We decided to fly to Hawaii for Christmas and meet my family there instead of flying back to Australia. I booked us a three-bedroom suite at a resort in Ko Olina, right on the waterfront.
The flight was brutal – 10 hours straight. Eloise napped just once and then was awake for 12 hours straight.
The resort and beach were so beautiful. Ko Olina was a little piece of paradise. We spent most days walking around the beaches, swimming in the ocean and pools.
We also did the toddler dolphin experience at Dolphin Quest. It was wonderful to meet dolphins with Eloise. It totally blew her mind. She was fascinated by them, and has been saying “dolph!” and pointing to pictures of them since.
One thing I really wanted to do was the Disney character breakfast at Aulani. It was so much fun! A decent buffet breakfast with a great omelet station, Minnie Mouse and Goofy wandering around to the tables for meet and greets and photo ops. Every so often, “Auntie” would strike up music and sing cute Hawaiian-y songs, handing out instruments and leading the kids in a parade around the restaurant. Eloise was in absolute heaven.
Alec and I had a few hours to ourselves one day so went for a drive to Mokule’ia Beach, where Lost was filmed. It was stunning – a pure white sand beach with almost no one in site for miles.
We also went on an easy hike one day with Tim and Michele up to Diamond Head. It had an amazing view of Honolulu.
I also got up super early one morning to see Pearl Harbour with Michele. It was a sobering experience to be there and see the sunken Arizona ship.
Even though I get really sea sick pretty much just by looking at boats, I thought it would be a fun idea to get on a boat and go snorkelling and whale watching. True to form, I felt ill the entire time, but we did see about 10 Humpback whales.
We went for a stroll through Waimea Valley. It was really beautiful – a little too manicured, but some amazing plants.
We also went on the Ranch and Movie tour at Kualoa Ranch, where a lot of movies and TV shows have been filmed. I loved the tour – especially seeing where Jurassic Park was filmed for the famous scene with the log below.
It was really strange being somewhere other than in Warwick Farm for Christmas morning. It was really lovely, but also really strange! My first Christmas not in Warwick Farm in my life so far. We had breakfast at the neighbouring Marriott resort, followed by present opening and relaxing.
What a wonderful trip! It was so great to see my family all together. Hawaii is paradise – can’t wait to go back again.
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.