Aloha from Hawaii | Days 5 & 6

Jun 25, 2015

Thursday was the day the girls had been looking forward to for months... we took a trip to the SeaLife Park where my sweet girlies got to hang out with dolphins. It was probably the most expensive part of our entire trip, but hearing them talk about their experience and looking through the photos of them getting dolphin kisses makes it worth every. single. penny. I just wish Man Cub and I had been able to participate! 

Beebs was super nervous about her dolphin encounter at first. We were even a little worried that she might back out, but she was super brave and ended up having an absolute blast, as evident by the gigantic grin on her face when getting kissed by the dolphin. Sunshine also had the time of her life and when we got home from Hawaii, she did her final report of the year on dolphins, complete with photos of her and the dolphins from the SeaLife Park as visual aids. This was definitely an experience that neither of the girls will forget any time soon.

The SeaLife Park was awesome. I am super anti-Sea World, so I was skeptical of this park. It was awesome though. Smaller than Sea World, with a much bigger emphasis on education. Everywhere we went, there were employees educating the public on the different animals and how to care for them and protect them. Even the shows were totally educational, but fun at the same time. I wish Sea World would take a lesson from the SeaLife Park and realize I don't need stupid shows about birds falling in love with people to showcase the talents of dolphins. But this is not the time for that rant! 

Not only was the SeaLife Park just an awesome place to be in general, it was also located in what I thought was the most beautiful part of Hawaii that we saw. The park butted right up to the ocean where we saw countless number of whales out playing. While the girls watched the dolphin show, Bruce and I couldn't help but watch the ocean just beyond the dolphin pool as we looked for the splash and the big spurts of water from their blowholes. It was amazing. 

And can we talk for a moment about sea turtles? They might just be my new favourite animal. And I know for a fact that they are Man Cub's! There was a large pond area with numerous sea turtles swimming around where the wee ones were able to buy a cup of veggies and feed the turtles. They also got to pet the back of a baby sea turtle that was pretty much the cutest little thing ever. From what the turtle trainer was telling us, it is typically illegal to touch a sea turtle, but as their park has a nursery and breeds baby sea turtles, they are allowed to use a certain number of the babies to educate the public and the public can gentle pet them... with two fingers, on the shell only. It was really neat.

In the gift shop, Man Cub found a small sea turtle stuffed animal that he decided he wanted. I was hesitant to get it for him as the last thing we need in our house is another stuffed animal, but he was pretty insistent. I ended up giving in and "Turtle" has become his bedtime buddy. He sleeps with Turtle every single night and when he wakes up in the morning and comes to my room to snuggle, Turtle comes with him. He loves that stuffed animal so much and will tell anyone who asks that Turtle is from Hawaii. 

After our day at the SeaLife Park, where I accidentally contributed to Man Cub losing his beloved plane from Pearl Harbour {insert very sad mommy face here. So glad I decided to get him Turtle, since I didn't realize we'd lost the plane until later}, we decided to go out for a nice dinner. We headed to Dukes and had what ranked in my top two for most amazing meals in Hawaii. (The other was at a Japanese noodle restaurant on Sunday) At Dukes, we sat outside and enjoyed a phenomenal Hawaiian sunset while eating some amazing food. I had fresh fish, caught that morning, that seriously melted in my mouth. We also got some fruity drinks that were to die for and followed up the meal with a big piece of Hula pie. By all rights, the meal should've put me into a food coma. It was so much food and so delicious. We all loved it. 

Friday we boarded a bus headed for the Polynesian Cultural Center. This was Sunshine's favourite part of the trip and my least favourite. Don't get me wrong- it was a neat place, but one day was definitely not enough time to see all that the center had to offer and by this point in the week we were all exhausted. Man Cub had been on the bus just a few minutes when he conked out and slept through most of the {extra long!} drive to get there. The drive was pretty, but it felt like our bus driver took his precious time getting us to the Cultural Center so by the time we arrived, I already felt done for the day.

It was a beautiful day to be walking about. We even got rained on a little. We walked through a few of the little village areas and the kiddos tried out some games and got "tattoos". Sunshine did a little hula lesson, Man Cub learned to say "Aloha" and all the little ones tried their hand at fishing. We watched a canoe show with some amazing Polynesian dancing. Then we attended a luau where we enjoyed some really yummy food (Bruce's favourite meal of the trip). The luau included a lot more dancing and we ended the night by attending their big show "Breathe of Life" which was even more dancing. I LOVE Polynesian dancing... a lot, but by the end of the day, I felt like I'd spent my whole day watching people dance and I was kind of over it. As were the kiddos... none of them made it through the final show awake. I wish that instead we'd spent more time exploring the villages and trying the different foods and activities.

The bus ride back to the hotel was much shorter than the way there. Thank. Goodness. And the kiddos slept the entire way back. By the time we got to our hotel room it was really late and we all crashed out and enjoyed a very good night's sleep. 

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