May always brings Mother’s Day and my birthday about a week later, and May also seems to be a good time for Hubby to take off from work, and we’ve definitely learned that it is advantageous to visit popular summer destinations in May before vacation crowds hit. Taking a long trip in May, then again around the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, works well for us these days, and we use our remaining vacation days with weekends and holidays in the RV the rest of the year. Combining days off with weekends and holidays has helped us to really maximize our travel opportunities and keep Hubby from losing so many vacation days each year.
As we discussed where to go and what to do for our week of vacation in May this year, I told Hubby that all I wanted to do was be gone on Mother’s Day weekend and hopefully the following week, if possible. I didn’t care where we went, as long as I didn’t have to spend that weekend at home for my first Mother’s Day without my mom. I suspected that this would be a hard time, and I was correct in that assumption. I probably even underestimated how hard it is right now leading up to this first Mother’s Day without Mom. The closer we get to Mother’s Day, the harder it is for me. I swear that Mother’s Day ads are everywhere! Mom’s marker was finally updated with her date of death last week, and that only seemed to really drive home the point that she is truly gone in my mind. It was really hard to drive out to the cemetery to take the updated photos, and I bawled like a baby while I was there. Fortunately, no one else was around to watch.
As we discussed travel options for our May trip a few weeks ago, we were looking forward to possibly finding yet another new RV destination to explore. We started discussing some options to visit a new Texas state park or two in the RV or even fly back to Denver and see Rocky Mountain National Park again, as well as more of the Denver area. We even talked about booking a cruise. There were pros and cons of each option. Then, out of the blue, Hubby suggested a Hawaii do-over.
I first thought Hubby was kidding, and I reminded him that we just went to Kauai last year. After my mom fell early last year and fractured her hip, we completely cancelled our initial plans for a 35th anniversary trip consisting of a week in Kauai, followed by a weekend in the bay area to see the kids. A few months later, though, after she healed faster and better than expected, we re-booked a trip fairly last-minute in May, but we were only able to spend two days in Kauai before heading to the San Francisco area for the weekend and touring Big Sur with the kids. It was a great trip, especially our weekend with the kids when I felt much better, but we were both a little disappointed to not have spent more time in Hawaii as we originally planned. In addition to only having two days there, I was sick at my stomach for the entire five-hour flight from Los Angeles, that first night in Kauai, and part of our first day on the island.
Still, despite everything, we truly enjoyed our brief time in Kauai and even dined at one of our favorite little restaurants on our last night on the island after my stomach settled down for good.
Even though we adore Kauai, we decided to look at another island destination this time, since we visited Kauai last year, as brief as it was. Our second favorite island is Maui, so we looked at some lodging options and found what we believe will be a great one-bedroom condo for us for the week. We prefer condos when visiting Hawaii, and this should be a nice resort experience, suitable for the anniversary trip we really wanted last year. We have not visited Maui in about twenty years, when we took the kids on an island-hopping trip and saw Oahu, Kauai, Maui and Hawaii. What a fun trip that was, too.
We’ve both had a pretty rough year so far, and it will be good to just get away and hopefully decompress. I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as far as estate matters are concerned and closed my part on the rent house on Tuesday afternoon. After some out-of-town family members sign their documents and return them to the title company, the house will finally be mine. Hubby is nearing the completion of some extra job duties he temporarily inherited last year when another manager quit unexpectedly. The timing for that development was just terrible for him, but he made the most of it and did a great job, cleaning up a huge mess that the manager left behind, all while we dealt with Mom’s illness and passing.
I think I’ve underestimated what Mom’s passing has been like for my hubby, too. His mother passed away over a decade ago, so my Mom was our Mom for all that time. She spent all of her holidays with us, not just me, and I think he wants to just run away somewhere for the week like I do. We know what the first year is like after losing a parent, since we’ve done it three times before this year. It is just hard, so hard. I have also learned that after the first year, it does seem to get better, or at least be more tolerable, since all of the “first times without the parent” are finally over. New routines will have time to start developing, estate matters will be done, and life can go on. I know it’s going to be much different this year, though, since we no longer have any living parents. It is very different so far, to be perfectly honest, and it may take both of us longer to adapt this time. We’ll see.
Anyway, we are going to disappear for a week to paradise, leaving on the Saturday before Mother’s Day. I am so grateful that we can go back to Hawaii, especially right now. I have much to be thankful for these days, especially my hubby and my little family that I love with all my heart. While I wish we could all be together this week, just like we did a few years ago in Kauai in this same week, but perhaps we will find a way to make it happen sometime in the future. Our goal for this trip is to just relax and have some fun.
I never expected to return to Hawaii this year. Hawaii is a trip we only make every five years or so, if not longer. Hubby outdid himself this year by suggesting we go back, and I’m looking forward to a special week with him, for sure. Kauai (and Hawaii in general) is one of my all-time favorite “happy” places, and Hubby loves it there, too. It’s pretty much impossible to not be happy while in Hawaii, and I hope that proves to be true once again on this trip.
I have scheduled one post for next week about our most recent RV trip to Lake Colorado City State Park, but I will most likely be offline until we return to moderate comments and read posts by others. See you in a week, and Happy Mother’s Day!