Hawaii – Part 1

Hawaii really surprised me. I have seen the pictures and movies and assumed that the magic of film make it look incredible, but from the moment we landed I was blown away by the beauty.

On the way to Hawaii

But first, Chick-Fil-A. We have been on a journey to change our behaviors regarding eating but we decided in advance where we would “splurge” while on vacation. This meal, fries and all, was part of our planned splurge. It was as good as I expected.

Our flight from Charlotte to Honolulu was long. Funny story… While planning the trip I didn’t really give the distance much thought until I sat on the plane the map of our route appeared on the screen in front of me. I had a moment of panic: “What was I doing – leaving my kids for eight days, this far away!?!?” I hadn’t processed that I was going to be farther away from them while in Hawaii than I would have been had I gone to visit friends in Germany! Like, a thousand miles farther from them!

I got over it, eventually, after reminding myself I had spent a week preparing them and planning for every eventuality. Also, my bigs are pretty amazing and even Parker, who is sliding into the ‘Bigs’ category, was going to be a big help in entertaining Anna for the week.

While in flight I read a third of a novel. A “just for fun” book that I purchased on our date a few weeks ago. Heavenly.

Arrival in Hawaii

After we landed we were amused by the bathroom signs, but give us a break… we had been traveling since oh-dark-thirty and were very glad to be in Hawaii!

THEN we were impressed by the beauty… and we were still in the airport!

We were picked up by some friends we met at Fort Hood and surprised with a Orchid Lei and Kukui Nut Lei. For three days I kept wondering where the amazing smell was coming from (lotion? perfume? shampoo?) and I kept being surprised that it was my lei that I had hung in the room. I’ve never had a bouquet of flowers smell that good, that strong, or for that long.

Military life has been challenging the past year (moved and haven’t met a lot of new friends) but this trip reminded me of just how much family I have within the Army. Jill is a fellow Chaplain Spouse and is part of the adoption family as well.

The sun was out in full force… I look mad but really I was just struggling to keep my eyes open.
Checking in. The lobby is as breathtaking as is Edelweiss’, with a totally different feel. You can tell they’re sister hotels with the level of welcome and peace you feel there.

First evening

We had dinner at a restaurant with a view of Diamond Head. Spoiler… it was our favorite meal we had while there. We ended up eating the same dinner there our last evening! RumFire (or Rim Shot, as the guys kept calling it) had the best fish tacos in town. We tried fish tacos at three different restaurants!

In the picture below we were waiting for our table to be readied. 30 minute wait? No problem, with a view like this!!

I would follow him anywhere. (If Texas didn’t prove that, I don’t know what will! But he has more than sufficiently made up for that!)
Diamond Head

These two have way too much fun on work trips. (They’re currently on another work trip as I write.) I teased that I felt a bit like a third wheel!

That first night at dinner I kept thinking, “Was it really just this morning that I saw the Statue of Liberty on the way to the airport?!?”


It was cloudy but we had been up for a few hours anyway so at least we didn’t intentionally wake up early to see it. Also, the location of sun was behind that tall hotel so it wasn’t a magical experience, but we were just happy to be in Hawaii, together, and we had the whole day to ourselves.

Next stop: Coffee. We had passed a coffee shop the night before called Big Wave Dave and decided we’d try it. After we walked to a Starbucks to buy my mugs (both a Hawaii and a Waikiki mug) we walked to BWDs to have coffee.

While ordering the barista asked if we were in town visiting and if we had tried some bowl. I didn’t catch the word she said but she promised it was absolutely worth trying. We were game, and when she delivered it to our table I thought it was absolutely beautiful. We had no idea what to expect. We DIDN’T expect the purple stuff to be frozen… almost like ice cream but crystaly-ier. (I just made that word up.) It took us only a few bites to decide we loved that bowl… whatever it was called.

Turns out it was an açaí bowl. I had seen that word written but had never heard it spoken. Huh! Now we know! (Though I did have to have google pronounce it for me every time I wanted to order one because I just couldn’t remember how to say it!) Ah-sah-ee. (Right?)

I couldn’t help myself… I took a picture of every single açaí bowl we ate!

From the coffee shop we headed to the beach where we rented an umbrella and two chairs for the day. Worth every penny! In the slideshow below you’ll see my view as well as pineapple seasoned with Li Hing. Has a salty kick.

Mother’s Day Treats

This was my first Mother’s Day spent without my kids. At 2:00 I had a pedicure appointment that I had made for myself (thanks, kids!!) before I ever left New York. I had also made dinner reservations at our hotel so that I could avoid thinking about what we were going to do for dinner. A a beach day with a pedicure break, concluding with a dinner with absolutely no thought required. Perfection!

Hike #1

Matt was on a work trip and I had two goals for how I spent my time. My very first goal was solitude. As much solitude as I could possibly take without losing my extroverted mind. The second goal was to see some of Hawaii outside of the central tourist spot where the Hale Koa is located. Jill took me on this hike and it was gorgeous! I love looking at the mud stains on my shoes that remind me of this hike!

I very intentionally repped my Garmisch shirt while in Hawaii… I’m a ‘mountains girl’ at heart! These pictures do no justice at all to the beauty of this trail. This is one of Hawaii’s pillbox trails.

Poolside Reading

Due to covid, the only way to sit by the pool was to reserve a 90-minute block on their website the day before you actually wanted it. It was annoying at first, but by the end of the week I was pretty sure it was brilliant. This ensured that no matter how crowded the hotel, I was going to get a chair once a day. Chair hogs had to leave and let others have a turn. I could honestly see some long-term benefits to the format.

Anyway, I document that because one day I’ll read this and will have forgotten that this trip occurred during the tail end (dear LORD, please let this be the tail end) of COVID. In fact, while there, the new mask mandates were announced that allowed us more time outside of our masks.

Many of my poolside lunches were salads because I found it pretty hard to get enough “greens” at dinner in restaurants.

Aimee got several inches of snow while I was poolside. She’s going to get me back next year while I’m in NY getting snow and she’s at the beach in Wilmington! I know I’m asking for it! (Really, I am. I love snow!! ❄️ ⛄️)

This concludes Part 1. Stay tuned for Part 2!

Posted 6-1-21 and backdated to 5-17-21.

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
This entry was posted in marriage, military, travel. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Hawaii – Part 1

  1. Christina says:

    💜☺️ Uh-sigh-ee. We didn’t know either. I thought the word acacia was the same thing. It wasn’t until I saw a sign on the açaí tree at the botanical gardens spelled phonetically that I learned. About 18 months into living here lol.

  2. Maria says:

    Such a wonderful adventure! Can hardly wait for part 2!

  3. Pingback: Hawaii – Part 2 | thehamricks

  4. Pingback: The rest of May 2021 | thehamricks

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