Slept in. Missed yoga on the beach. Hung out in bed while the boys built couch forts, turned their bedroom into a restaurant, played with their stufties and just generally enjoyed some naked down time.
Made tacos for brunch and ate on the lanai. Watched the boys blow bubbles for each other. Played Frisbee on the lawn and picked a few different plumeria (white, pink and red...red!?) to see which was our fave. It was unanimous: a three-way tie.
Got our stuff together and headed to the beach. Met some nice people from Vancouver, BC - retired teachers who got our little Finn IMMEDIATELY. Before I could even ask Finn again to take his milkshake cup to the cabana (his general rule is to start with a no) our new friend said, "I'm going to count to 100. I bet you can't put that cup away and get back here before I'm done. One, two..." I've never seen that kid move so fast (and he's a runner!).
Rented a SUP (stand up paddle) board and shocked the heck out of ourselves by getting up on the very first try. None of us ever fell and Liam and I even went all the way out to the Winona and touched the boat - Liam's goal from the second he stepped foot on the beach.
While Bill and Liam were paddling around, Finn swam - really swam! - to me in the ocean. He's been doing it in a pool for months but this was his first time believing he could do it in open water. After he touched my hands and popped his head out of the water a few times he yelled, "Hey Liam! Watch this!" Liam said, "Wow, Finn! Great job!" and Finn just about burst.
They get along fine at home but on vacation they're buddies. It might be my very favorite part.
Stopped at the pool on the way home (after saying hi to our sea turtle friends, of course) and watched the sun set from the deep end. Counted down like we usually do and when it disappeared Liam said, "Thank you, sun, for lighting our world and giving us this wonderful day."
"I love you, sun!" Finn yelled.
I think Bill cried a little.
Headed home and were greeted by a cute grey cat hanging out on our lanai. Feral cats are one of the many adorable wild animals here on the big island (kittens, mongoose, geckos...I mean, are they kidding with how perfect this place is?!) but this guy seemed anything but wild. We named him Friday and fed him some leftovers. The boys begged us to let them keep him. I went to change out of my swimsuit and Bill gave them the good news. They ran in to tell me. "Mama! Guess what?! We get to keep Friday! He's our OUTDOOR cat!!!"
My husband's a genius.
Rallied, said goodbye to the cat and headed to the Mauna Kea. It's the hotel down the road where Bill's family used to stay before their condo was built. He has a lot of childhood memories from that place. Most importantly - it's where he lost his blankie. The boys brought theirs in solidarity (well, Finn always brings his...) and they had a special moment at the last place Billy ever had blankie.
Tough day for Dada's emotions.
Walked down to the water to see if any manta rays had come for dinner (they eat plankton, plankton are attracted to light, the hotel shines a light, manta rays show up - it's kinda genius). Asked the marine biologist in the water all of our questions (about manta rays and the box jellies that also showed up) and stayed until the ray swam away and the diver had to get out (or keep getting stung).
Score one for world school!
Came home, got the boys to bed, and headed outside to look at the stars. (It's a like a planetarium here...the sky is our nightly entertainment.) Were pleasantly surprised when Friday showed up and jumped right up on Bill's lap. And when he went inside to refill our spritzers (best vacay drink - half boxed wine, half sparkly water!), the cat sat by the door waiting for him.
This place really feels like home.
Finally had to say goodnight to Friday (or whatever day it was...) - and our cat. Headed to bed, thankful for another great day.
It's been one hell of a vacation.