Despite my wicked sunburn I had a really good time. I think The Big Island runs a very close second to my favorite Hawaiian island, Kauai. I picked an excellent travel companion in my friend Nancy. She was fun and up for anything and easy going. Everyone should be like this!
We saw caves, beaches, waterfalls, and volcanoes. We did a nighttime manta ray snorkel tour which was awesome. I won't lie - jumping into dark ocean water and hanging on to a questionable surfboard/pvc pipe contraption while waiting for the giant sea creatures to arrive had me a bit panicky and questioning my life choices. But they were serene and friendly and a few deep breathing exercises and I forgot that my throat felt like it was going to close up and choke me. Win win.
We did a snorkel tour of a few prime spots on Monday which was neat. I finally got a lot of use out of my snorkel set I bought during an ill-advised attempt at scuba diving some years ago. With the help of a 30spf t shirt I managed to do no further damage to my crimson back. When I go back to any part of Hawaii I am wearing these every time I go to the beach. Not sexy at all but it's clear to me now that sunscreen cannot be trusted that close to the equator, not for me anyway.
Highlights? Pretty much everything we did was awesome, thanks to extensive research on TripAdvisor and Yelp. Every attraction was fun and all the restaurants top notch. Between this and gps, vacations are a snap these days. How did we ever function without them???
First black sand beach! Fascinating! And with turtles...
A blissful moment on Hapuna beach before I burned the shit out of myself...
Farmer's market in Waimea where I bought $70 worth of jams that should show up in two weeks - yippee!
Rainbow Falls where I want to spend a whole day next time:
And Kapopo tide pools, also worth an entire day but we ran out of time:
Lovely birthday dinner on Sunday at Merrimen's in Waimea - I turned 44 in style!
Snorkeling around Captain Cook monument - crazy reef that drops off to over 120 feet deep:
Kaumana caves with graffiti from the teens and twenties:
And a final lovely sunset dinner on the beach last night:
It was a great trip. The pain from sunburn on my back and legs put a little damper on things, but didn't ruin it. Also having to drive two hours to get anywhere kind of sucked - they don't call it The Big Island for nothin' - but allowed for lots of good conversation and roadside discoveries. We would have had to spend a month there to even begin to get through all of the things I wanted to see and do. Guess I'll just have to come back a few more times!
I read The Course of Love written by the guy who spoke on the This American Life episode about relationships that changed my life, and it was excellent. I also chipped away at The Denial of Death which was fascinating. Can't wait to really delve into that once my event is over.
Speaking of my event...well, a million people are signed up* (*slight exaggeration) and that's great and all, but it's causing lots of logistical problems. Our discounted room block is sold out and everyone is freaking out because they thought they still had a month to get a room. I am trying to arrange an overflow situation at a hotel nearby. The contests are filling up, and I have decided to spend the $10,000 or so to add another class track just to take the pressure off the other now overcrowded classes. Everyone wants special considerations, partial refunds, their own hotel room, me to fix all their problems and make everything ok. Oh, and I was called out online for suggesting on my website that it's not polite to turn down a dance and then turn around and dance with someone else - common dance floor etiquette that has been blown up into an attack on women having control of their own bodies and that I'm condoning rape culture. Yes. This is the kind of crap I have to deal with. Good times. So yeah, the event is successful and that's great and everything, but ughhhhhhhh
The BF snuck cute birthday and anniversary cards in my luggage and signed one from the boys. Awwww.
The boys did great in my absence and even tried some new foods (yay). I admit I did miss them a lot and got a little weepy looking at all the tanned little kids running around on the beach, thinking about what a kick they would get out of it. I really hope we can have some lovely visits there with extended family someday. But for now my perhaps last single gals' trip was a blast and I'm so glad I went.
Now...back to my stupid life!!!