I honestly feel that life with a toddler is exponentially easier than life with a baby. Take this day trip for example: I took Cameron and a lightweight backpack - that was it! No need for a carseat, stroller, baby carrier, bottles, baby food, blankets, burp rags, baby toys, or the billion other things that babies need. This was a very simple, easy, and enjoyable trip off the island!
Our day trip backpack contained: diapers, wipes, one outfit change for CC (just in case), a straw cup, snacks, a pacifier, sunglasses, my wallet, my phone, and CC's Barney doll.
CC walked herself through the airport and onto the plane... actually, she was skipping and hopping at times :) She LOVED seeing airplanes up close and seeing all the little carts speeding around outside.
CC is under two years of age so we got an "infant in arms" ticket for her. The plane was not very full on our trip to the island and the two seats next to mine were empty so CC sat there for most of the flight. She sat down and buckled herself in and waited patiently with her pacifier and Barney the entire time we were taxiing. She moved over to my lap for the actual takeoff. She whimpered a bit as we were climbing in altitude, unsure of what was happening but once we leveled out, she returned to her seat and looked at the in-flight magazines for the remainder of the trip.
Johnnie picked us up from the airport in a rental car with a carseat. CC's carseat is still rear-facing in our car but we put the rental carseat facing forward. This was a new experience for her and she was pretty amazed by all that she could see out of the side and front windows!
Our first stop was a coffee shop for some lattes and then we headed to the Historic Kailua Village to explore for a while before lunch.
We had a delicious and enjoyable Father's Day lunch at The Fish Hopper restaurant with a great table overlooking Kailua Bay.
After lunch we went to the Kamakana Playground at the Harold H. Higashihara Park located at 78-7300 Kuakini Hwy. This playground is HUGE! Johnnie and I were just as excited as CC to play on it!
This playground is at about 1,300 feet in elevation. Since we spend most of our time at sea level, the altitude made me feel short of breath after being there for a while. CC seemed to be fine with it but then again, she can't really speak to let us know! I felt better once we returned to a lower elevation.
We left the playground in time for CC's nap. She was so tired from running around and climbing that she fell asleep soon after the car started moving.
We took a long scenic drive to let CC nap. We relished in the vastness of the landscape and the open road with virtually no traffic... it was such a welcome sight after living on a crowded island for the past 2+ years now!
Some of the land was practically glowing with bright and vivid color...
while other areas were rough, volcanic wasteland.
Johnnie flew home with us at the end of the day! This flight was more crowded so CC sat on Johnnie's lap the whole time. She did fine on this trip but was more unsettled since she couldn't move around as much and she got angry when she couldn't put the tray table down until after take off.
We may take a trip to another island this year but that will be as far as CC will fly until we move from Hawaii. It's at least a 5 hour flight to the west coast of the mainland and we don't care to go through that with a toddler until we absolutely have to.
"Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind."