I am amazingly disoriented.

It's not like I've never taken a week of vacation before. It's not like I haven't spent a week in Hawaii before. It's not like I haven't dealt with crossing three time zones before. But for some reason or combination of reasons, I'm feeling completely discombobulated. And I took the day off!

Earlier today, I walked up to the Safeway because there is almost no food in the house. We don't usually get more than emergency this or that at Safeway anyway, but it all seemed quite strange. I bought the yogurt I knew we needed and left. I couldn't deal with any more. On the way home through the park, I almost cried.

Nineteen years ago, Sweetie and I left Boston. I had grown up in small town New England, but as soon as I moved to Boston to go to university, I knew that was where I wanted to stay. Boston was where Sweetie and I met, fell in love, played in various bands together, and made a life. It was home. And yet there came a time when it was no longer home, when we got restless, when we needed a change. A big change, as it turned out. The other side of the country and across an international boundary!

Now Vancouver is home. We love the area, the ocean, the mountains, the river. We have a house here, surrounded by gardens. And maybe most importantly, we have friends, good friends, friends we care about and who care about us, friends we can share with. This actually wasn't true until a few years ago. I think it's quite true that Vancouver is a difficult place in which to form real friendships. But we both put ourselves out there, figured out a few things, and found ways to connect with people. And that just made this beautiful place that much more of a home.

And yet...the disorientation. This was our third time on Kaua'i since 2006. And not just to Kaua'i, but to Hanalei, a small town on the north shore of the island. I'm not sure why we were drawn there in the first place, but even though we have been there for a total of only three weeks in seven years, it feels like a second home. We love the town. We love Hanalei Bay. The green is probably especially attractive to these rain forest dwellers. Kauai is beautiful, but most of the lowland part of the island is very dry, the southwest especially so. Hanalei is lush. And rain? Well, we're used to rain, although the downpour we experienced that came from the tail end of tropical depression Flossie tested that.

Even when we're not in Hanalei, we think about whether we should move there, or retire there, or at least spend more time there. We are both generally healthy, but the little things that bother us here seem to go away in the tropical heat. We're more active, since we go swimming every day, sometimes more than once, and walk around a lot. We eat (sustainable) fish and fruit and salad. OK, and ice cream too. We love dressing for the weather, and in my case putting on as little as possible. Showing it off (on the beach, anyway) until it deteriorates entirely!

I realize that if we moved there (before retirement), we would have to work. And we both wonder if living there would take the shine off it. As well, even though Hawaii doesn't really seem like the United States, it is, and we would rather not live in the US for any number of reasons. And finally, we would be very far away from friends and family.

Still, there's a definite feeling of home there for us. We're thinking we might try a two-week test next time.

Meanwhile, a fresh pot helped with my reorientation. I think I'll make another.

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