One of my favorite parts about holidays is remembering how we celebrated them in years past. Having lived in a different state for the each of the past 5 Fourth of July’s makes it fun to reminisce. (2017 CT, 2016 SC, 2015 I lived in IA but was in SD and Curtis was at OCS in RI, 2014 AZ, 2013 IA but celebrated in MI) This year’s wasn’t especially exciting, but I still want to record it to remember for years to come!
Our day started with a morning get together for families of the boat, involving donuts, yard games, and water balloons. Afterwards, we did some yard work at home — it feels like fall here because our mango tree is losing leaves like crazy and we’ve had to rake almost every day! Then we took Charlotte for a walk to make up for leaving her in the morning and later that evening. Because 50% of owning a dog is feeling guilty whenever you have to leave your pet home alone for more than 30 minutes.
Knowing the beaches would be packed, we took her to Kawainui Park to walk the trail that goes along the marsh. Walks with Charlotte are never long and include plenty of stops to smell everything. This is my favorite place to take her because it’s not as busy as the beach and has great mountain views and a variety of interesting birds.
No endangered birds spotted today, just some friendly ducks who were expecting us to give them food.
That evening, we went to Kailua Beach with some of Curtis’ shipmates for the advertised “Air Show” and fireworks. Calling it an air show was a bit of a stretch…there was a plane that flew over the bay and 3 parachutists jumped with an American flag. We still enjoyed the company and walking the beach alone together.
The last time we had seen fireworks together for the 4th was in 2013 — before we got married! We’ve always been too unwilling to deal with crowds and traffic to make an effort, but this year we decided…why not? Kailua is a pretty small beach town, and when there’s bigger and more impressive firework displays downtown, why would everyone come here? Well, the beach was still completely lined with people, but we had an enjoyable night nonetheless. How could it not be, when we’re on this beautiful beach? The show is funded by the public and lasted maybe 10-12 minutes. We stayed for a while afterwards to wait out the traffic. As it turns out, Hawaiians don’t celebrate the 4th like they do New Year’s Eve, so not everyone had their own firework/firecracker display going all night long.
Curtis had to work Thursday morning through Friday at noon, but we were still excited to have the rest of the day and Saturday to be together. We did errands and yard work together on Friday, then decided to take Charlotte for a sunset hike. We’ve clearly been too lazy to get up for sunrise hikes, but this inspired us to start making a better effort…or at least to go out for sunsets more often!
For this evening’s hike, we chose Koko Head because it was shorter and paved, and not socked in with clouds like the Ko’olaus were. We parked at the Koko Crater parking lot and crossed the highway to begin our hike. Just like last time when we did this at sunrise, we saw a surprising number of cats along the beginning of our walk, and Charlotte was very brave and well behaved while passing by.
We walked all the way up and to the end of the pavement. There were several other hiking groups, but we still enjoyed some moments of peace and quiet together as the sun dropped below the clouds and golden light reflected over Diamond Head and Honolulu.
We drove home in the dark — something we don’t do often, and it made me nostalgic for taking long road trips on the mainland. To wrap it all up, Curtis made us delicious burgers for dinner. All this, combined with the fact that we still had one whole day together before the 7 day work week, made for a perfect, relaxing night.