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Aaron and Leslie - Kauai, Hawaii - May 2003
Aaron and I were always competitive. Here, he has an unripe coconut held tightly in his hand and I was supposed to get the best grip I could on it and then when we were both ready, I was supposed to try to pry it out of his hand. I don't think I ever got it out, but I always like to try.
Aaron bought me this CD when we were in Hawai. It had this song on it that is playing on my blog.
Leslie, Aaron, April, Sue, Steve - at church on Sunday
Aaron and Leslie
Aaron being adventurous and then Aaron and Leslie
Leslie and Aaron and then Aaron ready to go scuba diving.
Two and a half weeks ago on a Wednesday afternoon, I got a phonecall from my friend Laura. Laura and I used to work together for a photographer. She has since then moved back east and my life, of course, has taken a drastic turn. Anyhow, she called two and a half weeks ago to let me know that her work was sending her to Hawaii on business and that if I could figure out a way to get to Hawaii, I would have a free place to stay. So, I kind of doubted that I would be able to afford to fly Aaron Jr and me over there, but I thought I would try to see if my brother in law had any buddy passes available that would make it at least a little cheaper. So, I asked... and he had some. So then I had to make up my mind whether or not I truly felt like I could handle it mentally. The last time I was in Hawaii was with Aaron and a few of his family members. She was leaving on Saturday, so I didn't have much time to make up my mind. I think that is what got me there. If I had had more time to consider it, I don't know if I would have made the decision to go. I am glad I went though. Aaron Jr. had a BLAST!
Here are some photos from the trip. I took SO many photos, I had the most difficult time deciding which ones to put in my blog, so here is the narrowed down selection. I started with about 570 photos from the trip. :) Aaron Jr was just TOO much fun to take photos of. What can I say?
Aaron Jr and Leslie - Oahu, Hawaii - April 2008
Aaron Jr was timid at first, not wanting to go near the water, but within about 30 minutes, he was running in and out of the waves like nobody's business. I had more fun watching him in the water than I have had in a long time. This is Waikiki Beach.
Aaron Jr and Leslie on the North Shore.
Aaron Jr running from a wave... and Aaron Jr and Laura
The waves were a lot bigger here than they were the day before on the other beach, but Aaron Jr still was brave and had a blast. We had to be more hands on since these waves could have taken him right out to sea... but it was so much fun playing with him in the water.
Aaron Jr and Leslie
Leslie and Aaron Jr.
As you can see, I was being taken down in the bottom right photo. They were powerful.
Aaron Jr spent most of his time throwing sand or throwing rocks. Here he is in stages. Left photo holding handfuls of sand, middle photo throwing sand, right photo walking back with sandy hands and loving every minute of it.
Aaron Jr at the Hawaii Temple. It is SO beautiful there.
These are four different scenery shots I loved.
As we were walking back from dinner, we ran in to none other than ELMO. Who else would we expect to see on the streets of Waikiki? You can't tell from the photo, but after we left there, Aaron Jr just wanted to go back and see Elmo.
Top photo: the view from the first hotel we stayed at.
Bottom photo: the view from the second hotel we stayed at.
Both beautiful places.
Aaron Jr enjoying our third beach experience. This beach, he was able to lay in the water without waves crashing into him. He was able to walk out pretty far before the water was even to his waist. He LOVED this day. This was the first day that Laura had to be in meetings, so it was just Aaron Jr and me most of the day. It was a really great bonding time. Since Aaron passed away, Aaron Jr hasn't had a lot of one on one time with me. I loved spending this time with him, and then when Laura was done for the day, she would come and meet us each day.
That same beach, we started feeding some birds. Aaron Jr was LOVING it. They came and ate right out of our hands. Every time the birds got close, Aaron Jr would start giggling and they would get scared away again, but they finally showed trust and came for the... Teddy Grahams. Does anyone know if those would be bad for birds? Hope not.
I just loved this shot of Aaron Jr.
Leslie and Aaron Jr.
Aaron Jr playing in the sand, Aaron Jr kissing the birds goodbye, Aaron Jr with his baseball cap on and his hair flipping up underneath, Aaron Jr eating a slushie... Mmmmmm...
Here is another sequence of Aaron Jr. First, finding the perfect rock, second, getting ready for his throw, third, throwing the rock. If you look close, you can see the rock BARELY leaving his hand in the third one. He is amazing.
We were feeding the birds again. This time, they weren't as scared... until...
Aaron Jr started chasing them all.
Aaron Jr enjoying himself... then Aaron Jr looking GQ.
What a kid!
A nice lady on the beach gave us this little tube... here is the fun we had with that this last day...
Mom and Son... he must have said something REALLY funny.
Again... love the background.
Leslie, Aaron Jr, Laura
Laura and Leslie - thanks again Laura. It was great to see you.
Aaron Jr and I rode along to the airport with Laura even though we had about 6 hours to wait after she flew out. We shared a taxi. Anyhow, it was a VERY long wait, but Aaron Jr and I found things to do to fill some of our time. Here he is in his stroller laughing at something while I took his photo. :)
It was definitely overwhelmingly difficult a lot of the time to be there in Hawaii. Everything was reminding me of the time Aaron and I were there together. The memories were flooding into my mind as quickly as they could. I am glad I have memories to be reminded of. They do bring some sorrow, but they also bring joy as I think back on when we made those memories. I had anxiety a lot of times, but overall, I am glad I went. It was SO kind of Laura to think of us when she was going. THANK YOU LAURA. WE LOVE YOU. It was good to get away... and especially have some one on one time with Aaron Jr. It was hard watching him play a lot of the time because I could imagine Aaron out there playing with him in those waves... and exploring the water and the beach. Aaron LOVED the ocean. He always had a snorkel with him whenever he was near water so that he could see what neat things and neat creatures were under the water. Aaron would have loved showing Aaron Jr all of the things there are to explore. I feel like he was there with us though. How could he have missed out on Aaron Jr having that much fun in the ocean? He couldn't have.
Here is one last photo of Aaron and me 5 years ago in Hawaii together. I love this one...
We miss you, Aaron... we love you...
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