Has been sssoooo long. And fast at the same time. Funny how that happens, isn't it?
If you watch my YouTube videos, you'll know that last week I had the pleasure of going to Hawaii for work. (Wooo!) Which meant I also got to be a tourist in the p.m. and on two of the weekend days. Unfortunately, my boyfriend couldn't come with me because of work, but I wanted to share with everyone all the adventures I had when I was there!
First off, the flight is long A.F! 20 hours. And of course I can never sleep on planes so it feels reaaallly long and I feel reeaallly tired.
And of course we were flying over there when all of that crazy blizzard weather was revving up so we had delays out the ying yang.
But obviously it's worth it by the time you get to Hawaii. It was 49 degrees Fahrenheit when we left Jacksonville, and it was 81 degrees Fahrenheit when we landed in Hawaii. Talk about tropical weather!
There's a five hour difference between here and there, which doesn't sound like that much, but boy does it take a toll! It took me all week to not wake up at 4 a.m. every morning and by then it was time to leave.
Sunday I got to climb Diamond Head and the view is absolutely amazing. I've posted the panorama from the top that I took, so just click on it to make it bigger! The hike only took me an hour to get to the top, and I'm glad none of my co-workers went with me...I was huffing and puffing. I'm waaay out of shape!
After that, I got to go to Duke's (on Sunday - shoutout to any Parrotheads!) and had to buy one of their t-shirts for my dad. I didn't take a picture of the beach right there because I'm crazy I was too busy enjoying everything. Had an awesome cocktail and enjoyed some deelicious nachos.
The pretty picture below was taken on a stone pier right by our hotel. I walked down to this beach a few times during the week and the view was always so pretty. I didn't get a picture of the sunset, but it's on my list for my next visit! I also spotted a sea turtle at this spot every time I walked out on the pier but the little booger was camera shy. I am going to get a picture of him next time!
I got to see the USS Missouri, the USS Arizona Memorial and Ford Island while I was there. All of them were very humbling experiences. You get to walk around on ship down to the second level on the Missouri and see the berthing (sleeping) areas, chow lines, officer's mess, etc. And the main deck is teak wood which I thought was really interesting!
The one that got me the most was the USS Arizona Memorial. It's a tearjerker for sure. They show a video before you go out that details the events leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor and they showed actual footage of the ships burning and exploding (footage that had color and sound added). It gave you goosebumps and a well-deserved respect for those who were there when it happened. Most of the bodies on board the Arizona were never recovered, making it a grave-site more than a tourist attraction. Everyone was silent and spoke in hushed tones with no direction to do so. It was chilling to still see oil still seeping up from the ship 75 years after it sank. Somehow the oil seemed like it was a part of the men down there, reminding us that what happened there was real, no matter how long ago it was.
Ford Island was also very interesting to see. I definitely recommend the audio tour, they had survivors speaking at different times which I really liked. Something I didn't know about the attack on Pearl Harbor: the primitive radar picked up on the incoming Japanese aircraft, but Pearl was expecting in a flight of B-17's from the mainland and wrote it off.
But mistakes happen.
I also got to snorkel Hanauma Bay and it was soo beautiful. The view from the top and the walk down there feel like you're just standing in front of a giant postcard, it's so pretty. I didn't get to take any pictures of this one, because we were worried about leaving our phones unattended on the beach, but here's a picture I got from Sir Google. I didn't see any sea turtles or octopus (I reeaally really wanted to) but I'm really glad I didn't see any eel. I would have peed myself. We didn't go on the ocean side of the reef, though, where I'm sure most of the cool stuff hangs out. Next time!
I did manage to film a video (Author Tag) for you guys that week, although it went up a little late and YouTube decided to delete all of my description and title. I had fun doing it, though, because it was a more personal video and I feel I haven't told you guys much about me. Buut then this week's video (How to Edit Your Novel Like a Boss) was also late this week due to lighting issues. In other words, I need to get my routine back on track so I can post videos on time for you guys!
Want to know what my all-time favorite part of this trip was? The food. Omg, the food. Hawaii has a large influence of Asian cultures and thus had plenty of Japanese restaurants. I know, go to Hawaii and eat Japanese food? But holy god I missed it so much. There's absolutely nothing like Japanese curry and I needed a moment to myself after taking my first bite. So. Good. I can't believe it had been 7 years since I last ate it. I also had a magnificent bowl of ramen (real ramen, not the fake stuff) with gyoza and fried rice. I'm drooling just thinking of it.
Oh, and Tim Tams. Nuff said.
Actually, tying the food for my favorite part of the trip was seeing some family friends from Japan. They lived on the other side of the island from where I was staying and there's seriously no better place to take a drive than in Hawaii. Everywhere has a view, even from the roads. I also didn't think my rental car would be able to make it up the mountain...I had that baby pinged. We had nearly 8 years worth of catching up to do and I didn't get back to my hotel until 1 a.m. (which was 6 a.m. back home...I hadn't stayed up that late since college). Also, I happened upon an O'ahu version of The Fast and Furious while on H1, and for about 8 miles was in the middle of a crew of street racers. Yes I just said "crew." I have no idea what to call them. And I also have no idea if they're actual street racers, it just sounds cooler that way. #authorembellishments
I know what you're all wondering. "Vivien, you spent a week in Hawaii but you're still so pale!" I got a tan, I tell you! You know those pinwheeled colors you get with teeth whitening kits so you can see if it's working? I need one of those so I can actually have proof I got a tan because no one believes me! My skin ranges from vampire-pale to she-might-be-alive-pale.
I'm in the latter region now! Hurray!
I had planned to catch up on some writing (silly me, right?) and reading at least on the plane ride there and back. I was too busy being brain dead. But I did manage to read A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, and make a "cover reveal" cover that you can see here, plus the nifty little newsletter signup image down below.
I had so much freaking fun on this trip, I just wish Steven had come with me. I was definitely homesick the entire week and I missed my little furbabies. I'm so lucky that my job sends people to Hawaii, and I can't wait to be able to bring Steven next time! I felt like I did so much but there was still so much I need to see.
Have any of you ever been to Hawaii? What sights did you see that I didn't?