God works in wonderful and mysterious ways.
Two years ago we couldn't have imagined working from home and schooling from beautiful places. Now, however, we are blessed to have dad at home, which enables us to be flexible with school and travel.
When we started this homeschool journey seven years ago one of our goals was to show the kids as much of the United States as we could - while schooling along the way. As I was looking at this list of 10 Significant Locations to Visit in the US, I realized that we've seen almost all of this with them! We just need to get them to New York City to see a few things.
The next two weeks of Collage Friday are coming to you from Oahu, Hawaii!
We started our trip on Tuesday at 4 a.m. (yawn) from the Atlanta airport. If you've been watching the news, you'll know security lines are long. We were pleasantly surprised, however, with just a 45 minute wait.
I must admit I'm a nervous flyer - not nervous about the flying part, but just all of the details surrounding it. I think I drive my family a bit crazy with reminders and questions. You would think I could just relax and know it will all work out, but I'm still working on that.
We managed to have everyone packed in their own carry on suitcase and backpack. I never want to deal with lost luggage or keeping up with too much stuff, so we packed LIGHT for this trip. Each of the kids is responsible for their two bags. This makes it more of a vacation for mom, too!
The highlight of flying to Oahu? Well - I do believe it was the inflight entertainment from Denver to Honolulu. Grant watched three Star Wars movies. Anna watched a million HGTV shows, Dad read and slept, and I finished The Precious One -- such a great book with a surprise homeschool tie in.
We arrived in Honolulu around 2:30 p.m. (8:30 Georgia time) and got to our condo easily. We stayed awake for as long as we could (until 9 pm Hawaii time) and then crashed for the night. Surprisingly, we weren't up too early the next morning -- so I think jet lag wasn't too much of an issue coming here.
Lani Kai Beach
We wanted to go to this beach on the first day. We've heard it's the BEST beach on Oahu, and I must say I believe that!
Even though it was overcast and even a little rainy, we stayed for a bit -- Grant was in the ocean and playing right away -- and just decompressed from the journey the day before.
We stayed for just an hour or so, because it clearly wasn't going to be "beach" weather.... but as we began driving south everything cleared up and the sun came out.
Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail
We came home to eat lunch and rest a bit, and then we headed to the Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail - just 15 minutes from the condo.
There is a lot of interesting WWII history here (9 airmen lost their lives patrolling here during 1943), not to mention the fact that this is a Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. (The whales are only here until April so we just missed them!)
We hiked about 3 miles round trip - much of it totally UPHILL, but the views from the top were breathtaking.
I tried to document a bit of this on Instagram, but it was very windy and I just made one Instagram video!
I'd love for us to learn more about lighthouses and whales when we return home -- some relaxed summer learning!
Anna's school year officially ends next week, so she has some online classes to attend while we are here.
Thursday morning she and dad walked to the local coffee shop to have breakfast together and attend her Memoria Press Latin I class. (Normally this meets at 2 p.m. ET, but it is 8 a.m Hawaii time -- pretty cool, though, that the teacher is in Australia and I think it's 5 a.m. for her!)
She'll have Algebra next Monday (probably from the same place, except it will be at 7 a.m.!).
Everyone in our family LOVES to read -- with the exception of Grant.
It seems that I have to nudge him a little more, and even with my nudging he is still reluctant. I'm wondering if he's just not a READER (but he reads well)... or if I'm just not providing the right things for him to read.
This is something I'm hoping to research a little bit while I have some time -- how to motivate pre teen boys to read!
Dad, Anna and I have all loaded up our Kindles and brought physical books for lots of reading while we're here.
Vacation books include:
- Duchessina (Anna loves this series of books - the Young Royals. She wanted me to add the disclaimer, though, that these are MATURE books, probably best for high schoolers)
- North or Be Eaten (for Grant -- he's grudgingly reading this when I tell him to sit down and read!)
- The Light Between Oceans - I read this and Anna wants to read it, too.
- Killing Reagan (my husband is hooked on all of these books)
- The Precious One
- Hannah Coulter
- After You
- They're YOUR Kids -- this is #1 on my list right now!
We'll be here another 11 days, so I'm looking forward to making memories with the kids.
I love that we'll have time for decompressing, nature walks, trips to the coffee shop, and long days on the beach.
We're also planning to visit Pearl Harbor, swim with dolphins, and other fun things! Things are VERY expensive here (a gallon of milk is $5!), so we're trying to be careful and not break the bank, but do a couple of memorable excursions.
If I've learned anything from the past several years it is that dreams are WORTH PURSUING. You never know what obstacles life will throw at you (we've had our fair share of those in the past two years), but you also have to open to the BLESSINGS and unexpected surprises, too.
I never would have imagined this when my kids were little - but here we are and I am thankful!
I'll leave you with this -- something my daughter posted on her Instagram last night:
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