Monday, March 25, 2013

Part 2

Thursday:
What a busy crazy day and probably my favorite day of the Vacay!  We started out by driving to the Laie Hawaii Temple. Mom and Dad did a session and Meag and I did baptisms for the dead.  It is a gorgeous temple and I absolutely loved every second that we spent at the temple. We were able to go to the visitors center while we were there and learned so much. One of the coolest things that I learned was that I have visited the first five dedicated temples. They are St. George, UT Temple; Manti, UT Temple; Salt Lake City, UT Temple; Logan, UT Temple and Laie Hawaii Temple. Number 5 is the Laie Hawaii Temple and the first one outside of continental United States. I was pretty excited when I found out that I have been to all of those temples! (To find out more about temples and why we have them, go here.)  After that we went and got lunch. We went to Kahuku Grill! It was probably the best food we ate when we were in Hawaii. I got a cowboy burger and fries. The food was so good and the fries were the best I have ever had, literally.  Anyway loved it!

After that we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC). The PCC was so cool. We were able to visit the presentations from Aoeterra, Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga and Hawaii. All were unique, but each were amazing in there own way. The Samoan presentation was probably the best, I died laughing. It was so funny! Part of the program included a guy climbing a coconut tree without any assistance from ropes or cables and he was barefoot. It was pretty crazy to see. I ended up getting a picture with him (because he was a hunk of gorgeous Samoan), but don't have the picture because it is on my mom's camera.  We pretty much just walked around and saw programs all day long, then we went to a huge buffet before we went to Ha: Breath of Life. It is an amazing program and I loved it! The guys that danced with knives or flames, absolutely crazy, but freakin' amazing at the same time! If you want to check out more about the PCC, go here.
So that was Thursday- crazy right! 

Friday: 
I was tired and grouchy, so definitely not my favorite day. We went to Sea Life Park and had a Dolphin  Encounter. It basically means that we get in the tank with the dolphins and get to touch them. Granted, it was pretty cool because the dolphins have a super weird texture to them. We saw the World's Only Wholephin which was really weird and crazy at the same time and she is a very pretty animal. We saw the Seal  program and the Dolphin program. Both were well done. We finished our day by going to the Aquarium at Wakiki Beach. Saw some pretty crazy fish! 

Saturday:
Our last day in Hawaii and believe me we were all getting ready to be gone. We decided that we would spend our day going to Pearl Harbor. By the time we showed up, we were too late to go to the USS Arizona Memorial. We wanted to do it, but they sell their tickets early and fast. We figured that we should still spend some time looking at the other things. We visited the USS Blowfish, a submarine known as the "Avenger of Pearl Harbor", and the USS Missouri. The Missouri was my favorite part. At the Missouri, the Instrument of Surrender was signed. From the top of the Missouri, you could look out and over the Arizona Memorial- you were able to see the beginning of WWII through the Arizona and from the decks of the Missouri the end of the WWII. For some odd reason that was just so amazing to me. I loved it. That took up the majority of our day, but we still had about four hours before we had to turn in our car and go through security so we went to one final destination. We went to the Bishop Museum. It is a huge museum. I saw so many things, not sure I learned anything, but I saw some pretty crazy things. After that we turned in our rental and went through security. From there we had some issues. Our flight was delayed by over an hour due to maintenance issues, they then transferred us to another plane and we finally started our flight at 10:30 at night. It wouldn't have been a big deal, but we had a connecting flight at LAX. We literally got off of our flight and went straight to the other gate. They were calling the final boarding calls when we showed up. We got on and flew home. It was wonderful to go and wonderful to come home! 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hawaii!

Yeah that's right! I went to Hawaii for 6 glorious days! I was run ragged by endless list of things to do, but it was heaven. So for the travelogue:

Monday:
We flew into Oahu Hawaii and at the gate was greeted by 76* weather. Compared to our frigid 32* it was a heat wave. We didn't have any plans, but after I typed in the address to our hotel on my dear "Garmin" aka "Carmen or Eugenia," she took us an hour away from our hotel. Landing us on U.S. Army base where the guard told us that we were basically screwed! Yay! for great beginnings.

Tuesday:
We had a super nice buffet breakfast and met a glorious native named Lei. Lei was absolutely wonderful and encouraged us to drive around the island and visit some of the sites on the outside like Dole Plantation, North Shore and a few other places that we didn't end up going to. We walked through The World's Largest Maze.  It looked something like this, except for we were on the ground trying to find our way out! (Actually it wasn't that big, especially considering some of the corn mazes I have been in.) After that we went to lunch at Haleiwa Joe's. It was an amazing place. We were able to sit on this deck and overlook the North Shore. It was so beautiful and amazing. The food was pretty good too. I had a grilled cajun fish sandwich with wasabi sauce. Holy Cow! That is the strongest wasabi sauce I have ever had. (If you have any issues with your sinuses- don't worry it will clean them out!)
We finished our tour that day by hiking Waimea Valley. I loved it. It was so peaceful and so pretty. At the top of the hike there was this awesome waterfall and a huge natural pool area where people could swim. It was so great! I loved every second of it!

Wednesday:
Was huge! We decided that that would be the day for physical activity! We started out early in the morning hiking Diamond Head. It is a pretty good hike. Not too hard or strenuous, but definitely worth the view. Actually I was really glad that I have been trudging up 8th north for several months because that made it much easier. We got to the top and you could see everything. You could see Waikiki and North Shore. It really was so pretty. The only thing that I suggest is that if you do end up going to Diamond Head make sure you hike early. By the time we left around 10:30 or so, it was getting pretty crowded! After that we ended up going snorkeling at Hapuna Bay (I think). Holy absolutely crazy! I had the hardest time trying to figure out how to snorkel. I eventually got it figure out and was super excited only to realize that it was time to pack up and leave. Anyway, snorkeling is quite an adventure and I highly recommend it. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of it once I figured it out. So that was my vacation until Wednesday! Part 2 will finish it up and let you know what happened the rest of the week!

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Most Adorable Thing (And a Countdown!)

So today is email day for the missionaries, specifically for my Brother. My brother is an absolute gem, I love him so much and miss him more than anyone knows. Anyway, my birthday happens to be at the end of this week on the 9th. I'm turning 22. Ugh, 22 is such a weird age! My brother is super cute! He got all of his mission comps to write me an email and wish me happy birthday!

This is what they said:

This is the companion of your brother.
Just wanted to wish you happy birthday from Germany.
Blessings.
Elder Tanner

ALLES GUTE ZUM GEBURTSTAG!        (Happy Birthday!)
Elder Tolbert asked me to wish you a Happy Birthday 

I served with your brother in his K├Âthen District and now I have the wonderful opportunity of serving with him in another district in Wilhelmshaven. He is a great Elder and you are pretty lucky to have such a fun Lovin' brother. He is a big example to me of hard work and devotion to the Lord.
I hope your birthday celebrations this week aren't too crazy (I give you this warning because if you are anything like your brother you might get injured) I also wish that you will have many many more great birthdays in the future.
-Elder Fuller  

Hey Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope it was a good one!
from Elder Brereton and Elder Hess
So Adorable right? I loved it even though my birthday isn't until Saturday. How cute and it makes me miss my brother even more! I especially loved the message from Elder Fuller. It just makes me laugh! My brother is absolutely crazy and does some pretty insane things and sometimes we are very similar, not always, but sometimes.
Now for the countdown:
  • 2 Days until I have one more TEST! Ugh! 
  • 4 Days until I head home for Spring Break!
  • 5 Days until My Birthday! (Weird.....)
  • And exactly one week from today, I will be on a plane headed to Hawaii!!!!! Yeah!