I'm sitting in the condo overlooking Pearl Harbor in disbelief that it's already my last full day in sunny O'ahu. We've packed so much fun into such a short period of time, yet still managed to have a day where we did absolutely nothing but lay by the pool at the Hale Koa and have frothy drinks delivered one after another. Nothing like a liquid lunch to make you enjoy the sunshine even more.
Squelching the guilt of having my parents get up with the kids super early every morning has been surprisingly easy, as I just have to think 'Would I rather be there or here at this moment?' Yeah, here.
We've balanced physical activity with tourist attractions and laziness, making me deliciously tired every night. Because of the time difference, waking up at 7-8am every morning has felt absolutely decadent. From sea kayaking in Kailua to hiking Diamond Head and Scuba diving and surfing in Waikiki, we came, we saw and, best of all, we learned a lot.
I learned that shorty wetsuits are actually very easy to get on, and very easy to look
totally awesome pretty ridiculous in. That filling up your BCD is scuba diving is pretty uncomfortable when you're not used to the sensation, and it's probably best that you don't have plate lunch to burp on. That surfing is frickin' hard work (well, the whole paddling back out to the waves bit) but so much fun...and you don't give a second thought to sharks because you're working so hard. That the sound of your own breathing underwater is the most relaxing white noise ever. That your dive master making a talking motion to you and pointing right under you means you're going to land on an eel...but he'll jerk you up by your tank if you give him a blank stare. That no matter how long you stand at the ready with your camera, you won't capture the random sea turtle poking their head out of the surf...if you want a picture, they have to come out of the water.
That I have 'Tahitian hips' or so says the kayak rental guy when he learned that we never tipped over; I'm sure he says that to all the girls. That the long dark tunnel up to Diamond Head would end just before I thought I was going to have to turn around and have a panic attack. That a semi-private beach without a bathroom can lead to a 'situation', I just gave you a topic...tawk amongst youahselves. That the person in back of the kayak is supposed to steer, unless it's the wife in back and then the husband will do whatever he wants to in the front anyhow. That tandem kayaking is the way to go; that way, if you flip over or do anything else that causes a problem, you can blame your spouse.
That you miss so much just playing in the water...put on a snorkel, mask and some fins and you'll be amazed at everything that's down there! That Hawaiian Shave Ice places aren't open after 7pm...no matter how many you go to. That shrimp shacks really are shacks...or old VW buses. That too much haupia (can you say Ted's Chocolate Haupia Pie? Yum!) makes you have to poopia...a lot. That the USS Arizona Memorial is incredibly moving, and should be on every one's list of things to see. That there is no such thing as too many frothy pool-side drinks. That the water can never be too blue, the sand too fine, or the sunset too beautiful. That you should do the things that push you outside your comfort zone, and do them with zest.
I learned upon reflection that J and I would probably be 'that couple' were we ever to go on Amazing Race; loud and intense, and making those around us in the middle of a dispute that's, for the most part good-natured, slightly uncomfortable...but it would make for some damn good television and we love each other more at the end of every day.
That absence really does make the heart grow fonder...I'm ready to see my babies again! Well, maybe after just one more day of being a pool rat. I'll see you tomorrow! Mwah!