As an advocate for authentic adventures, which is just a pretentious way of saying ”you should do you, mmmkay?”, I felt it was my responsibility, my duty, if you will, to embark on a most epically authentic adventure.

I tell you to get out there! To get moving! To have some fun!

My motivation comes from my own struggles with depression and anxiety, so I tell you to get off the damn couch because I need to get up off the damn couch.

I tell you to take it easy on yourself when things get hard in your adventures because I need to take it easy on my own self when things get hard in…life.

A big ’ol trip that encompasses both aspects of what we need to hear and say and do is what we all needed, amiright?!

So Mark and I went to Hawaii!

Just a man catching a fish on Waikiki Beach, no biggie.

This is how much I care about all of us. #sacrifices.

We had the most perfect, yet exact-opposite-of-travel-magazine-write-ups kind of trip.

And it all started with sickness.

In both of us.

Mark caught his daughter’s cold the day before we left. (We thought she had allergies the whole time, whoopsies; sorry kid.) He spent the first few days in a DayQuil/NyQuil fog.

For me, after three flights bouncing across the country and then the ocean, I succumbed, actually my equilibrium succumbed to the constant bobbing and I spent parts of three days green with motion sickness.

Through sneezes, Mark reported that our first sunset in paradise was actually quite lovely.

Sigh. I would have liked to see it.

I would see others, though. That night as I ducked under a pillow to keep the room from spinning and my belly full of airplane cookies from heaving, I reminded myself that I would be better in the morning. And even if I wasn’t better, I knew could lie the day away on a pool chair, with a bucket by my side, if necessary.

Front row seats at the infinity pool, living our best life obviously.

But we rallied. Eventually. And even as we trudged through the thick, beautiful air with heads and bellies on the verge of chaos, we knew we were feeling awful in Hawaii.

There were things we had to forgo. No snorkeling, no surf lessons, we missed some of the ”must eat” restaurants, and the north shore of Oahu. But we saw parrots, and ate fresh pineapple, and floated in the Pacific Ocean (a first for Mark!).

Truth bomb: water was COLD.

We found the most excellent local coffee shops and breakfast spots that sprinkle macadamia nuts like us East Coasters sprinkle everything bagel seasoning.

We caught a show at the Polynesian Cultural Center, a luau at our own hotel, and toured the memorial at Pearl Harbor. We lounged and lounged and lounged at the adults only pool, the infinity pool and the beach, but also strapped on our sneakers to climb Diamond Head and walk through a MAGICAL arboretum on the University of Hawaii campus.

Pineapple walkway, Lyon Arboretum
My No. 2 favorite place on this island, waterfall trail near Lyon Arboretum
Bury me at Inspiration Point, Lyon Arboretum, because I saw this spot and died.

I took a few turns at the waterslide and I even convinced Mark to take a trip!

In other words we did some things.

We did just the right things, at our pace, and left the un-done things for the next trip. Because we’re already planning the next trip.

We went to our first luau and all we got were these necklaces, mai tais and a palm leaf headband!!

But we did try to take away a few lessons we can put into practice in our everyday lives:

Be patient, be flexible.

I’ll be honest. I was not. I’m usually not. But moment by moment, I reminded myself that I was in Ha-freakin-waii and nothing was going to change that. No idiot drivers or inattentive waitstaff or rain. I enjoyed that wild ride.

Take a (figurative) piece home with you.

For us: ukulele love. They were everywhere. And so it just stuck. Maybe it’s the sweet sound and slow, easy rhythm that brings us back to that slow, easy island life. Birthdays from now on will have an accompaniment, if Mark can just get that G7 chord down…

Wipe down sprayed sunscreen.

Spray. Then wipe. Don’t fall into that false sense of coverage security when spraying sunscreen, or when a trusted loved one sprays sunscreen on your hard-to-reach places. Take that inconvenient extra step and just rub it in. Ensure that FULL coverage to save yourself from ”Z” shaped burns, and marital strife.

Burnt, but still in love ❤

Aloha friends!

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