I am a Wedding, Engagement, Elopement, and Senior Photographer, based in Humboldt County, California. Here on my blog, you'll find gorgeous imagery featuring my amazing clients, as well as helpful tips and insight for your wedding day or portrait session!
This working full time, running a business, and being hustling mama is NO joke! I have been wanting to write this blog post for 6 months!
Back in January for my 40th birthday, we took a family trip to Kauai. It had always been my dream to go to Hawaii, and I figured if I didnt make it then, I never would!
Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money, so family vacations were rare. Besides the annual family camping trip, I think the most exciting vacation was a trip to Six Flags.
No tropical vacays.
No airplane rides.
In fact, the first time I rode on an airplane was my sophomore year of college when I played in the Jr. College basketball state all star game.
I had been watching so many of my social media friends take all these exotic vacations and I thought to myself, I work my butt off. I deserve that. So I booked the trip.
I have major anxiety about flying…. so the flight there was a bit nerve wracking. I did my best to not freak out for the kids and keep my composure as we flew over the ocean, as I thought of the multitude of things that could go wrong that ended up with our air plane plunging deep into the ocean.
Once we landed, it was as beautiful as promised. We settled into our hotel and went and got some groceries. The first full day we explored the island with a local photographer. As he took us to different locations I was thinking to myself, A lot of this looks like home. Some of the beaches we went to looked just like Shelter Cove, or Trinidad.
The next day in the early afternoon, I got a massage in a cabana right on the beach. I could smell the ocean and feel the breeze.
When I got back to the hotel room, I immediately felt sick. Fever, chills, sore throat. Sicker than I had been in a LONG time. I didnt want to get out of bed. The first day or two I barely did. After that I ventured out,because I knew our time was running short, but it was still a struggle.
For my birthday we went to the amazing Smith’s Family Luau. But I couldnt really enjoy it as my nose was running so bad, my throat was burning and I just wanted to crawl in bed.
One of the mornings, I was lying in bed while the kids were feeding the fish in the hotels Koi pond with my husband. The following message appeared as a text message on my phone.
BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT
INBOUND TO HAWAII
SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER
THIS IS NOT A DRILL
I immediately texted my husband. He had gotten the same text and was walking quickly inside with other hotel guests.
My husband is a very calm person, which completely SUCKED in this situation. I was freaking out on the inside, but had to remain calm on the outside because my 5 and 7 year old kids were in the room with us.
I was asking him, should we get in the bathtub? We need to get away from the window!
But he said no. If we are going to go, were gonna go.
Both kids had settled into doing their Independent study school work. I was thinking to myself…
Is this really how we are going to die? Reading to our kids?
I had texted my dad and my good friends husband who were both ex military. They both had looked online and said they didnt see anything.
So we waited.
Not long after, but what seemed like forever, I think it was 15 minutes we got the text that it was a false alarm.
So much for my dream Hawaii vacation.
Although I didnt have the time of my life, or my dream vacation, I did get a few valuable things out of the trip. Lots of relaxation, and some quality family time which were both desperately needed at that point in my life.
But laying by the pool which is about all I could do comfortably, watching my children play, and my daughter go down the pool slide a million times, I realized that I didnt have to fly thousands of miles to have a great vacation.
My kids were perfectly content just swimming in the pool, and walking along the beach.
Sometimes things dont always turn out as planned, but I take each thing in my life as a learning experience. What I learned from this experience was that.vacation is a state of mind. One that I could escape to at any time in my mind.
I could lay in my backyard while my kids swim in the blow up pool.
I could head to the river for the day, and hang out with friends or family only miles from my house.
Or I could travel on one of my husbands softball tournaments and have fun swimming and shopping. I didnt have to travel thousand of miles and fly over the ocean to have a dream vacation.
Now I want to turn it over to you. Where do you love to vacation? Do you have any crazy vacation stories? I would love to hear from you in the comments! Drop your thoughts below.
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