Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kayaking Adventures

One of our friends out here works for a catamaran/raft company that does tours of the NaPali Coast and so when the boats aren't full, we can get a pretty good kama'aina discount.  One day he let us know there was room on one of the rafts going out the next day, so we were planning on a fun afternoon on a raft.

Unfortunately, just before we were getting ready to leave, we found out that there were not enough people to take the raft out since they have a minimum number of full paying customers requirement that needs to be met in order to go out...and there weren't enough people today :(  Soooo, our raft adventure was out of the picture.  Luckily for us, a friend in the ward has kayaks and he let us borrow one, so we headed up the Wailua River!

It was a little cloudy and we left later in the day, but we still had time to hit up the rope swing (and by 'we', I mean Kai - I wasn't in the mode to get cold and wet).

After the rope swing, we headed up to see the waterfall.  We weren't positive where we were going, but we asked some returning kayakers and they told us which forks to take to get to the waterfall.  

 On our way up the river!!!

We figured we were at the right spot when we saw a bunch of kayaks on the bank, so we pulled the kayak up and started hiking up the trail.  The trail was a little rough in some areas, but we just kept hiking.

Stop #1 on the hike

After hiking for a while, I started wondering if we were even going the right way.  We hadn't seen anyone on the trail and after hiking further and further back, I was a little skeptical about being in the forest when it was getting dark, but Kai was still really gung ho about finding the waterfall, so we kept charging on.  Finally, we ran into a tour group that was hiking back and the guide told us that we just needed to take a turn off right before the water tower.  Sounds easy, right?!  Except for by the time we got to the water tower (which didn't look like a normal water tower), we were looking for a trail and couldn't find one.  Instead, we kept following the trail thinking that we could find it on our own.  We basically wandered around trying to figure out where this waterfall was, but after going up a few trails, I was pretty convinced that we weren't going to find the waterfall.  Plus, the facts that we hadn't seen anyone, neither of us brought phones and we had no idea what time it was, didn't make me feel any better.  I finally convinced Kai that we needed to head back and that we would leave earlier and find it another time.  Just as we were heading back, we ran into 3 people who had just come back from the waterfall.  They told us how to get to the falls (which was not the same directions we got from the tour group) and said we were about 10 mins away, BUT, it was 5:45pm so we were really cutting it close for sunlight.  BUT, in the end, we decided to run back and check it out.  It was worth it.  The waterfall was so cool!  

 We seriously were at the waterfall for maybe 5 mins since we had to make sure we made it out before it was dark!  

We basically jogged all the way back out and when we got back to our kayak, we were the only ones left!

When we were paddling up the river, I thought it was going to be easy going back out because we would be going downstream, but what I didn't think about was the wind.  It made paddling out soooo much harder and I was already tired!  It took both of us paddling to get going back out and even then, the wind was blowing hard.  Then it started raining, but of course, we couldn't stop.  It felt like the river was never ending and at one point, Kai suggested that I eat the mango that we had brought with us.  I was hungry, so I happily took a break from paddling to cut it up.  After I cut it up, I passed Kai his pieces and no one was paddling since we were taking our snack break...within a minute, our kayak was turned around and we were floating up river!  The mango gave us just enough energy to start paddling hard again.
Here we are, paddling back to civilization :)

As we were paddling out, I was getting irritated because I just wanted to be back at the house, the wind was making it hard to get going anywhere, and I was tired.  I guess I was channeling my feelings into my paddling because Kai started laughing and asked me why I was doing an angry paddle!  I guess it was just a more aggressive stroke and I told him it made us go faster (and it really did).  

Anyhow, we finally made it back to the Allen's house (Fact: Their house is right on the river and it is AMAZING!) and not only were they nice enough to let us use their kayaks, after we put the stuff back, they insisted that we stay for dinner with them.  The food was good, and their family is awesome!  Next time up the river, we are hitting up the Fern Grotto!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Catch Up Time...

Once again, we are waaaay behind in our blogging.  Lots has happened since last time, so here is a rundown of our activities over the past few months...I guess i'll start with the most recent and work my way back.

**WARNING:  This is a loooong post :)

Yesterday, we had a beach day with a bunch of friends.  It was a beautiful day and the beach was packed.  We relaxed, talked, and grilled up some short ribs, pork kabobs, and chicken...good stuff!  To finish off the day, we had a Blue Crush moment and ran with rocks on the ocean floor (if you don't know what i'm talking about, watch the movie Blue Crush).  We bought a case for our camera a little while back that allows you to take pictures underwater.  We hadn't really had a chance to try it out and I was a little nervous, but it worked fine! 

I probably ran with the rock for maybe 2 seconds :)  Hahaha!

Aaand, basically, i'm an amazing underwater can see Kai running (he barely makes it into the frame) with the rock for all of 1 second before I came up! 

Un-employment & Cousin Bonding
Since we moved here in January, I was commuting to Oahu every week for work.  Everyone was super nice, but after 4 months, Kai and I decided that spending only weekends together wasn't going to work out for us (although after 1 week of being back together, there were definitely moments when you wonder ;)....soooo, after a lot of discussion, I gave notice and quit my first job!  I wasn't sure how I would feel since working at Ernst and Young is all I have ever known, but i'm not gonna lie...I was soooo happy and excited to be done!

Anyways, since my younger sister Deina is getting married in June, and we are going up to Utah, I figured I couldn't really start a job and then leave for 10 days, which means, I am unemployed for a little less than a month!  I have a few job options, but am still figuring out exactly what i'm going to do!

To kick off my un-employement, my cousin Kamaile came to visit me from Maui.  It was a quick trip, but we had a lot of fun!  We ate out, slept in, hit up Wailua Falls, Shipwrecks, Wailua Bay, and of course, watched a bunch of Netflix :)

Wailua Falls: It was both of our first times going to the falls, but Kai told us about a trail that most people don't know about, which leads you down to the bottom (most people just take pictures from a lookout point).  He said we should be fine going in our slippers, so we did just that.  On the way down, it was super muddy, which made the trek down pretty treacherous.  Kamaile slipped and got mud all over her butt and we ended up taking our slippers off and going barefoot the rest of the way down!  Her camera was in her back pocket, but luckily, it was fine :)  We made it to the bottom, and made our way to the back of the waterfall, which was seriously the coolest thing!  Its like a huggge shower :)

 Once we finished at the bottom, we hiked back up to the road, and then hiked to the top of the waterfall to overlook everything.  Not gonna lie, it was pretty awesome!

 Wailua Bay: When we first got to the beach, there were 3 little girls who were playing in the water and wanted to be our best friends...seriously.  It was hilarious because this chubby little girl who was probably like 6 years old comes up to us and goes, "Hi!  Do you want to come with me to see the fish on the other side?"  We talked to her for a bit and then kept walking to a different area of the beach...and she stayed by her mom and kept waving and smiling at us!  After they left, we pretty much had the beach to ourselves, so of course, we took jumping pictures :)  As you can see, I still have a LOT of work to do! 

My younger sister Deina graduated from BYU's Nursing program in April, so I got to go up and surprise her!  Kai and I had originally bought tickets to go up together, but after she told us she was getting married in June, we decided it would be better for Kai to be at the wedding over the graduation.  Of course, being the hard worker that I am (er...was), I decided that since I had the vacation time and we had already paid for the tickets, I was going to go still :)  

We told Deina that we cancelled both our tickets, so she had no idea I was coming.  Leading up to the graduation date, she mentioned how she was a little sad because only my parents would be around (my older sister was going to be at Coachella, my brother is in Japan on a mission for our church, and I was going to make it).  I was secretly happy because she had no idea!  

I took the red-eye from Lihue to LAX and when we landed in LA, I looked out the window and was sad I wasn't staying.  I did my fair share of travelling when I lived in LA, so it always felt nice seeing the pillars at LAX because I knew I was home.  Hopefully we'll make a trip out there soon!  So, back to the story...Josie and Junie came to pick me up from the SLC airport and it was coooold!  I must be used to Hawaii weather because even with my Starbucks, I was freeeeezing!  Luckily, seeing Junie (and Jos) cheered me up!  I hadn't really planned out how I would actually surprise her, so we took our time getting back...
We stopped at Target and perused through things while Junie tried on sunglasses..and then we went to Mountain West Burrito before we made it to the house.  Josie went to the door with Junie and told Deina she had a graduation surprise for her and that she needed to close her eyes.  Then when she opened her eyes, I ran out!  She was definitely surprised and happy, but of course, how does she welcome me?!  She tells me that when Josie said she had a surprise, she was hoping it was McMeaty (her fiance...whose name is actually Andrew, but I call him McMeaty...long story).  Guess i'm not the favorite anymore ;)

Being the nice sister I am, I went with Deina to take pictures of her in her cap and gown around campus and then I dropped her off at the convocation...seeing that I didn't even go to my own convocation, I wasn't about to sit through hers!  I figured I could support her at her actual college graduation.  

BYU Campus during graduation is ridiculous!  Seriously, there are people EVERYWHERE, and parking is almost non existent unless you are early....and if you know me (or my family for that matter), I am pretty much NEVER on time, so being early is not an option!  Combine that with being jetlagged (HI is 4 hours behind UT), I woke up to Deina asking me to drop her off at the JSB auditorium, where her graduation was being held.  For those of you not familiar with BYU campus, the JSB auditorium is in the back corner of the campus.  There is a road that goes around the campus and right by the JSB, but it is monitored by guards and closed to the public, so you have to be faculty to get back/park there.  Basically your choices are: 1) park at the bottom of a big hill and walk up a bunch of steps to get there or 2) park in the regular parking lots and walk all the way across campus.  Deina was cutting it really close, so although there was a sign that said, no access to the back road, I figured we would chance it.  I must have looked really bad because when I drove up and asked the guy at the station if I could drop Deina off, he happily let me back.  He must have figured I wouldn't park and get out of the car looking like I did :)

When I got back to my house, I quickly got ready and then headed back over with Jos and Junie.  Of course, since I didn't have anyone to drop me off, we had to park and walk.  I was nervous we were going to miss the reading of the names, but when we got to the place, this is what we were missing...
Yup...that is everyone in our family SLEEPING!  My mom, dad, and cousins were all knocked out!

We got there just in time for the reading of the names, which was actually really nice.  Since the college of Nursing is small (they had like 50 graduates), each person got a slide with their picture on it and so when their name was read, there was a picture of them with a quote.  The business school was huge, so when I graduated, it was like herding cattle through :)

Funny sidenote: The lady who read the names probably should've read through the names beforehand.  She struggled with 'Maninoa' and after stuttering a few times, it came out as 'Maniainoa'...and that was after Deina pronounced it for her!  And hers wasn't the worst.  There was a Russian (I think) kid who had a bit of a crazy last name...the lady read his first name and then looked at the last name, asked the kid how to pronounce it, he told her, she asked again, he answered...again, and she had this horrified look on her face because she couldn't even repeat it back (needless to say, she totally butchered his name)!  Hahaha!  Oh the joys of reading people's names :)

 After the ceremony, we had planned on going to lunch, but they had sandwiches, fruit, brownies, and macaroons for everyone.  My dad told us not to eat too much since we were going to eat, but no one listened because we all ate and then were full, so my dad didn't get to go out to eat like he had wanted to :)

  Then, they had a lot of leftover food, so one of the ladies who knew my mom told her to take some...we ended up taking a huuuuugeee box of sandwiches and brownies home!  GHETTO!!! ( one else took anything...and we had boxes of food!)

 We had a full day of graduations since my cousin Mark also graduated from BYU that night!  We got to the graduation just in time to see him walk :)  After everything was over, we were all standing around trying to figure out where to eat.  We had decided on California Pizza Kitchen, but of course, on the way over, the kids decided to go to our parents' favorite restaurant...Chuck-a-Rama, one of my dad's favorite places to eat...and apparently Auntie Nellie's (Mark's mom) favorite too! 

Junie Time
The rest of the week, I spent going wedding dress shopping with Deinas, aka, the Bridezilla :)  (And yes, we did get her a dress before I left!), and hanging out with Josie and Junie.  Junie's real name is Moana Nicolle Havea.  Moana, after her daddy's sister, and Nicolle after ME! lucky am I?!  Anyways, when Josie was prego, we called her baby Mojo (Morris + Josie = Mojo), then when she was a girl, Mojo sounded too boyish.  Anyways, long story short, since she is a junior Moana and a junior Nicolle, we call her Junie!  She is the best baby ever...seriously...


Hiking the Y
While I was in PTown, I convinced Deina to go hike the Y with me (there is a mountain by our house with a big 'Y' on it, for Brigham YOUNG University).  Its about a mile and a half up (I think) and it has a ton a switchbacks.  I'm not in the best shape of my life right now, but I had been making it back to Crossfit, so I figured, it shouldn't be too bad...I was wrong.  Before we even got to the first switchback, my lungs were BURNING!  Plus, we started hiking as it was starting to get dark, so we needed to make it quick.  I was going as fast as I could, and there were people passing me!  I know.  Embarrassing!  It was shameful.  I would like to blame it all on the altitude (which when I lived in Utah, I never believed when people would say, "Its the altitude", I just figured it was their excuse because they couldn't handle whatever it was that we were I get it) :)
Me on the way up...hating my life!  And me finally making it to the top!

Overall, my trip home was a success...I relaxed, ate out, spent time with friends and family, and did everything and nothing :)  

Crossfit Buddies
I probably mentioned before, but Kai has been coaching a few classes a week at Kauai Crossfit.  Here is a picture of our friend Chris' handstand!  I'm still working on mine, but hopefully soon i'll have it down :)

Chris and Julia have an awesome place with a huge garden!  They have like 5 different types of banana trees, papayas, berries, mango, and the list goes on and on.  Oh, and did I mention, they have their own chickens that lay eggs?!  One Saturday they invited us over to their place for breakfast after Crossfit.  It was one of the tastiest breakfasts I have ever had!  I had never had fresh eggs in my life and I figured they were the same as the eggs you buy in the stores.  They don't taste the same at all.  They taste soooo much better!  I don't even know how to explain it, but they are GOOD!  Add to that, taro english muffins, which I had never had before, but are also delicious!  Then, to top things off, we had fresh papaya with berries, and mangos...doesn't it look amazing?!  It tastes amazing too :)  Thanks again to Chris and Julia for one of the best breakfasts EVER!

Ok, so we have finally made it to the last 'sub-post' in this post.  Pretty much every Saturday, or at least it seems like every Saturday, some friends are always at the beach.  This particular Saturday, everyone was at Kitchens beach.  The water was amazing and we did what we always, eat, swim, etc.  Our friend Chris is learning to kite surf, so he had brought some training kites with him (I think thats what they were called).  Anyways, he let us try them out and it was a lot of fun (and nerve-wracking...I didn't want to crash the kite into other people)! 

The End
Aaaand, that does it for the blog update! Hopefully I won't be such a slacker in the future :)