The vacation was long enough that we didn't have to cram activities in to do everything we wanted. We went surfing and snorkeling, we climbed Diamond Head, we attended a luau, we rented mopeds (which was Heath's idea... I was scared shitless the entire time), we got massages and we spent a lot of time lounging on the beach watching guys try to sell sunset boat rides. I have to say, out of that entire list, sitting on the beach reading and people watching was my favorite activity. Here imagine a sound file of my mom saying, "Duh."
Before leaving I was nervous that I'd spend the entire vacation worrying about Ben, but I passed even my own best case scenario. Of course we called home a few times and toward the end of the week we looked at his pictures more, but I was successfully able to put him out of my mind and relax. It was so nice to be on my own schedule and not have to worry about when Ben should eat or nap or whatever. We never woke up much past 7:00am, but we woke up naturally and that makes all the difference.
According to all the reports, Ben did well while we were gone, too. He ate and slept and played pretty much like normal. I think that contributed to my relaxing ability.
By the end of the week we were ready to come home and after a red-eye flight to L.A. and a 7am flight to St. Louis, there were Don and Ben picking us up from the airport. I was afraid Ben might be pissed at us (or, more likely, me, since he's a total Daddy's Boy), so I wasn't sure what to expect when I opened the car door. He stared at me for a second, as if trying to process what he was seeing. Then he smiled. Then he blew a raspberry at me. We spent the drive home giggling in the backseat, simply excited to see each other again. Once we got home he was all over Heath and didn't even let me hold him, which I admit stung a little. But yesterday morning when he woke up at 5:30am I took him into the guest room to sleep some more. Before he drifted off again he pressed his face against mine, as if trying to fuse them. And when he woke up he started laughing, overjoyed to see me.
Photographic evidence that I caught a wave. I may look cool, but I was most certainly thinking, "Holy shit, I'm doing it!" In the photos preceding this I was flailing my arms wildly, trying to gain my balance.
Yes, Heath was sticking his butt out that much in all the pictures!
Just because Heath - shall we say - doubted my ability to surf, I'll share this picture of him falling spectacularly. :)
Me with the mopeds at the bottom of Diamond Head. Notice how I'm standing a safe distance away?
The view of Diamond Head Crater from the summit.
Hanauma Bay, where we went snorkeling.
Rie & Paul, the actual reason we went to Hawaii.