Monday, August 16, 2010

Yin Yang

** This post is dedicated to That Larry Guy, cuz he can be grumpy and likes it when others are too.

Okay, this post is not gonna be pretty.  I should have a little guarantee that you'll feel so much better about your own life after reading it--the very reason I watch Hoarders, Supernanny and Jersey Shore. 

There will be pictures.  Ye be warned.

This is what I get for going to Hawaii and having the best, most perfectest, funner (those two words were for Fancy Lori) time of my life--you know, right after my wedding, having the babies,Vegas and a girlfriend getaway in an Arizona desert. Okay, maybe Hawaii fit somewhere a little earlier in the mix, but things have been pretty darn good. Just sayin'...

Remember when I was rubbing my vacation in and you were getting all mad at me and (surprisingly) not happy that I was on an island and you weren't and you were one Hawaiian blog post of mine from unfriending me on Facebook? Okay, now remember when I said, Don't you worry your pretty little head (Larry), my life will balance out and something will not be all glittery and smell like coconuts everywhere I go?  Remember when I reminded you that I'm really good at that whole Yin Yang stuff? Well, I am here to tell you, I've done my job--I have not let you down pretty much since I have left the island. Here's my checklist:

Near-death experience (#2 by the way). Within an hour of getting home from the Hawaiian vacay, we witnessed a CrAzY driver cause an accident, that we would have TOTALLY been very much in if Addy didn't forget her booster seat at grandma's.  The guy took out a front yard and fence, started going down the wrong way of the street into oncoming traffic, corrected all crazy-like, right in front of us, and at full speed ahead, slammed into three cars sitting at the stop light, backed up (nearly into us) and sped off, leaving his bumper and license plate behind.  It was a BAD scene.  One that if Addy hadn't forgotten her booster seat, we would have been the first car he slammed into. CHECK!

Get flipped off --> <--.  CHECK!

Dog Diarrhea. Went to the beach with a girlfriend, six little girls and two dogs for three days. Within 30 minutes of arriving at the beach/hotel, my dog drinks some ocean and proceeds to throw up AND have diarrhea on the hotel carpet.  Surprisingly, shampooing and scrubbing the Dickens out of dog vomit and diarrhea soaked hotel carpet didn't really phase me once I got it cleaned up (sorry, Larry). But you know...CHECK!

Bad dog.  Good wine.

Fall down and get hurt. My girls and I had just had a lovely dinner at my parents' house and were on their deck enjoying a beautiful evening. My girls were playing with my brother in the backyard.  Addy-girl ran down the stairs to chase my brother and missed the last two steps. I ran down to save her life and *I* missed the last step and fell right next to my girl.  Addy was (eventually) only bruised and fine.  I broke two toes.  A tiny frog jumped on my leg while I was doooown though.  That was cute. CHECK!

Bad Ju Ju.

Turned into a werewolf. I spent the entire week deep cleaning my house (MUCH to my childrens' dismay, cuz I am not a fun mom at all when I am deep cleaning) and just when I can see the light at the end of the deep cleaning tunnel and am imagining children asleep, a warm bath and a large glass of wine, I find that one of The Hubb's home brewed beers had exploded in the closet under the stairs for no damn good reason, all over EVERYTHING!  The walls, ceiling, carpet, coats, arts and crafts supplies galore, and Wii drum set were drenched in Porter.  I could pour you a glass of beer out of the drum set. It was a friggin' crime scene in there. I had to "go to another place" to pull myself together to clean that sucker up.  And of course The Hubb's is out of town until I don't even know when, so it was ALL MINE to clean up.  Don't worry, I SO have a list of demands for when he does get home. CHECK!

I didn't get an actual pic of the Crime Scene itself, cuz I was a werewolf, and wasn't thinking straight, but this is everything that was in that dang closet.  See the tub of beer?  Those were how many beer bottles were on the shelves (which I have since moved into that tub *with a lid*).  Imagine all those bottles sitting in puddles of beer on the shelves.  Mmmmhmmm...So glad one of the carafes didn't explode.  The Hubb's would be minus one wife.  And please notice the "baking soda" listed on the chalk board.  Mmmmhmmmm...Underneath *all that* is a really clean house...that smells like a dive bar now.

Thoroughly cleaned up after the "Crime Scene".

See (Larry), this is what you call BALANCE.  Yin and Yang. Maybe some bad Ju Ju.  Or as a good friend of mine said:  Life.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

This Is Not A Dream (Finale)

The girls loved the art.

Totally winding down now to the end of my story.  Thanks for sticking with me.  I promise to talk about something else next time.  It's just that I had to get this down.  These are memories I never want to forget.  They are too good.  Would you be surprised that there is actually a lot I didn't tell you?  No?  Well, it's true.  Ask Dale, Erin and The Hubbs. (smiiiile)

It really did take The Hubbs and I too long to talk ourselves into a trip like this.  It was never "the time"...the kids are too young, can't get away from work, and of course we can't afford it. But a great opportunity came our way and it would not have made any sense to say "no".  I recommend when opportunity comes--TAKE IT. 

Being knee deep in parenthood made a trip like this hard to justify as well. It took me a while to work up myself to being away from my kids in general, and the idea of both The Hubbs and I being away from the kids at the same time, was a difficult place to reach. My world, like yours, revolves around them little life suckers, but something finally clicked and we (--> I <--) came to the place in our familial life that we could leave our girls (for 10 days).  They will be okay (with their auntie and their grandma)They can bathe themselves.  They can get to sleep at night without me.

It's not like my girls aren't used to traveling...we take them everywhere.  We have loads of family time all day, every day.  We do stuff.  I'm pretty sure they are sick of us anyway. It was great to leave them at home.  Erin and Dale make a point to go on vacation with their kids one year and the next without them.  They've done it for years.  That's probably why they call each other "Big Daddy" and "Princess" all in love-like--and mean it.  They should write a book.

And The Hubbs and I needed to make eye contact. This year we have for sure spent way more time apart than together. Way. more.  It was nice to be able to talk longer than it takes to give a child a bath, or make dinner.  It was good to make contact outside cell phone lines and Facebook walls. He's a busy guy.  It was good to see his face. 

Last Night in Kauai.

Kauai Wrap Up

Our last days in Kauai were spent relaxing by the pool or on the beach. Down time. Our last "adventure" was a very low-key water tube tour through an old sugar cane plantation. This plantation is known as "The Wettest Place on Earth" (I totally thought Oregon was). It was lush and beautiful and they had "Oops" trees.  You'll have to go on the tour to find out about that one. We got to ride tubes down old sugar can irrigation ditches. It may not sound great, but it pretty much was. The highlight was going through four tunnels. The longest tunnel was just under a mile long. We wore helmets with lights and gloves to protect our heads from, and push off the rocks on either side of the canals. It reminded me of The Pirates of the Caribbean ride, without the pirates. When we were in the tunnels, the guides would have us turn off our lights at points, making it quite the experience riding through the pitch black darkness, not knowing where you were going or how long it was going to take. I didn't know I wanted to do that.  It pleasantly surprised me.

We spent our last night out, listening to a Hawaiian band, eating a delicious assortment of Pu Pu platters (appetizers), and meeting very enthusiastic people (Do you watch LOOOOOOST?!) that we'd see at the pool the next day, share our brats with and give our leftover condiments, cheese, cooler and swimming noodles to. It was hard not being envious that they were just beginning their vacation, knowing what was in store for them. I guess it would make sense that we were so not ready to go home.

Oh!  One more thing--I recommend taking a trip with friends. The Fun Friends. The friends that you can spend ten days in and out with, face life and death experiences in ferocious riptides, eat a lot of shave ice and fish tacos, drink a lot of fruity drinks by the pool, listen to countless Bob Marley songs (or the same one over and over) with and still love to pieces (Bueeenos Diiiias!!!). I would do it again tomorrow, and not just because it's Hawaii. It's a good thing too, because they live three doors down.

Darn it that good things must come to an end and don't they every single time? So until the next good thing, Aloha!


Sunday, August 8, 2010

This Is Not A Dream (Part 5)

Are you still with me?  Hellooo?  Okay, we are nearing the end here, I swear.  Just have to share a couple more things (document).  So 'member when I said I did something I never (ever) did?  What did you think it was?  I am so curious.  You should totally tell me.  It might inspire me. 

Okay, so I ZIPLINED.  If you know me in real life, you know this is a BIG DEAL.  I just don't zipline.  I just don't RISK MY LIFE.  I just don't jump off cliffs.  It's *very* hard for me to let go and not be in control of thangs.  But I did it.  I still wouldn't skydive or bungee, but PLEASE be impressed that I ziplined.  Congratulate me.  Send me cards.  Chocolate cake.  It's a big deal.

Since we starting planning our trip a year ago, I KNEW I would zipline.  Dale and Erin had done it before and gave us the whole, You have to do this bit.  Which usually, I am really good at ignoring, because I want to live.  I have goals when I'm like 80.  Serious.  But for some reason, I was like--I am SO ziplining! I don't even know who I am anymore.  What the heck happens to you when you're approaching 40 that you just DO STUFF?  I should read a book.

So we ziplined.  NINE ziplines in one day.  You are so impressed.  The shortest zipline was around 400 ft. I know, I know...long, right? No?  I am so lucky to be alive. How many times have I been "lucky to be alive" on this trip? The last zipline was the longest, and was called, "King Kong."  I know, I know.  Wanna know how long that baby was?  1200 ft.  Crazy stuff.  It was tandem too, which means I got to race (and beat) The Hubbs.  There's still some controversy over that one, but if I can shorten the video, I can post it and prove it.  I *will* post it and prove it. 

You've got to see to believe.

The Hubbs.  This is what it's like.

This was actually a Zip N' Dip, which means we got to zipline and jump off of a waterfall and swim before lunch. I can't believe I jumped off a waterfall.  It looked MUCH bigger standing at the top of it. But I did it, pulling my bathing suit back on in the water, and everything.  Relaxing and floating in tubes with the gang, Erin reminded me to watch out for snakes (this was before I learned that there are no snakes in Kauai)--anacondas to be exact.  I'm like, What?! Cuz, I really, really HATE snakes.  I no liiiiike.  I didn't believe her about the anaconda part one bit, but wouldn't you know, as I go to get out of the little water hole we are swimming in, OF COURSE, there is a snake sunning itself right where we need to go to get out of the water.  Erin points it out and swiftly climbs over it.  I seriously work myself up and talk myself into walking over this snake.  You can do this.  Right about then, my favorite Zip N' Dip guide, Drew, comes over to save my life, offering to get it.  He picks it up and THROWS IT AT ME!  Of course I scream (37-year-old screaming in a waterhole!!) and realize it's FAKE.  *Frick*.  I hate people. Except, I don't hate Drew, cuz he's cute, even if he threw a fake snake at me.  

Anyhoo...So it was FUN and --> safe <--.  I would never have ziplined if I didn't feel safe. I wasn't scared at all, which is completely new.  You think you know yourself. It is an adventure every single day, if you let it be.  

p.s. I just texted with Dale telling him I was blogging, asking if they had anything to add.  Erin said, "The harness makes (things) look bigger."  So that's a "recommend," AND Dale loved the look on my face when Drew (my fave guide) freaked out just as I took off on one of the ziplines, as if to say I was about to die.  Again...just a big old faker that scared the livin' out of me! 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

This Is Not A Dream (Part 4)


I'll try to wrap up Kauai for all of you faithful readers (thank you, thank you, thank you...) within the next couple of days.  Trying to narrow down the highlights of a trip full to the brim of highlights has been challenging.  Plus, I have about 2000 pictures to choose from.  I need an assistant. 

Well, we're about six days in now and you know some stuff.  Aren't you blown away by all that you see here? All my stuff? This was our first trip to Hawaii so you can imagine that everything was extreeeey special.  Yes, I made that word up.  Dale, Erin, The Hubb's and I also decided that "funner" is a word now.  Go ahead, use it all day, every day. 

Since this was our first time in Hawaii, everything was exciting and The Best.  The Best Beach, The Best Taco, The Best Mai Tai, The Best Coconuts, The Best Rooster, The Best Near Drowning...I can see that getting annoying for ya. Before long I'll balance my Best Everything blog posts with the rest of my life.  I'm very yin yang that way.  Even though this trip was near perfection, I do have two things to complain about. You ready?

Remember when I mentioned spilling my first pina colada on the island?  'Member?  Well, it really stinks to spill a $10 pina colada--especially the first one.  Quite the disappointment, and for sure breaking some major island rule. It REALLY stinks when you spill the next two pina coladas in a row as well, on totally different days.  Apparently I have GIGANTIC hands. So it became a mission to find me a sippy cup,which the gang did and even though I tipped my sippy cup TOO, my pina colada never spilt again.   So, that was something that wasn't quite perfect, but what can I say?  I am here to entertain.

Okay, one more thing that wasn't perfect...The Hubbs worked pretty much the entire time we were on The Island.  Huge party foul of which he will never hear the end of.  Granted, the boy works hard, and he has stuff to do, AND it got us to Kauai, but come ON. He might have heard this about 1000 times--Dude, walk away from the laptop and stop SAVING THE WORLD.  We planned (which really isn't a word that is in our normal vocabulary) this vacay for a year and he just couldn't fully getaway.  If he had wi-fi, he was working. And if he wasn't able to work due to our activities, the boy was up until 2 a.m. working and up at 5 a.m. with a conference call.  So wrong.  So, so wrong.  I'm pretty sure he broke some major rules on The Island.  We all took turns alternating between razzing him and feeling very sorry for him.  Poor guy. 

Good Things.

Okay, that's all I got of the not perfect.  The rest of it was (minus the near drowning, but i think i'm working on blocking that part out).  We enjoyed a beautiful time at Poipu Beach.  The Hubbs surfed and Dale, Erin and I soaked up the sun (next to a Monk Seal) on the beach, snorkeled, and swam.  All good things. 

We were thrilled to attend a Luau.  Fabulous food (minus the poi) and entertainment.  There was something for everyone (smiiiiile). 


I have a couple more things to share, so please come back.  You'll see things I've never done before.  Ever.

Friday, August 6, 2010

This Is Not A Dream (Part 3)

Back to the story.  Now, where was I? On an island, shave ice, roosters, gigantic circle pool, almost drowned, yada, yada, yada...Right.  Still with me?  I'll try to make this one short and sweet. 

It's very hard to narrow down all that you want to do when you are in Kauai.  There is so much beauty to see and everything is so easy to get to.  There are many reasons not to be inside your hotel room.  BUT we only had so many days and so many coconuts, so we had to break it down.  We managed to get a great discount on a handful of activities. 

One of the activities we were lucky enough to do was a Catamaran cruise up the Na Pali coastline.  If you go to Kauai, DO THIS.  It's a 5 1/2 hour cruise/snorkeling/lunch/AWESOME.  It is beautiful.  You get to see parts of the island you can only get to by foot, helicopter or boat.  My prerequisite was dolphins and we sure saw dolphins--lots of them.  I was a very happy girl. I would show you the video, but I sound ridiculous in it, cuz I'm so ridiculous with the happiness. The Bottlenose dolphins swam with our boat and the Spinners spun. They were very leap-ey and talented. We saw sea turtles and one flying fish.  We swam with the feeeeeshes. A lot of fishes. Nemo, Dory and The Little Mermaid were there.

One thing you have to do in Kauai is snorkel. People will wonder about you if you went to Kauai and didn't snorkel. It's an opportunity to see life just below the surface, that you completely forget is even there, when you are not. Swimming in the ocean was amazing for me too. Like swimming in the way out there part of the ocean, the you are in the ocean, surrounded by nothing but more ocean part.  There were probably sharks down there.  I'm lucky to be alive.  Again.

You have to do and see stuff when you are in Kauai.  At least the first time you go. But it is also important to do absolutely nothing.  We had a very good balance of doing things and absolutely not doing things.  Many times we commented how long the days seemed there.  How slow time went.  Doesn't it usually seem the opposite, when you're on vacation?  Another bonus to Kauai, I suppose.  And the fact that we got up at 5:30 a.m. to do things like swim with dolphins had something to do with it as well.  I have to say, we totally found ourselves glad to hit the pillow early, like every night.  I don't know if that is age, or just what being completely relaxed and happy does for you.  I tried not to question.

p.s. See The Hubbs with the laptop on the beach?  Stay tuned, that's a whole other blog post.