(These blog posts are taking me longer than I planned, so I’m still telling you guys about my mom & stepmom’s visit last month!  Just go with it…)
After visiting the Pearl Harbor Memorial, James headed off to work and the rest of us headed home to eat some lunch.  Then after filling up our bellies, the kids and I loaded up in the van with my mom and Roz (also known as Nana & Gran to the wee ones if I haven’t mentioned it five times).  We headed out toward Kapolei and the Ko Olina Lagoons.  The surf was starting to get a little rough, and the lagoons are perfect for some calm, care-free water fun.
And Roz was dying for some water fun.  We had visited two beaches (seen here and here) since her and my mom’s arrival, but neither included any swimming.  Better late than never!
So we arrived at Lagoon 4 and were shocked to find this beautiful creature napping on the beach.  We’ve only been to the lagoons a handful of times, but I never considered that Hawaiian monk seals would just swim in there.  So that was pretty cool.

They had the area cordoned off to allow the seal plenty of space.  We just all stood around and stared in awe.  We ended up being at the beach about three hours, and the little thing was there the whole time.  It was tired.

So, I made Aidan wear his wetsuit so I could get a picture of all three rocking them, but he didn’t get in the water.  He loves to read so much, so I pick my battles.  Better than playing on his iPod!

My mom loved just sitting there and listening to the waves crashing against the rocks.  And I think watching her wife and grandbabies in the water wasn’t so bad either.

Roz was in the water within seconds and Audra and Austin were so happy to have a grown-up human play toy.

This is that pic I mentioned.  Cute, huh?

So even though it was windy and chilly, plus the water was totally murky, Roz really wanted to try snorkeling.

And what kind of hostess would I be if I didn’t do it with her? 😉

I think she fell in love immediately.

After not seeing much in the middle part, she swam over to the rocky barrier to see if there were fish over there.

Can you see her?


Like I said, the water was pretty murky and rough, so we couldn’t do a whole lot.  But I’m so glad she was able to capture a few images with my waterproof camera.

We had all collected over by the rocks, so in order to leave, the younger two latched onto Gran’s feet as she towed them back to shore. (My mom and I walked back!)

And as we were leaving the resort area, we were able to see the black swans that hang around the pond area.  In the interest of full disclosure, I took this picture at a different time.  But I still wanted to include it because we DID see them.  Shhh, don’t tell anyone.

The next day, we headed back to the lagoons for another fantastic beach day.  This time, we decided to check out Lagoon 3. (Blog coming soon on the differences between all 4!)  The parking lot was full, so James waited in the van for a space to open while the rest of us toted our (large amount of) stuff down to the water.

Aidan (shockingly) got comfy with his book immediately. (I make fun, but you can’t pull me away from a good book, so he got it honestly.)

I got in the water with Gran and Austin.

James joined too.  And Roz made sure to get a picture of us together.  Always nice!

I’m so glad Santa brought the kids these body boards.  They LOVE them. (The adults do too.)

Mom was a huge fan of our canopy chairs.

But don’t you worry, she got in the water.

And she loved it.

We brought all of our snorkeling gear again, and I was excited that Austin wanted to try again.  None of the kids had attempted since Christmas.

I think it went fairly well, but he kept sucking in water.  It’s a work in progress.

He looks like a frog here.

Then I put on Audra’s gear, James grabbed mine (so Roz could wear his), and my mom decided to try as well.

But unfortunately, the water was even worse than the day before and you couldn’t even see your hand in front of your face.  James did see a turtle though while he was snorkeling near these rocks, so he climbed up to find it again.  Then he was reprimanded by the hotel staff and had to get down.  Oops.

We sort of gave up on the snorkeling for awhile, and my mom had some fun with the kids and body boards.

Sorry for the terrible photo quality of this, but I loved the moment.

And Aidan got in the water!

Don’t they look like they totally belong in Hawaii?

Yep, they sure do.

Then they got a little bit too brave and started heading way out.  I grabbed a picture, but then we shouted for them to head back.  We need to invest in swimming lessons again or I’m going to have a panic attack.

At that point, we were really hoping to do a bit more snorkeling, so we packed up and walked along the shoreline path towards Lagoon 2.  We were hoping the water might be calmer and clearer.

See the waves crashing along the barrier?  Not calmer.

We got in the water anyway.  And it sure is fun to watch.

After a bit, we headed over to the side barrier area to check it out.

And although it was still too murky to do any snorkeling, we did get rewarded with a sea turtle having some fun in the current.

Can you see it right in the middle of the image?

We stood there for probably 10 minutes watching it come near us and then ride back out.  Over and over.  I caught this little video.

Even though we saw a ton of sea turtles at Aweoweo Beach, it was still super freaking cool.

After the turtle seemed to look elsewhere for fun, Roz went off to explore.  James and I walked up to see what was on the other side of the rocks.  Gorgeous.

The view looking back toward the lagoon.  Right there in the middle is the Disney resort.

Then we walked back to meet my mom and the kids so we could go find Gran.

Turns out she was collecting shells and rocks down on a little hidden beach.

So cute.

She’s kinda camouflaged in the rocks, but she didn’t stop to hang with us.  She was a busy girl.  The tide was coming in, and I didn’t feel like the area was very safe for the kids.  So we headed back.

We jumped back in the water for a while, and James and I had fun trying to swim against the current. Spoiler alert – the current won.  And then we all showered off and headed home.

There’s only one more Nana & Gran installment to write!  But after all these posts of their visit, it’s clear we were very busy!  But as you can tell by the pictures, we really had a good time.

Kalanianaole Highway
2013 Slideshow