Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Big Island

We are back from a wonderful week on the Big Island of Hawaii. It was a full Maxwell Family adventure with Grandma and Grandpa, Ryan, Sara and Cousin Calla, and Aunt Kate. We shared a big ground floor condo in Waikoloa Village down the road from the largest hotel I have ever seen (the Hilton with a dolphin pool, lagoon, flamingos, tram and canal system with boats... whoa!). It made for great destination walks when Owen was up at 6 AM.

Our complex had a beautiful pool, so we spent time every day doing this:
and this:
Owen learned how to get some real air jumping into the pool. It was great fun. He also discovered the "tub, tub, tub" and would race for the hot tub when he needed a break from hard play in the pool.

Owen also learned a bit about sharing. He started the week trying to steal all of Calla's stuff, including this pool floatie, but by the end of the week was giving her hugs, pointing out which binky was hers, and wanting to "help" with her diaper changes. I loved getting a week to get to know Calla better and watch Ryan and Sara in their parenting adventures. Calla put them through the ringer by staying on Seattle time (i.e. waking up at 4 am everyday), but they hung in there and are doing such a great job with their growing girl.

Aunt Kate was a wonderful set of energetic hands all week long. She played with kids in the pool, was a good sport when the little ones invaded her sofa bed at 7AM, and had more energy than any of us parents.

The Big Island was an unusual place for me. With several active volcanoes, there are TONS of lava flows all over the island and areas that look like pure wasteland. We stayed in the dry area of the island, where the resort area is the only oasis of green. We did take several adventures to explore other areas of the island (and there are a lot - it's not called the BIG ISLAND for nothing!).

One morning, Scott, Ethel, Owen and I took a drive north to the Waipio Valley. This is one of those amazing overlooks that just screams HAWAII! In prior years, we may have made the one mile hike down into the valley, but a 900 foot elevation drop and a 25 pound toddler made the return trip too daunting. We enjoyed the majestic view from the top and enjoyed a short hike around a nearby nature preserve instead.

I'll post our beach pictures and coffee plantation tour in separate posts. Here was our nightly view. Ahhh...

(Yes, Owen learned to smile for the camera this week, but it's pretty hit or miss...)

Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for a wonderful, tropical week!


Colleen said...

What a beautiful, amazing trip. I think I need to go to Hawaii! You look like you are feeling pretty good, and have a lovely glow! I love it! And what is it with kids and hot tubs? My boys are crazy for them!

Carmen Goetschius said...

Cute pics! Fun adventures! What a great fam.