Hello again friends … long time no … uh, post? The last several weeks have been nothing short of insanity, and luckily, I was able to unplug, unwind, and take some time to just relax throughout the last week. But that certainly doesn’t mean that I spent my week in Hawaii sitting on my butt (although, truth be told, that is typically a big part of my beach vacations).
Last week, the boy headed to Honolulu for work for a few days, and with Valentines’ Day being last Friday and the Presidents’ Day holiday this past Monday, he invited me to join him out there for a little sand, surf and relaxation. We had both been working ourselves ragged lately, and it was a good excuse to get away from the winter that will never end (lucky for me, I flew out of D.C. about 12 hours before last Wednesday’s dumping of snow started falling).
One thing you have to know about both of us is that we are typically pretty active. I joke with him that his garage looks like a miniature REI. He’s an outdoor sports type. I’m more of a gym type, but I’ll try just about anything once. So needless to say, between the beaches, sites and fancy tropical drinks (in moderation, of course), we managed to stay pretty active. I tried a few new things. Saw some beautiful sites. Spent some time on former movie sites (we’ll get to that). And got a black eye.
So here’s Part 1 of the story:
I was informed going in that I would be learning to surf during our trip. Now, I’m typically a only as deep as my ankles kind of girl, so I was a little nervous as to how this would turn out. I was afraid I’d drown. Or get eaten by a shark. Or knock out my teeth. But I promised the boy I’d try. So I did … twice. Let’s say that while one instructor was not so great and left me unscathed (physically – emotionally may be a different story), the other was fantastic … and I came away with a story to tell.
We spent a few days in Waikiki, and apparently the gentle waves are perfect for new surfers. The boy claimed the waves were super-gentle (in fact, I think he was a little bored with them). Thus he hired pro #1 to show me what to do.
I was a little terrified of “Uncle Gil” from the start. He was this tiny man who I’m fairly sure was missing a few teeth, and kept talking about how he’d been surfing for 50 years (oh, and that he’d been in Vietnam). I’m usually the type who has to try something a few times before I get it down … and Uncle Gil took that as me not listening to him (because of course it wasn’t that he wasn’t explaining what he wanted me to do). Long story short, he yelled at me a lot, but I was able to get up a few times. I walked away thinking I was much better suited for beach sitting. And that Uncle Gil was terrifying. Desire to become a surfer? Zero.
But the boy was persistent, and once we made our way up to the North Shore a couple days later, surfing lessons were once again on my agenda. I will admit – and he knows this – I was less than thrilled with the prospect. If the waves outside of our hotel were any indication, I may be risking death. But Mike, the instructor (who was about 40 years younger than Uncle Gil – and a WHOLE lot nicer) assured us we were in good hands. So we loaded up into a van and drove to another beach not too far away to get started.
I’ll admit to being a little cranky-pants on the trip over there. I’ll also admit to perking up considerably when the girl who took us over to the site informed us that we’d be surfing on the beach that Hunger Games: Catching Fire was filmed (yes, I got a little fan girl. So what). It was a long swim out to the waves – definitely longer out than I think I’ve ever been in the ocean before – but, thankfully, the area was relatively shallow thanks to a reef (though the reef brought additional challenges: Would I break something? Would something try to eat me? Were there jellyfish?). Mike took his time finding what he called the “perfect wave” before he pushed us out – taking the time to explain what we were looking for, why it was important, and really just putting us at ease before we were thrust out into the wave. Needless to say, I started to get a little more of the why behind the how – and for me, that made a big difference. I still don’t know that I’d say I have much surfing in my future, but yes, I can see how it could be fun when you know what you’re doing. The boy claimed Mike told him I had great form, so maybe it is just a matter of practice makes perfect?
However, I did walk away from the lesson with a memory that will take a few days to go away… yeah, I got hit in the eye with the surfboard. Talk about one heck of a souvenir…
More on my adventures coming tomorrow … now this girl’s gotta get to bed in the hopes of lessening the chances of severe jet lag…