Monday, June 25, 2012

2012 Carver Family Vacation - Oahu, Hawaii

Our Carver family vacation this year was April 27-May 6.  We decided on Hawaii (definitely the biggest vacation we've ever taken as a family) because more babies are on the way and it's harder (and more expensive) to travel as all our families get bigger.  There was also potential that Ady and Jono were going to move far away as Jono is looking for a new job, so we wanted to make sure we got in a great and memorable vacation with all of us.

It was nice to go somewhere warm.  3 weeks before we left for Hawaii, this is what it looked like at our house:

Brad and I left Thursday night and drove to Vegas for the red-eye to Hawaii (that flight is direct and WAY cheaper than flying out of Salt Lake).  Connor was great on the plane and slept most of the 6 hours. We got to Oahu early Friday, and hung out together, just the three of us until Saturday night when the rest of my family got there.  This is how our vacation went:

Friday, Day 1 - Took it easy (we were tired from the red-eye).  Drove the fishbowl for the gorgeous views, checked into our hotel.

View of Diamond Head from the top.

Saturday, Day 2 - Honolulu Zoo (so fun!), Waikiki Beach, another drive up the fishbowl at night, picked up the rest of my family at the airport.

They had so many species of monkeys, but our favorites were the spider monkeys.  They were climbing and swinging all over their cage.  I didn't get a picture of them though.

Gorgeous sunset overlooking Honolulu from the top of the fishbowl ridge.
Sunday, Day 3 - Pearl Harbor (USS Arizona Memorial and USS Missouri Battleship), and Hula Dogs.  

Connor sitting in the Captain's chair on the USS Missouri Battleship.
Same as Puka Dogs but mom and dad that owned the place split up, so they had to change the name to Hula Dog.

Monday, Day 4 - Sunset Beach and a small hike up the road from the house in Hauula where we stayed for the week.  

Tuesday, Day 5 - Temple session in the Laie Temple with my family, Polynesian Cultural Center.

Claire and Sterling stayed back to watch the kids.

Showing off Connor's ink.  They airbrushed it on him at the beginning of the day and he loved it.  He got some sun the rest of the vacation and when the turtle ink finally washed off, he had a turtle tan.  Awesome.
Our table at the luau/dinner was right up against the stage!

Wednesday, Day 6 - Hale'iwa Beach, Dole Pineapple Plantation for lunch and tour, Snorkeling at Shark's Cove (where we swam with our first sea turtle!).

Mom and cute baby Will.
Train ride at Dole Pineapple Plantation.
Feeding the Koi fish at Dole Pineapple Plantation.

Thursday, Day 7 - Snorkeling at Shark's Cove again, lunch at Giovanni's Shrimp Truck (garlic shrimp, and the most delicious grilled corn on the cob), then a pool party and BBQ at Jono and Ady's friends' house on the North Shore.

Friday, Day 8 - Breakfast at Papa Ole's, swimming at Waimea Bay (Brad, Ady, Jono, and Will - Connor fell asleep in the car on the drive there so I sat in the car with him, which was ok because it rained a lot of the time), Family Pictures at Sunset Beach.

Saturday, Day 9 - Snorkeling at Hanama Bay (lunch at McDonald's), shopping and dinner at the outdoor International Marketplace.

Brad, Connor, and I flew out Saturday night on another red-eye and Connor slept the entire 6 hour flight, and thank goodness because Brad and I were exhausted too.  We drove home from Vegas on Sunday.  It was a great vacation and we had a lot of fun with my family.  Since Brad and I went to Hawaii when I was pregnant with Connor, and now while I'm pregnant with baby boy #2, we joked that we would just have to make this a pregnancy tradition.  I don't think I would mind that tradition one bit, although I would prefer not to go when I am so hugely pregnant. 

Random fun from April

Just wanted to document a few cute pictures from April.

At Newgate Mall near our house, they have an indoor play gym that Connor really likes.  We've gone there a few times.  Around the play gym area, the Mall also has a train ride that the kids (and parents) can ride in around the first floor of the mall.  This is Connor's favorite thing to do when we visit.  He REALLY loves trains.

Now that spring/summer are here, so is the yard work.  Connor loves going outside and doing yard work with Brad (I was heavily involved in working on the yard last summer, not so much this year).  One of the scenes that just melts my heart is watching how Connor idolizes Brad and wants to do everything just like him.  Including mow the lawn.  He literally begs Brad to mow the lawn.  If only we could carry some of this enthusiasm into his teenage years. :)

He follows Brad all around the yard like this every week.  Connor on the sidewalk, Brad on the grass.  This is probably one of my favorite pictures of them together.


We were driving back from our family vacation in Arizona for most of Easter Sunday, but we were able to stop by Brad's parents' house on our way home for a nice Easter dinner and an Easter egg hunt with Connor.  He got candy, a ball, new crayons, a toy motorcycle, and squirt guns in his Easter basket this year - he was very excited. It was low-key and it's always nice to be with family for holidays.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Family Vacation - Arizona

We went on our family vacation this year April 4-8 (instead of the fall because this year we will have a new baby) to Arizona - Glendale, Sedona, and the Grand Canyon.

We left Wednesday night when Brad got off work and drove as far as Vegas (about 6 hrs) to stay the night.  We rolled into Vegas at about midnight and Connor was asleep in the back.  As we were driving down the strip to get to our hotel Connor woke up, sleepily gasped and said, "Beautiful" at all the Vegas lights.  We laughed.  Then walking through the casino to get to the hotel front desk (way in the back, of course) Connor, seeing all the flashing lights and hearing the bells from the casino games said, "Let's play Skee Ball!"  (his favorite game at Chuck E. Cheese).  We told him if he could find a Skee Ball machine, we would definitely play.  Obviously, we didn't get to play that night. :)

We drove to Glendale, AZ Thursday morning (about 5 hrs), stopping at the Hoover Dam on the way.  I've seen pictures, but it was really cool to see it in person!  (What can I say, I'm a civil engineer. :) )

Driving across Hoover Dam. 
Side view.
Looking straight down.
The new bridge to get across Hoover Dam.  Hoover Dam is now a side-stop, not part of the main hwy.
It was really windy at the top!
Lake Mead side of Hoover Dam.
Giant spillway.
We stayed in Glendale, AZ with our friends Jared and Aubrey (and their cute kids Addie and Dallin).  Jared and I were in the Civil Engineering program together at BYU and they used to live in Huntington Beach when we were living in El Segundo before they moved away.  We miss you guys!  It was so fun just hanging out Thursday night and most of Friday.  We also got to do lunch on Friday in Phoenix with our friends John and Becky (friends from El Segundo that moved shortly after us), but we didn't get any pictures with them!  Bummer.  We are glad we got to spend some time with all our friends.  

Friday night we drove 2 hrs up to our hotel in Sedona and stayed there 2 nights.  (Our hotel was free because we signed up for one of those time-share presentations for an hour on Saturday.  Worth it!)  From there, we toured around Sedona a little, visited the Grand Canyon, and then drove 11 hrs home on Sunday.  It was a lot of driving, but Connor was a CHAMP in the car the entire time, reading books with me, watching movies, eating snacks, singing songs.  We left at 3 a.m. Sunday morning so he would sleep a lot of the time, stopped for breakfast around 7:30 a.m. and got home around 4 p.m. with the time change.  It was a fun trip to just get away!  

Connor loved climbing on all the rocks.
It was unexpectedly COLD at the Grand Canyon (about 45 degrees)!  We thought "hey, it's Arizona, it's hot."  Wrong.  Fortunately, I put coats in for Connor and I before we left (Brad declined) thinking "just in case."  Good thing!
It was really beautiful!

Connor's favorite thing the entire trip was throwing rocks over the edge.  A week after we got home he was still asking me if we could go throw rocks in the Grand Canyon.  Love him.