I don’t think I’ve ever needed a vacation as much as I needed to get away with Nick to the Big Island over New Years.
Nick has always had a vacation around Christmas and New Years. It’s one of the few times that the military will be like, here, take a week off. When you are attached to a boat like Nick is, you can’t take vacation whenever you want. You have to do it when it’s good for the boat.
So Nick’s Christmas vacation is pretty precious to me. Last year, he was so tired and burnt out that he didn’t want to go anywhere. He just wanted to stay home and rest.
We had a lot of fun just hanging around. But, after living in Hawaii for 4 years, we still have a huge bucket list of things we want to do. Nick has been dreaming about going to the Big Island for years to see the lava, to go to the top of Mauna Kea, and to go diving with manta rays (and we did all of that and more on our trip!!). I decided it was time to just go.
Over the summer, while Nick was out to sea, I looked at our budget and decided to start planning for a little Christmas getaway. I had a feeling that Nick would be off for New Year’s, so I booked a cabin in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park has a military camp where you can rent cabins with fireplaces for pretty cheap. The elevation is around 4,000 feet, so it’s a lot cooler. I thought it was the perfect winter getaway & the perfect excuse to get out my winter sweaters.
I knew what would make Nick feel refreshed and recharged – hiking, road tripping, and exploring. So I just booked the trip.
Never have I ever taken it upon myself to spend a ton of money on a trip like this. But when he came home from his underway, I told him that I booked a trip and that I thought we really needed a vacation. I told him that if he really didn’t want to go, we could cancel it and get our money back.
He was actually pretty excited about the idea. I didn’t have to do any convincing. I think that he liked that he didn’t have to do any planning or thinking. BUT I didn’t tell him where we were going (until I accidentally slipped!)
It was Nick’s first time off the island in 1.5 years. It was his first vacation in that long, too. He desperately needed it and we desperately needed that time together. I wanted to capture the trip so I booked a photographer to take some 4th-anniversary pictures for us. Looking at the pictures makes me so happy because I can see how relaxed Nick is. I’m planning to put them into a book for Nick to take with him on his deployment. He hasn’t seen them yet!
Here are a few of my favorites! I’ll be sharing more about our trip in the coming weeks!
All photos by Ann Ferguson Photography, who I adored!
Do you do anniversary photos?