Seven years later, with one child who is four and another who is five, we decided to take things full circle and bring our kiddos to Oahu. I can honestly say, instead of taking them on an adventure, the munchkins BECAME the adventure. But I didn’t come back from this experience empty handed. I have a plethora of traveling adventures, tips and warnings to share with you…
1.) Tip - To keep the munchkins occupied for a 6 hour flight, we brought the following: Paper, crayons, Littlest Pet Shop Pets, iPod Touch, Smart Phone (for playing games), two laptops loaded with movies, and reading books. (It still wasn’t enough to keep the whining at bay, but it was enough to keep the other passengers from throwing their plastic wrapped dinners at us.)
2.) Warning – Littlest Pet Shop Pets can and will fall between the seat and the wall of the plane. If you attempt to leave the plane without it, chaos will ensue. Our youngest screamed and cried from the plane to our car parked in the long-term lot. (Approx. 20 minutes)
3.) TIP – Bring Purell. Lots of it. I visited EVERY PUBLIC RESTROOM ON THE ISLAND. (This really should be a warning too.) During the first couple of days on our vacation, these bathroom adventures would consist of a child doing a potty dance while I stack layer upon layer of toilet seat covers to protect her precious bottom from the germs of society. The toilet looked like a baklava with stacks of thin papery phyllo dough seat covers. By the end of vacation (50 bathroom trips later) I was letting the girls walk into the public beach restrooms barefoot and allowing them to handle things on their own. As each child emerged from her stall, I gave her hands a squirt of Purell. Trust me, bring Purell.
4.) Interesting Fact - To a child, the most beautiful sunset and amazingly expensive Polynesian show is NOTHING to the excitement of a roaming chicken.
5.) Warning - Little ones really do believe they can breathe underwater. Never leave his or her side. In fact, don’t even blink.
6.) Interesting fact – Yes, a four year old can live on french fries and bananas for an entire week and yes, a five year old can live on shrimp and mahi mahi for an entire week. (I wondered if the amount of mercury in her blood would set off the metal detectors at the airport. It didn’t.)
7.) Warning – Time zones are unknown to little ones. Yes, we woke at 4am almost every morning. Be prepared with an automatic coffee maker.
Here’s the really good stuff though. My five year old went snorkeling for the first time and actually saw the Hawaiian state fish, Hunuthisfishhadsuchalongname. My four year old learned how to body surf and probably swallowed half the ocean. Both learned how to make the shaka sign (hang loose) with their little hands and both giggled and laughed more times then there are stars in the sky. I can honestly say, I would trade 50 more trips to the public toilet to do it all over again.