Monday we were trying really hard not to cry about leaving in three days.
We had purchased a volleyball the night before so all us kids went out on the
After that I actually picked up my journal and wrote into it for the first time in.........a life time(?). Anyways, that's a whole other rant.
It was nice and quiet that morning because Dad and almost all the other kids swam/snorkeled around Black Rock.
We had a late lunch or whatever we could find and enjoyed the rest of the beautiful day at the beach.
Mom and Dad did some cool yoga (ish) moves.
That night the adults went out to dinner and the rest of us watched "Tammy and the Doctor."
Tuesday was another day at the beach trying not to cry.
Gabe chilling with his passion fruit juice.
Dad and his baby.
So, I can't really remember if I have said something about this previously, but on this trip (and some last year as well) Christian and Ava really enjoyed swimming around Black Rock with Mr David and Mr Mike (two beach grandparent-type friends). Christian swam around pretty close to every day and Dad went several times as well. Ava started going with him some. Then one day they came back and announced they had jumped off Black Rock!
Black Rock is a huge lava formation with boulders and coral and fish and turtles and everything else all around it. If it's a clear day, the snorkeling around it is great! The swim is very long, though, and the rock juts way out of the water. Essentially, they were cliff-diving.
Except that they weren't diving, just jumping.
Every day they asked who else wanted to go with them. So Monday Mia and Gabe went with Dad and Christian and Ava. Finally, I gave in.
I was kind of tired of being asked to go and told that I would have so much fun, so I figured if I went ahead and just went I would know if I actually enjoyed it and did want to do it more often, or I would know that it really wasn't fun to me and could tell them to stop asking.
By the time I agreed to go that afternoon there was a whole group of us going!
This is Black Rock. Yes, that entire thing, all of it.
It's a very, very long swim around.
Now, that morning when they went it had been calm and clear. But by the time we were setting out the water had gotten very choppy and it wasn't so clear. Some people had flippers and the littles all had flotation devices of some sort. But some of the others of us had....goggles.
Long story short, the swim was very tiring, one of us may have fallen behind completely and another of us may have tried to keep eyes on the two groups and it's possible someone's swimsuit fell off while they were in the middle of the ocean all alone, but we won't go into any more detail there or name fingers and point out names. (Or however you say that.)
So we all got around and then the adventurous ones began climbing out of the water onto the rock to then monkey climb up to the ledge where you can jump off. That ledge happens to be very, very small, and about 20 feet above the water. I was NOT going to jump until I asked some friends if they thought jumping off a 20 foot cliff into the ocean sounded like something I would do. When their answers were, "Nope," "Definitely not," and "Not unless you got scared and accidentally fell off," I decided I wanted to prove them wrong.
Plus Ava had done it 10 times and loved it. And then Dad did it too, so I was pretty sure it was safe.
Climbing up onto the rock is one of hardest parts because the waves are hitting the rock and there isn't really a good place to grab it. Once you are on the rock, you kind of just have to crawl up it until you get to the top. Then you squat down and inch over to the ledge. To jump you have to stand up and make sure there are no people in the way in the water. The very hardest part is actually standing up on the ledge.
I'm sitting here typing this and shaking just from the memory of what it is like....
Once you stand up you have to just jump, otherwise you risk standing there looking at the water from so high up and remaining there paralyzed for the rest of your life, or you could slip and fall, because, you know, it's a wet rock with stuff growing on it... One of our friends had a go-pro so they videoed, Christian, Dad, Ava, and I all taking turns jumping.
The first time I jumped
(yes, I said first) I kept my eyes open and screamed all the way until I hit the water. You'd think you would fall faster, but it feels like FOREVER before you hit the water!!
I came up laughing and sputtering, watched the others jump a few times, and somehow talked myself into doing it again.
And NO, it was NOT because it was fun the first time.
I wanted to prove that I could do it again, and this time without screaming. I did that and decided it was definitely still not fun to me.
Then I realized I had left my goggles up on the rock so I would have to jump again in order to get them. So I jumped a third time and then our group decided to head back to our beach. We ended up being gone well over an hour by the time we swam around and everyone who wanted to jumped.
By the end of the trip Ava had jumped off the rock 25 times and Christian had lost count. Both of them, as well as Dad, found it really fun.
I decided I didn't need to swim around or jump again. Possibly ever. We will see.
Back at the cabana I was ready to read my book and rest. The adventure was definitely a workout.
Worn out me.
Mom and Dad went on a walk that night.
Wednesday Mom and I went to Island Vintage Coffee for one more breakfast and coffee date together before going home.
We had a really nice time together and then headed back to start getting ready for our last day at the beach.
Chloe's and my room.
Living area/where Ava slept.
End of the trip tan.
When girls wash their swimsuits.
Our last day was peaceful and gorgeous. We ignored reality as much as we could and continued making memories. Chloe swam around the rock with the group that went that day, but did not jump, which is totally fine. We stayed down there as long as we could and then headed to the room to take showers, begin packing, and go out to dinner at Cool Cat Cafe.
Everyone enjoyed their burgers and root beer floats.
When we girls got back to our room we opened the door and our noses were murdered by the most horrible smell ever! It was so rank and was almost like dirty diapers, but magnified by 18 thousand and throughout our entire room.
If I'm exaggerating its only a little bit. We ran to the big sliding doors to air out the condo and tried really hard not to throw up. The gagging was real.
It ended up coming from something in the trash, so once we got it out of the room we were able to clear the air a little bit and finish packing and getting ready for bed.
Thursday we got up on the early side (6:15) and wrapped up the last things we had to do in our room. Then we loaded Aunt Cendei's van and headed to Leoda's for breakfast. Mom, Dad, and the other kids soon followed us.
Driving in Maui is so beautiful.
We all really enjoyed breakfast and had plenty of time to sit around and pout about leaving. Just kidding, we had a nice time and were grateful for the trip and all the fun memories and appropriately dealt with our sadness.
Everything at the airport went smoothly and we got to our gate in plenty of time.
He is so stinking cute!
On the plane.
Possibly the most beautiful airplane view I've ever seen.
Our flight to Seattle left about 1:30 and we got in about 9:30 local time. We were so glad we got in before the airport restaurants all closed for the night.
The sunset from the plane was so pretty!
No one really slept on either flight, despite our best efforts.
Aunt Sherry and Uncle James met us at the airport at 5:00 am local time Friday with our truck. All our bags made it home safe and sound so we loaded up and drove home. It was still mostly dark when we arrived so we climbed in bed and slept until about noon. Chloe was unable to sleep at all and I had trouble getting to sleep, but I think everyone else was able to get at least 5 hours of good rest before we all dragged ourselves out of bed.
Some of the kids had minor colds the day we left, and I got a cold on the plane. By the time we were landing in Texas the pressure had completely clogged both my ears so I could barely hear anything. I thought they would clear up when we landed but they did not. At home I hoped sleeping would take care of it. When I woke up it was worse. I decided to get used to it and move on. Having a cold, though was not very fun.
Mom went to Costco and the rest of us worked on unpacking.
That night we watched "Les Miserables" and went to bed around midnight.
Gorgeous Texas sunset.
Saturday was my 19th birthday! Mom and Dad and I were going to go to breakfast but since I still couldn't hear and didn't feel very well, we decided to sleep in and go when I felt better.
I actually woke up at 8:00 and had the quiet house to myself because no one else woke up until almost noon.
Most of the day was pretty laid back and I started feeling little better, though I still really could hardly hear anything. We did a lot of sitting around talking until it was time to start getting ready for church.
My friend from Summit, Rebecca, came over a little before I had to leave and we got to visit for a bit. Then she rode with Christian, Ava, and I to church where another friend from Summit, Micah, met us.
I was still asked to play piano that night and was so glad to be back. Playing piano by faith since you can't hear anything is rather interesting. It seemed to go just fine, though.
It was my birthday as well as one of our pastor's birthday so they had a cake with our names on it for after the service. It was so good to see everyone and get to catch up from being gone. We love our church family so, so much.
At home we were all still wide awake of course so we sat around talking in the living room and Nana and Grandfather came over to see us for a bit. We were able to go to sleep around 1:00 am.
Sunday we made our yummy brunch meal and had a restful afternoon.
Then Nana, Grandfather, Aunt Lauren, and Uncle Phil all came over to celebrate my birthday and catch up with us since we'd been gone. It was so much fun.
After they left we watched "The Phantom of the Opera." By then I was finally able to hear a little better.
And then we experienced the hardest "coming home night," the third night. Most people took a long time to fall asleep, but Chloe and I had the record.
Still awake at 3:00 am.
That Moment When...
You cut your fingers on a cardboard box.
The Herd: Quoted
"Can we just stay another mon- 3 mont- 9 months please?" -Mia
"Happy birthday!" -Mom to me.
"Oh, yeah, sorry, I forgot about that." -Dad who had been talking to me for the past 10 minutes before anyone else was up.