After only a few hours of sleep, Ted and I were up again before sunrise yesterday. (I can’t believe I did that two days out of three!) We were at the airport by 5:30 a.m., ready to fly to Hawai’i.

We had a four-hour flight to Phoenix, a two-hour layover, then a seven-hour flight to Honolulu. The flights were both on time and uneventful, unlike our Hawai’ian trip last year. We arrived at 4:30 p.m. Honolulu time (8:30 p.m. St. Louis time) and were able to enjoy walking around the resort for a little while in the daylight, then eat dinner outside before going to our room and nearly falling into bed. We were fine all day, unless we stopped moving–then we realized how tired we were.

After a long night of sleep, we had a wonderful time today and spent most of it outside in the mid-70s sunny weather. In contrast, Kari texted us that her kids had a snow day today. I bet they had as much fun as we did–with different weather.

We always like to learn things about the places we visit, so we usually plan what we’re going to do each day. This time, however, relaxing sounded so good, we didn’t plan anything except to do whatever we feel like doing. Today we felt like spending some of the morning on our balcony, sipping coffee (Ted) and hot chocolate (me), looking at the Pacific Ocean, and relaxing until we were hungry for lunch.

This is the view from our balcony. We stayed in the Rainbow Tower (left) last January. It’s nice to have a view of the rainbow mosaic this time.
We ate lunch outside to enjoy the weather.

After lunch, we decided to explore (i.e., compare) the resort across the street from ours. (We like ours more.) After that, we walked to the Ana Moana shopping mall, less than a mile away. We had no shopping to do, but it gave us a destination. It’s the largest mall in the state of Hawai’i, with over 300 stores on three levels and an unusual range of shopping choices–everything from Target and Old Navy to Dior and Harry Winston (the real designer stores, not outlets). Surprisingly (to us), there was no food court. Later in the afternoon, we went to the beach.

Diamond head isn’t too far from our resort. We’ll be going to its top while we’re here.

We stayed at the beach to watch the sunset. The crowd of spectators begins to gather around 6:00, then dissipates after the sun goes down. There is no twilight in the tropics; after sunset, it’s dark within thirty minutes.

Sunsets over the ocean are beautiful.
After the beach crowd and the sunset crowd left, this beachcomber came out to hunt for buried treasure.
This is the pool and hot tub below our balcony. That’s a decorative design on the pool bottom, not a swimming serpent.

We had a very relaxing day and we’re loving the sunshine and warm weather. I’m so glad we’ll get to do it again tomorrow. It’s a tough job, but . . .

Ted and I were up early today and on our way home from Colorado before sunrise. It was a cold, sunny day.

The good thing about getting up early is watching the sun rise.
The snow-covered mountains west of I-25 were spectacular in the early-morning sunlight.
We saw hoarfrost during most of our drive through Colorado.
The trees at the eastern CO rest stop were decorated with hoarfrost.
The cold, snow-covered ground produced heavy fog for more than 50 miles in Kansas.
The high winds and heavy snow two days ago in Kansas gave us some beautiful scenery after the morning fog cleared.

It was a long day’s drive after a wonderful family visit. Tomorrow we’ll take the winter clothes out of our suitcases and replace them with our shorts. We’ll be leaving for Hawai’i–and a big change in climate–early the following morning.

Today, we all went to church to hear Kyra’s talk to the congregation about her mission experience. She did an excellent job. It was obvious that she is accustomed to talking to people (she admitted she wasn’t even nervous) and that she has matured a lot over the past 18 months.

Before getting involved in the rest of our day (lunch, games, conversation, a walk in the sunshine, etc.), I decided to take some family photos.

Ted and me.
Jeff’s family. L->R: La, Alex, Kyra, Zaque, and Jeff.
Thom and Julian.
Cousins. L->R: Julian, Alex, Kyra, and Zaque.

Today’s is La’s 50th birthday, which deserves something special, so Ted and I gave her a bouquet of flowers this morning.

The men of the family pampered the ladies for lunch. First, they cooked grilled cheese extraordinaire sandwiches for us. Thom, the family grilled cheese expert, was in charge of the griddle.

After dinner, the younger generation of men did the dishes.

Kurt and Megan, friends of Jeff and La, hosted a party at their house to celebrate La’s birthday and Kyra’s homecoming. Jeff, La, and Kyra left early for the party. The rest of us walked over a little later. I was escorted by this group of handsome men.

As the guests of honor, La and Kyra were presented with bouquets.

On our way home from the party, we saw some daffodils sprouting. It’s nearly spring!

Ted and I took the family out to dinner this evening to celebrate the four events of this week: Kyra’s homecoming and Julian’s, Jeff’s, and La’s birthdays. The Persons of Honor selected Outback as our destination. Here’s our family table.

Zaque has the ability to amuse himself in innumerable creative ways. While we waited for our food, one of the things he did was practice balancing his forks on his knife on his finger.

After dinner, Ted and I took some pictures. Here I am with my only granddaughter. It’s so nice to see her after her 18-month mission.

My grandsons are getting so tall! Sky isn’t here, but he’s taller than I am too! I’m starting to feel like a little shrimp with all these tall guys.

Finally, a picture of La’s and Kyra’s flowers with Thom and Julian at the piano (left).

Ted and I had a wonderful day with our family. I wish we all lived closer together so we could see each other more often, but maybe we are more appreciative of our time together this way. More good times are on the way tomorrow.

Ted and I are with Jeff’s family, as well as Thom and Julian for a few days. We’re celebrating Kyra’s homecoming from her mission (Feb. 20) and three birthdays: Julian (Feb. 16), Jeff (Feb. 18), and La (Feb. 23). Naturally, I had some computer questions to ask Jeff, one of which addressed the icon for my blog.

When I bookmark my blog, I get the gray icon in the lower left (above). Jeff’s blog, on the other hand, gets a flag (upper right, above). I asked how I could get a prettier icon than a gray square. Together, Jeff and I selected a “D” (lower right, above). Much better! Thank you, Jeff.

Ted and I have Sirius XM radio in our cars. As we were driving, we clicked on Channel 5–the “50s on 5” station where they play music from the 1950s. (Guess what they play on Channels 6, 7, and 8.) There are no commercials and no D.J.s on the 50s channel, but they do station IDs. This one said:

“With songs like these, . . .” (followed by one-line musical excerpts from Chances Are, Earth Angel, and I Love How You Love Me) “. . . it’s no wonder there was a baby boom.”

Happy Valentine’s Day.

This paragraph was in a story I was reading about a man with OCD. I guess he wanted to run away from all the stuff he’d collected.