Wednesday, February 8, 2017


To celebrate Rog's graduation, we went to Hawaii on a cruise. We chose Hawaii because Rog had never been there. And we chose a cruise because when Rog and I were dating, I went on a cruise around Hawaii with my mom and sister. I remember wishing he was there with me and I had always wanted to go again, so I could take him with me. 

We went on Norwegian Cruise Line's 7-Day Hawaii, Round-trip Honolulu cruise. I feel like it's the perfect cruise because there are so many fun excursions and because the islands are so close together, you only have to cruise at night. The motion of the boat puts me to sleep and I hate sleeping my vacation away, so I don't enjoy days at sea. But cruising at night is perfect because you get a really good night's sleep. And it's a great way (maybe the only way that wouldn't cost a fortune) to see all the different Hawaiian islands in one trip.

It took us two flights to get there. One up to Portland (which we thought was pretty ironic) and then a really long one to Honolulu. We got some breakfast in Portland, but then didn't think to bring anything to eat on the flight. I don't think we realized how long the flight really was since with the time change, we got to Hawaii by 1:00 Hawaii time, but that's 5:00 Utah time.

Anyway, we seriously lucked out because we were flying on one of the only airlines that still serves a complementary meal (Hawaiian Airlines). It was tiny, but without it we would have ended up paying a ridiculous amount for food on the flight.

We were still hungry (bordering on hangry) when we landed, but refused to pay for food since we were going to be getting on the ship (where food is free and unlimited) soon. We took a shuttle over to the cruise terminal, got through security, got checked in, and finally made it onto the ship. We got some food at one of the buffets and then had an official dinner when the restaurants opened a little later. Our waiter accidentally poured Rog a glass of water that was more ice than water and we had to take a picture because that's how my mom likes her water!

We got settled in our room and explored the boat a bit. We were basically walking zombies by this point after a full day of travel and the 4-hour time change, but we forced ourselves to stay awake as long as possible. We went to a show that was a preview of all the other shows they'd be doing the rest of the cruise. We were both falling asleep, so we left before the end, but we saw enough to know which shows we wanted to see and which ones we would skip. We did not go to see the comedian, but all the other shows were great - our favorite was the Oh What a Night Tribute group.

Sunday was our first day on Maui. We got off the ship and walked to the closet church for sacrament meeting. It was only about a 15 minute walk to a darling, little church and we enjoyed a nice meeting. The rest of the day we just relaxed. Rog read a book and I worked on our 2014 blog book. Blurb had a great sale going on, so I spent my free time working on it and was able to finish and order the book before the cruise (and the sale) ended. 

Monday we had another day on Maui and we had scheduled an excursion to rappel down waterfalls. We got to wear some very attractive gear - especially those shoes!

To start they had us do a couple "dry rappels" to get comfortable and then our third rappel was down a waterfall. 

Because they had recently had a lot of rainfall, the water was too high and we couldn't actually rappel in the waterfall. We had to rappel next to it instead. It was still fun, but we were a little disappointed that this was as close as we could get to the waterfall.

After we rappelled down we got to swim around in the water.

We also got to enjoy this beautiful view when we were done rappelling. Absolutely breathtaking!

Tuesday we were in Hilo on the island of Hawaii. We hadn't scheduled an excursion for the day, so we asked around and everyone we talked to recommended doing the Hoppa-On Hoppa-Off Bus Tour. It was only $20 and it was a great way to explore Hilo. We got off at the Rainbow Falls stop and saw Rainbow Falls (obviously), 

But we were more impressed by this huge banyan tree that was just a short hike up from the falls viewpoint. This picture doesn't even begin to do it justice. It was huge!

The Banyan Tree Drive stop was fun because all of the trees were planted by famous people in the 1930s and 1940s. We didn't recognize most of the names, but we found trees planted by Amelia Earhart, Babe Ruth, and Heber J. Grant.

We ended up needing to buy some lunch and went to Gina's Huli Chicken (a food truck) that was supposed to be really good. It wasn't bad, but we weren't super impressed. It didn't help that they didn't take credit, so we had to find an ATM and pay an ATM fee to get cash.

We had originally planned for this day to be a beach day, but someone we talked to said Hilo did not have good beaches. We didn't wear (or bring) our swimsuits and when we got to the Richardson Black Sand Beach stop, we were so mad. It was a gorgeous day and such a beautiful beach. We explored it in our clothes, but wished we were in our swimsuits!

The bus driver said we might be able to see some turtles in the tide pools and I was determined to see one. We did get to see a few and it was one of the highlights of my day.

On Wednesday we were in Kona on the other side of the island of Hawaii. We started out the day doing sealings in the Kona temple. It was a little bit of a walk (about 30 minutes), but it was well worth it.

Then we changed into our swimsuits and hit the beach. It was overcast and ugly, but we had fun anyway. I wanted to try paddle boarding, so we rented one and played on that for an hour. 

It looks like we had a few minutes of blue skies and sunshine, but it only lasted long enough for this picture.

Rog wanted to go snorkeling too, so he rented the gear and did that for awhile. I despise snorkeling, so I opted to sit that one out.

Before we got back on the ship we picked out shirts at Crazy Shirts and got a Hawaiian Shave Ice which was delicious and sadly our only one of the trip.

That night at dinner we spent a long time trying to discreetly take a picture of one of the waiters who looked like a mix between Rog's brothers, Rex and Taylor.

Thursday we were on the island of Kauai. We had purchased tickets to the luau that night, so we had a chill day. I did some souvenir shopping while Rog played at the beach. 

We did FaceTime with the kids on the beach, so we could show it to them. It was a perfect beach day, but I had already gotten ready for the day and didn't have time to get ready again before the luau.

I used the luau as my opportunity to get dressed up in the dress I bought especially for the trip and enjoyed getting complements all night. Rog put on a collared shirt and called it good.

Dressing up was my favorite part, but the food was good too.

As well as the entertainment.

Friday we were still on Kauai. We had scheduled an excursion to kayak and then hike to a waterfall.

While kayaking we met an LDS couple that was just a couple years older than us. We enjoyed talking to them and were sad we didn't meet them earlier. 

Our guide pointed out that part of Indiana Jones was filmed here. Recognize those ropes?

It was a pretty short hike down to the waterfall.

Rog jumped at the opportunity to climb behind the waterfall.

I was a little more hesitant, but realized I would regret it if I didn't do it. The rocks were slippery and it was harder to get back there than it looked. 

I ran 3 miles around the ship just about every day. I normally don't enjoy running around a track, but I didn't mind this. It was beautiful and kind of like running on water. 

I think Rog's favorite part of the cruise was the unlimited ice cream. Most nights he found an excuse to go somewhere right before we were getting ready for bed. He always came back with an ice cream cone for him and usually some dessert that he thought I would enjoy. 

Saturday morning it was time to start our long journey home. We had a spectacular time, but were ready to see our babies! With everything we had going on the months before our cruise, I had waited too long to book our flights. The only ones left that were not completely outrageously priced were terrible getting home. We flew to Oakland and then got ready to spend the night in the airport. 

We set up a little spot and got comfortable, but a security guard came by around midnight (or maybe 1:00 am - details are fuzzy now) to wake us up and make us go outside security for a few hours. Out there the lights were so bright and the benches were so hard (worse than sleeping on the carpet in the terminal). I kept waking up because my legs and arms were falling asleep. We were incredibly rested after our cruise, but not after that night in the airport!

We spent the day getting sleep anytime we could.

Sunday morning we flew to Phoenix and from there, finally to Salt Lake!

Other than the flights, it was a practically perfect trip. We got to do some fun excursions, but the best part was just being able to relax and spend time together without a million things to distract us. I finally felt like I got caught up on my sleep (for the first time since having Logan). A million thanks to my parents for watching our kids and for financing part of the trip as a graduation gift for Rog!


Megan Goodrich said...

It looks amazing! Glad you got a bit of peace amidst all the chaos that was your life at the time!

tracy said...

i love your trip, the funniest thing is the part I loved best is the "Jerssey Boys" out take Surprised!????