Day 27 Family Photo – by the ocean one last night.
I have been dreading today for over a year. As excited as I was all year long for July 1, I knew July 29 would eventually get here too, since time has a funny way of moving on. The truth is, I hate leaving Hawaii so much that I may have held back tears as I've prepared to board on a couple past vacations. So, I surprised myself today because not only am I not crying, I'm actually sort of ready to go home.
I was really ready to go home this morning as we were leaving the tide pools given that it was raining…again. I feel like I've been just slightly damp since Thursday and I was missing the sun.
But then we drove up the beautiful Hamakua Coast, through my favorite little town (Waimea) and back down along the Kohala Coast to kill time before our flight back to Honolulu. The famous Hamakua Coast did not disappoint, with its deep valleys and fragrant eucalyptus forests, but we decided not to stop for pictures in the rain, for reasons mentioned above. As Michael drove, we all watched the sky turn from rainy and dreary in the east, to foggy in the north, to finally, blue skies and sun in the west. It was glorious. And I remembered again how much I love the Kohala area. We killed an hour at the Waimea Farmers Market one last time, then watched the clouds disappear behind us as we descended down the other side of the mountain. As we headed south to Kona, the beautiful blue sky seemed to melt into the also beautiful blue Pacific. Stopping at one of the prettiest beaches on the island and the sight of our Manta Ray Snorkel on Day 20, we took in the sun and sand of Mauna Kea Beach for just a few minutes and I secretly envied all the beachcombers.
I'm already thinking about when to return.
That's Haleakala on Maui in the distance.
Until then, I'm excited to see sweet little Chloe in the morning. I'm excited to have lunch with my mom on Wednesday, and I'm excited to enjoy my backyard pool a few more times before the rush of the new school year takes over. Casey can't wait to see her beloved Miss Carla. Mike is finally, completely relaxed so it's time for him to go back to work. Dan is ready to see his friends again and start Band Camp. Oh yeah, he also wants to get that driver's test over and gain a little more independence. Our family is ready to come home.
It's been the absolute trip of a lifetime. I could not have dreamed a better month for and with my precious family. I'm beyond grateful at this moment for these amazing memories that we will carry with us back to Dallas.
See you soon, Big D! The O'Briens are coming home!
Day 28 Family Photo – Coming home!
"We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us." – Anonymous