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Friday, November 14, 2014

Hawaii: Day 1 and Day 2

Leading up to our Hawaii trip I was VERY nervous about leaving. Usually I get a little anxiety surrounding a trip. Flying is scary. Leaving the kids for a few days is scary. But leaving a baby who is struggling with bottle feeding? That takes the cake! I was super nervous about leaving Tess so Mrs. Charlotte took her a day early so she could adjust to bottle feeding before we left. I'm SO so thankful we did that! Tess did AWESOME for her!!! 

Sleeping solid for G-Mama at naps!
She kept a bottle log for a little bit but didn't even need it because she did so well!
Since we didn't have Tess, we spent our last day before leaving just enjoying Kye and Britt. It was nice for me to have that time with them and be able to get them from school and just talk and laugh with them without worrying about nap schedule and next feedings! Zach was working in town so we all met up for lunch together! It was a great time!!!!
Girl can murder some chips and salsa!





That afternoon we took the big kids over to Mrs. Charlotte's and stayed until they were in bed for the night and then we went home. We would be away for 6 nights total and we had it worked out to try to have as much help for Mrs. Charlotte as possible! We are SO appreciative to her for keeping our babies for us and we never, ever want to overload or overwhelm her! 

Leading up to us leaving Kye had a VERY difficult time. He cried, a lot. Before leaving to go to G-Mama's Kye sat on the couch just sobbing and wanting me to hold him. Which NEVER happens. I felt so guilty! When I tucked him in that night at her house he was so upset that I had a hard time leaving the room. He'd cry which made me cry which made him cry.  I told him we were just the crying club! We did all the normal things we do to prepare the kids for us being gone (you can read my post on that here) and this time I also found some photos of us and gave them to each child to have. Kye said he was going to cover the pictures in his kisses while we were away. We got the kids a new recordable storybook and also recorded a couple new videos of us reading to them (here's Zach reading and here's me reading!) I was SO thankful to be traveling in the US. The time change would be tough, but we could make it work to be able to talk to the kids as often as they wanted! 
I had already been packed for several days so the night before we left wasn't too bad and we were actually in bed and asleep at an early hour! We had an early morning flight out and wanted to get all the rest we could!

Aside from the bottle concerns and the guilt about leaving the kids...I was SUPER excited for this trip. Hawaii is one of my absolute favorite places. I love everything about it and it's a place I'd totally live at if I could! 

I've always been a "Hula Girl" 
(yes, this is ME and not Kye!)
I sent a few pics to the kids!

I've dealt with flight anxiety issues in the past, and I know it's a common thing to have when you have children. But for some reason I was ZERO percent worried about this flight? I was very calm about it and actually really excited to catch up on some movie watching :) 

Of course I wasn't able to really watch many movies. We had a three seat row and I was in the center seat. We had one flight to LA then another to Hawaii. On the first flight to LA the guy sitting beside me talked to us almost the ENTIRE way. 

It was crazy because the guy was wearing a legit suit and had no luggage. He said he was flying to LA for a quick meeting. When we sat down he was talking (loudly) on his cell phone and when he hung up he said "you know studio execs" Like I would really know "studio execs" He seemed like some character in a movie. The entire flight he talked to us about how he is a CEO of this mega company and how he went into business with some tycoon from Japan and he asked us things like "don't you love flying in private jets?" He told us how he owns houses in Atl, Malibu and in Hawaii and told his he's a member of this ultra exclusive club in Hawaii and that he'd get us access to it for dinner as long as we promised not to spend over $1,000 on his tab. 

All this (and 5 hours worth of more...) from a guy sitting in coach. You'd think he'd be in first class right? I gave up trying to watch a movie and instead just humored him and asked him a bunch of questions and listened to his tales. Who knows if any of it was true or not but we did not end up getting into the fancy dinner...so I think that's pretty telling ;)

Then on the flight from LA to Hawaii the person in the seat next to me was a very elderly woman. So you know she was a talker! For one flight I heard about the high dollar life and then for the remaining flight I heard about stomach ailments and issues with her adult children. I actually kinda looked forward to my pumping sessions so I'd get a break from the conversations haha!
We left Valdosta at 5 am on Friday and arrived in Hawaii at 2 pm on Friday. The time change is easier to adjust on the way TO Hawaii rather than on the way home. We were so thankful to arrive safely and to have a pretty good experience overall. We had next to NO lay over time at any airport. Literally just enough to make each flight so we were very glad for no delays!

The was our second trip to Hawaii with Aflac. While it's always exciting to travel to new places...it's also wonderful to have the familiarity of visiting a place for a second time. We were staying at the same hotel as last time (Hilton Hawaiian Village) so we knew what to expect (and knew we'd be having some AWESOME sleep on the mega comfy beds!). 

We got all checked in and showered and unpacked a little and then went to get some dinner!

The resort has a lot of restaurants at it and they had a GREAT pizza place (we loved it so much we ended up getting it twice!). Both Zach and I had JUST finished our first 24 day challenge since having the baby. We made a pact to not overeat on the trip and to help each other remember that junk food is NOT worth it! We both did awesome the entire time :) And didn't gain ANY weight while we were gone (I actually lost another 2 lbs!)

We both wanted to get to sleep early so we'd be able to be fresh and ready to start the day bright and early the next morning! Every Friday night at the resort they have a fireworks show on the beach. We debated going but it didn't end up working out in our plans. 

I had to pump on the same schedule TESS was on back HOME. So that meant I was having to get up in the middle of the night to pump since we were six hours behind home. Zach fell asleep quickly but I pumped before going to sleep and ended up being awake when the fireworks started. He woke up too so he could watch (I mean you didn't really have a choice b/c they were LOUD). It was SO cool to be so close and they were SO beautiful!
We really got the hook up with our room. The view was AMAZING! I had to get up to pump the next morning and was able to see the breathtaking sunrise. It was gorgeous. I remember when I visited Hawaii as a teen that my dad spent so much time out on the porch of the room sitting and just watching the view. I thought it was strange at the time (because hello I was a teenager!) but now I "get it" and found myself wanting to spend as much time as I could out there enjoying the beautiful views!

Since we arrived in Hawaii a day before all the Aflac people did, we didn't have any breakfast provided for us. We each got a muffin the night prior and I ate mine out on the porch that morning. A cute little bird came up so I gave him a little piece...and you know what happened next!


Within minutes I got ran off by a bunch of birds haha!


With the time difference the kids were getting up to start the day at 1 am our time. I loved seeing pictures of them and hearing that they were having a good time with us gone! We had planned for Kye to spend the weekend with Casey and Jordan but at the trip got closer and closer Kye said he didn't feel comfortable spending the night with them. Which I understand. He has stayed with G-Mama many times and just feels comfortable there! He did end up going over to their house Saturday and to Courtney's on Sunday to hang out and play. It helps to have the older two kids split up. Britt is a MUCH easier child when she's solo ;) 
Sad that Uncle Jordan wasn't staying with her all day ;)
Kye had a blast with Casey and Jordan! Jordan sent us this video and I was jealous that they went to The Mix!
For our first morning in Hawaii we scheduled a trip to Hanauma Bay. I LOVED snorkeling there when I went in high school and we weren't able to go on our last visit, so this time I didn't take any chances. I booked that junk for our very first morning ;) 

I pumped right before we left and was able to wait to pump until we got back. We paid for a bus transport that included the snorkel gear and I didn't risk bringing my legit camera with us. We were thankful to have iPhones so we could still capture the beautiful views.






The bay has changed a good bit since I was last there (over 10 years ago). When I visited you could buy food to feed the fish and it made them swam to you which was super fun! They have stopped that practice due to the fish not eating from the reef and it was messing up the natural "circle of life." They also now make you watch a video about the bay before entering. Other than those changes, it was basically the same as what I remember experiencing. Beautiful beach, stunning views, and great snorkeling!

(No, I'm not wearing a tiny hat haha)
Both Zach and I have Lifeproof cases on our phones so they are waterproof. Buttttt I was too scared to trust it! So I did some hunting and found an inexpensive waterproof way to use our phones in the water and get some great pics with them! I bought the FRIEQ and it worked awesome!

Zach was in charge of the photo taking. Which was hilarious. The case worked great but you can't get pics of the fish when you have the phone set in "selfie" mode bahaha. He had like 60 pictures of this:
He also had a couple videos which I'm not sure were intentional? But here's one and here's another. He did manage to get some fish pics too!!!






We snorkeled for awhile then took a break and hung out on the beach. Looking back on the trip the "chill time" laying there together is probably my favorite moment of the trip. Random but it was just a really great time. That combo of being fresh out of the ocean and feeling the sun on us and just laying there talking and laughing together was just special. We forced ourselves to get back up though and go snorkeling a little longer before we had to be back to meet up with the bus to head back!






We are blessed to have the opportunity to travel fairly often. The downside of that is that we have started to forget things haha. We get so used to traveling that we don't think through everything we might need! On this trip we both totally forgot our travel pillows and we forgot hats for when we lay out. We hit up the good 'ole ABC Store (which in Hawaii is a little convince store and not a liquor store) and found some super fly trucker hats ;) I had gotten us both some new sunglasses for the trip so we were totally swagged out haha

Views on the ride back!
Since it was arrival day for all the Aflac people, there was a free lunch being served. I pumped then we changed and showered and headed down for lunch. They had an ICE CREAM BAR. Omg. It was so hard to not pig out on that junk!!!
We got all checked in with the Aflac people and got our free gifts :) I always get excited to see what goodies Aflac gives us and this year it was AWESOME towels! 

Back at the room we just napped and watched some of The Office (we finished the final season while on the trip...anyone else mega disappointed in the last episode?!?!) and then got ready for the welcome dinner! 

Zach didn't just qualify for the trip but he earned Silver Status so we got an extra goodie bag! I LOVE this cooler and the cutting board is awesome!
I also want to talk about my dresses for this trip :) Usually when I have a baby I resist buying any clothes in my postpartum size. But this time I decided to! With Kye my boobs got BIG while nursing and stayed big until I weaned him so I stretched out a lot of my clothes. With Britt my boobs never got big at all so it wasn't an issue. With Tess my boobs are huge again so I didn't want to make the mistake I did with Kye and ruin my "regular Emily" clothes ;) So I decided to buy some larger sized tops and dresses to wear while nursing so I can still feel cute and not risk messing up my normal clothes. I tried to look for dresses that I know will still be cute even when I lose more weight and I ended up finding an AWESOME website!!!

House Of Glisten (thanks Rach for the tip) has a ton of great dresses, tops, pants, etc for VERY affordable prices AND free shipping! I ended up ordering 5 dresses and only paid $65 total! Y'all know me and my love of a good deal :)

My favorite Aflac meals are the ones on hotel property. You can take your time and leave whenever you want rather than having to wait on transportation ;) The set up for the welcome dinner was BEAUTIFUL. Even better was that they had seating set up on the beach but didn't allow any alcohol in that area. Hello, private dinner date for us ;)



Ordering our waters ;)







We really enjoyed dinner but dipped out super early...to go to the movie theater :) When we went to Ireland I read Gone Girl and fell in LOVE with it. If you haven't read it: you need to!!!! Katie, Robyn, and I saw the movie together and omg. Best movie from aWe  book EVER. We all loved, loved, loved it. I loved it so much that I told Zach I wanted to go see it while in Hawaii because I was dying for him to see it. I really wanted to know how someone who hadn't read the book would perceive the movie! We took a taxi to the theater and had some time before the movie started so we got some dessert!
We opted for Hawaiian Shaved Ice (which in Hawaii is just called "Shaved Ice") as we figured it was the least-bad-for-us option. And I'm SO glad we made that choice because it was awesome

We enjoyed our treat and then went and saw the movie. And Zach loved it all the way through it and it was so awesome to see it again and to have him whisper guesses and comments throughout it. And then it ended and he was TICKED. Like legit MAD at me. Where we didn't even speak the rest of the night type mad!!! I don't want to give anything away about the movie but from his perspective I should have known he would not like it and I wasted time and money taking him to a movie that I knew he'd hate. Yes, we are laughing about this fight now ;) So now I'm sure if you haven't read the book and/or seen the movie you totally want to now, right?

Even though the night may not have ended on the best note...we still had an awesome first day together! 

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