I have FINALLY sorted through the 1500 pictures that I have compiled from the Hawaii trip. Don't worry, I am not posting them all! I will have links at the bottom of this blog post to categories so you can look through them at your leisure. I know some family and friends will be more interested in some than others, etc. So enjoy!
As for the trip. I mentioned that Rylen was going to be a test on the plane with his ears and we had absolutely no issues whatsoever! It was wonderful. I think I almost burst into tears on landing in Honolulu from the anxiety of possibly having a crying toddler in pain. He didn't pull or tug once and not one tear! I couldn't believe it. We also had absolutely no issues carrying his medications through security either. It was quite a trouble-free flight! He took 2 naps, ate lunch, snacks, looked at books and really was quite a good baby for both flights. His favorite was probably our flight to Kona because he could see out the window.
Once in Kona we adorned the "Granny's" with Leis and headed off to the resort to check in. We had a small delay with our luggage and that allowed the kids to run around and get out some energy after being contained for 10 hours on planes. We checked into our rooms and settled in for a week of sun and relaxation. Our family had a room, Christopher's family had a room, My parents had their own room and then Robby's mom (Granny) and Granny Helen had a room together. We started out in Ocean Tower rooms and moved to our final Palace Tower rooms a day later. The resort was beautiful and absolutely HUGE. We were there during a light week and so the place seemed practically empty... very nice and peaceful. There is a tram that travels the length of the resort and back as well as boats that follow the same line. Rylen was always very excited to use the transportation and look out the windows.
Supposedly, we arrived in the final days of a VH1 reality show with Antonio Sabato Jr. He was finding himself a girl to marry. Sort of a bachelor type show. It will be interesting to view some clips of the show and see what they used of the resort. I was too busy getting my pedicure and manicure at the beginning to pay much attention to it all. I mean, there are priorities here!
As for the rest of the week, it was filled with dolphins, Boat rides, Whale watching, pool time with virgin lava flows (YUM!), waterslides, sunsets, coffee tours, luaus, yummy breakfasts with the best pineapple and pastries ever, star studded skies, beautiful blue oceans, sandy beaches, a Valentine's sunset, laughing with family and watching Rylen take it all in wide-eyed, running, and kicking his feet to get on the trams. There really is no way to completely describe every piece of the week. It was a wonderful vacation with very little technology at our fingertips. Cut off from tv & internet, it truly was a wonderful vacation. The only challenge was having a toddler. It was our first true vacation with a toddler running under foot. So, relaxation by the pool did have to happen with one eye open, but it was still so wonderful to watch him drink in the experience. Robby and I indulged in some restricted food items such as fish and ice cream a couple of times. But it was a vacation and probably the last time I would be able to indulge without the physical problems for a long time. Rylen slept hard every night and all night in the pack-n-play at the foot of our bed to awake and squeeze our toes for us to get up for another day of fun in the sun. He then wore himself out during the day usually only taking one nap. It was quite a test to see how he would be on such a crazy schedule, but both the kids did very well being out of their environments. They were even commented on many times at the restaurants at how well behaved they were. We were all quite proud of them.
The trip back home was a red-eye and I'm not sure which would have been better. Rylen fell asleep about an hour into the flight and flopped a bit. I wasn't sure how well he would sleep. Unfortunately the tvs and lights on our row didn't work the whole time and being so sedentary made my arthritis flare. So, I slept only a total of 1.5 hours with hands and arms aching and feet swelling. Rylen slept for about 4 hours woke up for about 30 minutes to get milk and go back to sleep until we landed. So, overall he did very well. Robby and I, on the other hand were horribly bored and uncomfortable. The later flight allowed for more time in Hawaii, so it was probably worth it.