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Christmas in Hawaii

Updated on February 19, 2015

Christmas in Hawaii Dec. 19, 2003- Jan. 11, 2004

Mom and Dad took the whole family to Hawaii to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary which was June 3, 2003. However, they decided that winter would be a better time to go to Hawaii and celebrate Christmas together! Here are our homeschool travel journals compiled together. We hope this helps you with resources and ideas to make your trip a real life learning adventure.

Not A Great Start!

Friday December 19th, Saturday December 20th 2003

The travel to Hawaii was a long, difficult journey. We got on the plane early Friday morning in Raleigh and the captain of the plane said there was a problem with the radio. So we had to get off the plane and schedule new flights which caused us to miss our connecting flights and added another day of travel. We didn't get to meet our brother and his wife in Dallas and fly with them to Maui and then to Honolulu. It snowed while we waited. Finally we departed Raleigh around 2:00p.m. to Dallas, TX, then to Los Angeles, California, late Friday night and stayed there in a hotel. On the first plane, Ashley started getting Michelle's bad cold or flu and had a high fever. On Saturday morning we went back to the airport and flew to Honolulu, Hawaii. Ashley's fever was so high, she had a seizure just as the plane was landing, so they had a wheelchair waiting for her. The luggage didn't make it until later in the night. Mom was so upset because to top it all off, we didn't get the lei greeting upon arrival as she had made in her travel plans. Our brothers picked us up and we joined the family at our cabins at Bellows Air Force Base. Mom and Dad went to a Luau in their turtlenecks, with the rest of the family, but we stayed at the cabin to recover from our bad colds. Mom thought it would be best for us to rest so we'd feel like going on the boat cruise tomorrow.

Beautiful Day!

Sunday December 21st 2003

Feeling much better today, we all went on a chartered boat cruise in the Pacific Ocean. We saw spinner dolphins jump out of the water and spin around in the air. We, Dad and our brothers went snorkeling and saw colorful tropical fish and sea turtles. After the boat cruise we went shopping at Wal-Mart for souvenirs to exchange at Christmas, develop our photos and then had ice cream. Next, we took a scenic drive around the island and stopped at The Crouching Lion Restaurant for supper. We were all very tired, but enjoyed a fun, busy day.

The Big Island

Monday December 22nd 2003

Today we all left Honolulu, Hawaii and flew to the big island of Hawaii. We drove to Kilauea Military Camp where we are staying for 4 days. After checking in our cottage we enjoyed a nice dinner at Volcano House where we saw spectacular views of Kilauea Volcano.

The Stomach Bug Erupted, Like The Kilauea Volcano

Tuesday December 23rd 2003

Today our older brother and his family are all sick with a stomach bug. We just hope the rest of us don't get it. Mom stayed at my brothers cabin to help him while the rest of us rode around the Kilauea National Park and saw volcanoes and hardened lava and steam vents. Steam vents are holes that have hot steam coming out of them. We also saw a mongoose and nene (Hawaiian geese). We went in a museum that showed pictures of how volcanoes come to be. Tonight we went to Hilo Hattie (a surf shop) and Mom and Michelle bought mu'umu'us, colorful Hawaiian dresses.

Black Sand Beaches

Wednesday December 24th 2003

Today Dad and Michelle are sick with the stomach bug. Dad and Michelle stayed at the cabin and rested., hoping they would be better tomorrow- Christmas Day. The rest of the family rode around the island and stopped at the black sand beaches. Mom came back with the stomach bug.

Mele Kalikimaka

Thursday December 25th 2003

Today is Christmas Day. Everyone is well. Our younger brother, his wife, Dad, Ashley and Michelle went to our older brothers cabin for breakfast while Mom stayed at our cabin and wrapped presents. Everyone came over to our cabin, we sang Christmas carols and had fun exchanging white elephant gifts. Our older brother, his family and Mom drove the Chain of Craters drive while Dad, Ashley and Michelle went and hiked a bird watching trail. We saw many birds, including pheasants and red crested cardinals. We enjoyed doing the Junior Ranger Programs at Kilauea Volcano.


Friday December 26th 2003

We left Kilauea Military amp and flew to Oahu. We are staying at the Hale Koa Military Resort. We went to the beach and Michelle and Ashley rode on a water tricycle in the ocean and peddled around. We went for a swim and sat by the pool while Mom read aloud from "The Royal Diary of Kaiulani, the People's Princess, Hawaii 1889", a book about the last real Hawaiian princess. After going out for dinner and shopping Ashley got the stomach bug.

Hale Koa Military Resort

Saturday December 27th 2003

Today Ashley is still sick. Mom stayed with her while the rest of us went downstairs for breakfast. All the girls went shopping while the men went kayaking. Later, Mom read aloud to Ashley and Michelle on the lanai where we had a beautiful view of the ocean and the Mountains. Then Mom and Michelle walked down the beach and pools. We swam in the pools with our nieces, our older brother and his wife. Tonight Dad, Mom and Michelle are going to watch our nieces while their parents go out for dinner.

USS Arizona Memorial In Pearl Harbor

Sunday December 28th 2003

Ashley is well today. Our brothers, their families, Dad, Mom, Michelle and Ashley went to the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. Ashley and Michelle completed the Junior Ranger Program and received a badge. The USS Arizona Memorial is the resting place for many crewmen who lost their lives during an attack from the Japanese on December 7th, 1941. The names of the crewmen who died are engraved on a marble wall inside the memorial. Afterward we went to the Aloha Bowl flea market and bought Ashley a mu'umu'u. We went back to our hotel and had lunch at a picnic table near the beach. After lunch we went shopping in the PX (post exchange) and then to the oll. We had a huge Hawaiian shaved ice (which is like a snow cone). Dad and our younger brother went snorkeling and saw tiny squids. After the pool we all went out to eat at a Japanese restaurant where they cook your meal right in front of you on the table. Japanese food is very interesting. We walked trough the Hilton Hotel next to our hotel and window-shopped. We had a fun day.

Polynesian Cultural Center

Monday December 29th 2003

This morning Mom, Dad, Ashley and Michelle went down to for breakfast. Our older brother's family was at the same restaurant and we sat at the table next to them. After breakfast we all went to the Polynesian Cultural Center. There are demonstrations about the culture of all the Polynesian islands in the Pacific Ocean. We rode on a canoe and saw an IMAX movie about dolphins. We ate dinner at a nice buffet restaurant then we went to a dessert show where we saw Polynesian dancers from different cultures. The fire dance one was Michelle's favorite. For dessert we had pineapple delight, a cut out pineapple for a bowl filled with ice-cream and fruit. We had a great time.

Waimea Valley Falls

Tuesday December 30th 2003

This morning we all took a long beautiful, scenic drive to Waimea Valley Falls. Our brothers swam in the waterfall. The water was cold. We walked a nature walk to get to the falls. We saw many different plants and birds. There were beautiful peacocks. We saw the cutest little gecko, which is like a lizard, while walking on the trail. Our crazy younger brother brought the baby Jesus from the nativity scene at his wife's office at Dallas Theological Seminary to Hawaii and put the gecko on Jesus' head for a photo. There is a tree which is called the travelers tree because it stores up water in its' brood heart-shaped leaves so travelers may have drinking water. It is a tall tree, which can grow to be 30 feet tall. It is often mistaken for a palm. Indian Mulberry is another interesting tree. It is short with broad leaves. Mexican Heather is a ground cover with pretty purple flowers. On the way to the hotel we ate a plate lunch. It was an interesting experience. Tonight we are going to watch our nieces while our older brother and his wife go out.

Iolani Palace

Wednesday December 31st 2003

We, our younger brother, his wife, Dad, Mom, Ashley, Michelle rode up to Diamond Head and drove right into the crater. Then we went to 'Iolani Palace where we bought a Cobblestone book about Hawaii for us to read aloud. 'Iolani Palace is where Princess Kaiulani lived while her Uncle was King. Today we learned that Princess Kaiulani did not become queen she died at the age 23. After 'Iolani Palace, we went back to the hotel and checked out. Our brothers and their family will all be going home tomorrow. They are spending New Years on a plane. Dad, Mom, Ashley and Michelle flew to Kauai and will be here for 5 days. After checking in we walked around the hotel and sat by the pools. We enjoyed a delicious fruit drink and then we went out to eat at Fish Bowls, a seafood restaurant. We shopped a little bit. It was a fun, busy day.

Happy New Year

Thursday January 1st 2004

Today is New Years Day. We did our schoolwork and caught up on our journaling. After lunch we all went out to the pools and enjoyed a nap. Michelle read a book we bought in Oahu called "American Diaries of Janey G. Blue, Pearl Harbor 1941," by Kathleen Duey. Then Ashley, Michelle and Dad took a nature walk by the ocean. We saw sea urchins, tiny fish and sea cucumbers. The waves were huge. Then we all took a nice drive on the south side of Kauai. We saw tall cactus, gorgeous mountains, beautiful ocean views, colorful roosters and a lot of palm trees. We stopped at Spouting Harn- a lava tube at the ocean side where water is pushed up through the tube and causes a spout-sometimes small, sometimes huge. We saw sea turtles. Ashley and Michelle each bought a wiggling hula dancer charm for our bracelets at a little shopping booth at Spouting Horn. We stopped at a public beach, picked up pretty, tiny shells and watched a beautiful red and purple sunset. On the way back to our hotel Mom read alound to us from "Princess Kaiulani".

Barking Sands Beach

Friday January 2nd 2004

This morning Ashley and Michelle went to a class in lei making and took hula lessons by the poolside. To make leis, we had to tread the string in a needle and push two or three flowers down the string at a time until you have a flower necklace. We used beautiful purple, white and green orchids for our leis. Hula dancing was also fun. Hula dancing is kind of a like sign language put to a dance. We really enjoyed making a lei and learning two hula dances. After that we all went for a ride on the southwest side of Kauai. We rode as far as we could by car near Na Pali Coast and then took a four mile muddy, wet dirty road. At the end, we stopped at Barking Sands Beach with 4,000-foot cliffs nearby. The blue, green waves were huge and beautiful and there were people surfing. We stopped at the Russian Fort, which is really an American, Russian Fort. We also saw two donkeys, a llama, coffee fields, many horses, tall mountains and thick sugar cane fields. For supper we splurged and had yummy ice cream.

Salt Pond Beach Park

Saturday January 3rd 2004

This morning we all enjoyed a nice sunny morning by the pools. Ashley, Michelle and Dad enjoyed a fun nature walk, found eight cowrie shells and five limpet shells. After lunch we went to "Salt Pond Beach Park" where we saw a live monk seal enjoying a nap on the beach. Monk seals are endangered species. We also took an amazing helicopter ride over the beautiful Na Pali Coast and over the steep canyons and mountains, Sugar can fields and waterfalls that you can't get to by car. Jurassic Park waterfall was absolutely gorgeous. This evening we watched a torch lighting ceremony at our hotel with hula dancing and music. Today was a beautiful sunny day.

Kilauea Point Lighthouse

Sunday January 4th 2004

This morning we went out by the beach in front of our hotel and watch a bright sunrise coming up over the ocean. We had a delicious breakfast and rode around the north side of Kauai. We stopped at Kilauea Point Light House, a guide to ships arriving from the orient. Built in 1913, the sturdy design of the lighthouse has allowed it to survive four major hurricanes with only minor damage. We saw nene, Hawaii's state bird, and a green sea turtle. We stopped at a beautiful beach and went snorkeling. Dad and Michelle saw a long spotted brown eel. Michelle saw a few colorful fish. We had lunch at a nice restaurant, outside by a river and saw pretty birds. For supper we ate by the pools at the hotel. We enjoyed the beautiful sunny day.

to Aston Kaanapali Shores Resort

Monday January 5th 2004

Today we went out for breakfast then shopping at Hilo Hattie, the store of Hawaii, which has large selections of Hawaiian fashions, gifts, home accessories, T-shirts, gourmet foods and island jewelry. Dad bought a shirt and some macadamia nuts to share. When we got back to the hotel Ashley and Michelle enjoyed a delicious ice cream by the pools. On the way to the airport we stopped for lunch. On the flight to Maui, Mom read aloud to Ashley and Michelle from "Princess Kaiulani". Upon arriving in Maui we drove to Aston Kaanapali Shores Resort where we are staying our last fast five days in Hawaii. We enjoyed a nice dinner at our hotel by one of the pools with a beautiful ocean view.

Relaxing Day

Tuesday January 6th 2004

This morning we went to a breakfast orientation where we scheduled a snorkeling and whale-watching cruise for tomorrow. After that we all enjoyed a nap by the pool in the nice hot sun. We had lunch, went shopping and bought some gifts. Mom received a free color changing beach bag, beach towel and mug. We went back to the hotel. Mom finished reading aloud to us from "Princess Kaiulani" while sitting in the sun by the pool. For supper Ashley and Michelle shared a sandwich, drink and chips from Subway then had ice cream in our hotel room while Mom and Dad went out to eat alone.

Whale-watching Cruise

Wednesday January 7th 2004

Today we went on the snorkeling and whale-watching cruise. We saw amazing humpback whales. One breached for us-that is very rare. That's when a whale jumps out of the water and falls back down in a huge spray of foam. We saw several spouts. Before we had even left the dock we saw two whales. Humpback whales often get very close to shore. We had several snorkel stops. While Snorkeling we saw several green and brown sea turtles. We also saw amazing colorful fish. Some of the fish were Moorish Odols, Rainbow Wrasses and Yellow Tangs. We rode a boat that can go really fast and up on the bow of the boat it was really bumpy. We rode completely around the beautiful shoreline of Lanai, one of the smaller islands of Hawaii. We could see where the rain poured off the mountains of Lanai into the Pacific Ocean, making the seawater brown along the shore. Whale-watching and snorkeling is exciting. This afternoon we sat by the pool and watched a hula dancers perform. We dressed up in our mu'umu'us and went out for supper. Dad even wore his Hawaiian shirt. Wednesday was a spectacular day!!

Rainforest and Black Sand Beaches

Thursday January 8th 2004

This morning we started out early for a drive around the Hana Coastline. Before leaving Michelle saw a whale from our hotel balcony. The drive had lots of sharp hairpin curves and one-lane bridges. While driving along the Hana Coastline we stopped at many scenic views of the ocean and waterfalls. We took a little hike in a rainforest in Ke'anae Arboretum a place where you can see interesting plants and trees. Some of the plants were taro, red ginger, guavas, Cook pine trees and many others. Taro plants have large, green leaves. Hawaiians use the root to make a food called poi. Red ginger is commonly used in flower arrangements. It blooms most of the year. Guavas are a fruit. We saw them lying on the ground. They smell like oranges, but look like an apple. The cook pine tree is so called because John Cook bought pine trees over to Hawaii to use for ship masts. We stopped at a black sandbeach where Dad went snorkeling. We also saw whales out in the ocean. Humpback whales are Hawaii's state mammal. This evening we went shopping and Ashley and Michelle bought a souvenir hula doll for our collection. Today we learned a lot on our adventurous drive along the Hana Coastline.

Horseback Riding

Friday January 9th 2004

This morning we sat by the pool, napped and read. Michelle finished the book she was reading aloud called "The best Christmas Pageant Ever". After lunch Ashley and Dad went horseback riding. Mom and Michelle went shopping and Michelle bought two T-shirts. Then we walked across the street to our hotel, made chocolate macadamia nut milkshakes, took it to the beach and then enjoyed a swim and nap. This evening Ashley and Michelle stayed at the hotel read, journaled and played card games, while Mom and Dad went out.

Farewell Hawaii

Saturday and Sunday January 10th and 11th 2004

We packed up and left on Saturday to go home. We flew through the night and arrived home Sunday around noon. This trip was such a privilege- a fun and excellent learning experience.

Hawaii Resources

Cobblestone The Young History Magazine for Young People

By :Hawaii: Volume #12 Dec. 1998

Hawaii Insight Guides

The Little Guides Over Hawaii

Published by: Lynn Humphries

Honolulu Waikiki Handbook The Island Of Oahu

By: J.D. Bisignani

From The Skies of Paradise Oahu

By: Glen Grant

Kids Discover Hawaii

By Lois Markham

Birth of an Island

By: Millicent Carroll

The Golden Book of Volcanoes, Earthquakes And Powerful Storms

By: Laurence Pringle

Tales of Tutu Nene and Nele

By: Gale Bates

Under The Blood Red Sun

By: Graham Salisbury

The Royal Diaries of Kaiulani The People's

Princess Hawaii

By; Ellen Emerson White

Mark Twain In Hawaii

B: Grove Day

American Diaries of Janey G. Blue Pearl Harbor, 1941

By: Kathleen Duey

The Dolphin Adventure Touched By a Dolphin

By: Mary Maden


By: Seymour Simon

Rain Forest

By: Frederic Thomas

Coral Reef

By: Frederic Thomas

Fables From The Garden

By; Lesie Ann Hayashi

Air Raid Pearl Harbor! The Story of Dec. 7th 1941

By: Theodore Taylor

Fables from the Garden (Kolowalu Book)
Fables from the Garden (Kolowalu Book)

Come into the garden and hear a story! Children will delight in this charming collection of fables featuring plants and animals often seen in Hawai‘i gardens. A lone orchid finds friendship among roses; a kind albatross teaches a young frog about the joy of discovery; two greedy mynahs learn about sharing; a lazy blue ginger flower is encouraged to blossom. As a good fable should, each of these wondrous tales offers a valuable lesson at the end---but it's one that goes down with a smile. He...


Aloha, Hope you found this site helpful & educational. If you have any comments, questions or just to let us know what you think, leave your comment below.


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      6 years ago

      nice lens would love to visit Hawaii someday


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