We wanted to see the sunrise at least once. I was always up early enough with my early rising ways+jetlag, but KC was fighting a bad cold the whole time (though you’d never know with hardly a complaint uttered) and needed his sleep. We did make it to a nearby industrial beach to see it one morning. Even in that setting, it was unreal.
We felt like touring Pearl Harbor. It made more of an impact on me now than when I came as teenage, but I had the same feelings of unbelief that oil is still coming to the surface after all these decades.
One of my most favorite stops was the Valley of the Temples. I could’ve stayed at the Buddist Temple all day. Such a serene, incredible setting. The mist hovering in the mountains made it feel like a dream.
That night we ate dinner with some of KC’s childhood friends that they still keep in touch with. It was so fun to see how people live there. Kids are so carefree with their bare feet and rosy cheeks.
Our flight didn’t leave until almost midnight on our last day, so we made the most it. Quick stop at The Dole Plantation to get a dole whip. And look at these amazing multi-colored trees. Everything just has a magic touch to it there.
KC’s casually said he wanted to stop at Laie Point, where he’d play growing up. Well. there was nothing casual about it. Just a little turn off the highway and yet another incredible spot. It’s just weird to me that there was hardly any crowds anywhere. No one there but us and a couple others.
The redeye flight home was sleepless and uncomfortable. But we made it. The Robinsons were wonderful to get the kids off to school, and pick us up. I couldn’t wait to go see my babies! They were so surprised when we picked them up. I missed kissing those little faces! We handed out the prizes and there was much excitement. They entertained us with a performance of “The Hukilau” Grandma and Grandpa taught them, and it was the perfect way to welcome us home. We looked through the pictures and told about our adventures. It felt good to be home.
Looking at these pictures is making my heart ache to go back there. But you know what, it was the perfect length. If it was shorter, I’d want more time, if it was longer, Id start to worry about the kids. We left wanting just a little more, and isn't that what you want out of a vacation? I went when I was in high school, and although I had a lot of flashbacks and fond memories of that trip, it felt a lot different this time around. I had a better sense of the island and just how small it was, and I was with my wonderful husband who drove us around the island like a pro (he moved before driving age, so the roads aren’t that familiar to him), including terrible traffic every single day. I felt so recharged and refreshed, and left with no regrets. Reality hit quickly with a lot of snow and regular triplet shenanigans (I may have threatened to go back to Hawaii in weak moments) , but I’ve been in a little bit of post-vacation haze as memories of paradise come back to me. A trip I will never forget.