Friday, July 18, 2014

The End of the Adventure

Well, the time has come. The time being the 6 HOURS I am spending chilling out. All alone. In the Phoenix airport. Waiting for my flight to SLC after my wonderful adventure to Hawaii. I figured I'd use the time to give you the rundown of the rest of my trip.

Tuesday: Now, having had our numbers cut down to 3 and being on the dry side of the island, it was our first real beach day. The sun was shining, the tank was clean . . . and the sunscreen wasn't waterproof. The story is this: Michele had sunscreen, SPF 50, that I used. Put it on, waited about 15 minutes to go hop in the water, but then I immediately spent much time out in the waves with Kate. It was lovely. And then I went to relieve Michele of her stuff-watching duties and laid out in the sun and read. That was also lovely. We then went to get lunch, where I had the BIGGEST PANCAKES I HAVE EVER SEEN, and they had fresh blueberries baked into them and on top and were delightful. Kate noticed that I was a little sunburnished, but it was just my face and arms and so I was like "No big." Then we went back to the beach and repeated the morning routine: put on sunscreen, wait, and I go get in the ocean, and then go lay in the sun. At the end of the day, Kate and Michele come back and say "We have good news and we have bad news. The bad news is the sunscreen wasn't waterproof so even though you waited and reapplied, you essentially haven't been wearing sunscreen the entire day." So much for trying to prevent skin cancer. By the end of the day, I was a walking advertisement for it. haha. That night, Michele and I nursed my hot pink body while Kate swam with Manta Rays. I was going to go with her, but, you know, serious sunburn. Pain. All that.

Wednesday: Although I wasn't going to let a sunburn ruin my trip, I did need to take care of my body. I decided to opt out of the morning activities, and let Michele and Kate go off and do their beach thing. Honestly, I love the beach, but I get beached out very easily and my body REALLY needed a break. But the best thing is that night. That evening we drove up to Mauna Kea and went to the observatory. Basically, we hiked up the top of a cinder cone (Intensity level: HARD due to being out of shape, high elevation, and mostly having a hard time walking due to sunburn on the backs of my thighs. Oops) and watched the sun set and then star gazed. The most stars I've ever seen and the most beautiful night sky, which is saying a lot because I've been in the middle of nowhere before, but this was magical. And cold. But mostly magical. Stars and a volcano. Two of my favorite things.

Thursday: Our last day in Hawaii. We headed out early so that we could try to make parking for this limited-access beach that Michele really wanted to get to. We didn't make it, but instead we found a small cove that was perfect! It had lots of great snorkeling for Michele and Kate and a lot of shade for my (still) burned-out body. Ha. Burned. We ate some great food--Hawaii has fantastic goat cheese--and ice cream, where a new local who just moved from Portland and who is probably the only person on Earth (not including celebrities) that all 3 of us could agree was cute. Then we tried the limited-access beach again and got an open parking spot. It really was beautiful. It was a fantastic way to end the trip: a chill day, mostly just spending chill time with each other on the beach. At the end of the day we headed out to the airport. The rental car had to be back by 7, but our flights weren't until 9 (or in my case, 10:45) so there was a lot of waiting. And lots of the cutest little kids all day erry day on vacation with their parents in Hawaii.

And that brings you up to date! My sunburn is well on its way to getting better. But I miss my girls. I mean, Hawaii was wonderful, but honestly, it was just the place that we happened to gather for this wedding. They were the real reason for the trip. And they were the best part.

So if you want a sum-up of the trip, here it is:

  • Great conversation
  • Good food and scenery
  • Horrible/Wonderful singing at the top of our lungs in the car
  • Lots of really bad jokes
  • The best company

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Mahanaloha--a mix of the big 3 Hawaiian words: mahalo, ohana, and aloha. This is one of the bad puns/jokes I have been making that Kate rolls her eyes and yells at.

So, although the long silence on my blog might suggest otherwise, life has been pretty happenin' lately. In fact, I am currently enjoying my very first trip to Hawaii. I might do a quick month-by-month catch-up for everything that has happened in the past few months later, but for now, I wanted to share the magic of the Big Island and my wonderful roommates. Here is my trip in a day-by-day nutshell.

Thursday: The lovely Tracy drove  me to the airport at an obscenely early hour. You know, before you hit the high point (Hawaii with your best friends) you have to hit the lowest of lows, which for me was eating a breakfast burger--glorified MacDonald's that was horrible and cost $8--on the floor of the Phoenix airport after waking up at 5 a.m. I was also really paranoid, which is unusual, since I'm usually a calm traveler who loves flying. But the beautiful ocean views were enough to make up for it, let alone the fun times with Lisa and Kate after my 6 hour flight, 2 hour wait, and then 3 hour bus ride to Hilo from Kona. We hugged each other, ate lots of good Mexican food, and talked a lot.
This is how Hawaii welcomed me--a rainbow
Friday: I woke up to the most beautiful view ever. Moral of the story: it is always worth it to pay the extra $10 a night for the ocean view. Lisa, Kate and I chilled out on the rocks, saw crabs, did mermaid poses, etc. and then went on a nice scenic drive. Kate bought a coconut from a guy on the side of the road and he chopped it open with a machete right there and we drank it with straws. We drove through a beautiful cemetery and then went out to help get the wedding site ready for the next day. Later on, we picked up Michele from the airport and the 4 of us had an evening of Bachelorette Thai food, milkshakes, and conversation with the lovely bride.
The view from our hotel balcony in Hilo

Kate and Lisa drinking from the recently-opened coconut

Lisa and me in HAWAII

REUNITED (and it feels so good)
Saturday: The Wedding! Jen and Will both looked soooooo good. So good. The Bishop who married them was fabulous, the food tasty, and love strong. It was just a small, simple outdoor ceremony and it was perfect. And it didn't rain until 2:30--half an hour after the wedding ended. Luckily. I'm pretty sure it has not stopped raining in Hilo since. And by raining, I mean dumping buckets of water everywhere. Before the rain started though, we managed to make it to the farmer's market. The wedding was draining though, so after that we went back to the hotel and took naps and then introduced Kate to the magic that is Pitch Perfect. We have been quoting it and singing its music ever since.
The reason for the trip!
Kate and Lisa did my hair

Oh how I love this girl

Me and the Kate and a leaf
Sunday: It rained and rained alllllll day. We went to sacrament meeting, and then watched the World Cup game. Still raining, we decided to go get some food and try our luck at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park anyway. In short, I can now say that I have hiked along the rim of the caldera of an active volcano in a tropical storm. Lisa and I also decided that Hawaii is exactly what Idaho would look like if it were in the middle of the ocean. Think about it. We were very wet and by this time the day was just about over, so we headed home. Lisa and I went to dinner at the local pancake house and had such wonderful conversation. When we came out there were quite literally 3 new inches of rain on the ground. That had fallen in an hour or less. I think I have seen more rain in the past 48 hours than I have in the past year living in Utah.

(I don't have any pictures from this day because it was hard to see and I haven't gotten pictures from Lisa and Michele yet)

Monday: We once again ate at Ken's House of Pancakes and then checked out of our hotel in Hilo. It was still raining, but luckily it didn't completely follow us. Our road trip finished my circumventing the entire Big Island, as we ended up in Kona for the next few days. Stops along the way included a black sand beach (where we saw sea turtles playing in the water, although they were shy), the southern-most point in the United States, a pizza place (where we read everyone's not-so-accurate but hilarious astrology information), and a beach where we finally got to play in the ocean. We checked into our condo here in Kona, which is quite lovely (and has internet, hence the blog post) and ended our time with Lisa with a nice sunset swim. Then we took Lis to the airport, with the windows down and blasting great songs.
The black sand beach

The ocean!

Southern most point in the U.S. Those waves were huge.
Basically, this trip is wonderful. Being with my ladies is so rejuvenating for the soul (although they're not all here), and Hawaii is a beautiful place.