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  • Writer's pictureAlexa Kingaard


Updated: Apr 20, 2020

WEEK ONE – February 29th – March 6th

The universe has thrown us a curve ball, and all of us have a story, unique in circumstances, hardships, health issues and mental challenges. This is my story, one week at a time, and how I have come to appreciate the term, “We are not in charge.” Not that we ever were, but when I committed to accompanying my niece and family to Hawaii to help them relocate jobs from the East Coast, I convinced myself to remove all expectations from this adventure, appreciate the surprises that were in store, and let the universe dictate my future…and that it has! Even though I admit that I was a little nervous about leaving home for almost two months, what has transpired was definitely not on my radar. Not even close.

My friends urged me to buy a bathing suit. Even though I lived beach-close in California and hadn’t worn a bathing suit in decades, they insisted I would not want to miss the crystal clear water and opportunity to swim in the warm waters of Hawaii. I was a tourist, no one would know me and no one would care. I was never comfortable in a bathing suit or sunbathing, not in my teens, twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, definitely not my sixties, and since joining the Seventie’s club this was a prospect I couldn’t even consider. But then I came to the conclusion that no one cared but me, and I needed to latch on to opportunities that awaited. I bought a bathing suit, and was actually looking forward to spending a couple lazy hours every day, on white sandy beaches, perhaps where I would be inspired to start my third novel.

I gave a lot of thought to important documents, my book of passwords, setting up auto-pay features on all my monthly bills. I even learned how to use the hand-me-down iPad, just in case I didn’t have access to a desktop. My niece didn’t have one, but the libraries would give me the access I needed for the short period of time I would be gone. I pondered whether or not I should throw in my favorite framed photo of my two kids and myself, both adults, or leave it behind on the entry table. Just in case I was needed longer than anticipated, I wanted to have the comfort of of looking at their faces when I woke up every day, even though I would only be gone for seven weeks. I wasn’t leaving the state for good, I reasoned, but I was barely able to close my suitcase. I left the photo behind.

Landing, February 29,2020. At 38,000 feet, I decided to create a pictorial essay of my visit. We had coordinated everything in great detail, starting last Fall with plane reservations, the sale of their home in Virginia, a purchase of a new home in Oahu, the arrival of their German Shepherd on the same flight, and our landing times that would coincide within an hour of one another. I took two months off from my day job as a realtor, hung my license as referral status with my broker, and paid my income taxes before I left, one less thing to worry about being so far from home. We flew from two opposite coasts, but managed to meet at baggage claim fifteen minutes apart. The first leg of our journey, complete and successful. I told myself that any doubts I had of this trip not being the experience of a lifetime, was unfounded and silly.

We arrived at temporary housing on Ko Olina, home to the Disney Aulani Resort and three other top hotels. Tourists were criss-crossing streets, coffee shops had long lines, and the lagoons were a magical destination even if you weren’t a guest in one of these pricey tourist establishments. We used the first few days to grocery shop, find the best local places to eat, and fine-tuned a schedule that would work for all of us. We made reservations for a luau at the Polynesian Center in Honolulu, picked out a few state parks where we could all appreciate mother nature on the weekends, including the dog. We picked a date the following week to have dinner at the Four Seasons, not only for the superb dining experience, but for the beautiful Hawaiian sunset that graces every travel magazine around the world. It was all coming together, and I was getting excited.

My great-niece was enrolled in kindergarten to finish out the final two months of the school year. I picked her up daily from school while her parents worked long hours in their new positions. We strolled the lagoons, prepared dinner, took the dog for walks and found our new normal. We spent afternoons at the community pool, made home-made play dough, and completed homework assignments so she could spend quality time with her parents when they came home. After dinner, we all took a long walk to appreciate the trade winds and lush landscape. We were all settling in and adapting. Life, we were all sure, would settle down in no time.

And that was the end of the first week. I will write every few days to get caught up the present, and weekly thereafter. I would also like to add my post script that I call the “Upside.” There is always something to be grateful for.


  1. No matter what my misgivings were before I left, I’m in Hawaii for the first time!

  2. I can still fit into my capris that I bought five years ago

  3. I am in the company of people who love me


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