Being from Hawaii and living in the northeast can be a taxing affair. Growing up used to 365 days of sun and warmth makes it really tough to get through the cold winters of Connecticut. So at least once a year I take our family home to Hawaii to recharge our batteries. Our 2014 trip back to Oahu was to celebrate the birthdays of baby girl and super wifey. This year was a bit different as we combined our love of Disney with our love of Hawaii. We were fortunate enough to get to stay at Disney’s Aulani Resort for a few night. The best part was that all of my cousins and their kids joined in the fun. It thourougly warms the heart to see my kids spend time with their cousins as we have no real exteneded family here in Connecticut. It was an amazing time and we hope to make a habit of it.

 

We always start our trip with visit to Ko’olina, our favorite beach on the very first day we arrive.

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It’s extremely rare that my brothers and I are back home all the same time so we took advantage and grabbed a few family photos.

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The kiddos even got to spend time with their Great Grandmother.

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Some perks with coming from Hawaii is that there is always a family member or two who work in the tourism industry. My cousin, a talented dancer does hula for Germaine’s Luau and gave us free passes to watch her perform.  What a treat!  Someone forgot to tell our little guy though that the hula girl is his Aunt.

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We took the kids to visit the Battleship Missouri.  I got to show the kids what shipboard life was like. They really got a kick out of laying in the racks.

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The highlight of our trip was definitely our visit to The Disney Aulani resort.  Again, having a family member in tourism came in handy as our entire party was upgraded to high floor ocean view suites.  AWESOME! This photo was taken from our balcony. I could sit here all day.

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What made this visit so special was that all of my cousins booked at the Aulani as well.  We all had adjoining rooms and spent much our time watching the kids bond.

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Ohana means family, and family means no one gets left behind or forgotten. -Lilo

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I can’t believe today marks another milestone in my little girls life. Today, she begins the first grade. I get so emotional just thinking back to the day she was born, her tiny little hand reached out to grab my finger and she smiled. Now, she’s approaching six years old and beginning her second year in elementary school. Seems that the older you get, the faster time flies by.

I’m so lucky to have a wife who is thoughtful enough to plan for these milestones and coordinate a photo session for our little girl. To be honest, the hardest thing to do as a photographer is taking pictures of those closest to you. It’s easy to take them for granted. Audrey put together a little outfit for Addi as well as designed a shoot that best show’s her stage in life.

Here are some photos from her shoot as well as from this morning as she got ready and headed off on the school bus with her neighborhood friends.

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Jace and Addi love story time.

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Fighting over the stool.

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Breakfast with baby brother.

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Of course she needs to look fabulous on her first day. And how else to complete the look but with FABULOUS shoes?

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Jace is famous for his photobomb technique.

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My kiddos. Love these two!

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The Gettysburg Rd School bus gang.

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Addi and her friends amped about school.