Friday, November 30, 2012

Hawaii was perfect

D and I jumped on a plane last week where we were squished like sardines practically in the fetal position, charged two bucks a drink each, bored out of our my mind, and finally landed in Hawaii where we were stiff for the remainder of the day.  As we approached the island I was disappointed.  It looked nothing like my years of watching "Fantasy Island" with all of it's tropical goodness.  The mountains were brown and I wondered if we had made the right decision.  All I've ever heard is how much people love Hawaii and that we had to go there someday.  

As we pulled up to our hotel I kind of giggled and joked that we were in the hood.  And then, then when we walked into our room I flat out stated that yes, we indeed were in the hood.  The room was tiny and the view...  Well, the view absolutely reconfirmed our being in the hood and all its glory. Proof right here.  Cops trying to knock down someone's door.

You could see the ocean to the right of us and if you left your eyes looking out rather than down, you saw all of the sky rises.  But, to the left of us it was gorgeous and I loved running along the water everyday.  It was perfect!

Within a few hours of getting to our motel room I was almost in tears and feeling overwhelmed.  D asked me what was wrong and I just spilled my guts to him.  I was feeling the pressure to have the perfect Hawaiian experience knowing that everyone would want a run down of our Hawaiian getaway.  Overwhelmed with the thought of having to dart over to this part of the island and then off to see the other part of the island, wondering when I would get my beach hating (he'd prefer the mountains) husband to the beach, capturing perfect pictures of us with palm trees and the ocean behind us, and which tours to go on with a plethora of brochures in every corner of the hotel lobby.  I just didn't know how to make the trip us and not about everyone else and their Hawaiian experiences. cute hubby told me that it would be okay and that we would enjoy our time together doing what we wanted to do and when we wanted to do it.  And then we had fun.

We walked around Waikiki and saw all the stores that we would never walk into.  We walked down to the beach and stared at the ocean on a bench.  I was still down, wondering when our trip would kick in.  That night we enjoyed our tiny room as we watched Survivor together.  It was fun.  It was our own little inside joke that we were in Hawaii and we were in our hood of a room watching a reality show. It was awesome.  :)

Thanksgiving morning came and I went for a run and then back to the room.  We watched football all day.  Actually, D watched football and I became a Sudoku addict on his iPhone.  We went over to the beach for our token half hour or so before the sun went down.  I talked D into doing a couple pictures and when it was my turn some idiot dressed up as Santa playing the violin wanted to be in my picture.  I was ticked.  Looking at the picture takes me back to when I was a teenager at my grandma's house when the camera came out.

See that chair up there.  Don't stay at that hotel.  LOL!

We got dressed up later that day and then went to a really nice buffet for Thanksgiving dinner.  The day ended up being perfect.  We ate dinner outside, had amazing stuffing with cranberries (That's what really makes Thanksgiving perfect!), chocolate dipped macaroons and D's coke with about fifteen garnishes.  Loved that day.

We went to Laie to go to the temple.  It was fun to cross off another temple on my list.

Then we headed to the Polynesian Cultural Center.  I loved it there.  I left the villages wanting to be a Tahitian dancer with their grass skirts on my hips.  D was called up in the Tongan village to help with drumming.  I thought I was going to be embarrassed, but he was so funny and I loved seeing him do something my personality could never do.

You've got to watch this video of D!

We went to the luau there at the PCC and had a lot of fun.  We enjoyed our time with our table guests, the yummy food, and the dance out in front since we were celebrating our anniversary.  That day was special.  It was perfect.  

The next day we made a mad dash up to Pearl Harbor.  We had no idea that you could spend several hours there.  I learned about Pearl Harbor, the history and why so many Americans were volunteering or honored to serve our country shortly after that.  After interviewing my veterans last year, it seemed as though I had the final puzzle piece to my story.  Not only should I be teaching my children to remember and recognize our veterans, but I must teach them the history too, to really appreciate their service, sacrifices and patriotism.  I was so grateful to have been there.  It's a place I must take my children to.

Later that day we headed over to Ko Olina to go snorkeling.  We got on a catamarind and were on the boat for four hours going all the way up the coast on the west side of the island.  We enjoyed the time with the other tourists, a bunch of them being women from Alberta and the tour guides themselves.  When it got time to get out of the boat to snorkel, I just kept telling myself that I could do it and that I would want to say that I had done it.  I was scared at first once I put the mask on since I couldn't breathe out of my mouth.  I felt a little claustrophobic.  I was one of the last three people off the boat.  I hesitantly climbed down into the open water, just praying my life jacket and flippers would keep me above water.  Once I got to where I could trust my gear, I tried to put my face in the water.  I didn't get mad at myself, when I couldn't do it, I just gave myself time to get comfortable.  After a few minutes and some cheering on by my new found Canadian friends, I was able to snorkel without getting water in my mask every time.  I was so proud of myself.  Like seriously!  I am not comfortable in water at all!!  I was so grateful that D had turned up his nose at my "let's go snorkel where you can just lay down in the three feet of water" and had paid extra to go out to the deep waters where we could see the sea turtles and I could face a fear and smash it!  Booyah. 

I loved that day.  I had witnessed and learned more about my country's history.  I had faced a fear and had gone snorkeling in the ocean.  It was perfect.

Sunday we went to church and then went for a drive around the island.

I had to climb through some tall grass and over huge rocks to get to the pineapples.  It was fun showing D that they don't grow on trees.  :)

We drove up to the north shore and saw people surfing and wind surfing.  It was fun to watch.  

We drove over to Waimea Bay to see the waterfall.  It cost money, so we just looked at the peacock.  :)

On our travels I saw this tree.  Do you have a clue what it might be?

We had to get in D's hike while we were there, so we decided to hike to Kekoa point at the end of the island.  After walking a couple miles in, we laughed and decided that a hike is what you want to go on to see the scenery, vegetation or wildlife, and this wasn't any of those.  We did climb a rock for a picture though and I did a plank push up for my trainer.  :)  That made me happy.  I couldn't have done that two months ago.

After breakfast on our last day, I spotted these lions outside Tori Richard just off of Waikiki beach.  I didn't have my camera so I made D bring me back around before heading to the airport so that I could get a picture for my friend Charlotte.  She's the stone lion lady.  ;)  She may already have these in her collection, but I love them and I was so excited to get them for her.  There you go Charlotte.  Hope you like.  :)

So I've been asked how our trip was.  At least the handful of people that knew we were going asked.  I haven't really known how to respond other than it was good, but not what I expected.  Even now, I'm looking back a little disappointed that we didn't get great sunset pictures, or pictures of us jumping on the beach, or messages written in the sand, or getting the Hawaiian tan, or a lei placed around our necks as we walked off the plane, or the aroma of tropical fruit and flowers everywhere I went.  Or that all hotels aren't gorgeous with pools larger than the one I have in my back yard.  But. BUT....It was perfect.  I had five days with just my husband.  That hasn't happened in NEVER.  And that is the honest truth!  NEVER!!  We both gave a little or a lot to make the other one happy.  I mean seriously.  I layed on my bed almost all of Thanksgiving day playing sudoku and I really didn't mind at all.  I knew my hubby was happy and that made me happy.  I learned more about my country's history.  I went to another temple.  I saw D be silly and was awesome at it.  I faced a fear and conquered it by being in the ocean.  I ran everyday outside and I LOVED it.  I experienced another culture.  So if that is what I got out of going to Hawaii, then it was perfect.

And here is the reason why we went.  Twenty one years with this handsome beast.  :)

 Will I ever go back?  Yes.  I want my children to see Pearl Harbor.  I want them to go snorkeling in the deep waters before they are 40 and scared of it.  I want to go with girlfriends or sisters where we can be silly and take tons of pictures, lay out on the beach, and giggle our heads off.  I'm a lucky girl.  Thank you D.  I love you!


Charlotte said...

So so so great! I've never been to Hawaii either, and you are making me want to go for sure. Maybe for our 21st anniversary we'll go. (Course, that's a ways off still).

Of course, if you found stone lions there, how could it be anything but marvelous? Happy Anniversary!

(Watch the blog for these babies--I'm running about a month behind--so Christmas-ish?)

Erika said...

Looks like it was a very fine trip indeed! You did a lot of fun things. The video of D is hysterical!!

Lynn Hicken said...

I'm sorry your trip wasn't what you expected it to be. When I lived in Hawaii I spent most of my time on the North Shore and that is the part that I love. Honolulu is crowded and dirty and not very pretty at all. That tree you asked about is the Noni tree. It's fruit is used for many different medicinal purposes.

There are fun things to do on the island. Waimea beach is one of my favorites. If you really want to get a rush you can jump off the rock there. Bret and I also enjoy snorkeling at Shark's Cove or Hanauma Bay. It looks like you were on the Leeward side of the island for that hike, it is very dry and almost like a desert there. The windward side has lots of beautiful hikes with waterfalls and more. Maybe one day we can all plan a HUGE family trip and we can experience great things together.