Ummm, so.... I've been keeping this under wraps, which has resulted me in not posting anything at all, because I feel weird not talking about this huge, amazing, awesome thing that happened to us:
Ben and I went to Hawaii.
Now hold up. Lessss get to the neetty-greetty (Nacho Libre) first thing. Ben has a client who went through brain cancer last year - and survived (!). He and Ben would talk about me when they would meet to talk about this guy's house plans - Cancer Shop Talk, so to speak. He offered for us to stay at his penthouse on the southwestern beach of Oahu for a week for freeeeeeeeee. All we had to do was get there and pay for fun stuff and food, etc.
And we decided to go.
For those of you who are like, "Um, hiiiii, of course you did! Why didn't you tell us?? Good for you!! You deserve this after the year from hell that you've had!" - bless you. The reason I was really hesitant in sharing it is that I didn't want it to appear that I was using money that people gave to me, to help with cancer costs, to go to Hawaii. Does that make sense? My dear friend set up a Go Fund Me account, and people contributed to it. We used that account to pay for my cancer treatments last year, and we were so, so grateful to the people who contributed. I still get a little teary-eyed about that.
I just don't want it to be misconstrued; that we accepted this money to pay for cancer, and because we didn't pay those bills, we had money sitting around that we used to go to Hawaii. That's not the case at all. We didn't have money to pay for medical bills then, nor do we now. We're in very humble circumstances. The penthouse was free, a generous offer from a good client. And then we used part of our tax refund to pay for the flights, food, fun, etc.
I mean, I suppose we could have (should have?) used our tax refund to pay people back for the money they contributed to the Go Fund Me account? But I felt that they money they gave was a gift, not a loan. Am I wrong to think of it in that way? Should we have looked up every person that donated money to us and payed them back? We still couldn't have paid everyone back - our tax refund wasn't that large.
I don't know. I kind of feel that 99.9 percent of people who contributed to that account probably would have given their enthusiastic blessing if I had asked permission to go to Hawaii. I know that I would have been in that camp, if roles had been reversed. If I saw a friend, family member, or acquaintance going through the horrors of cancer and cancer treatment, and if I had the means to contribute money to her Go Fund Me account, and she had a chance to go to Hawaii, I wouldn't think twice about it. Because my contribution had been a gift. I didn't expect to be paid back. I gave from the kindness of my heart. And I would want her to experience some kind of happiness after all she had been through.
Am I wrong to think that our choice to go was okay?? I don't know.
Am I a serious buzz-kill for issuing this declaration before we proceed to talk about how paradisaical and fun Hawaii was for us? Probably. I just needed to put it out there that I'm not a selfish jerk or a user. Fair? Okay. Moving on.
Soooo, when we got there, it took forever to get our bags, get to the penthouse, get some groceries for the week, etc., and then we had jetlag, so I dropped off to sleep at about 7 p.m. Ben lasted a couple more hours and then conked out. So we didn't do much. But here's the place we stayed. It was incredible. I was a little bit blown away. Here I am, in shock and awe, on the lanai, or balcony:
Here's the kitchen/dining area that leads to the lanai. You can slide the lanai doors all the way open if you want:
Stay tuned for Pearl Harbor. I'd like to say that I'll be posting about that tomorrow, but...you never know. Life is busy. Reeeeally busy. I'll have to tell you about that at some point, as well. Many interesting and varied things have been going on at our maison. I'll try to be better at updating.