1.5 years after joining the real world, I finally had enough vacation racked up to take a trip off the mainland. I may not have traveled to a far-away land, carrying only a backpack and the knowledge of how to ask “How much” in whichever foreign language I have chosen to immerse myself in. I may not have spent a month hopping between 14 hour bus rides and sustaining myself off bananas and bread. I may not have shared a bedroom with 15 other people, several of them bound to be snorers. I did however, spend a week in a non-foreign land, speaking English, eating whole meals, and staying in some sweet SPG resorts. Guess where I went?!? …..HAWAII! And, it was AWESOME. Here are some highlights:
Competing in my first triathlon!
A few months ago, I decided I want to try out a triathlon. I also decided I wanted to vacation in Hawaii. I merged the two ideas together, and signed up for the Ko Olina sprint triathlon, on the beautiful island of Oahu. I arrived in Hawaii Friday evening, picked up my bike and packet Saturday, and was front and center at the start line at 4:30 a.m. on Sunday morning…woo, vacation!
The coolest part of the tri was the swim. Rather than swim for 15-20 minutes straight and transition into the bike, our swim was through 4 lagoons. After each lagoon, you ran up a hill and sprinted (ahem, jogged for me) to the next lagoon. Repeat x4!
I finished in 1:38, 100th place out of …. ? Lots of people I hope, and not 101 folks.
After completing the tri, I promptly return to the hotel to lounge by the pool. 5 minutes after collapsing (okay, sitting. The tri wasn’t that exhausting) onto a beach chair, I get a call from Monica, who had been testing for her open water scuba diving certification. She was on the way back to the hotel, after stepping on a sea urchin. Womp womp! A few minutes later, I see her limping into the pool area, with a series of reverse barbs stuck deep into her two little toes.
I send her back to the hotel, to soak her foot in hot water, while I grab her a scotch on the rocks at the pool bar. After getting the drink, I ask the local lifeguard what Monica should do to treat the wound. His reply “Pee on it”. Being the good friend that I am, I race back up to the hotel room, and pronounce “Monica, I talked to the lifeguard. We have to treat this. It could be dangerous. I’m going to pee on you. Don’t argue with me. I’m going to pee on you. Ready?” To which Monica replies “To hell you’re not”. Thinking ahead that she might be adverse to the idea of me peeing on her, I also got a cup of vinegar while downstairs. Soaking your foot in vinegar is said to dissolve the barbs, and help your body either break them down, or force them out. Monica and I spend the next few hours intermingled with soaking her feet in vinegar, and drinking at the downstairs bar.
While at the downstairs bar, we have a small confrontation with a hotel employee:
Hotel Employee, heretofore named Zeek, has the nightly task of removing all the beanbag floaties from the pool once dusk hits. He likes to begin this process well before dusk sets in. He begins pulling in the floaties that are not being used. As he does this, I reach in to sit in one. He pulls it away from me, saying “I’m taking these in”. Noticing there are 30 people currently lounging on these floaties, I shrug my shoulders and grab a different one. 10 minutes later, he targets Monica and I. At this point, there are still ~20 people on the bean bag floaties, and ~ 15 empty floaties in the pool. Zeek points at Monica and I, and growls “I need those”, to which I do not respond well.
Zeek (growls): “I need those”
Me (kindly) : “Hmm. Can you get the empty floaties out first?”
Zeek (snarls): “No. I need those”
Me (sweetly): “I’m not giving you this bean bag while there are empty ones you can take out. I will gladly give you the bean bag, when you really need it. Don’t target us” (turns away).
(Zeek now targets Monica, exchange repeats itself)
Zeek: “Don’t make me call security”
Me (Bon Qui Qui Madtv skit): “SECCCCURRRITTTTYYYYY
*note* I didn’t scream secccccurrrritttyyy, but I wish I had. We waited 5 minutes and then gave him the bean bag chair.
At night time, Monica & I meet my pen-pal, Kylie! Yep, I have a pen-pal. It’s like in 5th grade, when you had a pen-pal from El Salvador, but way better, because this time you can legit communicate with your pen-pal.
Kylie takes us to a scenic look out point at the top of a lot of hills in Honolulu. Monica debates getting a tattoo of Texas . We all debate ghost-chasing. Kylie takes us back at 10pm, because I am a 90 year old grandmother, disguised in a 23 year old’s body, and it was almost past my bedtime. Quick, to the hotel before I turn into a pumpkin (I don’t even last until midnight, Cinderella’s got nothin on me)!
Done and done.
Dole Pineapple Plantation
Aka, the world’s largest maze! Upon entering the maze, we were told the record was 8 minutes to find the 8 checkpoints, and make it out….alive. Monica was determined to beat this time. She set out as a woman on a mission, bound and determined to race to all 8 checkpoints in under a minute each. 15 minutes in, we realized that would not be possible. New mission: beat the kids. As anyone who knows me well knows, I am a terrible navigator. I don’t understand maps at all, and prefer to simply ask people for directions (or blindly follow the GPS on my phone….love Google maps). With Monica blazing the trail (gimp foot and all), we made it through the world’s largest labryinth in under 45 minutes! We may have ducked under a few bushes that we weren’t supposed to, but to quote Monica “It doesn’t matter how you get there. All that matters is that you got there.” Spoken like a true Wall Streeter. Well said, Monica.
We ate pineapple. Twas good.
Kylie the pen-pal took Monica and I to a pristine beach on the other end of Oahu, where Obama stays whilst in Hawaii!
We then had dinner with a friend I made from the Ko Olina triathlon, Ryan. Good thing we let him pick the dinner spot, as I overhead this during the dinner conversation:
Ryan: “If I didn’t come along, where would you have taken them for local Hawaiin food?”
Kylie: “Blah blah place, on blah blah street”
Ryan: “Ugh, that place is mediocre”
Kylie: “I know. But…they wouldn’t have known the difference”
Tracey: “I HEARD that.”
10pm rolls around, and I have to call for the check. I’m about to turn into a pumpkin. To be fair, the latest Mjam and I woke up while in Oahu was 5:45am. The next day was a 5:15am start, to make a 6:30am cage diving with sharks tour!
Cage Diving with Sharks
Bright and early, Monica and I head to North Shore, to jump in a cage with Great White Sharks!! Just kidding. It was a Galapagos shark, and there was only one of them. Seeing sharks is hit or miss, and we ish missed.
Snorkeling in Shark’s Cove
Determined to see more sharks, I convince Monica to go snorkeling in Shark’s Cove, with me. We see no sharks, no turtles, and are bored within 20 minutes. As it turns out, the name Shark’s Cove is derived from the architecture of the cove, which looks like a sharks tail. Damn it. Sighting of sharks = fail.
While driving home from North Shore, Monica spots a beach and the conversation goes like this:
M: “Beach!! Want to stop?!?!”
T: “Oh my goodness, a beach! YES! Definitely”
Apparently, we had forgotten we were on an island.
Later that evening….
We finally make it back to our hotel, circa 2pm. We lounge by the pool for an hour, and then meet Ryan for local Hawaiin food, take two! He takes us to this amazing local eatery (definitely better than mediocre), and we try Kalua Pig (slow cooked pig), Ahi Poke (raw tuna), Chicken Lau Lau (chicken and spinach wrapped in ti leaves and steamed), snail delicious thing, seaweed salad, a fancy delicacy which was very salty and I have no idea what the name is, and Haupia (a coconut pudding dessert).
After dinner, Monica and I head back to the hotel, and chill out before gaining our second wind. We begin watching Hulu, and I pass out with one last thought on my mind: “Monica wouldn’t hack my facebook, would she?!” She would. The next day, I find myself divorced from Carlos, married to Monica, with the political view that ” national curfew should be at 9pm. Even whilst on vacation in Hawaii” Passive aggressive much, Monica?But, kudos on hacking the hacker.
Soon after finding my facebook account hacked, Monica and I head for the airport to island hop to Kauai, for our honeymoon 😉