Saturday, January 03, 2004

The Hawaii Trip--- Pt. 1

There are things you learn when going on a long trip, like, not having enough pairs of boxers to get you through a week. Who knew? Fortunately, we would be spending most of our time in bathing swimsuits, so it wasn't a big problem. And when we discovered that our condo in Waikiki had a washer and dryer, the problem became moot.


That's how I felt Friday, December 12 after arriving in Hawaii. We got out of bed at 3:45 am, not that I ever went to sleep. After missing a flight a couple of years ago and having to wait for the next available flight (ugh, what an experience
that was... and I swore we'd never take another morning flight) I never sleep well the night before a flight across the country, or in this case the ocean.

We got to Oahu fine. It was not too hot, but the humidity was quite noticeable. It reminded me of Ohio in the early months of summer: sweaty but not unbearable. All of us were pretty whipped. The kids were troopers, though. They should have cracked by midday, but both Sophie and Jacob maintained a cool excitement being in a glorious tropical paradise.

And even though Honolulu is a pretty busy city (a lot like Los Angeles), it was still wonderful to be able to look out our balcony and see/hear the waves of the bluest ocean you've ever seen.

Sophie, God bless her soul, had enough energy to keep us all running. I could feel myself on a short fuse. Nerves and exhaustion. Thank God Jules was so levelheaded. Being in Hawaii for just one day had such a great effect on us. Julie was glowing. The one thing I was really looking forward to that Friday night was it being Monday morning and beginning the vacation. I really wanted to spend time with the family... with just being "us" for a change and not worrying about reality for a week.

After a refreshing, long good night's sleep that night, we all woke up excited on Saturday about our second full day in Hawaii. I took a quick, 30 minute run through the parks by our hotel and boy was I happy I did that. My legs were plenty tight after the plane ride and I hate going into a long run with more than one day between exercising.

From there, we went to the beach for a while. It wasn't too crowded, even with all of the tourists in town for the marathon. Turns out the Honolulu Marathon is one of the big attractions each year. And with 22,000 entrants, you can see why. Still, the shoreline by our hotel was pretty small, so it seemed like there were more people than there actually were. Nevertheless, the time was a nice introduction to the sand and warm waters of Oahu.

The weather flip-flopped the entire day, from overcast to sunny. It had rained Friday night (would it rain on us Sunday as well?) and man was it WINDY! I'll tell you what; the water can be pretty frigid with that wind. After lunch we took in the pool at the hotel next door. I think we were sneaking in (don't tell anyone) but it's not like they had the pool police keeping a look out. I mean, we really looked like we belonged in that ice-cold freezing water shivering. On top of that, there was an expo taking place outside the pool for all of the marathoners. I would later get a marathon souvenir shirt.

We had dinner with the Mundy family. Jennifer is Julie's friend who ran for AIDS Project LA. Here husband Scott and her have 2 children. We all went out for dinner and ate plates of spaghetti. My second plate that day. I figured I could use all of the carbs I could get. Before dinner I met up with Rebecca, Beth, Robert and the three other Team CF Runners who had trained with Robert. It was nice to meet these other runners, one of which was from the Sacramento office of the CF Foundation. His name is Pete Tucker. Rebecca and Pete both thanked everyone for running to raise funds for CF. IĆ¢€™m not sure what the others' stories were. Part of me wanted to say "thank you" as well, but I held back.

We made arrangements to meet up on Sunday morning... marathon day, at 3:45 am and walk over to the starting line. I decided to run with Sebastian and Lillith from the City of Hope team while Beth would be running with Lucy, another member of our training group.

The best part of the day was when Sophie and Jake came out of the bedroom modeling t-shirts Julie had made. Each shirt had an individual picture of me with each of them printed on them. Sophie's shirt read "Daddy's Cheerleader" on the front and "Team CF on the back." Jake's read "My Daddy. My Hero" and "Team CF" on the back.

I nearly cried.

Somehow I got to sleep that night by 8:30. I was excited, anxious, and ready to test myself physically like I had never done before. This was it. Six months was going to come down to one morning...

More tomorrow.


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