Day 3 started bright and early.
Pete and Ashley headed to Crossfit Oahu for a workout while Maddie and Emmy slept, and I got some work done. Pete and I feel very fortunate that both of our jobs have a great amount of flexibility so we can not only work where we want, but also at times that we like. For the most part, we work early in the morning (5am is when we start) and then we answer emails on the go. We end the day with a couple more hours of work when the girls go to bed. Now that we’ve been working like this for a few years, we can’t imagine going back to a traditional schedule. A split schedule as we call it really works well at home and on the road.
Today it didn’t even feel like work though… since this was my work space and view.
Ilikai Hotel & Luxury Suites has been so good to us on our stay here and we are so happy we were able to partner with them on this visit. From the verandas to the service, everything has been wonderful. It’s going to be very hard for me to go back to working without the ocean in sight. I can’t wait to share more about this hotel in a future post.
After a delicious breakfast downstairs, we jumped in our car for an hour drive back up north.
We were all pretty excited to be taking a Jungle Tour into the Oahu mountains with partner Kualoa Ranch. Full post coming soon, but I just had to share these pictures! We were loaded into an off road vehicle and taken on a bumpy road to some of the most breathtaking views we’ve ever seen.
During the drive, we were told Hawaiian history and some insight into the culture. We left with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the people of these beautiful islands.
Pete and the girls took a little 5 minute hike to the lookout point when the tour made a stop and took this picture.
After our exciting morning, it was time to head over to Pearl Harbor.
I had been there when I was about Maddie’s age, and the experience never left me. I remember bits and pieces of my family’s first trip to Hawaii, but I remembered almost every moment of my time at Pearl Harbor. It touched me deeply. So many things have changed for me personally since that time years ago, I’m now married and the mother of three… and I was alive during another attack on America…September 11th. I wondered if it would be different for me this time, and it was.
I was excited in a stoic way for my own children to experience Pearl Harbor.
I wanted them to be at a place that held such history and lessons. I wanted them to be able to pay respect to those that sacrificed everything for our freedom. And they did. Even little Emmy took away so much from this stop. She is still processing it and has asked us over and over again why it had to happen and why so many people had to die. I don’t think there are answers to those questions, just an understanding of what happened. Not why. She stood in front of this wall for 15 long minutes trying to read all the names. She wanted to thank them all and tell them she was sorry that they had to die, but eventually she came to the realization that too many people were listed on the wall. I totally agreed… there should have been no names on the wall.
The older girls were very quiet for hours after even. It was a powerful reminder about life.
Some practical things to note if you visit Pearl Harbor with children.
- No bags are allowed, that includes purses and diaper bags. I did see someone walking around with a clear plastic grocery bag and some diapers etc. The rest of us where holding our wallets in our hands. You can bring a cocktail clutch sized purse if you have one with you.
- Make reservations online before you go. It cost us $7.50 to do this. There are tickets that are given out first thing in the morning, but on really busy days those go quickly.
- If it is too windy you will not be able to take the boat out to the memorial.
- Strollers are not allowed in the theater or on the memorial.
- Don’t leave valuables in your car. It is a high crime area (the parking lot).
- Bring tissues and be prepared for some good, deep conversations with your children.
We finished the day with a walk around the hotel and then to dinner at a vegetarian/vegan restaurant called Simple Joy Vegetarian Cuisine. It was delicious!