Our trip to Hawaii has been pretty well documented on Facebook, so I’m just going to hit a few of the highlights. Our purpose in taking the trip was to celebrate our son Robert ( or Rob as he was known early on and still is to us) as he is retiring after 20+ years serving our country in the Army. We included our daughter and son-in-law, Heidi and Tim, as well. They had planned a trip last year to celebrate their 25th anniversary, but Covid got in the way. Our daughter-in-law Shelly is a wonderful trip advisor. We told her what we wanted to see, what was an absolute must and she made the arrangements for us. We had so much fun traveling and spending the week with our adult kids!
Our number one priority was Robert’s retirement ceremony held on the fantail of the U.S.S. Missouri, where the Japanese formally surrendered in 1945, ending World War II.
The setting was phenomenal, even though windy, but the ceremony itself was memorable, too. The event was livestreamed, but lost audio. I consciously left the picture taking to others this trip so that I could just be present in the moment, so most of my pictures are borrowed. The flag ceremony was very special, linking world events with special times in Robert’s career, enlistment through retirement. At the conclusion when they presented the folded flag to him, I was surprised when he turned and gave it to me! It comes with a certificate stating that it flew on the U.S.S. Missouri. Now I need to find an appropriate display case.
Now that I have documented the reason for the trip, I’ll get on to other parts of the trip. One of my favorite things about going to Hawaii is the very beginning, and Rob and Shelly didn’t disappoint us. My lei came home with us and is dried, displayed with the flag and ceremony brochure.
We stayed in an oceanside cottage that we shared with two other guests at the retirement ceremony, a former co-worker of Robert’s and her mother-in-law. When I say on the beach, I mean ON the beach!
We were just a little way from the public beach, so of course we watched swimmers, some surfers and even one guy on a hydrofoil. The biggest excitement, though, was the day this Hawaiian Monk seal decided to sleep the day away on our shore. We contacted wildlife people, but they said he’s probably just resting and sure enough, he napped there all day long and was gone in the morning.
Shelly had made arrangements for us to surprise Tim and Heidi with a sunset cruise to celebrate their 25th anniversary last year. They had also wanted to go snorkeling, so their cruise included that as well. The rest of us were on another sailboat, but we saw more than a dozen whales surfacing (a 5 year-old on the trip said we saw 100!) and the same gorgeous sunset.
In the weeks before our trip, I’d been struggling with sciatica and I had been concerned about being able to walk and keep up with the rest. So when the Pillbox Hike was suggested, I decided it would be a good day for me to stay home. Heidi and Tim went, though, and thought it was NOT a family friendly easy hike! In military terms, a pillbox is a defensive site such as a machine gun pillbox. The two on Ka’iwa Ridge were observations stations, though, not site for defensive arms.
Those adventurous souls also hiked Diamond Head. The promotional material calls it a “fairly steep, easy hike”, but it includes stairs for a portion of the way, and the whole hike is equal to 25 flights of stairs!
One typically Hawaiian thing we wanted to take in was a luau. We had been to the one at Polynesian Cultural Center on our previous trip, but we enjoyed this one more, I think. It was at Paradise Cove. The food was good, the activities ahead of the program itself were fun and we enjoyed the hulas and fire dancers are always impressive.
You can’t pack a weeks worth of family memories into one blog without boring the unrelated readers, but I’ve shared some of our favorite parts. Go see Hawaii for yourself. It’s worth it! By the say, I kept up and even walked ahead occasionally!
Arizona weather is warming up and we’re loving every minute! In a few short weeks, we’ll be leaving and will be surprised by Kansas! Who knows what kind of weather we’ll find there? We’ll be staying in a different place this time, since we sold our Landing last fall. Not sure where we’ll be, but we’ll be among family so it’s all good! See you down the road!