My friend Meredith was at her parents’ vacation condo in Hawaii several months ago. She sent Amy and me a photo of the view from the lanai, suggesting we do a girl’s trip out there in June, so of course we said, “Hell yeah!”
Meredith, who’s a real go-getter, must have been hopped up on mai tais because once she got a yes out of us, she didn’t wait for any more details. About ten minutes later she texted us, “Great! I booked the plane tickets. Pay me back whenever.” Guess this was happening…
So off we went to Kona, on the Big Island. This was my first trip to Hawaii. I honestly wasn’t prepared to be wowed. I live in Southern California. We have beaches, palm trees, awesome weather….I’m spoiled and it takes a lot to impress me. But, soon after we arrived, I was impressed. The black lava rock covering the town was so awe-inspiring. The water was clear and as warm as bath water, the sand white and soft between our toes.
Although there were a million points I could hit on, I’m going to give you the top 5 memories from my unforgettable trip
1. The Creatures and Critters and things that Made Us Go “Bump” (on our heads) In the Night
Other than the scenery, what made me realize I wasn’t in Kansas anymore were the various creatures who wanted to hang out with us. If you’ve talked to me for 5 minutes, you’ll probably discover that I don’t really like creatures- of any variety. First, and most unpleasant, there were cockroaches everywhere. SICK SICK SICK!!! We learned early into our week long trip that leaving the screen door open was a no-no. Amy and I were sharing a room, and as we were lying in our respective beds reading one of our first nights there, suddenly I heard a loud “WHACK!”
“What the hell was that?” I asked as she flailed around.
“It landed on me! One of them landed on me!!” She screeched. “I whacked myself in my head with my ipad!!”
I didn’t know what “one of them” was, but I knew it couldn’t be good. Amy recovered from her ipad injury as I hid under the covers.
We then proceeded to exterminate the little fuckers.
Amy found a shoe and chased them down. I sat hiding under the sheets until she yelled for me and I would go around and pick up the moth and cockroach carcasses around the room with a wad of tissues.
“GAH!! There’s another one!!”
“I don’t know! Up there! Get him! We gotta get him to come out. Heeeerrrreee cucaracha here little cockroach!” I tried to lull one of them out.
“I mean. Are you really trying to singsong them out of hiding?” Amy looked at me flabbergasted.
“I don’t know! Do you have any better ideas??”
That night, Amy and I went to bed and woke up periodically hitting ourselves, dreaming about creatures crawling on us.
And let’s not forget the geckos- but after my initial fear of the little amphibians, I was told they ate the cockroaches so I was a little more forgiving of them habitating the condo with us, knowing they were joining forces with our extermination efforts. We even adopted one who really liked hanging out with us (wouldn’t leave) and who we named, “Felix.”
2. Meeting Non-Murderers at the Watering Hole
We hit up the Kona Brewing Co for dinner and beers. Even though we can buy Longboard Lager here on the mainland, I can assure you it’s tastier sipping one from the brewery in Kona.
Then we went to a bar called “Huggos on the Rocks” but most people just called it “On the Rocks” which I was delighted about and took the opportunity to tell anyone who would listen that I am a “famous” blogger and I was Tracy “On the Rocks.” Because of my fame- more likely because we were 3 girls at a bar together and from the looks of things the only people there under the age of 50- but for the sake of this story let’s go with the fame theory. So me being an internet sensation and all, we were getting shots bought for us all night. Some of them were disgusting shots like Kamikazes and Sex on the Beach shots but we graciously choked them down.
In between our sugary awful shots, we met a nice fella named Dallas. Dallas was there with his uncle and by the end of the night, he was telling us about a chartered fishing trip that his company had paid for but all his coworkers had bailed on him. He asked us if we girls wanted to join him because he was going with or without them and it would be more fun not going alone. We deduced from a series of Kamikaze shot induced questions that he was not a murderer.
And we took extra precautions in addition to our effective interrogation strategy by taking his Driver’s License and telling him that we were running a background check. “Hey I’ll be right back I’m running a background check on you. You better not be a killer.”
“Yeah good, that’s what I thought.”
Also we figured there would be a captain on the ship so there was only a small likelihood that we would end up shark bait so we agreed to meet him at the marina the next day
3. Fishing with Tex and “The Legend”
The next day, we nursed our pounding headaches, packed our cooler full of beer and headed off to meet Tex. Yes, his name was Dallas. But my little pea-brain couldn’t register that. And if you’ve been one of the many unlucky victims of my nickname giving, you should know now that Tex was doomed from the start.
Anyway, we climbed aboard the “Camelot” and popped up top to crack a beer.
No sooner had we gotten settled in, there was a big commotion and we finally gathered that we were getting a bite. We shooed Tex down to deal with the fishing portion of the day’s programming. But then, a few minutes later while Tex was reeling in an ono, there was more hooting and hollering. Another bite! Meredith was the more obvious pick for this so we kicked her down to reel the big guy in. I looked at Amy and said, “What the hell? I thought we were going on the boat to drink beers and read magazines? That looks like a lot of work!” Sidenote: I don’t think that fisherwoman is in my career path in any future lives.
So Mere get shoved in this chair and strapped in. It looked a little bit like she was about to give birth and I was more than a little bit terrified. Maybe we should have done a better background check!
It took her a little while to reel the big guy in but she did it! And as for looking like she was giving birth, she told us afterward that the Captain’s son was down there with her coaching her through it as such. “Keep going! You can do it! Just a little more. You got this! This is so hard but once you do it, your life will never be the same! Keep going, keep going!”
The rest of the fishing trip was a little more relaxed and we got to know the captain and his son. “I’m a LEGEND around here,” Captain Robert exclaimed.
“Uh, a legend in your own mind?” I asked.
“No, a REAL LEGEND! Chris!! Get them the brouchure!” he bellowed to his son.
“Great,” his son Chris said. “Now you got him started.”
“Read this!” the Captain handed the flyer to Meredith. Meredith read aloud a local tourist brouchure in which our captain was named a legend indeed. The paper was very worn (almost as if he made all his passengers read from it) and he mouthed along to every word.
The Legend was a real character and kept us laughing the entire time. He even sold us these ridiculous shirts which I’m sure our dads will be real proud to see us wearing around town.
After a fun day in the sun on the boat, we came ashore and the Captain’s other son filleted the fish. SICK SICK SICK. While he was chopping the thing up, he pointed out this really, really gross thing that lives in the fish’s stomach. It’s some kind of a leech and it was still alive when it came out. I don’t know why I am subjecting you to knowing this gruesome tidbit, but I had to live it so now you do too.
And I must have had enough of those Longboard Lagers because I TOUCHED IT!!!
I also ate the freshest piece of sashimi I’ve ever laid eyes on, but I promise you that was BEFORE the leech thing.
We went home and cooked up Meredith’s catch and made some bomb-ass fish tacos and toasted to our fun day while we watched the sun set.
4. Hyperventilating- (or what some people call “Snorkeling”)
Another one of our adventures was going snorkeling. Let’s be real I didn’t have any intention of snorkeling. I’m pretty much afraid of everything and if there’s one thing that scared me more than being eaten by something in the ocean it was SEEING what was going to eat me before he did. Also the thought of putting my mouth on the little mouthpiece thingy that someone else had slobbered on absolutely disgusted me.
I declined the fins and shoved myself into an inner-tube and was the least graceful person to ever fling herself off a boat. There was a 95 year old woman who hobbled into the water more easily than I did.
Here is a tiny sampling of what was going on in my deranged head when my body first submerged in the water:
“Ohmigawd Ohmigawd ohmigawd -something is definitely biting my leg, what’s biting my leg? Everything in here wants to eat me.” (Picturing everything in the ocean with a bear trap for a mouth) “I’m going to leave here with no legs. I should have looked up what rating the hospital on this island has before I left. What if the hospital I go to doesn’t know how to fit me for a prosthetic? Holy Shit, holy shit. I’m going to die. This is where I’m going to take my last breath. This is it.”
I gulped to take said last breath and looked around. Hmm… nobody else had died yet so that was a good sign. They all had their heads in the water. Well maybe I would just take a quick peek to see what was going on in there….As my breathing steadied and my panic subsided slightly, I plunged my head underwater.
Wow. It was SO beautiful. All that coral and fish…I could see so far down into the clear water and come to think of it, it didn’t seem like my legs were looking very appetizing to any of the sea creatures swimming by….
And eventually my wanting to really see the marine life even outweighed how disgusted I was over putting my mouth on the slobbery mouthpiece.
The ONLY disappointing part of our snorkeling trip (besides me being an embarrassment to the entire snorkeling community) was that I was lured out there with the promise of a bar on board but they wouldn’t open it up and serve us until the way back. Evidently they thought it was “dangerous” boozing up a bunch of idiot tourists and then throwing them in the ocean. Whatever.
5. The Time We Missed Our Flight and it REALLY Wasn’t My Fault
A few more beach days later and it was time to leave. Although our departure from Kona was not the best part of our trip, it was certainly one of the most memorable. After we had piled all of our luggage into the car, we noticed that we had a flat tire on our rental car. At this point even if it had crossed our minds to change it (to be clear, it didn’t ever cross any of our minds) we probably wouldn’t have had time to YouTube it and get it done in time to make our flight. #justsaying
We called a cab and the dispatcher told us it would be about “15 Minutes.” Now, we had been on the island long enough to know how “Island time” worked. 15 minutes was more likely 30 minutes but we had high hopes because we had just barely that much to spare and still get to the airport on time.
A good 45 minutes later and this giant, bald Samoan man with tats on his face and a long scraggly beard rolled up. No sooner had we shut the doors and put our seatbelts on, he started yapping up a storm.
“I got a call this morning and my day started out really bad,” he told us. “Women problems. I had a girl for 7 years. 7 years! But she cheated on me. How’s that? So whatever. I was pretty bummed out you know because she was pretty good at the –” (positions his hands at his side in a mock humping motion)- “so you know I miss that. But I got a new girl too. I gotta keep looking good for her. So I’ve been going to the gym. Everybody at the gym is taking these testosterone shots. They’re supposed to really work. So I’ve been getting them. I had to go get one today. If I didn’t get one today, then I would have had to wait until tomorrow and it would have thrown my whole cycle off. That’s where I was this morning before I got you guys and why I’m so late. I’m surprised you’re not more mad about it.”
“Uh…we’re plenty mad about it!!” I told him. “Now we’re going to miss our flights! But what are we going to do about it?”
I glanced in the backseat at Amy and Meredith like, ‘Is this really happening?’
I thought they were both going to reach up into the front seat and strangle him. “I mean. I really wish you hadn’t told us that.” I said to him.
Just then his phone rang, “Hey I gotta take this. This guy’s gonna be mad. I’m late picking him up too….”
As we pulled up to the airport, I said, “Whelp. See you later. Good luck with all your girl problems. And I hope your sticks and berries get messed up from all those shots you’re taking!!”
We ran as fast as we could to our gate and found our plane. We blew past security and just as it was taking off, we reached it and hung off the wheels as they were pulling them up and that’s how we managed to sneak onto the plane and make our flight home just as we had planned despite that idiot cab driver and his testosterone shots.
Nah, I’m just kidding- of course we missed our flight. That cab driver owes us several hundred dollars and 6 extra hours of our lives we’ll never get back. But, there are worse places we could have been stuck. And on the bright side it’s the only flight of many that I’ve missed that 100% wasn’t my fault so add that to the list of firsts from our unforgettable trip.
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