I'm So Great: The Rantings of a Jaded Youth

When I grow up, I want to be just like me.

Hawaii January 14, 2011

Okay, so the pictures I used of my twin sister Ashley and I all growed up in the last post were from our trip to Hawaii and I was already talking about her so now I can’t stop thinking about that trip.

So Hawaii. It sounds totally fancy, right? Well it was! I hadn’t even been on a plane before and suddenly I was watching Harry Potter 5 in a tube of metal while laughing in the Pacific Ocean’s vengeful FACE. Okay, it wasn’t that fancy. It was five old fat Mexicans and some pudgy Mexican 20-somethings riding around in two rented buses. Our first stop was Costco and when we did eat out, it was at Denny’s and Wendy’s. My family isn’t very adventurous and I was in Hawaii with the more exciting side. It was a lot of fun though and it was definitely crazier than anything I would have done for myself on my 20th birthday. In fact, I got to celebrate my birthday with my friends afterward and I’m pretty sure I just drank a lot.

So we spent about a week on the biggest island, Kona, and we were split up over two ridiculous two-bedroom suites complete with kitchen and wrap-around balcony. Unfortunately, there were more than two of us in each suite so I was sharing a room with my grandma and her sister and sharing a bed with my sister, who I have already mentioned in the last post was extremely smelly for a number of years. This was a hotly debated point the whole trip.
Stephanie: Dude, you need to take a goddamn shower before you get into this bed.

Ashley: I did! After we went to the beach! (Ashley gets really shriekey, so make sure you imagine the maximum level of feral rage from her at all times.)

Stephanie: You still really smell. Did you use soap?

Ashley: Yes!

Stephanie: Did you put on deodorant afterward?

Ashley: YES!

And she’d still smell awful and I’d just have to deal. I had complained to Mom about the whole situation before we even went and Mom promised she’d pack a brand new deodorant stick of the manly kind my sister liked. I thought I was safe from her funk, but apparently it’s the olfactory equivalent of a black hole. After a few days of me constantly complaining about her smell and her adamantly insisting that she had put on deodorant, I started to feel a little bad. Maybe she had an actual problem. I mean, we had been to the beach pretty much every day we were on Kona. That should have done something for her smell if she was also putting on deodorant afterwards. Maybe when we got home, I needed to talk to Mom about taking Ashley to a doctor.

Anyways, my family is fat and apparently into dumb things because we spent a lot of our time in Hawaii at hotel entertainment and in the developed tourist areas so my cousins could fawn over Coach bags and shit and do a minimal amount of walking. Whoopee. Somehow though, we all ended up on the other side of the island one day and Ashley and I got to run around exploring caves and smoking craters. It was the most amazing thing. I’d never seen rain like we did there (until I went to Oregon and Washington last year). Light, completely soaking showers that came and went like they were connected to a light switch near a five-year-old. Everything was so green! I would trade every other day I had in Hawaii to have stayed there a little bit longer.

We parked pretty close to this fenced area which overlooks a huge drop that I immediately almost lost my cell phone over.
image

And this is what I was hanging over. Herp derp, 19-year-old me.
image

We trekked down the longest winding path. It was thin and rough and completely surrounded by tropical forest. When the trail finally spat us out at the bottom though, we were in what was basically a crater. Above my right shoulder is about where I was hanging off that fence.
image

It was pretty warm down there due to the steaming holes in the rock we were standing on. After a fair amount of dicking around in the crater (there’s only so much to do but it was cool), my cousin Noni wrangled us up because los gordos were tired and hungry and bored.
image

It was completely dry coming down the mountain, but on the way up, it started just pouring down rain on us. This photo was taken less than 15 minutes from the ones in the crater and it had already stopped raining once we’d booked it up the mountain.
image

I don’t know how we got more time to explore, but somehow we talked the younger cousins into running around more forest with us.
image

image

image

I was always bummed out by this picture because you can’t tell that I’m pointing to a ridiculously long path that leads off into the forest to, I assume, an old temple that the natives won’t go near.
image

On the way back to the hotel, we made a pit stop in a completely random place and as we were waiting around for everyone to finish using the restroom, we realized we were right next to the most amazing beach completely covered in very fine black sand. Ashley and I wandered over to get a good look at it and realized that there was a giant turtle washed up on the shore. I was a little worried that it was dead, but we went up to it and it was alive and awesome. As we were trying to figure out if it would need help back into the water, we spotted another one a little further up the beach. And another. And, looking back, one we’d walked right past to get to the one we were at.

image

I won’t lie: I was girling out a lot about being surrounded by adorable turtles. Shoot, I had already been SO excited that the snails in Hawaii had pointed seashells instead of the round ones I’m used to. (I think snails are pretty much the cutest things ever. My mom used to gross out when I was young because she’d come outside to find me laughing and covered in them. She used to nearly vomit about pretty much everything, but now she’s about as vulgar as I am.) We walked back to tell the family that there were turtles everywhere and once everyone had gotten about a million pictures, we saw the sign:

image

Whoops.

image

I know I won’t be the first person to say this, but I really had no idea how fucking beautiful Hawaii is. I have countless pictures of the forests and the beaches and the sky that I won’t subject you to. When you see a photo of an impossibly blue ocean, Hawaii actually has that. I just assumed it was modified and changed like everything else we see, and it was almost hard to believe my own eyes were seeing something that was clearly too beautiful to be real. Once you get away from the landscaped tourist areas, there is something very wild about Hawaii. The culture shock hit me hard in some places because I’ve always lived in California and Hawaii is very much it’s own place. All the names of every place are at least ten letters long and there are some words they use a lot there that I had never heard, like mahalo, which means “thank you.”

Most of the trip was on Kona, but we spent a few days in Waikiki. As I was brushing my teeth before packing up my toothbrush to switch islands, Ashley came in and opened her deodorant. The metal seal was still there. I seriously almost hit her. I had felt absolutely terrible for being rude to her about it. I had started to question the reason for her years of reeking and SHE HADN’T PUT ON DEODORANT THE ENTIRE WEEK. Ashley is a very convincing liar because once she’s told a lie, she will never back down from it. One time, she walked out of the bathroom when she knew I was waiting for her to leave. I went in and the most massive bowel movement I’ve ever seen was clogging the goddamn toilet. So I walked out and demanded that she plunge that shit immediately. You know what she said to me? “You were in there last. It was probably you.” Balls of fucking steel on that woman. She looked me in the eye knowing full well that I still had to pee like crazy and said that.

Waikiki was eh. It was a big, crowded city and I don’t remember much about it. My pictures devolved into mostly shots of strange things like these:

image

image

image

Somewhere in there we saw the Pearl Harbor memorial, but my camera couldn’t focus enough to get a good picture of a tiny 3-D model of a boat with people drowning in the water. And we visited the Dole Plantation and rode around in a little train while listening to some truly hilarious songs about pineapples. Speaking of which, I honestly had no idea what a pain in the ass pineapples are to grow. It’s like a four-year investment for one pineapple. We hit up the Polynesian Culture Center and watched some crazy shows and ended up near a huge group of Japanese school girls on tour. Also, everyone in Hawaii is super nice all the time. Ashley fell right on her face in a parking lot and at least three people stopped to see if she was okay.

If I ever go back, I will definitely put some time into exploring all the bridges to nowhere and all the small towns off the tourist path. I definitely saw too many ukelele renditions of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

Advertisements
 

The Road to Washington March 31, 2010

Ernie and I have just made an epic journey. I’m posting this from bright, cloudy Washington after having finally slept. The plan was to drive straight to Washington after work. I had never considered that we couldn’t do it until every single person I know said, What? You’re going to drive 20 hours with no stops for rest? …Well yea…what of it? We figured it’d be easy. We’d sleep in shifts and drive to Washington. Good times. But suddenly I had doubts. Were we going to fall asleep at the wheel from exhaustion? Did we need to stop in at a motel at some point? Who knows! I’d never driven this far in my life.

So Monday morning, I got up at 8 am to finish my stupid Excel class with my borrorwed computer lab book. Then I went to work, came home, and made dinner. THEN we set out for Washington at 1 am. I got maybe three broken hours of sleep in the uncomfortable front seat of the Corolla. By 5 am, it was my turn to drive. I got to see the sun rise in middle California. I drove for about 11 hours because Ernie got about 20 minutes of sleep the whole ride. We passed an exit for Hooker Creek and Auction Yard road, saw about a hundred thousand adorable cows, sheep, and horses, and zoomed past a gigantic metal horse-dragon on the side of the freeway that I desperately wanted to stop for. I wasn’t even tired.

We stopped in Redding for a revitalizing breakfast and when we got back on the 5, it had changed from a farmland straightaway to a curvy mountain drive. Trees popped up everywhere against the bluest sky, and the mountains were so clear and close, they looked like a painting. This is where adventures happen, I thought to myself. The second we crossed the Oregon border, however, it was suddenly raining buckets on our car and lightly snowing. It was surreal. The drops were at least three times the size of any raindrop I’d ever seen and I could see every one flying horizontally at our car. It was like being in the Matrix, if in the Matrix, Neo had driven down an icy mountain at 40 miles an hour next to a bunch of semis.

We stopped in Eugene for gas for about three seconds and happened to be less than a minute from Danielle’s college. We were so close, in fact, that we had gotten to her college, parked, and were wandering around tired and lost before she had left the library. Love to Danielle!

And even when we had dinner with the ever-fabulous Kate in Portland, we were still SO awake. The last three hours between Portland and Redmond, however, were the most hellish hours I’ve ever spent driving. There are no streetlights on the 5 in Washington and there are all these giant, looming bridges. Add to that a bunch of complete ass holes on the road and last minute directions and it’s a huge goddamn clusterfuck. Those last three hours were the only part of the journey that I didn’t immensely enjoy.

So there you have it. The 20 hour drive from Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca to Redmond, Wa is perfectly possible to do in one go. Next time, though, I’m not stopping for anything but gas, food, and peeing. Much as I enjoyed every second of our social calls on the way, I think those were what made that last three hours killer. So I will be enjoying beautiful Oregon and Washington for the next week. See all you mofos on the other side!