Saturday, July 31, 2010

This Is Not A Dream (Part 2)

Onwards! On Monday, we swam gigantic circles in the Marriott's pool, basked in the tropical sun, drank Lava Flows and Pina Coladas (this is also when spill #1 occurred--to be explained at a later time) until they kicked us out (otherwise known as "check out").  Then we headed over to where we would be staying the rest of the time--The Beach Boy (Kauai Coast Resort).  I had to laugh at Dale being all sentimental, when the day we got back from Kauai, he was upset, thinking that there was someone else sleeping in "his bed" back in Kauai that night.  Poor Dale.  I get him.

Anyway, so we hustled over to Costco and Walmart and busted out the groceries and then hopped in our Ford Flex (enter Bob Marley CD) to tour the island.  I take full responsibility for picking out the Flex at the rental car place, despite the protests over whether or not the car was "cool" enough. Hello?  I *only* do cool, and you guys were taking way too long to decide. I thought it was "beachy"...we named it lovingly "The Woody".  We chose well.  Plus, we could fit all our crap into it. Thank you, a-thank you very much.

So we drove The Woody down to the south end of the island and (of course) found a brewing company to lunch at.  That is The Hubbs job and he does it well. The boys enjoyed the drinks and nachos.  Erin and I enjoyed the rocking chairs and art (and drinks and nachos). On our way back up north, we stopped at Kauai Coffee and taste tested--they grow it right in their backyard, but the highlight was scratching our names on the leaves of a tree just outside.  Look for us, next time you're there.

Back on the road, we stopped at Koloa Rum Co. for some rum tasting.  Not my thang, so Erin and I walked around the beautiful grounds and I took pictures of a train for my brother (he was excited). We would end up coming back later in the week for an amazing Hawaiian Luau. Nevertheless, Dale declared the rum not tasty enough (that's his job) and too many coconuts, so we made our way back to the resort for pool, refreshments and homemade fish tacos.  We were full.

Where we regained much respect for the ocean.

We were thrilled on Tuesday to get to the beach.  We decided to rent boogie boards and snorkels and drive up north, beach hopping all the way.  It is just beautiful everywhere you look in Kauai. It's called the Garden Isle for a reason.  I love, love, love all the flowers growing on trees. There were actual bananas growing on trees too--in real life!  Kauai is so clean and you can tell that the people that live there take great pride in where they live and love on it.  They have one way bridges everywhere.  It's an unwritten rule there that you let seven cars drive over at once, before you go.  And they do it!  They even wave and smile while they do it! It's not even a rule.  Only in Kauai.

After we rented the boards and snorkels, it literally took us five minutes to be in the ocean.  We stopped at the first beach we came to.  We were so excited we threw our towels and flip flops down on the sand and ran into the surf.  Erin loves the water (that's her job) and so she and I swam out into the waves to swim.  It was wonderful.  I couldn't remember how long it had been since I had swam in the ocean.  You just don't do that in Oregon.  But I am a good swimmer--I wasn't too worried and I could see that Erin was a good swimmer too (again, that's her job).  When the boys came in with their boards, I clucked at them all Mother Hen-like (mostly to The Hubbs)--Take it easy--don't get all cocky out there.  The Hubbs is basically No Fear and I was just noticing how strong the current was.  It was pulling us to the right and not messing around.  I looked at where we threw our towels and flip flops...they were dots.  Within five minutes (ten minutes since we had rented the snorkels and boards) we were about 100 yards out.  That was my first indication that something was up.  I remarked how strong the current was (cluck, cluck, cluck...) and noticed that everyone was getting further out.  Everyone was smiling, swimming, high five-ing, etc...all along we're all getting pulled further to the right, and further out.  I rationalized--We're Oregonians. We never actually go IN the ocean.  This is what the ocean is.  This is what swimming in the ocean is, it's hard, you can't just relax, you have to actually swim and use muscles. 

Right about that time (we're still in the five minute mark), I see a lifeguard pull up and he's waving his arms at us.  I yell to the gang, I think we have to go in! I start swimming in.  It's not easy.  I'm definitely working.  I can feel muscles burning, so I flip over and swim on my back the rest of the way.  I make it in, preparing to get yelled at (We're from Oregon, dopey, dopey, doh...), and I see the lifeguard putting his gear on while talking on his radio.  It is then I know we're in trouble.  I turn around as he runs into the surf and immediately count, two, three.  Over and over I count, two, three.  I see a boogie board go flying and immediately think, Never let go of the board!  One, two, three...Time feels like walking in thick mud, though in reality everything is happening really quickly.  I'm praying out loud.  Please, please, please...

Dale recounts that he panicked when he saw the lifeguard, realizing he was in trouble.  The second he started to swim back in he just got slammed with wave after wave, no time to catch a breath, all the while getting pulled further out.  Erin and Chris had tried to help him, but they realized that was no good either, as they were in trouble as well.  One, two, three...

Finally, I see The Hubbs stand up--he's still far out, but he had found a sand bar (pointed out by the lifeguard as he swam by him).  I look to the left and see Erin stand up as well.  Okay, okay...Two more lifeguards show up.  At this point, I can now see the original lifeguard pulling Dale in on his back.  Even in Dale's panic, when the lifeguard finally reaches him, Dale's first thought is Erin, Save my wife...The lifeguard assured Dale that Erin was swimming, she's fine (you're not).  Sweet Dale.

Erin and Chris make it back, grateful and exhausted. When the lifeguard gets Dale to the shore, Dale and I make eye contact and I briefly think, he's okay...I see true relief all over Dale's face.  But he can't move.  He can't even sit up. The lifeguards lift him and bring him further up the beach.  He refuses an ambulance (though I think we probably, in truth, needed one), but gladly takes the oxygen.  I know Dale is in bad shape, because he's telling the lifeguards the oxygen isn't working.  He is exhausted, out of breath and probably swallowed too much ocean.  It takes him a good hour to recover.  He's in shock, slow motion, insisting he can drive, insisting he's not covered in sand from head to toe--I just don't want to get my hair wet. But he is okay.  He is alive.

The four of us had very quickly got pulled into a very strong riptide. The lifeguards told us that we were swimming in a "No Swimming" zone.  There were signs everywhere.  In our blind excitement, we just didn't see them.  The lifeguard that saved Dale (he totally saved him) said that he had pulled four other people out of the same area the week before, and that Dale was the first one this week.  We were swimming in the strongest current on the beach.  Boy, can we pick them!

In all sincerity, I don't want to think about if the lifeguards weren't there.  There are beaches there that do not have lifeguards.  We were lucky.  Dale was so lucky. We had rules now:  Read signs and beaches with lifeguards, ONLY.  Duh.


Thumbs up, we're alive!

After our near death experience, we were starving, so we headed to Tropical Taco and devoured plates of fish tacos and glasses full to the brim of ice and Coke.  Dale was slowly coming back, starting to make jokes that had nothing to do with what we just went through, because it wasn't funny yet, and we recounted our experience over and over.  What just happened? Dale called his family.  He knew how close he came.

We managed to beach hop two more beaches that day.  We made it all the way to Ke'e Beach.  That's as far as you can go in a car.  Beautiful beach for snorkeling. Dale, admired the water from afar. Erin was very quiet.  The Hubbs and I snorkeled. After a while, we were all sitting together and realized that we all weren't feeling quite right.  I was dizzy and nauseous.  They agreed they felt the same.  We think the shock was wearing off, the adrenaline.  What we had gone through, what could have been our day, really sunk in.  We packed up our things and headed south. 

On the way back we regained our spirits (thank you Bob Marley) and decided to stop at another beach.  Finding a spot in full view of the lifeguard station, we settled in.  Dale tried the water.  Not ready.  Too soon.  The rest of us got in.  It was a beautiful beach (they all are), but again, the current was really strong right at where it hits the shore.  We didn't go far in at all, but even just where the waves break was rough.  Not scary rough though. We had fun.  Erin and I got beat up.  The waves would slam you on the sand, push you up the shore and immediately pull you out, not far, just this constant back and forth scenario.  We had SO MUCH sand in our suits.  We were literally packing.  Erin was looking very Bo Derek-esque with her hair covered in sand pebbles.  It made Dale happy. It was fun, and it made us laugh.  We really needed to laugh.  We were a sight, literally rolling all over the sand, squealing, trying to outrun the waves, showing each other how much sand we had in our suits--oh look, coral!

We finished the day good.  Grateful.  Alive.

p.s. while we were at that last beach, the lifeguards did another rescue, firetrucks and ambulances included.  Respect the beach, y'all.

Friday, July 30, 2010

This Is Not A Dream (Part 1)

We've been home and back into the swing of all things that fall under, "reality", for just over a week now and I'm finally feeling like I'm officially "off the island" now.  It took me a couple days to let that euphoric feeling go and shake off my "I'm so sad I'm changing the litter box right now and not laying out under a palm tree, drinking a pina colada" mood.  I think I was getting on The Locals (Portland, that is) nerves, wearing my bathing suit under my Hawaiian wrap to the bank, leaving the scent of coconut lotion everywhere I went, constantly playing Bob Marley, sharing little random Kauai facts with anyone that will listen--there are no snakes in Kauai...if you see one, you have to kill it and call authorities; there are roosters everywhere, because they have no natural predators in Kauai; I had rainbow shave ice from the ORIGINAL shave ice stand--did you know it was in the movie, The Perfect Getaway?; I saw a flying fish-- and on and on.  I do this.  I made people sit down and watch unedited slide shows--I can explain-- of our vacation.  I was totally one of THOSE PEOPLE--Look, more BLUE water!  I think I lost a few Facebook friends over my "rubbing it in" updates.  But dang, you cannot just be in Kauai one day and changing the litter box the next all lickety-split like.  It's painful. 

Rooster & Shave Ice

Okay, so yes--Best Vacation Ever.  I totally recommend.  The Hubbs and I were so lucky to have been able to do this (a bonus to him leaving me with our children way more often than not--we joke that he has another family somewhere else--I think Italy...). Besides little trips to the Oregon Coast, this was actually the very first time we went on vacation without the kids--just the two of us.  It only took us nine years.  I don't recommend waiting that long, y'all.  I'm sure you're smarter than us.  But when our good friends and neighbors--Dale and Erin-- invited us to go, flashing a *very affordable* deal in front of our eyes for um...Paradise...we could not, not, not turn it down.  God bless time share owners that rent them out to people that don't own time shares.  10 days, in Kauai, at a resort, on the beach.  I mentioned no kids, right? Um...YES.  One of the best parts is that we went with friends--also recommended--along with a two bedroom/two bathroom (muy importante) condo, for 10 days, in Kauai, at a resort, on the beach. And yes, we are still friends.  We bonded...more on that later.

We arrived in Kauai on Sunday afternoon, around 4:30 p.m., Hawaii time.  We had been up since 5:00 a.m., Seattle time (we flew out of Seattle), flown in two planes, logged 8 hours of actual flying time, crossed an ocean, and went three hours back in time. All of that (hard work) meant nothing, we were on an island, WIDE AWAKE and ready to party.

Just off the plane--ALOHA!

 The first night we stayed at a Marriott.  Dale and Erin were worried that we would be disappointed to go from the Marriott to our resort (Don't be silly!).  They had stayed in Kauai, at the resort two years before, and felt we'd think the Marriott was "better" (Ridonculous). True, true, the Marriott was beautiful--let me show you the view from our room (rubbing it in)--

--just an incredible place, loaded with a killer circular pool with a bridge and five hot tubs, that the four of us took full advantage of (who knew swimming in a gigantic circle over and over would be so awesome?). We dined on huge plates of food and cold, colorful drinks by the light of Tiki torches and the blue/green glow of a gigantic, circular pool, and the constant song of the ocean.

The Marriott had a Grecian theme going on--elephant fountain statues, pillars, marble everything--total five stars. Trust me--I would be very happy staying there the entire time, but it was it's own little paradise--within a bigger paradise, if that makes sense.  It wasn't until we moved to the resort the following day, that we actually felt like we were in Hawaii. Once there, it felt like--we're really here now, this is what I had been imagining it would be.  Authentic.

This is not a dream...

This is only the beginning, as I have much more to say and show you, but I have children and need to get off the computerYou understand.  Forgive me for "rubbing it in", which I totally don't mean to do, but this is all very blog-worthy in my world. This is like--Did this really happen? blog-worthy.  I need to document.  So, if you still like me and want to hear and see more.  Please come back.  I will tell you just about everything.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oh No You Didn't

I'm writing at 5:49 p.m., on a Tuesday.  Totally not like me, as I usually choose mornings to write like a champ.  But it's summer, everything's all blissfully upside down. My kids can wait for leftover nachos (leftover from last night as I had a sleepover with four giggly girls and cooked for an army). I'm listening to Maroon 5's song, "Misery".  Doesn't that sound like a downer of a song to be blogging to?  I love this song. Love it. It's not a downer.  For me.  I love that Adam Levine.  Damn sexy voice and I like what he says.

So I've been back from The Island for a week now and I'm STILL not happy about it.  When will I be okay with not being on an island?  Dang--you travel places and you think this is the stuff, and then you go to Kauai and you realize that there's MORE.  I really wondered if I died and went to Heaven.  I felt lucky the entire time I was there.  I could cry right now thinking about it.  Beautiful place, every where you look.  Everyone, let me say it again--EVERYONE, is nice.  Slow, island time.  Hawaiian Time.  It's a real thing, yo.  I never, ever-ah wanted to leave.  Just ship my kids and my dog to me, I am just not leaving. 

So I was very upset the day after we get back to the mainland, to get flipped off.  It's flippin' a week ago tomorrow that I got flipped off.  One day after getting back from MY happiest place on Earth, that I get a serious reality check.  I am STILL pissed about it (hold my rings, y'all). It'll probably help to write it out--therapy.  After I get done with my therapy session, I will go back in time and write about Arizona and Kauai.  Happy things. Of course, there were our TWO near death experiences I probably have to get out too.  Later.  I will entertain you with almost dying--TWICE (stay tuned).

So anyway--Last Wednesday (one day after getting home from Kauai), I dropped my girls off at camp and thought I'd stop by my parents' house and say hello and give them their matching tiki statues, as they live near the girls' camp.  I was driving down a back road I take all the time--it's 40 mph. No one was on the road with me.  All of a sudden--just like that-- someone's driving on my rear.  Like right up there.  I eye him in my rearview window and he is flipping me off!  Totally OBVIOUSLY flipping me off...I had a quarter of a mile to go to the light to turn off to my parents'.  It's just me and him.  I look again...he's intently flipping me off.  I saw exclamation marks.  Now I'm pissed.  It's not like I'm driving way slow or anything.  I'm doing 45--breaking the law, y'all.  He's just totally flipping me off.  (oooh, I'm getting all worked up all typing this out.  I can type really HARD if I want to).

Okay, so as a little side note, I will explain here that I never, ever-ah condone any sort of aggression on the road.  You just never know who is in that other car.  They will shoot you.  I know this.  I recite it to The Hubbs every single time as he does not enjoy driving at all.  At all.  He gets so stressed driving, every time.  That vein in the middle of his forehead is a constant companion when he's driving.  The boy cannot relax.  The goal, when he is driving is to get there.  Me, I love driving.  It's my thinking time.  I listen to music and chill.  The Hubbs is on the Nascar track every time. And ALL the other drivers are his competition.  It's personal.  It's a constant argument with us.  I am forever lecturing him about it.  You never know who is in that other car.  They will shoot you.

When I'm driving, I'm a "thank you" waver.  You let me in, I wave at you.  I get hurt feelings if I let you in and you don't "thank you" wave to me.  I drive five over the speed limit--safely.  I drive The Hubbs crazy right back.  It totally goes both ways.  Except, I am right.

ANYWAY...back to the story.  So I am SO PISSED this guy is flipping me off.  This just doesn't ever happen in my world.  I almost pulled over so he could pass me, but I was like, Nope.  You are a sucker and I'm not pulling over.  You don't just get to flip me off for no reason.  I could see there being a reason to flip me off.  I could have pulled out in front of him, if I did such things.  I could have flipped him off first, if I did such things.  Those are reasons.  There was none of that.  I was just driving.  Not even driving slow (to a reasonable human being).  The thought of abruptly stopping, so he would hit me crossed my mind.  Doesn't it always when you have someone on your tail?  But I had things to do and didn't have time for a full on accident. 

So we get to the light.  I'm turning left (no one in my lane) and he's going straight (four cars stopped at the stop light that he'll be stopped behind).  I love when people are in such a friggin' hurry to STOP and WAIT at a light.  That's what you get SUCKER.  So I pull in the turning lane and stop, before I'm at the light, waiting for him to pull up next to me.  I roll down my passenger window and wait for him.  He pulls up next to me--his windows are down--I yell over to him--REAL CLASSY!  I know--you are totally impressed with my word choice. I'm really friggin' tough. Can you see that you don't mess with me?  I waited.  Where's his middle finger now? He's my age--maybe a little younger.  He doesn't look like a thug. I would possibly hang with him in another circumstance. He wouldn't even look at me.  Wouldn't even look at me! Oooh, that just upped the ante. Tough guy.  LOOK AT ME, MR. FLIPS ME OFF FOR AN ENTIRE 1/4 MILE AND THEN HAS TO STOP AT A RED LIGHT BEHIND FOUR CARS AND WAIT FOR THE LIGHT TO TURN GREEN. Ooooh, I was so pissed.  I know my word choice didn't reflect that, but I was--STILL AM.  I was ready to get out and fight.  I'm really scrappy. 

I don't know what came over me. I would usually NEVER. I normally would have pulled over instantly and let the guy pass me, sign-language-ing, "sorry, sorry, sorry..." to him as he passed me--can I offer you some gum? Or would I have?  You think you know yourself.  In my head, that's not really like me at all. I imagine myself to be a turn the cheek kind of girl.  I am naturally a lover.  I love you, easily. It's my first reaction. I forget I'm a Taurus, though.  A bull.  Feisty, when provoked. I was shocked that I was getting flipped off in real life.  I just got home from Kauai, for goodness sakes.  It's like the nicest place-ever-ah.  People don't flip off people in Kauai (don't tell me they do).  I was still high off of a killer tan, fish tacos and pina coladas.  This guy burst my bubble.  I don't liiiike.

Again--don't do this at home, folks.  I don't recommend.  But at the same time, let this be a lesson.  Do not flip off people that JUST got back from Kauai.  They will blog about you.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

None of Your Business

I'm stealing this questionairre from Jen over here -->, cuz I need to light a fire and get back to blogging.  I'm overwhelmed by how much I want to say.  A lot has been going on this summer--loads of vacation and good times.  I have to and will talk about Arizona and Kauai and how not even hours back from The Island (which is the friendliest, most chill place on Earth), we had a near death experience (the second in a week) and...AND 24 hours after that,  I got flipped off.  Stupid anything that isn't an island--that's how I feel. Yes, I really do have lots to say.  But for need to know the following:

What is the most common question that you are asked (in life) that is none of the questioner’s business?
I don't know, I love when people ask me stuff.  I crave attention. 

What makes you happiest right now?
My Vanilla Macadamia Nut coffee, straight out of Kauai; my Hawaiian wrap that I will find a way to wear everywhere--people will point at me; Bob Marley's song, No Woman No Cry; the fact that I had shave ice in Portland last night; and the 2000 pictures of The Island I took.  Notice a theme?

Would you consider yourself to be spoiled?
Heck yeah.

Do you want to be famous one day?
Well, given that my dream would be to work with Tina Fey, yes.  But I would also love to publish some of my writing.  Like a fat book of my stuff that people would love and quote and get inspired from. Like they'd spill their coffee on it and take it to the beach and underline stuff in it. Also, I wouldn't mind being Mrs. Zac Efron. 

Could you handle being in the military?
Being married to an officer for 14 years, I kind of AM in the military. 

Do you believe in Karma?

What’s the stupidest thing you ever did with your cell phone?
I don't know about stupid...I think this is yet to be determined. I honestly don't know how I haven't dropped it in an airport toilet (which would be the worst).  I drop it a lot.  That sucker is slippery. 

Who knows a secret or two about you?
Ha lips are sealed.

Last thing you did that ticked off your significant other?
I'm an angel--never happens.  SYKE!  I think I asked him, "What's wrong?"  Or, "Slow down," that one always does it.  Always.

Have you ever purposely been irritating to someone? If yes, explain.
I am a people pleaser, so NEVER.  Never, never, never...Never.  Though there is that little thing, called Facebook.  I wonder how many of my friends are blocking me. 

What’s crazy to you?
Lindsey Lohan

Who writes the most interesting blog?
I have to give props to Jen, again, over here -->   She entertains me.