Saturday, April 21, 2007


So, I recently took a vacation in Hawaii. It was a fabulous time. I went with the roomie and stayed with the sister and her 5 kids. So here is an update of what I did, how it was, etc.

First Impressions:
I hate humidity! That was my first thought as I stepped out of the jetway and into the airport. First: I hate humidity! Second, why does it say "toilets" rather than "restrooms" on the restroom sign? Third, it smells like flowers. Let's just say that I got used to the humidity, and since I've come back to my desert state I've had countless nosebleeds without it. I appreciate that they cut to the chase about the bathrooms. The flowers on that island--incredible! The first night all I could smell were these flowers. They are always blooming! If you like flowers, seriously, go there.

The Kids:
It only got better from there. My nieces and nephews are adorable. Even the socially awkward, pubescent, voice-cracking, 14 year old nephew. What can I say, I have a place in my heart for the awkwardly aged. It's endearing. We've all been there. The sister's newest baby, which her husband and she named "Joaquin"...a name I'm still trying to get used to. Sister, we're white! But hey, it's her kid, right!? Anyway, this kid is adorable. Fat cheeks. Big blue eyes. A bit of a spit-up problem, but I miss him already. :) Her 4 year old is too smart for her own good. She runs the house, or at least did before the baby arrived. I think she's going through inner-trauma.

1. Ocean! A. (the roomie) and I took about a gazillion pictures. What a beautiful place. My new favorite color is the color of Hawaiian ocean. Words, for once, just can't cut it. I have got to go back to that ocean. Pablo Neruda has a line in one of his poems about the sea, "on the blue shore of silence." I guess we can say the oceans and beaches of Hawaii left me silent. Awed. I will include some of these shots sooner than later.

I also went "amateur" snorkeling for the first time. Amateur in that it was no where fancy and I simply strapped on the sister's snorkel gear and set off looking at less-than-amazing coral (i.e. don't imagine that vivid stuff you see in pictures, this was hardly so epic). And yet, for me, it was a memorable experience. I want to do it again somewhere with more fish, more coral. I did see a sea cucumber and a few other things which I wouldn't know where to begin in telling you names.

2. Pearl Harbor. The history buff in me took great interest in this. It was humbling and for some reason emotional to stand over the Arizona and see the oil leaking out. To read over names engraved in stone. It was surreal to know that on a quiet Sunday morning all these names, these men, lost their lives so unexpectedly. I think the shock of it would be unnerving. At the museum on shore, there was a display of the life of this Navy Officer who passed away. His wife had kept it all: his work uniform, the telegram she received announcing his death, photographs, love letters, a Christmas card, a letter from a commanding officer. Reading what he wrote to her, the line of X's scrolled beneath his name, reading the faded telegram that said your husband is dead--pretty moving, emotional experience! And I'm a woobie, so things like this always make me cry.

3. The temple. The sister lives right across the street! Literally RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from the Laie, Hawaii LDS Temple. It was beautiful to just look up and there it was. We finally went to the visitors center and walked around the grounds the day we left. It was so peaceful just to be near it. It was a perfect ending to our trip.

4. Odds & Ends. We also spent a day at the Polynesian Cultural Center. The night show was cool, I attended my first and hopefully my only luau. It was, I suppose, enjoyable. Hawaiian Shave Ice & Dole Pineapple Plantation soft serve pineapple ice cream/sorbet are worth the trip. We also ate at "The Top of Waikiki" in a revolving restaurant that had a view of the city and the ocean at sunset. It was a fancy place with menu items like "Duck L'Orange" and other words we can't pronounce. The typical tourists, we took a picture of our entrees :).

So, that is, in a nutshell, Hawaii. But don't take my word for it, go for yourself. I am already planning my next visit!

The Maiden Voyage

Let's be honest. I don't know what, exactly, one writes on a blog. Do I reveal my deepest darkest secrets? Do I post a stream-of-consciousness rambling? Do I divide into topics and subtopics and sub-subtopics? I've never blogged before. I'm clueless. I hope I keep this up. Maybe it's a great way to journal? Maybe not. What I do know--my opinion on the blog is about to change, most decidedly.

In the past I've thought blogs were, well, kind of strange, kind of narcissistic. Maybe a little entertaining. As a means of keeping up with friends and loved ones, I think this is an ideal method. Much more aesthetically pleasing than the email--more photos, more info, more decorative, more fun. But, quite frankly, when someone views the blog as a place to include every little mundane detail of their life...well, curiosity gets the best of me and I read for a minute but then boredom takes over. Truth be told, I don't want to spend my time reading other people's blogs. Now, I read. I actually enjoy reading quite a bit. I read other people's books because they are well-written and have been through an intense editing process. The blog, on the other hand, is a place for grammatical errors, type-o's, and nonsensical sentences. The blog is a place where rambling is the norm. The English teacher in me is afraid of this. Even though I myself make mistakes. Heck, that's writing. But I like to edit what I write. Even more of my worry: I don't want to ramble on about what you don't care to read.

So here is my great hypocrisy--I've got to swallow my former beliefs on blogging because I want to try this myself. I, "B.," am creating my first ever blog. Call me narcissistic. I'm still gonna try it. So, here goes nothin'. I hope you enjoy. Or not.