I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I posted. I returned from the islands last week and hit the ground running (and snow-shoeing!) and am trying to hold on to the calmness I felt being near the ocean. It was just what I needed. I feel renewed and re-energized despite feeling a little overwhelmed with re-entry into working-life.

Hawaii was a lot of things. A refuge from a long, cold winter. Sun and warmth on my skin. Nothing but shorts and skirts and tank tops and swim suits. Color on my face. Lush, GREEN life everywhere. Snorkeling for the first time–OH MY–I stuck my head under water for only a split second and saw a huge, beautiful silvery blue speckled fish and jumped up out of the water laughing hysterically for 5 minutes. The folks around me begged to hear what I saw, but I was laughing too hard to say and knew it wouldn’t make any sense to them anyway. We hiked thru rain forests with GIANT-sized philodendron climbing Dr. Seus-like trees. I met and fell in love with Brazillian Cardinals and monster tree roots and albatross … oh, the albatross! And I saw my first whale…I jumped up and down from the beach shouting with joy (of course EVERYONE stopped to watch) as it appeared and disappeared in the waves, once even showing it’s belly. I was in awe. After 5 minutes, Patrick broke the news that it was only a boat, not a whale, but my eyes never saw a boat and will forever remember the whale’s glory. (I did see an actual tail of a whale, too, the next day, and will have that image imprinted in my mind for eternity.)

I could go on and on…some of the best people-watching I’ve done in a long time + Thai food + fresh pineapple + rambutans (which are great fruit to juggle by the way) + spotting the blue and white Dharma Initiative VW vans from LOST! + roosters roaming EVERYWHERE + loads of visual inspiration, and a lot of fun, family time.

This being my first, real “vacation” in many years (not including weekend roadtrips), I decided I’m not as much a “vacationer” as I am a traveler and backpacker. Living in a place long enough to “be” there. If we ever go back to Kauai though, we definitely would plan to backpack for several days on the Na Pali Coast from the North. The two pics above are from the first couple miles of that trail. That would be my recommendation!

Here’s a few more pictures…I also uploaded a bunch here. Enjoy. Hope you’re all well!

eucalyptus tree bark

the “mini-grand canyon” of Kauai

coconut ‘business’ card at a funky artist’s house

view of the Na Pali Coast from the south

a Rooster-Crossing

j+p in oahu