Looking at the sun set behind the mountain range this evening I had to wonder...ocean or mountains? It was just wonderful being in Hawaii and watching the sun set over the ocean, watching the colors change in the clouds, on the water and in the reflection of the wet sand but there is something just amazing about a sunset in the mountains.
We've been home for almost a week and we certainly havent forgotten the beauty of the islands yet but it is definately nice to be back. The normal routine this week was a little off kilter - Dad's MRI on Tuesday was cancelled because the machine was broken (not my fault) and Wednesday we didnt end up doing Chemo. The new Chemo that we've been waiting ever so (im)patiently for is finally available, now Dad just needs his body to clean out from the previous one and get ready for the new one. He had a CAT scan at the Dr.'s on Thursday because those are MUCH better at telling us how effective the chemo is than the cute cats at home - even though their scans are frequent and free. As long as all lights are green (indicators from the tests - Dad isn't radioactively glowing....yet) he will be able to begin the new chemo very soon.
Dad still talks about our trip. About how astounding Hawai'i Volcanos National Park is and what a great adventure that day was. I dont think there's anything that compares with such exposure to a rare wonder of nature quite like being there. The drives wherever we went were one of Dad's favorite things and I can't really blame him! I'm dont think we would have taken anyone up on teleporting places instead of driving (if it were an option), there is so much of the countryside just waiting to amaze you. The curves in the road were like wrapping paper on a Christmas present - building suspense, beautiful to look at and hiding the real surprise! We were able to discover so much about the plantlife and nature of the island. There were plants we've all had in our house growing wild with leaves almost the size of an Elephants ear. Thousands of thousands of years have carved out magestic valleys and though the ocean view calls to land-lubbers like us the magic is found looking inland, up the valley into a rainforest or rainbow painted waterfalls. I better move on - although our trip was short our memories are full and there is so much more to tell!
Other than the drives, Dad loves looking at pictures of my snorkelling trip with Mom. He kicked us out of the Hospital one day and told us not to come back without pictures of an adventure. We managed that one! What was intended to be a quick snorkelling trip ended up to be a real adventure. Mom and I ended up at Captain Cooks Monument - except it was across the ocean a ways. With no street access directly to the monument, we ended up renting a 2 person kayak and paddling to the island. There is much debate over what the local TOLD us to do and what we ended up doing - I still think I followed his directions but he played a practical joke on the naive tourists but none-the-less. We kayaked over, tied up the boat and found gazillions of sea-urchins. As if kayaking on the ocean hadnt been an adventure, getting into the water for snorkelling certainly proved to be its own adventure but we made it. My favorite was the Humuhumu 'Ele'ele (Black Durgan Triggerfish) or as I called them the "Tuxedo fish". They were gentlemanly escorts that seemed to be everywhere but also directing you to the best sites! We are still trying to list all the fish we saw - I have a hard time believing there is better variety of snorkeling to be found.
All in all, by the end of the trip as much as we wanted to stay, home was calling to us. As it happened, we were able to meet with Kyle for a picnic at a park on Sunday. He enjoyed hearing our stories but maybe the back massage helped too. He's been working hard on a construction crew which has not only filled out his muscles but kept them sore.
With the weekend on the horizon I'm a little torn between looking forward and looking back. I'm anxious to know the results of Dad's scans, I'm so hopeful that the new chemo will be the break we are looking for, and I want to start planning our next vacation (Dad promised no more hospital-tourism) but I can't help reminiscing. I guess I'm just sitting in the middle watching the sun of Hawaii set behind the mountains I love; grounding me in my beautiful, every-day life.