Warning: there are a LOT of pictures in this post. Read at your own risk:)
We stayed on the Southwest side of the island but we drove up to the North Shore almost every day.
Love that place and the small-town feel.
We spent some good time at Haliewa checking out the surfers.
The first day we went up there the surf was kind of wild so we decided to try Waimea Bay (one of Dave and my favorite spots).
The surf was crazy there too.
The big girls caught some sun:
The big kids felt like the surf died down enough at one point to try their hand at getting in, which was a bad idea (one that lacked the permission of their parents) and they sure learned their lesson!
As we packed up to head to the next spot a big family came and approached us who turned out to recognize us and they were doing the same thing: soaking up family time before their son left on his mission...on the same day to the same place Max is headed. Is that crazy or what?
Yep, next month those two will be in the MTC studying Mandarin like nobody's business getting ready to head to the Taiwan, Taichung mission.
We ate up some tacos from the North Shore Taco Truck...
I've got to be honest and say these were fine, but nothing to write home about. I was sad the "Elephant Truck" (Thai food) wasn't open the day we were there...I had heard so many good things about it.
We basked on that beach for a while too, then headed back to Haleiwa to get some Matsumoto shave ice.
Now, I don't know if there's much that screams "TOURIST TRAP" more than that line up there...filling up the whole little square. Are you kidding me? We went to this place years ago when it was no more than a little hole in the wall and now there's this huge shop built around the concept. A little crazy if you ask me.
Then we drove home with sunbursts chasing us through the sky.
...to the beach at our hotel where the kids and Dave swam to end the night...see those little dots out there on the right? That's them.
There were some cool Hawaiian men cutting into coconuts so we could try some of the coconut milk:
We had a little surprise up our sleeves for the kids. We had heard great things about this little adventure we could go on, so we decided to take it:
The next morning we got up before dawn to go swim with some sharks.
Yes, that's right.
Not the jumping-in-with-bull-sharks-or-great-whites kind of swimming with sharks, the much more tame kind, just the kind where you are pretty protected in a cage and you can just watch them, but it was pretty awesome just the same!
See that cage on the back of the boat?
It was such a gorgeous morning.
But with Dave and Claire at her side it didn't take too long to turn her around ;)
We watched as the first group had their turn. Sharks started coming up like crazy.
See those sharks in the upper right corner of this picture?:
...that is, when we weren't trying to help Lucy see them and keep her mask on. I probably put that mask on like 45 times and her eyesight isn't the best to know where to look but it was SO FUN when she saw "Gus" and "Betsy" (we took to naming them:)
Ok I have to run so I'm going to have to finish up my thoughts about surfing later today!
To be continued...