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Published: December 22nd 2006
Most of my travels and blogs are anything but vacations. My trip to Hawaii was exactly what I needed- A VACATION!!! Trust me, there is no better place in the world to vacation than Hawaii. As a spoiled child I went to Hawaii every year (hey its my dad's favorite place!) and actually got sick of going to Hawaii. This was my first time there in 8 years. I forgot how much I love Hawaii. It is absolute Paradise. It all started last February when I decided to stay in Japan another year. I knew that I wanted to see my family at some point. When my parents came
in April, I said, 'hey, why don't we all meet in Hawaii for Thanksgiving?' My idea was very appealing, and a Lary Family Vacation was born.
I left Osaka Wednesday at 7 pm, and arrived in Hawaii Wednesday at 7 am. Due to crossing the internationa dateline, I had a full day and a half to myself. I flew to Maui and stayed in the main town, Kahalui. My mom booked me a nice HUGE room at the Maui Seaside Resort. It was adequate, and on par with many of the
places I had been staying in around Asia. My favorite part was the people staying at the hotel...quite a bunch of charachters thats for sure! Great conversations about Walmart going on down by the pool! The beach was eh, but i did enjoy the mall and the tacos at the food court. I was going to venture to other parts of the island, but the bus took forever to get anywhere, so instead just hung around Kahalui. Sadly, I really realy enjoyed watching TV at night - a guilty pleaseure of mine!
The next day I took the bus all the way over to Kanapali. Two hours later (public transport in America is horrible!!!) I arrived in
resortville. The contrast of where I was the first night to here was amazing. I pulled up to our hotel, the Kanapali Alii. I got the key and walked
into our condo....wow. Traveling cheaply and in third world countries you forget what it's like to be pampered. Yet places like Banana Land and Popeyes internet cafe have their charm! One of the perks of traveling with mom and dad! Next thing I did, head straight for the beach!!
Again, another perk of
a resort- they give you unlimited nice plush towels, free lemonade, and chairs to sit on. To my nice nice nice surprise, the Aloha Basketball Tournament was going on. At first I stepped on the beach and almost fell over because it was sooo incredibly beautiful. Then I almost fell over again, as these beautiful, tall, black, sculpted men walked by me. I was gawking, and they probably saw me. I ran
for the ocean and dove right in, then returned to my hotel towel to enjoy the wonderful sun....Hawaii....amazing place! Now usually in situations where there are beautiful boys abounding, I usually have at least my sister or a friend to back me up. But here I was, single white female who has lived in a country where boys and girls have cooties forever (at my age they still go on group dates all the time!). My confidence to approach them lagged. The one guy I did approach was extremely attractive. This was some of our conversation:
Casey: 'Where are you from?'
Beautiful Basketball player: 'Oklahoma, you?'
Casey: 'Well, California, but I live in Japan. I LOVE college basketball and watch ti all the time!'
Beautiful Basketball Player:
'Wow, Japan, thats really far away (does he realize Oklahoma is further away!!)'
Casey: 'Yeah its far, went to Berkeley and went to all the games! They never played Oklahoma.'
Beautiful Basketball Player: 'How old are you?'
Casey: '23, u?"
Beautiufl Basketball Player: 19
And thats where the conversation came to a halt, also hindered by the 2 beautiful girls he was obviously with walking up to us. I forgot I am not in college anymore. He was a baby! haha! Aaah but what eye candy- I must say the Kentucky boys were my favorite. UCLA won the tournament- way to go PAC 10!!!
Around 4 pm I have a shadow looming over me: IT WAS MY DAD!!! I stood up hugged him and started screaming. Been a rough few months so seeing my loving father was heaven. He took over my spot on the towel and I went to meet mom. Later that night Erin (the sister), Fin ( her
husband), and Barrett (the brother) all showed up. All together for the first time in just under a year. We celebrated Thanksgiving thanks to Janet Lary and Safeway. Fin and Erin brought amazing wine from home. I
am so amazed to hear them talk about wine- I know nothing and they know everything. I learned you can drink red wine cold on purpose! Turkey never tasted so good.
Before coming to Hawaii I knew that while there I wanted to learn to surf. I woke up Friday and began to complete my goal. As a child I got
turned over by so many waves that I have feared them forever, hence why I have never surfed. Time to face the fear. I signed up - there was no backing now. Turns out I was one of the oldest people in my class, the average age being between 8-11. Instead of these munchkins, I
befriended a 40 year old man from NYC. We had our cadillac surfboards, learned the basics on the sand, and headed out to the waves. I stood
up on my first try!!!! It was awesome! I loved it! I had been missing out on soooo much! When I was done I eagerly paddled back out to do it
again. Now I understand why surfers are so dedicated to their sport- you do it once and you just want to go back for more.
From the Lary's to you!
I got pretty good and was able to paddle by myself by the end of the day. After about an hour all the kids got tired so I was one of the lone surfers getting help from the instructors. Falling was not fun.....but when you did stand up, WOW! (Do I see a metaphor for life here?) That afternoon and evening I was beaming...I could surf! I was soooo not excited about my burnt butt and back of my legs- I couldn't sit comfortably the rest of the week! That afternoon I sepnt some time snorkeling with my mom and dad.
Friday evening my mom got us all tickets to the famous Warren's Magic Show. I love when mom gets ideas in her head like this :-). The fun began during cocktail hour (weird, the whole clan older than 21 now and all can drink legally for the first time) when they brought out the wine. Fin is a waittress's nightmare! One whiff of the cork and he was sending it back. It was great....nothing but the best for us. The real fun started when they were looking for couples to sit near stage to be part of the
show. The organizer came up to our table and asked if Erin/Fin and Barrett/I would be 2 of the COUPLES in the front row. I automatically halted him. WAIT, this is MY BROTHER NOT MY BOYFRIEND. He had a nice chuckle about that and said that it wouldnt work like that. Barrett and I weren't too thrilled about his mistake. The magic show
was awesome, and one of the guys of the couples was a professional baseball player (dad and I looked him up back home!). Way to go mom. Post magic show everyone was cranky and hungry so I decided we were going to Cheeseburger in Paradise. Upon arriving the band was playing loudly- my heaven, my dad's hell. A great time for sure. Lets just say the waiter didn't care if my brother was actually my brother or my boyfriend ;-).
The next day we went hiking (hah- its me, surprise surprise) and were almost swallowed as the tide came in. That afternoon we checked out our
model timeshare to be completed in July- soooo freakin awesome. Of course I am already envisioning bringing the world to stay with me here- pack your bathing suit ans sleeping
bag. The rest is taken care of. That afternoon I went back out to conquer the waves. Today with a smaller board and a bit harder, but an instructor was out there and more than happy to help me. Again, I did great! That night we went out dancing- the first time all three Lary kids at the bars. Lets just say I got asked more than once if Barrett was my boyfriend.....hence the title of my entry. Definitely a fun night.
The next day was my last day, spent lounging, snorkeling, eating, and just being lazy. I watched American football too- not my bears but still fun to watch. A few last hours to get some sun. Life doesn't get much better.
The next morning I was up early en route back to Japan. I was definitely not ready to go and considered changing my flight. At the Honolulu International airport I was greeted by an all to familiar group of people- Japanese high school students! Many high schools have school trips to either Hawaii, Singapore, or Korea. My plane back was chalk full of them. An odd appearance because they weren't wearing their uniforms. One of
I got up on my first try!
my schools has a trip to Hawaii. The worst part about their trip is that they are allowed to go to the beach as a group, but NO SWIMMING. Who goes to Hawaii and doesn't even put on a bathingsuit?
Hawaii....what else can I say but it was wonderful, amazing, exhilarating, refreshing, and makes me love my family even more. Hey, distance makes the heart grow fonder (in most cases). I had more culture shock going to Hawaii than Boston. Going to Boston I knew what to expect- a big city and the amenities/annoyances that go with them. Hawaii is a paradise, similar to my recent trips to Thailand and Philippines. Thailand and the Philippines were so incredibly cheap and there was poor infrastructure. Hawaii looked the same but was way more expensive and there were good roads all over the place. Since I was so used to the way of life in Asia, Hawaii took me by surprise. Now with that timeshare it seems I will be going to Hawaii A LOT! Pack your bags and you can come with me!
Shout out to the Lary clan- I love you and thank you for a great trip.
Phew! Caught up with all my travelogues- I leave for Vietnam/Cambodia tomorrow!
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