We decided to have a slower day today and since the aquarium didn’t open until 9 o’clock it worked out well to hang out in our suite for a couple of hours. Ro got to watch some TV and started writing notes to people at home to tell them all about the things we’ve done here in Hawaii. We still got out early enough to have some shade on the streets during our walk to the aquarium. It’s a nice one mile trek down Kalakaua avenue with shade offered by tall shops and hotels and plenty to see along the way, including Kuhio beach. Kuhio is the prime beach for the Marriot and has a great man-made bay with a concrete barrier just at the surface of the water. The barrier breaks the crests of the waves to form a calm bay for swimming without blocking the view of the ocean. We’re going to come back early on Sunday to beat the sun and the crowds.
We did get rained on slightly but not enough to worry about and it was a nice break from the hot sun. If the showers had become stronger we could have found shelter under these banyan trees. Left to her own devices Rowen would have cooled off in the fountains. She has had just as much fun playing in the fountains outside our resort as playing on the beach.
The aquarium was great. Rowen ran from display to display exclaiming “oh, my my,” her new favorite phrase, and “mommy, daddy, look at these fish” elongating the end of her sentence in the shape of her excitement. We started by looking for nemo among the colorful tropical fish. Rowen found the clown fish first and called us both over to see.
They had lots of different types of jellyfish. Rowen has learned about jellyfish and many other marine life from some of her shows on TV. It was great for her to get to see them in person. I think it really helped her connect some of the observations that she had heard but really needed to see.
Of course the seahorses were fascinating. Who couldn’t love such a unique being. We stopped and watched them curling their tails around the grass for a good ten minutes. They are one of my favorites at aquariums because they are so unique. For Rowen, it tied in to a show she had watched about bioflourescence. Sometimes you just have to see it.
I caught this quick video of a seahorse in action.
Next we found this giant trevally. He was half the size of Rowen and just sat there right next to the glass looking at us as we looked right back. I took the rare opportunity to get a family selfie.
Our final indoor exhibit was a tank with a lion fish and some coral shrimp.
Outside we got to touch some sea creatures. Rowen wasn’t sure about the prickly ones but she was fascinated by the little hermit crabs. She got shy at the last minute when it was her turn to let the crab crawl on her palm but she was fascinated to watch it scamper across daddy’s fingers, especially the way it led with one claw when first emerging from its shell to make sure coming out was safe. We talked about how we have to leave shells on the beach for the hermit crabs to use for homes.
Just as we were exiting the aquarium I spotted this gecko hiding on a tree. His camouflage was amazing and again helped to tie in with a show Rowen watches. The Wild Kratts have a show on geckos where they gather the creature power and are able to camouflage themselves and crawl up the sides of a tree. This morning presented so much material experiences for Rowen I’m not sure she was really able to absorb them all. She was running around and jumping and singing by the end though so pedagogical concerns aside it was clear she had a great time.
We finished our tour by seeing a couple of monk seals playing and swimming. Just as we were about to leave it began to rain really hard so we hid in the gift shop for a few minutes to let it pass. The walk back saw encounters with more fountains and since Rowen had done such a good job with all of the walking this morning we let her sit in her stroller and eat some rainbow shave ice.
Despite having already walked three miles so far this morning, Ro decided her legs were feeling good again and that this time she would help by pushing her empty stroller. She did a pretty good job for the most part, almost going in a straight line at one point. It didn’t make for the fastest return home but at least we had fun. She’s becoming a real ham in front of the camera. I got this shot after she had declared she was going to pose. I’ve no idea where she gets this from.
During Rowen’s nap I took the opportunity to get in another sightseeing walk. I’ve been really enjoying just wandering around and taking everything in. Some of it is reminiscing about places I used to walk around when we lived here, but so much has changed and there is so much to see I like just taking random streets and seeing what I can find.
This rack of huge surfboards is all along the side of the Outrigger Reef hotel. I remember walking by them the last time Meg and I were here. Still cool to see though. It’s the Hawaii equivalent of the huge bike racks we have in Portland.
This evening we went to dinner at a restaurant very close to where we were staying called The Yardhouse. We were all pretty tired after a pretty busy day (so much for a slow one!) so we figured that something close to home made sense in case we pooped out early. Ro wore the new dress I bought her again and was charming everyone with her manners and cute dancing as usual. Here she is pointing out the turtles in our resort lobby. She insists we each touch one as we walk by.
There was a short wait to get a table at the restaurant. Fortunately there was more live music and hula dancing right outside so we sat on the grass to sit and listen while waiting.
It was anything but a quiet day, which is why I’m writing this blog post a day late, but we had a great time and I’m really glad we were able to fit everything in. I have some more videos of Rowen in the pool from when we visited this afternoon and I’m hoping to get those transferred, edited, and posted soon. The underwater camera doesn’t have the ability to instantly upload like the iPhone so its a little more work to get those ready for sharing.
Today (Saturday) we’re heading to the Dole plantation for pineapple ice-cream and to ride on the train. Then we’re going to continue on to the North Shore to see some of the beaches there. I’ll write all about it tonight.