Friday, December 15, 2017

Our Maui “Babymoon”

Greetings faithful blog readers, 

It’s been a whirlwind week with grading, finals, more grading, and finishing the Fall 2017 semester. It was stressful, but as I write this, we’re halfway to Hawaii, and I already feel the tension of the past week dissipating. 

We’re embarking on a special vacation: one we began planning back in September. When we realized our due date was April 5th, I knew I’d be too far along to travel during spring break. Brendan and I have always enjoyed our trips away just the two of us, so it was important to us to have one last vacation before baby girl joins us. 

Knowing our trip would fall over winter break, we began researching destinations. We wanted somewhere warm, but Zika virus meant many destinations were a no go. We also didn’t know how long of a flight I’d be up for, which was another consideration. We had a blast on our Hawaiian honeymoon back in 2013. Maybe it was because we were newly married, but there was something so special about that trip: everything felt easy, which was a luxury because we usually travel to places that take a bit of work and feature new languages, currencies, driving rules, and the like. Hawaii is both majestic and magical; it feels far away yet familiar. I’d hoped to be back for my 30th birthday, but Africa became the 2016 dream destination, and I’ve still been itching to return to beloved Hawaii. 

We loved every island we visited, but Maui became the natural choice for this trip because it was the most affordable and fastest flight (by fast, I do mean two planes and nine and a half hours in the air, but it’s all relative!) I was already dreaming of shaved ice, snorkeling, and walks on the beach, but I wasn’t sure if it’d work out. We’d planned our honeymoon a year in advance, and by the time we started talking about this trip, we were only three months away from our desired travel dates. My mom generously offered us a week of time share exchange, and I set about putting in our request. I selected a number of resorts hoping to increase our chances of getting to go, but I knew December was a popular time for Hawaii tourism, so I knew it may not be in the cards. Still, we waited hopefully. When our confirmation came through about six weeks later, I opened the email excitedly and couldn’t believe our luck: we got a room at the same resort we’d honeymooned at (and loved!) It felt meant to be. 

We booked our flights and rent car and bought another guidebook, but as the semester got busier, we didn’t spend much time planning. Then last week, it dawned on me that this was really happening. I was making final edits on the chapbook manuscript and realized I’d never even opened the new guidebook. But there was still so much to get done. Let’s just say I’ve never been more motivated to get my final grades submitted! 

So here we are: the two (and a half) of us. We’re going into this with few expectations. We just want some time together in a beautiful place; time to slow down and take in all that has changed and all that’s about to, and time to celebrate one thing that hasn’t changed: our love for each other and for experiencing this amazing world together. There’s no one I’d rather be here with, and there’s nothing I’d rather be celebrating. We may not be doing day long hikes, 17 mile kayak trips, or night walks across volcanic rocks to see lava, but I know we’ll treasure every minute of this adventure. 

When you’re pregnant, you get a lot of advice. At our work holiday party, I said something about how I cannot wait for our baby to be here. “But just enjoy this time,” someone said. As our daughter is kicking inside me, and her father is sleeping beside me, and I’m thinking about getting up to pee (again), I see what she meant. Periods of transition are weird, and it’s easy to let anticipation rule, but even when you know that the upcoming adventure is exciting, you can’t forget to appreciate right where you’re at. 

I hope Maui lets us do just that. We’re no longer two and not quite three; we’re ourselves but already somehow different; we have no idea what to expect or just quite what we’re getting into...

But here we are. And here is a perfect place to be. 











<3 S, B, and a well cared for (thanks Amanda and Matt!) but already missed L&Z

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