Sunday Morning 5/8/2022: Mother’s Day/Last Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! Wishing you all a day of peace, calm, and getting a bit spoiled.

Today is also Brett’s and my last day on Kaua’i, and our day will be spent finishing up our packing and cleaning out the refrigerator so we’re ready to go tomorrow. Brett already spoils me every day but I know he’ll put in a little extra effort today.

We’ll be up bright and early tomorrow morning to start our journey back to the mainland. Our flight leaves Kaua’i at 1:30 in the afternoon but we want to be at the airport by 11:30 to turn in the rental car and get all our bags checked (two for us and two full of YaYu’s stuff). Traffic heading south can be bottlenecked in Kapaa in the mornings, especially on Mondays, so we want to give ourselves plenty of time to get through that mess as well.

We made a last visit to the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge and Lighthouse on Wednesday. The views never disappoint. Brett got a new lighthouse t-shirt to take back to the mainland (he’s worn out two others).

We’ve enjoyed a quiet week in Princeville. We were thoroughly exhausted when we arrived last Sunday, more than we realized, and then had to turn around on Monday and head back down to Lihue to run a bunch of errands. We felt as if we were bleeding money at every stop: fees to get our wills witnessed and notarized; postage costs to send said wills to our son in Japan and the inflatable mattress back to YaYu; another lock for one of YaYu’s suitcases purchased from Target; gas at $4.99/gallon at Costco (cheapest on the island); food for the week from Walmart; and lunch from Konohiki Seafood. On Wednesday we headed back down the road to Kilauea to pick up my prescription from our doctor and visit the lighthouse once more, and on Thursday we did laundry, but other than going out for a walk most days we rested and read in our little condo. It’s been gloomy and rained a great deal this past week and we never got a chance to go to the pool.

This last Sunday morning on Kaua’i I am thinking about:

  • Things we accomplished this past week: All of our last minute moving stuff got done: we used up things, donated things, threw away things, and got all of our last minute business taken care of, including address changes and picking up my prescription from our doctor. We’ve done everything we ever wanted to do on Kaua’i, eaten at every place we ever wanted to dine, and we’re in good shape to go tomorrow. I’m thankful that between downpours Brett and I were able to get some walks in this week.
  • Good things that happened: We had a call from YaYu on Tuesday evening that she had been hired for a research position at Drexel University! She had been worried she wouldn’t find a job but then got three good offers this past week and picked the best fit. Along with finding a great place to live with her best friends, and having amassed a tidy amount of savings, she is in a very good place to begin her post-college life. On the not-so-good side of things though she caught COVID this past week from a visitor to her dorm floor who was sick and came up unmasked. YaYu is currently quarantined and missing out on several special activities for seniors, but she should be able to march in her graduation ceremony on the 14th. Brett and I are not sure how much time we’ll be able to spend with her, although we’ll all be masked the entire time.
Hawaii is the most isolated inhabited place on Earth. When you spot Hawaii in the picture above, the cost of living and supply chain issues here make a little more sense.
  • How we saved: All of our Monday expenses were necessary and planned for, and other than getting Brett a new Kilauea Lighthouse t-shirt, a reusable lighthouse shopping bag and another one for me from Foodland (they make the best reusable bags) we had a no-spend week. Our food for the week cost $109 (from Walmart and Konohiki Seafood), not bad for a bunch of (mostly) microwavable convenience foods that kept us out of restaurants. Every last bit will be gone by tomorrow morning with nothing wasted.

We didn’t eat the healthiest of foods last week, but we measured everything, kept our portions small, and were able to stay out of restaurants. The dinner plates in the condo are HUGE, so sometimes we put everything on one plate and shared.

  • Looking forward to next week: We thought we’d be helping YaYu get settled in her new place in Philadelphia, but it turns out she’ll be staying on campus until June 1 so we’ll be doing some other things for/with her instead. Meiling and WenYu arrive in PA on Friday morning and we’ll all be going out for a celebratory family meal that evening to celebrate YaYu’s graduation and my 70th birthday which both happen on Saturday. Brett and I are looking forward to visiting the Gettysburg battlefield on Thursday and we may try to also visit the Valley Forge historical site. We are not looking forward to our long flights tomorrow and will stay double masked the entire time.

Nene grazing on the golf course and Princeville’s mountain view. The pale white streaks on the face of the mountains are waterfalls, which form whenever it rains.

Princeville is a very lovely, manicured community filled with big, beautiful houses and condominiums situated around two championship golf courses (one of which hasn’t been open since 2015!). We enjoyed walking on paths around the golf course closest to our condo, seeing the all the nene, and waterfalls coming down the mountains, but will remain forever thankful for our funky little apartment with its beautiful yard in such a great neighborhood and location on the other side of the island. Princeville is just not our style.

Here’s to the wonderful additional two years we’ve spent on Kaua’i and to new adventures beginning this coming week! So lucky and thankful we got to live Kaua’i, not once but twice.


15 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 5/8/2022: Mother’s Day/Last Day

  1. Wishing you safe travels & fun family time! I’ve very much enjoyed experiencing Kaua’i through your eyes ( both times!).


    1. Thanks, Jen! We’re just about ready to go. Bags are packed, all the food is almost gone, and we’re checked in for our flights tomorrow. Just counting down the hours now. We’ll miss this place – I get weepy when I stop and thing of our life here.


  2. Sounds fabulous and Happy Mother’s Day! Safe travels! Hope your daughter feels better soon.


    1. Thank you, Cindy! We had a long conversation with YaYu yesterday; she sounds like all she has is a bad cold, but she says she actually feels better than she did a couple of days ago. Fingers are crossed!


  3. I can’t believe your days on Kauai are coming to an end. It really is the end of an era. I’ll miss reading about your life there and looking at the photos, but I am looking forward to reading about your new adventures! It stinks that YaYu caught COVID and will miss out on some of the festivities, but at least she’ll be able to participate in the ceremony. I hope she’s not having bad symptoms. Glad to hear she found a job at Drexel!

    Safe travels and Happy Mother’s Day!


    1. I too almost can’t believe our time here is almost over. No matter how much we will love the places we visit going forward, we will always miss Kaua’i and the life we enjoyed here. Our son thinks we may end up coming back! Doubtful, but who knows any more?

      Drexel job is a good one, and comes with benefits! She’ll basically be doing similar work to what she did last summer as a research assistant. Her new place is fantastic too.


  4. Hi Laura and Brett! Great to read your news, lovely to be connected. We’re all still traveling and I am so grateful for it! Maybe our paths will cross – see you down the road.


    1. Thanks, Mary! While I envy your traveling, at the same time I’m looking forward to our time in Nashville and being close by our granddaughter and daughter-in-law. Wouldn’t change this opportunity for anything. Two years as we well know will go quickly, and then we’ll see what happens. We’ll always be traveling though, somehow, some place.


    1. Thank you – we have a very long day ahead of us, almost 24 hours to get to our destination In Pennsylvania, but we’re ready to get moving again!


  5. Early congrats to YaYu for both graduation and a new job! What a bummer that someone with covid was so selfish. Another example of when you toss a small pebble into a pond you never know whom the ripples will impact.

    Happy Early Bday to you! 70 is a big number and you look great!

    One of the things I love about you is how open you are to experiencing what life brings. Being settled in one place (Nashville) wasn’t on your horizon, but you adore your grands and what an opportunity to form a lasting and tight bond with your granddaughter.

    I am nomading and am currently on Cyprus. To travel full time has been a dream of mine for a loooooong time – inspired by both you and the senior nomads. I am young to be doing this but I sense that I have a window of time between my son being launched and my parents not needing help. My observation from the aging people in my life is that somewhere between 78-80 traveling becomes too much. Significant, independent, international travel becomes too much. I also am 6 years into my knee replacements and the surgeon said most TKRs last 20 years. That will bring me a few years before the 78 warning line. It is in facing reality that I am making the best decisions for myself – even though many in my life think I’m crazy! I see you also facing the realities of your life. Furniture, cars, dogs….all big decisions!

    I’m sorry that our paths won’t cross this fall in England, but as a lifelong New Englander, I hope we will meet up when you move North!

    Soak up all that time with your girls!!


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