Friday, April 22, 2011

So Far in the Year of Yes...

Clearly my year hasn't included updating this blog much!  Yikes!  Truth be told, its switch in focus (from getting married to married life) is a bit difficult to follow and document.  I mean, who wants to read a blog of mush about how fabulous married life is?

But, I can update on my year of yes.  If you recall, it was my NY resolution to say yes to more fulfilling and rewarding things and NO to working all of the time.  The work of a teacher is never ending, seriously, so if all I did was say yes to work, I would be working 24/7.  And, ultimately, I would not be a very effective teacher if all I did was worry about teaching!

Earlier this year, Mike and I booked a trip to Kauai on a whim, and we just returned from the blissful excursion on Wednesday.  It was short, but sweet.  Mike is a CPA and so, ended his tax season on Friday (even though tax day really wasn't until Monday the 18th this year).  We left on Sunday morning, and had to return Wednesday, because he started a new quarter of his Masters in Tax class at SJSU.  But, something is better than nothing, right?

Opaeka'a Falls
The view on the other side...

We arrived around 10:30, and so had the entire day in front of us!  We went to our hotel to drop our stuff, and then we were off!  We hadn't really done a ton of research on what to do, or where to go, simply because we didn't have the time before. But when you go to Hawaii, you really don't need to have much of a plan!  Mike is really big on trying the 'local' fare, and always wants to sample authentic cuisine.  So our first goal was to have some yummy Hawaiian food.  We went to a place not far from our hotel, and had some grilled mahi mahi, BBQ and of course, mac salad and rice.  Yum-O.  Then, we drove back towards the airport to look around and visit Opaeka'a Falls, which we had seen a sign for on our way in.  It was a small overlook on one side, and on the other side, a view of a canyon and all the lush and incredible greenery.  Saying yes never looked so good!

The sunset on the first night! (post-whale)
That night, we decided to grab a cocktail, and read out on the beach.  We are currently reading The Art of Racing in the Rain, and it is a tear jerker for sure.  We brought the book out and as we were approaching our seats, a whale breached the surface.  And by breached, in this case, I mean that there was probably only 2 feet of this huge whale still in the water!  The rest of him was fully out of the water, and our jaws were fully on the ground.  It was not too far from shore, and I felt like I was watching the Discovery Channel!  It was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. We quickly grabbed our seats, and enjoyed two more sightings, though none were as big as that initial showing.  Off in the distance we continued to see spouts, and we felt so lucky to have seen such an amazing sight!  Who needs a whaling cruise when you can walk out on the beach and have a front row seat!  We were trying to get pictures of it, but at a certain point, I remembered the wise words of one of my besties who recently blogged about photographing v. enjoying the experience.  I stopped trying to capture it, and focused on really seeing it for the first time around.

The view on our way!
The next day, we had scheduled a Zip Lining adventure in the North Shore.  Mike and I discovered our love of zipping on our honeymoon in the DR.  We have been two times since, and are kind of addicted.  It offers such a unique view of any site, and in Kauai and the DR, we were able to get off the beach and into the thick of the island and see some amazing stuff!  This zip experience was different from the others we have enjoyed in that you actually had to run to start and launch yourself, and  run up a ramp to stop yourself as well.  It took a while to get used to, but we got the hang of it!  The last zip was the best - it was 1,200 feet, and a tandem, so we got to race!  Mike came out of nowhere and beat me in the last 50 feet or so - such crap :)  Before we ended our tour, we got to have a picnic lunch at a swim hole with fresh water that was a nice refresher after a few hours in the hot and humid sun!  It was an all around amazing experience.    And, strangely, our entire zipping group was from the Bay, and one of the two tour guides a graduate of Chico State.
Looks strangely familiar - like our 'chariot' in the Dominican Republic
All suited up!
The first zip!  Check out those launch ramps.
Backwards launch.  
The suspension bridge - very cool! (except for the lady who was deathly afraid of heights, and who was also, inexplicably, on our tour...)
I'm a pro.
Did I mention that the zip place was also a working cattle farm?
Swimming hole!
After zipping, we headed out to the Kilauea Lighthouse, on a recommendation from our guides.  It is the northernmost point of the state, and is also a bird refuge for many birds who migrate to and from Alaska several times a month.  Since it is a sanctuary, the birds can safely nest on the ground.  Then, on another recommendation, we went to Kilauea Video and Ice Cream.  SO GOOD.  If you go to Kauai, you MUST go to this ice cream shop (and rent a VHS tape too, if you are so inclined.)  It was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.  I got coconut strawberry ice cream, and Mike got the Hawaiian banana split flavor.  Both were extremely creamy, delicious and refreshing!

Our day at the beach :)
The next day we spent at the beach, and then headed to a luau!  This was one experience that I really was craving, as I had never been to one, and it would be such a great cultural treat.  We knew we wanted to go, it was just a matter of which one.  We were walking back from the store, and wouldn't you know, there was a huge tour bus, completely filled with an advertisement/photograph of a luau.  It was a sign. We booked it as soon as we got back to the hotel!  We had such a great time, and for me, it was easily the highlight of the trip.  The Kalamaku Luau was on a plantation, and they had a rum tasting room, dancers to usher us in, a lei greeting (although I had already gotten a special lei for myself - so I was doubly lei'd...) and various vendors to visit while we waited for the show.  They also had a train ride with historical background information about the plantation, but we didn't get there early enough!

We started out in the rum tasting room (of course).  They poured a dark and light rum, and advised only to let it touch your lips to really appreciate the taste.  (and also, they would be making a mai tai at the end, so the more rum you had left, the better your mai tai...).  Then we made our way inside, and got lei'd and had our photo taken with some of the dancers.  I didn't mind the complete touristness of this, because I was SO excited to be there.  The dining room was huge, and our table was really close to the stage.  We were sitting with six other people (most of whom were from the Bay).  While we were waiting, we visited the bar frequently, and also shopped around the different vendors.  We bought some Hawaiian spices - and will be BBQing tonight so come on over!  I got a beautiful flower for my hair, just to complete the Hawaiian tourist experience.

The show was amazing - it had a complete storyline, and beautiful dancing.  One of the guys looked like this actor from General Hospital (which I don't watch but did when my mom used to.  He was seriously a dead ringer, except for the actual actor I was thinking of would be about 60 by now, and this guy definitely was not).  There was a fire thrower and great music - I think that I am going to exercise to luau music from now on.  Talk about tunes that get you going!  I would also like to learn how to make my hips move independent from the rest of my body...

Wednesday, our last day, our flight got delayed by three hours, and so we got to enjoy a bit more of the island!  We visited Wailua Falls, which were so beautiful.  The natural beauty of Kauai is out of this world.  Mike and I frequently commented how it felt like somewhere that wasn't America - you just don't see this much natural landscape many places.  It was so great.  Then we headed down to Poi'Pu, and drove around for a bit there.  We were very thankful for our delayed flight!

Now, we are back on the mainland, and focusing on our next trip in the year of yes - a 3 week European  excursion!  I am on spring break this week, and trying to focus on 'yessing' on a smaller scale as well.  I am not checking my work email (for the most part), not working, exercising, and hanging out with the best dog out there, Taiko.StumbleUpon

Blog template by

Back to TOP