February break has come and gone, and thankfully I’m still in one piece. Just a few short weeks ago I was extremely happy and excited to begin my journey to Hawaii, a beautiful island that I had never experienced before. I exited the airport in Hawaii, surrounded by palm trees and a breeze that gave me goose bumps even though it was as warm as could be.
The five-hour time difference confused me, the plane rides had aggravated my back, and I was walking around the island in winter boots.
But none of that phased me.
The smile that spread from ear to ear never left my face the entire ride to the place we would call home for our duration in paradise.
The week was filled with hikes and tours, surf and sand, and perhaps too much sun. Sunburns were prevalent and the salt stayed on my skin day after day.
We walked through craters and examined volcanoes. We went deep-sea fishing and got to witness dolphins and whales firsthand.
The beaches provided a variety of surfaces for us to lounge on. We ventured to a few that were accompanied by lava rocks, black sand, and beautiful white sand as well.
The sparkling light blue water was ideal for snorkeling and since I had never gone before, I was eager to throw on the life vest, and skim the oceans delicate surface, examining and snapping pictures with my underwater camera as I went.
There were yellow fish, blue fish, white fish, spotted fish, sea turtles, sea urchins, and way too many organisms I don’t know the proper names for.
The week had been phenomenal and when it was time to pack the night before our departure home, we were sad yet appreciative of what we had been able to do with our short time there.
However, when I awoke Saturday morning, I wasn’t greeted by anything other than tsunami warnings.
Not exactly the news you’d like to hear when you’re on an island.
Apparently the earthquake off the coast of Chile was supposed to send a tsunami toward Hawaii in only a matter of hours.
The airports were closed; people were fleeing from the coast. It was a nightmare.
We sat glued to the television, crossing our fingers that the damage would be minimal.
Luckily, it was.
The waves had settled and nothing traumatic had happened to the island. People were allowed to return to their homes as soon as the next day.
The scares however, were very real and showed just how little control we have over Mother Nature.