Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Epic Weekend

This weekend was utterly awesome.  I know most of the country was partying because it was Memorial Day weekend, but that wasn't my reasoning.  Jas and I partied for four nights straight, and 3 of those nights were at Apartm3nt...the bar I mentioned in my "Awesometastic Saturday" post (do I overuse the word awesome, or is it ok when life just gives you a ton of awesome!?)...the bar we fell in love with that we found out was closing about 4 days after our first visit.  Sunday was it's last night, which was my reason for going out all weekend.  I can't say how great this place is.  What makes it great is the staff.  I think that's true of any place, or event, or any moment in life really.  It's not usually about where you are, but about who's there with you.  In this case the people were amazing.  From the bouncers, to the promoters, to the bartenders, to the servers, and everything in between, they were not only nice, but simply fun people to be around.  And they remember and recognize you from day one, or at least that was our experience for the most part.  It's sad to know that they'll all be going there separate ways now because together they made Apartm3nt the place to be.

I should also mention, I attempted to get in touch with my feminine side this weekend.  I've been a huge tomboy since I was a little girl.  I've never been a "fashionista".  Actually I've hated shopping for as long as I can remember...well except for shoe shopping, because shoes are my weakness (I get that from my mommy).  But, with the move, and all the changes that have been happening, and the changes I've been trying to make, I figured I would step out of my comfort zone.  I'll say this, I'm still not jumping for joy about shopping.  I'll admit I'm pretty cheap when it comes to unneeded materialistic things and hate spending so much money on clothes, but I realize that usually you get what you pay for...and, that things are just pretty expensive nowadays!  I'm never going to be the girl that goes shopping everyday, and combs through the racks for hours on end to find the hidden gem, or hits all the thrift shops known to man.  But I do love a good deal, and, I think I've learned to put a little more effort into it.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still a tomboy, but at least I can embrace the girlie side of me from time to time.

So back to those weekend details, Day 1, Thurday, was spent at Apartm3nt, where we chatted with the bartenders, a server, one of the promoters/guys at the door...I really don't know what his job was, I just know he was great!  Lots of drinks were had.  We'll call this the moderately drunk night.  Here it's so much different then home.  Back home I drove everywhere, so I was always the designated driver.  And even when I wasn't supposed to be I ended up being it because in truth, I don't trust other people to stay sober, but I do trust myself to get myself, and my friends, home.  But here, we take the bus everywhere, or walk.  In this case, every night we took the bus there and walked back.  Just another reason to love Apartm3nt...it's proximity.



Day 2 was the only night not spent at Apartm3nt.  This night we headed into China Town, to 39Hotel, for what looked like a very interesting event.  Basically there was a live band playing to a backdrop of clips of Tim Burton movies.  If you know me well, you probably know I'm a Tim Burton fan...and more specifically a Tim Burton/Johnny Depp fan.  I have a slight obsession with Johnny Depp, and I think when him and Burton link up, it's simply magic.  Not to mention I'm a Helena Bonham Carter fan also, so the fact that she's been added to the Depp/Burton duo so often the past few years makes me happy.  The band was pretty dope.  By look, they were the most random three guys to ever make up a band.  But it worked.  Not to mention they had some really interesting, and different instruments.  We enjoyed a few drinks, and I enjoyed clips of several movies, including Edward Scissorhands, Alice in Wonderland, and Sweeney Todd (which I've always been in love with.)  It was a cool night.


Day 3, Saturday, we returned to Apartm3nt.  Compared to our first two visits here, I'd say it was a mad house.  Clearly all those who love the place came out for it's send off weekend.  As always, we enjoyed some drinks.  Did I mention the bartenders were freaking awesome!!  And, because it was it's last weekend pretty much everything was so cheap!!  This night we weren't really drunk, just happy.  Even though a drink got spilled on my brand new red blazer that I'm absolutely in love with!  Ugh!  And this night I wore heels...and I walked all the way home in them!  Some might not understand the magnitude of that...but for a girl who, though she loves heels, can just about count on both hands how often she has worn them in the past few years, it's big!



And now we come to Sunday, night 4 of 4, and the last day of Apartm3nt.  This night, we'll call, very drunk!  And all for a $30 tab!!!  If I thought the night before was packed, I was wrong...there was barely room to move without spilling your drink.  This night was filled with meeting so many random people!!  There were also several businesses there...like a massage place with a woman giving out back massages, which both Jas and I got thank you very much!  There was also some company giving out raffle tickets for...you'll never guess...breast implants!  I couldn't help but find that hilarious.  The night started with the woman from that company asking us to sign up and get a free make-up bag and enter the running for the free boobs.  As she was talking to Jas one of the bouncers was explaining to me what she was trying to say, that she was giving out a chance for a free boob job.  Well, I couldn't give up that perfect opportunity could I?  I asked, innocently, "are you trying to tell me something"...and this over 6 ft tall, over 200 lb Hawaiian mans face dropped as he tried to remove the foot from his mouth!  haha  I started cracking up, as did the other bouncer behind him, as I assured him I was only kidding.  When a night starts like that, you just know it's going to be a good one.  Later that night the boob job came back around, in the form of a cute looking guy we named New Zealand, because he had an accent.  He somehow got suckered into helping the girl pass out raffle tickets for the contest.  He was clearly very nervous about this, as he hesitated to tell us what the contest was for.  It could've been a recipe for disaster with the wrong woman, but with his boyish charm, I have a feeling it actually was a good ice breaker for him.  Also co-starring in our night were two women from the Cherry Blossom Cabaret that we saw back on our first night there.  They remembered us because that night they laughed as this ridiculous woman (who really appeared to be on some kind of drug!) in a bathing suit, shorts, a floppy hat and swimming shoes drank by herself, with three drinks in front of her, and danced like she was in her own world, right next to us...and eventually came over to talk to us.  I let Jas do the talking.  I think I forgot to mention that in my post from that night!  Anyhoot, these chicks were pretty awesome, and we spent the greater part of the night drinking and getting to know each other.  The last part of the night I apparently spent harassing one of the bartenders I had been chatting with every night we were there...and forcing the aforementioned bouncer to take a pic with me.  Enjoy!  Oh, as a side note, I should mention, there was a random deck of cards on the bar, and when I cut the deck I ironically got the queen of hearts you see in one of the pics.  Go figure!


The best bartender ever! (top left) and our Cherry Blossom Cabaret friends!
some of the awesome staff!
We'll miss you Apartm3nt!!!


And the adventure continues...

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A second family

I've been blessed with an incredible family...but I've also been blessed with an incredible second family- my friends.  As I mentioned in my previous post, some relationships have fallen apart with the move...but others have just grown stronger.  It's funny how distance can make you feel even closer to a person.  Lately, a few of my friends specifically have been effecting me deeply, in different ways.  When I created this blog I never imagined it would effect some of the people I love like it has, and I'm grateful for that.  Some people have gotten to know me even better through this blog...and I've learned that I've inspired some, and that both flatters, and humbles me.  There have been so many inspirations in my life, so to even think I've given anyone an ounce of inspiration makes me feel so fortunate.  Another unexpected benefit of the move...is that when some of my friends can't sleep, for different reasons, I'm up!  I'm missing out on big moments in some friends lives, and to be able to do even this small thing makes me feel more involved.  Like through the distance, and across the pond, I'm still filling a void in their lives.

Today I got to speak for hours, to one of my favorite people in the world.  And he left me with so much to think about.  I love my friends for that.  They always have opinions and thoughts worth listening to.  I enjoy intelligent conversation, and I can never say that's lacking...I am in good company.  From this conversation, I somehow came face to face with feelings I was avoiding lately.  I had to admit to myself how much I miss a friend that I haven't spoken to for a while.  I'm tough enough...but, the people I sincerely love stay with me, and I can only avoid that for so long.  It sucks when you become close to someone, and then the relationship ends so unexpectedly.  But, as I mentioned before, I do believe in the reason season lifetime theory...so, I'm left thinking, if it's supposed to be a lifetime, in time the break in the relationship will heal.  Only time will tell.

Whatever the case, I am so genuinely thankful for my friends.  They love me past my flaws...and even when I forget, they remind me how important I am to them, and how much they love me...and I hope they know I feel the same.

And the adventure continues...

Stay tuned...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Awesometastic Saturday


This past Saturday, the 19th (my parents 33rd wedding anniversary!  Happy anniversary to them!) Jas and I had an action packed day.  The night before, I looked up some hikes on the island, because we've both planned to get into hiking.  There's so many things to do for free here, and most of them have to do with the outdoors which is awesome.  So, why not take advantage of it all.  My roomie wants to do Diamond Head...which is probably the most famous hike on the island, as do I.  But, while I have no doubt I can physically do it now, if for no other reason than I have the pride of a man and if I start I will finish, no matter the toll it may take on me...I know that the smart (and safer way) is to work up to more challenging hikes-  so I found a beginners trail, or at least that's what it was called online.  The location was just under an hour away from our place, in Hau'ula.  So after cleaning and seasoning a ton of meat, putting them in freezer bags and then putting them all in the freezer (if you don't do this, it saves a ton of time) we headed out.  On the way we passed the famous "Shrimp Shack" and decided we'd stop there on the way back...just another thing to check off our list of to-dos!  When we got there we were a little confused on where the trail started, but quickly found our way.



I don't think the trail was difficult really, but, for it to be described as 'for beginners', it was definitely more then I imagined.  It was, of course, beautiful.  It almost felt like throughout the hike you were in at least 3 completely different places...that's how much the scenery and the surroundings changed.  It's difficult to put into words how calming it is to be away from all the ruckus of everyday life, and replace the sounds of cars, sirens, tv's and people with birds singing, the wind rushing past your ears, trees swaying, and waves dancing in the ocean.  This hike ended up being just under 5 miles...and I can honestly say I enjoyed every minute of it.  Including the moments where we questioned which way to go because part of the trail just wasn't exactly obvious!  I can definitely say that I look forward to more hikes...longer and more challenging ones.  And I also look forward to spending more time nurturing my relationship with nature.    It was a great way to spend another beautiful day in paradise.





left my mark



the ocean through the trees


On the way home, we finally got to the Shrimp Shack!!  And may I say, it was awesome!  After reading about this place, and seeing it on a food tv show, I had been waiting to get here....and now we can finally say we've been there!  The women who run it were all so sweet and nice.  And the food was great...no complaints here!



That night, we went to a semi high class lounge here called Apartm3nt.  Once a month they team up with the Cherry Blossom Cabaret for a themed party, and the women from the Cabaret perform.  Both Jas and I enjoy Cabaret, Burlesque kind of shows so we were in as soon as we read the flyer.  (Have you seen the movie Burlesque? if not, you should...it'll make you want to be a burlesque dancer!)  This month's theme was Animal Instinct.  There was also two birthday parties that night.  We had a couple drinks...some fries, (did I mention I always want fries when I drink?) and enjoyed the music.  The DJ was great!!!  Jas kept saying she felt old because we were rocking to tons of older music, but I didn't feel old at all!  I will definitely be up to going anywhere DJ Sho is playing!


the heels I was going to wear, till I remembered how uncomfortable heels are!
Jas always calls my arms "Jackie arms"...so I wanted to take a picture of them, and my nice shoulders and back...why not take advantage of them now before I get old and they go away!  Jas tried to copy me...ha!...but really she was just trying to show off her tattoo.


And the adventure continues...

Stay tuned...

Friday, May 18, 2012

Lessons

I'm a very private person- I think I always have been.  I don't announce things about my life publicly...so when I decided to make the move I kept the information close to the chest.  I told only a few, and I just assumed that people who I didn't tell wouldn't be hurt by not knowing.  I fully expected some of my relationships to change, or end with this move.  And when I use the term relationship I mean that generally...not romantic relationships specifically.  People change, and grow.  And sometimes distance is enough to fracture any relationship.  I've always subscribed to the belief that if it's that easy to end a relationship it wasn't worth having.  People leave your life sometimes.  And my response to these times were to just shrug it off and chalk it up to another relationship ended.  Many times I assume that people just don't care that much, and my roomie has to remind me that many do...and that I sometimes don't show people that I actually care, that I don't realize people's feelings are hurt.  I should mention, I also believe in the "reason, season, lifetime" theory...that people come into your life for one of the three.  Some people come into your life, complete their purpose and leave as quickly and quietly as they came into it.  Others stay around for good.  However, I do realize that no relationship works without both parties putting effort into it.  As I hoped it would, the move has given me clarity on some relationships I previously was letting fall by the wayside.  There are still some I don't care to try and save...but there are others that I realize I should make an effort with.  I'd hate to look back in the future and know I lost someone very special to me because I was too cold to let them know they were.

Just another lesson learned.  Hopefully I never stop learning them.

And the adventure continues...

Stay tuned...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Short trip...huge impact

Last week I spent hours, and hours, and hours on planes and in airports, for just about 48 hours on the ground with my family...and every single moment of the trip there and back, was the worth the time spent.  My cousin got hitched (to an awesome woman might I add) in Minnesota, and I was so thankful for the excuse to see my parents, my brother, and so much of my family.  It was the first time seeing any family since the move, and I can't say enough how much I needed that.  The hugs, the kisses, the laughs, the conversations...I soaked up all the love I could.  It was nice to be reminded how my whole family, not just my immediate family, supports me, and is proud of me.


The wedding was beautiful, and a good time was had by all at the reception.  It was nice to see my cousin truly happy, and to be able to be truly happy for him, because I think it's evident to anyone who spends any time around the couple, that they have something special.  My family is one big, crazy mix, and it's nice to see it grow with people who fit right in.

the awesome couple
my world
blessed to have so many incredible female influences

growing family




Next up, my brother says his I do in just a few short months. Which gives me another reason to make the trip to my fam!!

my own growing, beautiful family



And the adventure continues...

Stay tuned...

Monday, May 7, 2012

Thankful

I'm not a very religious person, or at least I don't think much of organized religion...but I do believe there's  a higher being at work.  I personally call him/her God, although I don't think that's the only acceptable term.  I know you're probably thinking, 'are you really about to write a whole post about religion?'  And my answer would be...nope!  Absolutely not.  I just mention that to say that I do thank God for the way things have been working out for us here.  It's hard to explain the feeling I had that was telling me Hawaii was where I needed to be.  But, I had, and have, full faith that I had that feeling for a reason.  I won't lie and say coming here was no sweat...that I never even felt a worry or a hint of nervousness.  But I can say I've never felt more confident and more sure about a decision before.  And now, being here, with things coming together how they are, I just can't help to be thankful to God...and also to my family, who give me unconditional support, and are my strength when I feel weak.


For several weeks both Jas and I were back and forth to interviews.  Sometimes several times for the same positions.  My life has become an array of tank tops, t-shirts, sunglasses and chancletas (flip flops/sandals)...so getting dressed up for interviews felt foreign.  Two months back it would've been normal for me to dress in business casual, and to occasionally put on a suit...but now I just felt out of place!  People are so casual here.  Not to mention putting on a suit meant sweating, even more than usual!  Luckily for me, the one day I had to wear a suit the universe worked with me, and gave me a cooler day.  But things became slightly overwhelming, and I just couldn't wait until I didn't have to go to any more interviews!  And thankfully, it looks like that day may have come...if all goes well I will start the position I hoped for soon, and I couldn't be more appreciative, and feel more blessed than I do.  I can't help but be reminded of a quote from one of my favorite books, The Alchemist:

"And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."

In a completely unrelated, but equally awesome topic...this week I will be seeing my family, and I cannot put into words how happy that makes me!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Our first visitors!

Back when Jas and I announced to our friends (well the ones we did tell) that we were moving, two of them started planning their visit almost before we had even purchased our plane tickets!!  Now, I realize at least part of them was just using us as an excuse to come to Hawaii, but even still, I so appreciated them coming!  Of course, a few days before their arrival we had some washer problems...perfect timing!  But, luckily, it was fixed the morning they were arriving.  So the morning was spent in preparation, cleaning the apartment, washing clothes, blankets, towels, etc.  And before I knew it we were on the way to the airport.  I feel like everyone who comes to Hawaii wants to have that "lei" moment, so I went and got them real lei's and bought it to the airport to welcome them.  I didn't care if they only wore them for the trip home, I just wanted them to have that because I know how important it was to my mommy last year, and even Jas when we arrived.


As is normally the case, the 5 days they were here seemed to fly by.  But, I think, or at least I hope, the trip was everything they wanted it to be.  I sure enjoyed having them.  First thing we did after dropping the luggage off was take them to Zippy's for food.  If you live here you know Zippy's is a must.  And then that night we went out for drinks....followed by an intense eating session at the Big Kahuna.  When you're drunk food just tastes so incredibly good doesn't it!?





DAY 2- 



The second day we set aside for visiting the historic sites in Pearl Harbor.  When we arrived we found out tickets for the USS Arizona were sold out.  The tickets are free, but they only give out a certain amount per day because they can only fit so many people in the theater for the documentary, and then on the boat to the memorial.  But, one of the nice park rangers told us that often people get tickets for hours away and they end up not waiting for their time.  So what they do is have a standby line.  Groups are called every 15 minutes.  So we headed over to the line to see the other park ranger .  Sure enough, we ended up only having to wait about 20 minutes before we got in!!  As you can imagine being there gives you an amazing feeling...so sad, and leaves such an impact on you.  To think that so many men are still entombed in the USS Arizona...never having a chance to make it out before it sunk that fateful day of December 7, 1941.  To see the oil still leaking from the ship.  It's such a jarring feeling.  We spent hours walking around and reading things, and we didn't even go into all of the places that were there, like the Pacific Aviation Museum, and the USS Bowfin, a submarine with a stellar history that I actually read a book about last year.  It was an exhausting afternoon and by the time we were ready to go we were starved!  After getting some advice from one of the park rangers we ended up at a pretty awesome spot, where I ordered a Philadelphia Cheesesteak...yup, I had to.  It wasn't half bad either.  And we all had some awesome pie.

Those lost on the USS Arizona

in the memorial


on an old gunner

USS Bowfin

Later that night after a rousing game of charades, we mustered up the motivation and took a bus down to Frost City so that our friends could taste the amazingness of a snow ice!



DAY 3- This was a beach day.  The Ala Moana Beach that's just a couple blocks down from us.  Navaja and I, the two swimmers, swam out to a rock and contemplated life, and of course I swam away with a small cut on my hand, no big deal!  The non-swimmers, Pam and Jas stayed closer to shore.  We soaked in a ton of sun, and Pam and I read, like the true book nerds we are.  It was a beautiful day, as always.  Of course we were hungry afterward, so we stopped at a diner- luckily none of us have very soft stomachs because we went parasailing after, a choice made by our guests, and of course we enjoyed ourselves immensely.  That night we went to this absolutely amazing restaurant (Side Street Inn) with Pam's cousin.  We had a FEAST!!  And it was DElicious!




Pam's first Orange & Cream Soda!!!!!



where'd we go!



and this isn't even all the food!

DAY 4- Of course we had to take them to my favorite brunch spot thus far, the Cream Pot.  I think they enjoyed it as much as I do.  And I was so happy for an excuse to go back there!!  After, we gave them time to shop and get any souvenirs they wanted.  We got some shaved ice too.  Had to make sure they experienced all the awesome goodies I love.



DAY 5- And then, just like that, it was their last day!!  Since it was Monday I planned to drive to the North Shore, hoping the traffic wouldn't be as bad as a weekend.  The night before I asked our guests if there was anything they wanted to do that we hadn't yet, and that we could do considering funds...Navaja said cliff diving, and that was all I needed to hear!  Off we went to Waimea Beach Bay, home of "da rock", a popular jumping spot.  Our non-swimmers weren't sure if they were going to make the jump, and when we got there they were sure they were not!  The beach was awesome!  Decent waves coming in that took you out, and brought you back on your ass if you didn't keep up with it!  We all had sand in places sand should not be!  Just like our first beach day, Navaja and I swam out to a small rock and sat for a while...until we were interrupted by something coming out of the water!!  I nearly fell off the rock...but, to our relief it was just two honus (turtles).  Even though it still freaked us out slightly.  We sat and stared for a while, and then when we realized the one was not leaving, we decided to go off the other end of the rock and swim to shore! We made our way to the real rock for our first jump.  From the shore it didn't seem so high...but of course, once we climbed up and were looking down, it was much higher than it seemed!  I asked some of the locals sitting on the rock if there was any trick to it, one guy answered "just jump"...perfect!  Navaja was first, he took a while, but he finally jumped off.  I was up next and I wasn't about to give myself time to chicken out, so, after getting my bearing on the edge, off I went!  Holy crap, I felt like the water was never going to come, and when it did, it gave me the biggest wedgie ever...but how awesome it was!  Of course we jumped again a while later.

video

no one pays attention to that sign so why should we!!


That night we were doing dinner with Monika, Pam's friend who lives here with her husband and children...she also came to see us at the beach for a little while.  Our guests decided on the Hula Grill...a pretty touristy restaurant since it's in Waikiki, but one I had fully intended to go to eventually anyway.  The food was good, the dessert was good and we had a nice time.  Monika, a fellow blogger, asked me if she could take a picture of my outfit for her blog, I was so taken aback!  I'm sure that's the only time that will ever happen to me, considering I'm far from a fashionista, but I was flattered.  After dinner we went to Duke's statue so our guests could get pictures, and then for some drinks.


LOVED his shirt

Our guests and I





Needless to say none of us got much sleep that night.  Especially since I had to be up at 5am to get them to the airport!  The nerve of them booking such an early flight!!  But, I love them anyway, and can't say enough how much I appreciate them coming.  It was like having a little slice of home here, if only for a short time.

They were leaving us...but they weren't going home...their next stop was L.A.


And the adventure continues (for both us, and them)...

Stay tuned...