Sunday, December 6, 2009

Amber & Sam Visit

Amber and Sam Mortensen, Eric's childhood friend, came to Hawaii to visit us a few weeks before Christmas. They expressed interest in a hike, so we chose Sacred Falls, which we've never done but always wanted to. Sacred Falls is located a few miles south of Laie on Oahu's Northeast Shore. It has been closed for almost 10 years because of a rock slide that killed several. If caught, hikers are fined several hundred bucks. We decided to risk it, but significantly decreased that risk by soliciting the help of Heber, who does this hike in his sleep every few months.

Almost at the Falls. Left: Heber, Olga, Wendi, Pearce, and Eric. It's a short hike, but only in terms of physical distance. The trail is overgrown, and we had Pearce and his small 3-yr-old legs to contend with. And Sam, Amber and Rachel had just got off the plane. Literally. We picked them up and this was our first stop.

Pearce, Eric and Wendi. The walls are vertical on either side, especially the nearer to the falls. If there had been a rock slide, there really is no place to run. It's easy to understand why they've closed it. And I must say, we were a bit underwhelmed by the beauty of the falls. It's not that the falls aren't beautiful, but just that as a hiker, you can only see the final 100 ft or this 1100-ft fall. A helicopter is the preferred way, I suppose.

Rachel and Pearce with the Nordstrom Santa. Nordstoms "invited" us to their Christmas seasonal event. So, Amber, Rachel, Pearce and I had breakfast with Santa at the Nordstroms cafe. Pearce informed me later that he wasn't the real Santa, but a helper Santa. I asked him how he figured that out. He explained, it was because of his fake beard.

Next we went over to the posh Mandarin Oriental hotel to see the dolphins.

Their holiday decor was amazing. This is how I would like to decorate my house for the holidays.

Feeding the dolphins. This has always been one of our favorite free activities in Honolulu. You have the option to pay $300 to sit in the water and have the dolphins touch you three or four times. Or, pay $0 and watch it all from five feet away.

Rachel and Pearce look for stingrays.

Overall, it was a great day with the kids. And a great time with Sam, Amber and Rachel. Except for Sam teaching Pearce several new "naughty" words and phrases. Unfortunately, I didn't take many pictures. But Amber did. Here's a link to her version of this trip.


Amber said...

It feels like forever since we were in the Hawaiian sun--definitely more than 6 months. Sam doesn't remember which words he taught Pearce...but is proud nonetheless. Rachel says to tell Pearce hi.