Sunday, September 2, 2012

I'm bundled up tightly in Christopher's blue fleece lined hoodie (mostly because I've outgrown my own in just the past week), every blanket in the room piled on my chilled body from the foot of the resort bed all the way up to my sun kissed and chattering chin. Its kind of funny that I only have time to slow down for blogging when I'm sick, yeah? I have the flu. I don't know if its something that we picked up from the dirty foam lined lagoon behind our hotel, or maybe something that was floating around the stagnant air of our 6 hour long flight, but- uuuugh. I've barely gotten out of bed all day. The good side of that, though, as always, is that it gives me no excuse to put off uploading photos any longer- if I'm grounded, might as well make the most of it. I did get up to go buy a used car from a family uprooting and headed to Japan, because our rental was costing us (wasting us, really) a small fortune, and to make a large veggie scramble for the kids and husband for dinner, but- then dragged my achy butt back to bed, and here I will lay for as long as possible. Or until I can stand without feeling faint. Whichever comes first.

And did I mention... ALOHA!! 

Thats right! That cross country move (which hasn't quite gotten documented yet, due to my constant need to keep going going going) that we and our mini van took together, lead us from Texas to Boise, from Boise to Portland, from Portland to Longview (and back and forth to Portland several times), and then straight up to Seattle where we put our car onto a ship for a short ride across the pacific, and then crowded onto a Delta airlines 757 and flew over miles and miles and miles of ocean, to the beautiful island of OAHU

The past week has been a flurry of city traffic, trips to the big pink hospital, house hunting, grocery seeking and shopping, beach going, elevator riding, sand dancing, breakfast on a balcony 22 floors off the ground, sunsets and silhouettes. We are, in love with it here. 

I've been making a pretty big effort to haul my camera around with me to catch the moments that I truly want to remember (the every day things that I'm sure to forget with time), so as much of a pain as it is to have a big heavy strap rubbing my neck raw in the same place where my seat belt does, while a bulky camera bounces against my back every time I increase my step, while going through airport security with 2 crying children, 6 bags of miscellaneous carry ons, and a double stroller that apparently has to go over there to that gate to be inspected, because this gate isn't wide enough, while my husband is off fetching a lost boarding pass with the third cryer- I've been doing it anyways. 

Fly to Hawaii with us? 
Virtually, I mean
Did I mention that I have the flu?

So thats what it looks like when a family of 5.5 moves to Hawaii. Most of our stuff is loaded onto crates and hopefully on a boat by now, but- we were allowed up to 20 checked bags for the lot of us, so we took it. Well, minus that Target bag on the ground beside the cart- that had Udi's brand hot dog buns in it, which is all I had with me to eat for the day.

By the time we got to our gate to sit down for a sec before they started to board, we realized that our flight was leaving 45 minutes sooner than we previously thought, and we had about 5 minutes to run to and from the bathroom to take care of business before catching the fish tail end of the massive line of happy childless vacationers. So we made it in time, but- pretty sure our bags bumped into every single passenger between the front door and row 30. Maybe not the spoiled folks in first class (though they probably deserved it the most, hah), but every one in coach for sure. When I found our row, without thinking, I directed Eleanore towards the window, Evelyn beside her, and I took the aisle. Charlie took the middle across the way, and Christopher occupied the aisle beside him, within arms reach of me. No big deal, right? We totally got this.

Except: Charlie fell asleep almost immediately, calmly snoozing beside Christopher while he kicked back and stuck his nose in a seemingly extra thick copy of Sky Mall (jerk), while Eleanore proceeded to start with the "are we there yet?"'s, while simultaneously kicking the crap out of the seat in front of her (I like to make enemies from the get go), and Evelyn who hadn't napped all day and was probably lacking a meal or two threw herself into some kind of toddler red alert, arched her back as stiffly as physically possible, and screamed until her high pitched sound waves pierced every ear in the rows immediately surrounding us, and then fell into a sweaty sleep in my lap about 35 minutes later (but not before the flight attendant came by and tried to give her a bag full of sugar sweetened gluten, "anything to get the baby to stop crying", she said), laying across one arm in just the right way, making it so that reading a magazine, or even reaching for one, was just a hopeless fantasy of mine.

And after the dust settled from mine and Evelyn's sleep standoff, Eleanore realized just how boring flying on an airplane would be. Every five minutes, without fail, she asked me when we would be there. And in between those beautiful repetitive moments, she managed to kick/bump/or maybe even jump on the seat in front of her, causing the angry asian lady, who by the end of the flight was ready to file a restraining order, to keep turning around for a whole lotta stink eye towards the Mom (I casually looked away just in time to miss it just almost every glance), and used what she thought must have been a mom voice, asking my daughter to angrily to knock it the eff off.

Ah, thats the face of a very happy six year old. Smile stinker, we're flying to Hawaii!! ...besides, you can reach the magazines, so it can't be all that bad.

Oh it wasn't all that bad for her. She had a window all to herself, with a window shade to constantly open and shut, which I'm pretty sure sent me into at least two seizures- and she got to look (um, over the wing) down at the beautiful ocean beneath us, which she mentioned the depths of and how much it would hurt if we crashed into it, until the sun went down and erased everything in sight- telling me that it was time to sleep, but telling her that it was time to up the complaining a notch, and maybe even throw in some tantrums for extra attention from the lady with the angry eyes.

Yeah hows that Sky Mall magazine?? Oh its good? Oh good for you! And you're right, you do need that electric hand warming pocket knife that cuts down diseased trees and saves forests from destruction while somehow miraculously feeding the poor in foreign countries.

Oh alright, I forgive you. But only because Charlie woke up and had to go to the bathroom (and no way am I stepping foot into an airplane bathroom, EVER), and Evelyn rolled her sweaty head to my lap, freeing my arm and letting me beat the crap out of you with my exhausted hormonal anger.

Just kidding. ...Evelyn had woken up by then and was playing with her seat belt.

At one point during the flight, Evelyn and Charlie traded, so that the older two could be silly together and really let the lady in front of them have it. And want to know what the best part about that swap was?


Awww, whats wrong? Baby making you crazy? Hmmm, well, if you wouldn't mind too much, could you calm her down, maybe give her a bag of famous amos or something, so that I can read my Sky Mall in peace? K thanks :)

Hey you know what I could kind of go for? A hunger fighting world saving pocket knife.

Oh I love you honey.

Here, let me throw in a couple of other photos from the flight:

All bickering aside, the flight went really smoothly. There was no vomit, diarrhea, or blood. I managed not to cry (I saved that for the Taxi ride to the hotel). Eleanore's number one fan in row 29 somehow found the strength to fall asleep through the constant seat quake. I didn't starve thanks to my remaining Udi's hot dog bun.

But really- my kids got to fly on an airplane for the first time. That is seriously, so cool.

When we landed in Honolulu, some of our luggage was missing. We had marked all of our pieces with bright orange duct tape on the sides and around the handle, and luckily a lady passing by had recognized the markings, because she said she had seen a few of the stragglers back at the funky shaped items counter. Getting all of our stuff from baggage claim to the taxi pavilion was only a slight nightmare- squeezing our entire family, and our horrendous amount of gear into a measly SUV with a condescending driver, thats where the real treat was. By this point, the idea of moving to Hawaii was the worst thing ever, and I sobbed myself to sleep in my hotel suite overlooking what was supposed to be the ocean, but was instead a whole bunch of blackness surrounded by awful city.

Before going to bed though, I had opened up the curtains. I knew that I was just exhausted (the three hour time difference wasn't helping), and hoped that with the sunrise would come a light heart.

"Oooh! Look at all of that water!!", shouted Charlie at 6am, as soon as the sun started to fill the room. I smiled before my eyes opened, told him to go have a closer look, and before we knew it the entire family was standing out on the balcony, taking in the stunning view of the harbor and waves beyond it.

Okay maybe moving to Hawaii wasn't such a bad idea.

Barbie jeeps, cable tv on pull out couches, and iced kona coffees topped off with chocolate rice milk from the cafe by the waterfalls.

My favorite orange headband made by my favorite Norwegian friend, snuggling with my favorite red headed girl, pointing out waves and boats and birds on our balcony (ahem... lanai).

I repeat: Hawaii is not so bad after all.

Maybe I'll just let some of the photos speak for themselves...

Peek a boo from behind the curtains... yes please.

Something that we were missing after a few days though, was food. Cereal bars and Udi's hot dog buns will only take you so far, you know? So after a trip to the local health food chain "Down To Earth", and finding the Whole Foods over by the mall in whatever city that was... we needed some curry. And we needed to eat it on the balcony at sunset. For sure.

No, yeah... thats real. I must have stood there in the fresh air, smelling my cumin spiced zucchini rice, staring at the pink and orange sky for at least twenty minutes. Just frozen. Because they totally didn't have views like that back in Texas. In fact, I'm not sure I've seen a view like that, anywhere.

We've only made it to the beach a few times, between running errand after errand, but the times that we have gone, have been nice. Sometimes we don't go until the sun is setting, an after dinner walk type thing, and by then most of the other families have gone home and its just lone romantics wandering between the waves and the boardwalk. The kids usually find abandoned sand castles to crush and sticky sea creatures to pass between their fingers. Getting them home is the hardest part, because like all good things, they just don't want it to end.

So for now we're shacking up on the 22nd floor of a semi famous resort in Waikiki, the beach is our right in our back yard, the sun rising is our alarm clock (thanks to Charlie, mostly). Christopher goes back to work on Thursday, which is hopefully when Eleanore will go back to school, rocking the first grade... and our house will be ready for us on October 1st.

Hickam AFB. We made it.

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