So, I'm not quite sure how to go about this post but maybe a day-by-day, with a few stories tied in will work the best. This was something that was pretty difficult for me to do. I am not one to spend money. In fact, had my mom and sister not been in the room with me, I probably never would have bought the plane tickets. I am so glad that I did. The tripped was planned around a few family affairs. My oldest nephew was baptized on the Saturday before I left. I am so proud of him and the decision he made. I'm so grateful for my sister and brother-in-law, who took me to the airport.
To say I was nervous, is an understatement. In reality there wasn't much to be worried about. My flight was from Boise to Portland and then Portland to Maui. Everything went without a hitch. I was blessed with some fun people along the way from a grandma who was a frequent traveler and helped me figure out where to go, to a friendly girl on her way to a church camp, to a guy (who's mom was actually someone I know and love) who graduated from the same high school as me. It was interesting too, that on the way to Portland I had a row to myself, and had an empty seat next to me on the flight to Maui. When I got to Maui, my friend Sheila came and picked me up at the airport and we headed back to her place to settle in for the night since it was almost 11 pm.
This day was spent exploring different parts of Maui. I headed to Kalama Park in Kihei, which is a beach and shops area. It was so pretty and relaxing. My body was immediately at ease. Sheila and I got together and had lunch. After lunch I explored the harbor by her place and the area around town. It was neat to see. I checked out the malls. I grabbed some flyers on fun things to do in Maui. I was able to attend institute that night. It was really great.
*Random Story of the day* When I was getting on the bus there were two girls and they did not have exact change, which is required. They work it out with me that I gave them some and they paid for all three of us to get on. After we got on the bus, I realized that I did not give them the full amount for my day pass. I walked back to where they were sitting and gave them the rest of the amount. We ended up talking the rest of the ride out there. They gave me a few hints on Hawaii. It was so nice. That night, while I was waiting for institute, a guy came out of a meeting and said he recognized me from the bus where I was talking with my two friends. Apparently, I made some new friends in Hawaii.
I decided to head Upcountry today and go to the Botanical Gardens. It was beautiful up there. I spent a couple of hours looking around. Once I got to the bus stop, it started to pour rain. I was completely soaked by the time the bus got there. Both the way there and back I had the same bus driver and she treated me like she was my own personal tour guide. I learned a lot from her and she gave me some advice on what to see and do. We also went to Paia, which is known as the coolest little town. It was nice.
*Random Story of the Day* In case you forgot, I did get caught in the rain today. There is a lot of humidity there, so my hair was a little wavy and frizzy. After getting of the bus at my final stop, I had to walk through the mall to get to my destination. On my way through, a guy stopped me and asked to feel my hair, which I thought was strange. Then he told me that I must be from Canada. That made me laugh because I wasn't from where he thought I was. He wanted to show me something for my hair and basically do my hair for me. Strange!
Today I went to Kamaole Beach III. It was beautiful and relaxing. I talked with a few couples from Canada. There were birds that liked to stay put. My experiment of the day was to turn off my phone and not worry about the time and just go with the flow of things. It was pretty amazing. After getting off the bus, Sheila picked me up and we head to Iao Valley State Park. It was beautiful. Everything was so green up there and it was so scenic and calming. I quite enjoyed being up in that area. It was full of a lot history, which was pretty interesting. We ended up having dinner and watching a movie that night.
*Random Story of the Day* So remember when I met some girls on the bus. Well, one of them happened to get on the same bus as me this morning and we were able to talk. She told me I had a young soul (not sure what that means, but I'll take it). Also, I went into a store today and got offered a shell necklace just for coming in (a guy tried to put it on me). I thanked him kindly but said no thanks. I'm really not a jewelry person (for those of you who don't know, I'm not a big fan of it).
Lahaina was my destination today and it was an adventure getting there, but I did get there. One of the guys that I talked to on the bus told me about the best things to do in the area, where to find the beach, a little bit of the history of the area and more. It was great to spend some time on the beach and ocean. I also took some time to walk around the area and check out the shops and the galleries. I also got a strawberry guava smoothie, which was amazing. I grabbed a quick dinner. so I could go out to the coastline and watch the sunset. It was pretty incredible.
*Random Story of the Day* This morning, there was a cruise ship that came in and the excursion buses did not show up so they were all at the bus stop.I had used the bus system the previous days so I knew what I was doing. The cruise ship people came up to me and started asking me questions. We missed the first bus so I got to know some of them a little better. I met some people from Australia, England, Guernsey, and Mexico. It was so neat to talk with them. The couple from Mexico found out that I spoke Spanish and started speaking with me. They told me that I speak Spanish really well. That made me happy. We all made the second bus, some of us standing the whole time. After arriving in Lahaina, I was walking the street and some people from there came up and talked to me. It was quite fun.
My friend had the day off so we got to spend the whole day exploring. We did the Road to Hana, which was very scenic and amazing! I ran out of descriptive words on the way. Once we got to Hana, we did a little exploring. We went to a cave that had natural water in it. We went swimming there. Then we went to the black sand beach and played in the waves and watched the blowholes. It was great. We had a picnic and headed out the other way. On our way out we stopped at the first LDS church built in Hawaii. It was a special experience.
*Random Story of the Day* After our picnic, I headed to the bathroom. It appeared that there was some sort of memorial service taking place. While I was in a bathroom, I heard a helicopter circling overhead and it sounded low. Then I heard a lot of yelping and screaming. Unfortunately I was unable to see what had happened, but it was really interesting.
Today was pretty relaxed. We went to the YSA Branch there. I met a lot of neat people and gained an even greater love of the Polynesian culture. After church, we made a nice dinner of chicken and pesto pasta. We spent the rest of the day talking, taking it easy and relaxing, which was much needed for both of us.
Today I went to the beach and decided to try snorkeling. The beach I went to was pretty great. I got a little later start than I had thought. When I got there, I realized that it was pretty windy. While putting on my sunscreen, I saw a pretty big whale breach from the shore. When I went to snorkel, I realized that my gear was cover in sand and I was getting pelted with sand. The waves were decent size and it was too windy to snorkel. Sad. So I played in the waves. That night we went to FHE, which was fun.
*Random Story of the Day* Apparently after so many days on the island, people start to think you are a local. I ended up sitting next to a guy on the bus who thought I was a local (he was a local). We ended up talking for the whole ride and it was interesting to get to know someone and hear stories of their lives. It was kind of interesting.
My main adventure of the day was whale watching. I headed out to Maalea Harbor. Before the watch, I went to a Hawaiian History museum and looking for gifts for the family. It was nice. The whale watch was pretty amazing. We were able to watch a baby whale, which our guide said was born that morning or potentially the night before. It was cute. It was learning how to breach and wasn't doing so good at times, but it was so cute to watch. The mama was close by and a male whale came around too. We saw some other whales as well. It was pretty incredible and fun to watch them in their natural habitat.
*Random Story of the Day* Apparently, forgetting your sunscreen and water on the same day is not a good idea. I did buy some juice and a little thing of sunscreen. Once I got back, I realized how blah I felt and spent the evening drinking water and relaxing. Apparently, I had heat exhaustion. Oh wow! It was nice to relax though.
Once again, I headed out to Lahiana and tried to finish up my souvenir shopping before my tour. Today's adventure was going on a boat that had windows on the bottom, where you could look at the coral and sea life. It is basically snorkeling without getting wet. They sent divers down to find sea life and brought them up to the windows. We were able to see a sea urchin, an octopus, a star cushion, lots of different fish, clams, and more. It was pretty incredible. After that, I had a long bus ride back. My friend and I made dinner and she headed off to a meeting while I started to pack. We went to a sports night. She played basketball while I watched and talked.
*Random Story of the Day* Today, while waiting for the tour to begin, there was a family in front of me that invited me to be a part of them. It was kind of nice to feel like I had someone to be with. When we were boarding the boat, they went up to get a picture and one of the divers asked me if I was with them. Then, he started talking to me and was super-nice. After the tour and saying bye to both the family and the diver, I went to the bus. Another random person came and started talking to me and continued the whole hour bus ride. Met some interesting people today.
This was bittersweet. I finished my packing, finished getting the things I needed and went to the harbor one last time to wash the snorkel gear and take some pictures. Once my friend got off work, we headed up to Haleakala, which was the coolest thing ever. It gets up above the clouds and is amazing to watch the sunset there. We were also able to see volcanic remains and hike a little trail. The view was incredible. We had so much fun taking pictures up there. After the sunset, we headed back down and went and got some dinner. We were super hungry. After dinner, we headed to the airport and I prepared to leave Hawaii. Sad Day! :(
*Random Story of the Day* After getting checked in for my flight, I headed to security. I learned that if you don't hold still in the scan machine, it says you have metal all over. Apparently I didn't hold still so they sent me through for a second time. On the second time, I held still and made it through. The airline actually requested to check some of the carry-ons, which was nice. I only had to carry a bag. The flight was full, but as luck would have it, one of the few empty seats (if not the only one) was next to me.
~I made it to Seattle that morning and Boise a little later on that morning. My padres picked me up at the airport and I tried to stay awake all day, which I guess didn't happen because apparently I fell asleep on the kitchen floor while my nephew was showing me something. That night we celebrated his birthday and went to Chuck E. Cheese the next evening. I went to Rexburg to see my bro on Sunday and went to church with him and then began my trek back home. My trip was over.