I would like to first point out that I am typing this post from my bright, shiny new laptop, which was a graduation present from my ever wonderful husband. I am seriously a lucky girl with that one. Second, since recapping a 10-day vacation i one blog post would bore both of us and cause me instant carpel-tunnel syndrome, I am going to bore you over several posts, most of them recapping a couple days at a time with photos. I know, I know, just what you wanted to read about, a vacation you weren't on and pictures of scenery you didn't see. HUZZAH! Onward my darlings....
So we flew into Lihue, Kauai from St. Louis, which including our plane change in LA, took about 23 years. My sister, bless her little heart, had spent that last few weeks painstakingly loading movies, TV shows and more music than anyone needs onto her beloved iPod. Our intent was to have my Jeff use his mini-DVD player, Brother would use his iPod and she and I would share hers. I also brought my knitting and a book in case I felt like shunning technology. Well, about one hour into it, my sister plugged the iPod into the little charger thingy on the seat and POOF, it was dead. She spent the next 20 minutes trying to control the rage inside her because she had refused to bring anything else to occupy her time and apparently we are not wired to just sit. Anyhoo, she pounded on it, shook it, yelled at it and everything else in the hopes it would somehow come back to life but alas, it was not to be. She, along with the rest of us, were left with only the airline brand of entertainment, which on this flight consisted of the pile of dog crap known as "27 Dresses." Now my sister does NOT like it when things do not go according to her master plan so she got off the plane after 96 hours of flying STILL moaning about the iPod. We told her we would go right away and get a new one but she wasn't having any of it. She wanted it to work dammit and spent the whole rest of the night trying to fix it. We finally made it to the hotel around 9pm, got some food and passed out. When we woke up, this was the view from our room:
We had made a plan to go to this "secret beach" located at the far end of the main island road, which Laura and Jeff had gone to last year but apparently was only secret to us because it was freaking packed and this time there were some changes, namely the removal of the bathrooms. We had not anticipated this and were left to change in our rental car, with the NON-TINTED windows up, sweating our asses off. There we were in the backseat suffocating like dogs trying to squeeze into our bathing suits, which by the way DO NOT go on easily when you are sweating profusely. At one point, I had no pants on and only my swim top and she was the reverse and suddenly we had to dive for the floor because a group of people came walking by. I'm sure they didn't notice the bare asses or the car shaking or the howls of laughter from our retard selves. We finally emerged, sweaty and discombobulated with our swimsuits on inside out and made our way to the beach. Jeff and Brother decided to go be mountain men and go on a hike, which on paper was only 4 miles but in reality was 4 miles STRAIGHT UP through the jungle. I think they made it about 1 mile before they turned around. Laura and I spent the whole time bobbing around the water enjoying ourselves while they were huffin and puffin. Boys. If you look REEEALLY closely in the bottom right corner of this picture, you can see us. I think it's us. Let's just say it's us:
We finally left and spent the next few hours driving around. I tell you, that island is SO beautiful. I mean, just look at it:
There were all these awesome little beach towns along the way and my secret inner surfer girl came out. Not that I actually surfed, I would break my damn neck, but I wanted to. During this time, we were introduced to our newest friend, THE VOG, which is the foggy-like crap that hovers over all the islands because of the active volcano eruption. That kinda sucked but whatever. After we drove around, we ended up at the place we probably spent the most time at while on the island:
I am totally not kidding. We went there every single day. Funny that the sign is red and not blue. I wonder why. You can buy ANYTHING in Hawaiian Wal-Mart. We even saw a wild boar in the parking lot one day. Yeah, wild boars run around sometimes. In the Wal-Mart parking lot.
Weird. Anyway, on to day two. Day two was planned by the boys and quite frankly, Laura and I were only going out of a sense of duty. You see, they decided they wanted to go on a sunrise downhill bike tour, which probably sounds like fun to some people but apparently not us. The only part about it that appealed to me was the word "downhill." I have a bike at home and I've been known to ride through the neighborhood or even at the park, but I wasn't so sure about biking down the side of a mountain. First off, we had to get up at 4:30am because it was a 45 minute drive to the bike place and another 1+ drive to the actual mountain. Lovely. Second, it was going to be cold and that didn't sound so fun to me. Well, we went and it started okay. We were tired, sure, but we sucked it up and piled into the van with a nice family from Chicago. Our "guides" were Hawaiian Guy and Hippy Girl, both of whom seemed nice. Right as we were leaving another girl showed up to come along and train to be a bike guide. I'll call her Smartass Girl because that name is appropriate. She spent the whole ride talking to Hippy Girl, who was driving the van. They were trying to be funny and sarcastic and edgy and told us snickery lies about the island but instead came off as a chunk of whiny ass rot. Bear in mind it's still VERY EARLY, people, I was already cranky and was in no mood for their shenanigans. Well, the bike tour came with a "continental breakfast," which we were very much looking forward to at this point, but which turned out to be a pit-stop to pick up a paper bag of muffins and cups of coffee with a community creamer, no less. Before you accuse me of being whiny, which I am, keep in mind that we're crammed in a van with more people than seatbelts which was also covered in a layer of the red dirt that covers the island while a hippy holding a coffee in one hand and a banana in the other DRIVES, NO SWERVES US UP A FREAKING MOUNTAIN while also having a conversation with smartass about getting mugged in Thailand. It wasn't exactly a great environment in which to cream your coffee. Anyway, we made it up the long windy road to the lookout at Wiamea Canyon, where we assumed would start the ride. Here we are looking all eager:
That's Waimea Canyon in the background. According to the brochure, we would be biking along with that view, down the rim of the canyon. Nice, eh? It would have been had that actually been what we saw biking, instead, we were surprised to see that we were going to bike down the same long, windy road we HAD JUST COME UP and which is located not on the canyon rim but instead winds up the side through trees and crap. Awesome. We should have lots of surprises in store. Oh wait, no we won't because we SAW THE SAME FREAKING ROAD THE WAY UP. This made me extra cranky. Oh yeah, and did you notice the sun is up in those pictures? Yeah, that's because WE NEVER SAW THE SUNRISE. Our big moment on the canyon rim watching the sun ride is only true if you live in the brochure. In all fairness, our daredevil guide Hawaiian Dude encouraged us to go as fast as possible on the last hill, so that part was fun especially since we didn't die.
Stay tuned for more of this epic Hawaiian saga.