I haven’t given up on my Hawaii trip posts, but I’ve just been so pumped up about our China unit and getting back into our studies and projects here that I have been giving those topics priority.

In the middle of the Temecula winter—okay, a few days of grey skies and a bit of drizzle—it is a bit surreal to think about warm and sunny days at the beach and pool. I have only to look at the bare trees outside the window to feel, gratefully, a sense of season that I often do not feel as a Southern Californian. Looking back through these pictures also creates a well of longing in my heart for a beach day, but I know I need to wait for summer.

We loved our stay-around-the-hotel days at the Hapuna Beach Prince. Typically, we’d start with breakfast, and then I would take the kiddos down to the beach and pool while Bill rested in the room. We’d all play for awhile, and then I would take Eric back to the room, bathe him, and put him in soft cotton shorts for his nap. Bill would read with the lanai open to its screens, the sound of the waves from the beach and the site of the ocean a peaceful lullaby. Eric loved the warm wind on his bare arms and chest and tummy. We called his crib his “Hawaii bed” and he soon came to understand what that meant—and to crave it. By the one of the last days on our trip, Eric walked from the beach to the showers and then, after I rinsed him off, he started walking into the hotel near nap time. I asked him, “Do you want Hawaii bed?” He nodded (his version of “yes” for everything) vigorously. He loved, loved, loved “Hawaii bed.”

After Eric went down for his nap, I would have some glorious one-on-one time with Katie. On the days we stayed at the hotel, she was in the water—beach or pool—constantly, taking breaks only when asked or to have a chocolate smoothie from the Beach Bar. I should also mention that the Beach Bar was also one of Eric’s favorite places to hang out. None of us in our party are alcohol drinkers, but the bar served so many yummy non-alcoholic drinks and food that, of course, Eric loved it. He and Boppa would go sit there and chomp on trail mix. Sometimes he would try to go over there on his own. I was amused, anyway.

The bartender at the Beach Bar got me hooked on virgin lava flows. I had been having coconut smoothies, until one day the bartender suggested the lava flow. Oh my. No idea what it tastes like with alcohol in it, but the non-alcoholic version is exceptionally yummy. There is a swirl of red berry puree around the inside of the cup, and then it is filled with a pina colada type of mixture. Delicious. I tried to keep myself limited to one a day (or so), but I could seriously drink vats of them if given the chance.

So here are just a few highlights (out of bazillions of pics, some more of which are on Facebook) of our beach and pool time.

Playing with Katie in the pool on the first full day in Hawaii

My water baby

Yup, I could get used to this everyday

Katie and Daddy hanging out in the afternoon

My dad snapped a shot of us playing in the pool, from one of the hotel balconies

Katie on the beach as sunset approaches—those Hawaiian sunsets are magic, the red red sun flashing out on the horizon

Katie made friends at the pool, and they all started their own “Mermaid Club”

Katie (middle) plays with Auntie Ashley and Uncle David on the beach

Part of our view from our pool chairs

Exploring the beach on the first morning

Eric’s footprint

Catching a wave…

I don’t think I could stay on a surfboard to save my life, but I absolutely love body surfing and riding the crest in. One of my favorite things to do in life… There were some good waves for it (Californian girls don’t mind a little red flag action here and there, right?) while we were there.

Building a sandcastle with Ashley and David

Aunt Ashley, me, Katie, Uncle David

Playing in the ocean with my girl…

Eric loved the ocean water too, and the pool (we played “motorboat” many a time). At the beach, Eric loved the tide pools and the little pods that dropped from the trees and which looked like French fries. Sometimes we would sit together on the sand at the water’s edge, and let the waves come up and tickle our feeties and tummies. Ah, writing about this is making me long to go back… Hawaii becomes part of the inner essence, that’s for sure.

One morning, my mom and dad and Katie went to the Hilton in Waikoloa to pet the dolphins. What fun! My dad snapped this picture, which I love. I stayed at our hotel to have one-on-one with Eric. That day, he wanted to do the beach, the pool, the beach, and then the pool again before Hawaii bed. We lined up the pods he loved and talked about “short, medium, and long” with those pods. I love my beach boy and beach girl.