Hawaii is my place. I love to travel and take the opportunity to explore a new part of the world whenever our meager budget allows. But I've never felt compelled to return to any of the other places that Larry and I have vacationed. I've loved all the national parks we've visited. I've loved the cities and the Caribbean islands. I was always sad to leave. But whenever we next had the chance to take a vacation, I'd always choose somewhere new over returning to someplace we'd already been. Hawaii is the first vacation destination I've felt differently about. I could return again and again. I love it there. It's my place.
So imagine our surprise, when just two months after returning from our two week vacation/wedding in Hawaii, Larry got the word that he would be sent back for a second round of meetings in May. Obviously, I wasn't going to let him go back to paradise without me, so in the harried span of a week we had booked our return flights to Oahu and nailed down the rest the travel details: After Larry's meetings, we would fly from Oahu to Maui and spend a week exploring the island. We would visit two islands, take four flights, and sleep in four different places in ten days.
We really couldn't believe that we were going back...and to be honest, were a little embarrassed to tell our friends that we were taking a repeat "trip of a lifetime." The whole thing felt a bit like a combination of LOST mixed with deja vu, but once the wheels touched back down in Oahu, it felt like we had returned to an old familiar friend. In fact, when we arrived in our hotel room we were greeted with this:
(Wine AND cupcakes??? How did they know? Turned out it wasn't meant for us, but the Hilton let us keep it anyway.)
We stayed in the same hotel in Waikiki as we did during our first trip. It felt like home. I was reunited with Guavalicious (my favorite cocktail!) and befriended the bartender at the pool bar.
While Larry was in meetings, my days were spent like this:
Due to the six hour time difference, I was able to maintain getting up early every morning in Hawaii (no small feat for a morning hater like me)...though this did mean that we had the lights out by 8:30 pm almost every night. Seriously. But the mornings were great. I headed down to Waikiki Beach to watch the surfers (and the old guys with metal detectors!) at 6:45 am and read my book in the quiet.
There wasn't pressure to sightsee or take pictures of everything since I had already done that before. This was time for pure relaxation and it was perfect.