Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I love the Hawaiian people!!

So, time to catch up on two days of fun! Yesterday we mostly stayed around the pools during the day, then attempted to find some shopping in Keihei, a story which I will get to in a few.

We spent the morning indoors, mostly cause we were sunburned pretty bad, and didn't want to get some of the strong rays in the morning. Around 1 or so we finally went out, and layed out for a while, then hit up the pools and water slides.

Each time we went down, we had a little fun. By time we finished on the water slides, we had gotten to the point where we could make ourselves go down even faster or go up higher on the turns by leaning certain ways. I was all about the speed, and the last time I went down the fastest slide, it shot me out so fast that I was a tangle of arms and legs at the bottom of the pools!

The last time we went on the little blue slides that connect all of the pools from the top to the bottom, we decided to make it an obstacle course. We couldn't touch the bottom at all the entire time, and we had to do such things as only using our hands to swim, only our feet, treading water through the lazy river, or using only one arm and one leg to swim, depending on which pool we were going through. In the end, although we had fun, it ended up being more work than anything! But, we rewarded ourselves by pretending to be little kids again on the "Tarzan" (rope) swing!

So, now on to our story about Keihei. After we had dinner, we drove to Keihei to try out the shopping there. Well, we forgot to talk to the concierge before we left to find out where the best shopping is there. Big mistake! We ended up driving and walking around looking like we totally didn't know where we were going. You would have thought "Tourist" was stamped in red ink on our foreheads! I decided I was glad Mike was driving, because not only were the roads extremely narrow, but the drivers were a little crazy this night! Not to mention, it's very easy to get lost because every single one of the streets there were named some weird Hawaiian name. No nicley laid out streets with numbers like Provo.

Today was a blast! We chilled by the pools for a little, but then decided to hit up snorkeling and scope out the reefs that are right around this area. We rented little scooters so we could go out farther with less effort, but the batteries weren't fully charged, so the guy just let us take the snorkeling gear (minus the scooters of course) free of charge for today, and we'll take the scooters out tomorrow morning, when it's the best time for snorkeling.

It was a ton of fun! My first few minutes I had to keep reminding myself to breathe through my mouth and to keep my teeth clenched down and mouth shut because I kept getting a delicious mouthful of saltwater! Yum yum! Once I got the hang of it though, the only problem I had was the occasional fogging up of my goggles.

When we came up on the reef, I was in awe. The first area we went to there weren't too many fish, but I was still amazed. We even saw a Humuhumunukunukuapua'a fish! Or Humuhumu for short. We snorkeled around the northern reef for a few minutes, then got out and walked over to the southern end of the beach, where the reef was even larger and had more fish today. We were out a little to late today to see the turtles that are all over in the morning, but we still saw some large fish that had the most brilliant colors I have ever seen! One fish in particular which we followed for a while had neon purple, blue, yellow, and green colors! It was gorgeous!

I never ceased to be in awe of what lay only a few feet below the ocean surface in the reefs. I couldn't help but thinking about what a wonderful world we really do live in, and how much we have to learn. To think that Heavenly Father knew how to make all of this beauty is amazing! Not only was I in awe of the underwater world which I was seeing, but I also began to think how amazing these islands are! They are literally lava rock, yet there is a lush paradise growing out of it! To think our Father in Heaven loves us so much to give us all this beauty and more is mindblowing, and very humbling.

The only downside to today - I got even more sunburned! Bah. Instead of it being on my shoulders and neck, it was on my arms, legs, and yes, even feet. Guess more sunscreen is in call for tomorrow! Especially as we go out snorkeling again - yay!! Can't wait!

Another thing I have come to love is the Hawaiian culture. Everyone is incredibly friendly and is willing to talk to you, no matter where you go. You can certainly feel the strong sense of family and unity these people have. One person in particular stuck out to me yesterday. This man works down by the pools, but every time I had seen him, he had a smile on his face and is laughing. You can tell he honestly loves life and loves his job. This is one thing I think I will miss more than anything going back to Utah, is the friendliness and hospitality of the Hawaiian people. They have certainly left their mark on me. I am going to try to be more like them though loving life no matter what is thrown my way, difficult or not, and by being more friendly to others, always sharing a smile, because that's sometimes the best thing you can do for someone. A simple smile can say a thousand words, just like I've seen in the Hawaiian people.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Humuhumunukunukuapua'a - say that ten times fast!

I am proud to report that, as of yesterday, I have finally learned how to correctly pronounce Humuhumunukunukuapua'a - the name of Hawaii's state fish! :) The accomplishment came last night as Mike and I were taking an evening walk past the restaurant here on the Resort grounds which has the same name.

Anyway, yesterday was pretty laid back really. The day consisted of laying out, ordering food via poolside service, and checking out the pools and water slides. Can I just say how much fun the pools are?!?!? There are countless pools, all of which are at a different elevation, and are all connected by water slides. So you can literally go up to the top pool and slide your way down from pool to pool via water slides. The funnest part though, is the regular water slides they have. I swear they shoot you out like a bullet! The longest one gets you going so fast that when it shot me into the water I hit the bottom of the pool!

But, the fun part about going to the top of the water slides and the top pool is you can either walk up a path and stairs, OR you can take the water elevator! This thing is so much fun to ride in! Not only is it the first of it's kind built in the world, but it is also the ONLY water elevator in the world! You get in this little shaft type thing, and there is a bucket (that's the best way to describe it) that everyone climbs into. The guy shuts the door behind everyone, and a few seconds later, you are floating to the top using 18,000 gallons of water. Then, of course when you get to the top, you have the options of taking the long way down and going from pool to pool via the small slides, or using the white slides which take you all the way down to the bottom, and fast too. We had so much fun spending a couple hours in the afternoon doing this and can't wait to do it again tomorrow!

Then, yesterday evening we decided to walk a couple miles along the beach. Although we were kinda tired from being in the sun all day, it was very relaxing walking along the beach walkway hand-in-hand and talking about everything but nothing. When we got back to the resort, instead of taking the quick route to our room, we took another stroll through some of the grounds, passing waterfalls, ponds, every sort of water feature you can imagine. It was heavenly!

Today was just a relaxing Sunday. We woke up, had breakfast, got ready for church, and then spent about 20 minutes driving around Kehei trying to find the chapel because we had gotten bed directions. Well, ten minutes before Sacrament was supposed to start, we finally found it tucked back behind some houses and trees. But, when we began to pull into the driveway, a car driving out motioned us to roll down our window. Turns out they were having stake conference. Just our luck. For starters, their stake covers all of Maui, Lanai (another small island), and another island. Chances are the stake center would be in Kahalui, which is on Maui, but is also a 40-45 minute drive away, we had no idea where it would be even if it was in Kahalui, or what time it would start at. So, despite our valiant efforts to go to church, we failed, which was kinda a bummer since we were really looking forward to church today. :'( Next time hopefully they won't be having stake conference!

So, we spent today just relaxing in our room, taking naps, and spending a few minutes outside. We also took time finally to watch an absolutely stunning Hawaiian sunset! Pictures cannot do it justice! Tomorrow we'll hit up the pools and beach in the morning, then are planning on spending the afternoon and evening hitting up the shops and eating in Keihei! Should be fun!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Maui Bliss

I think I'm finally starting to get over the jet lag! I was able to stay up until almost 11 last night, and woke up at 7! Woohoo! Haha.

Yesterday turned out to be pretty nice weather-wise. Breakfast was delicious to say the least, fresh fruit - pineapple, strawberries, guava, and much more, apple crepes, muffins, need i go on? It was overcast during the morning, but that didn't stop us from taking a walk on the beach. of course, I couldn't resist the chance to jump into the ocean, so while Mike stood on shore, I walked out to almost belly-button depth water. So much fun! By time we were done taking our walk, it had cleared up some, so we hit up one of the hot tubs by the adult pool - the Hibiscus pool - which was niiiiice.

Around one we came inside and vegged for about an hour, Mike surfing the net and me taking a quick cat nap. Then, it was time to hit the shopping before dinner. We began at the shops here at the resort, but after about 15 minutes, we just decided to walk to the Wailea shops. Although they had a lot of regular stores that you see all over - like Pac Sun, Gap, Quicksilver, etc. They also had Louis Vutton, Gucci, Guess, and Tiffany's! We only had time to walk into Tiffany's of the higher up stores, but it was fun! Crazy how much their stuff is though! BUT, quietly I was thinking as I was looking at their bling, "Someday, someday." Haha. But, to make up for it, I did get a double-stranded black pearl necklace and earrings at another store! Woot! Pretty sure I'm in love with them too!!

When we were done shopping, we came back to our hotel, ordered dinner, and just relaxed. The jet lag had really caught up to us both, but Mike went to the gym here, and while I was too tired to go with him for once, I just stayed behind and got caught up on emails. However, I did end up crashing on the couch eventually...until Mike woke me up and helped me get to bed. ;)

In the meantime, for today's agenda, we're planning on hitting up a few of the shops in a little fisherman's town called Kihei not too far from here, and then of course it's back to the pools and beach! And hopefully tonight we won't be so tired we can't take a sunset walk on the beach! Keep your fingers crossed!! :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Honeymoon in Paradise!

I love waking up in Paradise! Today is going to be our first full day in Maui, and it's kinda rainy and overcast, so we'll probably hit up the shopping for today. Yeah, this kind of shopping is going to be super fun though! We'll be going and looking around top-name stores, like....Tiffany's (no, probably won't buy anything there haha) Louis Vutton, the list goes on! So, I'm pretty excited.

For now though, I'll stick with the events of yesterday! We boarded our plane in SLC around 11:15, scheduled to take off at 11:45, which didn't happen. The catering crew I guessed messed up with the food and drinks and such, and only gave them 4 water bottles for an entire plane full of passengers for a 6 1/2 hour flight. So, we had to wait for them to get everything fixed, and get more water, which took almost an hour of waiting. Not so much fun when you just want to get off the ground.

Finally we were off. It was nice to finally be on our way to Maui, but at the same time I still had a hard time believing we were actually going, mostly because the farthest I've ever traveled was to North Carolina and back, let alone to Hawaii! After close to 7 hours of flight, I got my first glimpse of the Islands. I was stunned. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined I would be seeing all this for myself! Even from the air, it was gorgeous! We finally landed at the airport, and when we stepped out of the plane, the rush of the moist Hawaiian air hit us, and for once I actually loved the humidity! (And so did my hair, which immediately started to go curly, after I had spent a good 45 minutes straightening it that morning!)

We got our baggage, and made our way over to get our rental car. That ended up being a pain in the rear needless to say. The guy who helped us was trying to get every cent out of us that he could, but it didn't happen. After getting our car, we were off. Just even driving around was enough to almost put me into shock! Pictures cannot do Hawaii justice.

I got my first glimpse of the Grand Wailea Hotel after a short drive from the airport, and I'm honesly I'm surprised I didn't kill over! All I can say is WOW about this hotel! (Thank you Fraser and Jennifer!!) We unloaded our luggage, and immediately people were asking if we needed help with our baggage, the valet took our car until we could take it to the parking garage, and so much more! We got to the check-in, and when the guy brought up our names, he told us there had been a mistake with our room. I immediately began to think, "Great, ANOTHER one? This stinks!" But, he then said, "We had to upgrade your room...to a suite at no extra charge." HUH? Did I hear you right? A SUITE? UH YEAH! (We already had a room in the Napua Tower, the best part of the hotel, but now we were given a suite in the Napua Tower!) He then told us congrats for getting married and enjoy the honeymoon, and we were off.

As soon as we opened the door to the suite, we were amazed to say the least. It's bigger than our apartment! We looked around for a few checking things out, then threw our baggage down, dug out the swimsuits, and went to check out the rest of the hotel by walking around the grounds, checking out the pools and waterslides, hitting the beach for a few, and checking out the shops. We were at that for close to 2 hours and didn't even see everything! After we got some food, we came back to our room, and the jet lag started to slowly catch up to us.

I was able to spend a few minutes alone on the balcony though, and this is where things got a little bitter sweet for me. I began thinking about my family back home and how amazing they all are. As the Hawaiian breeze ran through my hair, I wished they could all be here experiencing what I was experiencing, or at least some day have the opportunity to. So much more ran through my mind, and by time I went back inside I was very humbled to have been given this opportunity, almost speechless. I didn't have time to think much more at this point though, because by this time, the Hawaiian atmosphere had gotten to Mike. ;)

Waking up this morning was amazing. I loved rolling over being able to look out the window and see the ocean. And, I've got to admit, I LOVE this type of jet lag! We crashed around 9:30 Hawaiian time, and I woke up around 5:45 ready to get ready! (There is a 4 hour difference between Hawaii and Utah.) Now it's time to get ready, hit up the shops, and do whatever else our heart pleases the rest of the day! Aloha!

Monday, April 20, 2009

So, quite a few people have told me I should start a blog, so I'm giving it a shot! I guess I'll begin by updating everyone on how things are going with Mike and me!

For those of you who don't know, we got married January 24, 2009 in the Mt. Timpanogos temple. Honestly, I find the time of year kind of funny. My entire life I swore I would not get married in the dead of winter, because I did not want to be freezing my behind off taking pictures around the temple and such. Well, obviously I ate those words. But looking back on it now I would not have had it any other way!

All in all, marriage has been great! We've had our ups and downs, that's for sure, but they have mostly stemmed from things outside our control, family and health issues, school, etc. Although some of those things weren't exactly fun to deal with, I'm glad we went through them together. We have come closer together because of them, and have definitely learned how to rely on one another. I have especially become grateful for such a wonderful husband and amazing priesthood holder in my home. On more than one occasion I have been able to see him excersise his priesthood, and it is truly humbling each and every time I witness it!

One thing I have come to love about Mike the last few months is how he loves kids. It is so much fun sitting back and watching him interact with Sidney, Ben, Alyssa, and Bella (our nieces and nephew), and how you can see the complete adoration and love they have for him each time we see them. He also has completely won over my siblings. They think he is one of the coolest, if not THE coolest person on the planet, especially my 8 year old baby brother, David. We have been able to go up to Idaho quite a bit the last few months for visits, and each time David cannot wait for us to arrive, and dreads us leaving, especially since Mike is the only one he can manage to drag outside to play a game of tackle football with! (Not to mention the Wii Mike gave my siblings, which scored him HUGE points!) I honestly can't wait to see how he is with our own kids when we decide to have them! For some reason or another, I can easily see him being a complete and total "Daddy's girl" (of course assuming we'll have a girl at some point)! And, of course, there are my parents, who love Mike to death as well. My mom constantly tells me she could not ask for a better son-in-law, while Dad always interjects, "When are the babies coming?? Grandpa wants to play with them!" (Sorry Dad, not for a while!) ;) Then there are Mike's parents - probable the BEST in-laws anyone could ask for! They are amazing and it is always fun when we are able to go do something with them. Both sets of parents have been beyond believeable with the help and support they have given us throughout everything. We could not have done anything without them! Love them!!

As for upcoming things, well, we will be leaving Thursday morning for our honeymoon - FINALLY! All I can say is...Maui here we come!