Sunday, April 10, 2016

One year later...

It is crazy to think these pictures were taken almost exactly one year apart!

We are so grateful for our little family!


Humuhumunukunukuapua'a.  That is the state fish of Hawaii.  That is the fish that bit Mom.
Details to come.

The first week of 2016, we went to Oahu with the whole Francis family.  It was wonderful to leave behind the frozen tundra that is Utah in January!

Owen's first take-off!

Owen did really well on the planes thankfully.  On our first flight (to Seattle), our seats on our tickets didn't match the seats on our confirmation email...more concerning though, they weren't even near one another!  Luckily Owen was a happy trooper so Caitlin didn't have to deal with a sad baby alone.  (Fun fact: due to extenuating circumstances--flying during New Year's, Seahawks winning in NFL playoffs, etc.--we were offered free alcohol on all four flights of this vacation!  Crummy time to be nursing Mormons...)

I don't think we adequately prepared Owen for cousin love, however.

Just kidding.  Owen loved his cousins and they were all really excited to play with him!  Cassie became a pro at getting him to sleep!

Ready for the beach!  (Thanks for the swim outfit, Erin!)

Mommy/baby at the...parking lot.

The beaches were all amazing!  We stayed a few miles away from the main tourist zone of the island, and we always seemed to have the beach to ourselves. 

Owen's first time at the beach!

I may have watched Owen a little too much and the waves too little.  We had a wave sneak up on us, and Owen got to test out his new swimsuit...

Caitlin was often sidelined by a hungry Owen.  At least it was still a good view!

Now, back to the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a fish.  We went at low-tide to explore the tide pools.  In one tiny tide pool, one of these fish was trapped; the water was so shallow in the pool that the poor fish was on its side trying desperately to stay below water.  Mom felt bad and tried to help by picking the fish up and taking it back to the ocean.  Apparently the fish didn't interpret it that way.

It bit Mom so hard that it drew blood!  (I didn't even know a fish could do that!)

Owen loving the tide pools!
(Okay, mostly just sleeping.)

Something about the warm air, Owen was a good sleeper the whole vacation.  This is Owen at Church on Sunday...caught up in a vision.

Sunday drive to the Laie Temple!

More beach time with Mommy!  This vacation was perfect for us with Owen because we were close enough to the various beaches that we could go for the morning, come back home for the midday sun, and head back to the beach for the later afternoon.  Big thanks to Mom and Dad for driving us everywhere!  Owen wasn't the happiest baby in his car seat during the trip, so it took a bit of patience from the grandparents.

For the most part, Caitlin and Owen were inseparable in Hawaii.  At one point, however, Caitlin stepped away to make a KILLER sandcastle (see Exhibit A above), while Owen... in some solid bonding time with Uncle Christian sleeping in the beach tent!

At the house, Owen slept on a towel in a little box we found.  No better way to face your fears of scorpions and giant centipedes than face-to-face!

He certainly didn't seem distraught by his living arrangements though--he was a pretty happy boy!

It wasn't all beaches though.  We went on a few awesome hikes too!

Throw a few brontosauruses in the background, and this looks like a scene straight from Jurassic Park!

Off to find the waterfall.

Another day, another hike!  You can only test your luck taking Caitlin on a hike so many times before...well, see every post before this that involves a hike...

It started out well.  A few more vines and trees to navigate than the first hike, but not too bad.

A few more vines...

Then, the moment we reached the waterfall, a thunderstorm came from nowhere!  There wasn't even enough time to get a picture, so this one of Josh and Evan trying to get down from the waterfall is all we have.  The clay/mud turns into a well-channeled slip-n-slide, making the downhill trek with a baby carrier quite the adventure!

From the top of our walk to the lighthouse on the southeast point of the island.

Definitely one of the coolest things was watching the sunrise and snorkeling at Hanauma Bay.

At one point while snorkeling, Caitlin and I found ourselves in the center of a school of big, silver fish.  (We're talking like a thousand fish.)  They just accepted us as two fellow fish though (albeit with severe weight issues) and we drifted in the current with them for a few minutes.  All you could see around you was a wall of silver fish.

We also saw an octopus, large eel, big shrimp, but sadly no sea turtles.  One of these times we will find a sea turtle for Caitlin!

Owen was just happy hanging out in the sand with whichever adult wasn't swimming.

We would come to the bay super early when there was no crowd and the fish were most active.  By the time we were leaving, the beach was typically full of tourists.  You have to hike down into the bay; this is a picture from the top on our way out.

The adventures wore Owen out!  He enjoyed his afternoon naps the most.

This is one of my favorite family pictures from the trip.  Note Neal in the bottom-left.  He had just been pummeled by a wave; both Christian and Shannon are running to fish him out of the water.

Around the corner from the house was a huge crater called Koko Head.  There is a hike to the peak, which is up the old railroad ties from a cart they used to pull up and down.  Essentially, it felt like 1,000 steps up a giant's ladder to the top.

Christian, Josh, and I decided we had to try--my body still hates me for it.

Parts--particularly the top--were so steep!  Not the best hike for a kid with a fear of heights, but the view from the top was definitely worth it.

Owen thought we were crazy for doing it.

On our last day, we wanted to explore some small ruins on the island.  We parked and made it 30 seconds down the road toward the trailhead before Caitlin already had four mosquito bites.  We turned around and went back to the, this is our only picture.

Don't tell Alaska Airlines I took a picture during take-off.

Thanks so much, Mom and Dad, for such a fun vacation!