10 Days in Hawaii

Tue 8/31/2010

I'm finally back from Hawaii! I've actually been back for a few days now, but I have been going totally bonkers trying to get caught up on everything (mail, email, laundry, grocery shopping, faculty meeting recaps, etc. etc. etc.) so I haven't had a chance to blog about the trip... until now!

Needless to say, it was completely amazing. Hawaii really is a paradise, and I was so lucky to have a chance to go there. This was entirely due to my parents' generosity, because there is no way in hell I would ever be able to afford a trip to Hawaii.

I have put up a Flickr set with a bunch of my Hawaii pictures, and Claire has one too. Check those out for all the details. Below is a quick day-by-day breakdown of what we did!

DAY 1: We flew from San Francisco to Honolulu. It totally blew my mind to fly over open water for six hours and then magically arrive at this tiny little island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Hawaii is the most isolated place ON EARTH. It's almost 3,000 miles to the closest land mass. My family arrived, we went to Costco and got a bunch of food, we drove out to the Rental House in Laie, where Claire and I went swimming in the ocean (which we did pretty much every day of the trip).

DAY 2: We went for a long walk in the hot sun, to try and find the famed Ted's Bakery, only to discover that it was actually ten miles down the road. My mom picked us up in the rental car and we drove there. Then we went swimming again!

DAY 3: Completed a puzzle (tropical fish), played some scrabble, went swimming, took a nap. This was a SERIOUS vacation day! Then we drove to Haleiwa for dinner at a Thai place.

DAY 4: We drove up this massive hill to Puu O Mahuk Heiau, which is this ancient ceremonial site. Then we wandered around the shops in Haleiwa. Claire and I grilled dinner that night!

DAY 5: Completed another puzzle (hideous dogs), went swimming for hours, then hit up the Polynesian Cultural Center which is QUITE the operation. We learned a lot and saw all sorts of amazing stuff. And the whole thing is run by mormons! Who knew?

DAY 6: Woke up early to use the low tide to WALK out to "Goat Island" (I forgot its real name). Completed ANOTHER puzzle (wizard conjuring a dragon - GLOW IN THE DARK!). Walked out to La'le Point with Claire.

DAY 7: Started another puzzle (tropical birds) but didn't finish it. Afternoon trip to Honolulu to visit the Engelbergs at their INSANE RENTAL HOUSE.

DAY 8: Cleaned up our rental house, drove to Hanuma Bay to go snorkeling. Claire and I saw a bunch of fish, and then we swam with a SEA TURTLE for like 15 minutes, which was incredible! Then we drove the rest of the way in to Honolulu where we checked into our hotel and went to the Rehearsal dinner.

Also that night, Claire and I went to go find a place to play pinball (we SORT of did...) and we were both kind of flabbergasted by how many PROSTITUTES were walking around, at like 10pm on busy, touristy streets. I guess that must be yet another reason why people travel to hawaii! (??!)

DAY 9: Claire and I wandered around Honolulu, looking for a REAL place to play pinball, to no avail. Instead, we went swimming in the hotel pool, and then got ready for THE WEDDING.

Rebecca Engelberg has been friends with my sister Galen since birth, and her family is our family's closest friends. It was a beautiful (12 minute!) service, which mixed Jewish traditions with some Hawaiian traditions as well (Matt's mother grew up in Hawaii). The food was amazing, I drank FOUR gin and tonics (!!!!) and a good time was had by all.

DAY 10: We packed up our stuff, quickly swung by the morning-after brunch and then headed back to the main land!

Thanks again to my parents for taking Claire and me on this trip, and thanks to the Engelbergs and Matt's family for hosting such a wonderful celebration. I wish Matt and Rebecca all the best in life.

There is some other SERIOUSLY GIGANTIC news that I'm sitting on, but I better wait until tomorrow to post about it, to see how everything shakes out. Trust me, you're going to want to hear about this!!!

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