Thursday, November 9, 2017

Hawaii Stop # 1: Waikiki Beach & Diamond Head

If you really know me, you know that when it comes to the fight or flight of life, I flight.  If I am feeling overwhelmed, I need new air and the best way to get that is to leave where I am.  This year, we have had our fair share of things that have made me want to fly away, including 3 very close deaths.  In addition, I turned the big 4-0 this year, and although I have found that every new decade of my life has brought on something beautiful that I love even more than the last one, change is something I always approach with a nervous heart.  So, with a long list of things to take a break from, and a good excuse to celebrate, we boarded a jet plane and took our family on a beautiful ten day trip to Hawaii.

We decided that our first stop on the agenda would be Waikiki.  Many people warned us that the city is very touristy and busy, but the reality is that some major points of interest are located in Waikiki, so avoiding it means more time to travel in your car - and who wants that on vacation?  We opted to find a hotel close enough to walk across the street to the beach and get to those highly desired places quickly for the first few days.

After over 11 hours of travel in two different planes, and getting up at 4 am, it was vital that we head straight to the beach before filling our starving bellies.  My crew traded in their gym shoes for sandals and skipped over to squish the sand between their toes.

After soaking in some sweet sunshine and doing a little wave crashing, our girl switched out clothes and we took a stroll to a beachfront restaurant for dinner.  The restaurant had the most amazing burgers and you could hear and see the ocean from our table (talk about a dream).  That streaming light from behind my kids certainly took my breath away and made me take pause and thank God not just for being where we were, but for the blessings that I sometimes take for granted.

And as sun was setting, my husband encouraged me to sneak away for a sunset picture.  Of course, finding a clear shot I love wasn't actually as easy as stumbling out the front door (I walked two blocks to try and get rid of those signs, only to have more in my way later).

The next morning, with our bodies still set on Central time, we rose early and headed for a morning hike of Diamond Head State Monument.  Let's be clear, even though I love nature and have a trail hiking Boy Scout, hiking is not really my thing.  But, photos are, so I trekked some SERIOUSLY small spaces and steep inclines (DO YOU SEE THOSE TEENIE TINY ANT SIZED PEOPLE) for these shots.  I also get the honor badge that I hiked to the top of Diamond Head the year I turned 40.  =)

In the midst of everything, it was a magnificent view of the island and allowed you to see so much of how God touches the land and the seas.

While we didn't make it to the top before sunrise officially began (ok, and maybe we didn't even start before it), we still got to see some pretty amazing light shows.  And we stuck around a bit to watch the skies turn a beautiful shade of blue and those clouds begin to grow big and fluffy.  I DID make sure to take a picture of how far we had walked to get to the top (yep, that patch of green below is the center of the crater and is in front of the parking lot).  And then I stopped for a few shots of the surrounding area on our way back down.

Such a great start for our first full day!  In fact, we might have all gone back and taken a mid morning nap to help us re-coop from all the fun.  Can't wait to share more with you!  Next up?  The amazing Pearl Harbor!

Until next time,

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