One neat thing about the timing of our trip is that we got to celebrate Valentines Day together. We spent the day relaxing by the pool and capped it off by a visit to The Cheesecake Factory for an early dinner. We thought we would try and beat the crowds. That place is nuts! The throng of people waiting outside with their little vibrators in their hands when we arrived at 5:00 was daunting. We only had to wait 30 minutes for a table and then could sit down and enjoy a yummy meal together.
Although we often tease the girls about different boys they may like, we all know that they have only one true Valentine - Daddy! It's true! I made a funny questionnaire for Ellie to fill in while we were gone. One of the blanks said, "boyfriend" to which she wrote, "Daddy". I think Mike might like it to stay that way for awhile!
Sasha actually calls Mike her "Lover boy" sometimes and regularly says she wants to marry him. (Don't worry folks, this isn't creepy, it's cute.) Here is the lovely couple snuggled up in their booth.
We capped off the evening with Cheesecake and our tummies were so full, so we took a little torch-lit stroll through Waikiki.
Every Friday night there are fireworks on the beach in Waikiki. It's pretty neat to see all of the tourists lined up along the shore waiting for the show to start.
Hannah says her favourite dinner out was at a place in The King's Court called Rock Island Cafe. It's a pretty authentic looking 50's diner. Hannah loves the 50's. The servers were dressed to fit the era perfectly, and the place was jammed full of 50's memorabilia.
Across the street from our condo was a place known for it's "5 napkin" cheeseburgers. Here we are waiting for ours after our day in the waves at Kailua Beach.
Mike had his own "happy place" in Waikiki. It's a restaurant called "Yardhouse" where they have over 100 beers on tap. Mike likes to try local brews wherever he is, and a Kona beer here did not disappoint. Neither did the happy hour specials. We went twice and had our last dinner in Hawaii here. We couldn't resist.
On the last afternoon of our holiday, we took the girls out on a great adventure.
Over the course of our holiday, we made friends with a couple from Winnipeg who were staying at the same condo complex. I first noticed him walking down the street on our second day because he was proudly strutting his stuff down the beachwalk with a Winnipeg Jets t-shirt on. We stopped and chatted and enjoyed our conversations with Klaus and Erika very much. Klaus passed on a "2 for 1" coupon for the Outrigger Catamaran. He said it was really fast, and we'd likely get really wet. He was right.
This wasn't your average boat ride, folks. The catamaran has a huge mesh platform at the front of the boat on which you can lie right about the waves. It almost feels like there is nothing between you and the water. You can see a picture of it here.
The girls were quick to decide that they wanted to lie on the mesh. Mike and I sat on the mesh too just a little further to the middle. When we started, we thought the waves seemed huge. By the middle of the trip, they were unbelievable swells that we were going over. There were a few times when the boat actually left the water and slammed down.
Look how calm I look (for the sake of the children).
When we went over the first few swells, I screamed a little to which my family informed me that I was embarrassing them.
I tried to reign it in after that.
Still smiling and not screaming.
I'd occasionally ask Mike, "Do you think it's going to flip over? Do you think the girls are safe? Do you think we should be closer to the lifejackets?" To which he'd just smile and pat my leg and bop his head to the reggae music that was playing and say, "It's all good, Karla. It's all good."
The girls smiled the whole trip.
Ellie and Sasha wanted to get splashed....
.... and they did. Like this. Many, many times!
It was the perfect way to spend our last afternoon.