Monday, October 10, 2011

Memory Lane: Hawaii - The Pre-Trip "Send Off"

I've been thinking for a while about creating a series surrounding the photos from our trip one year ago to Hawaii - Pookie's Make A Wish trip.  I didn't really post much about our trip in the end last year because we came back to the throes of fall festivals and autumn splendor and then subsequent blizzards of winter holidays and activities!  As I peruse old files (can you believe I haven't made us a photo book of that trip yet?!  Travesty.  Must, must, must do) I see gads of shots that bring back those poignant memories and I think, "Why aren't these documented?"  And I don't have any answer. Honestly, when we returned home last year, I was so far behind in everything that I'm pretty sure I'm still making up for it.  Or something.  (I'll go ahead and blame Hawaii - because it was so darn awesome that it can take it!)

Make A Wish grants wishes to kids so that their happy memories carry them through the tough times.  That's what our wish granter told us, and I concede that point, now, one year later.  I cannot honestly even tell you how many times in the last 12 months my heart has absolutely pined for that trip.  How many times we have talked about it, dreamed about it, replayed it in our minds and conversations and promised each other to some day go back (even though it would never be the same).  Indeed, our trip one year ago this week was an absolute trip of a lifetime.

So, this evening, I'm remembering that last year we celebrated our anniversary amongst a restaurant of strangers who had pulled together to sponsor our trip and make it possible for Pookie - and the rest of us - to set sail on our greatest adventure together as a family.  And since we just celebrated our anniversary again, I thought it would be fun to back up a week and consider again our night out at Applebee's, where Pookie was a Star!

I know this photo is poor - but it serves as a reminder of all the people who came to celebrate and send us off.  As I said, the restaurant was full of people we'd never met - yet, I'm thinking that night Pookie didn't meet a single stranger!

Here's last year's "anniversary photo."

Here's our little Pookie.  She was exhausted by this time of the night, but she still mustered up smiles.  And she took home every last fake-flower-lei-grass-skirt-pineapple-totem-pole decoration in the restaurant - including that grass skirt she's wearing.  It became her bedskirt for the better part of the last year.

All the grandparents came to dinner that night as did one of our sweet wish granters.  We were overwhelmed by the restaurant's generosity - they gave Pookie a large gift card (she spent it here) and truly just made our evening so special. 

What a send-off!
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