Monday, June 16, 2014

Aloha (One Month Later)

I feel like lately my life have been in a constant state of go, with about six hours of sleep.  Because if I don’t at least get those six hours, the go is going to completely stop.  That is why I have slacked on my writing the past six months or so and I hate it.  I love to write and love to tell the stories about the girls, but the constant state of having something to do makes it hard for me to find the time.  It's summer break now, which I though meant I'd have more time to write but as it turns out, no.  I do not.  In the two weeks that the girls have been out of school we have gone to the Natural History Museum, the beach- twice,  the zoo, the farm to pick strawberries and other produce, and the Federal Reserve.  A field trip we took with Sonya's girl scout troop where I saw more money than I will ever know in ten lifetimes.  At one point I was trying to figure out who could help me with the biggest bank heist ever.  Turns out I don't have those kind of people in my life.  I digress.  So finally after the first two weeks of school being nonstop, I have all three girls in day camp this week until 1pm and I have time to poop in peace, both in writing and well, for real.  

I have a build up of stories though, so let's just go back to the beginning of May when we did get a short respite from all the craziness of our life in the form of a trip to Maui.  Yes that's in Hawaii.   And yes, it was just as amazing as you imagine  it to be.  And yes there were some antics along the way.  Where to start?

Well, let’s start with the fact that we would never have gone on vacation in the middle of May when we had to pull the girls out of school by choice.  However, one of Andy’s best friends and Godfather to Georgia, Jamie, was getting married.  He and his fiance, Monique, decided on a destination wedding in Maui.  I think I did mention them getting married when I talked about the fact that Georgia was going to be the flower girl and also Andy was officiating.  This is now the third wedding he’s done.  It’s quite the little side business he’s got going.  Except for the not getting paid part.  But we get to go to some awesome weddings in some great places and this one was the best.  I mean you can’t really beat Hawaii.  No offense to the other 2 weddings he's done.  So this wasn’t just a wedding we were invited to, but one my family was an essential part of.  Oh darn, we were going to HAVE to go to Maui.  What bad luck for us.  

Since we were going during the school year, I had to talk to all of the girls’ teachers and the principal to let them know why they were going to be gone.  They were all excited for us.  I know the district will not be when I get that nasty-“your kids have six unexcused absences” letter, but I don’t really care about them.  They are just mad because they did’t get their money for my 3 kids for those 6 days.  Oh well.  

As fantastic as Hawaii is, the time change is hard to get a grip on for some reason.  We go back east from time to time and don’t seem to have a problem when we go that direction, but I knew we were in for fun time when Georgia came into our room the first day we were there at FOUR AM and said,

“Mommy?  Is it time to get up?”

Well yes if we were in Burbank where it is 7AM but not here where the sun isn’t even thinking of breaking yet.  I explained to her that she couldn’t get up until it started getting light out.  That would buy me at least two hours right?  Sure, if you're talking to a 12 year old, but not at 5.  For the next two hours she came to my bed wide awake to tell me, "I need a drink of water, I have to pee, I think it's starting to get light outside- (it wasn't), Can I watch TV?"  So yeah.  Sleeping was not happening past four.  Around 5:45 we were just beginning to see some light from outside and Georgia took that as her cue.  She went around and opened every blind in the room yelling, 

"It's morning! It's morning!"  

It was going to be a long day.  

That first day we took it easy and hung out at the beach that was literally, 100 steps from where we slept.  It was awesome.  It was a gorgeous day and we just relaxed swam, ate, and drank happy hour beach bar Mai Tais.  Well I did anyway.  

The view from our room.

The next day we decided to go to the volcano on the island.  Most people get up at 2am and drive up the volcano to watch the sun rise.  This was something Andy and I had done 10 years ago when we were childless.  We weren't going to punish ourselves with that adventure this time though.  No instead we figured we would just drive up, look a the crater, take some pictures and be done.  Easy peasy.  Sure, it would have been had Andy not thrown out his back 20 minutes before we were going to leave. 

We thought about not going at all, but Andy was determined that this was his vacation and it wasn't going to get ruined by his faulty back.  So he took some muscle relaxers and we decided I would just drive.  Totally fine, sure.  Except have you ever driven on a windy, narrow, the cliff drops off below you, moutain road? Yeah I haven't done too many of those and for good reason.  They FREAK ME OUT.  Not to mention the fact I was driving a rental jeep, a car I wasn't even the least bit comfortable in.  I was fairly certain our death was imminent.  I felt bad that Jamie and Monique's wedding would be overshadowed by the tragedy of the entire Dadekian family falling off of the volcano.  But somehow we made it to the top even if it was only going 20mph.  We got out of the car, Andy feeling completely stiff, Lana a bit green from car sickness, me deep breathing out my anxiety and the other 2 completely oblivious.  

It was beautiful when we got to the top and the girls enjoyed the volcano crater with the exception of Lana who wanted to see a "real" volcano, which meant one that was actually erupting.  We tried to explain to her how bad it would be if this one were erupting, but she would have none of it and continued to whine for about 10 minutes about her unhappiness. 
At the crater. Picture courtesy of Georgia.

 After a few pictures we decided we were done and ready to head back down.  Crap.  I had to drive down.

Driving down was so much more hellacious than driving up, for a few reasons.  First, you're going down which means pretty much riding the break the whole way unless you want to fly off a cliff.  Second, they have this great adventure in Hawaii where you take a tour and go look at the volcano and then bike down the whole thing!  Something I might have considered in my younger years, but I don't think you could pay me to do it now.  Biking down that narrow steepness and having to make sure you don't get hit by some idiot driving down like me? No thanks.  Especially when you add number three in-the fog.  The fog that was so foggy I couldn't see the fog two feet in front of me.  It was just plain old scary.  Andy had been encouraging me on the drive up and started to on the drive down.  I guess I should mention I am not the main driver in the family.  Whenever we go somewhere together he always drives and it's the way both of us like it.  Sometimes, when I do have to be the driver in the car with him, I feel like I'm 15 again and my dad is telling me what to do.  So this was extra fun for both of us.  

When we got to the part where there was fog AND bikers, I had no idea what the hell to do.  I was constantly turning a corner, and didn't want to get over in the other lane to pass the bikers for fear of being hit head on by a car coming out of the pea soup fog.  So I just passed the bikers getting really close to them but not to close.  I guess Andy thought it was to close and yelled at me at one point, 

"You're too close!! You're too close!  You can't pass them on a turn!!"

To which I yelled,

"If I don't pass them on a turn, I'm not going to be able to pass them at ALL!!!!"

I'm happy to say we made it out of the fog and off the volcano with no bodily injury to others or anyone in our car.  Phew! I did sort of feel accomplished later, like I had faced a fear, so that was good.  The great news was we made it back to the beach by 3pm, just in time for my Mai Tais.

The rest of the week wasn't quite as stressful.  We did the Road to Hana the next day, after which point we decided we were done with the sightseeing.  Don't get me wrong, it's a gorgeous drive, but being in the car with the girls right next to each other for 2 full days had led to a handful of fights between them and Andy and I were on the verge of throwing them in to the crater of the volcano.   We decided that we were going to beach and pool it for the rest of the trip, which the exception of the wedding festivities.  And that's just what we did. Oh!  We did go to a Luau one night too, which was also a lot of fun.  Typical Hawaiian tourist stuff, but a great time.  

Hike through the rainforest on The Road to Hana.

At a Waterfall off the Road to Hana.  This was moments before Georgia FREAKED out about a lobster like thing I pointed out that was in the water.  That's a story for another post.

Learning about items used in the Hula.

Learning the Hula

I swear that is not a backdrop, but the real sky and water.  So amazing!

The wedding was beautiful and Andy did a great job with the ceremony.  Georgia was absolutely adorable and took her job so seriously.  She even got her hair done and looked like she came straight out of Mad Men.  She loved all the attention she was getting all day and at one point Andy had to remind her that it wasn't her day, but Monique's.  That didn't stop her from enjoying all the adoration she was getting from all the bridesmaids and party guests though.  

Georgia and her "Mad Men" hairdo.
Oh and then there was this that Monique gave Georgia as her gift for being in the wedding.  Needless to say I cried.

Andy marrying the happy couple. Picture courtesy of Sonya.
After the ceremony.

Our last full day we were there, it was supposed to rain all day.  Something we were dreading would happen.  So in the morning we went into town to buy some souvenirs.  By the time we got back to the hotel all of the angry dark clouds were north of us and we had nothing but sun.  So we spent the rest of the day on the beach.  We stayed all the way until sunset, because even though the weather was nice the whole time we were there, the sunsets always got lost in some lower clouds.  Not this time though.  It was the prettiest one I've ever seen.  I took a bunch of pictures and captured what has now become my favorite picture ever.  (see below)

Wine in a plastic tumbler at sunset.  Don't get better than that!

My favorite picture of all time.  Sonya and Andy-sunset chat. 

It was an amazing week in a beautiful place.  I love that I got to go there and spend that time with my family and not worry about cooking, cleaning, PTA, Girl Scouts, or even working out.  I let it all go.  I got to be fun mommy because I could.  When we were trying to decide months back  if we were going to be able to pay for this trip I told Andy we should just do it.  Yes, it will be expensive and no we will not be able to do any other trips this year or do anything new to the house, BUT we will be making memories together as a family.  Something that can never be taken away.  Money will always come and go, and taking this trip would hurt a bit financially, but not break us.  You know what?  It was all completely worth it.  Ten fold.

Thank you Jamie and Monique for having your wedding in a beautiful place and making us a big part of it.  All the best to you for many many years to come!

Fun times at the beach!

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