Monthly Archives: April 2011

Island Time

Island Time

John and I are back from a short vacation in Hawaii. We went with our friends J&J, who also accompanied us on our trip to Chicago in February. In six days, we hit the Big Island and Kauai. Many of my coworkers expressed disbelief that a vacation to paradise could be made so short, but frankly, 3 out of 4 of us are Type A, and I have to say, six days on Island Time is plenty.

Let’s start at the beginning: a rocky start indeed. Why? Because on the 5.5-hr flight, there were FIVE kids evenly distributed in our row and the row behind. And they were little kids– the kinds who don’t yet know what it means to behave: noisy, screaming, crying, irritable mother fuckers. Normally, I sleep on planes, and given that we had arisen at the butt-crack of dawn (4:30 a.m.) to catch this flight, I was banking on those precious 5+ hours. But no. No such luck. I said goodbye to my zzz’s as soon as I approached my row and saw the rugrats. Why do people with noisy kids travel in public vehicles? Don’t they have to be confined to a mini-van or something? I have low tolerance for kids, especially noisy, ill-behaved ones. After all, I used to be one, and I know firsthand, there should be no mercy for my kind.

Despite the stressful start to our vacation, we ended up salvaging a pretty good time…

First though, the bad. I’ve really developed an affinity for cities and urban areas, and well, Hawaii was pretty much the opposite of that. Both islands only seemed to have one or two main roads, and the max speed limit was like 45 mph. Everything just felt slow, and I know, I was on vacation, so really there wasn’t a reason to move quickly except that that’s just how I kinda operate. On top of that, our friends themselves are quite the go-getters. I mean, they run marathons and triathlons and the like, so you know their pace is way beyond island time. Fortunately, besides the slow pace, Hawaii was a welcoming destination. The weather, albeit a little inconsistent, was never horrendous, and I quite enjoyed leaving the house in shorts and a tee. Even when it misted, the rain and air were warm. And my goodness, when the sun was out, boy did it pack some heat. I was with the three whitest people on earth (practically!), and in a matter of just minutes, their fair skin turned bright red. Me? I roasted to a toasty brown. Too bad the tan’s not going to stick around, because I love being dark. Makes me feel like I could actually pass for being Native American mix. 🙂

We had a very full six days. One of our early discoveries? The pineapple corer. Don’t let the simple design and plastic material deceive you: that device is fucking genius. We were shucking these spiny, prickly babies in just minutes. And my god. Fresh, ripe pineapple is so delicious. The Chinese insist that it’s a “fire” food that causes your body and skin to inflame, so it should only be eaten in moderation. But whatever, I was on vacation and that shit was divine. I need to get me a corer just so I can continue my fascination with this brilliant invention.

We really enjoyed the food in Hawaii. The fish, and poke in particular, was so fresh. And like the Far East Asians, the Hawaiians love taro. One famed bakery had this doughy, taro sweet bread. We devoured that loaf in no time. We also had these delightful skinny pina coladas + lavender at 22 North in Lihue. Such an enjoyable meal with friends. Then on one of our last days, we consumed a wonderfully moist and light coconut cake. Pretty much, lots of foods with pineapple and coconut. So tropical.

In terms of attractions, we encountered sea turtles on the Black Sand Beaches. We got our feet wet at the Kopoho Tide Pools. We hiked 7 miles in Volcano National Park– not particularly pretty but the geology is certainly unique. Unfortunately, there was no visible lava flowing anywhere on the island. In Hilo, we hit the Mauna Loa macadamia nut factory, where the self-guided tour was totally lame, but that didn’t stop us from buying/consuming a shitload of chocolate-covered macadamia treats. The Pana’ewa Zoo was an unexpected stopover, but it was very nicely done. Then, we also hit the Tropical Botanical Garden, which was massive and very impressive. We spent a fair amount of time in the car shuttling around from one place to the other… consequently, I often felt sleepy. 🙂

In Kauai, the weather was much sunnier. We caught the sunset and sunrise at Poipu Beach; we saw more sea turtles; we attempted snorkeling (apparently as I have aged, I’ve developed acrophobia, claustrophobia, and hydrophobia– not good for snorkeling with a foggy mask during high tide); we went to Waimea Canyon (my favorite), and the list goes on (seriously). Still spent a lot of time in the car driving to dry caves, other beaches, closed bakeries (inside joke), etc. but hey, we did walk four miles one night for groceries, so I got my exercise in.

Btw, I’m convinced that my feet are deformed. I swear I wore comfy shoes, and I still got crazy blisters on my left pinky toe. It wasn’t nearly as bad as Spain, but damnit, I came pretty damn close to amputating that fucking lame appendage. Seriously, I should be able to hike 7 miles one day and walk 4 miles another day without having a big bubble toe. At night, I would pop the bubble with a toothpick, but invariably, by morning that shit would be puffy again. TMI? Tough shit.

I didn’t rest so well on Kauai either. Why? Because there were feral chickens all over the damn island, and they started squawking every morning at about 4-5 a.m. Yup. I’m usually anti-violence, especially with animals, but I swear, had I had a baseball bat, one morning I would have easily clocked a couple of those buggers out. Enough is enough!

Long story short, we had a fun time. Hawaii wasn’t as pretty as I had remembered– still very pretty, but I guess I had insane expectations. Regardless, we had a fun time hanging with our buds and we are happy to be back home with the pups.

Interestingly, Martin welcomed us home that first night by laying a massive double-fisted dollop of turd in the kitchen. Our dogs are fully housebroken– they haven’t done something like this in like 10+ years! But I guess Marty got stopped up. He can be a bit particular about where and when he takes a dump. So, I awoke around 2 a.m. with him pacing around the bed. I opened the kitchen door as he hurried outside, but I guess the damage had already been done. Not cool, Martin Lawrence, not cool.

More Sleep

More Sleep

John recently read a WSJ article claiming that fewer than 3% of all adults can truly get by on just 5-6 hours of sleep every night. For some odd reason, after I learned about this study, I started going to bed a few hours earlier than my usual time. It was a weird thing. Nine-thirty, ten o’clock would roll around, and I would just want to go to bed. Maybe it’s the still erratic weather (one day warm, one day cold, one day wet, one day dry…)? I don’t know. I found myself having INSANE dreams, often about past crushes (??). Then, 7 a.m. would roll around, and I was ready to wake. Nine to ten hours of sleep a night? Exorbitant, isn’t it? Yeah, it feels ridiculous. I won’t make a habit of it, but I suppose it was fun to try for a week. No big changes. In fact, I probably feel more lethargic the more I sleep. Who knows how that biorhythm stuff works.

In other news, things with the hubster are going well. Couples therapy shifted into individual therapy, on the suggestion of the counselor, so we’ll see how that progresses. We’re getting ready to go on a big trip with some friends. Just a short getaway, but I’m very excited to get my heat on. After that, we’re approaching our 8th wedding anniversary, and we’re going to celebrate with a visit to a fav city of ours from about ten years ago.