Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hawaii! (I'm a HUGE sLAcKeR!!!)

So, as you may have noticed, I've been AWOL from my Blog for about a month now. Part of it is due to the fact that my computer crashed and I didn't get it back until right before we left for Hawaii. Literally the night before. But then I had to reload all the "stuff" that was once on it to make it work for me once we got home. As I mentioned in my previous post - I'm not the most technical of gals. Then, life just seemed to catch me and my blog seemed to get pushed further and further down on the list.


Anyway. I'm BAAACK!!


So here is the rundown of our trip to Hawaii.

The purpose of the trip was for Mark to attend a conference for SEOC (Structural Engineers of California). Yeah, I know we live in Utah, but they usually have a really good conference with good technical sessions and Reaveley Engineers has done some work with several firms in California. Blah, Blah, Blah. . . . . .

We went to the Big Island of Hawaii. Everything there is different from what I expected it to be. The airport is very small - you have to walk down the steps of the airplane when you land. Usually not a big deal, except that I had totally crammed my carry on and my "personal item" (backpack) full so that I would only have to check one bag. This proved to be tricky - navigating the stairs carrying both of those. (Yeah, Jade got her grace from me).

When we landed I was pretty sure we landed in purgatory and NOT paradise. This is what I saw:


Wait, um - THIS is Hawaii? What about green palm trees or ANY trees and WHERE'S THE BEACH?


When we got to our hotel it was absolutely gorgeous and had a beautiful beach. While Mark went to his conference every day from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm I laid around the pool and read my book. This was my view at the pool:


The resort was super nice - they had these great lounge chairs with towel things on them that wouldn't slip down when you moved around. You could put it on yourself, or you could have a pool boy do it for you. Check it out:


There was also some great people watching / entertainment to be had at the pool as well. Each morning this guy and his wife would come to the pool. Both about mid fifties and already super tan. She had really blond hair - let's just say it was not a color of nature, and wore this garish pink lipstick (yes while at the pool). He was quite the snappy dresser - but more on that later.

They would always pick lounge chairs near me and seemed pretty nice. On about the second day I overheard him talking on his phone to someone telling them that he was at the SEOC convention and how it was going great, he's working hard, blahbaty, blah, blah.
I'm thinking to myself "Dude, you are at the pool with BARBIE - you are most definitely NOT at the convention!". From then on I dubbed them Rico Suave and Barbie and it seemed that I saw them EVERYWHERE!!

Here is Rico and Barbie waiting for the pool attendant to fix their lounge chairs:

The reason I started calling him Rico Suave is that every time they came to the pool he would wear these snappy loafers with his swim suit. It's not like they are nice loafers - they are some plastic looking things. This picture is pretty tame in comparison to some of the other looks he wore, but you get the idea:

So of course I tell Mark about it and point them out to him when we see them at lunch later that week. We have a good laugh.

But the story doesn't end there. Later, on Friday, we are having breakfast with one of Mark's friends / business acquaintances from California and are talking about some of the people who come to the conference for basically a vacation and not to really attend the conference. So I pipe up and start telling him about Rico Suave and Barbie. He seems pretty interested and so I start to describe him - short, mid 50's, blondish grey hair, wife looks like Barbie baked in the sun. He starts laughing hysterically - turns out this guy is one of his biggest competitors!

Oh man that size 8 flip flop I had for breakfast was TASTY!!! AGGHH!! Actually, it wasn't as bad as I had feared, he saw Mark later in the day and told him how funny he thought his wife was (I'm sure Mark was thinking just that same thought) and that he would forever think of him as Rico Suave. Well, glad I could brighten someones day.

After Mark's conference was done each day we did some sight seeing. We went to Kona - which is where they hold the Ironman Triathlon each year.


Did a little shopping.


Then we rented some bikes and rode on the Ironman trail. We did NOT do the entire 112 mile ride - we're on vacation you know. We just did a 40 mile ride to Hawi town and back.

Let me tell you about the ride into Hawi town. First of all, we drove it to kind of see what it would be like. I pointed out to Mark that it looked like it was mostly uphill going in. It is actually "big roller" hills. When we were talking to the guys at the bike shop they said "Oh, don't worry you only gain about 500 feet elevation total - it won't be too bad." What they failed to mention is that you climb those 500 feet about 30 times during your 40 mile ride.

When we are close to Hawi I see a sign that says "Hawi 7 miles". I think "Oh yeah, 7 miles, I can do 7 miles easy." I turn the bend in the road and am hit with a major headwind and the road starts to go uphill. I look to my left and this is what I see:
Yep folks those are windmills, as in a WIND FARM!! They don't put those there because the wind just blows a little or once in a while. Pretty when you are driving - - NOT something you want to see when you are on your bike heading uphill into a headwind!

Pretty much I just had to gut it out and do it. I'm sure I was probably going about 6 mph (my rental bike didn't have a computer, so I have no clue how fast I was going). But I did make it to Hawi.

On the way back Mark decided to take some action shots of me while he was riding. This is very impressive to me as I can barely drink and ride and have just barely managed to master taking off my arm warmers and stuffing them in my back pocket while riding. (Yea, I have MAD skilzz)


He kept saying "Hey look over here at me" I told him - "If I look at you I will probably crash and this bike costs more than my car!" So you get this goofy picture of me - looking but not.

The next day we drove to Hawi with the bikes and then rode up this canyon to this scenic overlook. It was really pretty and looked like what I think Hawaii should look like. (Having only been to Maui before - this is how I judge all Hawaii).

All along the road they have these signs that show various points of interest - or important things and they all have King Kamehameha on them. As we were biking we came upon this one and I just couldn't resist:

OK, say what?!? What makes this rock so important? It is by the side of the road and if you are not looking you will totally miss the sign. Shall we see this beloved rock?


I figured that if it was so important one of us should have our picture taken with it - who knows maybe it brings good luck - kind of like that Brady Bunch thing?

On our way back into town we found this GREAT shave ice place - I mean it was the BEST!(sorry Doreen) I'm not really a shaved ice fan, but this was excellent!

It was so hot and HuMiD I needed something to cool me off.


When we got back into town there was a statue of King Kamehameha. I told Mark to take my picture with him. Then I got to wondering. . . .just what was he wearing under that little skirt thing he was wearing? Maybe it was the heat that made me do it, maybe it was the sugar from the shave ice. Anyway, I LOOKED - - Ladies, you are not missing anything. He was wearing yellow underwear.


On the highway between our hotel and Kona we saw this sign:
Who knew?
One last question - What is the Hawaiians fascination with SPAM?!? You can get Spam and Eggs at McDonalds. Burger King has a Spam breakfast sandwich, (so does McDonalds). They actually advertise this and brag that you can't get this on the mainland. Like it would SELL on the mainland!
When you go to Walmart or any other grocery store they have a huge section dedicated just to SPAM. I don't get it!

All in all we had a great time, but I really missed my kids (yea, you too Jade!). So it is always nice to come back home.

2 comments:

Kristin said...

looks like a fun trip...laughing my head off at the rico and barbie story...

frontporchfriend said...

Three things...I like how you managed to photograph Rico Suave from the 'butt' side, I hope the lucky rock brings you a lot more happiness than Greg Brady got, and last, but not least, I think they eat SPAM because it is cheap and it maintains itself well without refrigeration. When my girls went to Hawaii they wondered about the spam thing, too. Looks like you had a great time!