2020-02-14 Kauai Day 4 – Aloha from Our Lanai in Hawaii 🌴

My preference, of course, would be to write a little every day. I like to record the memorable moments and some of the great experiences I’m having. However, I’ve opted not to sacrifice any time thus far, doing things and seeing things for sitting down to write. It’s a good choice I think and hopefully the pictures we have taken will serve us well as a memory into this special time.

I’ve been snorkeling twice with Jim so far this trip and so this morning, I suggested he go alone and venture out a bit more than he would be able to do holding my hand and constantly attending to my fear and anxiety about the water. The whole snorkeling this is pretty bad-ass, and I’ve seen things I never would have seen if it weren’t for his love and support and encouragement. I’m not going to hash into the reasons why I have a fear of the water and drowning, I just know, it’s pretty amazing how he has helped me deal with that enough to enjoy the activities here in such a short time.

As with the previous three days, today is going to be another action packed adventure. When he returns we are doing a self-guided driving tour of the south part of the island which will include some cool hikes and stops at points of interest along the way. With four distinct areas of the island, it’s about a day each to explore around and really take in all that Kauai has to offer. After that, we return to the resort for a couples massage outside at a cabana by the ocean followed by dinner at a nice steak house (as long as we don’t opt for something else, which has happened a couple of times on the trip thus far).

It seems I’ve already used my hour up, again opting to sit and stare at the ocean, drink my espresso (there’s a machine in the room and that is definitely something I could get used to!), and write something special into the valentines day card I bought my husband to surprise him with a gift I brought all the way from home.

Yes, folks, not to be ignored is the fact that it is Valentines day. Historically a day I have loathed and grumbled about. This year, though, I get to keep living my word – which is to love the people you have in your life everyday and not just on special days. Today, I celebrate with my love and hopefully will get to keep on celebrating all throughout the year.

Loving the Whole World Today! 💕🌸💕

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-02-10 Miss SugarCookie is on the Move 💃✈️ 🌴💕🍹

We successfully woke up and got up when the alarm went off at 3:55AM. Yo, that’s the freaking middle of the night. But that’s the price you pay to get to your destination with enough time to get your bearings and potentially do something before the sun goes down.

So this is it.. the honeymoon I’ve been dreaming of my whole life. Literally. Even when I was a teenager and vowed that I was never getting married, I still fantasized about having a honeymoon. That some handsome and charming man would sweep me off my feet and we would escape together. Of course it was off into the sunset. Sometimes it was on horseback (yes.. really) and sometimes it was in some cute sports-car. I was a very day-dreamy girl.

Well that vow never to get married was broken when I was 19 and I never had a honeymoon. I mean, unless you count packing all my clothes into the back of a used Honda and driving across the country where we were stationed (las Vegas). I don’t count that. I made many questionable decisions and was fearless. I wasn’t riddled with anxiety and had not learned yet what bad things lurk everywhere. Just a baby really.

Fast forward a lot of years of learning about life and love and really being in control instead of always just letting everyone else dictate my choices. I jumped in the drivers seat and took the wheel. I was still that same girl, with the same dreams. By that time it was more realistic. It still involved a person, an equal partner. Someone supportive and kind who would lift me up but that bit about escaping into the sunset didn’t really change.

You remember that Vis? You called me out for having fantasies of fairy tales? Yeah.. that hopeless romantic was still a strong force inside. I said “whatever.. what girl wouldn’t want that?!” I still remember writing those words. (I recognize that not every girl does, because we all have different dreams).

I fantasized about Hawaii and going on a honeymoon there. In my head it was that ultimate romantic destination. Even after my divorce when I said I would never get married again, I still thought about the islands with, of course, the man of my dreams.

Then when I Thought I found him and was so sure he was my person and we would be together for the rest of our lives, I began to hold my breath. We had some great vacations and we slowly began to build a life together. Slow would be how I would characterize that aspect of our relationship. We loved fast and lived slow.

It was sometimes so slow that time may have stopped. After about 3 years the holding of the breath started wear on me. In all fairness, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted either, so his fear of commitment dictating the pace was something I just shrugged about. In the back of my head, and down in my soul, something still festered and became restless. Was it the idea of a honeymoon in Hawaii? Was that just the facade for the real dream.. the person who would be for me? I think so.

Most of this is history I’ve poured over before, but today of all days, it’s about as relevant as it gets.

I decided to leave that 5 year relationship and shortly after that was done-done (late 2016), I was also contemplating leaving the job I’d had for 5 years. Enter the Organic Miss SugarCookie, who made her debut early in 2017.

That year I not only figured out how to take back control of my life (again) but also learned how to really start making decisions to move myself in the right direction. I let go of the fantasy of finding someone to complete me and sweep me away to some tropical destination and magical life. I started making changes to make myself healthier and happier. As my tag like says “one day at a time”.

Not only that, but I said “Efff you” to the idea Of a honeymoon in Hawaii. I booked a trip at the end of 2017 to spend a week on Maui with my two amazing children. It was an epic vacation and an unforgettable time for the three of us. We did so many incredible activities and I wanted to make it one of the most memorable times of their life. It was priceless and proved to me that life can be whatever you want if you work hard and go for it.

Little did I know that four short months later I would meet my person. Yes.. the one!!

Fast forward about 2 years (yeah, coming up fast on that anniversary), and here we are. Sitting side by side on a plane on our way to LA. After a short stop there (barely enough time to get to the next gate) we’ll be taking off for our final destination… Kauai Hawaii!! 🌴

Oh the irony! 😜

Getting ready to land. Next stop.. the beautiful tropical paradise of my dreams with the person of my dreams!!! 💕🌸💕

Much Love!

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-09-29 Austin Day 2 and 3 and Done

It’s really been more than a day, but a full itinerary doesn’t leave a lot of time for reflection or writing.

Saturday we had a girls spa day followed by an evening out with a group of 5 of us. Steph couldn’t make it up from Galveston because she was not feeling well so that was kind of a bummer. We had a good day though.

We started the day with brunch out. The spa was in the same shopping plaza so that was a nice brief walk under an overcast sky. In the afternoon their was rain and thunder and it would have been a good time for a nap but I couldn’t quite calm my brain enough for that and settled on doing my mid-term summaries for school instead.

Then as evening approached we all got dressed up (including pink hair this time) and then headed back out for dinner and drinks at the galleria. I had a tipsy bit too much and just rolled with the crew to a cocktail/boutique bar. That’s a thing. It’s a combo place with different setups for tables and chairs and decor and art and it’s all for sale. Not like you buy your chair and take it home with you, but it’s all stuff they sell that you can order. Wild right?!

I don’t need any thing, so it was just about the cocktails and conversation. That was good. Then we coasted home. The boys were our designated drivers and when we arrived home Rebecca poured us another and we sat out on the back patio. I was sure I was going to wake just sick, but I didn’t. Amazing.

I did, however, not get very much sleep (about 5.5 hours according to Fitbit) and am feeling just exhausted now. Today has been the most chill day yet, but something about knowing I am leaving causes a situation where I just can’t relax.

I’m on the first plane now, waiting to take off and feel like I could just fall asleep. I may just close my eyes and see what happens.

***

One flight down and one to go and I’m just wiped out. The good news is that I’m being picked up at techie airport and don’t have to walk to find my car and drive. I’m also in pretty good shape for my day tomorrow so I should get great sleep tonight. It was a quick trip but I’m glad to be heading for my own bed… and seeing Jim and the kids.

I don’t see a lot of travel in my near future and after discussions with my peeps I apparently have more wedding planning to do soon to stay on top of things. I don’t even want to think about that right now though. Right now.. I’m all about just getting my ass on this last plane and getting home.

That pretty much sums things up. ✅✅✅

Until next time,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-09-28 Austin Day 1 – Chillin in 90 Degree Heat

Yesterday was a very chill day with fam and a mostly normal Friday routine. I’m on holiday but they still have work and kids that go to school and activities to manage.

In the morning I had a fair amount of time to walk and think and then when Rebecca hit her stopping point with work we took to the neighborhood streets to do more walking and catching up.

She took the afternoon off and we met up with our other friend at her house on Lake Travis. Technically, she explained, their house is on a wide channel of the river that forms the lake, but the channel is so wide, it doesn’t resemble a river at all. It’s an incredible view from their back patio and we sat and had a drink and just talked.

Then the three of us went to this place called “The Reserve” which is also on the “lake”, which is kind of like a resort/local club/pool with restaurants and a bar and pools for kids and adults and a lazy river. We walked the lazy river for a couple of hours, with more drinks when the bar opened up. With school back in session the place was practically deserted. Apparently this is the last weekend it will be open which seems incredible to me. It’s still so, so hot.. if I had a membership I would keep going there well into the fall. But I guess these temps are atypical this time of year even for Texas.

I got pretty tipsy by the time we were wrapping up the session at the pool and was just coasting with whatever was planned next. That turned out to be dinner back at the house with the kids and more chill conversation on the back patio after the sun went down.

There were no clouds and the sky was so clear. Both Saturn and Jupiter were in view but no Orion’s Belt or dipper I could see There was very little moon so there were more starts visible and being this south of town it’s approaching the darkness possible as you drive west in Nebraska. There’s the faint glow of a band across the sky and I know, it’s the light from clusters of stars We can’t see. You have to be so many miles away from civilization with no moon and clear skies, like in the Badlands, to see those stars.

To see a sky that is more stars than sky. The light of some of those stars are only echoes of light that used to exist. In the time it takes to travel to our eyes, the star may have met it’s last day. It’s such a wild thing to think about. And the perspective of that can shift your thinking. I know it changes mine.

I went to bed fairly early again, exhausted from the long day of relaxation and conversation. My head was actually pounding and I was afraid the pain of it would spill over into my sleep and the next day. Today, I’m going to try for a little less drinking and a little more of everything else. 🙂

XOXO, ❤️

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-09-26 The In-Between Place 🌍 ☀️ 💚

It’s no secret I don’t care for air travel, but something about a solitary journey through the sky changes my mind. Not about the flying, but a shift of thought, deeper, more clear. Brighter perhaps.

Lifting off the ground I’m physically detached from the me that exists on the ground. The mother, daughter, lover, friend, student ceases to exist. Suspended briefly in not existing. Unburdened. This freedom from ties to a life creates within me a space where other things bloom.

If I was on the ground, I might call this a daydream of sorts but here, in the air, the definition of it eludes me. I like not having a word which means how I feel right now. That too, is freedom. Freedom from words and definition and rules that govern language. It’s just me here with nonsense and it’s ok because there is no we or him or her or them or us, except us, in this in-between place.

I can wonder about the river, overflowing and how beautiful it looks from here and how magnificent it is to see whole cottonwood trees swallowed in it. From here it’s a child napping. It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon. It’s a marvelous gift from Mother Nature. And I can wander around this, like the river and splay my mind in so many directions and it doesn’t have to mean anything. Tragedy doesn’t have to be tragedy. Pain and loss can be sweet cotton candy rolling across the sky.

There’s no consequence of thought in this suspended dimension. This existence is a wide angle lens. Here, I may even be able to admit that I do believe in God. Or not-God. Or the infinite formulations of atoms and sub-atomic particles that travel between God’s not-dimensions, like bees communicating in their bee language, beyond our comprehension. What secrets and predictions they must have.

And with this lens, I can see the earth from space, a tiny blue orb, tied to the sun, like I am tied to it by a man made word – gravity. And I can see her shine In the glow of the sun, with her cancer eradicated. In Remission for a time, let’s call it, a man-made ice age.

A beautiful planet, magnificent and overgrown with new life now that the human beings have all gone. The particles of their souls dispersed to other universes and so she turns. A pirouette around the sun that is no longer a sun because the language of man has been extinguished too.

The whales have their songs again and such joy in the freedom to roam. The birds, too, rejoice in song, and none lament the end of an era. The river swells and turns into another nameless ocean and in it, the most beautiful coral not-man has ever seen!

***

That’s probably enough nonsense and not-thought for now. I will be returning soon, to the good ground and the reality of language and people and communication and, yes, responsibility. Though, I’m going to try my best not to worry about all those ties too much while I’m in Texas. I’ll exist, but I probably won’t be as tuned-in as I normally am.

Peace and love,

🌏🐝☀️💚🐳🌺

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-07-31 NYC Wrap-Up 🍎

Final thoughts and stats on NYC:

1. Four Gallons of Milk consumed by the crew, plus a dozen eggs, 8 bags of microwave popcorn, 3 packages of cookies, two containers of strawberries, 6 salmon fillets, one and a half loaves of bread, One 3 pound bag of oranges, 3 boxes of crackers, and one Big Apple.

2. 24+ glasses and 10+ plates to wash every damn day (seriously, can’t people use the same glass twice?!?)

3. 80808 steps walked in 6 days (13466 average per day).

4. Average of 6 hours of sleep per night.

5. Too many sub-par cheeseburgers, slices of thin crust pizza, and hot dogs to mention.

6. 6 trips on the subway. Only once did we get on the wrong one and had to nav to the right one.

7. about 6 über rides, one that made us all afraid for our lives and also want to throw up the contents of our empty stomachs.

8. One panic attack (by yours truly).

9. Five 90+ degree days, with rain occurring overnight only once.

10. 765 Pokemon caught (by Z and C and I) and many, many battles won and lost.

11. 8 trips to Times Square, 5 to the corner grocery, 3 to Dunkin, 2 to Gotham Pizza, and 1 to Hells Kitchen in Hells Kitchen.

12. Not enough time to do everything but very, very glad to be back home.

That is enough. Time to get back to business as usual.

Peace Out,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-07-30 NYC Day 5 – A Girl and Her Limits

Nothing like trying to remember exactly what life was like 48 hours and 1,241 miles ago, especially when traveling has created a haze around everything. Where was I at again? Oh yeah, New York City. It was a Monday in the year 2019 and I was just a girl traveling with her family and trying to do every last damn thing… which pushed me to my limit.

Our first stop that Monday was to the new One World Trade Center. The time was 9:30AM. We had tickets to go up to the observation deck on the 102nd floor and experience NYC from the highest point in the city. From there, you can walk 365 degrees around and see for miles in all directions. Their slogan, “See Forever” feels spot on. You can see to the edges of earth where it starts to curve under. The advertised “experience” included a bunch of electronic nonsense — iPads, video clips, and interactive displays. As if being shot up 100 floors in less than 45 seconds and pondering life from such a height wasn’t good enough. Guess I’m just a simple girl.

The second stop of the day was a short walk from the new trade center. It was the memorial site and museum for the original buildings that were destroyed on 9/11. All of the 16 acres of land where the original seven buildings stood has been reconfigured into new buildings, a green space, and a memorial and museum. We did a 1 hour guided tour and also walked around the area above ground where the twin towers stood.

Those two locations have now been transformed into a pair of water features where the water descends into the middle past where the eye can see and the stone on the perimeter of the pools has the names of all persons who lost their lives etched in it. That was quite touching and the tour even more so. Our guide did a great job walking us through the museum and relaying information about the day, the towers, the structural collapse of the buildings, stories of people involved in escaping, rescue, recovery, and clean up in the months to follow.

I learned a great deal of new information and was moved to tears watching video of the bringing down and “laying to rest” one of the great concrete columns. The city has done a fantastic job with the space and it was time well spent.

Our third stop of the day, and last ticketed attraction, was the cruise out to the Statue of Liberty and trek up inside the statue. This was also memorable, but for very different reasons. This, “pilgrimage”, if you will, is a thing that most tourists who visit NYC do. An icon of the city and of our nations history, it is one of the most toured sites in the country. There were hundreds upon hundreds of people piling onto the cruise ships which departed about every 20 minutes. It was a massive moving crowd of human bodies on and off and through three different airport like security checkpoints. If they were going for the “huddled masses” effect, they were successful.

We had also not eaten since breakfast (and some of us don’t eat breakfast) so we also had the pleasure of being packed into the food court for what was arguably the worst cheeseburger I have ever had. Let’s make that official – Crown Cafe Cheeseburger, a solid 1 (terrible) on a 5 point scale. TO be fair, Jim had the “New York burger” and said it was delicious. There were lots of cooks on the grill and perhaps our line cook was having an off day. To make matters worse, our tickets to go up in the statue were for 3PM and we were pressed for time and had to eat in about 5 minutes.

We gobbled the food, headed for the statue at a good clip, and then proceeded to climb the 215 steps that are inside the pedestal of the statue. Bear in mind, by this time of the day the heat was at its peak and there was a heat advisory on the island. I got to the top of the pedestal, quite winded, where you can walk outside and look. I took my time walking around and would have taken longer, but the rest of the crew were impatient to go up to the crown. They only allow a few folks a day up there and we bought our tickets months ago.

They let us through the roped-off section to the stairs that led up into the top of the pedestal where the statue is secured to the base. That is as far as I got. The next stairs to climb were a tight spiral that wound around the center of the statue. When I say tight, I mean narrow and steep, and confining. Once you commit to going up, there is no going back down. You have to get all the way to the top before you can descend down the other side of the spiral. I got about 20 steps up and a panic came over me. I felt trapped and hot and dizzy and nauseous. I went back down those 20 steps and waited at that level, alone, while the rest of our crew went up and came back down.

That is the first time in my life I was not able to do something because of a panic. I’ve been afraid of things before – rollercoasters, public speaking, driving up and around cliffs on mountainsides, scuba diving, snorkeling – and at no time have I ever let that fear get the best of me. It’s just all in the head, you know. You have to push past it and things always turn out just fine. This was different though. This felt less like a mental block and more like an actual physical limitation. As I stood there alone I briefly tried to talk myself into heading up and then, upon realizing it was not going to happen, I instead tried to reason out why my body was reacting the way it was.

All I could think is that it must have been the perfect storm to create such a commotion inside. The heat, the emotional draining from seeing the 911 memorial, the being packed on a rocky boat, the pounding food into an empty stomach, the physical exhaustion from climbing the first set of stairs, the lack of a break in-between hikes around the island and up. All of these things culminated in my having a meltdown at the base of the steps that led up to the crown. All these things were responsible, I told myself, and not just a simple fear of being trapped. It couldn’t be just that. I sat down and wept. It was the second time I cried that day and would not be the last.

When Jim and the kids came back down, we all descended the rest of the stairs together and once back inside the air-conditioned lower level, both Jim and Z took me aside separately to ask me what happened. I still couldn’t say anything more than “I just couldn’t do it”. Z put her arm around me and gave me a light squeeze. Then Jim did the same. That’s when the tears came again. I just wanted to be done, and magically transported back to the apartment, back to a cool place to rest. There was no magic, of course and It would take about 2 more hot, sweaty, physically and emotionally draining hours to get back home.

***

That evening would be our last in the City. I didn’t want to waste it and was quite sick of “vendor and cafe” food. The area we were located is called “Hells Kitchen” which is named partially because the area is so densely packed with exceptional restaurants. We had only been at a sit down place twice the entire trip and that was a damn shame. It was mostly easier to satisfy the kids needs by eating a quick slice a pizza or hot dog or hamburger on the go.

So after our recovery Jim and I went out to a real restaurant, just him and I. I wanted to go to the “Hell’s Kitchen” restaurant which was literally less than a block from our apartment. It was Mexican food and a margarita sounded like the perfect refreshing start of the evening. It was.

We had a great meal and got a buzz on over our tacos and nachos. It felt like a normal night out at home. It also gave me the pep I needed to venture out, one last time, to Times Square with Z. Everyone else was over it, but realizing that it was our last opportunity, we went for it.

Jim stayed back with the boys so it was a girls only night out. We hit the Disney store and one of a dozen “I ❤️ NYC” souvenir stores. We stopped in at the McDonald’s to get her fries and a soda, “dinner of champions” in the heart of Manhattan. We sat at a table between the streets and giant electronic billboards. We caught some more Pokémon and laughed a lot and then wandered back, carefully avoiding the group of mini-mouses and other cartoon characters. It was a great night and a good end to our Big adventure in the Big Apple.

There’s more to write (and remember) as always. Words that go forever and curve under the edges of the earth. But even the longest day has to end sometime and this one is quickly fading into the haze.

Next Stop.. Nebraska!

~Miss SugarCookie