I have traveled a lot this year, which has been fantastic, but in reality 2009 has actually been a very rough year for me. I was laid off from my job in late January and couldn't find full time work for 7 and 1/2 months. When I was unemployed and having a hard time finding steady work, I tried my hand at some part time jobs. I landed two restaurant jobs concurrently then I had a brief stint doing consulting work for a major software company. The consulting job ended earlier than expected and I found myself with a week off from work. Coincidentally, Ryan also had the week off. It was an easy decision, we bought tickets to Maui!
We booked our flights on a Thursday and flew out on Sunday. Because everything was so last minute, we were able to score a really great deal through priceline.com. We each got airfare and lodging for the price you would normally pay for just a flight!
For this trip, I decided to do something a little special. Those of you who have been reading for a while are familiar with Spidey. Allison (my bff and 2006 Summer in Europe travel buddy) and I found him in an Airport Bathroom in Athens, and he has been our travel buddy ever since. I decided to break him back out for this trip, and we had a fun time! Here Spidey is mapping out our route.
We went to bed early, as we were still pretty much on Seattle time, but we got up in the wee hours of the next morning to drive up to the top of Haleakala to watch the sun rise. Ryan got some great pictures with his tripod! It was super cold too, so bundle up if you are going! Granted, I'm from Montana so I'm pretty much immune to cold, but I was still glad to have my gloves!
After sunrise, we drove up to the true summit to check out more volcano action. The Volcano wasn't really doing anything, but I suppose that's a good thing. When we got to the car, however, I found Spidey in pieces! I asked him, and apparently he had an accident, although he wasn't too keen to talk about it. I'm hoping his injuries weren't self inflicted....
I tried to put on a brave face, as the Spidey injury incident had shaken me to the core. As you can see from this photo op the oxygen deprivation from the elevation helped me cheer up....
You can't tell, but I'm standing in front of a blowhole. The tide was down, so it was no big deal, but I could have been "blown" away! Too cheesy??? Oh well, it's been a rough year....
After the beach we headed to a Lava Tube cave! COOOL! Here are some pretty flowers at the entrance.
Then the actual entrance. Check out this awesome entry sign. Do not defecate in the cave!
The cave was pitch black (duh) except for a few "escape hatches" in the roof (not the technical term). For the first picture, Ryan opened his shutter speed while I flashed all of the cave walls with our provided flashlights.
The cave proprietors called this type of formation "chocolate chips". Sure does look tasty!
Here's our lovely Jeep, which was actually pretty fun to zip around in. We took the top off most of the time, and when we emerged from the cave the weather had improved enough for a little top-down action.
Now I may be messing up the order of these next few events, but just trust that we did all of these things in our five remaining days in Hawaii.
One night, we met up with my friend Sarah who I had worked with at the Ram, before she left us to move to Maui. It's always great to know a "local" though, and she took us to Fred's, this great Mexican restaurant, where we enjoyed some tasty (read: LARGE) drinks!
Sunsets are so predictably beautiful in Hawaii. And my hair was predictably large in Hawaii too. Oh humidity, how I love/loathe thee!
Here's Sarah and I next to Fred - the Fred's mascot.
One thing I was shocked by is how DARK it gets. The sun sets and it is DARK! I guess it's some sort of living next to the ocean thing....
Most of the days, I spent a lot of time on the beach. It was pretty awesome - here was my view: