It started out a little rocky. I was supposed to fly Monday from Williston to Minneapolis to LA to Kona by myself. 16 hrs of traveling with Harvey, which I was very nervous about. Well, typical of my bad flying luck, the first flight got delayed severely which meant there was no way I was going to make the last flight to Kona that night. Instead, they switched my flights so I flew to Salt Lake that night, stayed at my parents and then was on their flight the next morning to Honolulu and then to Kona. SOOO much better. It was so nice to have their help with luggage, and child etc etc. AND we got to go to Ruth's diner with my inlaws so that was awesome to squeeze in a bonus meeting with them!
|Just a picture of him getting ready for bed at my parents. Too cute not to include.|
Somehow I got to change my seat to a preferred seat without an extra charge and it was right in front of my parents. As frustrated and stressed as I was Monday morning, it could not have worked out better. I was already exhausted by the time I got to Salt Lake - Harvey did pretty good but we had a couple longer melt downs which added to my stress. The next day went so much smoother and even though he did freak out for a minute once (after he was sleeping peacefully and a guy walked by and knocked his head so he woke up ANGRY and it took a bit to get him back to sleep), for the most part he was a trooper. That was just the beginning of his trooper-ness. He got dragged around that island and was expected to sleep when and where he could all week and he did awesome. I didn't feel like he took away from the vacation for anyone (hopefully not, anyway) because of bad behavior.
Laura and Dallin had gotten there Monday night. When we got there Tuesday afternoon, we rented our car and drove to the place we were staying. After getting mostly unpacked and somewhat organized, we walked down the road a bit to Tommy Bahama's Restaurant for a fancy pants first Hawaiian meal. It was delicious!
K and I slept on the pull out couch, Laura and Dallin on a blow up mattress over by the kitchen table and Harvey on the couch cushions by us. My parents got the bedroom :)
|A 5hr time change was a little hard to get adjusted to.|
The next morning Laura and my Dad and I had our scuba diving adventures. We went on a 2-tank morning dive and then came back and met Jim for lunch at a yummy Italian place, then we went back out on the boat, with Kathryn this time (who snorkeled) and had an afternoon dive and then waited till it got dark to do our night dive with the Manta Rays. My mom and Dallin and Kathryn first went to some place of refuge while we were diving and then Dallin and my mom hung around Kona for a bit and went to a beach during our night dives.
These are some pics from the place of refuge...
I was about to go off on how much I love diving and how awesome it all was, but this is going to be long enough. I will shorten my passionate diatribe to just this - I LOVE diving. We saw dolphins on the way out to the dive site which was sweet. This was Laura's first time after getting certified and also first in the ocean, so it was pretty exciting for her too. Visibility was amazing and we saw tons of cool things. The afternoon dive was even cooler and then the night dive probable one of the neatest things I've ever done/seen. There were a bunch of other dive companies, so lots of boats with their lights on over a pitch black ocean. Then they hand you a flashlight and you jump into the abyss. Then you go to the bottom (about 35 feet) and sit there with your lights facing up. That attracts the plankton which is what the manta's eat. So they come along and float through the light beams with big open mouths. Seven different rays showed up the night we did it. They ranged from like 8-14 feet wide. Huge, amazing creatures! It was SO amazing to just sit and watch them in their element, doing their thing. It was kind of majestic, really. And they would get SO close to you too! We all got bumped on the head a few times. Kathryn got to snorkel and see them from above, and they got way close to her too. So awesome!
Even though we knew they were harmless, it was still kind of unnerving seeing a huge sea creature come RIGHT towards your face with a big open mouth - toothless or not! We sat down there for like 45 minutes. If you're ever in Kona - DO THIS! Either snorkeling or diving. Amazing!
The next morning my dad and I did one more 2-tank morning dive, which again was awesome. Especially since we got to see a sea turtle up close and personal. After that we met the rest of the crew at the beach just a few minutes from where we were staying and hung out there for a few hours. That was Harvey's first ocean experience. He sat in the water with his toes in the sand for awhile till I think he just got a little cold. He seemed really enthralled or confused by it all - but mostly I think he loved it :)