I can't believe we made it all the way over to Hawaii---- and all the way back.
I would be lying if I said I didn't have a hard lump in my throat as we walked through the Honolulu terminal to make our trek back home. It was a trip to remember, and I am so happy I was able to bring my boys to see where my mother calls home and to show them where my family come from.
This is a place where every street has a history, every mountain has a view and every person has a story. I never wanted to leave. I haven't seen most of my family in years and they are what mainlanders call "Locals". We spent most of our time with them driving through the island tunnels to the other side of the island and learning all about everything we passed. Our experience there was unlike anyone else's who travels to Hawaii, we saw it all from the other side., not just from a tour guide, but from people who live there and understand the soil they live on and who love it whole heartily and are proud of their home.We were able to see everything outside of the eyes of just a tourist from the mainland, or what Hawaiians call "Houle" (Pronounced, HOW LEE)
I had the opportunity to attend church meetings two Sundays in a row, also my grandmother's funeral service, and every time I was overwhelmed by a rich spirit from the people there. I was moved by their testimonies and their love for the Savior and it was a love that I have never experienced before in such a large capacity. It was from everyone and everything. My heart was not left untouched.
My family all worked together to make my grandmother's service special, and it was. My mother worked on the programs, and a collage, while my sister and I prepared a song to sing, my aunt prepared a talk, along with my cousins, and the rest of the family took care of all the arrangements and food for after the service. Everything fell into place as I knew it would. My grandmother looked as beautiful as I remember her being. It was hard for me to watch as her children said their last good byes to her before they slowly closed her casket. Her service was filled with stories of my grandmother's love for her husband who passed twenty years before her. She longed to be with him everyday after he passed. Stories were shared of their sweet love for each other and for the people around them, and also for her devotion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. I am so happy to look to her as an example through her righteousness in the Gospel and also as a loving wife to her husband and a loving and supportive mother to her five children.
We all climbed Makapu'u and went to Pali look out, this is where most of my photos of the Hawaiian landscape was taken. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking and the ocean breeze was a dream. I wish I could have shrunk it all down to fit in my pocket to bring home. I will long for it until I can be there again.
Marshall and I are already planning on going back, maybe next time by ourselves.
Here are a couple fun facts about the trip:
-Marshall was NOT very adventurous with the food there, it was embarrassing. And he knew it.
-I forgot walking shoes, had to climb a mountain in my thrift store hipster Clark's. not cool.
-Ezra was a dream to travel with, he was excellent on the plane rides! Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers.
-Ezra is the only one who came home with a tan. We used SPF 50 the entire time.
-Sitting at the beach is beautiful, but it is a chore and a mess. not fun to clean up.
-While at Waimea (beautiful beach at the North Shore) I was holding Ezra near the shoreline, when a huge wave came in and swept my feet out from under me and pulled me and Ezra right under. Talk about a nightmare, I screamed for someone to save Ezra, and Marshall grabbed him up. (this is a clear example to why I hate water.)
-My grandparen'ts grave site is in a beautiful location, surrounded by mountains with a view to the ocean.
-This was Marshall's first time snorkeling in the ocean.
-My cousin Bryson was the best guy to travel the island with, he taught us so much about the culture and history about Oahu.
-Ezra LOVES the ocean and the sand. He is not afraid of the waves or the water.
- Ezra was happy to chase the pigeons and seagulls on the beach and preferred to do that more than anything.
-We went to real deal Korean restaurant and Ezra gobbled it all down, this was the one place Marshall got creative with his food.
-Marshall and Ezra were able to meet my entire family. It was so fun!
- July 4th in Hawaii isn't celebrated like it is on the mainland. I am sure it is much more exciting in good ole' Minnesota.
-I received the nicest emails and text messages from so many friends encouraging me and letting me know that we were in their thoughts and prayers through our travels. This meant the world to me, thank you all SO much! It was so appreciated.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Stay cool!
**More pics to come!