It would be an understatement to tell you that Hawaii was beautiful. And the time that I spent with Taylor and his family was just as beautiful if not more.
I went to Hawaii to visit T and to say my last goodbyes before he goes under the sea for a long period of time, the longest period of time that we will be apart thus far in our relationship.
If you read my last post, “How to Travel to Hawaii for Cheap,” you know that we rented an Airbnb which, let me tell you, was a blessing. So much cheaper than a hotel and so much cozier too. They did not have a washer and dryer like I had originally thought but I washed some of my stuff in their sink and it worked out just fine. I still saved my $50 for not checking a bag!
The first night I spent with Taylor’s parents eating dinner and exploring a bit until we got tired, went home to sleep and wait for T to get off work. He finally did at midnight, walked into our room, plopped into our bed and hugged me and that’s where we fell asleep.
The whole entirety of our trip kind of seems like a blur now. We went out to eat a lot, went to Diamond Head and climbed all the way to the top (all. the. stairs!).
Visited Lanikai beach which is literally the most beautiful beach I have ever seen in my life. I, honest to god, thought I was dreaming. Totally recommend. Beware of the pigeons though! I woke up to one trying to eat my toe?
Paid our respects at the Pearl Harbor Memorial.
Visited the Dole Plantation where they harvest all the pineapples and fruits that you see in grocery stores! The plantation itself was kind of lame to be honest. I was under the impression I would get to see where the pineapples were picked and walk around that area but I was wrong. The really great thing about the plantation is the Dole whip, which is sort of like a creamy pineapple sorbet and can be topped with various things. I’m drooling even typing about it. Also, they have a lovely gift shop too with lots of good snacks you can take home!
Our second to last night there, T was working on his boat but we met up with a Navy wife who got us on the base to go see him on his break. He took us into his boat and showed us everything that he could like where he sleeps, eats and showers, etc. To experience that with him was absolutely amazing but I also felt like I wanted to puke. For so long, his boat was just an imaginary place in my head he went to, something I put into the back of my head and didn’t think to much about. I’m guessing my brain did this as a coping mechanism. But now it’s real. A real thing that can break, be destroyed, go into the ocean and fight wars…
It made me sick. But hearing him talk about it was breathtaking. After our tour, we stood outside on the pier and Taylor smoked a cigarette and answered what questions he could and I couldn’t help but stare at him. At first I didn’t really realize I was staring until he caught on and asked why I was looking at him like that and then I realized how lovely and horrifying and amazing all of this was. I won’t give much detail about the base but the things that I saw were things that were so much bigger than myself. Bigger than Taylor even but somehow we were all a part of it.
This feeling was solidified the next day when I spent all day helping him pack and get his things ready. And then the next day when he actually left. There was a barbecue on the pier next to his boat and then we said our goodbyes (worst goodbye so far), watched the boat pull out of the pier and then drove to a special spot to watch it pull out of the harbor.
Seeing his boat glide through the water, the sun shining, the water sparkling, tall, beautiful mountains in the background and knowing that he was in that boat doing the thing he has always wanted to do… I have paid a lot of money for my education on how to write and I can’t find words to tell you what that experience was like. No word does any of that justice.
And just like that, my trip to Hawaii was over. The trip coming home is a blur too. Now, I am just trying to get through these next few months with as much strength, love and grace as I can possibly muster.