Happy Valentine's Day!!
Notice anything about my look? Thanks so much to Sarah from Span Tag Designs for cleaning up my look a little bit and giving me (and you) an easier way to get around! I've added a couple new pages, and a space on my left sidebar to find your way to specific posts! Whatcha think?
This is my third V-Day with my main squeeze, so I only find it fitting to continue on with our love story. Back in the later months of 2012, I wrote parts one and two. Now it's time for part three - our Hawaiian adventure.
I left off at the moment I arrived in Honolulu. I was coming from Cali and it was December, so it was pretty chilly at that time. When we landed on the island, I immediately started sweating from the warm, muggy, humid air. But I was ridiculously happy. After spending Christmas day alone in my sister's apartment, I knew in my heart that it was worth it to be with the man of my dreams two days later on a beautiful island of paradise. To be honest, I NEVER imagined getting the opportunity to go to Hawaii - unless it was for a honeymoon or because I won a trip. It seemed like everything was working out in my favor, having the need to go to California, working in the music video industry to make enough cash, finding a super affordable one way ticket, and BAM a new life and new chapter was in the making.
The lei's Mike greeted me with at the airport.
Mike picked me up from the airport and took me to the apartment. I feel like the apartment is a story in itself. You see, the boys (Mike and his best friend from HS, Nick) were living in a hostel until I moved out. They needed to find an apartment, and fast, so they took what they could get and signed a lease on an apartment before it was remodeled. I'm so happy I wasn't there for the initial clean up, I'm not sure I would've handled it well. Apparently, they ripped up the carpet, repainted the entire apartment, and started from scratch. It was a ONE bedroom that was supposed to fit the three of us. We made due with what we had.
When I arrived, all that was in the unit was the bed and desk in our bedroom, and a bed padding on the floor in the living room which would be Nick's bedroom. No carpet, hardly any dishes, I think the best word to describe it is gnarly. Definitely a culture shock already...
Mike's brother and sister in-law were on the island visiting for Christmas, so it was nice to know a few people there. They were staying in a really nice hotel called Turtle Bay on the North Shore. Mike and I dropped off my stuff at the apartment and headed North so I could see some of the island and visit with his family. My first week was so rainy - see in the winter time, the rain is our snow. But I wasn't too bothered, I was just happy to be there.
Some of the drive.
My first time visiting the famous town of Hale'iwa.
There is a famous beach on the North Shore known for it's dangerous shore breaks called Waimea Bay. I would be skipping out on a funny, but important part if I didn't explain my first experience in the Pacific Ocean. The beach is beautiful. It's huge. And definitely a sight to see. It's actually my favorite place to go during the Summer. Remember watching Blue Crush when AnneMarie is training for her contest and you see her running on a sandy ocean bottom carrying a huge rock while her friends hang on? That is Waimea Bay.
When we first arrived to the beach, it had to have been in between sets. I was so excited to jump into the ocean and play around in the water with Mike. Little did I know what was coming. As soon as I entered the water a huge set came through. Wave, after wave, after wave came crashing on top of me, twirling me around in the mix of sand and water. For better terms, I got dominated.
One event I will never forget is the day/night it just down poured and kept going. Mike's brother, sister in-law, Mike, and me decided to give one of the shrimp food trucks a try on the North Shore. We were trying to get the real "feel" of things, and boy did we. It was absolutely flooding, but we still managed to have a blast!
It had the "feel" alright.
Mike and I got surprised by his family. My fourth day on the island, we got up super early and met Tarik and Risa (Mike's brother and sister in-law) at the airport. We didn't know exactly what we were doing, but we knew we were in for a treat. Next thing I know, we are flying the Big Island (It's actual name is Hawai'i but since it is the largest in size, everyone refers to it as the Big Island). From there we head to a helicopter tour place - Tarik and Risa were taking Mike and me on a tour around the island for our Christmas preset. WHAT! Nervous, but stoked, I couldn't believe it was actually happening!
Tarik, Risa, me, and Mike with our pilot and tour guide, Koji
Mike and I in the helicopter
There were two other ladies that joined us for the ride. We had headphones with mouth pieces to wear so we could hear Koji (our pilot) talk to us about the island as we were flying over it. Each head set came with a button you held and had to push each time you wanted to talk or ask a question. It was awesome!
The world has 13 climates, and the Big Island alone has 11 of them. Snow and tropics. It really was a world wonder. Half of the island is not even livable due to only being lava rock and it still manages to have an active volcano.
Above the clouds and you can still see the mountain peak.
The active volcano
Half way through the tour, Koji took us to a field to land and from there we proceeded to go join another group and go to a barbecue. There were two young men around our age that cooked for us and offered beverages of choice ranging from water, to soda, to beer and champagne. It was on a deck that overlooked a snow-melt waterfall. Definitely a sight to see.
Mike and I on the deck over looking the snow-melt waterfall.
It actually had two parts to the waterfall. The two guys who were taking care of our lunch led us down a path they maintained so we could kayak and swim in the pool the waterfall fed into. Since it was snow-melt, the water was almost freezing, so I didn't get in too long.
Mike and I in front of the snow-melt waterfall
After the lunch we headed back to the helicopter to finish the rest of our tour. That part was equally as amazing as the first and the complete opposite all at the same time. The other half of the island was beautiful. Full of huge mountains and valleys that were packed with tons of waterfalls. It was like being in a dream. Koji would dip in and out of the valleys like a pro - which was kind of scary but masked by the awe factor I was experiencing.
Looking out over a valley
It was such an adventure! The total air time spent was about 3 hours. An hour and a half for each half of the island about probably about two hours for lunch. We got back to Oahu around 7 or 8ish pm that night if I can remember correctly. We were pretty tired, but my goodness, that was an event I will never forget.
My first New Years (NYE 2010-2011) in Hawaii was great. We met our neighbors who were all around our age so it worked out perfectly. The house to the left were two girls from Pennsylvania and the house to the right were two guys from Florida. We all hung out and it was a good time.
Nikki, Liz and I. The Pennsylvania ladies.
We all pre-gammed between the houses and then headed to Waikiki. By the time is struck midnight, Mike and I were by ourselves cruising the streets of the city. He had a beer and I had a pina colada. We sat down on a ledge and toasted to each other. It was perfect just being with him. We later met up with everyone at a place called Lulu's - where I eventually got a job.
Everything was falling into place. I had girls to befriend and hang out with, I had a guy that cared about me, our place was shaping up, and I was persistent enough to land an awesome job and one of the best restaurant/bars in Waikiki (in my opinion).
My life went from working double shifts at the local sports bar and going out, spending money, and drinking 5 nights out of the week, not knowing what to do with my life - to lounging on the beach, watching the boys surf, bartending in a great atmosphere with an even greater view, and spending time with a guy I was quickly starting to hope would be by my side forever.
Waimanalo. One of my faves.
Typical, the boys going out to surf.
Going snorkeling with Mike for the first time at Diamond Head.
Quickly it got to be Valentine's Day. I posted a picture in part one I believe about Mike taking me sailing on Beaver Lake. That first summer he knew he would be in Hawaii by February (this was before we even talked about me moving here) so he took me sailing one evening and cooked me a romantic dinner over open fire, right there on the lake to "celebrate since he wouldn't be there for the real thing". Little did we know I would be in Hawaii with him for the real thing.
I woke up that morning and went to the store, came back to this.
He had hand painted a card for me, set out one of my favorite Valentine's candies, and placed a single stem rose. How cute. I loved it (especially the card!!!!).
Mike and I on our first Valentine's Day together. February 2011.
He also kind of recreated our "first V-Day" by taking me on a sunset catamaran cruise. It was beautiful. There were were sipping beers and looking back at the city of Waikiki while the sun was setting. I couldn't ask for anything more. Afterwards we went to a Pho style restaurant where you basically make your own soup. It was perfect.
I could say the rest is history. Everything from this point has just been my new life. It has been such an adventure and I continue to experience the ride day to day. We have so many plans in the works for the future. I am beyond blessed to have found Mike and thank the heavens for him every day.
How's your Valentine's Day going so far? Whatever you are doing I hope you're having a good time! Single or not :)
In honor of this holiday of love, one of my bloggy friends, Myranda is hosting a MAGNIFICENT giveaway that I am apart of!
We're giving away an iPad Mini!
Of course there are some rules that must be followed. Afterall - all is fair in love and giveaways!
*You must complete all the mandatory entries or you will be disqualified.
*Please make sure you give additional info where asked - it makes it easier to verify when you win :)
*Please see all the terms and conditions on the Rafflecopter.
*It's not mandatory, but you may want to thank some of the lovely ladies above for hosting this awesome giveaway!
"And of course do all the entries you can to increase your chances, I won an iPad mini in December from a blog giveaway so it really is possible!" - Myranda
Happy Valentine's Day (or not for some of you) everyone! May your day be filled with love!