In December we joined our good friends the Tablets for a week or so of fun and sun on Maui. We have just a bunch of pictures of various Hawaii-style fun.
We drove up to Haleakala and explored a bit.
Bud and Daddy walked around Hosmer Grove a while, spying i`iwi and apapane.
Buddy was not at all interested in leaving.
We caught a boat out to Molokini Islet to snorkel in the morning. The water was clear except for the vast crowds.
We stayed in a beach house the Tablets very generously rented for the week in Paia. It was amazing.
Summa the kids with a day gecko:
Buddy thinks he's a real ninja, so he figured L--probably an amateur--would be an easy adversary. He was very wrong. L has some strong skills. Nevertheless, the two battled consistently for days.
Little and B share an intense interest in making perfectly spherical sand balls. Other kids participated off-and-on, but these two spent probably a half-dozen hours or more trying to surpass the Avogadro Project.
Our kids think O is the cutest baby ever.
After obtaining sand balls of near perfect sphericality, B and Little just walked up and down the beach over and over, cradling their creations.
Meanwhile, the ninjas continue. The best we can say about Bud's performance is that he never gave up.
Again with the sand balls.
We had a lot of good times not chronicled in photos--we saw The Movie together, went snorkeling a ton (and finally found a tako!), ate at a legit fancy restaurant without the kids (!), beached all over the place, and entirely avoided discussing the presidential election. It was a grand old time.
After the Tablets returned home, we went back to Hosmer Grove, on the flank of Haleakala at 7000', and camped and did the bird thing. Unfortunately, our highly anticipated Waikamoi excursion was canceled by TNC, so we couldn't see the most precious Maui endemics (the Maui parrotbill and akohekohe), but birding around Hosmer was wonderful and hiking in Haleakala was also great (though cold).
Don't be fooled by this picture. We didn't hike far, and Littler threw an apocalyptic tantrum for most of it.
Haleakala has an endemic plant that is awesome (silversword). I will share with you but two pictures of this wonderful plant--I took maybe 380,372,001,842.
After camping, we explored around Hosmer Grove on foot and Buddy fell in love with this little sprig. He wanted lots of pictures of him staring pensively at it.
We went snorkeling a bit more and saw flounder, nudibranch, many turtles, and an eel. Little was totally comfortable and confident among the rocks, surf, and currents.
We flew to Tucson the day after arriving back home. We don't have tons of pictures from that trip, but we did one big family reunion in Tempe, one mini-reuionish-thing in Tucson, hung out with N+K and watched UofA stomp ASU, and of course did some birding, adding mountain plover to our SEAZ list, which has some curious holes in it despite our long time there.
Buddy looking for shorebirds at Wilcox after a day with G+G at Whitewater Draw watching the sandhill cranes and raptors.
Tucson is a wonderful place, it is so deeply rooted into who we are. Probably our kids will feel that way about Hawaii.
We tried to visit Patagonia with G+G for some birds and walking, but got thoroughly rained out. Instead, the kids smashed walnuts with G+G for, like, forever.
Smashing things is something Littler excels at.
We hung out at the park with KT+co. and played football, ate tikka masala with Bonk+co., spent a day playing basketball at a park; it was that kind of week.
Probably everybody's favorite activity was spending an evening having free access to B+K's gymnastics center, which is totally what we're building behind our house when we make all that money that we're never going to make.
So that was awesome. We relied on some very generous help on both trips and are dearly grateful for it. We love you all!