You probably wouldn’t guess our boys have Hawaiian blood, especially our youngest with his porcelain skin and blue eyes. Good thing we packed hats, rash guards and ample amounts of sunscreen for a week in the Hawaiian sun. We explored the island in a Stow ‘n Go minivan while Benny napped and Judah played “I Spy with My Little Eye.” Pali Highway led us through tunnels to the lush country landscape and gorgeous white sand beaches of windward Oahu. The kids spent hours getting chased by waves and building sand volcanoes with beach toys that were generously shared with us. There was no shortage of cold fluffy shave ice to cool us off and soothe Ben’s gums – poor bub cut four teeth including both first year molars. Our favorite was Uncle Clay’s all-natural shave ice. He’s a kind soul who welcomed us to the ‘ohana and shared wise words for a happy marriage. Whenever we travel I make it a point to visit local farmer’s markets and flea markets. The North Shore stole our hearts with its uncrowded beaches, roadside stands, local music, laid-back vibe and awesome farmer’s market. Jeff scoped out guitars made from Koa wood and I learned about different fruits, vegetables and flowers like lilikoi, pitaya, sea asparagus and red torch ginger flowers. We sampled delicious artisan foods and sat out on the lawn while the boys ran around the beautiful grounds of Waimea Valley with other children chasing red-headed cardinals, peacocks and chickens. Shallow tide pools on the west side of Shark’s cove were waiting to be discovered and splashed around in. Judah was fascinated with all of the diverse sea life but listening to the waves in his seashell was his favorite thing to do – funny how that classic still prevails. Being together surrounded by so many natural elements was just what we needed. We were sad to go, but left feeling grateful for the memories and with pure aloha in our hearts.