Having been away for the past week or so, I have to admit that this was one of the best disconnects ever! My son and I just spent a wonderful time in Hawaii celebrating his accomplishments and graduation from Cal Poly, while also making sure our time away served as an awesome vacation. We had the best time ever. From the moment we landed in Honolulu, till we returned, it was go, go, go! Together we took over 2000 photos, and shared some of the best memories that will last us both a lifetime.
The first sign that our trip was going to be incredible was when Avis upgraded our car rental from a mid-size vehicle to a Mustang Convertible. The agent at Avis looked at Sean and said "here's my graduation gift to you." Every moment of our trip was like that. We stayed at a friends house in Kaimuki, a 4000+ sq. ft. home with a million dollar view of Diamond Head and Waikiki. The Aloha Spirit was overflowing from day one. Some of the things we were able to do included our Golf Game at Luana Hills, the most beautiful course in the world. (Like playing golf at Jurrasic Park) and yes, Sean beat me by 10 strokes. DOH! :-)
We traveled and explored the entire island of Oahu, stopping to dine and swim at nearly every scenic location. From Sandy Beach, Kailua, Waimanalo, Lanikai, Hanauma Bay to North Shore and Waimea, you could find us snorkeling, swimming, and soaking up the rays. We surfed in Waikiki, shopped at the International Marketplace, and even picked up some goodies at the ABC stores located on nearly every corner. We both soon forgot it was a celebration, and turned it into a vacation in Paradise.
One day, we were actually followed by the Google Maps car while heading to North Shore and we're certain we will be on Google maps when you search "Chinaman's Hat." We had a great time in Haleiwa, and ate at Cholo's, a great Mexican food restaurant in town. Then we had some awesome photo opportunities with the turtles swimming around over on the North Shore. Last Saturday, we took some time out to fly over to Maui, grabbed the Molokini Express, and spent the morning snorkeling in one of the top 10 underwater preserves in the world. Molokini Crater, a must see for any diver or snorkeler.
A day at the Aloha Stadium swap meet shopping was enough to almost convert our carry on bags to check-ins, they were completely packed with gifts and souvenirs. There were so many places we visited, shops, scenic views like the Pali, the Dole Pineapple Plantation, and beautiful coast lines, there is no way I could list all we did in a single post. The best part of the entire trip was getting to be with my son, and celebrate Fathers Day with him alone, something we haven't done in years.
The only negative event that happened this trip was that a man passed away in his seat on the plane coming home. It made us realize just how special life is and that our time here should never be taken for granted. Sean's leaving tomorrow to go on a final cruise with his college buddies, then it's off into the working world for him. I could not be any more proud and pleased with what my son Sean has done and who he has become. He's a young man now, and is the legacy that one day I'll leave behind. The world will be good to him and he to it.
I am so grateful for the time we were able to spend together, and I appreciate all my AR family and friends supporting my leave of absence for this celebration/vacation. It was a very much needed break and disconnect for me and my son. Thank you. Now I'm back, rejuvenated, and ready to try and catch up with all I missed while away. It's great to be back home, but I will have to be going back to the Islands very soon
once again, my wife has made that very clear!! :-))
Mahalo and Aloha!