Wake Up And Smell The Pineapple

Day 4, Sunday, started with French toast for breakfast, relaxation with books, and family games. We then headed to a small church in Haleiwa {ha-lay-ee-vah} where they ended the church service singing Praise and Doxology in English and then Hawaiian. An experience to remember for sure!

We then headed to Honolulu and Waikiki for a city day, where we saw the only palace in the United States, Iolani {ee-oh-lahn-ee} Palace.

As well, we spent some good time at the USS Arizona on Pearl Harbor.

After eating at a hole in the wall food truck {which was awesome} we walked down to Waikiki Beach and saw the sunset. We celebrated life with two cartons of different ice cream (key like pie frozen yogurt and chocolate fudge brownie) back at the townhouse.

Day 5, monday, our last full day. A morning of touring the cacao process and coffee production as well as soap making and the Dole pineapple factory, we learned a lot.

We spent hours snorkeling at Sharks Cove and Sunset beach where we saw 7 sea turtles and a ton of tropical fish!!!  I felt like I was on a movie!

We ended the day with chocolate Haupia {coconut Hawaiian specialty} and macadamia nut pies! We played games and us women wore pearl necklaces that my mom gave us that were her mom’s.

What full and fun days we had. Our time management was pretty on par, but relaxation and restoration were apart of each day. Whether we swam in the pool at the end of the long day or watching a movie, we ended the nights in peace. 

At the airport now, I look back and see that as I write the last couple of days, it HAD to be packed because I haven’t blogged every day. I think that’s a good sign. 

All these blogs are very cut and dry with hardly any thought, but it’ll be nice to look back at the play by play and remember moments along with the pictures. 

Aloha, Hawaii—you’ve given our family a new starting point, a refresher on marriage, and a washing of our souls. 


Patience, kindness, and a whole lotta faithfulness.

Day three, Saturday, came with another early start as I made breakfast for us all and we all sat down by 7a.m. to partake. Today was the day Mi Amor and I set off for a day of surfing. So at breakfast we all planned our day. 

Mom and dad drove into Haleiwa {ha-lay-ee-vah} and explored the marketplace and a soap factory {which we all are going back to on Monday}. 

My brother and his wife stayed at the townhouse and relaxed by reading and letting sunburns have a break. 

Mi Amor and I set out for the surf shack here on the resort at Turtle Bay. On our way we were talking about the surprise we would do for mom and dad; a really nice dinner alone would be a great treat since they definitely didn’t have to bring us here with them.

We got our surfboards and hit up the west side of the peak. There were about five times where I just body boarded cause I couldn’t stand up. It was fun, but it’s been five years since I surfed in Panama. I stood up then, certainly I’m stronger now! 

After two hours of trying to catch a wave, we went in to catch an early lunch at the townhouse and report back to my bro and sis what we had found for mom and dad. On our way back my sister in law called and said mom and dad got back from town, so it was a perfect time to come back. 

We ate taco salad with kale and the homemade salsa they bought at the market. 

We then drove the van to get the surfboards to take them to another beach that was recommended. While Mi Amor was loading the boards, my sis and I made the surprise arrangements at the restaurant. It was going to be perfect. 

Off to the beach we went. All piled in our van with two surfboards straight through the middle. At this beach there was a section where all the surfers were and it’s hard to not get in the way. We tried going to another part but it just wasn’t good. After two more hours we still hadn’t stood up. It was a beautiful beach though. There was a dad with his five year old daughter who went out with her on piggy back and was teaching her to stand up. It was amazing. Mom said “that’s you and dad if you grew up here!” Just think about how awesome it would be, I liked that idea. 

After about a half hour of us sitting on the shore after our paddling on the water and wave jumping, and seeing a turtle, we all headed back to Turtle Bay. We had two more hours to use our boards before we had to give them back. We set off once again in the hopes we could stand up. After an hour and a half I was exhausted, my entire body hurt. I could tell I got way too much sun and worked my arms more than my shoulder socket could handle. 

I headed in to return my board and go see if mom and sis were done snorkeling. They actually came over right as I was coming out. {good, we are on schedule to take them to their restaurant} I got some pictures of Mi Amor on his board from shore and told him I was leaving for the townhouse. 

We told mom she could take a shower first, since dad already had–things were lining up. I then proceeded after mom got changed to say “be ready to leave at 5:20” and so at that time I took them out to the van and they were like, “what about the others?” “Are you grilling for us ?” I responded, “don’t worry about us and maybe we are maybe we arent”. “Is there a surprise in the van or are you taking us somewhere?” I shrugged my shoulders.

Off we went and I proceeded to tell them, “you two mean a lot to us and you have shown us that life stays adventurous even after 35 years of marriage. A big part of this is you two spending time together, alone” 

My parents invest in each other, know how each gives and receives love, as well as being kind and merciful. 

They followed me to the front where the hostess was and I said “reservation for two for _____name here_____”

She looks up and says, “ah yes, Happy Anniversary” 

My mom got all giddy as I said, “enjoy” and walked away. 

It was a huge Blessing to be a blessing to them who have blessed us beyond what we deserve.

Palms to the wind

Waking up at 6a.m. In Hawaii was perfectly natural and relaxing. The sunrise is then and the island comes alive with birds and palms in the wind. 

I love to be here, surrounded by everything so great it humbles one’s self. I feel put in my place–eyes looking beyond me and hands lifted–a reflection of all creation to it’s Creator: palms to the wind..

We have had so much family time I haven’t even blogged about our days!!

Day 1: 

We woke up at 6a.m. and ate breakfast and headed out to see our walking distance beach just north of us. We walked out onto the lava stones, saw a seal, and enjoyed the morning sunshine. 

We then headed out for a day of beach hopping going west! We hit up two different beaches (sunset and pipeline) before getting to our lunch place and visiting some shops. After going to another beach (Waimea Bay) we made it back to the townhouse for dinner, mom and I headed the kithen, my sister in law got the dishes washed, Mi Amor set the table and my brother and dad conversed with us. Being a family on an island like this is just so enchantingly peaceful. This is the first trip we have had as just the six of us. What a HUGE blessing this is.

Mom, my sister/in/law, and I ended the day by watching the sunset.

Day 2: I wake up at 5a.m. And wake Mi Amor up, we fill the water bottle and grab two apple-bananas (our favorite type of banana) an head to watch the sunrise. 

The morning light brings such awe as the darkness is overcome. 

We walked back and found our family eating breakfast. We all put on our swimsuits for a day of adventuring and snorkeling!! We headed east. Going to several beaches, (I can’t even name them all we went to so many!!!) stopping at lookouts, the Byodo In Temple, and walking up to Makapu’u Lighthouse. We ended the southern route with Hanauma Bay for the last free hour and a half, then we hit up china mans hat island, across from the Jurtasic Park filming location.  A very enjoyable day where we all laughed and joked, swam and snorkeled, and are authentic Hawaiian cuisine from a very hole in the wall place Mi Amor found with GREAT reviews. It was a fantastic experience for us all to share a meal and talk story. 

“Talk story” is an expression often used in Hawaii which basically means sharing experiences and listening to other lives; learning from each other. 

My family is more blessed than I ever realized. I praise The Lord for how He has been faithful to my family. 

I can learn a lot from these people, when’s the last time you talked story with your family?

Are we there yet?

I feel as though we are chasing the sun. Our trip ended up taking four hours longer. After arriving in LA, we had approximately a 4 hour layover but then it got pushed back to a total of 8 hours. Sad part is, we didn’t find this out until they announced it a half hour before our original boarding time. So, instead of taking off into LA for 6 hours, we ended up going out for 2.

Thanks to mom, who stayed at the airport and watched all our luggage, we were able to not worry about that. Dad, Mi Amor, and I walked to Trader Joe’s to get cheap healthy food to bring back. {And it was dad’s first time to California!} 

After meeting a very sweet British couple who have lived in Hawaii for the last two years, we played trivia with them in the terminal. Boy am I glad I brought the little trivia tin along! We connected with them and they were a very interesting couple!  

Restless, sore, and tummy feeling odd, the flight seemed longer than it was. BUT-WE MADE IT TO OAHU!

Hawaii 2.0

Stars shine with an orange moon as we drive to the airport at 4a.m. My wrinkly eyes squint after only three hours of sleep.

Sunrise brings light over Chicago as our plane lands for a quick layover. My stomach has always had problems when traveling, cause I tend to eat things like granola bars and trailmix and dried fruit…my mom saved my morning by having a fresh apple to pair with the other snacks.

Note to the travelers: bring fresh fruit or carrots with lemon water to help keep you refreshed and not weighed down and bloated.

But for real now, back to the trip.

The backstory: Mi Amor and I went on a trip the end of February (2 months ago) to Hawaii Kai (south east Oahu) via ticket vouchers through Delta Airlines and helpx.net allowed us to work on an organic farm in the mornings in exchange for food and stay. In other words: we went to hawaii with all our needs met and only spent money when we wanted to. We went on an adventure.

The weekend we bought our tickets online in early January, my mom sent a confirmation email “GET THESE DATES OFF WORK!”

We are being spoiled by my parents; they are taking my brother and I, along with our spouses to the North Shore of Oahu for one week. ITS ALL IN HONOR OF THEIR MARRIAGE!!! They have been married for 35 years and have saved and dreamed of this trip for a long while…

And it’s finally here.

Keep up with our travels as I blog each day about the adventures and relaxing times.

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Oh and we crossed over The Grand Canyon.

O’hare..not the rabbit

Grandma and Grandpa drove us down to O’Hare airport giving them an excuse to go to Chicago for the day! 

We are super blessed to have the ride down, especially because I was able to finish my hand stitched leather backpack!! (Special thanks to a friend who graciously gave me the leather! You know who you are!) and Rizo for taking me to goodwill to get a handbag to cut apart for the clasps. 🙂 

I’ll do some more work when we get back there’s some details i’d like to finish up.

Here’s our update from Chicago! 

Aloha, here we come.

In one week Mi Amor and I shall be off to Hawaii, checking off one more place on our bucket lists.

How is it possible to go to Oahu for less than $200 total for two people?
This is how we’re doing it.

When we went to California last spring break, we were coming back on a layover in Minneapolis and our flight was overbooked by one seat. Mi Amor and I stayed behind and since no one else volunteered they had no choice but to take us both. (muahahhahaha)
We got vouchers through the airline and stayed in Minneapolis for the afternoon with my cousins who live there (how perfect!).

We wanted to use these vouchers this spring break and of course, go somewhere warm we hadn’t been. Off to SkyScanner to search for the best flight deals to warm places.
Hawaii, hmm, okay sounds AWESOME… even though my parents are taking my brother, his wife, Mi Amor and I to Turtle Bay the end of April to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary, we’d have a TOTALLY different experience.

SO, now that we found out flying into Honolulu would be cheapest, how would we stay there for free?
Helpx.net my friends, yes yes.
This is a safe and secure website where hosts upload profiles, pictures, and whatnot, while help-exchangers do the same. We created a profile for $29 that lasts 2 years. We searched local hosts on Oahu and were accepted by an organic farm on the south side by Koko Head!
We are going to be working with a family who has established an organic farm and frequents farmers markets. We will stay there and eat there in exchange for us working 30 hours. ((HECK YES!))

Can you imagine what a fantastic experience it’ll be getting to be a part of the community?

Mi Amor and I have watched documentaries and read the history on Hawaii to better prepare ourselves and its just simply amazing how much that will change our experience.

Keep up with us as I hope to log our daily adventures.

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