Hawaii

We are all five finally back under one roof after almost two weeks of being here, there, and yonder. I wanted to write a post here of our Hawaii trip to document one heck-of-an-adventure.

One of the greatest perks of military life (in my opinion) is the opportunities that come along to travel. Just six months ago, we were able to visit Washington, D.C. because of an honor Ryan received. When the chance arose for me to join him for a trip to Hawaii, it was a no brainer. Thankfully, we had willing and able grandparents who were more than happy to spoil keep our children during the trip.

Here are many of our pictures from our trip. I’ve posted some links to specific places that we visited and ate. As usual, we lived and died by Trip Advisor.

Tuesday:

Rendezvous at the Charlotte airport and made our way to Phoenix and then to Honolulu. FYI, there’s just no quick way to get to Hawaii.

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We arrived in Honolulu around 6:30 pm Hawaii Time (HT) but to our bodies it was already after midnight. We were greeted from the airport with the first of many rainbows and blue skies.

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Before checking in to the hotel, we drove to eat at Nico’s Pier 38 per Guy’s Triple D recommendation. It was just okay. We think part of our attitude about the food was the fact that by the time we sat down to eat, we’d been awake nearly 24 hours.

Wednesday:

Ryan had to go to the office for a few hours so I was happy to rest and lounge around our hotel. We had a great room on the 31st floor with wonderful views.

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Even the water was pretty in Hawaii. I had lunch at the pool restaurant and walked the beach and read my book. It was a quiet day in paradise and the perfect way to adjust to jet lag.

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Ryan got back to the room that afternoon and we had a great date night at one of the best restaurants we have ever dined in. If you ever find yourself in Honolulu, you must eat at The Pig and the Lady.

Thursday:

Again Ryan had to spend a few hours at work, so I took advantage of some fun around the Hilton. I sampled fresh pineapple and a coconut muffin (both highly recommended by a friend who is local). I sunned and read and then hit up the hula lesson.

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That afternoon, after Ryan returned to the hotel, we headed out to see and hike the trail at Diamond Head State Monument. That hike will be its own post at some point, but I will say this was my most favorite memory of our entire trip.

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The views were simply amazing, and as God would so divinely appoint it, Ryan and I had a interesting opportunity for some personal marriage reflection and examination. imageimageimage

After our hike, we headed to a nearby local favorite, Uncle Bo’s. Yes, we are 13 and yes, we had no shortage of jokes about eating Pupu. The thing about Hawaii that we quickly realized is that you can miss a lot of good eats if you’re basing a choice on the outer facade of the restaurant. Most of the best places we ate looked sketchy from the outside.

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After dinner, we came back to the hotel to have coffee and walk around. Unfortunately, we were pretty exhausted around 7:00 HT (1:00 am EST). We went to bed most nights before 8:30 or 9:00. #oldpeople

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Friday:

Since we went to bed so early (see above), we were crack-a-lackin’ by 5:30 or 6:00 HT. That worked to our benefit Friday as the common idea is to arrive early at Pearl Harbor. We were there when the gates opened and really enjoyed our time at the exhibits and memorials.

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After we left Pearl Harbor, we drove out to Turtle Beach (Laniakea Beach). This was a short visit, but probably one of my favorite views of the island. I wish we could have spent a day just lounging at this beach.

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From there we hit up the Food Trucks of Hale’iwa or the North Shore. Again, if we were to ever live in Hawaii, this would be the part of town I’d prefer. Very casual, very cool, very beautiful.image

And we made it back to the hotel in time for me to attend the lei making class. I felt so Hawaiian after making my own lei with fresh orchids.

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Friday evening at dinner time, our 782nd MI BN retreat started. We had a small number of families but everyone seemed eager to participate in the fun.

Saturday:

Our retreat session began at 8:00 and lasted until noon. We had some great discussions and training. I was super happy to “tag-team” and co-lead the retreat with Ryan. Sometimes I think other couples relate best when you are able to be transparent and share you struggles and victories with them. We pray that the Lord would continue to use us to bring others to Him.

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After lunch, everyone had free time until the dinner meal. Ryan and I chose to spend our last day just relaxing and lounging around. It was perfect!

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Sunday:

We had our final retreat session after breakfast and then packed up to head home. It was tough saying goodbye to these views. Every single morning of the trip, Ryan would look over at me and ask, “Did you know you woke up in Hawaii?”

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We checked out of the hotel, returned the rental car, and made it through airport security with time to sit down and have a nice lunch at the airport before we began the l-o-n-g trip home. Our flight left Honolulu at 2:30 pm HT and landed in Los Angeles at 11:30 pm PT. We left LAX around 1:00 am PT and arrived in Charlotte around 8:45 am EST. I got back to Chattanooga just after noon on Monday. HOLY JET LAG!!!

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I’m not sure what the best time or way to travel back is, but wowza!!! were we delusional hallucinating  tired. Let’s just say that it’s Thursday and I’m just now starting to know what day it is.

This was a fantastic trip and one that makes me grateful for the ministry calling and Army life that we are leading. All those years ago when I *just knew* that God would call us to a traditional church pastorate, I couldn’t have envisioned this.

Matthew 28:19 is a verse I cling to often, especially in my moments of homesickness or discontent with our nomadic life. “Therefore go…” is the admonition of The Great Commission. It gives me joy to reflect on the many places and people God has put in our path thus far.

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