I recently returned from a much-anticipated 9-day vacation in Hawaii with Isha, The Guy Next Door. I’m in that happy in-between space where it’s so nice to have been gone and so nice to be home again! And I feel like I may still be on Hawaiian Time, which is much more easy-going but not always compatible with the mainland flurry!
We arrived in Honolulu super late on Saturday night a couple weeks ago and were greeted in Waikiki by Isha’s college pal Henry, who hosted us while we were there. And when I say we were greeted by Henry, I mean, Henry, a couple of cold beers, and a bag of Maui onion potato chips. For those of you unfamiliar with the trio, these may be the three best things to be greeted by on a hot January day in Waikiki after a long flight! The past couple years Henry has worked a few months in Hawaii and he’s told Isha that he’s welcome to come stay with him during those times. This year, thanks to some frequent flyer miles, we were able to take him up on the offer, making our vacation a relatively frugal one AND enabling us to have fabulous company!
Sunday is Henry’s one day off each week, so in the morning Isha and Henry headed out for a surf. I enjoyed a lazy start to my day, wandered Waikiki, and picked up some groceries at the market (some of which I’d never seen before – soursop smoothies, anyone? Mmmm!) I also prepped for and taught my weekly Downsizing E-Course. These call-ins are fun no matter what, but I’ve got to say it was especially nice discussing downsizing philosophies from our 21st floor Waikiki hotel room! That night Henry showed us one of his favorite Japanese restaurants in Waikiki and I enjoyed the best sushi and sake I’ve ever had. Scrumptious!
Monday morning we started out the week with a smoothie on the beach, a swim, and some home-cooked breakfast before packing up our stuff to head to our new lodgings on the North Shore. We stopped along the way in Chinatown where we explored shops and markets and stocked up on ingredients for a week’s worth of home-cooked meals. Then we visited Pearl Harbor, which was a fascinating encounter with rhetoric and culture. On our drive to the North Shore where we stayed the rest of the trip, we stopped at Waimea Bay because everyone and their auntie was doing the same. The waves were massive so it was fun to watch the pro surfers and speculate about whether or not the Eddie surf competition would run. As we were nearing Sunset Beach we gave Henry a ring to let him know we were close and he said “I hope you like watching whales breach in 35 foot waves, because that’s what I’m doing right now from the deck!” Um, yes, please! Don’t mind if we do! Our dinner plans were back-burnered. Instead we sat out on the deck, drinking Coronas with lime and eating peanuts (acquired in Chinatown at a preposterous bargain!) and visited with Henry while watching the waves and the sunset.
I was certain that I’d be working from Hawaii since most of my trips are work-related in some way and I try to do maintenance work to keep up. But there’s something about Hawaiian Time that allowed me to really settle into having an actual vacation. Was it the waves? The sunshine? The humidity? The tropical fruit smoothies for breakfast? The salt water on my skin after a morning swim? Whatever it was, it felt luscious.
The days started to blend together in a lovely swirl of tasty food, warm sun, big waves, dream-filled sleep, yoga classes, and visiting with friends and family. Isha and I enjoyed some quality time and the chance to make more memories of our adventures together. Another of Henry’s friends stayed for five days during out trip and the fellas all surfed together every chance they got (which means I got a crash-course in surfer lingo – nothing like immersion, right!?) My sister who lives in Kauai came to visit for three days. She and I caught up while walking in the neighborhood, hiking to the top of Diamond Head, and wandering Waikiki. My friend and former Less is More student Maile and her husband Kevin were also on Oahu so we connected for lunch one day and she and Isha participated in our Downsizing E-Course from our beach house. We also enjoyed trading tasty meals with Henry’s friends and their 6-month-old cherub (I’ve never seen such a happy baby! Then again, growing up in Hawaii does seem to have that effect on people!) We were grateful for their local knowledge and their hospitality as they shared a soft top surf board for my first lesson, clued me in on the best yoga studio in the area, and introduced us to awesome swimming spots, local produce stands, and a fabulous Waimea Bay lookout, not to mention amusing us with the low-down on local celebrities.
Although we joked about staying forever and promised to come back at the next chance, it was also great to come home to Simply Home Community, my precious little cat, and my beloved tiny house, The Lucky Penny. It feels good to be home again. And it’s been fun this week to do some project management for the upcoming Tiny House Build Blitz in Tucson and to be excited about the launch of the Tiny House Collaborative.
Nine days in Hawaii was a lovely way to get some much-needed R & R and I intend to keep a bit of the Hawaiian Time I brought back with me. I have a renewed commitment to giving myself a Secular Sabbath each week. That feeling of spaciousness is lovely and I intend for it to linger beyond the macadamia nuts and the sun tan!