Let that sink in. Lacey was back up in the kid roulette wheel of "Who goes with mom?", but it happened to fall on Deaton's birthday, so she declined (OH SO VERY RELUCTANTLY), and it rolled back to Kip, who knew she already had over a week scheduled coming for Hallie's graduation, so, once again, the spoiled rotten baby, Miss Hallie got to travel with her madre.
Thank goodness this year, on that trip, no wallet incidents, no near flight misses, no drama to be seen. The flight over was 150 hours, but it took place during the day, so there were movies to watch, cards to play, netflix to view, anticipation was high. I'm kidding it was a 14 hour day, but in the end, we were in paradise, so it worked out.
That long flight had us making duck lips out of pringles, and putting gummies on our teeth.
But then we arrived and we were like HEY! ALOHA!
I celebrated my 40th birthday while I was there! (Cough) and as I paddled around through the pool, (through the lazy river, up the slide and down about 10 times, and through all the nooks and crannies of this amazing pool) I told every single person I paddled by, saying it very brightly, "It's my BIRTHDAY!", so yeah, I was THAT person that day. I didn't care. I was celebrating my 40th birthday AGAIN, in paradise. Hallie and I had massages that afternoon, and people, it was heaven on earth.
The resort (Grand Hyatt Kauai) was immaculate. The room had a king size bed, and a queen size bed in it! LOL. They must have seen Hallie on the bus over, and knew we would need more room. It was supercalifragilisticexpealidocious. For reals.
If you find yourself with a whole lot of extra money, you should treat yourself and come stay at this little slice of heaven. It was glorious. The only caveat was food prices were RIDICULOUS. Hallie and I had a cheese pizza and one salad and it cost $60. FOR THE LOVE. So we hit up the grocery store, and stocked our room with food things and lived like queens. :) (Grow up with a single mom, your kids know how to be scavengers, fo sho.)
The highlight of the trip for Hallie was the zip lining excursion we went on. I was skeptical since I am 40 and horrendously out of shape, when on the brochure it says, "Slight steep incline to get to ziplines". Hmm. Surely I can do that. I've ran through airports, killed spiders, lived through a colonoscopy prep, what's a "Slight Steep Incline".
First of all, I did NOT rock the zip line look. My short hair in those little helmets made me look even more special than I really am.
Plus, they make that "Slightly sleep" incline look like little innocent steps. I was so winded by the time I got to the top of the stairs, (after needing to make 4 or 5 stops just to live !) I told Hallie (waiting for me at the top for 5 minutes) "I must have some sort of heart blockage, there is no way I should be this winded". Her rolling on the ground and laughing at me didn't help.
This kid was born to be in zip line equipment. She is a natural.
I, however, look like one of those helmeted kids that wear them for protection (which even typing this, might not be such a bad idea, since I've taken to falling every week or so).
But it was a fun experience that we got to share together, and the next day was even better...when we took to the seas. Now this was WAY more like it!!!! A catamaran tour, which I loved and my adventurous daughter got sea sick! (WHAT!?)
Absolutely stunning. DO NOT GO TO HAWAII and not get on a boat tour! YOU WILL miss most of the beautiful things. If you don't go on a boat tour, take a helicopter tour (which we missed out on). You must see this coast and you can only do that on a boat! Mercy.
We got a car (A bright yellow camaro, oh heck yes) and drove all over the island our last day. We saw villages, beautiful beaches, waterfalls, souvenir shops and starbucks bathrooms. All in all a stellar day. Flew 100 hours (all night) home, and I have to tell you, home looked pretty good to me. What an adventure.
The next week, Hallie and her friends took to Orange Beach in Alabama, for her "senior friend trip" and went to the Hangout to the music festival. Another mom was going to go and be "chaperone", but ended up needing to work, so I told Hallie I would NOT drive there (12 hours plus!) but they could pick me up in New Orleans and I would fly back from pensacola. I spent 3 days with 6 of the funniest kids and just hung out with myself, by the pool, on the pretty beach, and enjoyed those few days. They drove home and I flew it, and that was not a bad little jaunt. Barely even yawned and was already home.
Then, the day I have dreaded and looked forward to since the day the kid was born, rolled around. Graduation of my Hallie. But that's another blog. We are talking Beaches in this one.
Back around Christmas, we knew Kip and Brandon would be coming for graduation so I thought it would be a delightful idea to go to Disney World as a family, one last big hurrah before Hallie went to West Point. After researching and realized we would have to sell a kidney and maybe a kid on the black market, to be able to afford to go to Disney, we opted for a beach house in Destin, where we could all go and play and have a merry old time together for one week. We decided to drive at night, so everyone could sleep. Except the driver. And the driver's helper. And every one in the car. When you are a kid, you can sleep standing up. When you are an adult, sleep eludes you. Trying to sleep in a packed car full of people, and snacks and boogie boards, and feet.....that's just funny talk right there. I think the only one that slept with any consistency was Zachary, because he is 7. Even DD, at our 12:30 am gas stop, roused and looked out the window, and said to his mama, "Dere's Brannon right dere" (there's Brandon right there). and then proceeded to watch netflix on my ipad and eat chips for the next hour. We rolled into Florida about 8 am (thank You Jesus and all the holy angels) and stopped to eat at Waffle House somewhere. I was just happy to be alive at this point.
Everyone was excited for beaches. EVERY ONE. and all our butts had taken on a new form of no feeling, and when we rolled through Pensacola, I remembered back in the day, the beaches being beautiful and lots of public beaches, and thought..."Our house isn't ready for a while, let's STOP and play on this beach and get OUT OF THIS CAR before I lose my crap." So, here we are, pulling into the beach, pretty much stripping down the kids and changing them in the parking lot, rubbing on sunscreen, really getting ready for an adventure. I knew on Memorial day it would crowded, but nothing prepared me for the SEA of pop up tents and brightly colored windsocks lining the pensacola beaches. The kids and Brandon and Tyler ran straight to the water, and jumped in and started tossing the football. I'm totally oblivious to everything around us, just thinking "Dang there are a bunch of people here". After 10 minutes, Tyler's gaydar goes off, and he walks up to me and says, "Mother, look around, there are only oiled up men in speedos here
." And I feebly retort, "There are two girls....", to his reply, "And they are holding hands...." Oopsy. We have big fat jumped into the middle of the GAY beach, with our little weird, culture friendly family, and just added some serious spice to the mix. We gather up the Vietnamese and head back to the car, now fully appreciating all the RAINBOW windsocks lining the beach. Oh. My. Everloving. Love.
Thankfully, our airbnb was ready when we got to Destin and in we go. Here are some of the precious pictures from the week.
And because it isn't a family vacation unless someone ends up in the ER, unfortunately it was our soon to be Cadet, Hallie carrying Deaton down the stairs to the beach, and the combination of her sandy feet, the sandy stairs, too much forward momentum, she slipped and instead of being able to catch herself, she held him in the air, and took the brunt of the fall on her toe and hip. I drove over pristine yards to get to her, I won't lie. Kip and I had opted to stay at the house and watch Moana, while everyone walked to the beach. When Lacey called I threw on shoes, grabbed keys and Kip, and headed where I thought was the road. It dead ended, so sorry to the people's yard I drove through, I was getting to my kid. One ER visit later, we have a broken toe. Big toe. The toe that runs the body. We are 4 weeks away from her leaving for Basic training. Clearly the world population doesn't understand the enormity of West Point, when the ER "provider" (not doc, not PA, but provider) says to Hallie, "Well, you will just have to tell them you will come two weeks later." Oh, Ok. I'm sure that WEST POINT will change it's R DAY for Hallie. Again, for.the.love.
Anyway, she is healing, in a boot, and on a scooter, and we are hopeful she will be back in form in time to report on July 3. We could use considerable prayers. She has been beast mode training for this, and now is having to sit on her bed with her foot elevated. She has gone to the gym a few times, but she is very discouraged since she can't work out and be in top form when she goes. She could really use prayers of encouragement.
Friday, I drop Kip and Brandon off at the airport at the butt crack of everlovin dawn, and those lucky little turds fly westward home, while the rest of us poor punks get around, pack it up, and take to the road. With Hallie one toe down, and booted up, she is now unable to drive, so that leaves 3 drivers taking us home. 14 hours. ON the road. Bored Kids, bags of food, tired, sunburned, hurting, 14 hours, people.
All I decided from the ride home, was if we can't drive there in 4-5 hours, we aren't going. :)
However, before the "Toe Incident", Fun was had. Hopefully this time next year we will laugh our faces off about Hallie's broken toe right before BASIC. Right now, we are praying for a miracle, and that she can manage the training and be able to stay.
That's how we roll, friends. One step away from Chaos. Every,. Second.
Wish this had been a bit more clear, because it is SOOO us.
Coming soon, to a christmas card near you.