Monday, July 27, 2009

Day Three was much better..

Day three was considerably better than day two, even though day two ended up being pretty damn cool at the end.

We headed out to explore and find this fabled Most Awesomeness of beaches we had heard about. Generally I'm a walk to the beach kinda girl. We've had to drive about 40 minutes to get to really great places so far, but let me tell you.. it's been worth it.

Puako Bay where we snorkle and spearfish is unreal gorgeous. And today, just beyond Puako we found Hapuna. Seriously.. google pictures of it. We didn't take pictures of it yesterday. That will be remedied, however, because none of the pictures on google even come close to doing justice to the absolute speechless, stunning wonder that is Hapuna Beach.

Think.. this riot of green, lush foilage.. walking down onto the most gorgeous white sand, and the water is gin clear. Tinted the most amazing turquoise blue you can imagine.. all this is framed by coconut palm trees, and a cloud streaked blue sky that rivals Colorado. It was a weekend day, and not crowded at all. The sun was INTENSE!! We were boogie boarding when the sea turtle came to play...

If you can picture the most perfect beach paradise in your mind.. with cool offshore breezes, and amazing waves.. that is where I was yesterday.

We laid out in the sun for a short while, and dipped back in the cool ocean before rinsing off at the beach showers and heading back to town for our customary afternoon nap.

I've been sleeping for three hours every day.. and then full eight hour nights.. I think my body must be catching up.

So we napped, and then took off to walk around town briefly. I still have a decent amount of pain from the sea urchin, so short trips are about all I can take. I wanted to have a "Hawaiian Shave Ice" from this place just down the drive from the hotel, so we headed there first. A only had his credit card, and the Shave Ice Man only took cash, so we were getting ready to mosey along when he said "Hey.. how long you here for?"

We told him all week, and he said he would give us our shaved ice tonight, because he was certain we would come back, and we could pay him then.. Not only that, but in doing so he could have gave us some little bitty shaved ice, and sent us on our way, right? But he didn't. He chatted us up, made HUGE snow cones. Gave us samples of flavours we weren't sure of, and mixed three flavors on each cone. I had Hawaiian Surprise, Tiger's Blood, and Hui Mingh Na.


He told us how to make a Tequila cordial with the seeds of the Hui Mingh Na plant and lemon peel.. How he has sold shaved ice in Alaska to Eskimos.. And after being robbed yesterday, restored my faith in humanity to a great extent. It's rare to find a person willing to trust you like that. Even more rare to find a person worthy of that trust.. but believe you me. We'll be back. We'll pay him back, and buy more shaved ice, and tip him exceptionally well for his kindness.. and optimism.

Sometimes the universe gives, and sometimes the universe takes.

So after the night before's oceanic display, and after hearing there was an even more severe high surf advisory last night.. we ambled down by the sea wall of the hotel again.. The night before I saw waves bigger than I ever had before.. awesome, thundering waves. But last night's put them all to shame. The small waves were bigger than the ones from the night before.

I couldn't believe my eyes. I sat there awestruck as these monoliths surged to shore, clapping loudly as they struck the lava. The water just seethed around the rocks, and the power of the moment left me speechless and breathless.

Now water is my element, anyhow and I feel at home, restored and more alive when I'm near it or in it.. but that kind of display.. stunning. And still.. when it settled down between sets, it was absolutely perfectly clear. Even in the dark you could see the clarity, and little tiny fish swimming in the pools left behind.

I've seen more new things in the last three days than I have in three years.. or longer.

What a rush..

Sunday, July 26, 2009

It's day three..

And it has to be better.

Yesterday I stepped on a sea urchin, failed to capture sea turtles on film, and had the lock punched at the beach where our jeep was parked and my purse and beach bag were stolen. Onward..

Honestly last night was not bad a'tall. I took a shower and a nap, and woke up groggy, but much less grumpy. We got dressed, and went downstairs to the restaurant here at the resort.

I should explain.. there are restaurants, and there are dining experiences.. This was the latter. This place is an open air restaurant with the ocean crashing five feet from you.. In our case it was about 25 due to the location of our table, but who was I to complain? We ordered dinner for two and wow.. it was impressive. The tiki torches burned, the sun set, and the sound of the waves crashing mixed with the smell of the ocean and flowers was intoxicating.

They brought us a pineapple boat, and a basket of bread to start. Our drinks and a bottle of wine. I ordered a California merlot and was NOT disappointed. Our appetizer plate came, and while I'm not a real seafood kinda girl.. it was beautiful. We got chopsticks to eat with, and it was a seared ahi tuna (I can't eat the raw stuff, but A said it was delicious) a crabcake, two Tsunami Shrimps, seaweed salad (very tasty) and assorted, well arranged dipping sauces. That finished we sipped our wine until the food came. For A, a rack of lamb ribs with amaaaaazing bbq. Oh it was so good. For me? The best steak of my life. Prime Rib with au jus, and some tasty taters. We didn't finish, and had it boxed because who wants to miss desert?

Not me!

Desert was chocolate cheesecake.. Now you might know I am not a fan of cheesecake. But this? well.. This was a masterpiece. They were in little tart shells and it was one of the best desserts I've ever had. Chocolate shavings and chocolate and caramel drizzled over it. Unreal. The whole thing was so nice after our rough day.

But it got even better.There has been a high surf advisory in effect because there was a storm that went through.We walked down by the sea wall, and sat watching these huge waves just slam the lava. Some of those waves were enormous. The sound of it like thunder, the sight of those white caps all silent until they got closer, in the dark, to CRASH on the shore, flooding and gushing closer and making me uncomfortable until they stopped five feet from our perch. Incredible.

So we came back, showered, and went to bed... the sight of the waves burned into memory, hearing the crash as I slipped away.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Luau

We went to the Luau last night. What an experience.

Getting out tickets itself was interesting. I had reserved it online for $62 a person, so it was already cheaper than what most people were paying, but we got up to the ticket girl, and gave her our voucher from the hotel (the guy at check in really hooked us up.. the luau voucher, 20% off to the restaurant coupons, and a room upgrade from a $92 a night room to a $230 a night room at no cost.. seriously.. it pays to be nice!)... So I gave the ticket girl the voucher, and we paid considerably less for the luau than most people. Hence.. I bought a fresh flower lei they had there.

Amazing. It was yellow plumeria with a few deep pink ones thrown in.

Aside from the fact that I wore a white sundress with yellow and brown hawaiian flower trim... and it matched perfectly.. the scent of the plumeria alone was .. well there really are no words. The lei wasn't all that pricey, and yet... after wearing it all night and smelling it.. I would have paid much more.

The temperature wasn't all that high, as it's been cloudy almost the entire time we've been here, but the humidity was unreal at the luau.. we were ready for some cool drinks. But first!

The luau is put on by the hotel we're staying at, and it's held in a grove of coconut palm trees. Right behind the entertainment stage is... the ocean. So if the sun had been out, it would've been setting right in front of us. Needless to say.. we were almost glad the sun wasn't out. It was warm enough. The ambiance was spectacular. All the palm trees and tiki torches surrounding it, the Imu Oven where the kalua pig had roasted all day, and the natural setting made it very beautiful.

So we get our tickets and were immediately greeted with shell leis. Mine went over the flower lei I was already wearing, and it made a pretty combination. We were then directed to the picture takers.. Set in with the trees and the ocean, and had our luau photo taken. They charged us 20 dollars for the photo, but wow... it was worth it. We bought their photo, and had the guy take ours with our own camera.

Theirs was better ;) So it was worth it.

After the photos we were directed to the drinks table where Ros would mix you up any drink you wanted with what he had available. There was also HUGE bowls of mai thais already mixed up, so we started with those.. The mai thais were not strong, but wow they were so so good. So we got a cup o mai thai and headed off to find a seat.

Our seating area was pretty decent for seeing the show, and the people we sat with were very nice, and helpful with neat things to see around the island.

It wasn't long before they called everyone over to see the unearthing of the "Imu" from the earth oven, he'd been cooking in since morning. They pulled out the pig, and the feasting began.. and my did we feast.

It started with a green salad, which I went without due to the sheer number of things I wanted to try. I ended up with the kalua pig, a small cut of the beef (really good.. it was roasted with black beans in a sauce.. wow), the chicken luau (chicken mixed in with a spinach and dressing... YUM), the Ono fresh fish, AND the teriyaki roasted chicken (My favorite... it was so tender it fell apart, and practically melted in your mouth!)

Then it was on to the rest.. poi. Yeah.. I tried poi, and I agree. It's terrible. Really, really terrible. One small, tiny dab on my plate was plenty.

But they had coconut jello, hawaiian (PURPLE) sweet potato, coconut rolls, tasty macaroni salad, pineapple, Lomi Lomi Salmon (which I liked), some interesting looking bean salads, steamed rice... and Coconut cake.. Let me just say I have no idea why I ate my cake last. It was by far one of my favorite things.

I was PUSHING hard to eat everything, and I still did not finish what was on my plate.
It was so, so good. Mouth wateringly good.

And then the entertainment started. There had been a group of guys playing Hawai'ian music before, and they were really good. The head guy started his show, and it was great. He was humorous, light, and great with the crowd. He sang in between a few of the dances, and introduced them all telling us what stories they were telling.

It was a full Pacific, polynesian revue.

Tonga, Samoa, New Zealand, Hawai'ian, and others I didn't know. All sorts of island hulas and dances that told stories of that island's people's cultures. Some of them were very moving, and I was surprised to think that.

Surely this is all just a nice show put on, by skilled entertainers right?

But the point of coming here isn't just the ocean, or the beach and the vacation.. I've loved this place for years without coming here because of the history, and the culture. It was so apparent that it's really another country.. without leaving the US, Hawai'i is a whole different country.

The men's dances were full of tribal drums, the movements and the expressions on their faces.. everything was all out. It was an experience, not an entertainment. They depicted hunts, lost loves, and joyous times; but the overall tone was so masculine. The headdresses, and body paintings. The different culture's costume according to which island's heritage they were portraying were all so masculine. The driving tribal drums.. it was undeniably male. Strong, manly, and yet emotive. It was very moving.

The female ones were stunning. The dancing has so much body language to it, and the women were so expressive. They depicted love, marriage, loss.. so many things. Their hands were what amazed me. They danced with their entire bodies, and their hands were always moving too.. fingers fluttering, moving like waves.. it was very neat. There were a few to express the power of femininity. The Tahitian Tiare Flower dance was incredible. Three of the women were in pink doing their dance until Tiare came out. She was in this stunning headdress, a white sarong from the waist down, and a flower lei stuck to her front... it was beautiful. The music of it, and the reverence they showed for the beauty and power of the Wahine was spectacular.

The male/female dances were neat too. The men still manly, the women still feminine, and instead of clashing, they complemented each other so well. Balancing out the qualities of both.

It was funny, because there was this little guy dancing, and he was great, but I didn't think much of him.. Until he came out as the fire dancer. WOW.

That was the best part. He strung a screen across the dance stage to protect the crowd, and started.. It was like nothing I have ever seen. His movements were so precisely timed to the drums. His concentration was intense.. the fire went so fast I was breathless. He touched it, he ate the fire, he laid back and put it ON HIS FEET. I don't know how.. I really have no idea how. Then it was like he was finished... and they brought out a second torch, and he danced again with two torches.. It was stunning. Spectacular. He is skilled. Intensely skilled. I've never seen anything like it.

Which is happening a lot here. I'm seeing new things every time I turn around, and it's only been one day here. I can't wait to see what today brings..!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

So I had my birthday. I don't need to go into all the details of the day, because it was a pretty busy day! But I will give highlights, and go from there..

We had birthday breakfast in my current town before heading off to my hometown where I grew up to spend a few days with my family. It was a nice trip over, and we saw the thermometer in the truck go from 67 at my little house to 103 at Mom's when we got there. I think A's eyes were about to bug out of his head.

Being from Wisconsin, 103 is a bit extreme. But this year has been cooler and the normal 110 hasn't hit yet.

We got there just in time to meet up and go to birthday lunch! :) My neices brought me "flowers" which were their handprints in pink paint arranged with pipe cleaners as stems. They are precious! AND... they won't wilt ;)

We had a great lunch before heading out to my favorite summertime spot to meet up with my cousin and goddaughter.. again.. a great time..

Then we ended up at my grandparent's for desert with the family. Apple crisp and cherry pie. Two favorites. It was one of the best birthdays I've had in recent years.

So I did pretty much detail it, but I couldn't leave anything out..

I think of my birthday as my "New Year's". For me, it's a time to look at the last year of my life and see what is working and what is not. To restructure, and make new plans based on how it's been going.
Last year I wanted to lose ten lbs, and I see that I've done that. I'm in better shape, and eating well.
This year along those lines I plan to get a massage every couple of months (hopefully more often than that! :) ) and a facial every six weeks. Skincare has to start now! So I'm on it with a good cleansing/moisturizing schedule (thank you Amber and Mary Kay) and sunscreen!! But to up my game I'm going to have those regular facials to help keep things going well. I figure it's a small price to pay for my face.. :)

Along those lines I want to work on a good cardio program, and fitness routine. Whether it be pilates or yoga mixed with swimming or water aerobics.. I lost the weight, but now I need to keep it off and get toned up.

Last year I planned to find another job in the field I went to school for. I didn't accomplish that goal, and it wasn't for lack of trying. I realize now that I may need to find a new field, and this year if I don't start that, I plan to at least find one to start. Either that, or find a better paying job that allows me to be self supporting, and that I like.

The current idea is to check out University of Hawaii at Hilo's English and Communications program while we're there on vacation in four days.. I would be in a place I always wanted to be for a few years at least.. and get a good education in an area that has always interested me.

We'll see how that goes, but for now it's a start.

I want to end up with another Audi TT too.. After wrecking the love of my life Redbaby, in a freak accident with four deer out of a large herd.. I bought Truckus Maximus. I love my truck.. and all the things about it. Hauling, off roading, etc..

Though I do miss the killer gas mileage of a TT, and the.. well.. speeds one can achieve. The cornering abilities.. the sheer freedom and power... and that's enough on that topic for now! :)

On other fronts, I find that instead of being all angsty about so much of my life and things working out or not.. the past few months it's almost like.. well it's hard to describe. I say "whatever" a lot now, but in the way that I'm not stressing about all the crazy things in my life, so "Whatever" happens.. happens. Not to say I'm not ready for change and to make things happen, but.. I'm not going to be so upset if it's not what I had planned on originally.

Surprisingly enough, I'm figuring out I can't control it all, and that to try to do so is only making me crazier.. which I don't need.

So here's to another year, and a fruitful (in many ways) trip to Hawaii.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Blogs are Therapy

On this.. the eve of my 26th birthday..

I'm creating my new blog. I suspect I'll have much to write here, as it's not tied to Myspace or Facebook, or other places I've blogged before.

My blog is my therapy area where I can let it all out, and sort. There's a lot happening in my world, and even the mundane stuff is interesting .. to me at least.. it's my life after all!

I'm changing every day, and by the week and month I find that what was once fundamental is now a shifting sandy beach..

So.. more to come, but for now, this will do. It's a start. My blog has found a home.