Friday, July 22, 2011

Really? A month? Yeesh.

Sorry about the lengthy wait for a new entry. Time seems to be accelerating as we get closer to the end of our stay in Hawaii.

Speaking of the "the end of our stay in Hawaii", we finally got orders in hand and we know when we'll be leaving Hawaii - the end of October. The receipt of the orders has meant a great deal of time pouring over paperwork and dates, trying to coordinate the move. Navy forms are often poorly designed, to be generous. I've attended a moving class and a transfer brief in hopes of picking up tips and tricks to making the process as painless as possible. Of course, there will always be hiccups, but anticipating them and being able to deal with them is the key.

I'm also trying to make sure we have the right budgeting in place to pay for the move. The Navy pays for most of the move, but it doesn't pay for certain things. For example, they do not pay for the transportation of pets. (That alone will run us about $750-1,000 for our two dogs.) It's an expense that I gladly accept, however. We also would like to do some traveling to see family between duty stations which will involve some additional plane tickets. Then there will also be the driving of Zac's pickup truck from Nebraska to San Diego - money will be needed for gas, lodging and meals. Fear not - your tax dollars are not paying the military to reunite my husband with his beloved F150. :)

Our move in October put our fertility treatment plans on hold. As we got closer and closer to the day in my cycle where we would have to go into the doctor's office to learn how to inject the FSH hormone, the more and more our stress levels rose. Finally, about 12 hours before we were supposed to have the appointment, we decided to wait. I didn't want to spend the last four months on Oahu monitoring hormone levels and constantly thinking about fertility. I want to enjoy my time. Planning the move is stressful enough, I didn't need anymore in my life. It was just too overwhelming. When we get to San Diego we'll probably ask for a referral to a fertility doctor there and start some treatments. For now, I'm thrilled to not be thinking about it for the first time in two years.

Zac and I spent a weekend recently over on Kaua'i. It is an incredible island. I can see why the rich and famous like to hide out there. It's so much more low-key and relaxed than Oahu. I wish we would have visited the island earlier in our Hawaii tour so we could have taken a second trip over there. There are some beaches and hikes that we didn't get to on this trip. Oh well - we'll just have to hope we get back here on vacation someday. We spent the first morning horseback riding for a few hours, taking in the views and stopping for lunch near a freshwater swimming hole. We took a quick dip in the water to cool off from the heat and my body nearly went into shock from the temperature of the water (chilly!) to the fact that I almost sank like a rock (freshwater!). Clearly I have been spoiled by the warm ocean waters of Hawaii.

On our second morning in Kaua'i we took an hour-long helicopter tour around the island. I was really nervous about it. I'm know for getting motion sick fairly easily and I was mildly terrified of all the jostling and lurching that I anticipated went with a helicopter ride. I took some Dramamine the night before and the morning of, and I crossed my fingers hoping that it would do the trick. But even with the drugs, my anxiety levels were inching upwards as we checked in with the company, viewed the safety brief, took the shuttle to the helicopter pads at the airport and waited for our chopper to arrive. When the helicopter came in for its landing (it was concluding an earlier tour) I had to note how fast it looked like it was moving. All I could think of was all of those times I went to the Omni Theater at the old Science Museum in St. Paul and wanted to vomit.

Once all the passengers had exited the helicopter, they had our group of six pile into the craft. We had assigned seating, as they need to make sure that the weight is distributed as evenly as possible. I got the rear window seat on the right-side with Zac seated to my left. They strapped us in and gave us the obligatory thumbs-up sign. I tried to smile at Zac and squeezed his knee in dread. They closed the doors, and off we went. There was a split second as we rose into the air and started moving forward that I looked down at the ground and thought, "Oooooh, this is moving too fast," but that was quickly drown out by the calming, soothing tones of Enya pumping through our headphones. The pilot/tour guide talked to us through our head sets to let us know what we were looking at. Pretty soon I was having the time of my life.

The most amazing moment happened when we came around the corner to see the Na Pali Coast, located on the west side of the island. It actually made me tear up for a second. It was so beautiful. There is no development on this side of the island. The only way to see it is by boat or by helicopter. It's stunning. The water, the cliffs. It looks like nothing I've ever seen. There are times you see things in nature and you think, "How is this even possible? How can something this beautiful even exist?" This was one of those moments. For a brief second before we boarded the helicopter, I almost chickened out. But then I would have missed the Na Pali coast, and it reminded me that sometimes you have to go outside of your comfort zone to experience sometime memorable.

In the last month we've also gone to a Dining Out and celebrated Zac's birthday, which involved me making his birthday cheesecake. It's been a fun few weeks, which is exactly how I want to spend our remaining time here in Hawai'i. I know the next three months are going to fly by, so I'm going to soak up as much aloha as I can before we leave.