11.22.2008

Hawaii | Day One

Have you ever seen the movie Just My Luck? The one about a girl who always has absolutely everything go her way and the guy who if something could go wrong it does to him?

When I lived in Provo, Adam and I would joke that he was like the girl and I was like the guy. Everything good came to him and all minor and major mishaps came to me.

My roommate, Amy had an epiphany about this one day. She decided that all the lucky people in the world, like Adam, had soooo much luck because they were luck-suckers. They just sucked it right out of everyone else {like me}.

Well, with that in mind ... I will document my oh-so-fabulous trip to Hawaii!

It was pouring rain the day before I left for Hawaii. So much, that I figured I should get new windshield wipers for the drive to the airport ... Windshield wipers. How complicated can they be?
Evidently, very. It took myself, one roommate, and two people of the masculine gender {one of which was employed by the Checkers}, and a partridge in a pear tree to replace them. But with such a team, you'd think I would have no problems. You'd think.

Now, I am no windshield wiper engineer ... But, when this began to happen on I-15, I strongly felt something was wrong with the windshield wipers ...


I honestly couldn't be bothered with pulling off the freeway to attempt to fix it ... So, I didn't. I just hoped it wouldn't fall off. If anything, I am sure it was an entertaining sight for other drivers on the freeway to see. And while in all honesty, it didn't really affect the trip one way or another, it of course was only natural that my brand spankin' new wipers fall apart. I affectionately call this: Mishap #1.

Another story of note: on the flight to Portland I was sitting to this cute gal in her early 20's, clearly a college student. I began chatting to her {because as a Mormon, that is what you are supposed to do on airplanes} and found out that she was from Salt Lake and just heading to Portland to see some friends. She then asked me, "Are you from Oregon?" I told her I wasn't. She said, "Good, because you have so much pink with you that I wondered if they dressed differently there and I didn't bring anything pink!"

In my defense the only pink items I had with me were: my pink cell phone, my pink iPod, my pink carry on, and a pink hoodie. Oh, and a pink undershirt. And a pillow case with multiple colors in it, but including pink. Hmph.

Now, on the six hour flight ... What did I do? I am not sure! But I didn't do a darn thing anyone you suggested! No pun intended when I say those six hours flew by!

I arrived in Honolulu, Hawaii to be greeted not only by my luggage {Yay! Being a non-luck-sucker, I was worried!} but by Erika Annemarie Johnsen!

As we headed back to her home in Laie, we drove along the Kamehameha Highway which follows the shoreline. Oh, my word. So beautiful! At this point I would like to insert a photo.


Yes, you literally drive right along the shoreline and see uber-cool things like this random island, Chinaman's Hat. Which, at this point I'd like to add that Erika plans to swim to it one day, climb to the top and be King of the Island.

On the way home we stopped at the most perfect Hawaiian-shack place for dinner ...


Bad picture from my phone, but it kind of gives you an idea. We got to eat outside on this little patio/walk-way surrounded by all the Hawaiian goodness of greenery you could imagine. Inside all the workers were sitting around a table chatting away while they made one guy do everything else.

Afterwards we made our way back to Erika's and she prepared me for breakfast the next morning by watching Fifty First Dates. How did that prepare me you say? ...

Hawaii | Day Two


For breakfast Erika took me to the Hukilau Cafe for banana pancakes! Now, for anyone who has watched Fifty First Dates, you might remember the cafe looking a little somethin'-somethin' like this:



Now, don't be alarmed ... but it actually looks like this:




Mmm-mmm-mm-good!

We then decided we needed to see something of grandeur-ness. So we opted to hike to Laie Falls.


It had beautiful views of the the ocean ... yet, was quite tricky. It started off as a road that wrapped around the back of a hill and slowly narrowed from a road, to a trail, to a path not wide enough to put both feet side by side at times ... At certain points of the hike it involved using ropes to climb up and down and scaling rocks and trees. Between the incline, Achilles tendinitis, and the humidity, I was pooped. But we knew it would be worth it to see something like this:


Unfortunately, this is just an image I stole from a Google image search ... Because what Laie Falls really looks like, is this:


Laie Falls? FALLS? Are you kidding me!? Try Laie Water Trinkles Over Rocks! Oh, my word! If I was to write one of those nifty little books for travelers to give them some advice on what to do on their vacation, in my Oahu travelers guide ... I would mention the three-plus hour hike to Laie Falls, include the torturous terrain, rope climbing, tree and rocking scaling and say: It might not be worth it!!!

Buuut, we were good sports.


And pretended that this was an image worth saving forever through photo documentation. Trinkle, trinkle, trinkle ... Oh, what is that sound? The water dripping down the rocks. I call this: Mishap #2.
After our 384,793,247,897,897,324 hour hike we hopped into the ocean and then purely exhausted, we found a nice "We don't have to move or even stand" activity by attending a piano concert by the world renown, William Joseph. AMAZING. But even more amazing is what we saw on before the show even started.


Who are these people who ask? Well, the woman is Sheri Dew. And what is she "dewing?" {Sorry, couldn't help myself.} She is on a date!!! Yes, with Mr. Hawaiian Shirt Man!! Erika and I spent the 30 minutes before the concert trying to figure out if they were holding hands and exactly how interested they were in one another. Conclusion: He likes her.


Also one other thing to note on day two ... Naughty, naughty Erika .... She did this on my Facebook account.

26 Facebook messages and countless text messages and phone calls later ... I think there are still people who think it's true. PEOPLE. IT'S NOT. Hell would have to freeze over first. Seriously.


P.S. Some of your comments and excitedness for me was so super nice that it a. made me feel bad that I had to tell you it was a naughty trick and b. makes me want to get engaged -heck, I'd have to be on FIRE to ever receive that much attention again ... and even then I wonder!

Hawaii | Day Three


Today was the day to go back to Honolulu to rent a car. I have never rented a car in my entire life. In fact, I am not sure my family has ever rented a car on any of our vacations. 1. We either just drove wherever we were going. 2. We would take a shuttle to wherever we were going where we could walk {ie. Disney World} and 3. It's not like they just make rental cars that wheelchairs can go in {for my brother}. So, it never even crossed my mind. But we realized that if we wanted to do all we wanted to do on Oahu, we'd need a car.

So. We rode the bus to Honolulu. Normally a 60 minute drive in the car ... Oh, it's a three hour drive on the bus. Which is only to be expected because it is indeed the bus. However, as Erika put it, "For some reason in Hawaii they take that whole relaxed lifestyle to heart and they really stop every minute. They will stop at a stop, load everyone on, pull around the corner and do it again. You can honestly throw a rock to the next stop from the one you are on." BUT: It was all going to be worth it so we could go to Waikiki Beach and surf, followed by a visit to Pearl Harbor, and a luau at night {just to name a couple of things}.

After the three hour ride on the bus, we got to the car rental place. They asked for my credit car and my license. Annnnnd ... please welcome mishap #3 ... I left my license in Laie!

THE ONLY THING I NEEDED FOR THE ENTIRE DAY AND I LEFT IT!!

Options at this point: ride the bus for three more hours to get the license just to get right back on the bus for hours seven, eight, and nine to come back the car rental place or chill in Honolulu until 6:30pm {it was noon at this point} for Erika's friend to bring me my license. We opted for the prize behind door number two.

But this meant no Pearl Harbor and while we could make it to Waikiki Beach {an additional 1.5 hours ride on the bus even though it would only have taken 10 minutes to drive there} there would be no surfing or playing in the water because Erika had her laptop. We had intended on keeping it in the trunk of the car ... but remember, there was no car.

Here we are, not surfing at Waikiki Beach. :) With some of the other sights there.


We also did some browsing at the International Market Place where I found this:



That's right, a pink trash receptacle to go with my pink bag and pink phone. What would the girl on the flight to Portland thought of this?


When I finally got my license we couldn't bear the thought of 1.5 more hours on the bus, so we took a taxi. Annnnd finally ... we met:

A 2009 Ford Focus whom we affectionately named: NOT The Bus.

We then drove NOT The Bus back to Laie and on our way there, the first place NOT The Bus took us was here:


A little trailer to get mansalas! Oh, yum and happiness! Thank you, NOT The Bus!!

Hawaii | Day Four


Happily with NOT The Bus, we were able to get to some places we had wanted to previously! Our first stop was snorkeling at Shark's Cove.


However, the little red flags were out {to warn swimmers of death} so we passed on by Shark's Cove to go to calmer waters at Turtle Bay.


Then it was off to surfing.


After a 10 minute lesson from surfer pro Erika, here I am on a wave on Ali'i Beach on the North Shore. Okay. Just kidding. This actually happens to be a real pro at the Reef Hawaiian Pro International surfing competition that we were able to watch. :)

Then we were off to one of my favorite places!


The Dole Plantation. For those of you who knew me in high school, you know I wouldn't be too off the mark if I said I has a minor obsession with Dole. In fact, the entire girls' cross country and distance team in track were. We always wore Dole stickers on our foreheads during our races for "Dole Power." So, this was a dream come true.

Inside the plantation ... Erika got pineapple ice cream and I celebrated being in the Dole Plantation by getting ... crinkled french fries. Way to celebrate the Hawaiian spirit, Mindy. But they were certainly good! :)

Our next stop was where I wanted to go most: Pearl Harbor. We had done our research the day before to make sure we knew when the Visitor's Center closed and all to make sure we wouldn't miss it. We were informed it closed at 5:00pm, so we thought we were making super good timing arriving at 3:32pm.

Enter Mishap #4.

Sure. The Visitor's Center closes at 5:00pm. But the last boat out to the USS Arizona Memorial leaves at 3:30pm! I MISSED IT. I traveled over 3,000 miles and did NOT get to go to the USS Arizona Memorial. Ugh. I hate mishap #4. Here it is from the look-out point at the Visitor's Center.

Well, I couldn't pout too long. We had a luau to get to!! They had lots of different activities to do before the feast started ... Some of were :


Seeing tropical birds, watching the man climb the top of the tree, canoeing in the Lagoon {and not pictured, the Hukilau, ancient way to catch fish, and learning the Hula} ... I look disgruntled in that photo not because I am on a beautiful beach in Hawaii, rather because of the time and effort it took to make the little flower head dress!! It was so difficult! And when we asked the little, elderly woman for assistance she would say in her accent, "All wrong!" And then make us start the entire thing over!!! It took 45 minutes to finish ... But turned out alright I guess.



Other things to see from the luau ...



And that, friends, concludes day four. I really don't expect anyone to still be with me at this point since this is the most massive slew of posting ever. If you are, 10 golden stars for you. :)

Hawaii | Day Five


'Twas the Sabbath.

Which, of course, meant it was the nicest day with the best weather I saw all week. I think the Lord likes to tempt the surfers ... Erika says that the best weather is always on Sundays.

So ... we went to Church. It was in the same auditorium that I attended the piano concert in the previous Friday night. It was a day of reprimanding in the ward: attendance, reverence, and visiting teaching. Those naughty little BYU-Hawaii students. ;)

It was a pretty chill day ... We walked around temple grounds {I had already ran around the temple on one of my morning runs, but obviously not on temple grounds}.



Here we are in front of the temple.

We finished up day numero cinco by attending a devotional on BYU-Hawaii's campus with Sheri Dew and Wendy Watson Nelson {Elder Nelson's wife}. They are BFF. Notice: no mishaps on the Sabbath. :)

Hawaii | Days Six & Seven

Days Six & Seven


Woke up and decided to ...

... go for a run on the beach!! Loooved it. Oh, and remember how in New York I found a pair of running shoes on the street? It is only fitting that I found these in Hawaii:


Sure, they're mis-matching. But, whatev. Ironic. That's what it is. P.S. They fit.

The rest of the morning I spent at the Laie Temple Visitor's Center as Erika worked (sheesh, crazy employed person!). The Visitor's Center was absolutely amazing! There was a senior missionary there, Sister Jacobs, who happened to be from a little place called Logan, Utah! She spent the morning showing me around. I loved being there just as much as anything else I did while in Hawaii.

We then greeted mishap # 5: pouring rain!

All ocean/beach activities were out for the day. So we decided to see some sights in Oahu before it was time to return NOT The Bus and catch my red-eye flight later that night.

First, we decided to go the Valley of Temples.



It was built with no nails. Figure that out.

Not sure why these two photos are so blurry ... pretend they are not. After gonging that bell I strangely felt much happiness and blessed!




And here's the big guy now! He was inside the temple and you had to take off your shoes to go in. There was some ritual you could do with lighting candles once you were in front of him ... but there were no instructions, so I couldn't figure it out. Doh.




Oh, ya know ... Just playing in some bamboo stalks near the temple.

Just in front of it all. Word.

Then ... it was off to find the lighthouse! It was quite windy the entire time {as you will see from our oh-so-attractive photo}. But it was aaaa-mazing when we got to the top!


On multiple occasions, Erika would get off the path {sometimes jumping over fences} to get photos of her. She'd only do it when the senior citizens left as not to freak them out. But what about ME!? I really thought she was going to fall off the cliff at one point or another!!

On the way down from the lighthouse we were able to see the Dragon's Nostrils {little blow holes}.


There were also some tide pools that people often swim in ... if the weather had even been somewhat cooperative that day! Oh, well!


By this time we needed to head back to Laie to get my stuff so I could head to Honolulu for the airport and to return NOT The Bus. However, Not The Bus was having a slight problem.



Yeah, don't worry ... it just kept making that noise over and over and over and over for the remainder of my time with him. Ugh. Oh, well. He still was not the bus, so we were happy. :)

P.S. On my red-eye flight back to Portland there was a drunk girl who evidently had night terrors ... The entire flight. This entailed her screaming at the top of her lungs {while still asleep I mind you} and hitting and kicking the seat in front of her, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!" "OWWW! OWWWWW! YOU'RE HURTING ME!" "STOPP IT!! NOOO!" Over and over and over ... kind of like the casino noise in NOT The Bus.

Whelp ... I guess that is my trip to Hawaii! Big thanks to Erika for playing: chauffeur, hostess, cook, tour guide, navigator, and one of the bestest friends ev-ah! :) Love you, Erika!!

11.20.2008

Aloha!


Hi. :)

1. I am not dead.

2. I will be updating about my trip to Hawaii. Soon.

3. I love space-heaters.

4. I had a little experience while at work yesterday that I just found completely and entirely enlightening. It explains a lot about me and where I am in life.

If you recall, I work with people with mental disabilities. Yesterday, a client came in and told me that my car was dirty and that I needed to wash it. I told him I liked dirty cars. He then tells me, "Well! You're not going to make many friends that way!!"

Man, I had no idea I was limiting my potential in life with the cleanliness of Wilson!! I need to get on top of that ... Maybe with a clean car I can double the amount of friends I have on Facebook to 1,836. {Which leads me to believe Adam Ruri must have a spotless car with his 1,857.}

The end. :)

11.09.2008

Six hours ...


I'm heading to Hawaii this week.

Jealous?

You probably should be.

However, most of you have husbands and babies, so I am jealous of you. ;)

Good.

Now we're all even.

And since we have that settled: what on this green earth am I going to do on an airplane for six hours!?

Things I know I could do in six hours {not necessarily on an airplane}:

Run approximately 48 miles.

Watch half a season worth of Smallville episodes.

Be at work, with two hours remaining.

Drive to St. George.

Drive to Provo and back and then watch two episodes of Smallville. :)

Watch three Aggie basketball games.

Go to a temple session - thrice.

Stare at Tom Welling.

Blow up 500 balloons.

Watch Charly 3.49 times.

Sleep, with only waking up three or four times.

And, yeah ... that's all I've got.

Folks, what can I do on the airplane for six hours? One golden star for any suggestion. Two gold stars for any suggestion that makes me smile at my computer screen. Three golden stars for any suggestions that make me laugh out loud. And four golden stars for anything I can actually can do. :)

Ready, set, go!


11.04.2008

Happy Halloween!

Odd little holiday we have here.

But nonetheless, I did celebrate it this year {at work} for only the second time in eleven years. And by "celebrate" I mean I dressed up ... Sort of.

I just thought of the scariest thing I could think of and dressed accordingly.


Yup. A BYU fan.

I really cannot be bothered with such frivolous things as Halloween when much bigger and better events are occurring simultaneously. I have three words for you: Utah State Basketball.

Need I say more? I think not.

Ah, hot-tubbin' with Stew and the boys back in 2006.

___

Disclaimer: BYU friends, you know I love you. Just jokes, okay? No one be offended. I give you permission next year to dress up at the most masochistic people you know - USU football fans.
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