I don't know if you know this about me (Laurel), but I've got some incredible friends. The kind of friends that you can be a total ass around and they not only still love you, but kind of love you more because they're just that awesome. And hilarious. And really, really good looking. And they laugh at my jokes so, so loud and I don't even think I'm funny at all. Well, two of these friends turned 40 this year, which was the catalyst for this whole Hilton family adventure. This is one of them:
We were partying on the big boat. That's a tiny bottle of wine in her hand.
The plan was to meet in Hawaii. For some reason, I thought it would be more economical to go ahead and go to the Mainland of the US at the same time since we would be in that hemisphere. It didn't work out that way, but alas. I also thought it would be no big deal to end our epic journey with this super-duper epically anticipated dream holiday with my best friends. Seriously, we started planning this trip in 2012. Again, I completely over-estimated my kids. It's easy to do, a lot of the time they're stunningly incredible.
Truman was officially super-duper x 1,000,000 over travelling by the time it was time to go to Hawaii. Every night before bed he would ask, "is tomorrow the day we go back to New Zealand?" for a solid month. He was sick of the heat, the city, the tacos, all of it. He wanted his cloud bed and his blue transformer car. And then the day before we flew to Kauai, he got a huge fever and spent the entire day in bed. Great.
He seemed fine when we got up in the morning to go to the airport, but he wasn't really. He hung in there as best he could and I got totally, totally swept up in the excitement of it all. We all did. When we finally got to Kauaii and to our first night's accomodation, had a little to eat and then checked out the beach, we were super stoked. Especially Truman, he was so, so happy to be in the sea. There was a perfect little lagoon for him to splash around in and body board and it was great. He was a little grumpy at meal times, but mostly great.
So, we made him go lots of places. Lots of places he didn't want to go, like the beach and the other awesome beach and that other beach with all the sea turtles. And he cried, and he whined. And I felt like I failed as a parent because I raised this brat that can't even appreciate freaking sea turtles. And then we had a whole family melt down on the most beautiful beach I've ever seen and I cried (not just because there was sand in my eyes because it was thrown there by rage).
The next day, Henry woke up with a fever. And then Truman had bad bathroom stuff going on. And then one of the awesome dudes we were travelling with got crazy sick and had to be in bed. And I remembered. Oh! I didn't raise a brat. I'm not a terrible parent for being all permissive and letting him breastfeed until he could ask for it by name and giving him another piece of avocado toast that one time when he asked for it all rude and whiney. I'm a terrible parent for dragging my sick kid all over damn Hawaii.
So. That was all the bad stuff. I had to put that stuff first so that you can read the rest of this without totally hating my guts. Hawaii is amazing. I think I was so excited to hangout with my friends for a whole week, that I forgot to think about the fact that Hawaii is probably the most beautiful place in the whole damn world. And I thought the water might be kinda cold, but it's not. It's warm and beautiful. And guess what? Henry totally caught a wave! And snorkelled every day. And I was so, so, super proud.
And Ash fulfilled his lifelong dream to work from a hotel balcony in an exotic location.
And I climbed up on Ash's shoulders and *almost* got two fresh coconuts down. Luckily Kiwis never give up, so Ash climbed up that damn tree and got the coconuts, fulfilling Henry's life long dream. Henry was not super impressed with the fresh coconut, too much internal hype. So we did what anyone else would do and turned those coconuts into piña coladas. The world's best ever piña coladas. When life gives you coconuts, make piña coladas. Is that the piña colada industry's slogan? It should be.
Oh, and we stayed in a mansion! I think it was a mansion. I'm not really sure, but it was FAAAAANNNNCCCYYY. It had 6 bathrooms and a swimming pool and speakers on the lanai. It was crazy. I'll never forget our first day there, all 8 of us running around like we won the dang lottery. It was great. And I don't think I took a single picture of our times in the house. Which I'm sad about. But also not sad, because I was too busy laughing and eating and drinking Mai Tais and just generally feeling super-loved up having all my people in one place. One super-duper beautiful place.
The whole thing made me just want to scoop up all the people that I love and move to some island with lots of coconuts and rum and sea turtles and warm water and just live there forever. Does that ever work out? It doesn't seem like that ever works out. Or maybe it does and all those people are just having way too much fun to take pictures.
What I do know is this: You should go to Hawaii. It's pretty. And if you're lucky enough to have your best friends with you, well then you've just made some piña coladas out of coconuts. Also, it's ok to write ridiculously dorky stuff like that if you're happy. Or a little bit rum drunk. I'm both, so I'm good.
And thus concludes our travel story for now. There will be more. We already have a Facebook group set up for my 40th birthday in 2.5 years. Paris. Wanna come?