was our last day on Oahu, so my mother-in-law and I took the kids to the beach while Mr. Fob packed things up. We came home, showered, said our goodbyes, and drove down to the airport. Returning our rental car and getting on our short flight to the Big Island went well; the folks at Aloha Airlines really do have great customer service. Mr. Fob's sister A picked us up and drove us back to her house. We had really good Chinese/Thai food for dinner.
Friday: We went to the only sandy beach in Hilo with my sister-in-law and her two boys. The beach was wonderful, but we managed to ruin the experience by attempting to try spray-on sunscreen on S-Boogie's face. It got in her eyes and she started screaming. She spent the rest of the time huddled on a blanket wailing about her eyes. Oops. We spent the rest of the day just hanging out with family.
Saturday: We went to my nephew's soccer game and discovered that Hilo really is on the rainy side of the island. After that we at lunch at L&L (amazingly, Little Dude refused to eat the rice, but he loves macaroni salad), and then drove up to Volcanoes National Park. It was pretty surreal; within half an hour you go from tropical lushness to barren wilderness that smells like sulfur. It was also cool that we got in for free because my brother-in-law is native Hawaiian and knows some kind of secret password or something. That afternoon we borrowed the van and drove over to visit a high school friend of Mr. Fob's. S-Boogie had a great time swimming in the pool in her backyard and Little Dude fell in love with her dog.
Sunday: Another lazy day. We went to church and hung out. Mr. Fob's sister made some food and I felt embarrassed because I didn't like most of it. I loved the kalua pig (and so did Little Dude), but I just don't like poi or palusami even when they are fresh and homemade.
Monday: Our long trip home went quite smoothly. We flew over to Honolulu and then had a two-hour layover before our flight back to Seattle. There were a few extra seats on the flight home and the gate agent was able to juggle things around so we could get Little Dude a seat. He was much happier riding in his carseat, and so were we. We got in late last night and are still trying to recover from the crazy schedule of vacation and the fact that our brains are still three hours behind.