My 21st week of Pregnancy In GIFs

April 13, 2016

On my way to the anatomy scan.

Finding out that baby Fort is still doing well, and there is no evidence of scary stuff like placenta previa.

When an employee at Whole Foods comes up to me and asks “ma’am, are you trying to shoplift a basketball?”

When someone who is also due in August  tells me that they are working on their birth plan.

When my family members ask me how I’m doing.

When my friends ask how I’m really doing.

When I read about what it’s like to have a C-Section.

When someone says that a C-Section isn’t “real delivery.”

When someone randomly starts telling me their birth story.

When that birth story happens to contain bragging about an unmedicated vaginal delivery, and how they felt no pain.

When my midwife asks me about my exact plans about raising a child who will not be born for another four months.

When someone tells me that eating one grilled cheese sandwich/whatever else I crave isn’t good for me or the baby.

When I think about the gestational diabetes diagnostic test I scheduled for next month.

When I meet a new mom who shares my views on pregnancy and birth.

When I try to walk with pelvic pain.

When I think about the next 19 weeks.

Everyday Life

Nine Years

April 7, 2016

To the one who makes me laugh,
who makes up a new name for me every morning,
wears at least 2 shades of blue a day (eyes count, unfortunately for you),
who has a contagious laugh,
is courageous no matter the circumstances,
but never foolhardy.
Who can cook like a pro,
loves portobello mushroom ravioli,
and who can’t refuse a fish taco if it’s on the menu.

To the one who takes the dog out over half the time,
and handles the cleaning and the groceries just because I’m pregnant,
and says that he actually wants to do so.
Who laughs at my stupid songs and raps
who looks at me with shock and admiration when I bust out one of Biggie’s,
and doesn’t think I’m lame when I cry while listening to “Jersey Girl.”
Who finds the best new songs,
and shows me the best gifs.
Who uses his whole arm while playing foosball (to generate the most power possible),
and can hit a ping pong ball from behind his back.

To the one who gives the best hugs
and says all the right things.
Who always puts me first,
and does everything in his power to make feel loved, important, heard, and safe every day.
Who is everyone’s friend
loves the little things in life,
and who never fails to make me feel a little braver than I actually am.

To my amazing,
and wonderful husband —
my very best friend.

Happy anniversary,  Alex!

You are my life raft, the only one who can turn around any bad day, and the reason why I have had the courage to do big things. I am what I am today because you have been by my side. I cannot imagine my life without you, and could never have dreamed of a better husband or father for our daughter. The universe certainly looked kindly upon me on the day I met you, and I’ll never understand how I managed to get so lucky.  If it wasn’t for you, not only would I not know the kind of happiness that I do today, but I also wouldn’t have ever tried a taco from Taco Bell, heard of an oatmeal pie, or probably noticed that there were people who existed who said “mary,” “merry,” and “marry” the exact same way. 😉 You changed my life, and I love you more than anything in this world. Thank you for nine amazing years. Here’s to many more.


What I Didn’t Expect While Expecting

March 18, 2016

I had been crying nonstop for about seven weeks when I sat in my midwife’s office with a clipboard in my hand, filling out the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. On it, were questions asking if I was able to see the funny side in things, if I was so unhappy that I was crying, or if I had been feeling scared or panicky “for no very good reason.” I was taken aback by the phrasing of that last question, and didn’t know how to respond. Was fearing for my life for the past seven weeks, and feeling like I was walking a plank “no very good reason?” Don’t other people feel depressed, anxious, and fearful when they are pregnant? I answered “yes, quite a lot” anyway, and checked off some variation of “yes” for all of the other questions, as my tears fell on the paper. My midwife asked me why I was so unhappy, and I sobbed as I told her: I was afraid I was going to die, I didn’t trust my body, I didn’t trust anyone to help me. Her facial expression fell somewhere between shock and confusion, and she gazed at me for a moment before averting her eyes without another word. Alex told me later that when I left the room, she asked him if she thought my previous miscarriage had anything to do with my feelings. I still wish she would have asked me herself. I left the appointment feeling helpless, and so alone. Was there anyone who had felt or was feeling anything like me?

Since then, things have both changed and stayed the same. I still cry, I still feel fearful, anxious, and depressed, but with the help of therapy, a few select friends, and the Perinatal Support Washington warm line , I do feel a bit better. While I felt confused, alone, and like a bad mother before I sought explicit help for this problem I am facing, at least I know now what the problem is. Major Depression, my old friend, has come to visit me again. Depressive episodes that occur within the context of childbearing begin during pregnancy in 50% of cases, which is why the DSM-5 recognizes this type of depression as Major Depressive Disorder with the specifier of “peripartum onset” for new moms and pregnant women alike. What we know as “postpartum depression” in our society isn’t a diagnosis at all, partly because it doesn’t account for women like me, the women who begin suffering long before they have their babies in the arms, even though they often still struggle when they do. It’s the depression you are probably familiar with — like the kind I developed as a teenager — just occurring in a different circumstance. The context, no matter what anyone says, doesn’t make it more or less difficult. In my experience, as a person who has suffered from major depression with and without peripartum onset, there is no discernible difference. Depression is depression no matter what stage of life you are in, and it is awful during each of them.

It’s stigmatized to talk about mental illness as it is, though less so than it once was. The same goes for experiencing depression after giving birth. But talking about it during pregnancy? The conversation has only just barely begun, and it is the most underreported and perhaps the most stigmatized of all. You’re supposed to be happy during pregnancy, you’re supposed to “enjoy every minute,” you’re supposed to grin and bear any hardship and avoid anything that can be perceived as negativity if for no other reason than thinking of the children. It’s like carrying a child has taken away my own humanity. It has taken the support of many of the people that once cared for and were concerned about me, and turned their focus solely to the baby — someone they haven’t even seen, or felt, or met — instead. Words cannot explain the loneliness.

“Don’t be stressed, you’re going to hurt the baby.”
“Do you know what anxiety does to the baby?”
“Stress isn’t good for the baby.”

These are only a few of the things I have heard from a few individuals when I dared to reveal my unhappiness. While I’m sure these people are more concerned about mine and Alex’s baby than I am or Alex is (insert eye roll here), don’t they know that stressing further about how I could be negatively contributing to my baby’s health isn’t good for me? Trust me, I’ve read the articles in the academic journals, and all of that information is decidedly not helpful. Don’t these people know that depression isn’t good for any human being who would rather be happy? Don’t they know that pregnant women make up a part of the population of people who die by suicide every year? Don’t they know I need their love, and support, and encouragement to help myself get by?

I would be hard pressed to answer the questions “Who is being harmed more?” and “Who is more at risk?”
There is no good answer, and “more” is hard to quantify. I feel bad for the baby (obviously), but I do feel bad that I have to be on this road. Depression is extremely hard.

For weeks I silently apologized to the baby for being conceived by someone like me, for having me as their mother. I chastised myself for my “ungratefulness,” and sneered at myself about how I deserved to have miscarried in November because of that “ungratefulness.” Sometimes I still do, but I am trying to have compassion for myself. Pregnancy is the scariest thing I have ever willingly put myself through.

It has been a rollercoaster for me since I was 7 weeks along. Some days I am propelled above the fog, and some days, I am plummeting fast. I spend a lot of time thinking about all the things that ever made me feel happy and secure, so I can find some relief. I go on google maps to find the park I lived on as a child, and take a virtual walks. Other times, I imagine hugging my grandparents, or standing at their front door, or laying in the middle of the big backyard they had when they lived in New Jersey. Sometimes I even imagine myself on an actual rollercoaster at Six Flags Great Adventure, sandwiched between my brother and my dad as we slowly climb up the lift hill, preparing for the inevitable drop. When I do this, I manage to convince myself that I can handle the journey I’m on, and I will be okay. I was always okay in Radburn Park, or when I was with my grandparents, my dad, and my brother. I felt so assured that nothing bad would ever happen to me.

Being okay is what I hope for every day, and I pray all the time that nothing bad will happen to me now. But just like a rollercoaster, the only way off this track is to go through the ride. I guess I’ll see what is in store for me when I get to the end, and I know there is one. At least this time, during this depression, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel. I’m so glad to have the resources available to me, a great therapist, and a wonderful husband who help me to see it.

For all the days I feel like a bad mother for feeling this way, there are days where I feel like a brave one. I’m treading in the rising water of depression and anxiety, I’m battling and facing my fears at every turn, and I’m fighting through exceptional pain so that, come August, I can (hopefully) say hello to the person who required me to.


(I hope that as time goes on, I have better feelings to report. But just in case future posts don’t mention my pregnancy, or aren’t filled with excitement and gushing when they do: you know why. While this was hard to write after the pregnancy announcement post, I just wouldn’t be myself (or a good counselor!) if I stayed silent. The most uncomfortable things to say are often the most important.)


Wild Geese
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
-Mary Oliver


The One with the Pregnancy Announcement

March 4, 2016

If you saw me, you’d think that I have eaten one too many slices of pizza or that I am 16 weeks pregnant. It could go either way.

It is true. I am pregnant! Due in August!

We found out in December that we were expecting again, and were completely shocked. We were saturated in privilege and good fortune to conceive again so quickly after the miscarriage, and that our newest zygote was viable enough to become a blastocyst, and then an embryo which developed into a perfectly healthy fetus who is still going strong. We are very lucky. The first few weeks were filled with fear, and I convinced myself that the terrible would happen again at any moment. Though we saw a nice strong heartbeat at our 6 week ultrasound, I was never convinced that it would actually stay that way. I was surprised to learn that nothing bad had happened by 9 weeks, and that our cell-free DNA testing done at 11 weeks determined that the baby was a very low risk (for trisomies 21, 18, and 13) girl. Still, I was certain that it was too good to be true. I was genuinely shocked at our 14 week ultrasound to see a squirming, wiggling, flipping baby — still alive, still thriving. It was incredible. My feelings of fear surrounding the possible impermanence of this pregnancy diminished considerably that day. It seems like she is likely in this for the long haul, and it’s really one of the best feelings in the world.

It’s a tremendous relief to be in the second trimester, not in just having the assuredness of the likelihood that things will go well, but also because I physically feel so much better than I did earlier in the pregnancy.

It looks like everything’s coming up Milhouse.

Alex has been my life ring over the past few months (and really the past 8 years and 11 months), and has gone out of his way to ensure that I am comfortable, heard, and taken care of. He has been my beacon of hope, and has always believed that things would go well this time around. I don’t know what I would have done without his immense confidence. It’s the only thing that allowed me to feel any sense of stability. He has taken on sole cat-duty, attends to Em’s need for overly-rambunctious play, and comes home every evening bearing various snacks and foods that are most appealing on any given day. He has been to every midwife appointment, every ultrasound, and held my hand through it all. I’m so lucky to be married to him.

Now that I feel well again, we’re excited to resume some of our usual activities, and hope we can get in some camping, (mild) hiking, and trips out of the city in the next several months. Despite a couple of nixed pre-baby vacation spots because of Zika virus, we are still dreaming of a bigger vacation at some point before August! We have to devote some more thought to the location, but I’m down for pretty much anywhere that involves me sitting in the sunshine and drinking Shirley Temples. Alex, I hope, will spring for something alcoholic.

We are so hopeful, and so thrilled to share our news. We can’t wait to meet our our daughter this summer!
Hope all is well wherever you are!

Everyday Life

Lies I Tell Myself (the late January edition)

January 28, 2016

I probably won’t need my rain jacket.

I probably won’t regret not wearing my rain boots.

If we take the dog to daycare today, she will somehow become so exhausted that we’ll reap the benefits even tomorrow. She will be calm, and sleepy, and not crazy!

If not, this kong will keep her occupied for at least 20 minutes.

I don’t need to write down the date and time of that meeting, I have a mind like a steel trap.

If I stay awake until I can’t keep my eyes open, I won’t wake up every 1-2 hours in the middle of the night.

Tourists probably aren’t here in the middle of January, so it’s safe to go to Pike Place Market to buy some pepper jelly.

The dryer is basically an iron.

I’ll do ____ later.

Anxiety: it’s okay, it’s just a feeling, and today is the day it’s going to go away.

The Giants might make it to the super bowl next year.

Moving to the suburbs would be okay, and we won’t mourn our ability to walk to work for too long.

I won’t exhaust all of my social energy by “grabbing lunch” or “grabbing coffee” with “only” four people this week.

I’ll take a 5 minute internet-surfing break and get right back to work.

I’m a perfectionist because I want to attain the highest level of personal achievement that I can, not because I struggle with feelings of inferiority.

The only thing I’ve eaten today was a mint and an ice cube: I can spring for the third slice of pizza.

I’ll start making a real effort to post on the blog more often.

Everyday Life

Officially Unsubscribed from 2015

January 7, 2016

It is a relief to have said goodbye to 2015. It wasn’t all bad, I guess: celebrating another year of life, celebrating the birth of a nephew, celebrating another year of togetherness and marriage, vacationing, seeing my family, spending time in my hometown, seeing Alex’s family… — in the grand scheme of things, I should be thankful. But I’m just not. 2015 was filled with entirely too much heartbreak to color my glasses a shade of rose because of a handful of positive occurrences.

 Losing my grandma on the day of our nephew’s birth was jus confusing and heartbreaking — an unbelievable coincidence. Losing my grandpa two weeks later was excruciating. On vacation, I couldn’t silence the memory of his funeral service as I looked upon the Na Pali Coast, Psalm 23 playing over and over again in my mind. I cannot fathom putting a positive spin on the profound loss of two incredibly important people to me, people I owe much of my life to. I found myself crying in public for weeks after their deaths, and soon found myself doing the same when I miscarried my first pregnancy. A miscarriage: how can one be thankful for that? Alex and I don’t have the ability.

It’s amazing how loss can sour an entire year.
And I am so glad that 2015 has ended.

This year, however, has yet to be marred by tragedy, and has revealed to us an expanse of joys to look forward to. There are promotions (and raises) on the horizon, a 29th birthday, a 9th (!) anniversary, at least one bigger vacation, a few mini trips, and an exciting summer to look forward to.  I certainly am thankful for 2016, and can’t complain about what promises to be a wonderful, happy year for us.

This year, above all else, we’re going to take things one step at a time. It was advice we got from a perfect stranger on the day of our wedding, but we didn’t realize just how important and poignant that advice would be to us later. We’re going to plan what can be planned (like concrete vacation dates, which thankfully our schedules allow), and let the other chips fall where they may. The only thing we have to hold on to is the present, and we’re going to hold fast.

 We hope your holiday and New Year’s Eve celebrations were filled with happiness, and that 2016 brings you more of the same.

Everyday Life

Still Here.

December 17, 2015

The bomb exploded just before Thanksgiving. The shrapnel, by now, has stopped falling. The dust hasn’t yet settled, and some days it’s so thick that we choke on it, but other days — when we remember our respirators — things almost feel the way they used to. It’s in those moments that I know that we are going to be okay.

 But it’s still hard, nevertheless. I still find myself angry or sad when I see pregnant women, or when I hear the words “I’m pregnant” without a caveat like “for now,” which is so much a part of the lexicon for individuals who have suffered a loss. It’s an incredible pain. But what makes that pain easier to bear are the wonderful friends and family members who have called, Facebooked, and emailed just to offer Alex and I support, and to check on how we are. Making it easier still are the several people I have connected with who have also suffered losses, and who understand exactly what this feels like. The outpouring of love, caring, support, and friendship we have received in the past few weeks has given us an immense amount of strength. That strength, so far, has showed itself in various forms:

  • I was able to watch the episode of “Full House” where Becky announces her pregnancy without dissolving into bitter tears.
  • We went to a Gymboree, and the only reason we left in such a hurry was the creepy, nails-on-a-chalkboard rendition of “The Little Drummer Boy” playing through the speakers, and not because we were too sad to stay.
  • I don’t suddenly start crying as I walk down 5th Avenue or while perusing the aisles of Whole Foods.
  • We no longer hide our pregnancy and parenting books in the closet, stuffed under pillows.

Relief has mercifully found us.

That relief has given us the ability to go on, to think about, and to talk about something other than our loss, just like the good ol’ days. We’re back to analyzing which Food Network chefs we’re most like (Alex= Michael Simon,  I=Duff Goldman) or what we’d be named in another universe (Alex=Duquette, I=Steven [?]). You know — just deep, theoretical, super-important, non-baby, and non-miscarriage related stuff.

We went from not knowing when we’d ever laugh again to having fits of it. Just like that.

While this month doesn’t look the way I expected, the way it does look isn’t all that bad. We’ve got each other, we’ve got our humor, we’ve got our friends and family, and we’ve got our hope. We are going to be okay.

There is a poem by Langston Hughes that has seen me through many dark times in my life, and has again proven helpful as I walk through the rubble of our loss. I’ve repeated it in my mind almost every day for the past 11 years, and certainly over the past month. It is the called “Still Here”, and it reads:

I been scared and battered.
My hopes the wind done scattered.
Snow has friz me, sun has baked me.
Looks like between ’em
They done tried to make me
Stop laughin’, stop lovin’, stop livin’ —
But I don’t care!
I’m still here!

am still here. We are still here. And we are going to be okay

We really are going to be okay.

Everyday Life

Thanksgiving 2015

November 25, 2015

We spent our first Thanksgiving together in 2008, sans family – and definitely sans friends – in a state we had lived in for all of three weeks. With 1500 square feet of space, a huge dining table, thoughts of enough comfort food to feed a small army, and absolutely no one we loved to share it with, we thought the least depressing thing to do was skip the traditional Thanksgiving celebration for Thanksgiving Lite: the nontraditional Thanksgiving for traditionalists with tiny families. It felt like an abrupt change at the time, but looking back it was a natural progression, I suppose, for two people in their early 20s creating a new life together. It symbolized freedom, and the beginning of a new family, and novelty for the sake of novelty is what we needed to get started. We broke out a big bottle of red, quickly assembled the standard small appetizers like cheese and charcuterie boards (because snacking on Thanksgiving is everyone’s tradition), managed to find the only bag of Cheez Doodles in Athens, Georgia on the very bottom shelf of the chip aisle in Publix, stayed on the straight-and-narrow by baking the requisite three types of pie, and later that evening we came together with a novel entrée that just screamed “us:” a double batch of stromboli, and, of course, a big pepperoni pizza. We took our feast to the living room, sat on our couch, turned on the movie Twister, and laughed at Bill Paxton while we ate one of the best holiday meals of our lives. No huge dining table necessary.

 Despite not seeing my parents, brother, and extended family for the first time ever on my favorite holiday, and despite the twinges of loneliness I felt because of it, Thanksgiving 2008 still goes down as one of my favorites. It was so much fun that we’ve kept up our nontraditional Thanksgiving for traditionalists with tiny families for 6 more years. Until now.

This year, things were different. We were waxing “big traditional Thanksgiving dinner” over our tradition of “Thanksgiving Lite,” mostly because we actually had a reason for a big celebration, and a reason for another change. We were creating another new life together, but this time, it was happening in my body. I was pregnant. Our household of two was expanding, and suddenly Thanksgiving warranted more than just a pizza. I craved a big traditional celebration that always represented the family togetherness that I was missing so much, and now there was nothing to miss. I had that togetherness again in my family of creation, and there couldn’t have been a better reason for such a celebration than the promise of the three of us. Not even nausea could stop my dreaming about what was going to be the most awesome Thanksgiving EVER.

But  “was”  is the operative word here.
was pregnant.
Now I’m not.

Just like that.

We very recently suffered a miscarriage (a subject which I am not quite up for devoting more than a few words to for the moment) with heartbreakingly impeccable timing for the holidays, and the pre-planned, carefully purchased menu was obviously the last to know. It didn’t understand that it was only wanted under certain conditions, or that a night with pizza felt decidedly more “right” than any kind of actual formal celebration after such an event. Although, really, nothing could feel quite right in circumstances like these.

And it’s in these circumstances, I have learned, that what we need more than anything is to sit with and hold space for our feelings rather than try fruitlessly to run them away by changing everything but the feelings themselves, not to mention their origins. So we’re sitting with them — along with our big Thanksgiving feast — if for no other reason than to honor and give thanks for what we have just lost, to mark and give thanks for a brand new beginning, and to surround ourselves now with a little of what we plan to have in our future: us, our kids, and one day our grandkids, and even great-grandkids celebrating together around a huge dining table with that big, traditional thanksgiving dinner. The kids part of it all — providing another healthy conception, and the various miracles that clearly need to occur to have a healthy pregnancy — shouldn’t be too far away. We hope.

Until then, we’re determined not to despair over what we’ve lost, but rather to be grateful for the ultimate gift we’ve received in 2015: hope. For now, on this Thanksgiving, it’s just the two of us cooking and eating a full traditional thanksgiving meal (there’s turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green beans, creamed corn, cranberry relish, rolls, challah, pumpkin pie, apple pie, and chocolate pie involved), watching Twister, and practicing for what’s to come by listening to this on repeat while it’s all happening. It’s a new old tradition for a new emerging family. Nothing will ever be quite the same for us from here on out.

We’re so thankful for the support and love of our parents (especially our moms during this hard time in our lives), our family, our friends, and our two pets who have filled our lives with so much happiness and amusement. We are grateful for the privileges of living in a city we love, for a home we adore, for having food on our table, for having good jobs and money to ensure that we have these things and more, and for having a loving marriage and household. We are glad for my pregnancy — even if it didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to — and for how it showed  us our spectacular future in technicolor. We’re gladder still for more opportunities and genetic combinations that may produce our first child, and for what we are left with in the wake of our loss: infinite possibility. We appreciate that we have this space for sharing our joys, our sorrows, and our everyday lives, and that you all come back time and again to read about them.


Wishing you a wonderful holiday filled with the grand essentials for happiness (according to George Washington Burnap, at least): something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.

All of our love,
Alex and Deena

Everyday Life, Seattle

Moments Ago

November 17, 2015

Darkness sneaked up on us again. It likes to do that when we’ve been sitting in the sun for too long, and especially when we least expect it.

If not for pictures, I don’t think I’d be able to remember how, just a few weeks ago, I sat with a friend on a rooftop in downtown Seattle, bathed in the warm glow of afternoon light. I looked at the expanse of my beautiful city, itself perched on the expanse of Puget Sound, and thought of how lucky, and happy, and grateful I was — particularly for the precious gift of life, for ended chapters, and for new beginnings — and it was all laid out before me, set ablaze in the western sunshine.
Then the clouds came.
And the rain poured.
And all that was light became lightless.
And it feels like it has been forever now.


But it has only been moments — just moments since I basked in the sun, above Seattle, on top of the world.

Featured Post, Travel

Kauai: Part Two

October 29, 2015

We were greeted at the North Shore by jagged, verdurous peaks not all unlike those we saw on the East, but I was still mesmerized. I half-expected to be used to the fairytale landscapes and wonder of it all after several days of travel, but as you might expect, a place that looks like FernGully, Jurassic Park, Pandora, and wherever the fairies dance during the nutcracker suite in Fantasia is endlessly surprising.

When we arrived at the resort, we rid ourselves of our belongings and headed straight outdoors. I shook out my road-weary bones as we walked in the grass, seeing what there was to see. Soon we found ourselves perched atop an overlook of the ocean when the winds picked up, and I wrestled to simultaneously keep my hair out of my face and my dress down as I snapped a photo, before ducking into the shelter of a cabana where I fell asleep, curled up on an enormous wicker chair, to the sound of rustling curtains.

I was out for about a half hour, and fought consciousness for several minutes after I awoke before I reluctantly opened my eyes with one thing on my mind: Lava Flows — again — and maybe some food. This same scenario played out in various iterations basically every day, sometimes with “food” being more specifically replaced with “brunch,” or done away with altogether in favor of even more delicious delights, like “waterfall views.” The Lava Flows, of course, remained a constant.

Either way, we had our cake and ate it, too.

Other afternoons were spent exploring, taking in the views, getting caught in rain storms wearing all cotton, or doing all three.

But the very best afternoon was spent on a catamaran off of the Na Pali coast, ducking in and out of sea caves, and getting dunked under waterfalls.

At least that is what we did in between drinking in a kaleidoscope of color on the open ocean, and swooning over the sprawling vistas of magnificent cliffs and valleys laid out before us.

I’ll never forget it.

We made a fast, and extremely wet trip back around the coast to Hanalei, and disembarked the boat covered in salt, with sunburn on our necks and noses, smiles on our faces, and full hearts. But our Kauaian adventure wasn’t over yet. There was still the business of drinking more lava flows, making time for actual relaxation, then driving back around the island, and up the mountain to the Waimea Canyon. And at an average speed of 22.8 miles per hour, we did just that. The views from the lookout? Oh, you know, ho-hum…

I’ll never forget that either.

In fact, I’ll never forget any of it.