Around the time we took our helicopter trip over the lava flows, molten and solidified, our extended family began to arrive.
We spent three weeks in Hawaii because one of my gorgeous nieces was getting married there.
It was lovely, it was romantic, it was beachy, it was wonderful. It was everything a wedding should be, with the immediate family and a couple in love and fragrant flowers. Oh, and a chocolate dessert.
At the last minute (one week before the wedding ceremony!), the location had to be changed due to a variety of circumstances. Fortunately for both the couple, their parents, and US, the new site was our hotel, the Sheraton Kona. This was great for us, because it was so convenient and we could bump into people who were rehearsing, wandering, or staying at the hotel.
And great for the couple and their parents because it turned out to be so well coordinated by all the staff at the hotel!
Plus a tasty meal under the stars, and absolutely breathtaking photos on the rocky cliffs overlooking the ocean.
My niece gave permission for me to include a few photos for our blog - aren't they a gorgeous couple? Can't you imagine how adorable their children will be?
And of course the hat had a wonderful time at the wedding, too!
Then back to Bellingham, for an at-home reception. For people not familiar with destination weddings, there's often a reception back at home, so family and friends who couldn't make it to the destination can still join in the celebrations.
That meant time with my sister and her husband, plus almost all of the other nieces and nephews - all wonderful young adults, and we had a great time spending the weekend catching up with them. This is what we miss most while travelling, seeing family and friends. This was a happy occasion with plenty of opportunity for family time!
Then everyone went back to their busy and full lives, and we went back to dealing with medical stuff.
Richard seems to still have his hitchhikers, who have trespassed far too long. Plus I have something new going on. After a series of tests, all we know is that my heart isn't working as well as it should. For me, it feels like it's stuck in a high altitude - not getting enough oxygen, working harder just to walk any distance or breathe normally. Thus far, the tests show I have healthy blood, clear lungs, good unblocked veins and arteries, and no pulmonary embolisms or edema from our time in the Andes (which was my concern after Quito, Ecuador).
I'd have a clean bill of health except for my heart. Of course, since the heart is like command central for the body, this is a concern.
So we're doing a minimally invasive test on Monday, having exhausted all the non-invasive testing. We're also trying out some medications, but having a look makes sense as our next step. And we'll see what the doctors find.
I'll report back. Not to worry, I feel fine. Perfectly normal for me. I just get short of breath walking ridiculously short distances, which is annoying for me and concerning for Richard.
We're confident it will get worked out, and we'll be back on the road shortly.
And just a few more photos - are these not some of the most perfect wedding photos ever? How can you not believe in love and romance???