Friday, February 3, 2012


This trip to Hawaii came up suddenly for me. I had worked almost day and night (really) on our ridiculous, archaic 10-page employee annual reviews for my team of 15 for about a month. I have to do that twice a year, but it took me longer than usual this time for reasons I hope I've permanently repressed. I knew I was nearing the end of them on Monday of last week, and I really needed time off. I decided to look for travel specials for the following weekend, knowing that would give me incentive to finish my work on Friday and not drag it into yet another weekend. I thought maybe I would find an air/hotel deal for NYC for a couple of nights or something. The next day I asked my boss for time off, contingent on me finishing my reviews, and the next thing I know I'm getting on an airplane to Hawaii on Saturday morning at 6:00 having finished my reviews at 5:30. You heard me. No sleep. Right before leaving for the airport, I realized I should shower and put on different clothes. That whole thing sucked.

I booked 4 nights and ended up calling and asking for more time off work, eventually staying a total of 6 nights. I cried - hard - when I left, just feeling unprepared to face the world again and knowing it will be a while before I can again enjoy the special peace of mind that Hawaii gives me. I love Hawaii. I think I can say that I've traveled all over the world, and nothing is like Hawaii.

I stayed in a new place this time. My regular, el cheap-o place was all booked, probably because of the Pro Bowl (I had to text a coworker to find out what this thing was that was blocking traffic on Kalakaua Ave . . . he was displeased that I was unfamiliar with the Pro Bowl). The splurge on the new place was largely not worth it - a hotel is just a place to sleep. I did enjoy the gym (running a couple miles on each of the first two nights - go me! - and then leaving my gym shoes untouched for the rest of the trip) and the spa. I'm a spa girl, and ended up doing a massage, mani/pedi, and a sauna (my first! Holy 186 degrees) at different times during the week and loving every minute of all that.

The rest of the time was spent either laying in the sun listening to music or reading, surfing (just twice, but good experiences, and more on that to come, I hope) or hanging out with a guy I met. I'm a loner even more on vacation than I am in life, so it was a surprise to talk with someone long enough to find out that we clicked and wanted to hang out more. We spent almost every minute together from then on, and it was just really fun. He's a year younger than me and in the Navy, stationed at Pearl Harbor. He's smart and fun and generous, and we had a great time together. He told me Navy stories and I dragged him to CoCo Ichiban's, my favorite restaurant from my time in Japan and my best comfort food, and the North Shore to watch a surfing competition. (More on that, too.) I was really sad to say goodbye to him this morning as I left for my plane. Nothing long-term there, but a great vacation companion.

And now I'm home. On my way, actually. I'm on the plane typing on my iPad, listening to music and just feeling sick that my dream week is over. Unsurprisingly, I feel like I didn't get enough: rest, sleep, processing time, reading, surfing, CoCo's. Navy man. Sun. Sand. Saltwater. But I'm going to try to trust that I got just what I needed, and then trust myself that I'll be able to make up for the rest.

Mahalo, Hawaii. You always come through for me.


  1. Ah yes. Many times have I recharged my batteries with an infusion of aloha! It never fails. Even when I end up in Hawaii for work, I always take an extra couple of days to let the islands work their magic on me.

    Happy you had a great vacation!

  2. It may just be me (and Bon Iver), but I got a little teary reading this. I am so glad you had this trip. This exact trip. It might not be quite enough, but you're right that you can trust yourself with the rest.

    Someday soon you will have to tell me all about it.

  3. Way to go, li'l flower. Looks like you've found the answer to one of your life's questions ;-)

  4. Good for you- sounds like the trip was just what you needed.

  5. It's probably not even close to the same, but: there's a Hawaiian place on east Burnside called Ate-Oh-Ate that has pretty decent Kailua pork. Lunch sometime (when you're not surfing)?

  6. I want to hear the stories. We need to get together. I'll email you as I have a PDX trip planned for next month.

    When I read these kinds of posts I just wish with all my heart you could live this way more often than not because this seems like your true heart space rather than the life you "have" to live at your job.

    Here's hoping you can infuse some Hawaii feeling into your Portland life. xo

  7. Sounds like you had a great time, friend. Hugs.

  8. Glad to hear you had a nice time while you were here! Sounds like you needed the break.

  9. That sky is incredible. Lucky you and smack in the middle of winter, too.