Hawaii is not a state of mind, but a state of grace. -Paul Theroux
I love to hear visitors describe Hawaii, because they have such fresh appreciation for our islands. While we are busy doing all of the things of real life (bummer, right?) they remind us that we live in an incredibly magical place. Sometimes I just want to be a tourist for a few days.
Since we live on the North Shore of Oahu, our family gets the chance to do this by occasionally escaping to Waikiki. It’s fun to get away from our life in the country and play tourist for a few days.
There are some times that a weekend getaway means more than others…Like two weeks ago:
Two weeks ago, our sweet dog Lulu died unexpectedly. It was a sad time for our whole family, and my own flow of tears surprised even me. In a house full of boys, Lulu was my girl. Each of us had a unique, but very special relationship with her. She laid at Josiah’s feet each morning as he did devotions on the back lanai. She was right by Dave’s side any time he did yard work. Jonah and Luke would both sit and pet her and have quiet talks. I know she felt protective of Levi, since she was around since he was a baby.
But my relationship with her even amazed my boys. On any given day, they could be home hanging out with Lulu and giving her plenty of attention, but the moment I would drive up and get out of my car, she would cry and whine and do this crazy rolling “R” sound like a Mexican mad-woman, and roll over and wait for me to rub her belly. She was like a toddler who cries the minute her mom gets home, making whoever was watching her feel like a total jerk. Lulu would carry on and cry and bark, just trying so hard to talk to me. (She had a lot of feelings, of course. ;)) And though she had an ear-piercing bark, I felt so loved, and needed, and very-much appreciated. And let’s be honest, us moms can use all of the appreciation…right?
Well, Lulu died on a Thursday and the weekend ahead had two big events: A surf contest way over past Honolulu at Sandy’s beach, and Dave’s birthday. (Yea, a rough time for a birthday.) I dreaded trying to do the contest commute, AND trying to celebrate Dave’s birthday. Especially while everything at home reminded us of Lulu and our hearts were still so tender.
I knew I needed to do something.
I got the sudden grand idea of booking a hotel room in Waikiki for the weekend. Then I realized the last thing Dave wanted on his birthday was a family of six packed into a hotel room. (if you’ve ever done it, you know what I’m saying.) The teenage boys could stay at home on their own, but I didn’t want them to miss Dave’s birthday celebration.
It was last-minute, but I decided to reach out to the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani to see if they had space for us. (you might remember Dave and I spent our 20th anniversary there and had a most wonderful time.)
And they did! The Sheraton Princess Kaiulani not only had space, but graciously offered us TWO rooms for TWO nights for our weekend of celebrating, healing, and grace. We were so happy!
Our stay at the Princess Kaiulani was everything we needed. The people there were so kind and welcoming. Our rooms were perfect. (the boys were so excited to have their own room, they kept it all organized and tidy–so cute!) We love the view looking off the decks and watching the surf and the people below. We appreciate the Princess Kaiulani because it isn’t too big or difficult to come and go from. It has old-Hawaiian charm and the kind of open air lobby that you imagine when you dream of a Hawaiian vacation; live music serenades you as you stroll through the lobby, and happy people seem to be everywhere.
We had Mai Tais and furukake popcorn at the pool while the kids jumped in and made new friends. We crossed the street right in the hub of Waikiki, grabbing coffee at the gorgeous Moana Surfrider and sitting in their giant rocking chairs to people watch late at night. Both days we ran across and had so much fun at Queens beach in Waikiki. I even rented a longboard and went surfing! Seriously, I had an absolutely blast riding long waves in the warm blue ocean while my boys cheered me on.
Luke made it to finals in his contest, then we took Dave out for a super fun birthday dinner in Waikiki. We also all got lots of rest, which may have been the best part of the weekend.
The weekend was, well (scuze the corny but I can’t resist–) just what the doctor (and his wife) ordered. (*wink*)
Here’s some fun pics of our time!
Thank you so much to the Princess Kaiulani for the chance to experience Hawaii’s grace…as a visitor and a friend. We hope to come back soon!
Thanks friends for sharing in our happy days and our sad days, too. You mean so much to me!
Share in comments? What has your family done to get over a tough loss or a challenging season? Something therapeutic or healing? Is there someone fun to getaway to near your home?
PPS This post is dedicated to our sweet pup, Lulu. You will be missed my sweet girl.