Vale picked me up inna great, big jet. Wow! There were all sortsa buttons an’ knobs an’ talky things. She sat inna big seat an’ wore headphones. She hadda land a bit away from the house, so there was room for the jet, but it was so cool! An’ the jet flies super super fast. I kinda sorta fell asleep, I think, while we were onna way to gettin’ Pip. I couldn’t sleep none the night before, cuz I was so excited. But Vale said it was ok an’ I outta get some rest now, before alla vacationing started.
My nap was perfect. I was wide awake again when the jet stopped in Washington. After we got Pip, Vale gave us two clues ’bout where we were gonna go. The clues were images an’ coordinates: 28°25’N latitude and 178°10’W longitude. We hadda use them to try an’ figure out where we were goin’.
We spent some time pokin’ through files an’ usin’ the jet’s logs an’ lookin’ at maps an’ stuff, tryin’ figure out where we were goin’. But we also just watched outta window an’ chatted, hopin’ maybe Vale’d let somethin’ slip. She was good, tho, an’ kept it all a secret. Vale said she’d teach us how to use coordinates to find places onna map someday when she wasn’t flyin’ a jet.
When we landed, she told us we were at Kure Atoll island, a coral reef place inna Hawaiian islands. It’s a nature safe place, so there wouldn’t be loads of people, but it’d be perfect for us!
It was super pretty. An’ so warm! Home was cold cold cold when we left, but this was just nice. I kicked off my boots an’ ran around inna little tank top an’ shorts I brought for a swimmin’ suit. We did a little explorin’ first, tryin’ figure out what was onna island, cuz we hadda forage for our food. There were some coconut trees, an’ I found stuff washed up onna beach to make a fishin’ pole. Saw loads an’ loads of birds. Wondered if they’d make good food if we caught one.
Silly birds were awful funny, though. Seemed wrong to eat ’em!
Vale hadda goal in mind: she was here, vacationing, so she could learn to relax some. Pip’n’me were gonna help her get it done. Since we were all super excited about bein’ there, we just went an hopped inna lagoon an’ swam around, enjoyin’ alla warm an’ swimmin’ with fishes an’ lookin’ at the pretty coral reefs.
We lit up a fire an’ sat round it, talkin’ an’ watchin’ stars an’ singin’ some. It was super pretty with the moon all bright an’ the waves so quiet inna lagoon.
We slept out under the stars. Vale said weather was gonna be nice all weekend, so we didn’t worry bout rain or nothin’. An’ it was super warm. Oh my gumdrops! It was nice.
Inna mornin’, I did some explorin’ afore everybody got up. The island was fulla seals an’ birds an’ insects an’ crabs an’ starfish an’ stuff. I saw dolphins out inna lagoon, too. There were some really weird ants crawlin’ onna plants. They looked like aliens.
When I got back, I put my pole inna water for catchin’ fish (cuz havin’ somethin’ to eat seemed like a good idea).
Vale was workin’ on relaxin’. She was doin’ a mighty fine job of it!
Pip’n’me joined her for a bit, then we all talked bout goin’ down inna rock pool. Pip asked bout sharks, though. Vale did a cool scan with her arm part an’ checked round the lagoon area. No sharks in sight! So we went down an’ splashed around some, bein’ careful bout the coral. Tiny fishes came up an’ nibbled on us, an’ we giggled like li’l girls. The water was warm warm warm! Then a couple dolphins came over too, splashin’ at us some, an’ we swam over to see what it’d be like swimmin’ with dolphins.
I checked onna fish pole now an’ again, pullin’ up caught fish an’ keepin’ ’em inna rock pool til we were ready to eat. Once we got outta water, I did a li’l more, an’ it seemed we had enough. Vale found some nice big leaves, an’ Pip found some sweet herbs an’ fruit. We wrapped up most of the fish inna leaves an’ roasted ’em inna coals, but I stuck a few on sticks an cooked ’em straight onna flame.
Then we sat round the fire, singin’ songs an tellin’ stories. Vale told us bout a time she was inna bamboo bar in Da Nang, Vietnam. She was tryin’ teach some people how they outta play cricket. But she got bored, cuz cricket’s got tons of rules, an’ made up a new game. “Knock Vale out with a cricket bat an’ winna free drink.” Gumdrops! We didn’ do nothin’ like that, but I think (hope!) Vale had loads more fun onna island with Pip’n’me.
Second full day, we did more awesome stuff. Vale had said she wanna work on painting an’ art, so Pip brought supplies for alla we to work with. She had stuff called pastels. They were a li’l bit like chalk, an’ a li’l bit like crayons, an’ we worked on drawing stuff an’ expressing feelings through images. We shared the different colors. Pip drew a pretty flower, I worked on a seasketch, an’ Vale tried to put her heart onna page. It was good an’ relaxin’. I didn’t bother gettin’ my li’l paints out. This was way prettier.
We went swimmin’ loads, too. Some with dolphins, but some just out inna lagoon. It was nice an’ relaxin’ an’ awesome. When we got all pruned up, we moved onna beach an’ lay inna sun like some lazy lizards. I remembered, alla sudden, that my birthday had happened, an’ I felt bad, cuz I’d left Cooper inna cold on our birthday. So I started searchin’ round, lookin’ for somethin’ I might maybe bring him as a present.
That night, when we shoulda been sleepin’, we went down inna lagoon again an’ lay back onna quiet, still water an’ watched the stars an’ the moon. We talked some, but not loads. It was kinda like magic, floatin’ inna lagoon at night. Water got so quiet an’ still, you could see stars in it, so then it was like floatin’ inna sky.
We shoulda gone home on Monday, but we wound up stayin’ a bit overlong, with alla swimmin’ an’ hikin’ an’ explorin’ we did. By the time we dragged ourselves to bein’ actually ready, it was too late at night, an’ Vale said she shouldn’t fly the jet like that. So we caught some more fish an’ roasted ’em up onna fire an’ made another meal like that. Did some more singin’ round the fire. Slept some, but took a dip inna lagoon just afore sunrise, so we gotta watch the sun come up from the water.
When we were tryin’ pack up, Pip lost her purple shoe. (I thought maybe a seal ran off with it) She was off, lookin’ for it, when she came across a giant sea turtle!
He was really cute. But Pip said he was lost, maybe cuz he blew up onna island after a storm last week. We hadda help him figure out where he outta go so he could find his other sea turtle friends. He hadda go back toward Hawaii, sorta southeast from the Kure Atoll where we were. We pointed him inna right direction an’ waved as he slipped down inna ocean water.
We didn’ wanna go home, but we hadda. The jet would be missed. Vale hadda job. Pip’s bean was sick. I hadda make sure Riley was ok. So we boarded the jet, an’ Vale drove Pip an’ me back to our homes. We talked, though, bout alla fun we had. An’ we made plans to do it again next year! So maybe this’ll be something we do each year. It’d be super cool if we could. I found a video bout someone kayakin’ inna ocean near Hawaii. For Krissmiss, I gotta kayak, an’ I’m thinkin’ now that maybe we could try somethin’ like that next year!
I’m gonna miss bein’ with Pip an’ Vale (an’ no, those weren’t tears! just some sand inna eye…). But it was awful nice to see Cooper an’ Wren an’ Meikiko an’ Falcon an’ Sparrow. An’ the new girl, Lark. Cooper was kinda mad at me, but only kinda. I apologized for not bein’ there on our birthday an’ gave him the awesome thing I found: a shark’s tooth.
He forgave me. But he said I hadda take him if I left on our birthday again.
I can do that!