Hawaii – Part 2

Solitude is hard to come by in a house with seven people, especially during a pandemic. We even converted a hall closet to a mini-office/reading nook. It has come in handy on a regular basis. One of my main goals during the trip to Hawaii was to spend some time with just myself. Reading my notes from a year ago I was recording how stressful the “all of us together all the time” was – and that is for a homeschooling family who is fairly used to togetherness. I can only imagine how difficult the lockdowns were for people not used to that.

Part 1 of this two-part series documents many of the activities I enjoyed while in Hawaii. This part is about resting and relaxing.


Each day I did some type of exercise. One day I ran to the base of Diamond Head and then FaceTimed Parker, as he is doing C25K and we normally do it together. I decided he deserved to see what I was seeing, since he had already completed his run for the day!

Another day I biked to the hotel where a monk seal and recently given birth. The city had blocked off the area so that she and her pup could have privacy but there were dozens of photographers taking pictures.

A different day I ran the opposite direction and walked throughout Ala Moana Park.

Most of my activities on days of solitude were exercise and reading by the water. I didn’t take very many pictures, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Our housekeeper learned my preferences pretty early on and quit leaving decaf and began leaving an abundance of regular coffee. (Hotel Hint: you can fit two packets into the slot where one is intended to fit to get coffee closer to the right strength, making in-room coffee tolerable.)

In life you are sometimes placed with people whose impact lasts a lifetime. This family is one of those families! I was thrilled when I found out they had moved to Hawaii because it meant that we were going to get to see them. We met for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory… wonderful dinner and great company. I just don’t think there are words enough to convey how special they are to us.


Planned splurges on this vacation included cheesecake (I mean, we had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory!), gelato, and Hawaiian Ice. So. Good.

Hike #2

Christina is a part of our Army Chaplaincy family we met at Fort Hood. She took me on a stroller-friendly hike on the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail. I was almost as excited to do this hike as I was to meet her new little guy! And Red Spoon, of course. We dropped baby Geoffrey on the way up and I happened to spot him taking in the scenery as we walked back down the trail. Someone nice and made sure he was highly visible.

Pearl Harbor and The Punchbowl Cemetery

We hadn’t seen a full rainbow on our trip and I didn’t really know I needed to until I saw this one. We sat down to watch a video about Pearl Harbor – no rainbow. A minute later, FULL ON DOUBLE spanning right over the memorial we were about to visit. It was breathtaking and lasted at least five full minutes.

The plaque has one of my favorite scriptures on it.

HeiHei from Moana is a THING! I had no idea! I just thought he was a fun character but no… chickens are everywhere!

On the way home

I wasn’t sure I’d ever be quite ready to head back to the real world and Saturday I got a call from Bailey to let me know he couldn’t find Anna. I frantically texted neighbors who confirmed they did not have her. Once I knew Bailey had checked the front and back yards it hit me: she was hiding. This isn’t a frequent activity of hers, but occasionally she finds it funny to “trick” us. I called Bailey and told him to go look in every room and, sure enough, she had climbed into the top bunk in Hayden and Carson’s room and was hiding from them.

That got me ready… at that point I was ready to head home to see my kids!

Matt left early Sunday morning for Alaska while I headed off to have another açaí bowl. Then I sat by the pool for one last 90 minute reading session before heading to the room to prepare for my flight.

Last pool session: My selfie game isn’t strong, but I had to take one of myself by the pool and with Diamond Head! I am so glad I started my healthy-journey in November! I felt great wearing a bathing suit for the first time in my life!

The flight from Honolulu to Charlotte was the longest ever in large part because my seat refused to recline and therefore my head couldn’t really relax.

But I had just spent a week in Hawaii without responsibilities so I decided not to make a fuss.

The flights were just fine and I got home to find the house only moderately destroyed (it didn’t look like I had been gone a week… just 3-4 days, I’d say).

Everyone was happy and had a fairly good week, and we celebrated our reunion by having pizza delivered, as I had no desire to cook. (I’ve been home for three weeks and I’m waiting for that desire to return, but I have been forcing myself to do the task. I got really spoiled on this vacation!)

Posted on June 7 but backdating to May 18.

About Jennifer

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

1 Response to Hawaii – Part 2

  1. Maria Currey says:

    Love that you were able to practice solitude and to enjoy togetherness in good and equal measures! And that your time away refreshed your spirits! Best to return home to beloveds!

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