Aloha! I can officially say that…. even though it sounds a little weird coming out of my mouth. I hear it many times a day—so I suppose I should be practicing
So… we made it! What a whirlwind! Montana, Idaho & Washington were so great! We were treated so wonderfully by family. We saw some really cool stuff, ate lots of delicious food and made some great memories. Seattle was so fun. We got to experience Pike’s place Market, we had an exclusive private tour of Starbucks headquarters, mountains, the ocean, eagles… we got to see so many cool places. The countdown ticked… and then it was Sunday morning. (gulp. I was filled with emotions, and I recited bible verses over and over—it calms the nerves!) Pam & Gene dropped us off at the Bellingham airport… and there we were. 12 pieces of luggage, four people and a plane waiting for us (well, technically, we were waiting for the plane-and it was prompt. We were all boarded and got to leave a few minutes early!) We made it through security-barely! I had accidentally packed a medium-sized pocket knife in Josh’s carry-on. They asked Josh about it and he said “Throw it away! Throw it away!” The flight was awesome. It was long-almost 6 hours. We saw the sun set from 30,000 feet. We were hoping to get to Maui in time to see the sunset—but as we now know, the sun isn’t in the sky that late here. We got off the plane and the humidity smacked me in the face and made me smile. I was home. It was 8:30 at night and it was still warm and muggy with a slight breeze. We walked to get our luggage and I could see palm trees through the open places where there are no doors. The airport entrance is wide open. No doors. Awesome! We got to our hotel (again, no doors on the main entrance. Growing up in Minnesota, this was an absurd thought!) I excitedly talked to the hotel clerk about it (She had such a nice smile, but I am convinced that she was rolling her eyes at me and my pale skin. I’m sure she was thinking: Yeah. It’s Hawaii. It doesn’t snow here. We don’t need doors.) We loaded all of our luggage to our room. We were tired. We were hot. We were hungry. But that ocean was calling our names. We walked downstairs, I whipped my shoes off and ran right into the water! I couldn’t believe it was real. I think I slept with a smile on my face that night. I woke up at 5:30am, ran to the window, yanked the shades open and looked out. I had to make sure I was still here. I was on the beach before 6 am! I was like a little kid on Christmas morning. Look! Look at the water! Look at the palm trees. I see a coconut! Look at the sky. I was so excited. I felt so overwhelmed and blessed. I stood there and my eyes filled with tears. My heart said “Thank you God. Thank you.Thank you. Thank you.”
Just a few of my favorite things about Hawaii:
1. Weather. I never have to wonder what to wear because the weather is so predictable. 80* and sunny. Shorts. Tank top. Flip-flops. Everyday. Sigh. Why didn’t I come sooner?!
2. Vegetation. The flowers. The trees. The plants. The colors. The smells. Banana trees. Palm trees. Plumeria trees. There is something cool and beautiful to look at wherever I go.
3. Beaches. The beaches on the west side (Lahaina, Ka’anapali) are just like what you see on Pinterest. Crystal clear water, soft white sand, swimming with sea turtles and a light breeze. Absolutely fantastic.
4. Maui swap meet. Every Saturday we walk over to the college and look at all the cool stuff that people make and sell. I often tell them “I’ll take one of everything”… and then I remember: I only have $6. Darn. But seriously. Such a fun place to go meet people, see cool art, and get some sun.
5. Toyota trucks. I’m pretty sure there are 3 Toyota’s for every one person here. Squattin’, jacked-up, big knobby tires, custom paint and just so cool. Those who know me well, know that I am a fan of Yoders. Black Betty fits in nicely around here.
6. People. The ‘’Aloha spirit!” Even though we are now a minority, we have been welcomed here by the majority of the people. From the time we got off the plane, we’ve met some really wonderful locals. We have great stories to tell of how people have extended such a warm welcome to us. I don’t think I will ever get tired of people saying “Congratulations! Welcome to Maui!”
7. BYOB. Bring your own bag. Maui county has banned plastic bags at retailers state-wide. Bring a bag, or buy a reusable one. I love it! No more plastic!
8. No mosquitoes. That’s right. I leave my front door wide open at night to let the breeze flow through. I may have had a little lizard in my house, but there has not been one mosquito bite.
9. Words. So, when I was doing my research about Hawaii, I had no clue how to pronounce anything. I just “winged” it. Actually, I watched a youtube video—it’s posted below. You can thank me later when this song is stuck in your head (Ah, Aye, EE, oh, ooo) So when we got here-and we were trying to find stuff, imagine trying to pronounce street signs that say “Kaahumanu Ave, Kamehameha Ave, or how about Kaulawahine St.” I sit at red lights and teach myself how to say these. I am getting so good! (One of the best parts though—listening to the GPS try to pronounce them. Awesomeness)
10. Sea turtles. They are so stinking cool. Swimming next to them—it’s hard to explain how awesome it is. Big and green and so chill. They are so rad. New found love
We’ve been busy settling in… learning our place… finding balance… It’s good that we’re here. I know God wants us right where we are. Challenges and all. We think of and miss so many lovely faces from all over the mainland. The time difference is 5 hours behind MN, 4 hours behind MT. That’s hard to get used to. I have to count on my fingers to see if it’s an okay time to text. When I’m making dinner at 6, MN is already in bed at 11. Weird adjustment. But I have to say, I love waking up to my phone blowing up. Emails, FB, texts, and Instagram love. Makes me smile. When I get up at 6am, MN is already having lunch. See? Weird.
Here’s a few pics of what you may see us doing here:
These were taken from one of our favorite beaches in Ka’anapali. “Black rock beach” is what most people call it. It’s a blast to snorkel here. We always see sea turtles floatin’ around. You can climb to the top of a black rock and jump into the water (you can see people standing in the last photo. The first one of McKenzie is taken from the top.)
Here’s a few underwater pics:
God makes beautiful things. I sometimes can’t even comprehend it.
So, there’s a quick update, a few pictures and even a song (Ah, aye, EE, oh, ooo).. is it stuck in your head?! You’ll be pronouncing Hawaiian words in no time!
Dream big, live hard, love lots, pray often and laugh a lot.
Till next time,