In August, Ryan and I will be married for 15 years. In the grand scheme of things, it isn't that long really, but when I look back, we had just graduated college, just turned 22, it's a little crazy to think that we got married that young. We were blessed for our honeymoon, my amazing aunt and uncle gave us the use of one of their condos on South Padre Island, Texas for free, all we had to do was buy plane tickets. We had a condo, right on the beach for our honeymoon, it doesn't get any better than that! Then, 2 days into our honeymoon, Ryan got really sick with the flu- high fever, chills, he barely moved, it scared me to death. He bounced back with a few days left and we were able to go parasailing. The next day, the phone rang and when I answered it, my mom was on the other end. "Do you guys know that The Weather Channel is right outside on the beach?" she asked. We turned on the TV, and sure enough, there they were, broadcasting about how Hurricane Brett was scheduled to hit and the island was being evacuated. I hung up with my mom and Ryan got on the phone with the airline. He got our tickets switched to that day and to a different airport where we had to drive 100 miles into Texas, driving through some pretty crazy rain and wind as we fled. We wound up on the last flight out of Texas before everything was shut down thanks to Hurricane Brett. It gave us a fun story to tell, that's for sure.
Ryan travels for his job, and honestly, the only perk I have found in that, is that he accumulated frequent flier miles. We have been able to use those miles to stay in hotels with the kids when we have traveled to Arizona to visit Ryan's parents, and that has been a blessing. Last year, Ryan said to me, "I have enough miles for the 2 of us to fly to Hawaii, and if we book the tickets soon, we should be able to get seats in First Class." My jaw kind of fell open. We have wanted to go to Hawaii for a long time. My sister used to work for United Airlines, and she was able to take her husband and my parents to Hawaii twice and their pictures and stories are what put Hawaii on our bucket list of places to go. My mom and dad said they would watch Noah and Juli for us, and so Ryan booked our tickets to Hawaii in June of 2013 (to use miles to Hawaii, you have book your tickets almost a year in advance).
I didn't really think about Hawaii much after he booked the tickets. It didn't seem real yet. Then, we had the Polar Vortex come, and we used 4 emergency days, pushing the end of school to the end of May. That's when Hawaii "got real" for me. Once school got out, there was not a lot of time to get things ready, and then Juli got sick- high fever, cough, runny nose. I honestly didn't want to leave her, and I felt like the world's worst mom leaving her, but Grandma assured me that everything would be fine (and of course it was- she and Grandpa took wonderful care of our kiddos).
Traveling to Hawaii in First Class was cool, I'm not going to lie. I have now been spoiled. You get a drink before take off- whatever you want. They bring you a warm washcloth to clean your hands and then they feed you a meal on real plates with real silverware, and you get a warm cookie later on! On the way there, we had to make 2 connections, and we barely made our first connection due to bad weather, since we literally had to go from one end of the airport in Dallas to the other, but we made it for final boarding call. The flight from LA to Hawaii was the longest one and we got an ice cream sundae on that flight after our meal. By the time we landed in Hawaii we had been up for 18 hours. It was only 7:15 PM in Hawaii, but 12:15 AM in Illinois, so once we got to our hotel at 8, we just went to bed. I will post pictures and other stories about Hawaii later, but wanted to explain how we wound up in Hawaii. If it wasn't for Ryan's traveling, it would still be on our bucket list, because those plane tickets are ridiculously expensive.