It had been 3 years since Mahina had returned to Hawai`i for Christmas, and our first Christmas married seemed like a great chance to break that streak. Oddly enough, the toughest part of the trip was leaving the dogs behind for their first holiday without us. We originally wanted to keep our trip back home a secret and surprise everyone, but since it was Christmas we realized this would be a difficult and potentially risky thing to do with presents being in one place and us in another...
So we spilled the beans. The first thing we had to do, beyond finding two seats next to each other in what ended up being a very full flight, was to put together our list of places to eat. All trips to Hawai`i involve plenty of time around the island and just as much time sampling the different eateries all across Oahu. Put together, our list seemed do-able. We landed in Hawai`i after a long flight with some decent turbulence. The weather was Hawai`i's fineset, mild and humid. After making our way down to baggage claim to meet up with Mahina's family we immediately proceeded to our first restaurant - Zippy's. I knew that for the next week I wouldn't be choosing much when it came to ordering off a menu, which was fine by me. Zippy's was no exception.
We spent Christmas Eve day visiting Brandi Jean and Jason and helping Kai wrap the last of his presents. The weather was great - way different from the chill of San Diego. Since Kai's truck had been sold the year before, so we all shared the Murano which was quite the experience for Mahina driving around in a large SUV - and her Mom's car no less! We were glad we had gotten a chance to see Brandi Jean and Jason before they left for Utah and we were really excited when we got to drive past their pile of dirt that will soon be the new house they are building. The Cumpstons' Christmas Eve tradition included going to mass, dinner at CPK, leaving cookies out for Santa and food/water for the reindeer on the roof. Yes, Santa comes to Hawai`i and yes he still visits us at our age.
Christmas morning was a lot of fun. Santa and the reindeers had of course visited, leaving behind cookie crumbs, bits of carrots and drool all over the roof and water bucket. We all gathered around the *cough* fake tree and started to open presents together. After a lot of good laughs and fun opening presents it was time for the annual Christmas lunch, BLTs. We all spent the rest of the day hanging out and enjoying Christmas, while Mahina's Dad cooked and we waited for Grandpa Ben and Uncle Harry to come over for Christmas Dinner. It was a great day, though the dogs said next time they are coming.
Mahina had seen/read somewhere about a Christmas tradition where everyone gets a set of matching pajamas and wears them together on Christmas morning. We didn't get the chance to wear them together on Christmas morning, but managed to take some photos together at dinner with Grandpa Ben.
Mahina had also fit in a couple of destinations on the island that we hadn't already seen on our last visit and of course we got plenty of shopping in, requiring an extra box to come back with us filled to the brim with stuff. We did our usual drive around the island seeing the sights and enjoying our time on the island. Although we didn't make it to a shrimp truck, again, this year - we'll make it at some point - we had a lot of fun stopping over at Matsumoto's Shave Ice, Pali look out and driving by Mauna`ala this year.
We also got to go through China Town which was a lot of fun. We randomly ran into the vendor that made the Leis and provided the loose flowers for our wedding which was really cool. Cindy's Lei Stand is a great spot for wedding flowers and worked out really well for us. While we were in China Town, we also found ourselves checking out jade bracelets for Mahina. After some comparison shopping and trying many of them on we settled on a bracelet.
Leaving Hawai`i is always tough and this time was no exception - plus trying to get all of our stuff back to LA didn't help. Of course, if you remember, the talk of the entire holiday period with how President Obama was in Hawai`i, everyone was talking about where he was, where he was going and hoping to see him. While we didn't quite see him, we did happen to pass by his motorcade on the way to the airport as he headed in the opposite direction back to Kailua. Pretty cool. We can't wait to get back to Hawai`i and visit again! It was great to spend Christmas in Hawai`i!