CRAZIEST HAWAIIAN VACATION!

The last two weeks in January, my fiancé and I planned an amazing trip to Honolulu. It was her very first time to Hawaii, and I wanted it to be absolutely perfect for her. But let me just tell you – this trip was a complete nightmare. Buckle up because you’re in for a bumpy ride. 

It started off with me flying on a redeye from San Francisco to Chicago. My fiancé, who lives in Wisconsin, had to drive three hours to Chicago to meet up with me after working all night. Her flight became overbooked (we fly standby because of my flight benefits. Perks of being a flight attendant!) This part wasn’t so much of a disaster, just trying to set the scene. Once we were both in Chicago, we were able to get an entire row of 4 seats to ourselves for the long 9 and a half hour flight to Honolulu. This was perfect because we were able to take turns laying out and taking a nap. By the time we landed in Honolulu, we were more than ready to explore and just truly enjoy our first vacation as an engaged couple. 

Well…. this is where everything went wrong. We got in the shuttle to the hotel, and as soon as we started driving away, my internal warning light started flashing. We ended up leaving my laptop on the plane. Completely panicked, I started calling the airport, the airline, customer service, baggage claim, lost and found. But of course by the time I called, everything was closed in Honolulu and wouldn’t open until 8am the next morning. I left plenty of messages and just prayed that someone would find my laptop over night. We ended up having a great first night, just walking to the beach for the sunset, picking up some groceries, and heading back to the hotel. Ordered from UberEats, and they forgot some of our food! It wasn’t the end of the world but it was our first meal in Honolulu and it would’ve been nice to actually try all the food we had ordered and paid for. 

The second day we went out to the pool several times (the sun kept playing hide and seek with the clouds) and found a great luau for that night. The luau was amazing! Delicious food, drinks were alright, the hosts and hostesses were amazing, and the entertainment was perfect. When we had our picture taken as well, we nailed it! It’s hard sometimes getting the right shot the first time around for us because she’s 6’1 and I’m 5’4, not to mention we are completely different shades and lighting can make one of us completely disappear (she’s white, I’m black). Photographing us is not as easy task, so bravo to the photographer that night! 

The next day we decided to change our hotels just to get a different view of the island. The hotel we first stayed at was nice, but we wanted to get a bit closer to downtown Waikiki. The second hotel was perfect! They checked us in early, gave us an upgraded room, and even had free continental breakfast each day we stayed. But this is when everything started going downhill FAST. 

Be prepared, this may be TMI. I got my period the third day. Which isn’t that big of a deal, but I’m on vacation. The last thing I want to do is worry about all that going on, especially considering I want to go swimming in the ocean! My plan was to spend the entire week in my bikini, and I just felt gross and my stomach was hurting. Also, she started getting sick. At first we just thought maybe it was from too much sun or she had picked up a little cold. But overnight, it went from feeling tired to full on sneezing, coughing, body aches, and fever. Poor thing! I felt so bad, but I was miserable too. 

We both weren’t feeling well, and just ended up snapping on each other for the rest of the trip. We tried salvaging the trip by going to the zoo, going out for lunches and dinners. We even tried paddle boarding. Now this is where our vacation just got to be so ridiculous. After laying out on the beach for a couple hours, I finally convinced her to try paddle boarding with me. I’ve done stand up paddle boarding several times and I absolutely loved it. I thought she would really enjoy it because it’s a great exercise without really feeling the burn. Well, she didn’t enjoy it. Granted, neither did I but it was just a bad idea from the beginning. The company we rented from only had one typical board left, and gave her a thinner but longer board. We started out just fine, but by the time we got out a bit the waves were a little rougher. As sick as she was, she just couldn’t handle the waves. I looked back at her, and she was on all fours dry heaving into the Pacific Ocean. After getting over the bought of sea sickness, she couldn’t figure out exactly how to work her board and we were drifting apart LITERALLY. Next thing you know, we are SCREAMING at each other 50 yards away. I’m trying to convince her to just go back to shore, and she’s trying to convince me that she’s fine and we can stay out longer. We eventually just made it back to the beach and called it a day. 

Our trip ended earlier than we would’ve liked and instead of going back to California for a couple days to spend time with my family, we decided to fly back to Chicago so I could get her home and feeling better instead. We got another row of 4 seats together, and she slept the entire flight. Once we landed in Chicago, I drove us home to Wisconsin and spent two days trying to get her better. 

Now let me get back to the first disaster of our trip. My laptop. I called and called every single day, every couple hours, trying to get ahold of anyone who could help me find my laptop. And, nothing. Every phone number I was given just went to voicemail and I was slowly starting to lose my mind. When we went back to the airport to fly to Chicago, I stopped by baggage claim lost and found, hoping that they found something. They didn’t have any news for me, but did say they would call as soon as they found it. Well guess who got a call the night we got back to Chicago. Yup, they found my laptop. Except they couldn’t confirm that it was mine because it was dead and they needed the serial number for the laptop. If you know me at all, you know I’m one of the most organized people in the world, but guess who didn’t have the serial number to her laptop. Once again, yup- no serial number that I could find. After stocking up on NyQuil and cough drops, I had to leave Wisconsin and fly on ANOTHER 9 and a half hour flight to Honolulu to try to get my laptop back. I get to baggage claim lost and found, walked in and found my laptop (WHICH WAS STILL CHARGED TO 90% BY THE WAY!!!!) and then flew on a redeye back to San Francisco. 

End of nightmare. 

Even just saying the name Hawaii makes my stomach churn. What was supposed to be an amazing, romantic, blissful vacation turned into a complete disaster where we argued and slowly lost our minds. I can say this though, even though both of us were completely miserable, we still laughed with each other harder than we ever have before. After we got home, talked out our silly arguments, we knew that this vacation made us stronger than ever. If we can get through a disaster trip, we can get through anything. This was the first of many tough times for us to get through, but the fact that we got through it together, still loving each other, taking care of each other even when we both felt yucky, just proves that we really are supposed to be together. 

It might be quite awhile until we go on a vacation again, but when we do, we’ll be ready for whatever the world throws our way. 

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CAN’T WAIT FOR HAWAII!

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If you’ve been keeping up with my posts, you have probably seen that I’ve taken a few trips to Hawaii the past few months. And I’m lucky. I’m so lucky to have a job that sends me to one of the most beautiful places in the world. But I’m normally only there for 24 hours. It’s so hard to leave every time. But thank goodness, my fiancé (still so excited I get to use that word now!) and I are taking a vacation in January. And I’m taking her to Hawaii! We’re planning on staying a week out there, and I just can’t decide on which island to take her to. Any suggestions??

BEING AN ADULT SUCKS (SOMETIMES)

I’ve finally realized what the hardest part about being an adult is. No, it’s not paying bills,  actually eating your vegetables, falling asleep on the couch and not magically being transported to your bed, and it’s not even the making your own doctor’s appointments part. It’s the fact that we no longer get a summer vacation. 

Growing up, you always looked forward to summertime. No school, no bed time, you got to spend all day with your friends, you could sleep in as long as you’d like. And if you were lucky, you went on a family vacation somewhere awesome! But when you’re an adult, or at least when you graduate school, it all stops. All of a sudden everyone expects you to work ALL THE TIME. Fourth of July, you’re working. Your annual neighborhood BBQ? Forget it, you have to work. Your family wants to go camping next weekend, sorry you can’t go because guess what, you’re working. 

It’s especially hard when you’re the oldest, or you have younger siblings that still get a summer break. Summer is when parents normally plan vacations or fun activities to do during the day. But when you’re an adult, you don’t get to just drop your plans and go do something fun. You don’t even get to sleep in longer! 

Now don’t think that this is just a negative post filled of complaints about how much being an adult sucks. Sometimes, summer can be even better when you’re an adult. Want to guess why? No rules. No parents telling you to be home by 11pm. You can have two popsicles and some goldfish for dinner because you don’t feel like turning on the oven if you want. Too hot in your room to sleep in pajamas? Sleep naked, your mom won’t walk in! You want to go to that party with the friends your parents didn’t always approve of? Go for it, live it up! You’ll have a nasty hangover in the morning, but who cares?! Get that urge to go on a spontaneous road trip? Jump in your car and go! No need to ask for permission, it’s your life. You might be tired for work the next day, but living life and enjoying the moments are worth way more than a few more dollars in your bank account. Don’t get me wrong- don’t quit your job to enjoy the summer. But also don’t be afraid to sacrifice a little bit of cash to create a couple more memories. All I’m saying, summer comes once a year. The weather is amazing, the possibilities are endless, and maybe (just maybe) summer is better as an adult. 

QUICK TRIP TO NEW ORLEANS

Just last week, I was lucky enough to work a trip with 24 hours in New Orleans, Louisiana. I was even luckier because my brother Travis decided to come with me.

We had such an amazing time, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. After working a red eye from San Francisco, we took a nap for a couple hours and then hit the town. Literally. We walked over ELEVEN miles just exploring downtown New Orleans. We walked around the entire Mercedes Benz Superdome (you don’t quite realize how big it is until you try taking a picture next to it- I look like an ant!) and the Smoothie King Center. We enjoyed beignets on the Mississippi River and did some shopping at an outlet mall. We walked through the French Quarter and of course Bourbon Street. 

Being from California, we don’t have too much history. So I always enjoy getting to travel to the South and the East coast and getting to experience the US history that we have. Just  getting to look at all of the beautiful architecture was worth it. But getting to spend time with my brother was truly special. It was the first of hopefully many trips of just us kids. I can’t wait until we have all of our siblings with us for another adventure. Check back next week to see some of the great pictures we took in New Orleans! 

ONE MONTH VACATION

Today starts not only the beginning of a new year, but the beginning of my ONE MONTH VACATION!!!!! I am so excited to take an entire month off of work and finally relax. I am planning on spending January traveling the world, spending quality time with my family and friends, and focusing on myself. I’ve spent way too much time working and not pampering myself, and I believe that it is finally time that I take a break. 

Thinking back, I can’t even remember the last time I’ve had a month off of work or school. I’d have to say it was the summer between my junior and senior year of high school. As soon as I graduated high school, I went straight into a summer program at Washington State University and was only home a week before the fall semester started. After my freshman year of college, I went straight into the workforce and never took more than a week off. Even when I moved, I only had about two weeks between jobs. Is 23 too young to be a workaholic?

This time off is so very long overdue, and I just cannot wait to start my adventures! I’m hoping to visit Switzerland, Australia, Hawaii, Florida, and New York before the end of the month. I need to spend some time with my family and friends that I’ve neglected the past year and a half because of work. I am going to be sure to spend not only my vacation month but the rest of 2017 counting my blessings and trying to see the positive in every situation.