Day 1 . Across the Pacific

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Daily reflections by Ema and Elle.

By Ema ~ Our day of travel began very early, actually I never went to sleep because the time I needed to arise was the time I usually go to bed. I had prepared everything the night before so Elle and I just needed to dress and get on the road to the airport. I am impressed with how quickly she rose and got ready. Normally she is a slow riser. It was 4am and we said our goodbyes to the kitties and Lili, and loaded up for the 40 minute ride to the airport. Thomas was kind enough to be our chauffeur even though he had worked all night and would only get a couple hours of rest by the time he got us to the airport and home again before having to return to work. Elle was excited to ride the escalator at the airport, as I guess she has only rode on one, one time before.

Thankfully the airport was not busy and there was no line for security. Going through security with a child is so easy compared. This was my first time traveling with a little one and I was amazed how different the process was. Usually I have to opt out to not go through the awful X-ray machines, which means the extra time for a pat down, but with Elle it was just the old fashion walk through the metal detector. We did have one bag searched, but I was surprised that they did not search my tech bag as usual. I have gotten good at packing everything they might need out on one side so it is pretty accessible and convenient these days.

When we got to the gate they were boarding already, so we join the line and went right onto the plane. Flint, Michigan to Chicago, Illinois was our first flight and it took less than an hour. Elle was nervous, but excited. She told me she had butterflies in her belly. Soon we were in the air and on our way across the Great Lake of Michigan.

Elle was impressed by the size of the airport in Chicago, as this is her first time flying since she was a year old. We made our way through the airport and to the gate. I got a coconut water for the next plane ride, as I always get dehydrated on long flights and coconut water is the best to help reverse or avoid this. It would be a four hour flight for this length of the trip from Chicago to Phoenix, Arizona. The plane was much bigger compared to the one we took across the lake. I was exhausted and grateful that no one took the seat next to us.

While Elle enjoyed the view from the window with our Shore Buddies friend Victor, I curled up with my blanket, laid across the two seats, and had a little nap.

We landed in Phoenix and Elle was thrilled, as this is her birth place. She wished our layover was a couple days so she could go find the hospital she was born at, but alas it was time to board the last flight over to Kona, Hawaii.

Elle was thrilled, as this is her birth place. She wished our layover was a couple days so she could go find the hospital she was born at, but alas it was time to board the last flight over to Kona, Hawaii.Our gate we exited in Phoenix and the gate for our next flight were right next to one another. I think that may have been the easiest transfer ever.

We were actually the first to board and got ourselves settled in for the six and half hour flight across the Pacific.

We watched them load the bags from the airplane window. My bag was the very last to be loaded.

Tt was not long before it was time to take off! We were excited as this was our last flight for the day!

This time the flight was very full and I would not be able to lay down like the last flight, but I sat in my seat drifting in and out sleep. Elle was having fun playing with me through my sleepiness.

My pain decided to arrive on this flight, and their hot water was not working for tea, so when I asked for a glass of white wine instead, they gave it to me complimentary. Sometimes wine can help my body relax just enough the pain will calm. I sipped so slowly that my one glass took about an hour to drink, but thankfully it worked its magic and by the time we got off the plane I was okay. Elle kept herself busy with films on the iPad while I rested.

As we arrived to the islands we flew between Maui and The Big Island, where we were heading. The Big Island was on the other side of the plane from our view, but as we got close to landing we could see the island below.

In Hawaii you actually come right off the plane onto the runway. It was hot and we were dressed for Michigan, so we were melting. First stop was to get Elle a lei from the sweet Hawaiian women at the airport. Stopping to see her has become a part of my routine when I arrive and depart the island. It was yellow plumeria and the scent as always is heavenly.

My goddaughter’s father, Jonathan, picked us up and we made a quick stop to a shop to get some food for dinner of local fish and some seaweed salad, and some necessities like shampoo and conditioner. After, we stopped at a home right on the ocean that he care-takes and had a swim in the pool.

There were plumeria trees and gardenia bushes surrounding the property, so the scent of the air was sweet upon the breeze. I love this element of Hawaii. There were lots of geckos around and Elle was delighted. She loves catching lizards. She discovered this the first time she traveled with me back in February to Florida.

The view from the property was the perfect Hawaiian paradise to experience these first moments on the island again, as the day faded away.

The sunset was brilliant, a perfect welcoming, and then am almost full moon, rose above the mountains.

The night was bright for us to arrive to the Cedar House. We will be care-taking here for the next six weeks. It is so wonderful to be here again. The atmosphere is so peaceful.

The house is made of natural elements, mostly cedar wood and copper and is an open air plan, with each room connected by the lanai (porch), giving you the feeling of living in harmony with this beautiful island. Elle was completely exhausted, but we needed to bathe after travel like that. The shower is an indoor/outdoor room, basically it has no roof, so being that it was already after sunset, Elle was intimidated by the idea of showering in the dark. I ran her a bath in the giant copper bathtub that is in another room, and indoors. I have not even yet enjoyed this divine space when I care took here before, and had her leave the water in so I could take a quick dip before bed also.

I made our beds and as soon as she was clean, she was into hers and to her dreams.

I sat out on the back steps of the lanai awhile and Sunny the cat, that I am here to care-take, arrived for our ritual night sit and petting. I was happy that she remembered and we were back to our routine after four months apart. Miss Soleil and Sunny are together again! I soon made my way to bed too.

Note : Elle’s journals will no longer be edited, so that we may see her progress. This is her first unedited post. Thanks for being here for the journey!

By Elle ~ Today I woke up to Thomas. He was telling me it was time to get ready. I was tired but got up anyways. I took a minute to sit and allow my body to adjust. It was time to get ready I told myself. I got out of bed and grabbed my outfit sissy and I had prepared for this moment.  Then headed to the bathroom. I quickly slipped on my clothes, grabbed a block, and headed down the stairs. Sissy was in the shower. I went in the bathroom for obvious reasons. After I was done sissy told me I needed to eat something like yogurt or toast. I went into the kitchen and got some apple sauce. I had to force it down because I was not hungry but I knew I would be soon. I  ate the applesauce and put on my shoes. Then I headed up the stairs to go brush my teeth. I was going to do my hair but we ran out of time and before I could do anything sissy was telling me it was time to go. I put on my head band and ran down the stairs. We were all packed up and ready to. Sissy was saying her goodbyes and trying to get a picture of Lilli. But Lilli would not stay still or look at the camera, and we were running late, so we left with a blurry picture. Sissy told me that we had 45 minutes of driving and if I wanted to I could go to sleep, but instead of going back to sleep I watched outside the window. I said ok and went back to looking out the window. I was counting semi trucks for a while before I gave up and took my defeat. The 45 minutes went by really fast and before I knew it we were at the airport. Sissy and Thomas started to get out our things. I had my ukulele and the tech carry on, to carry. We went inside, found the American Airlines section and went to the lady so we could have our bags weighed. Earlier Ema had told me that both our bags weighed exactly 50 pounds, but she was wrong. Hers was 2 pounds over and mine was 3 pounds over. We took out some things and gave them to Thomas so he could mail them to us with Stella’s birthday presents. When our bags finally weighed the right amount we headed up the escolar. I was super excited because I never get to ride those. This was like my 2nd time ever. But you can’t see it by the faces I make in the pictures because I was tired. We said our good byes to Thomas and went through security. They took all of our stuff apart and then we had to put them back together, not them.  Which I thought to be unfair. After that we walked around looking for our line and after taking some pictures found it. The flight was already loading so we just went in with everyone else. They took away our tec carry on because it was a small flight. When we were all settled in we realized we didn’t get out the headphones. But we knew it was to late any ways. Sissy told me this plane ride was gonna be short. About 45 minutes she said. Boy was I nervous. Sissy and I sat talking for a while until the engens started. The lights changed to blue and we started moving very slowly down the light path. That was when we were ready, and started moving super fast. Soon we were up in the air! The sky was still and dark. I thought this was the coolest thing in the world. We were flying! I spent all of that flight looking out the window admiring the sky from above and looking at the layer of cloud we had gone through. Our seat was right at the wing which was cool. But before I knew it, the flight was over. We were the last people off the plane and some of the flight attendants were joking and saying last one off has to clean it. There was a line to pickup your bigger carry on. Our bag was the last to be called. When it was, we tied our things to it and went to a desk to ask what gate number we need to find, they said h5. We went to the bathrooms and then we headed to h5. This airport was giant and we went through the international area and they had all sorts of flags and a shiny globe, it was so cool! We found our spot and checked in. Then we went to look at some food across the way but decided not to get anything because of the prices. We went back and stood there until we were ready to board. We were going to get to board 3 minutes early. This flight was going to be much longer. It was going to be four hours and 25 minutes. Soon it was time for us to board. This plane was much bigger. Sissy said it was newer because of its tv which had lots of cool options such as a cool 3D map of our flight, movies, etc. I was excited because of this upgrade. But when we tried plugging in our headphone jack it was to small so it didn’t fit and if I wanted to watch a movie I would have to push up to really hear it. I started to watch 5 feet apart but didn’t get very far then I started watching dumbo and got about halfway through before I got bored and stopped. The plane ride was long and boring but I really thought it was cool when I looked over and saw the change in geographic features. I could see the sand and cactus from the plane. There were also mountains. When you looked down there were wrinkles in the mountains, and circle and square designs in the grass it was so cool. For the next while I didn’t do much and I couldn’t talk to sissy because she was sleeping.  After what seemed to be forever the flight was finally over. It was time to get off, I wished we could have stayed to find the hospital I was born in. We went to ask someone what our gate number was but realized the gate was right next door. We went to the bathroom and then went to a shop with Carmel apples and lots of other treats we came for an apple and a banana, but they didn’t have normal ones just candied ones according to Ema. So she got a banana and I don’t like those guys so I decided I could eat our food that we had brought on the plane. We sat down and waited for our turn we were the first to board they weren’t ready for us but they let us sit down and settle in. I was super excited because there were blankets for all of us and these were the ones that the higher class got on the last plane ride, but on this flight higher class got better blankets. I didn’t care I was just to excited to care. This plane was much bigger, and was going to be a much longer ride. It was gonna be 6 hours. We had a man sit by us and sissy and him made friends. She was telling him about fun things to do in Hawaii. On the plane I took a short nap and woke up to the view of the ocean out of my window. When looking at it the ocean looked like the sky because the clouds were under us and it was very blue. We watched Splash and started watching The Labyrinth. The flight attendants came around with some pretzels and cookies sissy got cookies and I got pretzels she gave me the cookies so I could have both. After what seamed to be forever the flight was finally over and we were in Hawaii! We actually walked down a run way type thing and went to collect our luggage. This was an outdoor airport so there were cute birds flying around. We went and met Jonathan in the parking lot and we ended up giving away the cart to these nice people that ema ended up giving our card to. Then we went to the store were we got some fish, pog  juice, pog juice is P papaya O orange G guava, and we got some other things. We went to this giant amazing place that Johnathan was care taking for. There was a pool looking out the ocean, were we were originally were planing to go, but ended up just swimming in the pool. We were swimming when I saw a gecko stuck in a lamp holder by the pool I also saw skeletons of geckos in there, so I knew I needed to save him so we opened it up and he jumped into the pool, so I jumped in and got him out, then we put him on a leaf. There were also some bees that I got out of the water and put them on the grass to dry out there wings. We swam for a long time and had some mochi bread stuff and banana bread. When its was time to go I didint want to get out because the mesqutos would eat me and I didint want the dang fever, but I was informed there was no out break right now thankfully which made me feel better, so I got out and got dressed. Then we drove for another 30 minutes, by hen it was dark out but I still looked out the window while Johnathan gave me facts about the island. Before I knew it we were here the place we would be staying for the next 6 weeks. I needed to take a shower but I didint want to take a shower in the dark out doors, so sissy let me take a bath in the giant copper bathtub. There were buckets of bath salt and none of them were opened, so we opened the lavender one and and I took my bath. I loved this bath tub and it was so big I could live in it. Its so big. After my bath I was really tired so we checked my bed for bugs and I went to bed. 

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