Last Day in Paradise

One last time from Rusty.

Saturday was our last day. We woke up and walked to Little Fish again, this time just with Nat and Michael. Carlie and Dan went on a helicopter tour with Landon and Jhena.
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The bowls were excellent. I could eat them everyday!  We saw whales on the way home. One jumped and jumped!  It was wayyy better than the Whale Watching tour!

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We got home and packed up for our last time at the beach. Kids were just waking up. We checked out and then took a family picture at the top of the hotel amidst lots of grumbling. But, I’m glad we did it!  It’s the only pic of the whole trip with everyone in it.
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Then on to the Sheraton beach.  We played in the waves forever. It was another nice, hot, sunny day. Dan, Blake and I threw the ball in the waves.  Blake was NON stop again. This kid was born for beach life.
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When we got hungry we ate at the Sheraton grill while others walked to Little Fish for Sandwiches (which were way better). We swam in the Sheraton pool until we got kicked out. Then back to the beach where we played more – boogie boarded and lots of family pictures on the beach. The girls bribed the cousins for some picture time.  They turned out great!

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We also took some pics of the Original Cornell’s.  Love this fam!
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Then back to the condos where everybody showered and swam and said goodbye. Our flight left the latest so we swam a little more. Halle and I went to get dinner but we couldn’t really find anything (except one last shave ice) so we ended up eating at the pool, we showered quick and left for the airport.

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We didn’t have a lot of time so I was feeling a little stressed when we went to get gas I tried to go around a guy and fell off the curb, then backed into a pole – luckily no damage but definitely felt that shame feeling in your face where your whole face goes hot. We returned the rental car and then the security line was FOREVER!!!!
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We were getting very stressed and nervous we weren’t going to make our plane. Especially Halle.  And we barely did – I guess planes are leaving earlier now days – even though we had 15 minutes before the flight left they made it sound like they were closing the door any second. Funny, another family got on and realized they were missing 2 kids who hadn’t gotten on yet! But they quickly found them. Stress!!! I sat by Josh – we had an extra seat next to us, I watched Dunkirk – we slept, Josh curled up on the floor. I slept on the seat. It was rough but not as bad as the last time we flew home from Hawaii. We made it to Seattle about an hour early! Which made our layover more like 3.5 hours instead of 3. We curled up on some couches and slept. Tara slept for like 3 hours!
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I was maybe an hour or so.  Then we flew from Seattle to Denver, got our car and drove home.  The whole thing was actually okay.    The kids were great on the way home, I was super impressed. Tara had a little chat with them about thinking long term and having a good attitude and knowing it would be over soon.  It really seemed to help.  Sunday we just lazed about all day resting, doing laundry and unpacking.  And already missing our family and our beautiful Kauai.

Natalie perfectly summed up our trip in an Instagram post after we’d been home a few days. “This evening as we watched the sunset at the park I saw a tear fall from Jack’s eye. I asked what was making him feel sad. “I miss Hawai’i, ” he said.
It was the trip of our dreams and there are so many lessons we don’t want to forget.
From my parents- always take the trip and always share your timeshare. From Tara – eat all the shave ice and sneak to the off-limits beach. From Rusty- zen out… whether it’s beach yoga or a week with the in-laws. From Michael- be the first one to jump. From Landon and Jhena- you only live once… take that helicopter ride. From Carlie- Acai bowls- shell yeah! From Danny-if you get caught trespassing leave your wife behind…that way you’ll only have to pay one fine. From Cole- never stop waxing philosophical. From all the kids-best cousins forever. From Halle- always play with babies. From Josh- take a minute to yourself if needed. From Blake-keep chicken in your pocket for the feral cats. From Jack- live every moment to it’s fullest. From Leo- forgive if a chicken steals half of your pizza. From Gwen- life is better in a bikini. And from Mave- know what you want and figure out exactly how to get it… every time.”

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