For as long as I can remember, my family has had a connection to Hawaii. As a newlywed couple, my parents had friends in Hawaii that allowed them to travel for relatively cheap out there, and they went as often as they could. (That was before outrageous airfare and TSA-travelling nightmares…). After my brother and I were old enough, we travelled out to Oahu as often as we could. I am so blessed to be familiar with Oahu and have the opportunity to go. Maybe I was a dolphin living out there in a past life 🙂
This year was a little more somber for our family with my brother not being there with us this trip. It’s hard to think that just a year and a half ago, he was with us on our last trip. I couldn’t help but feel the gap of his prescence strongly. The purpose of the trip was to celebrate what would have been his 18th birthday (Feb 2) as well as put our funeral leis into the ocean. Our family friends who live on Oahu sent us traditional Hawaiian funeral leis that are placed into the ocean after a loved one’s passing. We did this with our friends, Hawaiian style, by paddling out offshore on surfboards and paddleboards.
I couldn’t help but smile when not even a half hour after placing the leis in the ocean, some dolphins showed up and hung around for a while. I only had my point and shoot in housing, but considering I didn’t have a mask I don’t think I did too bad for clicking and praying I got something!
Where’s Waldo? In a dangerous place that I wouldn’t want to be…
As a child, We always came to Kailua Beach to boogieboard and play around. The beach isn’t quite what I remember it to be, but it still beats the desert.
I had never been to the Big Island, so we took a few days going over there. We didn’t get as much as we wanted to done because my dad decided it would be a great idea to stick his hand where it didn’t belong and got bitten by a moray eel. 24 stitches later, he is fine, but we weren’t able to SCUBA dive this trip. Next time!
While fishing (not catching much), we had a nice surprise make up for us not gettting to dive. I’ve posted more about it but this was a beautfiul gift to me and something I have always wanted to photograph and witness.
And my favorite underwater photo I have ever taken…
We went on a hike the next day and saw whales all along the coast jumping and playing as we explored Hawaii’s western and north coast. Next time we go, we will spend more time on the big island and hike down this valley.
We found the elusive and rare Wiliwili Tree, endemic to Hawaii. Though this is not exactly naturally growing, nevertheless we were proud to have found one, “wild” or not. The trees are endangered because of a virus and increasingly dry conditions throughout the climates where they live.
We came back to Oahu to spend some more time with our friends before we left.
We popped up to our friend’s house on North Shore to watch the 15-20ft waves.
Kathy is very crafty and a talented builder of anything, so she planned a beautiful Hawaiian memorial service for Brandon and her daughter’s friend Tati who also commited suicide in September and their friend’s mother who died a week earlier on our last day on the islands.The ceremony was beyond beautiful and we are so very grateful for them and everyone who helped with the ceremony. Her daughter read a beautiful poem and we released floating rafts into the water with petals and leis into the sunset of a friend of theirs’ dive boat.
A seabird (a blue beaked boobie bird we believe), followed us into the harbor. I could say a thousand goodbyes, but it will never be enough Brandon. I love you, and thank you for the whales and dolphins. May you rest in peace.
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