On Sunday, we headed up north to North Shore. I loved the drive!! It was easy going till we hit Sunset Beach but the surroundings were beautiful and completely different than Honolulu. We passed the Dole Plantation, which we plan on touring soon, fields of pinneapples, and could see the ocean for much of the drive. North Shore was a small surf town called Hale'iwa. This is what I always thought of when I heard Hawaii. The best thing about the beach was the sand.. when dry, it wipes right off, no need to rinse. Most of North Shore is No Swimming due to strong under currents and a rocky shore. We will come back here for sure, even if just to sit and play in the sand and watch the surfers. After the beach, we ate lunch at Jamesons by the Sea. We were able to get a table outside and the food was great. I highly recommend this resturant. Then we headed to Turtle Bay. The drive there was slow due tto traffic from Sunset Beach (which was beautiful as well) and since there were no turtles on the shore, a bit dissapointing. Hopefully, we can make it back sometime to see the turtles on the shore. Sometime this week, we plan on coming to Sunset Beach to see the sunset :)
On Saturday, we went to Waikiki. On the way there, we took a wrong exit and were able to see ChinaTown and the Honolulu Harbor. We also found a small beach in Ala Moana that was perfect for the kids. The water was calm and shallow and the beach wasn"t very crowded. The kids had a blast playing in the water and the sand. Julia had no fear and kept trying to crawl out to daddy in the deeper water. The boys loved it when Ben took them out to the deep water and Hayley finally got over her shyness and went in the water as well. We will go back to this beach!!
We then made our way down the street to explore Waikiki. I have to be honest, it was very crowded (both the the beach and the street) and besides the zoo and a fewshops, I really don't plan on visiting Waikiki very much. We did enjoy the sites and eating at Cheesecake Factory. Ben and Ty got reeces cheesecakes, Caden got a banana cream, Hayley got upside pinneapple and I got chocolate coconut.. Julia had some of each :)
After months of EFMP screenings, paperwork, bad news/good news, and lots of tears.. we are finally in Hawaii with Ben. Its been a long 7 months and we are so happy to finally enjoy some much needed family time. We were so blessed to be able to get 2 rooms at the Inn at Schofield which means we won"t have to rent a car till ours arrives because we are close to everything we could possibly need. The first night in Hawaii was pretty overwhelming as was the first few days. We spent those days getting additional paperwork done, exploring the PX and commisary, etc. On my first full day on an army base, I was able to see the flag being lowered as I stood across the street. It was an awesome experience. This weeked we plan on renting a car and exploring the island a little.