March…whahhhhh??? Sure wish it started feeling like it, huh? It’s another Monday, which is the day of week I was born nearly 35 years ago (this Wednesday…where.does.the.time.go?) and at 3:30 a.m., mind you. Clearly, my mother wanted me to forever never be a morning person. lol!
Speaking of my birthday, I have something fun coming up on my Facebook business page on Wednesday, so check for that. I had previously discussed on my Facebook page about throwing myself an office party on my birthday, since all you cubicle/office/work-among-other-adults people, get that sort of thing (hopefully, that is, if your co-workers don’t suck). I know I’d bring my co-workers at least their favorite candy bar. I may not bake, which I don’t normally, but party hats and a candy bar is something! lol! Anyway, that post progressed into a ladies night out – which actually happened and I got a bottle of red-eye out of the deal. I bet you sure wish now you could have been there, huh? Oh, and I got panties. New ones – just to make that clear….at least, that’s what I was told. Red-eye and panties…my kinda party! lol! So yeah – Wednesday – my Facebook biz page – check it out…around maybe 10 a.m.’ish or I’ll be sad. And I don’t want to be sad on my birthday or my day just might turn out like one of those directv commercials. ha!
My weekend was pretty uneventful, which is how I like it sometimes. We watched some movies (by the way, don’t waste your life away watching “Guilt Trip” on Netflix, if you have it), ate too many shell peanuts, visited with some family, and got some organizing done. All in all, a pretty good weekend.
Because my weekend was pretty boring, I figured I would finally share some images from our trip to Maui! I would LOVE to dip my toes in the ocean about now, while the warm breeze blows through my hair. Sigh…..
Like the title of the post? Ha! In case you’re not up to speed on the late 80′s music, it’s my rendition of LL Cool J’s “Going Back to Cali.” lol! And I WISH!!! Actually, if we ever would get back to Hawaii, I would like to go to the island of Kaua’i, which is, I’m told, even more laid back than Maui.
We traveled to the island of Oahu and went to Honolulu for a day. We saw the location that served as the opening part of “Gilligan’s Island,” Waikiki Beach, the National Memorial of the Pacific, and of course, Pearl Harbor while there. We had a guided tour and it really was not enough time. We felt rushed to see as much as we could while at Pearl Harbor, but yet, had we been on our own, likely wouldn’t have seen as much as we did – so it’s a toss-up as to what is best. If you were to go there, I would suggest a good two full days, at the least, to see various attractions of Honolulu.
I, on the other hand, preferred the quiet and relaxation that Maui offered, that Honolulu doesn’t. The beach at Honolulu was packed, and as I imagine, it is most days. I would personally go back to Maui before Honolulu. As I mentioned earlier though, I would like to see the island of Kaua’i.
The four hour time change wouldn’t seem like a lot, but when you’ve been up since 2:00 a.m., you get to your hotel about 4:30 p.m., and it feels like 8:30 p.m., you’re wiped. Four hours is a lot for the body clock. I’ll say that right now. And the red-eye home….followed by a 90-mile drive….not fun. I made “the boss” drive home. I didn’t sleep though – so I was a polite (and over-tired) passenger.
This place (Hyatt Regency Resort) was beyond beautiful. Umm..yeah. Highly recommend. You can walk right down to the beach and when you come back, use the outdoor shower to rinse off. They’ve thought of everything. In the morning you can feed the penguins and koi fish that call the Regency home. In the morning, since the rooms are built in an around fashion (as pictured), you can hear the birds pretty clearly. And Hawaii has some pretty loud birds. lol!
This was our view from our lanai (balcony). A beautiful sight to see every morning, that’s for sure. Although, that island straight ahead, (Kaho’olawe) ruined any chance of a sunset shot I was hoping to get. :/
There are several restaurants to choose from on the grounds as well. Be prepared to pay around $15….that’s just for the burger. Everything is expensive though. They have to have everything brought in by ships, so it’s expected. I so wish we would have brought some Maui Gold pineapple home but hubby didn’t want to mess with customs for it. You just haven’t had pineapple until you’ve had pineapple from Hawaii – fresh, not several days old by the time we get it.
The grounds around the Hyatt. The bottom right is a picture of one of the restaurants, where you can watch the ducks in the pond and where the birds eat scraps from people’s plates before the waiters take them away.
Most of these were taken with the very first camera that sparked my interest in photography – my canon power-shot. I was wishing, while there, that I would have brought along my big gun; however, although insured, I didn’t want to risk the headache of it being lost, stolen, or damaged.
We attended a luau called “Drums of the Pacific.” I ended up on stage, after meeting a woman sitting across from me, who was on her honeymoon. She really wanted to go up and my husband told her I would. So – that answered that. There I was, learning how to hula dance. Although, not nearly as graceful. Tony didn’t get a good picture though, as I was in the back.
In the bottom left image, they are removing the pig from cooking underground. Seriously – the best pig I’ve ever had. I wish I could remember all of the layers used. I should have seriously had a notepad and pen for all the little “lessons” and things I learned about Hawaii. It is so rich in culture and history and feels like another world almost. This luau was very good though – it followed the story line of the Polynesians coming to Hawaii by way of the stars. It was just fascinating.
While in Maui, we also took a two-mile rain forest hike. It was one of the best experiences of our whole time there. We had an excellent tour guide, Polly, pictured top left. She was born and raised in Hawaii, but obviously is not Hawaiian but rather Canadian. She knew so much and gets to do hikes every day for her “job.” I highly recommend her as your tour guide if you go there and want to do a hike.
We stopped at a few different waterfalls. Jumped about 5 stories up into one, ate some passion fruit, fresh off the ground (pictured top right) – which is absolutely amazing. I’ve never tasted anything like it.
We really wanted to experience Maui in a way we wouldn’t otherwise – away from the tourism. The way it would be if people wouldn’t be living there.
At bottom right are coffee beans before they are roasted. To my surprise, I had no idea they are actually in berries, where the surrounding skin is edible (and not too bad tasting) and where all the antioxidants are. You can literally suck on these for hours. And I did.
Below is the U.S.S. Missouri in Honolulu, Ohau. Island-hopping is time-consuming, so if you do go, take that into account in the number of days you plan to go. You still have to go through airport security and that whole rig-a-ma-role when you island hop. We were both quite tired by the time we got back. It does get to be a long day, so think twice about squeezing everything into one day. But I also know, we would have regretted not going to Pearl Harbor had we didn’t, even if just for one day. Being both military, there was this somberness we both felt. It was very quiet and you just felt so much while you were there, at least I did. I highly recommend watching the film about that day before you go tour the rest of the grounds.
This is the last battle ship that was lastly used during Dessert Storm. It was also where a document was signed ending WWII. So, so much history here. Again, we had a very knowledgeable tour guide. She didn’t skip a beat when talking actual numbers/facts/figures. And as I mentioned before, plan for at least 2-3 days at Pearl Harbor in order to really soak it all in.
For our first vacation, and I mean a real vacation, beyond Aberdeen, SD – this was a dream come true. Heck, we haven’t even been to Mt. Rushmore as a couple/family yet and we’ve been married going on 11 years. So, it was about time. The best part? We’re already planning on a trip for 2015. Life is too short to work and work and work and never enjoy it. You can’t take it with you and that’s what student loans are for [kids]! lol!
Save up all of those dollars you spend eating out (which we rarely do), coffee drinks, tuck some of your tax return away…little by little, it adds up. We’re talking about getting rid of Dish Network and just sticking with basic channels and Netflix. Right there alone we will save nearly $800 over the course of a year! We’re making it a goal to take a vacation every year.
Recharging, relaxing, and just having no obligations for even just a week, felt glorious. And for the first time in months….I mean MONTHS…I felt better than I had in a long time with my gut. I realized that what I’ve been experiencing, more often than not, are the effects of stress/anxiety. Our long winters don’t help and I am itching to start running again, as I know that helped me greatly last year feel more relaxed (and not so “nuts0-mother”) throughout my day.
Having a vacation was good to me (and us) and I definitely brought home some changes I am slowly trying to make, in the form of finding ways to relax and decompress. I think there are so many people that are in that constant state of “fight or flight,” where the blood pressure is rising, the heart is pumping faster, and the anxiety just keeps building and building. It’s as if our society encourages it – work faster, work harder, work more, more, more. Earn more, more, more. And where do you end up because of it? Sadly, so many don’t end up even enjoying retirement, that is, if they even get to that stage or even can financially, and if they are, they have a pill for a pill for a pill.
Enjoy it while you can, I say. Tomorrow is never guaranteed.
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