*Important to note: ^^ is derived directly from Hawaii- The Beach Boys, title track of our #palohaChristmas2014 playlist. If you find yourself on a tropical vacation/stuck indoors wishing you were on the beach during a family holiday, check it out here.
Still adjusting back to reality after an altogether dreamy trip to Hawaii. As insufferable as it sounds, I caught myself a few times thinking “I can’t really be HERE with my ENTIRE family.” This is because 1) I’ve never been on a “tropical vacation”, let alone set foot on the Hawaiian islands, somewhat of a birthright for a Californian and 2) the last time my entire (9 person) family was together was Christmas TWO YEARS ago [Galina doesn’t love us that much and last Christmas was on a giant trip.] So, I hope that makes describing the trip as “dreamy” less obnoxious.
My people. I just can't get enough of these guys. My highlight from the trip was just hanging out with everyone. I can't even remember the last time I spent a day with my little brothers. Maybe in high school?
And so, I squeezed them as often as I could.
Another definite highlight: a fancy dinner with Jayne and her husband, Yann. Jayne is a family friend from long ago that we recently re-connected with. She spent nine months with my family right before I was born. Hearing her tell stories (and share photos) about my older siblings as kids was priceless. I almost spewed my octopus hors d'oeuvres I laughed so hard. Did I mention dinner was fabulous?
How handsome are they? I am not at liberty to share the offish family picture, apparently the Pappu mailing list is a big deal and my mom would kill me. But we took it on the same day as the above three photos so, just use your imagination.
The most unreal, spectacular sunset before dinner with Jayne and Yann.
(This somehow got omitted from draft --> post) The other really neat thing we did with Jayne & Yann as our guides was a sunrise hike on Christmas Day. We all woke up at 1:30am to make the trek to Haleakala National Park, and get a spot amongst the masses at about 10,000 feet elevation.
The whole experience was just incredible and so, SO COLD. The wind on top of that mountain nearly knocked you over. Truly a once in a lifetime experience to be able to do that as a whole family, and watch the earth wake up with the sun. I'll never forget it! (And yes, Amir was looking elsewhere in every picture we took together >:( )
Napili, our "home beach", where I made sure to spend a few hours every day. We swam a lot, snorkeled, got rough-housed by coral, played paddleball, and obvi worked on those tans to get us through the Winter.
Working on those aforementioned tans with m'ladies.
Here's a picture of my parents "swimming."
I was determined for us to have some decorations, as well as structured activity. Because though I nearly completely forgot, it WAS Christmas while we were there. And I knew everyone would ultimately love the plans I made. Here we have the official hashtag garland.
Tiny Christmas tree with exclusively Pappu-kid-made ornaments. Would you believe I toted this in my carry-on all the way from Nashville to San Francisco to Hawaii and it poked me in the butt the whole way BECAUSE I AM DEDICATED. Also pictured- the most amazing tinsel string that I will use for every holiday possible. Best $7 I've ever spent?
Mom was clutch with supplying photos of Christmases past for the fridge. Search and find a tiny me, and Amir making the BEST opening-a-present face you've ever seen. In the center is our schedule for dinner + activity partners. I'm organized but I never claimed to be an artist, ok? Not pictured: enough strings of lights to fill half a carry-on suitcase.
That last sunset with my boo.
Already missing what was one of the best (if not THE best) trip of my life.
Yes, I still have sand in my hair, just unpacked that suitcase yesterday, and am still desperately hanging on to the tan.
Since between the 7 of us we took about 7,000 iPhone pictures, stay tuned for #palohaChristmas2014 #2: iPhone pictures and quoteable quotes.
Hope real life isn't hitting you too hard this Monday!