Saturday, June 30, 2012

Striped Shirts and Wireless Shoulders

So there I was, in the midst of some delicious slumber, when Robyn suddenly outburst with a very urgent mumble. It woke me up, but I didn't really think much of it, the mumble outbursts are pretty common.

But then, there it was again. This time I was already awake so I tried my best to listen carefully. All I heard was, "Mumble! MUMBLE! MUMBLE!!!".

I had no idea what she said, but I could tell it was pretty important. In my semi coherent, just woken up state, I always have the hardest time trying to figure out what is going on, so I just asked her, "Are you trying to tell me something, or are you just talking in your sleep?"

She replied with great conviction, "No, I'm talking to YOU!"

At this point, that answer made her sound pretty awake. I had probably just woke her up with my question, but you never really can tell. "What are you trying to tell me?"

"I was just telling you about the stripes they put on my shirt and..."

Those last three dots are very important. It seems as if she trailed off because when spoken out loud her striped shirt issue no longer seemed like the sort of issue you wake your husband up for in the middle of the night.

At this point I may have had a little bit of a mocking town when I said, "Oh, so you WERE talking in your sleep."

Naturally, that elicited a cranky response. "No, I'm not talking in my sleep. Don't be so mean. K. BYE!"

She rolled over and resumed her slumber while I lay and pondered the whole exchange. That's when I realized something.

Her striped shirt may seem a bit strange. But just an hour earlier I had woken myself up because I was contorting my shoulder in weird ways. I awoke when the contortions caused my shoulder to pop.

It turns out that in my dream, my shoulder was picking up some sort of wireless signal that allowed me to look at pictures of the ocean. I'm not sure how my shoulder allows streaming of pictures, or even what the viewing device is. I also don't know why I needed to contort it, for the functionality of the wireless signal.  But it was all clearly working in the dream.

So, my dreams are probably more strange than hers, I'm just less vocal about them.

The next morning, Robyn had no memory of this exchange. So I drew this picture to help her understand.

We're almost as precious in our dreams as we are in real life.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hawaii in Pictures

I wrote a couple posts while I was on my Hawaii trip.  I'd been meaning to write a few more but I realized it's probably not going to happen.  So instead, I'm just going to summarize some of the various experiences we had by showing you a few pictures.

It was a super amazing trip.  Between my phone, our underwater camera and Robyn's fancy camera we took nearly 1000 pictures.  We're hardcore like that.  I was able to narrow it down to the pictures you see below, but even these make for a lot of pictures in one post.  Sorry if it's too overwhelming.  Hawaii is just too awesome for me to even handle.  And two weeks of Hawaii was pretty much the greatest thing I've ever experienced.

If you want to know more about any of the pictures below, just let me know in the comments.  Those of you who are friends with me on facebook have probably already seen these pictures, but you can always look at them again.  It's Hawaii, why would you not want to look again?

Without further ado, here are a few of our experiences in Hawaii.

We went to the Byodo-In Buddhist temple.  It was really beautiful.

The koi pond at the Buddhist temple went into quite the feeding frenzy when food was tossed in.
I got to ring the bell to invite blessings to the visitors of the Buddhist temple. I know I seem like I'm special needs in pretty much every video. I've come to accept it.

I was able to drink from a coconut.  An important item on my bucketlist.

My grandpa helped build this church over 40 years ago.
My dad and I were walking around the church taking all sorts of pictures.  I'm sure the people who go to church there were wondering why the weird tourists were so excited about their church.
We went to the top of Haleakala (the big volcano on Maui) and watched the sunrise from the top.  It was amazing.

We went snorkeling in Hanauma Bay.  It was super beautiful.

I saw this crab in Shark's Cove.  (It's a different one than I wrote about in my last blog post.   After that experience I bought disposable underwater camera and went back again the next morning.)

I fought a great battle against this cockroach.
 Robyn started screaming because she saw a cockroach in the dishwasher.  She called me into the kitchen and handed me a bottle of Raid.  I asked her, "do you really want me to spray poison into the dishwasher?"  She gave me a look that said, "If he doesn't die, I will die."  So I started spraying.  This guy took a direct spray to the face for a solid 20 seconds before he finally rolled over and said 'uncle'.  Even then, he was still twitching as I scooped him out with a paper towel.  I have to admit, as much as I love Hawaii, I really appreciate that bugs in Utah don't get that big.
I found this gecko in the house we stayed at.
 One night we were laying in bed and there were 2 geckos crawling across the wall.  Robyn didn't like the fact that lizards were roaming freely throughout the house.  I tried to explain that geckos are our friends because they eat the things we like less.  She tolerated them, but she was not happy when I put one on my arm to take this picture.
This turtle almost swam on top of me.
 I was snorkeling along like a good kid when suddenly I looked to my left and saw this turtle about a foot away.  I totally jumped.  (As much as you can jump when you're snorkeling.) He gave me a look like, "Dude, what's your deal?  I'm just a turtle."  Then he swam along on his merry way.  I managed to snap this picture after he had already passed me.
I saw like a bazillion lizards.  Robyn got tired of me taking pictures of them.

Robyn calls this her mermaid float.
 I don't get the mermaid float.  It's like she's relaxing in a recliner.  When I try to float like that, it's a lot of work to stay in position and keep my head above water.  But she could do it for days.
Iao Valley.  Sooo pretty.

This is the biggest banyan tree in the United States.  Its canopy covers an entire city block.

Don't I look pretty with a flower in my hair?
 The flower jumped out of the tree and landed on me.  If that's not a sign that I should wear it in my ear  I don't know what is.  Robyn didn't seem to agree about what the sign meant.  She told me to take it off and I said I wouldn't until she took a picture.
I really wanted a picture in the sugar cane.  My mom and I went to get pictures while our spouses yelled from the car that it was private property and we could all die.  (Or something like that)

We went to Pearl Harbor.  It was a powerful experience to honor a place where so many lost their lives.

We also went to an LDS temple in Laie.  I learned that Laie, HI was originally founded by mormon missionaries.  Kinda crazy!

We ate at Merriman's and watched the sunset.  The food was amazing and the view was awesome.
We rode a boat out to Molokini

We saw dolphins from the boat at Molokini

We kind of look awesome when we're snorkeling

I really liked this shot I took of my parents at Waimea Bay

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Shark's Cove

I just had one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  The house we are staying in is across the street from Shark's Cove.  In the afternoons this area is completely packed and it's hard to find a parking spot.  I had it all to myself when I went out about 6:30 this morning.

Our waterproof camera gave up the ghost a few days ago.  We'll get it fixed when we get back to Utah but if there was any time I wished I had it, it was this morning.

As I walked across the street and down into the cove I walked through the light rain that I've come to love about Oahu.  The droplets are so small that it is more of a mist that lightly cools you as each tiny speck of water pricks you with its impact.

I clambered over the rocks to get down into the tide pools.  As I did so, I looked up and saw a beautifully vivid rainbow.  It rose over the ocean and wrapped itself across the sky above the cove.

I had come here to snorkel.  I had my fins and mask, but I realized I was going to need to wade through rocky tide pools before I could get to water deep enough for snorkeling.  I decided I probably wouldn't need my fins and left them on the sand as I started to climb into the tide pools.

Though I had come for the snorkeling, I think I might have actually enjoyed the tide pools even more.  I was wading through sandy pools that varied in depth from 1 to 5 inches.  I was surprised to see so much life within these pools.  It must have been low tide because there were a number of pools that were completely isolated and yet were teaming with fish.  They would zip around my feet, searching for a place to hide while I was just as earnestly searching for places to step without crushing these tiny life forms.

I noticed one kind of fish in particular.  As it would flee my hulking mass, it would beach itself up on the sand.  As I looked closer at this specific fish I noticed it had little finger like protrusions on its fins.  I wondered if it had a special ability for crawling up out of the water a little bit when necessary for safety.

I also saw sea urchins and a few tiny crabs peaking out from holes in the rocks.  There was even some sort of sea cucumber or something similar that was poking out of the water.

I finally made it to water deep enough for snorkeling.  I slipped into the deeper water and instantly was amazed by the fish teaming around me.  In all my snorkeling throughout my Hawaii trip, the most common fish I have seen is the zebra fish.  I have seen them in groups of 10 or 20 before.  But suddenly I was surrounded by 60 or 70 zebra fish in only 8 feet of water.

I floated around these shallow pools.  Some dropped to depths as deep as 20 feet or so.  Others had rocks that shot up so that I was floating in water only 4 feet deep.  I tried to respect the reef as much as possible by only stopping to stand if I was above sand.  At one point, I accidentally touched a rock as I swam by and I pulled back my hand as if to apologize for violating its space.

I'm always a person that wants to touch everything.  Robyn is sometimes embarrassed when we go different places and I have to touch statues, buildings, plants and whatever else we come across.  With so much life in front of me, it was difficult to restrain myself from touching.  But I felt that if nature was going to let me come this close, I should show respect by not being too intrusive.  (Plus, I figured it would be embarrassing to come back to the house and have Robyn scold me for getting bitten, stung, pricked or hurt because I was touching something I shouldn't have been.)

Finally, I started to get a little cold.  (I know, me getting cold.  Who would have thought that could happen?  Especially in Hawaii)  I started to come back in through the tide pools.  I found a glass bottle sitting on top of one of the rocks.  I became a little cranky at human kind.  Here I was doing my best not to touch anything and other people were using this area as their giant trash can.  I grabbed the bottle and headed back through the pools.

On my way back I saw the biggest crab I've ever seen.  (I've eaten crab legs that were longer than this entire crab, but this was the biggest living crab I've seen.)  From the tips of his outstretched legs he was probably 8 inches across.  So he was certainly no Alaskan king crab but he was not one of the 1 inch sand crabs I had seen most of this trip.

He sat on top of a rock surveying his domain.  As he sat there he was king of his castle and was not concerned in the least that I was there.  I got up real close and got a good look at him.  He just looked me in the eye and thought to himself, "Sup?" 

I stood there for a long time.  I thought back to the very first time I went snorkeling.  I got in the water and almost immediately saw a big purple lobster.  At the time I figured people must see those all the time.  But I've been snorkeling dozens of times and never seen another lobster. I compared it to the moment I was having and figured it must be a once in a lifetime experience.

Finally I bid my goodbyes to my crab friend.  I made my way back to the sand, but there again was another crab, (so much for once in a lifetime) just as haughty and sure of himself as the first one.  He was a little smaller, probably 5 inches across.  I stopped to hang with him for a minute or two.  I'm sure I'm not the only person to see a crab at Shark's Cove, but I'm guessing they don't hang out on the rocks like that when the cove is filled with 100 people later in the afternoon.

Finally, I climbed back up the rocks to make my way back to our house.  It was a little difficult trying to climb the rocks with fins and a glass bottle in my hands.  I was super worried I would drop it and break it which increased my crankiness at the original people who left it. 

I crawled up to the top and back to the roadside just as the first car arrived for the deluge of people that will be arriving the rest of the day.  I was glad I was able to have the cove to myself for my special morning adventure.
I don't have any pics of the adventures in the water, but here is a pic of the cove itself

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Time the Wind Blew my Wife's Clothes Off

The following story is true.  It is also quite humorous.  At the time, under no circumstances was I permitted to laugh.  But now that it's been a while and Robyn is not quite as embarrassed, she is now willing to admit that it was quite funny.

You see, we had driven to the Pali lookout here in Hawaii.  It is a cliff that overlooks the majority of the island of Oahu.  It is a beautiful view of the jungle, mountains and ocean.  We had been enjoying the view when I noticed a particularly strong gust of wind.

I asked Robyn to take a picture of me to show just how windy it was. Robyn obliged and took this picture.
There are some things you should know about the above picture.

First, I know it looks like I just wore really wrinkled clothes.  While I do do that on occasion, this time the wrinkles are due to some serious wind.

Second, this picture is not what the story is about.  The real story is what happened behind the camera.

You see, like a dutiful wife, Robyn took my picture.  While doing so, a gust of wind came along and caused quite a ruckus.  (I'm not entirely sure that ruckus is a word, but the editor didn't do the little red underline thing so I'm going with it.)

Before I explain the nature of the ruckus, I need to help you understand the clothing Robyn was wearing.  This is Robyn at Pearl Harbor, earlier that day.

There are a few things you should notice about this picture:
First, Robyn is very precious.  But that's normal.
Second, she is wearing a blue sleeveless dress with a white sweater over the top.
Third, the white sweater dips down quite low and is also somewhat see through, so she probably wouldn't want to wear the white sweater by itself.

Keep those important facts in mind as I tell you the story of what happened behind the camera when the first picture above was taken.

So, after she snapped the shot she started screaming.  (Not the blood curdling, "I'm being murdered" scream but the little yelp that indicates something quite surprising is occurring.)  Accompanied with the scream she started saying things about her dress.

I thought she was concerned that something like this would happen:

Well,  unfortunately that's not what happened.  But to help you understand what did happen, I've hired a world renowned artist.

First, the wind caught hold of her long dress and pulled it between her legs.
Note: This extremely accurate drawing is not of Medusa.  Her hair was really blowy.
It started flapping in the wind, and the more it flapped, the more downward pressure was being put on the dress.  Pretty soon, it went from being a dress to being a skirt.

Note:  This awesome drawing is not anatomically correct.

At this point I realized there may be a problem.  I corralled her over to a nearby wall, and I tried to form a human shield while she dressed herself once again.  I gave other people the "There's nothing to see here, move along" look.  It was very effective.

Once Robyn got her clothes back on, I figured it was time to admit that what happened was pretty funny.  It turns out that was too soon.  I had a cranky wife for a bit.

But when we got back to where we're staying that night, we discussed how our adventures for the day had been a real success.  I mean, we all remained fully clothed for almost the entire day.  If that's not success I don't know what is.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Road to Hana Part 2: The Pipiwai Trail and beyond

If you haven't done so.  Read Part 1 of the road to Hana

We made it to Hana and then decided to continue our journey around the other side of the island.  The stop I really wanted to hit was actually past Hana.  I wanted to hike the Pipiwai trail.  This trail is part of the Haleakala National park.  It is 4 miles round trip, and an amazing hike.  Read below and you'll understand why.

The hike takes you through lots of jungle and forest.  You get to see lots of plant life and some beautiful flowers, trees and waterfalls.
Robyn makes the jungle look good.
I took this picture so you would all think I do dangerous stuff.  In reality, I stayed far, far away from the steep cliff and fatal drop.  (My fear of heights has kept me alive so far.  So I'm just gonna stick with that.)
There were basically 3 landmarks on the trail that I wanted to see.  I really wanted to see the Banyan tree, the bamboo forest and Waimoku Falls.
The Giant Banyan tree was super cool.  But it's hard to say whether it was cooler than me or not.  That's why we're both in the picture.
After we got to the Banyan tree the bamboo forest began about a quarter mile later.
There was a bridge that lead into the beginning of the forest.  It was like stepping into a tunnel.
There was a zen feeling within the forest.  I felt this picture of Robyn captured that feeling pretty well.
We were in a bit of a time crunch.  We weren't sure exactly how long it would take to drive home, but we didn't want to do it in darkness.  So we were trying to do this trail as fast as possible so that we could be back to our hotel before dark.  We had talked about just hiking to the bamboo forest and then turning around.  But once we got there, we thought it was so cool we just had to continue.
It was such a surreal feeling being surrounded by the bamboo.
They had built these wooden trails that lasted about a half mile.  Super cool!
As the wind blew through the bamboo shoots, they would knock together.  I took this short video to capture a 360 degree view of the forest and hear a little bit of the knocking sound as well.

By the time the bamboo forest ended, we were able to look up and see Waimoku Falls.  I'm so glad we didn't quit before we got there.  It was super amazing!
I looked it up.  It's a 400 foot tall waterfall.  The picture doesn't do it justice.
We spent several minutes there and then ran the 2 miles back down as fast as we could.  I was pretty proud of myself.  I was a little speed demon.  People coming up the trail were probably terrified to see an individual as large as myself barreling down the trail at such speeds.  Of course, with gravity on my team, going quickly wasn't too difficult.  It's stopping that can be difficult.

We then continued along the "back side" of the road to Hana.  We debated whether to take this way or go back the way we came.  There were several blogs and websites that I read that basically said we would die if we went the back way.  Apparently even the car rental companies discourage driving along that road.  We decided all the people that are afraid of that road are just wimps.

End of Road to Hana
This picture is not mine.  I stole it from a website saying we will die on this road.
As we drove along, there were a few treacherous spots.  My dad drove it flawlessly, though.  At one point, there was a car coming the opposite way.  We tried as hard as we could to squeeze by.  We eventually both pulled our mirrors in while my dad hit the gas so that our car would climb the mountain on the right while the other people squeezed by.  It was dicey but no one died.

Another time we were driving along and there was a sheer dropoff of several hundred feet into the ocean.  I freaked out just a tiny little bit but Robyn held my hand to make me feel better.  And then I called everyone that was too scared to drive this road a wimp.  That made me feel better too.

Eventually we made it back to Kihei (the city where our hotel is) and lived to tell the tale.  We were so hungry we could die, and we weren't willing to wait for any restaurants to seat us.  We went to KFC which gave us some delicious food fast.  Once again, crisis averted, death defied.

I didn't fall into the ocean.  I didn't starve to death or anything.  The worst thing that happened was that when I got out of the car when we got back I discovered that my feet hurt really bad.  It turns out that my hiking sandals are not actually running sandals.  So running down that mountain had given me some blisters.

But I even survived that crisis with a few good band aids.

I'm a survivor.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Road to Hana

We've been on Maui almost a week now.  I've had a myriad of experiences and I haven't shared any of them with you.  This morning I sat down to update my bucket list with some of the things I have crossed off that list.  One of those things is driving the Road to Hana.  I figured I may as well write it here and then copy it over there.

I'll try to write about the other fun experiences I've had as well.  But give me some time.  I've been too busy having experiences to record them.  (Although last night, after having some awesome snorkeling all day at Molokini and the coast of Lanai, I was one tired boy and slept for 10 1/2 hours.  So I guess I wasn't having experiences during that period, I was recuparating from them.)

So without further ado, here are just a few of the experiences we had on the road to Hana.

The road to Hana is a long and twisty road (anywhere from 40 to 60 miles, depending where you start measuring) that follows the northern coast of Maui.  It has some beautiful views right from the highway

It should be noted, that while my bucket list says "drive the road to Hana" I am perfectly content with riding the road to Hana.  My dad was the driver, and I was very glad of it.  There are hundreds of twists and turns, many of them blind corners.  There are lots of one way bridges and dicey scenarios.  I was perfectly content to sit in the back seat and enjoy the scenery.

Along the way we did several hikes.  One was to twin falls which was very beautiful.
We saw beautiful flowers along the way.
Robyn got a chance to show her artistic photography
Robyn helped make the leaf more attractive.
We found a small picturesque pool with a beautiful waterfall.
Naturally I stood under it.
And kissed under it. (It had to be done)
And that was just the beginning.  Along the side of the road there are a number of beautiful waterfalls that require no hiking or extra effort.  (Other than trying to park, which can be an effort in itself.  But my dad took care of that effort.)  Here is a shot we took from the road side.
If you are Hawaiian, this is Waikani Falls.  If you have ever heard bedtime stories this is Three Bears Falls because it is a mommy waterfall, a daddy waterfall and a baby waterfall.

We continued the long and windy road, we didn't die and we actually made it to Hana.  When we got there we found a beautiful black sand beach.
The ocean had such a deep blue color to it in Hana.

That only covers half of the road to Hana.  We still had to get back alive.  But now it's time for me to go to the beach, so you'll have to stay tuned.
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