Re-Entry to the Mainland. Vacay Withdrawal. Call it What you Will, it's Painful.

Updated: Apr 25

I think feeling sad as a vacation comes to an end is a universal feeling. So much time and effort go into the planning and execution of a trip. So much excitement and anticipation are felt leading up to it. And then, in what seems like the blink of an eye, it's over. Time to leave the beautiful place (that very much isn't home), behind. Time to go back to reality (school, work, cleaning, bills, and all the other things we were trying to escape, to begin with when we went on the vacation).


For some reason, it seems that re-entry from Hawaii is particularly tough. Although I am feeling better this time (we arrived back very late Saturday night), than the last time we traveled to Hawaii in 2019, when it took me nearly two weeks to recover from the post-vacation blues, it's still a struggle. Hawaii, unlike many other places you can travel to, truly feels like another world. The perfectly balmy weather, the warm turquoise ocean, the plethora of palm trees, and the overall relaxed vibe of the islands, all make you feel like you've truly been transported to an alternate universe (especially when coming from a big, bustling city like LA). Keep in mind that this assessment is coming from a native Californian, which is saying a lot. In Los Angeles, we have nice weather most of the year, beautiful beaches, and palm trees galore, but Hawaii, it is not.


The reality of our trip being over hit me hardest when I awoke Sunday morning and found myself in my own bed. I'm not in Hawaii anymore. My heart sunk just a little bit. Sure I was exhausted, having traveled for many hours on a plane with four kids and not getting to bed until 2 AM that morning. I was also thinking about all the unpacking and the laundry facing me, not to mention all that mail to open and sort. That didn't help my perspective on the situation. But most of all, I just wasn't in Hawaii anymore and that stung. It's a special place.


Before departing, we arose early Saturday morning to pack up all our things. We got our lunches ready for the plane and made sure we didn't leave anything in the drawers at the condo. Then we changed into our swimsuits and headed down to the pool for one last hoorah. We only spent about 90 minutes or so there, but I needed to feel that soothing warm breeze on my face, gaze at that stunning tropical vista and just take it all in, one last time.


I know we'll go back and that eases my heartache a bit, but for now, I am just going to miss Hawaii, until I can acclimate to these surroundings, otherwise known as home.


One last swim for the little kids.


They had the pool all to themselves for their last swim.


Garin sat next to me by the pool and read Clara, the Early Years: The Story of the Pug Who Ruled My Life, while I started composing the blog post I finished soon after we arrived home, https://www.spreadsheetmom.com/post/day-trippers-another-fantastic-day-of-exploration-around-this-magical-island


After swimming, Catherine and Miles absconded with my phone and wandered around the general vicinity taking these photos. They were proud of their work and wanted to make sure I posted them.


One last photo by the pool before saying goodbye to all that Hawaii is.


All packed up and ready to go. Well not really ready to go, but what choice was there?


I love boarding planes in Hawaii, right on the tarmac. They even know how to do that right.


Anna, waiting for us on the other end, at LAX. She brought Fitzy with her to the airport to surprise us. We were so happy to see them both. Luckily she is still my friend and also willing to ride in a car with me despite that hair-raising drive to the airport ten days ago. Thank you to Anna for always taking us to and from the airport (that's a true friend) and for taking the most special care of our beloved pug when we travel. We are eternally grateful to her and her family.




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