Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hawaii with the Nielsons

Ryan, me, Nate, Ashley, Derek, Alli, Tanner, Cole
We had the best, most relaxing trip to Hawaii with Ryan's family!  His parents are so generous and treated us all to the trip.  It's been a long time since we've had a family vacation, and they had a lot to celebrate this year: their youngest, Tanner, graduated from high school; their next two, Ashley and Cole, graduated from BYU; their cutest, Ryan, graduated from dental school (and is on his way to becoming a dad!); and their oldest, Derek, got an awesome job as an engineer and is seriously dating an awesome girl named Ali (who came on the trip).  

Highlights of the trip included:

*a "gratitude" theme.  Sally told us about the theme the first day and shared some of her thoughts about the importance of gratitude.  She gave each of us a gratitude journal to record our blessings during the trip.  Each subsequent day, a different person gave a morning devotional about some aspect of gratitude, and in the evening, we all got together and shared something we were grateful for from the day.  This theme really added a special closeness to the trip.

*snorkeling and coming face-to-face with a gigantic sea turtle.  (It was cool but a little frightening.  I was afraid he would bite me.  I have a phobia of sea creatures.)

*listening to Rooster Country in the car.

*buying ice cream from the most intense/craziest ice cream man on the planet.  That guy took his job seriously

*lounging on the beach and reading books.  It has been so long since I've allowed myself to read for fun.  I read The Help and really enjoyed it.

*hiking to waterfalls, kayaking down a river, and other adventures.

I'm going to let the photos do the rest of the talking.  But first, a special appearance by Dr. Nielson, showing off his hack-y-sack and dancing skills.  (Be forewarned, I sound like an annoying mom interviewing my kid in this video.):

And now on to the photos.

My husband is a dare devil:

Black flip off a rope swing
Back flip off a waterfall
Though I am not pictured, I too jumped off this waterfall and also did the rope swing...but I did not do a back flip.
He's a sexy daredevil.  See for yourself:

Ow ow!
The Love Birds:


We climbed to new heights as a family (okay, that was just corny):

We saw beautiful scenery:

We went on adventures:

We had a ton of fun with Ryan's siblings whom we don't see enough:

The Tan Man
Brother Cole (and Sally)
Ashley and her husband Nate

Derek and his girlfriend Alli
"Glamour shots" after church
Are we cute or what?  (Yes, we are all adults.)  
 Mahalo, Sally and Gordon, for the trip of a lifetime!!  We love you!


  1. What an amazing trip Rachel!!!!!

  2. Rach, remember that picture you sent me in the MTC of you after you jumped off a waterfall in El Salvador? That picture still haunts me!

    Any similar mishaps with these waterfalls?

    Wish I had been on that trip with you! It looks like you guys had fun!

  3. I told you that you would love Hawaii! We miss you guys around here. It's not the same with everybody leaving. Thayne started working 2 weeks ago (even though we found out yesterday he doesn't have a license) and he is busy. He has been on call for some cool trauma cases. Can't wait to hear stories and see your baby on the blog. We love you guys!


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