Brian had his final interview this last week in Hawaii - and after some mild persuasion (from a pushy husband and some pushy friends :)), and some generous Christmas cash, I finally decided to splurge on a ticket for myself and go with him. It's funny that I needed persuasion - considering how much I love the beach - and considering how much I've wanted to go back and visit the place that I lived almost 6 years ago on that beautiful Hawaiian shore. I mean, come on, it's Hawaii! How could I have even considered not going?! How fun it was to walk on the beach and soak in the sun...to find all those memories and share them with Brian...to see the landscape and smell the air! What was I thinking?
I was thinking about money. A noble thought, indeed - I firmly believe we should live within our means - however, on the 13 hour flight to Hawaii, I read a book about a girl nobody liked because she was always so concerned about saving money. Hmmmm..... that sounded vaguely familiar..... I DO worry a lot about money. Maybe not quite as much as the girl in the book - but maybe too much, still. So, I think another new years resolution for me will be to stop fretting so much about finances. Not to spend more, per se - but to stop worrying about those uncontrollable expenses, and to treat myself every once in a while with a trip to Hawaii! (okay, maybe a nice dinner is more realistic....)
Anyway - I'm dying to share my vacation with you...so, here we go!
After our long 17 hour travel day, we both arrived in Hawaii. We were, unfortunately, on different planes - due to the fact that I had bought my ticket about a month later than Brian bought his. But it was surprisingly relaxing to fly on a spacious plane with many extra seats to put my feet up on and no one interrupting my book-reading, journal writing splurge. As we started our descent into Honolulu, I glanced out the window and my heart leaped up into my throat in excitement. I watched for 30 minutes out that window with a big smile plastered on my face until we finally touched down on the runway. "Hawaii! I LOVE this place!" I remembered.
Brian and I rode the shoulder-to-shoulder crowded bus for an hour (with all of our luggage) to our hotel. The Marriott! Our friend, Natalie, has a sister who works for the Marriott Hotel, so she can get killer deals on their rooms - we had reserved a $380.00 per night room for $84.00 per night! We were really excited as we walked through the outdoor lobby up to the check in desk. "This is so nice!" I kept saying out loud to Brian. There were cushy lounge chairs and nice couches surrounding beautiful glass tables. A live band was playing soothing Hawaiian music to create a wonderful ambiance. There were cool looking trees and tropical flowers that smelled amazing!
"I'm sorry, but this rate is only for family members of the employee," came the voice behind the desk to shatter my awe. "Your friend rate will be $202.00 per night." Talk about a slap in the face!
It really was impractical for us to spend that much on a room for three nights, so when we realized that she wasn't going to budge, we had her cancel our reservation and sulked away from the counter. Great. 6:00 pm in Hawaii, and we have no place to go. We stood directionless for a couple of minutes before we went to find a phone-book to make another reservation somewhere else. After many calls, we found the cheapest place around and walked across the street to spend $135.00 per night for a mediocre room with a rock hard bed and an air conditioner that only had one temperature - FREEZING! But, we were in Hawaii! And, thanks to Natalie, we even got to have a small taste of what luxury might be like in paradise. :) Thanks, Natalie!
The Sun Rises
*These are gorgeous. You can click on them to get the fullest effect my little camera was able to capture.*
Brian had to leave at 6:30 the next morning to get to his interview on time, so I grabbed my camera and a book and headed out to the beach to catch the sunrise. Once I found the perfect spot on the deserted beach, I sat down, hugged my knees to my chest to shield myself a little from the cool morning breeze, and soaked in the moment. It was so beautiful, that I never even picked up my book. As the gray sky turned brilliantly into baby blue, I watched and listened to the waves gently break on the shore. Is there a more peaceful, beautiful sound? Each broken wave carried heavy sand which sank back quickly to the earth - leaving only the crystal clear water to be pulled back into the next breaking wave.
I have never been able to find my favorite color inside a crayon box. In fact, my favorite color is, unfortunately, nameless. It is the color of a clean wave, just before it breaks, when the sun pierces the blue water with just enough yellow sunlight to give it the slightest tint of green. It sits on the verge of transparency...as if you should be able to see through it - but the color is slightly too rich. And, just as any color, there are different shades - it all depends on how much sunlight you add. They are all beautiful.
At 7:09, the sky had almost reached it's daytime brilliance and the waves snapped me back to reality as they crashed loudly onto the sand. I looked out to the ocean and saw large waves making their way to the shoreline. There were surfers scattered out among the waves and I realized that day had begun. It was interesting to me how one minute the ocean was quiet, calm and peaceful...and the next minute it came to life, throwing big waves out from nowhere...almost as if to say, "Well, day is here...it's showtime!" ... well. I'm glad I was able to see the ocean before it woke up. I think the ocean is kind of like a child - you can play and laugh and have fun with him when he's awake...but he's just so beautiful when he's sleeping...
I'd better call it a night for now - but stay tuned and I'll share more experiences, thoughts and pictures from our wonderful Hawaiian vacation!