Saturday, March 23, 2013

New day, new state!

New day, new place, new state every other hour it seems! At this moment we are stationary but I will back track and tell you how we got here before I tell you where we are!

So I believe the last time we left off was the 19th? Our time with the Seavey’s was coming to an end and on the 19th we headed back to Raleigh to do a few more things before heading to Maine.

March 20th – Damn Truck!

Oh how I did not want to get up today! I didn’t want to get into the truck or do anything.. let alone drive forever! But on a good note today was the first day of spring and it absolutely felt like it in North Carolina!

Our drive really wasn’t too bad until we hit Virginia! All along in Quantico and further on there was a million accidents.. and not just little accidents but pile ups!! There was more than one too.. so that really set us behind in the time we were trying to make!

We finally made it into Washington, DC and that was a cluster screw of traffic as well.. Honestly what a mess! Jason was losing patients, I didn’t want to be in the car.. it wasn’t pleasant! We decided to stop in Baltimore, Maryland for something to eat and just have a break and get out and stretch out legs!

We got back in the truck to hit Delaware and the tolls.. many many tolls! Then New Jersey which gave us a chance to scope out the scene as we do know there is an upcoming job there! But really it was all just leading up to NEW YORK CITY!!!!!!!!! You all know how much I absolutely LOVE NEW YORK CITY!!! The city is absolutely AMAZING, and the new Freedom Tower is absolutely incredible! I felt so great to be back there, but as much as I begged Jason would not stop at Daly’s for a Magners!

We finished out day of driving in Connecticut! It was kind of a joke finding a decent hotel in New Haven right off the interstate! But we finally got settled and were in there and in bed in time to catch up on Criminal Minds and Duck Dynasty! HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!

March 21st – Ok Mother Nature.. you want to play that game!


We woke up to snow this morning and it was not very appealing let me tell you, but as we got on the road it started to taper off!

Today we drove through New Hampshire, Massachusetts and then into Maine. We stopped in Portland to go to the mall and Verizon where I got a NEW IPHONE!!! FINALLY!!!! Color me VERY VERY HAPPY!

We stopped in Brewer at Weathervane on the way to Lubec for Jason to get a deep fried seafood platter! We didn’t get into Lubec until about 9:00pm-9:30pm! We started pulling a few things out of the truck and eventually that lead to taking out almost everything which lead Jason to be extremely overwhelmed!

I really didn’t want to deal with all of it that night, I was exhausted and extremely overwhelmed so I cried and went to bed. Haha!

March  22nd – Deal with it!

We got up early today and dove right into organizing etc! We really got through things a lot quicker than I had expected. We managed to get everything done and out of the truck, organized and situated then be out the door by 1:00pm. We got in quite a bit of visiting, dinner and made it back to the house for 9:30pm to be in bed early because we were getting up this morning to head out!

March 23rd – Sunday River.. Ski.. GO!

Today we got up early and got up on the road to head to Sunday River where Jason loves to ski! We arrived here about 2:30pm and Jason hit the slopes. I got a coffee and am just hanging out while Jason skis. I haven’t been feeling great the last couple of days, I think all of the traveling and driving and lack of sleep is catching up with me so my plan this weekend is to relax!

Tomorrow I have a 90 minute hot stone massage at the hotel spa which I am very much looking forward to and then we will stay here tomorrow night before heading to Portland Monday morning for my biometrics appointment.

After biometrics we will head to see the Goodwin’s in Bangor and then back to Lubec. Tuesday we will spend out day packing to head to Toronto and from there to Saskatchewan. By the time we get to Toronto we will have driven 6000 miles! Crazy!

So I probably won’t be back for about a week.. maybe but I don’t know. If not tonight than tomorrow I think I will try and get the rest of our Hawaii pictures up for everyone to see.

 Hope everyone is well!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cross Country Road Trip!

Greetings from Raleigh, North Carolina!

Well guys its been awhile since Ive been here and I haven't filled you all in as to how we got here and where we went so I thought I would get as caught up as I can before heading to pictures to finally get those sent out to you all!

So I left off where? Flying from Maui? I'll start there just so we don't miss anything.

So we flew from Maui to Seattle and got into Seattle quite late! We had already booked a hotel close to the airport and Jason had dealt with travel so we had a town car to pick us up from the hotel in the morning and take up to get the truck. I'm not going to lie the morning was rough.. we were on a 3 hour time difference and had to be up first thing in the morning to get to the docks so that Jason could get to the home office in Bothell before noon.

We got to the docks in Tacoma and picked up the truck and luckily it was still there and so was all of our belongings (THANK GOD!) so we got some gas, because they make you have it on QUITE low to be on the barge.. then we head for Bothell. Tanya and Josh were in Bothell as well as Josh was working from the home office for awhile and Ashley and Nick live in Bothell so us girls got together with Miss Penelope for a visit before Jason and I headed out of town. It was soooooo great to see the girls, the last time Tanya and I saw Ashley and Penelope was in New York and P was just starting to pull herself up, not even walking and now shes walking, talking has a personality.. it was amazing to see them!

Before completely heading out of town Jason and I stopped off at the Bellevue Mall which is one of the nicest malls I have ever been to ever because I was DYING to go to Aritzia and get some new tights! Once we left there we got on the road to take advantage of the nice weather and see how far we could get!

We were a little worried about the Snoqualmie pass in Washington but we had a wonderful day for driving! Washington is a beautiful state that has so much to offer we really wished that we had more time to spend there! We drove all across Washington and into Idaho where I believe we hit our next time change which made 4 hours change for us and put us 2 hours different from the East Coast. We've been to Idaho before, but on the other side of the state which was pretty flat, this side was beautiful!

Finally that night we crossed into Montana which was a lot further than we had expected to make it. It really was a great day of driving although we were exhausted, we hit all of the mountain passes over that way and had perfect weather. We made it a lot further than we had thought but by the time we got into Missoula we knew we needed to stop. It was dark and not only did we see a trooper preparing to shoot an injured deer on the side of the road we were seeing a lot of elk on the side of the road and definitely didn't want to hit anything! Before Missoula the options of a hotel was looking dismal, they were all crap holes surrounded by casino's.. stellar right? We finally found a good hotel and settled in for the night.

Tuesday March 12 - Off to South Dakota

Yesterday Washington, Idaho, Montana.... today Northwest side of Montana down across the whole entire state, down and out the Southeast corner into Wyoming and then into South Dakota!

We felt like shit this morning, honestly 4 hour time difference and all that driving was absolutely MISERABLE! I generally don't do well with a short time change of 2 hours let alone 4.. MISERY! Thankfully the drive across Montana was absolutely gorgeous! Montana is full of mountains, rolling hills, etc. Not to mention all the cows and horses it was really incredible. Jason says that Montana is probably his favorite state to drive across and lord knows we've done the research! However he still swears that no where compares to Alaska.. and he told me to quote him on that!

We saw a ton of baby cows today.. soooo cute! Jason also saw a ton of Elk that I missed on account that I was talking to Dad on the phone and plain and simple just not paying attention! At this point we had been pretty lucky that everywhere we went had a Starbucks, but we stopped in Butte and they had run out of Grande cups and water, I was like.. WTF?!?!

Jason decided to get off of interstate 95 onto highway 212 because the GPS was telling us that it was faster and we ended up going through some Indian reserve that truth be told was a complete disaster  but it had Chief Dull Knife College which I thought was extremely comical.

Montana was also where we started seeing fields and fields of Antelope! I don't think Jason had ever seen them before because he kept saying they were deer and I knew they absolutely were not and then he wanted me to hold the wheel while he looked at them with the binoculars, obviously that wasn't happening and he wasn't impressed!

We hit the corner of Wyoming and truth be told I wasn't the least bit disappointed we didn't go any further into there on account that our last encounter wasn't oh so stellar! Through our small bout in Wyoming I did learn the art of reading a map and Jason made friends with all the truckers! Haha they all kept waving at him and he was totally taking it as a personal salute!This time we escaped unscathed right into South Dakota which is somewhere we had never been before! We went right through Sturgis where they hold the annual motorcycle rally which was pretty amazing! Jason and I both kept saying how much Dad would have loved to have been there! We went to the Harley dealership to get him a shirt but they were closed, friggin' small town everything closes at 5:00pm! I seriously considered breaking and entering until Jason said we could just order one online!

We made it to Rapid City, South Dakota and decided to stop as we had plans to head to Mount Rushmore in the morning! We had dinner at the Texas Roadhouse which was good, it was nice to have a really good hearty meal with all the traveling we've been doing! We were quite tired tonight and really just overall feeling crappy from all the driving and time changes, we decided to just head to the hotel and go to bed early tonight. I usually don't sleep in the truck because I feel like its not fair to Jason but everyday I got closer and closer!

Wednesday March 13th - Mount Rushmore!

Unfortunately neither of us slept last night and therefore this morning seemed miserable from the get go! We knew we had a 12 hour day ahead of us and on no sleep that is never an appealing start!

Ha! Did I mention that South Dakota has these billboards that advertise Bad Ass Rhubarb Wine! Jason joked and said it was acceptable because we were in the badlands.. LOL!

This morning our first stop was Mount Rushmore, we figured although it was an hour out of our way we really wanted to see it, especially after having been to Washington and being to all the Presidential Memorials there! It really was amazing, the detail of something with such a large scale was pretty incredible. They have a lot of educational stuff there as well which was great to see!

After our adventure we got on the road to head to Madison, Wisconsin where we would hit yet another time change making us 5 hours from where we started and one hour difference from the East Coast! Today really wasn't an exciting day, we saw a lot of turkeys and after 12 hours of driving and starting to see a TON of deer on the side of the roads we decided it was best to stop and get a hotel before hitting something!

Thursday March 14th - NORTH CAROLINA!

Today we woke up strategically planning to get through Chicago at a non-traffic time! We got up and got on the road and made it through Chicago around 9:30am which really wasn't all that bad, we barely got any traffic at all compared to what we were expecting! However we spent a million dollars in roadside tolls which as you can imagine made Jason thrilled! We made sure to stop right before Chicago though because we didn't want to get off the interstate in Chicago nor did we plan to stop in Gary, Indiana because its a hole! However we did hit out last and final time change in Indiana! 6 hours later and finally for the first time in over a year we were on East Coast time!

Next we hit Kentucky.. LOVE KENTUCKY! We went right through Louisville and across the state and it was BEAUTIFUL! I really wanted to stay there forever and buy a horse ranch, and dress up and go to the Kentucky Derby! Haha Jason wasn't so sold but it was fabulous there!

Next we hit West Virginia, then Virginia and then finally.. last but not least, the much awaited NORTH CAROLINA!!!!!!!!! It was soooooo great to get there, to see the state line, it didn't even matter to us how late it was it seemed like it was all worth it right then and there!!

We didn't get into Raleigh and into our hotel until 1:30am but we were here and had no reason to wake up early in the morning, finally!! At this point I never wanted to see the truck or the front seat ever again!!

Friday March 15th - House Hunting!

We managed to somewhat sleep in this morning, we woke up seriously not knowing where we were, when to sleep, when to eat, we just felt absolutely awful! We had drove over 3000 miles in no time and went through 6 hours of time changes.. today we felt dizzy!

We however did get up and get around the neighborhood before heading for a much needed Caribou Coffee!! Jason and I absolutely LOVE Caribou Coffee, no kidding we settle for Starbucks everywhere else. After we got coffee we headed to KB Homes to meet with one of the many many people we have been in contact with over the last year!

We had a really long day, which I wont go on about at the builder with all the details.. I will explain the final result later but it pretty much took up our whole day! We had dinner at Chili's and then headed to target to pick up a few things we had run out of before heading back to the hotel to go to bed.

Did I mention how absolutely screwed up we were with all the time changes?

Saturday March 16th - THE SEAVEY'S!!!!!!!!

This morning we got up and had breakfast at the hotel before meeting with the builder at the studio to pick out custom pieces for a house! Honestly it didn't go at all like we thought it would and we left feeling a little discouraged but SUPER excited to head to Hope Mills to see the Seavey's!

We were so excited to have a visit with Evan and Brianne! We so thoroughly enjoyed spending time with them, the 80 degree weather, just having a break from all the traveling, etc!

We stayed with the Seavey's from Saturday until Tuesday March 20th which is today and had the most amazing time! We were so hoping Brianne would have had the baby but no such luck, so we have to wait until next time to meet her!!

So we got back into Raleigh today and met with the builders again today and in the end we decided that it just wasn't the right time for us to buy a house. We are pretty disappointed things didn't come together like we had hoped but it is what it is and we made the best decision for us at the time.

Tonight we had dinner and came back to the hotel and although its almost 10:00pm we are going to bed "early" because tomorrow we will get in the truck and start out trip to Maine. Truth be told I am dreading getting in that truck.. the thought makes me sick.. I'm so over traveling and I know Jason is DREADING the drive!

So that is our scoop for now, I don't think we will dig the laptop out of the truck for a couple more days but we plan to go skiing in Maine so either Saturday night or Sunday I will pull the laptop out and fill you in on our trip to Maine and how it all went.

Right now we should be in Maine probably late Thursday night and then we will head to ski on Saturday until Monday and then Monday we are going to Portland for my biometrics appointment with Immigration before heading to see Mel and Jason in Bangor! We plan to leave for Toronto on Wednesday!

We hope all is well and that reading about our adventures is less exhausting then partaking!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Aloha from Maui - Part two of our Hawaiian trip!

Greetings from the Island of Maui!!

I believe I last left off with us heading to the airport for Maui!

We decided to head to the airport, apparently WAY before we needed to. When we flew in we thought we would be flying out of the same terminal so there would be a lot to look at and we would have lunch and stuff.. well that was not so the case! We got into the airport and there was absolutely NOTHING there! We got in and checked out bags and went through security, when we got into the terminal there was absolutely ONE place to have lunch and it was absolutely ridiculously expensive. We paid $75.00 for 2 salads and 2 drinks! CRAZY!

We waited for our flight which at one point they said was overbooked.. GREAT! They gave people the option to take a later flight and therefore they would get a credit but we said no we wanted to just get there so we didn’t take the offer. Thankfully for some reason every single Asian person (no I’m not stereotyping I’m being dead serious) never got up when they called their flight, I swear they were perfectly willing to miss their flights! They didn’t get up until they were called by name personally! So needless to say we got on the flight!

The flight to Maui wasn’t awesome, I don’t really do well on little planes at all and flying over the ocean the whole entire way just made me sick.

We landed in Maui and what a disaster that was about to occur! We had already rented a jeep online before coming so this woman told us to head to the rental place where we would just need to grab the keys, well it took literally forever the people there were no slow and not helpful at all but eventually we go out to get into the jeep! Jason had asked for a soft top so we could take the roof off while we were driving around the island, well we piled all our stuff in, took the top off and hit the road to the hotel! Well on the way, not far down the road we noticed it was looking like rain.. so much so that we really thought we should pull over and put the top back up before we got soaked.. well it wouldn’t go up!!! The frame was bent to shit and it was just IMPOSSIBLE, we tried so long and were so frustrated that we took the damn thing back!! When we got back to the rental place they were basically like.. “oh don’t worry if that doesn’t latch..” WHAT? What if it rains.. shit just gets wet?? Like what the hell?? So we switched to a hard top! Honestly it was for the best anyways as we have talked a lot about actually buying a jeep and the hard top was definitely something that we would actually buy so it was good to have it and drive it, plus the top popped right off and went on with ease!

On the way to the hotel the scenery was absolutely breathtaking.. I cant even put it into words! To be honest it was similar to Alaska in that it was ocean on one side and ocean on the other. On our drive was saw humpback whales swimming and playing in the ocean so we pulled over to a lookout and watched them.. just amazing!!  They were only about a football field away, breaching and everything.. it was absolutely incredible!!

We arrived at the hotel a lot later than we had expected with the whole jeep debacle, but it was wonderful to arrive and receive our very first lei! I really thought when we got off the plane in Honolulu that it would be like the movies and there would be someone standing there with a lei.. not so the case, but at the hotel they gave you a beautiful fresh flower lei! We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Maui as well and if you can even believe it, it was better here! There was a massive pool, swim up bar, PENGUINS! It was basically a resort! Because we arrived so late though we were exhausted and starving and it was dark so we really didn’t do a lot of exploring we just headed for something to eat.

The hotel had quite a few restaurants but we wanted something casual and quick so when we came across Umalu which was on the beach and had live music we settled in! We had been really living off of salads and stuff and we were tired and felt like comfort food so Jason got a really amazing pizza and I had chicken fingers and fries and it was great! Unfortunately for 2 beers, 2 tropical drinks and dinner it was over $80.00.. We just couldn’t believe it! As you can imagine Jason didn’t love that!

After dinner we explored around a little and then decided just to head back to the room and get settled and head to bed for the next day’s adventures!

Tuesday March 5th – Hello West Maui Beach!

We’re saying in Lahaina, in the Kaanapoli resorts on West Maui beach! The place is amazing.. We learned first thing this morning from our towels and what not that our hotel practices Malama Pono which is the act of being green, therefore they ask that if you wouldn’t mind you use your towels for more than one day which I thought was great, with a resort of that size it would be ridiculous to wash everyone’s towels every single day.. its their way of caring for their natural resources! J

Did I mention when we were flying in we saw the Molikini crater which is shaped like a horseshoe? Apparently they have great snorkeling there although we never went. I took pictures, please stay tuned for those!

Today was a great day, we toured around a lot and saw a TON of whales! I can’t even tell you how many whales we saw because there was just SO MANY! They are so playful, whacking their tales around in the water, slapping their fins and coming right up out of the water and splashing (breaching). What is best of all is that they just had their babies so we were seeing baby whales with their mama’s too! We are use to seeing them in the North when they are more focused on eating, we have never seen them so playful like this!

After breakfast we headed to Owolaha beach which was amazing, we laid on the beach and Jason snorkeled, we watched the whales and really just explored.. This is exactly what we were looking forward to on vacation and it was absolutely AMAZING!

We decided that we would take a drive to Kehei in the afternoon, we had lunch in Wailea at Cheeseburger in Paradise which was great and drove all along the beach down there. We decided that we were definitely happy with where we stayed in regards to the beaches, there was a lot more city in Kehei and we had that in Honolulu, we were looking for more quiet and relaxing in Maui.

When we got back to the hotel Jason went for a quick swim in the pool and by that time I was in pants because the slightest bit of wind and we all know that Im cold! After that we showered and headed along the beachside boardwalk to the Whaler’s Village for dinner! We had dinner at Maui Fish & Pasta and it was excellent. It was nice to have a really good dinner versus the more casual meals we had been eating. We took our time walking back along the ocean and then headed to be early for our big drive around the island the next day!

Oh! Before I forget.. have I mentioned that its bad luck to take anything from the island that you didn’t buy or wasn’t given to you? Most people go to a tropical place and what do they take? Shells, rocks? Well apparently on the Big Island there is a huge table FULL of rocks that people have taken and then sent back due to the bad fortune that follows them for taking them from the island. Needless to say we did no such thing!

Did I mention as well that Island is considered the island of sun? I can absolutely see why. Today had been one of those days that we just spent in awe of all the amazing things surrounding us, feeling so grateful to be there, not taking a moment of it for granted! We are so lucky that we get to do so many amazing things!

Wednesday March 6th – Road to Hana!

This morning we got up and had an amazing breakfast at the hotel, quite early I might add as we were told that it would take us all day to drive the road to Hana! Breakfast was amazing, the hotel does a buffet breakfast every morning and although we had a two for the price of one deal with our room breakfast was still $55.00! But we had fresh fruit and Jason had a omelet made, it was excellent!

We had already gotten sandwiches for the day and the backpack was ready so we got in the jeep and headed out. We stopped and got gas and the CD for the Road to Hana which dictated our drive and explained what we were seeing and doing, it was great! Just as we got on the road we noticed a kayaker out in the ocean and RIGHT BESIDE her was a Mama whale and on the other side was here baby.. I couldn’t even believe it! I have never seen anything like this, and was never so grateful not to be that kayaker.. the whales didn’t seem to be bothering her, they were just swimming beside her.. it was absolutely INCREDIBLE!

Our drive was amazing, we started out just outside of Kaanapoli where we were staying, we saw waterfalls in Huelo, amazing beaches in Ke’anae and Wailua. We drove along the Haleakala Volcano and into the National Park! We saw one of the black sand beaches. If you are unaware the Hawaiian Island are all created by volcano’s so there is a ton of lava and black sand everywhere. You should check out this link that shows all the amazing things we seen and did!

So it is possible to take the road to Hana the whole way around the island, but there is a section of the road at the very end after Hana that they recommend that you don’t take, so much so that when you sign the rental car agreement part of it says that you WILL NOT drive that stretch of the Hana highway.. we did. Honestly Im glad we did but it was scary! It was literally a dirt road on the side of a volcano and the other side was a cliff down to the ocean! FAR DOWN! It was basically one lane so if you encountered another car one of you had to back up until you came to a spot where you could both fit through.. it was pretty crazy! On that side of the island the beaches are just absolutely incredible, turquoise waters, untouched rocks and sand.. there just are no words to describe it! On that end of the drive we went quite high up in elevation where it was a lot colder as well and the vegetation and stuff was quite different. We saw a lot of cows and we actually saw a ton of mountain goats! On the way back down to Lahaina it got pretty cold and actually started to rain.. haha roof off the jeep of course! Jason just turned on the heat and I put my sweater on so I didn’t totally freeze! Once we got off the mountain and back by the hotel we were back to beautiful weather and lots of whales. Driving back we saw whales literally coming up and completely out of the water before splashing down.. it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen in my life!

Although March is still considered storm season in Maui if you ever plan to go it is also whale season and it is completely worth it! We have seen whales in quite a few places but never like this, there are just no words! Today we saw at least 20-30 of them!

Thursday March 7th – Luau Day!

Today we got up and headed to our favorite beach to hang out and snorkel! Naturally on the way we watched the whales swim along as we drove. When we got to the beach we lay out for quite awhile and then decided to get in the water to do some snorkeling! Jason has some pictures from his underwater camera before it died, but I don’t think they could do it justice. We saw a ton of different tropical fish as well as sea turtles! I’m not going to lie at first the turtles startled me and I wasn’t sure of them but they are absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Check out this link.. it will show a bunch of the different fish that we saw!

We decided not to go too far out that day as we had overheard someone saying there was a small shark out further and there has been signs posted on the beach that there had been a recent shark attack. I’m really not sure how long they leave those out for, or how long “recent” really is but we didn’t figure it was worth the risk!

Today we decided that if we were spending all this money on a hotel we might as well utilize its amenities so we headed back to go to the pool for the afternoon! When we got down there I called Mom and Dad to tell them how are trip was going and no word of a lie the second I hung up I noticed people congregating behind our pool chairs and when I looked there was a Mama humpback splashing her fin over and over and right beside her was a little baby humpback mimicking her Mama’s moves.. it was the cutest thing I have ever seen. Unfortunately it was really hard to get pictures of them though as it was such a fluke to see most of it and they are just too quick!

We had to go up to the room early to get ready for the Luau as we had decided to book the Luau at the Royal Lahiana resort instead of ours as we had heard it was the best one around. So we got all dressed up and headed over there! Unfortunately today was the day that we were most burnt so being all dressed up was a little uncomfortable.

The location of the Luau was amazing, right on the beach for sunset! We had an amazing dinner, it’s funny I’m really not a pork lover but it is so fresh and amazing in Hawaii…. Even bacon tastes completely different in a good way! The show was incredible! We saw the hula dancing and fire throwing, learned more about the islands.. it was exactly what we had hoped! Plus there was free Mai Tai’s!! Jason drank a few too many and walked home planning Aunt Bren’s tiki bar party for this summer; he made a guest list and everything! Haha! We got back to the hotel kind of early but had gotten so much sun and was tired so we headed to bed!

Friday March 8th – Kapalua Beach Day!

We got up today and had breakfast before heading to Kapalua beach which was once rated one of the best beaches in Maui. When we got there the surf was extremely high which pretty much dictated how much snorkeling Jason was going to get in. The water actually seemed a lot colder as well. We stayed quite awhile before heading back to the hotel for lunch and then some pool time!

Back at the hotel Jason talked to Charlie and we will have to go into the home office in Bothell for him to fill out all the paperwork for his work visa to go to Saskatchewan.. oh no escaping work, not even for vacation!

After the pool we literally had to come upstairs and shower and scrub the sand off of us, haha and the salt to be honest. Its crazy how it gets all over you. We wanted to get cleaned up before heading to the cliff diving ceremony at the Sheraton and then off to Dukes Beach Club for dinner! Dukes was different than the one we went to in Honolulu but still good. We sat at the bar to avoid the wait and had a great meal!

Tomorrow is our last full day on the island and we are just NOT ready to leave!

Saturday March 9th – Surf Day!

Today we woke up to a massive wind storm.. it was overcast and the wind was just howling! Jason was due to surf at 10:00am but was really rethinking it with the horrible weather. They has closed up as much of the hotel as they could to prevent everyone and everything from blowing around! Jason was thinking about calling the surf place to cancel but we decided to just drive down there and see what the case was!

The conditions were definitely not ideal but this was the last day we had and Jason really felt like if he didn’t do it that he would really regret it so he got geared up and headed out! I watched while he geared up and practiced and anticipating it would take him some time to get the hang of things I headed out to walk the shops on Front Street for awhile.

When surfing was done we headed back to the hotel to hang out for awhile because the weather was super crappy and we had packing and stuff to do anyways. When we went back down for dinner it was pouring rain!!! We decided to drive back to Front Street for dinner and decided on Captain Jack’s where I had the most amazing pasta dish ever! It was still raining and windy but slowed down enough for us to walk and get an ice cream before heading back to the hotel to finish packing!

Sunday March 10th – We Leave L

Did I ever mention that Lahaina is the Royal Capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom? There was a sign that said so that I never did get a picture of!

We got up early (earlier than necessary because Jason didn’t realize that Hawaii doesn’t do the time change!!!) and headed to breakfast and then the post office to send a box home as we just didn’t have enough room to pack it and take it with us!

We did everything we needed to do and then checked out and headed to the airport. I cried.. I just wasn’t ready to head back to real life! Our real life can be really stressful and I had waited so long for the relaxing vacation that we had that I just couldn’t think about coming back and having to deal with everything we had too.. But none the less we didn’t have a choice!

When we got to the Maui airport it was PACKED! It took us forever to check our bags and go through security and the people in the security line were NUTS! There was a guy in front of us that was the biggest dickhead Ive ever seen in my life, so much so that I thought about telling him so. We went through security and there was a woman behind us that got stopped and she totally had a meltdown, screaming at everyone including her husband.. Finally the woman security guard was like.. STOP! It was hilarious!

With all the waiting we didn’t have a lot of time to grab lunch, take a quick look around and then go to our gate. In Hawaii you also have to go through Agriculture screening which is a pain in the ass, they don’t want you taking anything fruits, vegetables, plants, etc in or out of the island!

The plane we took was massive, 7 seats across.. but the flight was really great and a lot quicker than we expected. They gave us dinner on the plane at which time Jason volunteered to trade me his salad for my brownie!

We landed at the airport with a 3 hours time change and it was 46 degrees! We got a cab and headed straight for the hotel which was in the ghetto! In the morning a company town car was picking us up to take us to the docks in Tacoma to get the truck!

I will leave off here, there is probably a ton more stuff to tell about our trip but overall it was just incredible! We are so fortunate to have spent time there and are already hoping to go back!

I know you probably are all wondering where we are and how we got here and I have been keeping track of that as well so hopefully I will get that down tomorrow morning for you before we head to the Seavey’s! But in the meantime know that we are in North Carolina and are safe, sound and exhausted!!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Aloha from Honolulu.. Part one of our trip!

So Im going to back track quite aways and go back to February 28th which was move out day! We ended up going to bed quite late the night before with more to do the next morning than we cared for but we were kind of stuck with both of us working until the last day so we just sucked it up and went to bed. We got up early the next morning and got to work, Jason took our GCI (cable) stuff back and I started cleaning, we got the last of the packing done and I only cried once! Haha! This was probably the most we actually had to do on the final move out day but the walk thru went well and we got all our deposit back except for the money they charge for cleaning the carpet, which we knew about!

We went to the hotel and checked in and then I stayed while Jason headed down to the docks to drop off the truck. He was gone about an hour and came back freaking out that he had forgotten his shoes in the truck, luckily Tanya had just text me and said her and Josh had just gotten to their hotel and would be heading down to the docks so Jason hitched a ride with him… he came back with extremely good news.

As I believe I said before I had gotten a notice from Immigration saying that I needed to be in Portland, Maine on March 5th which obviously wouldn’t have worked on account that we were going to be in Hawaii, so I had to send them a letter and let them know that I needed to reschedule and of course me being me I couldn’t stop worrying about it. I worried that they wouldn’t get it, and the letter said right on it that if I missed my appointment my petition would be voided.. well Jason’s mother called and told him that a letter came and it said my new appointment was March 25th… THANK GOD!! I seriously wouldn’t have been able to enjoy any of our vacation worrying about that so it was a HUGE relief!!!

We got changed and headed across the street to the Cattle Company for dinner, Jason had planned to go there for weeks knowing where we would be staying and as always dinner there was absolutely amazing!!  We were so exhausted from the week we just went back to the hotel and went to bed early anticipating the next day’s long flight!

March 1st – AND WE’RE OFF!

We got up early and had breakfast and basically sat around waiting to leave. Jason was having a much harder time leaving then I was. Its not that I hated Alaska that much at all, and truth be told I had a hard time leaving on account that we had a life there and routine and I knew very well leaving that we had nothing in concrete and after vacation we would be in limbo and with no home and I hate that. But I was so ready to get on that plane for warm weather that all that seemed so small.

The shuttle picked us up at the airport WAY earlier than necessary! The shuttle driver was kind of an asshole but he gave Jason a bunch of moose sausage which he happily ate on our way to the airport, clearly he was not taught as a child not to take candy from a stranger.. he didn’t even second guess it, he just stuffed his face.. I couldn’t believe it, the guy wasn’t even nice!

So we toured around the airport for longer than necessary and I got a chance to talk to Dad on the phone and tell him about our plans before boarding our flight! Our flight was unfortunately awful, Jason really isn’t a good flyer as he gets extremely bored and therefore annoying, not to mention the fact that his ears really hurt him and there is just really nothing you can do. Not to mention the fact that we pretty much had steady turbulence the whole entire flight! It was the worst flight I have ever had, usually when we are on a flight I read the whole time, but reading on the plane was like reading in the car .. it was making me sick to my stomach for literally 6 hours straight!

We very happily landed in Honolulu and got a taxi and were off to the Hyatt Regency on Waikiki Beach! Honolulu is a huge city, it was just like being at home, major highways, high rises, tons of traffic.. it was really nothing like I expected!

We got to the hotel and when we went to check it we got a pleasant surprise! Apparently the hotel made a error somewhere and they ended up putting us on the platinum floor.. the very top floor in the Diamond Tower.. amazing!! You couldn’t even get to the floor unless you swiped your room card in the elevator! The view was incredible, the bed was super comfortable, the toilet seat was heated! Haha! It also had the option of rear and front cleanse, not to mention a dryer! Yes Im not lying the toilet had a dryer! LOL

We decided that we would leave the hotel and head to dinner on account that it was late and we were starving and we were dying to explore!

I was unaware of the phenomenon we were about to encounter, trade winds. It was seriously beyond windy there, we were blowing all over the place! But we walked along what I would consider Honolulu’s Rodeo Drive! All the stores were Fendi, Prada, Cartier, Kate Spade.. etc. Our hotel even had a Coach and an Ugg store in it!

However what comes along with Rodeo Drive.. HOOKERS! That’s right everyone Honolulu was FULL of HOOKERS! I couldn’t even believe it.. Hooker heels, slutty dresses, the whole works.. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing!!

We landed at Duke’s Canoe Club for dinner, it was amazing! Everything was so fresh and came with a pineapple garnish, the hospitality and friendliness was so welcoming! We were literally less than 20 feet from the ocean, tiki torches everywhere, frozen drinks.. It was so great.. Perfect way to spend our first night in Hawaii! We ended up in bed super later, but ready for the next day of our Pearl Harbor tour!

March 2nd – Pearl Harbor

Today our tour guides name was Johnathan, he is a native of the island of Oahu and was full of great information. He started off with explaining the meaning of ‘Aloha’. Aloha is really a transferable phrase, Polynesians use it for hello and goodbye. ‘Mahalo’ means thank you.. which Jason took quite a liking too and used our entire trip! ‘Ohana’ means family!

So we started our Discover Tour which began at the site of Pearl Harbor. When we arrived I couldn’t help but feel this overwhelming sense of sadness, it reminded me a lot of the first time we went to Ground Zero in New York.. you just know what happened there and cant help but think of what that day must have been like and you cant help but be grateful for all you have right then and there.

We toured around the site of Pearl Harbor, and the USS Bowfin Submarine before seeing a video of the day Pearl Harbor took place. After that we took a ferry over to the USS Arizona which for me was the most amazing part but also the saddest! You are sanding above the ship looking down at it and knowing that 177 men rest there.. that they weren’t killed fighting for their country they were ambushed and died somewhere they called home, somewhere they felt safe.. it was extremely moving.

We got back on the ferry and headed back to our original location to meet our tour guide to head to Ford Island where we would then Tour the USS Missouri battleship! Jason thoroughly enjoyed this part of things, the ship was kept intact to accurately depict how the seamen lived while aboard her! After leaving the ship we headed towards the ‘Punch Bowl’ which is a historic burial grounds for many of men and women who have served their country.

On our way back to the hotel we did a tour of Honolulu and found out a bunch of information, such as:
The State flower is the Yellow Hibiscus.
Aloha really means – Loving, Caring and sharing which is what the islands are all about.
All the drinking water comes from natural rain water and takes 25 years to purify and be ready for drinking.
We saw where Obama was born, went to school, where he lived with his grandparents and that his grandfather is buried at the punchbowl.
Honolulu has a population of 400,000 people and is the second safest state to live in.
We learned that the original Hawaiian alphabet consisted of 5 vowels and 7 consonants and the W is pronounced like a V, therefore natives of the island call it “Havaii”.
Pineapples are not native to the island but grow extremely well there, they were introduced from Spain and many years ago many people came from Spain and the Philippines to work on the plantations.
The Trade winds comes from the mountains and were named after the trade ships that brought in good from the lower 48.
90% of everything on the island is shipped in therefore things such as a gallon of milk are $8.00 in Hawaii.
Oahu (the name of the island) means ‘the gathering place’.
The Hawaiian flag has a Union Jack on it to symbolize their good relations with the British.
Hawaii is actually on the same continent as Australia but still owned by Uncle Sam!!!

On our first night in Hawaii I bought a flower to where in my hair, without any thought the morning of our tour I put it in my hair and off we went. Our tour guide later informed us that in Hawaii a flower in the hair has meaning, if your flower is on your left side it says you are taken, worn closest to your heart. On the right side it says that you are available and looking, in the middle that you are up for anything.. haha Jason immediately checked out my hair and was impressed that it was on the left side of my head!

That night we decided to have dinner at the Hard Rock Café, we have been to them all over the US and absolutely love them. On Waikiki beach there really wasn’t a lot of original restaurants so we figured we might as well go somewhere that we know wouldn’t disappoint, and of course it didn’t. However we had started to notice at this point that everything really did taste so fresh and amazing, especially pork.. it was really such a different and enjoyable taste!

After dinner I absolutely had to get new flip flops, I took one pair thinking if anything I would do some looking around there but it just wasn’t going to last until we went to the mall my feet were KILLNG me! Thankfully I ended up with a FABULOUS pair that were SUPER comfortable for the rest of our trip!

We decided because it was still early that we would walk a few of the shops, it was funny to see the different things they offered, such as flavored pancake mixes, guava and pineapple. We got ourselves Hawaii beach towels and then decided to walk along the beach back to the hotel. On our way we came across a beached seal! I was sooo upset until I saw a sign that said “Shh… Im sleeping” I was so convinced it was dead, Jason said it was probably pregnant and that’s why it was up on the beach.. but let me tell you it didn’t look like it was breathing to me! However I did assume because it wasn’t a hand written sign that maybe it did happen often and therefore they were prepared!

Jason had to pee, so I sat on the beach and waited.. it was so peaceful! I so enjoyed just sitting on the beach watching the waves, even though the beach was extremely crowded it was as though no one else existed.. I felt so grateful for our time there and the peace and quiet; it really makes you appreciate the simple things in life. When we got back to the hotel we headed to the hot tub which was located on the top floor of our atrium and therefore we sat in there looking at the stars. When we got back to the room I decided to take a shower and came out to Jason in a kimono.. I nearly died.. he was really living it up!

We decided to head to bed early, we had encountered a time difference coming from Alaska and were now 5 hours difference from the East Coast, plus it had really been a busy week!

Sunday March 3rd – Last full day in Honolulu!

We got up and had breakfast in a little café at the hotel, it is seriously crazy how expensive things are there.. but how good the coffee was! Kona coffee is probably the best coffee I have ever had in my life, so fresh! We then headed out for the mile and a half walk to the largest outdoor mall in North America! To be honest it was a little disappointing in that the stores were so incredibly ritzy that we didn’t really busy anything. I got a shirt from Lululemon but that was it! We decided to stop for lunch at the hotel before heading back to the hotel just for something different, Jason decided this would be a good opportunity to try Ahi Tuna fresh on the island and let me tell you I would have never thought that I would have liked it as I have never had tuna ever in my life but it was AMAZING! Jason wasn’t totally sold on it but was glad that he had tried it and enjoyed something different.

It was funny on our walk back we noticed that there was a marathon going on and TONS and TONS of Asians waving signs that said “I love Japan” – I thought this to be a little ironic due to Pearl Harbor and what not, don’t get me wrong I know they have moved past all that but it all seemed a little over the top, come to find out it was all part of the 19th annual Honolulu festival!

When we got back to the hotel we decided it was our last chance to go and lay on the beach, we didn’t know if we would get that chance there because there was so much to tour around but we were dying to lay on the beach and go in the ocean. Waikiki being an extremely famous beach was naturally PACKED! It was extremely hard to find a place to lay and the winds were crazy, it was all pretty funny! It was so hot that day and there was tons of people out in the water, surfing and swimming, there was huge waves, we couldn’t wait to get in! We noticed right away that the beaches weren’t like Florida, sandy and white there was a ton of coral through the sand and tons in the water… it made it extremely hard to walk you had no choice but to swim over it! The salt smell and taste was also incredibly strong, more so than I had ever seen anywhere! When we were drying off you could literally pick pieces of salt off your skin! We laid out until we were fried and then headed back to the hotel to shower and get ready for dinner.

By the time we came back down from the room the festival was in full swing! The streets were lined with TONS of people and there was a huge parade going on which is hilarious because I always joke with Jason about how much American’s love parades and will use any excuse to have one! Unfortunately this fact also meant that every restaurant on the strip had over an hour wait… so we headed back to the Hard Rock because if we were going to wait we wanted to know we would be happy with it when we finally did eat!

After dinner we headed to the most amazing Froyo lounge we had ever been to and got some frozen yogurt. On our way down we noticed that people were lining up along the beach so I finally stopped and asked someone what was going on, they were preparing for fireworks! Well anyone who knows Jason knows that he absolutely LOVES fireworks.. so we rushed back to the hotel and went up to where the hot tub and pool is on the top floor which was open and pulled up a pool chair and curled up for absolutely incredible fire works!! They did such an amazing job, the sky was illuminated without fail the entire show.. if we hadn’t seen fireworks as Disney world I would say it was the best show I had ever seen!

We got back to our room and were pleasantly surprised to find out that we weren’t nearly as burnt as we had thought which was nice! We decided to head to bed as tomorrow we would be heading to the airport Maui bound!

I will leave off here for now as I am exhausted and I haven’t even gotten to Maui yet! I promise to make it back tomorrow and fill you in on more and I will get to the pictures as well!

Mahalo for reading!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Greetings from Rapid City, South Dakota!

Well where do I even begin??? Its been quite awhile since Ive been here and let me tell you all I have taken detailed notes while on our trip so I could blog about everything, but truth be told I am not sure I have it in me tonight to do!

So I thought I would stop in quickly seeings how this is the first time Ive had the computer since we've been on the road and I wanted to let all of you know who aren't on Facebook that we are alive and well.

I'm going to head to a word document and start typing and will post as soon as I'm done, as for pictures hopefully I will get to that tomorrow or the next day!!! There are a ton and I haven't gotten a chance to go through them yet either!

Hope everyone is will, I will post all I can by tomorrow hopefully!!