Grandma Martin and Grandpa Maclean rented a condo south of Kona on Hawaii for a month and invited Loren, Vicky, Madeline, Bowen, Davis, and our family to visit for a portion of their stay.
On February 18th Janet and I packed up the twins and boarded a plane for Hawaii. This would be the last time that the twins would be flying on our lap as opposed to having a seat for themselves and thank goodness for that! The flight to Hawaii was horrendous. Despite the fact that it was a late night flight, and well past the twins bedtime, they were both up for most of the flight with constant screaming and flailing and writhing and whining. Eileen in particular is not big on being held so holding her on your lap for 6+ hours is simply a recipe for disaster. However, we survived, rented a van and headed south into the country to find the condo in the middle of the night.
Davis had arrived ahead of us and had planned out some fantastic meals to welcome us to the island.
Our first day was very rainy but the weather quickly turned to our advantage.
We saw lots of interesting birds, geckos, and mongoose.
We spent lots of time at the beach with Eileen and Ewan which was a first for them. The first time that Eileen saw the ocean, true to her nature she ran right into the water up to her waist, got knocked down by a big wave and ran out crying! She was so brave, she had no hesitation at all in the face of this entirely new experience. Ewan was a little bit more cautious but did eventually start wading out into the water without reservation.
We spent lots of time playing in the sand, building and tearing down sand castles, and eating and pooping sand, well, that last one was mostly Eileen and Ewan..
We were constantly on the watch for wild fruit and were able to forage as much avocado as we could possibly eat (which was a lot!), lots of papayas, guavas, coconuts, and more.
Loren, Vicky, Bowen and Madeline arrived a few days after us and for a few days we had 11 people in the house and Davis was sleeping on a cot in the living room. We all took turns making delicious dinners and because our entire family is comprised of such food enthusiasts and great cooks we ate like royalty the entire time, and so many delicious avocados!
We spent one day heading out to the volcano to check out the huge crater, steam vents, and fantastic lava flows and tubes.
Our condo was up a very steep hill from a little local pebble beach and a coastal hiking trail. Following the trail in one direction led to a beautiful secluded black sand beach accessible only by foot or boat.
Grandma and Grandpa volunteered to watch the babies so that Janet and I could spend lots of time snorkelling which was incredible. The snorkelling was easily the best I’ve seen outside of Fiji, Australia, or Indonesia. We saw lots of great coral, turtles, octopus, moray eels, white tipped reef sharks, crown of thorns, box fish, porcupine fish, and much more. We even got to spend over half an hour swimming with a pod of wild spinner dolphins!
Click on a thumbnail below to open the snorkelling image gallery.
Grandpa also volunteered to watch the babies for an entire morning so that Grandma, family friend Yvonne, and Janet and I could hike down to the Captain Cook monument to check out what is reported to be the best snorkeling on the island, and it did not disappoint. When we got back to the condo we found the babies as pictured below which is remarkable because Eileen doesn’t really like being touched, even less so by her brother!
Janet and I took the twins to a botanical garden, and a state park garden and enjoyed an incredible array of beautiful flowers, many of which I had never seen before.
Click on the image below to open a gallery of flower images
We also toured a coffee plantation/roaster with Loren, Vicky, Madeline and Bowen which was really interesting and educational. We learned a lot, enjoyed some excellent coffee and enjoyed stunning views.
Towards the end of our trip we joined family friends Yvonne and David for a beautiful last minute re-commitment ceremony facilitated by their Kaleden friends on Ho’okena beach.
Keeping the babies fed and sun-screened, and clean, and rested and happy was a logistical challenge to say the least but it was well worth it. It was a fantastic trip that won’t be soon forgotten.