This year’s May felt similar to last year… Minus the pandemic part, of course. It started off with Curtis being gone, his ride being extended and there being several weeks of not knowing exactly when he’d come back, but ended on a positive note. He returned home in the third week of May, and we finally received our orders at the end of the month!
Charlotte and I after 2 months of quarantine
The first half of the month was uneventful — just the way I prefer life to be when Curtis is gone. I walked to my park every day, I worked, and I went to the grocery store once. I waited for the PCS orders that never came, I stressed about the move, and I did everything I could to trust God, remain calm, and live in the moment.
The day Curtis came home was a great day — this ride actually turned out to be the longest we had been separated since OCS in 2015. It was 33 days in total…nothing compared to a deployment, but having it come up last minute, during a pandemic, and when we were getting ready to PCS made it more challenging. But like all other underways, it eventually ended, and we were better for it. We celebrated with poke and chocolate haupia pie from Ted’s Bakery.
Given a couple weekends together, we returned to two of our favorite hikes and botanical gardens. First, we went to Koko Crater Botanical Garden to hike the loop trail and enjoy the blooming plumerias. Additionally, we finally planted some letterboxes — the first we’ve planted on this island. We’ve been hesitant to do so because we don’t see an active community here or longevity with the boxes that have been planted. There are either too many people to be stealthy, or the environment isn’t right to hide on narrow and eroding trails in the mountains which see rain frequently. But our friends had left some carves for us to plant, so after a year of trying to find the best place, we hid them where we hope they’ll last the longest.
On the last weekend of May, we returned to Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden and hiked the Likeke Trail again. Last time we hiked it with the Hawaii Trail and Mountain Club, and we were excited to hike it alone. Since we weren’t surrounded by other hikers, we were able to go at our own pace and really enjoy the views. We only saw 2 other groups hiking the loop in the opposite direction. However, when we came to the back entrance of the botanical garden with only 2 miles of road walk left, we found that the gates were locked with signs saying it was illegal to enter this way. Without saying how we got around that, I just wanted to note this to future hikers, this trail may not be as doable without the Hawaii Trail and Mountain Club. Or maybe the signs are still up from when the botanical garden was closed for COVID-19. Who knows? The gardens are still free and open to public access, so besides them not wanting cars to enter the back way or people to enter the gardens when they’re closed, I don’t see why this gate is locked.
Finally, the month ended with us finally receiving orders — confirmation that this move is actually happening! Hopefully. We’ll share more later. Happy June, everyone!