Healing in Hawaii

Stroop Therapie : Dutch translation = Syrup Therapy

A new Evolutionarily series chronicling the moments that left their mark during a time of self discovery and renovation.


“The bad stuff is easier to believe.”(1)

This was true for me. Since my divorce I have attempted to rediscover the good stuff of me buried by deception. Thankfully, we were given the gift of life. Life equals an ever revolving door of opportunity to fully live as we were designed.

Broken things can always be fixed (2) thanks to a loving Father who sent His son, Jesus Christ. During the time My First-Evers journal began, I was learning with intensity that Jesus didn’t just suffer and give His life for the sinner; he also was crucified for those of us who are downtrodden.  We too, can be healed.

This is the way I chose to get there.


My mom asked me recently if I ever regretted spending so much of my divorce settlement on traveling. The answer is no. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have that in my savings for present needs or future use, but I immediately squash that because I can’t imagine my life without the experiences of My First-Evers journal. They are of far more worth than the value of money. My sister’s encouragement while visiting her in Seattle was that I wouldn’t regret it. She was right.

The first place on my list of places to go was Hawaii. My mom and sisters went there with my grandma, my aunt and her daughter when I was 12. At the time I thought it was unfair that they didn’t take me. It’s so like a 12-year old to think that. I still tease my mom and sisters about going without me, but it’s true that I wouldn’t have remembered enough to equal the cost. It’s never cheap to go to Hawaii and my oldest sister paid her own way.

A mother like mine lives through her kid’s pain along side of them. My dad agreed to give my mom a gift certificate for a trip to Hawaii for Christmas, so I wouldn’t be alone and because she needed some island therapy as well. Even though she’d been there 6 times before. My dad’s stipulation to my mom was that I wouldn’t find someone there to marry like my cousin had done several years before.

My Grandma Sammy loved Hawaii so much that she visited many times and took her kids with her a few times. The first time she went was with her sister, Clara. My great-aunt Clara kept a journal of their trip and I read it before I went to get the island fever. Reading her travel log inspired me to write in my journal every day of this trip as well as my trip to Holland. I didn’t want to forget anything!


My First-Evers: Hawaii

January 25, 2006 – Hawaii, Day 1

I am so thrilled to be writing from the Hilton Hawaiian Village hotel tonight! Mom and I arrived at 3:30 p.m. Honolulu time after a 6 hour flight from Salt Lake City. What a dream come true! And our hotel view!! This is so much better than pictures or my imagination.

It’s now 10:50 p.m. (2:00 a.m. Salt Lake time) and we’re settled in for the night in luxurious down comforter topped beds with our balcony doors and curtains wide open to hear the rushing of the waves of the January Waikiki Beach far below us. We can see the famous Diamond Head from our balcony through the slight haze of Hawaii’s rainy season.

After we picked up the rental car, I drove us straight to our hotel. We checked in, oohed and aahed over our room for about 20 minutes and Mom said, ‘Now that we’re in Hawaii, let’s act like Hawaiians and change our clothes (we were in layers having left 25 degree weather).

We changed and headed down to the village below (our hotel is its own village) to find dinner. We ate at the Rainbow Lanai buffet and stuffed ourselves with King Crab legs while sitting beach side–or at least we could hear that it was close by. I have a feeling that everything is going to taste better here than any food I’ve ever had…

I’m savoring every moment and bought a hat to help me do it. Meg Ryan, in You’ve Got Mail, says “ultimately all hats are a mistake”, but this hat is unmistakably perfect! Mom agrees.

Can’t wait to feel that sand between my toes so I’m going now to hurry the night along.



January 26, 2005 – Hawaii, Day 2

Sand in my toes indeed. Went down to the beach at 7:30 a.m. after ordering in breakfast. Swimming in this beautiful, salty sea is one of life’s events that I wonder how anyone could not love.

After we got ready for the day, we went down to the village shops to buy a green linen skirt I had my eye on the night before and a shirt to match as well as the most comfortable flip-flops. After changing, I was ready to conquer the world–especially after I put my hat on. It may have been over the top, but for once I didn’t care.

We arranged to meet Lance and Judy, people I had worked with at my Las Vegas job. I only knew them through phone conversations. They picked us up at our hotel lobby to take us to lunch and Judy greeted us with beautiful leis and hugs. (As I speak 9:20 p.m., the leis still smell heavenly.) They took us for Italian at the Ala Moana shopping center. The food was delicious and Lance paid, but the company was priceless. Judy and Lance are both of Japanese descent but have lived in Hawaii all their lives. They were both so cute and funny and pleasantly Hawaiian.

Lance expressed caution for our two-women-by-themselves adventure, like a father might. He said that on Oahu the directions are not North, South, East and West, but rather Diamond Head, Ala, Mountains, and Beach.

It was only after we left that I remembered my camera. I’m so disappointed!

After we parted ways with my kind friends, Mom and I stayed at the shopping center to explore. We walked by a few stores and then realized how mall-like they were. We decided not to waste Hawaii on them, picking up a mango smoothie and macedamia nut ice cream on our way out. Treasures in paradise!

It took us 15 minutes to walk back to the hotel and a then a 20 minute walk to the International Market Place where we had fun dickering with the merchants for our souvenirs.

We ate a fabulous dinner at Duke’s Canoe Club (Duke is known as the man to make surfing famous) where a gray mouse attempted to join us. I hear there are many island-bound critters here. After dinner we walked back to our hotel later via the beach as opposed to the streets. All this walking in my new flip-flops has given me blisters, but they are worth it for how cute I felt. Besides that, I could just take them off once I got to the beach.

Wading in the moonlit sand is a pleasure I won’t soon forget.

Tomorrow’s destination: Pearl Harbor.


The remaining 6 days in Oahu were just as spectacular for me, but I will just give the highlights in future posts regarding Pearl Harbor, horseback riding, parasailing, more eating, snorkeling, the North Shore, the Spa, church, more shopping, and a few mishaps involving cameras, hubcaps and wrong turns.


Today’s Syrupy Moment: Dario Marrianelli Radio Station on Pondora. Dario has a special place in my heart which will come to light in my Stroop Therapie days of writing like a banshee.


Footnotes: (1) It's a line from a movie. Guess which movie (without cheating) and I'll send you a prize. And no, it's not a gift certificate for a massage. (2) Elder Jeffrey R. Holland stated this in an incredible address given during my previous stake's Conference two years ago. His message: "God Loves Broken Things".

3 thoughts on “Healing in Hawaii

  1. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the movie, but cannot place the line. And I typed Dario Marianelli into Pandora and the first thing it pulled up was some Jon Schmidt, but I had to turn it off because it was making me cry.

    Reading this makes me want to go back to Hawaii. I wonder what my journals look like from that time? actually, I am a little afraid to read it because I was 18 and extremely dumb. Anyway, i am loving this.

  2. I just looked it up. I’ve never seen that movie all the way through, so now I no longer feel bad about not being able to name it.

  3. Oh, I loved traveling back to Hawaii. Put it all on your blog, okay?
    I asked the question about the money, because it was I who so strongly tried to talk you into spending all of your money on travel. You told me you hated not having a “life.” I told you that you DID have a life, it was a new life waiting to be written, and you should do things you had never done before. I was pretty sure you would never regret it, but was just checking with that question.

Your comments are the butter to my bread.

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