The Brown’s invited us up to their cabin in Winter Park for Easter weekend. We had a great time with them and the kids. We started off the weekend at the tubing hill. It was super fun, but Delaney wouldn’t go down, so David and I took turns taking Andrew down. Most of the time Andrew and I went in one tube, and held on as a little cluster with Kris, David B, and their girls. We had a blast. That hill looks small from the road, but when you are on it, it is steep and fast and really fun! It was a great start to our weekend.
After tubing we went to the cabin for the Easter Cookie Decorating Extravaganza! We had icing, gumdrops, sprinkles and dots to decorate the cookies. Of course any edible project is always a hit with the kids.
The next morning, the kids woke up at 6:15am for the egg hunt, no joke. We didn’t get pictures of this, because, well, it was 6:15am and I wasn’t really functional. They had a blast though. Each of the four kids got to find 20 eggs filled with stickers, toys, and of course, CANDY!
Next we headed to Devil’s Thumb Ranch for a sleigh ride. We rode a sleigh pulled by three big, beautiful horses, and the kids got to push hay off the sleigh to feed Easter breakfast to the horses, ponies, mules, donkeys, and cows on the ranch. This was fun, but very cold. The whole ride lasted about an hour and it was around 10 degrees, I think. My toes were numb by the end…so it is a damn good thing that at the end there was a campfire waiting for us with hot cocoa and the fixins for making S’MORES!!!! Not a bad idea at 10:30 in the morning!
Any time we weren’t doing an activity, the kids all kept busy playing together. Delaney is finally big enough that she can play with the other kids and run around all silly with them. Andrew and Megan still have a blast together, which is really cute to see. They run around all hyper and screaming and make up games together. The four of them definitely had fun together, Andrew and Megan being the ring-leaders of course 🙂 At least no fingers were lost with all of the door slamming!
Our friends, Garrett and Amy, got married in Winter Park on 2/23, right when we got back from Hawaii. They had a beautiful ceremony and reception at a lodge not far from the Brown’s cabin. It was a beautiful, intimate, family-oriented wedding. We were honored to be a part of Garrett and Amy’s big day! We had a great time and the newlyweds were stunning (umm, I mean Garrett and Amy, but we dressed up nice too!). I might have had a little too much fun at 10k feet…remember the altitude, it’ll sneak up on ya!
After Kauai, we headed out to Oahu to stay with my parents in a house on the East side that they swapped out for their condo in Breckenridge. The location was great, it was right by the town of Kailua, which has the prettiest beaches on the island, Lanikai and Kailua beach. The water at these beaches seemed much more Caribbean to me. I’m used to seeing the deep blue water in Hawaii, so I was surprised that the water at these beaches was bright aqua. They are both neighborhood beaches with lots of sand and no hotels in sight, which
is nice for a change!
I was also pleasantly surprised by Waikiki. I thought it was a gorgeous beach and found it beautiful to have the city as a backdrop. The shopping there was great too, and tons of cute restaurants on the beach. I wanted to surf there, but they said that where the waves were breaking was at a coral reef, so for beginners, it is pretty dangerous. I thought I should stick to sandy bottom beaches, so I passed.
I liked Waikiki so much that David suggested we stay at a hotel there one night, to get a taste of the nightlife. We stayed at the Hilton, which was a monster resort with it’s own entire shopping area (I got a couple super cute sundresses, but didn’t go too crazy), and David Beckham was staying there too. There was some international soccer tournament going on. I didn’t catch a glimpse of him or Posh Spice, but the front desk lady had said he was there.
One day we drove up to the world famous North Shore of Oahu and watch surfers and boogy borders surf ‘The Pipe’. We saw some very bad-ass moves. Some were doing spins and flips and all kinds of stuff. It was a lot of fun to watch! We topped the day off with a stop at Ted’s Bakery for Ted’s legendary Chocolate Coconut Pudding Pie. It was deeeelish.
Of course we had to get some good snorkeling in, so we went to Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve, which is a volcanic crater sunken into the water with a coral reef. It was beautiful and we saw lots of big fishies, but it was pretty crowded there.
It was fun to vacation with my parents. It has been forever since I vacationed with them, so we had a blast.
I wasn’t expecting to like Oahu so much. I just figured it was an island with a giant city on it, but it was really beautiful with pristine beaches and Waikiki has such a great vibe – I really loved it.
We just back from our Hawaii trip. It was fabulous. I’ve only ever been to Maui before, so it was exciting to explore some other islands too! I looooved Kauai! We stayed on the Northshore at the Princeville Hotel (thanks for the recommendation Tanya and Ginger). The location was great. Although it wasn’t the best time of year to go. It had been rainy right before we got there, so most of the hiking trails on the North side were closed due to muddiness. And there wasn’t much snorkeling since the water is pretty rough in the winter. Also, all of the boat and heli tours leave from the South side, so it was a long drive to do any touristy activities. That didn’t bother us though, the weather was gorgeous while we were there, and we were happy to chill at the beach most days. I think the Northshore is definitely the prettiest and most magnificent part of the island. The steepness and jaggedness of mountains make them unlike any mountains I’ve seen before, the landscape is really spectacular. So, I’m glad we stayed where we did, and we lucked out with great weather for the whole week! It started raining the day we left – that is our weather luck kicking in again!
My new favorite beach is Hanalei Bay. Famous for its spectacular beauty, Hanalei Bay is a long half-moon of sandy beach carved into the base of a sheer cliff on one side and narrowing into a rocky point on the other. David and I even took surfing lessons and got up quickly. I rode my second wave all the way in (which I guess is not what you are supposed to do – you are supposed to hop off before hitting the beach, but it was fun!). I loved it so much we got to surf on another day too. I’d say that was the highlight of my trip, and I’m sure I’ll do it again some time!
We also did a helicopter tour of the island and saw the Na Pali coast and tons of waterfalls. It was really beautiful.
Then for Valentine’s Day, we went to a outdoor movie on the beach. It was ‘Sabrina’ with Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn. It was pretty cheesey, but still a fun experience. The champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries helped!
We had a lot of time to relax, soak in the sun and read on the beach. I read ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ and thought it was excellent. I couldn’t put it down. It was also entertaining to just watch the waves and the surfers. Right from our hotel there was a hot spot for surfing huge swells. They say the waves got up to 30 feet right there one day. We thought the surfers were insane to be out there. The sheer force of the waves crashing looked like they could kill someone!
So, that was Kauai in a nutshell. I’d love to go back sometime and rent a house in Hanalei and surf to my hearts content! Maybe next year…?