Continued . . .
We ate out about one meal a day while we were there, and the rest of the time we cooked. We made one giant trip to Costco to stock up at the beginning of the trip and we left with more food than we thought we could ever use. Our mantra became "Use it up!" and I must say, we did pretty darn well. My sister-in-law Amy even made granola bars (from leftover pancake syrup, peanut butter, trail mix, and oatmeal) for the plane trip home. How is that for resourceful? They were awesome, by the way.
I'm proud that we incorporated the local food into our cooking. We stocked up on pineapple, papayas, mango, Hawaiian sweet potatoes, Ono (fish tacos!), and so on. Grilled pineapple is awesome in everything.
One restaurant we enjoyed was with our dear friend Sue that we met up with at church and then joined for lunch at her favorite Chinese place. The food was excellent.
I suppose an ideal trip to Hawaii would include a lot of relaxation time for reading, sunbathing, etc. When you travel with kids you have to adjust your expectations. However, there is absolutely nothing better than seeing the world through the eyes of a child.
As it turned out, a big van was the cheapest way to transport our group. It turned out to be a fun way to get around and spend time together. It didn't really say that on the side. But if it had it would have saved a few poor saps some embarrassment as they tried to flag us down at the airport.
Having a pool at the house was the only way to go. It meant the kids could still have fun even if the adults just wanted to sit around and chill.
If you ask people which island is their favorite you usually hear Maui or Kawaii. Tom and I had been to the big island before. Even though many people don't love the city atmosphere of Honolulu, Oahu won out because of the attractions it had to offer (Pearl Harbor, etc.). And we didn't want to island hop with the kids. We have no regrets. We stayed over the mountain from Honolulu and found Kailua to be a perfect mix of urban amenities and rural flavor. The scenery was stunning coming and going. My advice? Oahu is great for a first-time experience, but be sure to get out of the city!