that one time we took a vacation without any kids and it was totally awesome: part 5

There is a picture in our hallway of a sunset Andy and I watched in Hawaii. I stood there for a moment and closed my eyes and I swear I could hear the waves crashing in front me and smell the salty air. Then my toddler started screaming at his sister over a monster truck and she gracefully dumped a tin of popcorn all over the kitchen floor. Back to reality. But it refreshed my memory, and the fact I never finished up the series on our vacation. I have one day left to tell you about, our last day on the island. *tear*

If you remember, we were supposed to have gone skydiving the day before but our flight was cancelled. It was rescheduled for the next morning at 10 and our flight home wasn’t until almost 9 pm, ┬áso we figured we had time to squeeze in a few more pit stops. We woke up early, to pack up and clean the condo. We saved a ton of money by staying at a rental home, but one of the stipulations was we were our own housekeepers and had to clean up the condo and wash all the sheets and towels before we left. A small task if it meant we saved a few hundred dollars. The weather was again not in our favor and as soon we hit the road we received a call our flight was on hold and our best bet was a refund since it didn’t look as if any flights would be going out the rest of the weekend. I guess that one is staying on the bucket list until next time.

The silver lining was we had an entire day now to cruise the island and do everything we hadn’t gotten a chance to do earlier in the week. Like visit the Dole plantation. We strolled through the HUGE gift shop and got ourselves a Dole whip. Boarded on the tiny train and got a history lesson on pineapple.

It was so crowded though. Extremely crowded. I made one last round through the gift shop and met Andy at the car and we hit the highway.

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With no plan in action, we decided we would go to the one beach left on our “to see” list. It was on the other side of the island so it would be perfect to make that our lunch spot and take the highway back across the last part of Oahu we hadn’t seen yet. If only we had more time, because it was just beautiful and had to much to try and explore in one afternoon.

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It wasn’t ideal for swimming, but that didn’t stop Andy. He took a quick dip while I kept all our stuff from being blown away. Oh, and did some people watching.

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The storm only built up while we ate and you can only take so much sand in your face before you call it quits. We explored more of the city and drove through various neighborhoods where we happened upon this.

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We had time to burn and a red eye flight in our near future. A little stretch of the legs would do us some good.

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The trail had some of the most exotic looking plant life and seemed like something out of a book, or a horror movie, because the calm and the storm started to get rather spooky. Halfway through our hike, a torrential downpour started, making us take cover as best we could trying to wait it out.

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After realizing it wasn’t easing up anytime soon, we turned around and hiked back down the hill, getting soaked in the process. We loaded up and headed towards Honolulu. Stopping to check out some more amazing beaches in the meantime.

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The wind and rain kept at it, but that didn’t stop local surfers from making the best of the day. We stood and watched, day dreaming that perhaps one day that would be us. Worry free and slaves to the waves.

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A peak at Diamond Head and we had made the loop back to Honolulu.

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Now what does one do with their last few hours before a red eye flight? You eat delicious food and buy extremely over priced cocktails until your feeling REALLY good and ready to board your flight. I’m not one of those people that can sleep sitting up in an airplane chair, but we made an attempt at it. We arrived at 5 am in Anchorage, greeted with a chilly breeze and rain. The tropics are splendid but the humidity is killer. We were grateful to be back in the presence of Alaska’s fresh crispy mountain air. With our eyes heavy and suitcases filled with Hawaiian goodies we made the drive back home and crashed for a few hours before the kids woke up.

My sister in law was a saint and not only kept our children alive and well, but cleaned the house before our arrival. Our warm and cozy space had never felt so good. After gifts were opened and coffee was brewed, we shared pictures of our adventure and got back to our life that isn’t filled with sand, sunshine and cocktails which looks a little like this.

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Our vacation was perfect. There wasn’t a single moment I would have changed. Except maybe have taken sunscreen a little more seriously. Our short time of being kid less and care free was amazing and we are counting down the days until we can go back. Maybe with the kids next time. Or not….

 

 

 

 

 

the holiday season

It has been a whirlwind of a month. As you can probably tell, because it’s been crickets on here…

The thing with the holiday season at the Yochum household here in Alaska is that we have some type of celebration basically every week once November hits. First is my birthday, then Grandpa’s, then Thanksgiving, which usually involves at least two separate turkey dinners because of everyone’s work schedule. Then it’s Aunt Ronni’s birthday celebration to round off November which usually involves us cooking more turkey. We’re pretty serious with turkeys around here.

December is even busier. We have two more family birthdays, and about 5 different Christmas dinners, and I’m not even kidding. That’s what is called “the life of a sloper”. Andy, both brothers and sister all work on the North Slope, with slightly different schedules. So we celebrate with each one to make sure they all get included. Before today we already had 2 large family dinners and presents, our own Christmas Eve and Christmas celebration with just Andy, the kids and I on Tuesday and Wednesday and an additional Christmas Eve get together and one last real Christmas dinner tonight. I’m ho ho ho’ed out you guys. But time just flies by and every year we have so many holiday memories to store away. Instead of just blabbing on, I’ll just show you what we’ve been up to this season.

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Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas. I hope you all have been surrounded with love and joy these past few weeks and that each and every one of your New Years starts off with a bang! Cheers!