The last 6 weeks - crazy! Last week I was wishing that time would just freeze for a day so that I could get caught up. I am finally unpacked and the laundry is almost done after a week of being at home. Christmas seems like a blur now and the trip seems like months ago. Christmas was definitely overshadowed by the death of my grandma. She was a really incredible person and I was really close to her. When I graduated from University I lived with her for over a year. Such a cool experience that I will never forget. I was very fortunate to be able to speak at her funeral along with my cousins. Such a hard job but honouring her was something that was really important for me. We had lots of questions from the girls about her death. We just read "What is Heaven" by Maria Shriver. Great book to answer some of these questions. Meredith was super cute. Just after my grandma died we gathered the girls and told them that Great Grandma had died and gone to heaven. Mer was asking how she got to heaven.The conversation went like this
Mer "How did Great Grandma get to heaven"
Andy "Nobody is really sure Mer"
Mer "Can I ask grandma how she got there?"
Andy "Grandma doesn't really know either"
Mer "Can I ask grandpa how she got there?"
Andy "Grandpa doesn't really know either, no one really knows"
Mer "Can we google it then?"
Andy & Michelle responded with laughter
It goes to show you what generation our kids are growing up in!! Even my grandma wouldn't know what that means!!!
The kids had fun this Christmas. They each got an Nintendo DS - a highlight for them and a life saver for the long flight to Hawaii. We spent December 26 packing and getting ready to go. We went to TO to spend the night because we had a super early flight on the 27. Long story short - our flight on the 27 got cancelled due to weather. After crazy long waits to get answers we were booked on a flight to leave on the 28. At one point it looked like we might not get out to the 30! The flight was super long but the kids did alright. We arrived at the TO airport at 4am on the 28 and got to Maui at 9 pm. Everyone was exhausted but excited to finally be there.
We rented a house in Maui. It worked out perfectly for the 11 of us. This allowed us the flexibility to cook and not have to eat out every meal. Thank goodness because the kids (all five of them - 4mos,2,4,5,7)struggled a little bit with the time change. This was the view from our house.
Added bonus was that the house had a pool and laundry (2 sets of washer and dryers). This came in very helpful when 8 of us had the stomach flu. It was a complete barfarama for 5 days.
Highlights of the trip:
Authentic Hawaiian Laua (Avery's Favourite)
(Andy thought those coconuts would be good for me! Avery thought it was cool that you could see a little rear dear on those boys!)
For any of you golf enthusiasts out there. At the Laua we sat beside Justin Leonard and his family.
Spotting the Humpback Whales from our balcony and whale watching on the boat(Meredith's Favourite) My brother took the pictures of the whales. I will get a few and post. The Humpbacks are incredible creatures. They weigh about 40 tonnes and are somewhat prehistoric looking. At this time of the year they are mating. The males compete - go figure - for the love of there life by head butting and breaching into the air. Absolutely incredible to watch. (Unfortunately the seas were a little rough for my liking and I met Chuck at the back of the boat)
Hanging at the Beach with the girls,the whales and snorkeling(Andy's favourite)
Snorkeling with the Sea Turtles - man they are big at 450-500 lb (my favourite)
I didn't get a photo of the sea turtles we saw - needed an underwater camera to do that but this is a picture of the ones we saw at the Aquarium. The ones we saw with the exception of the babies were twice or three times the size of these guys.
We got to see a little bit of a rain forest.
On the way to the rain forest we stopped at a road side fruit stand. The girls wanted to try fresh coconut. First the lady drilled a hole in the coconut to taste the milk. Then she went to work with her machete and cut the coconut in half.
Morning Walk on the beach
Our Sand Covered Model
The pictures don't capture all of our great memories of Maui but it gives you a glimpse of how gorgeous Maui is. If you ever thought that Hawaii is a place you want to visit. Plan for it and go, you will not be disappointed. We are saving our pennies so that we can go back there again someday. Great big thanks to my mom & dad for spoiling us.