On Saturday we had our last day in Hawaii. The time was really winding down. We had had a lot of adventure, a lot of time with family, and a lot of relaxation on the beach. Half of the family had already left, so it was just us and my parents. We decided to go explore the eastern side of Oahu a bit and visit Sea Life Park.
On the way there, we drove by the area where my dad was born. He showed us his old school, and his old church, and pointed toward the area up on a hill where his father had built a house for them. Then, he suddenly pulled off in a neighborhood, and showed us the house where he had lived with his grandmother when he was about three or four. My mom and I got out and took a picture.
Back when he lived there, the big stone wall was not there. He said his grandmother had all sorts of rose bushes lining the driveway. You can’t tell from this picture, but the house backs right up to the ocean. He and his siblings used to fish in the ocean right from their backyard. You can see from this next picture the walkway back to the ocean:
The Eastern side of Oahu really is beautiful. We enjoyed the scenery on the drive very much. When we made it to Sea Life Park, the first thing we looked at was the shark tank. The boys enjoyed pointing them out and watching them swim by. Then, we went to see the sea turtles. There were quite a few of them for such a small enclosure, but it was exciting because the boys got to feed the turtles. They each got a cup of lettuce, broccoli, and celery, and threw them out into the water. Then we got to watch the turtles swim up, and take the food.
After the sea turtles we watched a fun sea lion show. Nathan was grumbling the whole time because as a salmon fisherman, you kind of have to hate on the sea lions. These ones were pretty cute, though, and knew all sorts of fun tricks.
Next on the list was feeding the birds. The last time we took Elias in to see birds was at the lorakeet exhibit at the Oregon zoo. He absolutely freaked out with fear. Granted, that was probably two years ago, but I was anxious about how he would do. It’s good I didn’t let any of my trepidation show because he did absolutely fine. In fact, he loved it! He had a bird land on his hand and his head and he thought it was fun.
Simon enjoyed feeding the birds too.
After feeding the birds, we ate lunch, and then headed over to the dolphin show. It featured both Atlantic and Pacific bottle nose dolphins as well as a whalfin. I did not know that such a thing exists, and in fact, the whalfin mother and calf at Sea Life Park are the only ones in existence in the world. The show was packed with all sorts of flips and twists and amazing jumps. The boys were riveted.
After this we hung around the park for a bit longer to explore a few other exhibits, a playground, and some yummy Dole soft serve. Then it was time to head back to the hotel.
We got in one last swim, and then got ready to meet my Auntie Cathy and Uncle Vince one last time. As a parting gift, they got us some malasadas, which my mom had been talking about the entire trip, but we had never gotten around to trying. They are basically a donut-like pastry, and they are very yummy.
Simon enjoyed trying the malasada, but didn’t finish his.
Elias, in true form, said he didn’t want to try them and would rather have strawberries. I guess there are some pluses to having an uber picky child. He’s healthy.
I’m not going to confess how many Nathan and I ate, but we definitely had some at breakfast the next morning, and might have brought some home on the plane with us as well.
Writing this, it seems crazy that we were there just a few days ago. We’ve been home and back in our normal routine, which started with swimming lessons bright and early Monday morning. Despite all the craziness, I think I will mostly just remember the warmth. The warmth of the sun, yes, but also the warmth in my heart. Spending time with family is so important and it was a wonderful time.