Monday, November 16, 2015

Getting Ready for our Holiday Trip

This year for Christmas, Mat and I are taking the Kids to Hawaii and San Diego.  We have never gone away for the holidays before.  Mat's travel abilities (as well as the kids) make it hard to go unless we are on a break.  So we decided this was the right time.

Hawaii was #2 on Finley's vision bucket list, so this is one of the biggest reasons we are going.  She wants to snorkel and see the volcanoes.  We are really looking forward to being somewhere warm while our home state of Massachusetts is freezing.

I am a planner.  If you remember my posts from our trip to Europe two summers ago, I filled a binder with our itinerary and tickets.  When traveling with small children, I do not recommending not having a plan.  That plan needs to be flexible in case thing happen, but there needs to be at least something in place.  For us - enjoying our vacation means having an idea of what we will be doing ahead of time.  We are only there for so many days, and there are a lot of things we would like to do.  We need to be reasonable and smart with our time.  So.....plan it is.  We buy all of our tickets that we can ahead of time for all excursions to make sure we don't have any disappointments.

I have laid out our trip, and we are pretty excited.  Here is what it looks like:

December 23 - we fly out.  We are traveling the whole way to Hawaii on this day.  We have a layover in San Diego, but it will be a whole day's travel.  It is 12 hours of flying to get to Oahu.  We arrive there at 6:30pm Hawaii time, but we will think it is 12:30am.  So we will be eating and heading to bed.  We have rented an apartment from Airbnb (my favorite place on the planet) that is walking distance to the beach.  After our experience with Airbnb in Europe, I have decided this is my new favorite way to travel.  We get a whole apartment with a washer and dryer so that I don't have to pack as much.  Score.

December 24th - This day we are doing to hike Diamond Head.  Mat and I were in Hawaii about 17 years ago and did this.  It is a great hike - not long and the views you can't beat.  Then in the afternoon we are going to check out some Christmas Gingerbread houses in Waikiki and see the City Hall Christmas Display.  Then we are hitting the beach to relax until our dinner reservations that night.

December 25th - our first Christmas away from home.  I am more nervous about it than the kids are.  I think they are going to be fine.  There will not be a lot of presents because the trip is their big present, but there will be a few.  Then we are heading out for the day.  Beach, Byodo-In Temple, LuluMahu Falls hike - it will be a lot of fun.

December 26th - Today we are spending the day at the Polynesian Culture Center.  This is something Mat and I did the last time we were there and it was a lot of fun.  That night we see a Luau (we explained Finley's situation and they were able to get us close seats).  Not sure how the kids will react to a pig being cooked in the ground......but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

December 27th - we are going to Dole Plantation to check out the Pineapple farms and then have tickets to Pearl Harbor for the afternoon.

December 28th - We are going snorkeling this day!  We have a trip planned to Hanauma Bay but first - we bought tickets for the kids and us to go Parasailing.  They don't know it yet - it is a bit of a surprise, - but I think they will love it.  In the afternoon we will be at the beach all day relaxing.

December 29th - today we fly to the Big Island of Hawaii.  We are touring the Island (with a tour group) and seeing the Volcanoes.  I think the kids will love this.  Mat and I did this day trip when we were there and it was a highlight of the trip.  Seeing actual lava is pretty cool.  We will be gone from 6am-8pm, so this is an all day affair

December 30th - Today we are going to the North Shore.  The North Shore in the winter is when the waves are huge.  20 foot huge.  And when the professional surfers come out to play.  We are going to go to watch, and check out the tide pools at Shark's Cove, and visit Wiamea Valley.

December 31st - today we are going to Ka'ema Point State Park.  It is a short hike, but you are supposed to be able to see the whales playing in the surf during the winter months.  So I thought the kids would like to see that.  then we are going to the Bishop Museum (We can go for free because we are Museum members here in MA).  Then our flight to San Diego is that night at 10pm.  (overnight travel - not my favorite, but it was cheap).

January 1st - I am REALLY excited about this day.  We are landing in LA (on purpose) and getting our rental care there.  We had planned to spend the day in La for the day, but found that most things are closed for the holiday.  So - instead we decided to drive to Pasadena and do the Tournament of Roses Parade.  You can get tickets for the grandstand (and parking), so we did that.  I spoke to a woman on the phone and explained Finley's vision, and she got us some pretty stellar seats.  We are pretty excited.  After the parade we get to see the floats up close so Finley can see the flowers even better.  Going to be fun.  And will keep us awake because we wouldn't have had much sleep.

January 2nd - Going to San Diego Wild Animal Park for the day.  Mat and I used to live in San Diego, and this was a favorite place to take Arlington when she was little.  We will be there for the day.

January 3rd - Beach day!  First we are going to watch the Hand Gliders jump off the cliff at Torrey Pines Glider Port.  Then we are heading to Coronado Island for the afternoon to sit on the beach and relax.  Then in the evening we will go to La Jolla cove to see the Sea Lions on the beach.

January 4th - We are going to go to Balboa Park, and hopefully make it to the Cabrillo National Monument before having dinner with friends.

January 5th - home.  Boo.

So that is our trip!  Anxious to get out there and starting having some fun.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

*Watch** the hanggliders? Ah, come on! :D

I have great memories from visiting Torrey Pines earlier this year and paragliding for the first time. Sounds like an awesome trip ahead!