S’awaii. That is what Elena started calling Hawaii just before we left, after previously calling it Hawaii quite clearly for months!
This trip to Hawaii was a sentimental one. Long before she got sick my aunt had asked that when she died, I spread her ashes in the ocean. Last year, she’d planned to spend a couple of months in Hawaii. We had to cancel her trip once we learned how sick she was. She had booked her flights with travel points & they were kind enough to refund all her points & transfer them to me since we knew she would not be able to use them. Lee then made me promise I would use the points to go to Hawaii & spread her ashes. And that is what I did on the anniversary of her passing. It was a wonderful trip & made the anniversary easier.
The flights were long…on the way there we had a 4 hour layover in Vancouver, on the way home, we had a 6 hour layover in Chicago…layovers are a nightmare for me, just wasted time waiting!! But that’s what you get when you book with points, you get what you get. I am extremely lucky that Elena is such a good traveller. I thought the layovers would be better than if we’d had the option of a direct flight because then Elena wouldn’t be on the plane for 10-12 hours…but she totally could have managed that! She really is an awesome little traveller & flyer. Luckily both the Vancouver & Chicago airports had play areas for kids so Elena was easily occupied. I was bored stiff!!
|This is from our 1st trip ever...|
|She still finds sitting in the newspaper boxes fun!|
|Vancouver Airport playground|
Hawaii is beautiful & stunning…I love the mountains!! It was nice to have a car & get to drive around the island & see so much of the island. I rented a condo right on Waikiki Beach & that was a really great decision. The place was gorgeous & the service was impeccable.
|The view from our condo|
The first morning we went grocery shopping then we went to Waikiki Beach, right across the street from the condo! It was nice that it had the break walls so there weren’t waves & it was only knee-waist deep on Elena so I could let her wander back & forth in the water on her own without worry or fear. The downside was that it was SUPER busy with people & it was hard to find a spot etc & I’m not a fan of crowds.
The 1st night we went to Tiki’s Grill & that was a fun place for dinner! The music was very good. The highlight for Elena was the purple dinner rolls!
The next day we drove up the coast to a beach I had researched, Waimanalo Beach. It had good parking, washrooms & quiet beach. It was awesome…beautiful big beach, easy parking, and not many people. I really loved it after the chaos of Waikiki Beach. The only downside was that the waves & undertow were very strong so Elena couldn’t go in by herself & it was scary a few times as I really had to hold onto her tight when some waves would come. But it was fun to experience real waves & that excitement.
|Our #1 favourite thing to do at the beach is|
to dig holes!
|And sometimes bury each other in them!|
On the Monday we went to the North Shore to the Polynesian Cultural Centre for the day. This was a beautiful drive & well worth the money spent It was the only touristy thing we did & it was a must see. If you ever go to Oahu, you can’t miss this. It is like your pioneer village type thing ... but for the Polynesian islands & culture. This is also were we had the luau & they really did it up amazingly & made it such an authentic (as far as I’d ever know) experience. Then in the evening, they have this show sort of like the myth or fable of the birth of the Polynesian culture & it was STUNNING, AMAZING, BREATHTAKING!! I really can’t say enough about how good it was!! Even Elena, who was exhausted at this point after the long day, was enthralled!
|Elena wouldn't try the coconut water|
|She wouldn't try the pineapple smoothie drink either|
|Elena was very excited to have her photo taken|
with these 3 ladies so was completely taken aback
when this warrior photo bombed her!!
On the anniversary of when Lee passed & the day I wanted to spread her ashes. I’d been scoping out ideas all week & we decided to drive to another beach. This one, Ala Moana Beach, was still on Honolulu but not as busy as Waikiki but still had the benefit of the break wall so the waves were calm & safe thought the water was deeper. Elena & I dug a deep hole & poured most of the ashes in then filled the rest on top with sand…then I took a bucketful into the water & spread them around there too. I allowed myself a moment to reflect & say good bye, etc. It was a peaceful, healing experience.
It was a too short trip. I wished I had planned to stay longer. I would like to go back again with the experience I think I could do it cheaper. It was nice to get away from the winter & snow. As with every trip, Elena said we should just stay there & not go home. I told her she could plan to go to university there & I would move with her!
|Just chillin' waiting for the plane|
I really am beyond grateful that Elena is such a great traveller. I love to travel & dream of all the trips we will take together as she gets older. We already have our next one booked…we’re heading to Disney World just before school starts in September!!