Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hawaii Family Vacation- Oahu & Maui 2-13 Aug 2015 (Part 1)

Over the years it just gets harder to get family together (because of distance, schedules, babies :)), so each family vacation gets more and more precious. This one included! 

The highlight for me (and I think the rest of my family included) was getting to see my little niece Sophie again - the little joy! :) It's only been 5 months since I last saw her, but how she's grown! Her curls are growing wild and her vocab is expanding by the day. But she was the same immobile infant I remember first seeing in Nov 2014, where she would smile and giggle for what appears to be no good reason, but yet so infectious :) 

It was nice that Hawaii was a good meeting point - short distance for the Burtts, a place that Eric hasn't been, a trip down memory lane for us Yeos and activities that had something for everyone :) 

Airbnb was the way to go man. We only paid S$2,100 for 6 nights altogether! Yea, location at Waianae wasn't prime (i.e. not near Waikiki / city), but the place was spacious (which is good...we needed our space!) and clean and v good for us. The only thing that really got to me was the traffic - it's really bad during peak, and peak is from 2.30pm - 7pm?? Eric and I were like wondering...people got off work at 2.30pm?? And yes, of course the morning too. So while on google maps it was about an hour or less drive to Waikiki (or anywhere main/attraction for that matter), it would take up to 1.5hrs or more because of traffic. Eric was pretty tired from driving from the trip! 


Mum admiring the sunset on our first night, just across the road from our Thai dinner (which we went back twice) - just minutes from our Airbnb place.

Enjoying the many amenities they have...including a huge trampoline! The airbnb place: https://www.airbnb.com.sg/rooms/6158302

The living room

The next morning - after waking up the household ;) Little Sophie is so affectionate, and she loves her gong gong. I think she likes guys more than girls in general. 

Going nuts for all kinds of macadamia nuts!

After a day of surfing (for Aaron Faye & Jason) at Waikiki, spent the rest of the afternoon at Pearl Harbour. Didn't make the last boat ride out to the Arizona memorial (think it was 3 or 4pm), but we went round the land museum. The ship is still leaking oil till this day! 

Two men & a baby...#throwbacknyc2014

Met up with the surfing group for lunch at Ono Hawaiian (forgot the exact name of the restaurant), where they serve up a local fare. It's a good alternative to attending a luau (traditional dinner and show). Decent variety of Kalua Pig, Pork Lau Lau etc.! Didn't get to try Poi though, which I hear is supposed to be nutritious. All in all, not used to their local island palate - it tastes a little of home (the way they cook their veggies is slightly Chinese-tasting), but nowhere as tasty. 

Dinner at Merriman's MonkeyPod Kitchen - good tacos, and enjoyed my first mai tai here! Sophie's asleep in a pram nearby, hence she wasn't in this picture. 


In the shared backyard
We accidentally tried to open our neighbour's apartment next door :p we had Mormon neighbours

The little wubs needs to be unleashed outside once in a while to spend some of her boundless energy!

Morning entertainment

We had all intention to head down to the famed Hanauma Bay - the only memory i had from Hawaii when i was about 4 years old. But when we reached there, IT WAS CLOSED -_- Didn't do my research - it closes on Tuesdays. TAKE NOTE PEOPLE. But anyway, all's well - we had a week around the island, and the whole point was to have a chill holiday and do whatever we wanted to do anyway :) So no fret, we just drove to Lanika Beach about 20min away. 

Not without first picking up lunch - great recommendation by Jie.

One of my favorite shots! Sun, sand, smiles...and eye contact! What's there not to love :) 

Chatting up strangers - a social butterfly! She was telling the lady all sorts of stories :) 

She a smart one! She picked up the snack box, walked over to Eric, handed it over to him to help her open it...and made herself comfortable by making his leg her chair to sit and snack on :) cutie patootie.

It was late by the time we left Lanika, so we dao-paoed Thai once again!

Long wait at the restaurant with a restless (and affectionate) toddler. 

Too much food. Stuffed boneless chicken wings were so good though.


In a hat phase: everything's a hat!

While the surf team (Aaron, Faye & Jason) and their photographer (Rach) headed to Haleiwa area to surf - we heard North Shore was a good place to surf, Dad & Mum had babysitting duty looking after Sophie for a full three hours :) They were exhausted! Good thing she napped. Eric and I headed out to Turtle Bay's Palmer Course - it was a great day for golf! 

"The gem of Turtle Bay is the renowned Palmer Course, a facility that - in addition to other impressive distinctions - is among the 'Top 100 Golf Courses in the US' according to Golf Digest. With a setting that includes dense wetlands, contoured tree-lined fairways, and a crescendo to amazing ocean views from the penultimate hole, the Arnold Palmer Oahu golf course is one worthy of the bucket list."

Garlic shrimp lunch at Haleiwa after an active morning - o so good! 
Photo-bomber alert!

My other favorite photo!

The next day, we drove to Sandy Beach for our arranged photoshoot (superb idea Jie! we should do this for every family vacation from now on :)) It was initially to make up for the a missed opportunity when the Burtts were in Singapore for Sophie's 1st bday celebration. But this was way better...outdoor shoot with a wonderful backdrop, and way more bang for our buck. Photos from our photoshoot in another blog post!

It was a longgg drive man, cos of traffic.

Headed to Hanauma Bay after the photoshoot! Didn't get many pictures there, prob better pictures from Kor's go pro.

It was personally a little disappointing, because of what I remembered from my childhood memory! I remember going knee level into the water as a 4 year old, water clear as crystal, and many fishes were swimming up to us, just nibbling at our fingers! Also because we fed them bread. But it was a really cool and clearly an unforgettable experience. Well that was over 20 years ago, and the place has changed since. It's a lot more crowded, and I think overtime corals and fishes were destroyed with more and more tourists visiting the place - so they place a lot of emphasis on conservation. No feeding of fishes. And there are lot of kids snorkeling. I kept bumping into them when snorkeling! The water was pretty choppy and quite hard to control my direction...and I'm just not good with water! Inhaled some sea water through my nose I'm pretty sure. Think it was a combination of factors too - the day was windy and choppy, not great conditions for visibility & snorkeling. But it was amazing that we could get parking!! It was just super fortunate, because there would usually be bus loads of tourists, and parking would be full - and you'd just have to go someplace else (no waiting around the area), and come back and try again. Crazy right. While we driving over from our photoshoot, Dad at the back of the minivan kept saying 'pray hard pray hard' which for some reason I thought was pretty funny at that moment hehe. But...we did pray, and we had not just one lot, but two! :) And the beach wasn't that crowded (according to Jason).

*Warning: heartwarming pictures ahead that will make you go - awwww...

She loves her gong gong :)

Shopping around in the streets of Waikiki.

Random surfer dude. Such a relaxed posture! Deceivingly effortless.


Settling down for a good spot for a hawaiian show along waikiki beach, while daddy Burtt hits a wave.

Am-chio! One of the tricks we're teaching her hahaha.

Getting to know a new friend! Another mixie :) Pre-show entertainment.

She was both beautiful and graceful! A treat for the eyes. Who cares about the guy dancing lol. Little known fact: only men were originally allowed to hula dance, as it was deeply spiritual.

Really good authentic Mexican at El Mariachi

I'll be honest, I quite mixed up the dates of these photos...but owell! I think this was the next day, the surf group headed out while we hung back to chill and look for lunch.

LOVED the soup, at Kahumana Organic cafe/restaurant.

First time eating sunflower hearts! The heart of the sunflower - deep fried.

Favourite - macadamia nut pesto shrimp pasta

Enjoyed some shopping at Ross, Sports Authority and Target nearby too.

Gone in 60 seconds...well, less. 
The morning after when Dad, Mum, Aaron & Faye left for home - poor Sophie woke up to find half the house empty...calling for Gong Gong and Poh Poh in particular! 

I can't wait to see the go pro pics and videos from kor's cam!