|Hidden Lagoon -- Ko'olina, Oahu|
Sunday the 30th of December was another favorite day in Hawaii. We woke up, had a family Sunday lesson and prayers, and then met up with our new Hawaiian friends in Ko'olina to enjoy another day at another lovely beach.
|Keoni and Tralee getting ready for a day of swimmin', surfin', and fishin'|
We went to Hidden Lagoon (I think that's what it's called) which is just a little further down from all the resort snorkeling spots, and unlike the resorts' man-made coves, the ones at Hidden Lagoon are au naturel. According to our new friends, this makes them better! Better, not only because they're the way God intended, but also because they're away from all the tourists at the resorts. In other words, this is where the locals go.
|Hawaii is for lovers. Oh yeah!|
Quite frankly, I didn't care what the place was we were at--local hangout or tourist trap--because is was GORGEOUS either way. I've been hard pressed to find a spot in Hawaii that isn't beautiful. Jim, my I-would-rather-die-than-live-in-a-city country boy even stated, "If I HAD to live in a city, I could live here in Honolulu." Oh Hawaii, you've stolen our hearts!
|Tralee getting Hawaii's state flower from Keoni! Such a gentleman!|
|What's with this girl getting flowers from boys already?|
Now back to our day in Ko'olina. The beach we camped at for the day was amaze-balls. A row of lava rocks made a natural cove that made a perfect spot for the kidletts to explore, for even a timid snorkeler like myself to give it a go, and for Jim to get his fishing fix in. I felt safe letting the kids swim with only minor supervision as all the big waves broke by the rocks, and the cove was quite calm. Later on we saw a native Hawaiian fishing in an old-school way. He swam out with a line/net thing, and positioned it in the water. I don't know how to describe it, but it looked like he knew what he was doing.
|My little model|
|Keoni and Tralee at Hidden Lagoon|
|Keoni, Hunter, and Tralee|
|Tralee going in!|
|There was a small spot of the Lagoon where the water washed into the bigger part. It made a little stream when waves would crash it. It was perfect for the wee ones to "surf" on. Tralee's giving it a go.|
|Hunter exploring the lava rocks|
|Tralee and Keoni at Hidden Lagoon Beach -- Ko'olina, Hawaii|
|Ready to race?|
|New friends are the best!|
|Hunter playing tag with the waves|
|Hunter just goes right in now!!|
Another amazing thing that happened while were were there was swimming with sea turtles. Jim has swam with them before, but I never found any while in Maui, unless they were at the aquarium. So, while snorkeling I heard a group of kids announcing there were two sea turtles right there. I swam over, but couldn't get through the crowd of excited kids' arms and legs. A few minutes later I saw a dark blob swim by me. I put my mask back on and went under. It was magical. There was a little sea turtle just eyeing me down. It swam closer, which made it hard for me to breath through my snorkel because my smile was so big. It's an entirely different experience to view an animal in their natural habitat instead of a man-made enclosure. There is no other word to describe it, other than magical. A few minutes later another turtle came along, and bid me an "aloha" as well. More smiles ensued.
|Aloha Turtle Friend!|
I wanted Tralee to experience the magic, so I called her over, put her on the boogie board, and paddled with her towards the turtles. I didn't have a mask for her, but I wanted her to at least spot a turtle, even if it was from afar. Pretty soon, a lil' turtle dude or dudette came paddling along right in front of Tralee and myself. It was just a foot or so away when it popped it's head right out of the water. I swear, I think it knew how badly I wanted that moment for my daughter and me. Tralee giggled as the little turtle head came out of the water and lovely turtle eyes looked right into ours. Magic.
|Jim took the pictures of the turtles with his iphone. I got him a waterproof case for it for Christmas. Money well spent my friends. Money well spent!!|
Later on Jim was in heaven as Danny beckoned all who wanted to, to follow him over to the rocks to try their hand at sea fishing. Jim will fish whenever and wherever. Fishing in paradise? I think so! Tralee, Jim, Danny, Diane, and Keoni shuffled through the sand, climbed over lava rocks, and found a little spot to fish. While Danny set up the bait, Jim and the kids searched for critters in the lava rocks. They found hermit crabs, clams, and other tiny creatures to keep them occupied while they waited for the fish to bite. . . and bite they did! Jim said he caught fish he NEVER new existed. Oh yes, he was in heaven. Each child was able to reel one in. At one point, Hunter and I made our way over the rocks to see how the fisher people were faring. Diane helped carry Hunter through the rugged terrain as she knew the way better than me. I laughed and thought how good Hunter looked in her arms. I said, "You're Hunter's new Hawaiian mommy."
|Getting ready to fish|
|Jim said it looked like a rainbow threw-up on a fish|
|Hermit crab. . .they found several|
|Diane and Danny. Two of the nicest people on Oahu!|
|Hunter seeing what all the fishing fuss is about. I'm back there too.|
|Diane and Hunter|
Later on, Jim did some more snorkeling, while I watched Hunter dance to Diane playing Christmas songs on her Ukulele. Keoni and Tralee played nearby us in the water. I lied on a comfy beach chair Danny set up for me, and felt lucky and blessed. This was my life. A month in paradise with the people I love more than anything, sharing time with our new friends, and experiencing unforgettable moments. My heart still bursts with gratitude just thinking about it.
Yes Hawaii, our hearts are yours.
Yours too sea turtle, yours too.