Day 28-29 – Good-bye Kauai

Farewell to our little home away from home at Pali Ke Kuia #140.  It was the perfect space for us.  I sat on round ran-tan chair that rocked and swiveled while Bob sat on the couch.  We had a round table where we would place our snacks as we read, talked and watch movies…yes I brought our Apple TV and it worked perfectly.

The rainbow was the first to greet us as we went on our last walk.  Bob claims it was a sign.  I’m not sure what kind of sign but I’m hoping that it will follow us to Mesa where it is currently 118 degree!

This lone little bench was our sunrise and sunset bench.  It provided a lot of quite zen time for us.  I think I will miss it most.

Leaving Pali Ke Kuia - Home in KauaiOur sunrise and sunset benchRainbow

We discovered a path from our property to the beach below just two days ago.  I was hesitant to go because it was steep and appeared to be long and I knew what goes down must come up!  Luckily they had perfectly placed benches to rest right when we needed it.

The picture of the hillside below is from “our sunset bench”.  It is the hillside that takes you to the beach.

Bob braving the first ascent down the path.

Beautiful scenes all the way down.

Cliff walkway picturewalkway to the beachBob on pathway under treeView of the beach

I am embarrassed to say that in our month here on the island I never touched the sand or ocean.  This beach was really smooth rock with moss covering most of it.  It was a bit sketchy but I took my shoe off and made my way very carefully to the water.


Tennis shoes


Christi on beach

Bob is taking it in for the last time.

Bob looking at ocean

On the way up I found another example of plant species that attach to trees.  Interesting root system on the trees.  They are everywhere on the island.

Since our flight does not leave until 10:10 tonight we have found a quiet corner at the Saint Regis to hang until it’s time to head to the airport…it is only 2:30!

This island with all is divergent beauty gave us time to find perspective and a chance at a new start with peaceful hearts and a commitment to care for ourselves and each other. Here’s to new brave beginnings.

Farewell Kauai







Day 18-27 – I’ve been focused on healing…that’s my only excuse!


These were the three books that Bob and I read on our first leg of our sabbatical.  I started reading Emotional Agility on our plane ride here just to warm up!  Though much of her work echoes Covey, there were insights that were very helpful, like rescripting our stories from our parents and other influencers from our past.  We were able to apply, through long afternoon conversations, what would best help us rescript broken dialogues about ourselves and our marriage and begin the plan for an authentic … rest of our lives.

Here are some of my key take-a-way’s:



Sabbatical Notes

Figure out what Heavenly Father wants from me?

“We detect rather than invent our mission in life.  We need to be aware of our own uniqueness and the singular contributions we can make to the world.” Stephen Covey

“Everyone has their own specific mission in life.  Therein they cannot be replaced, nor can their life be repeated.  Thus, everyone’s task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it. “ Victor Frankl

What is my mission for the balance of life?

If we could be truly excellent at only one thing, what would it be?

Remember this: whatever decision or challenge or crossroads you face in your life, simply ask yourself…

“What is essential?”

Eliminate everything else.

“One does not accumulate but eliminate.  It is not daily increase but daily decrease.  The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.”  Bruce Lee

Stop hyper-focusing on all the minor details and see the bigger picture.

Three core truths:

  • I choose to
  • Only a few things matter
  • I can do anything but not everything
    1. When we surrender our right to choose, we give others not just the power but also the explicit permission to choose for us.
    2. Take the time to explore all options.
    3. See trade-offs as an inherent part of life.
    4. Spend as much time as possible exploring, listening, debating, questioning, and thinking.

This should look familiar to our children.  This is where the “3 Napkins” lesson came from on our road trip back east 25 years ago:


Seven habits 123

Of course many islands comes equipped with an old lighthouse.  It is unfortunate they aren’t used much anymore.  They add to our beautiful history and landscape.

The lighthouse was surrounded by a bird habitat.  The mountain that appears to be filled with white flowers…well those are actually birds…Booby birds to be exact.  Yes, and they apparently have red feat…

A sailboat dots the ocean while the cruiseliner seems so close we could almost swim out and jump on!  This is our Hawaiian home from which we spotted the sea ferrying vessels.

I am officially hooked on Yoga….”hot” to be specific.  I went in to sign up for a few classes and the time slot, unbeknownst to me, was the advanced class.  Still fell in love with it and went every weekday for 2 weeks.  I am hoping I can find a place in Mesa that will have not only the same instruction but the same spirit of the place.  I’ll miss LuLu and her Yoga space.  If you are ever on the north end of Kauai in Princeville and love Yoga I highly recommend going to see her.  It is called “Waves”.

There is something sacred about the unfinished floor.  She walks on it before class.  The leaf is for connection, the bench for renewal and the mirrors…well that’s obvious.

This is the view of our walk everyday.  It rains more on the north end of the island creating these incredible waterfalls.  This mountain is recorded as the wettest place on earth.

Bob knows that I love small inspiring quotes to fuel my day with good thoughts.  This is the cover of a gift he got me after lunch at the “Bistro” .  Another great spot to eat on the island by the way.

Gift messages

For our final Sunday on the island we had the lucky chance of spending it with Brad and Lael who just flew in for their 15th wedding anniversary!  It was so delightful to see them!

Brad and Lael Hawaii




2 weeks in Hawaii (Day 14 – 17) – Flying

Sky Diving

Deep Sea Diving


Zip Line

Which adventure should I choose?

This one…

Christi freedom
Flying upside down! Best way to go. I felt free. While others were hooping and hollering all the way across I was just silent, taking it in. It was such a sense of awe.
Me flying between white trees
One of the longer rides…1/2 mile!
It was “Green” heaven
Group picture
Group I flew with. Great fun people!
Avatar picture!!!
View of the mountains where they filmed Avatar
The stop
This is how they stopped us. I big block of wood and a guide tethered to the landing post.


Day 13 – Trying new things…

Time for Mindfulness and Yoga…

While Bob and I were at the local shopping market in Princeville he pointed out a brand new Yoga business that was just one week old.  In the spirit of aligning with the mission of a sabbatical I had mentioned to Bob that I would like to learn meditation so he got me the information and I went the next day just to check it out.

Lulu was a very delightful, very thinly in shape sensi type of owner.  “Yoga is meeting yourself where you are at, not the others.  This is a difficult class but I don’t want you to feel any pressure.  Be in touch and move to your own self awareness.”  It was something like that.  What was she trying to get at?!  Just kidding…she knew I had zero experience and I was an old chubby little lady.  I’m ok with that.  So I not only joined the class but I stayed for my first class!  I have never sweat like that in my life.  I was looking around wondering if anyone else felt like throwing up.  I  made it the full hour with multiple adaptations.  The best part was at the end when she had us lay on our backs with our eyes closed.  She turned on the fans…heaven…and then spray a mist of lavender scented water over each of us.  I’m going back just for that.

My new schedule:

5:45 Walk with Bob

6:45 Meditation

8:00 Yoga

9:30 Swimming

As of this posting we have 2 1/2 weeks left before we head back to Phoenix/SLC.  I would love to think it will make a physical difference in my size, but if not, it won’t be for not trying.

YogaNo shoes yogaWave Yoga


Day 12 – Hunt babies in Kauai!

We spent the day in the tiny little village of shops on the north shore.  We were told the gas station had a great restaurant!  It seems the villagers might be getting a little desperate.  As it turns out the Chili Pepper Chicken was delicious.

When in Rome…

They also have a snow cone store.  I’ll have to check it out in light of the picture below.

Hunt kids in Kauai
Chelsee sent this to me the other day and it made me smile.

I love these two “bookends”!

Brayden with Charlie
“I can’t wait to teach him things…like the difference between ‘he and she’…”

Day 11 – God’s Creative Work

While I was busy taking pictures of plants, Bob was telling the neighbors I was a botanist so we didn’t get arrested :)!

But look at the magnificent imagination of form and color!  Orange agave, pink and salmon combined to create this flower and tiger striped agave…  Not sure this would work in interior design class but imagine a great designer would lean into nature to choose what works best together.

Days 10 – Aloha but no Linger Longer Luau and Waimea Canyon

We entered a tiny chapel of 8 rows thinking we would stick out like a sore thumb.  We were warmly greeted by a women who bragged about the fact that she is a retired teacher from LA and has a home right on the beach.  She then informed me that there are 15 active members in Kauai but to expect up to 250 visitors.  We filled up chapel and overflow with a bunch of white mainlanders!  Faithful saints from all over who took a break from the sun and went to worship the Son.  A couple of boys from the mainland wore the traditional skirt of the native men.  They were asked to help pass the sacrament.  A sister came around asking if anyone knew how to play the piano for the service.  Thankfully a sister agreed to play.  I wish I could have said with confidence that I did.  Dang.  One of the speakers is related to President Gordon and Marjorie Hinckley.  He told some amazing stories about his ancestors.

#1 A women in Europe (he thinks Denmark) allowed the very cold missionaries into her home to warm up.  She left the room to get them something to drink and while in the kitchen she heard them sing “God Be With You Til We Meet Again.”  She was not happy at first letting them come in but when she heard this song she was so moved that her entire family was baptised and came to America with their 6 children.  They came a little late and ended up traveling with the Willy and Martin handcart company.  The father died first and then the first three children of starvation.  They kept feeding the youngest.  The mother was the next to go.  Brigham Young had a vision 2 weeks prior of these children stranded next to their dead mother and sent help.  They were able to get the three children to SLC valley.  The oldest of the three only had to have her toes amputated.  This was the great grandmother of Marjorie Hinckley.

#2 He related the love story of two of his descendants.  The story goes that he met this beautiful young lady at some event and then lost track of her.  He wondered if he would ever see her again, he was so smitten.  Five years later he gets in the elevator of the Hotel Utah and sees her there on the first floor.  She was in a wedding gown going to a rehearsal dinner before her marriage the next day.  Legend has it that by the time they got to the top floor he had her convinced to end the planned marriage and marry him!?  True or not, it’s what makes legends out of stories.

#3  His grandfather on Marjorie’s side lived in Hawaii for many years.  The speaker told of the great love his grandparents had for each other.  Whenever his wife entered a room he stood.  He gathered the family and told them that 95 year old Grandma was in a coma and would be dying the next day.  He, 96, also announced that he would be dying the next day too.  They all said it was bizarre and thought Grandpa had lost it.  The next day Grandma did pass away and 6 hours later so did he…of natural causes.  They had purchased a double coffin.  True?  This guy was there…  What say ye?

LDS Church in Kauai
Aloha but no Linger Longer Luau

Afternoon drive after church to Hawaii’s Grand Canyon…enjoy Waimea CanyonWaimia Canyon

Bob at Waemia

Waimia Canyon picture
Another American tourist agreed that our Grand Canyon just got trumped… (Man, all of a sudden that word means something very literal.)

Waemia Canyon #2

Waemia Clouds
The clouds here are as beautiful as the mountains