Monday, November 19, 2012

Day 31

Our first month is up! It's day 31, says my android phone app... yes that's the sly way of telling you I got rid of my iPhone this month and switched to Android, via the Samsung Galaxy SIII. If you're wondering... it's amazing. Even just the live wallpaper of the little cute panda watching bubbles flow by makes me happier than my iPhone did--and of course that's just the beginning! But I won't bore you with phone things... let me update you!

Today was Cole's first day at Vivint Solar. I've been hanging out by myself all day. I dropped him off, then headed to the gym. After I went to McDonald's to take advantage of their free wifi. I'm not sure if you know this, but Cole and I have a little side project that we hope will continue to get bigger. So that's what I have been doing most of today. So far so good! You can check out the fruits of my labor if you'd like, I built this website for a guy that is teaching Cole how to kitesurf. He's doing trade with us. So Cole learns for free, while I built a little website for him. Pretty awesome stuff!! Anyway, the site I built is  (to keep going, I also cleaned the whole house and need to grocery shop in the next two hours before I pick Cole up. Not working is weird I've decided.)

As I mentioned, Cole is learning to kitesurf! It's pretty cool. We went and watched the kitesurfers in Kialua Beach yesterday after his second lesson. I regretfully have to tell you I didn't take pictures all day yesterday! So no kitesurfing pics, and no pictures of the amazing view (best I've ever seen) at the top of this hike I did while Cole was taking his lesson. Sorry guys. I failed you.

We are pretty settled into our new place now. We have furniture, and we painting the living room,

(I may have gotten some paint right in my hair...)

and we have even been able to watch movies on rainy days with our new projector!

And yes it does rain. Although we are not on the dry side of the island, we are not on the wet side either, we are smack dab in the middle. 

Even with the rain, we have been able to do some cool things. We are now scuba certified! Woot! So when you all come to see us, we can go on a sweet dive together!  (this picture is from last year... oh well)

We got to watch the sunset on a sailboat!

And throw some boogie boarding in there... I'm terrible by the way. Really awful.

Although it is the holidays, and I keep trying to think about Thanksgiving being this week. It is super hard! All the doors are open in the house and the fan is on. I can't wear makeup often because it will literally sweat off my face if I try. I can put it on at night I've discovered... but then it has to come off a couple hours later, so what's the point!? Oh well. We have seen holiday shopping, and some Christmas decorations. Starbucks did have this little cute snowman that Cole ate (he said it wasn't very good) but it was so cute!

So Happy Holidays everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving! Even though I don't really feel like it's that time of year, I guess it is :) We miss everyone and hope you will all skype with us this Thursday!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Day 19/20

First I'm going to begin with saying that I can't believe my last post was day 17, because it honestly feels like it's been a week since I posted and I thought I was leaving everybody hanging. Second, it is only 7:46 pm, and I am currently 100% ready for bed and lying in bed pretending like I don't want to go to sleep, but I do. I really do. I'm so sleepy. My calves are sore, my eyes are tired, my head is fuzzy, and there's just the fact that I'm tired. BUT I'm also super relieved and so satisfied with how everything is going out here that being tired really doesn't matter.

So Cole and I bought a car! Yay! I don't know how many of you know this, but I name all my cars, and Cole's cars. My first car, a powder blue mini van, had many names, but it was usually Bertha. Worst name. I promise they get better. My second car was named Siv--Honda Civic, not clever but whatever. Then there was my little red Mazda, and her name was Babes. My fourth car was a Nissan Pathfinder named Toby. When Cole and I met, I started naming his cars as well. The first was the Maxima. He was named after Gladiator: Maximus or Max. Then there was the old truck, Charlie. The new truck, Leonitis or Leo. Finally, his bike which he named Thor to follow the theme.  Here in Hawaii, was have a 2001 Ford Explorer and his name is Loki. The god of extreme jealousy and a trickster. Since he seems to have fooled us: the gas tank always says full when it is not, a learned lesson since we bought him, he seems to live up to his name.

It was also on this day that we got a house to live in! We got approved for the apartment, but we couldn't decide if we were going to take it, and then we realized if we didn't we'd have at least two more nights sleeping with wild boars and in the rain. So we decided to take the first house that made sense. It's a two bedroom, so for those of you who have been hoping they could come stay with us, you got your wish. We have a spare room for guests! We're excited because it's also in a gated community and even though Hawaii is pretty safe, we had been to some rough neighborhoods and so we are glad we lucked out with this place. We are now residents of Waipahu Hawaii! Look below, it's directly left of Pearl City. This means we live amongst a ton of military. Cole's hair cut gets us a lot of people who ask if we are military. I feel a little like we're out of the club.

Since we had a place to stay most of our worries were solved! We hung out at the beach and with friends all day. We even got to crash on their floor instead of camp,

Interrupt: remember how I said I was so tired? Well, I fell asleep in the middle of that sentence, so I'm starting again on Day 20. Yes, I can fall asleep anywhere! It was before 8:30 and I was sound asleep.

So! We had crashed with our friends and the next day we signed a lease on our new apartment! It's 2 bedroom, as I mentioned and we are very excited about it. The rest of that day we decided to play! We went to the beach, where we played in the water and laid out. I got burnt--yes it's still hot enough to get burnt here. Then we had the most delicious BBQ pulled pork at this little place called Gracie's. I think. It had 3 tables and about 5 stools. We will definitely be back. After, we met up with our friends and went to breakneck beach with them. Jordan and Cole played in the waves for about 2 hours while Tierney and I jogged around, did a little calf work out, sat in the waves that came further up, and mostly just laughed at the boys when they got owned by the monstrous waves coming in. When we went to shower off, it took forever to get the sand out. I was seriously digging in the bikini bottoms to try and get everything out of there. I'm sure someone got a show, but glad no one took any pictures. After, we ran around taking pictures. Check out this cool tree! That pose is our international symbol for being awesome. It's a good story, I'll tell you sometime :)

This is the picture of the four of us: Jordan, Tierney, Cole and me in front of Shark's Cove. Not cool to snorkel in right now, but normally pretty sweet.

We then met up with some friends of theirs and had dinner. I swear if we weren't being so strict, the food here is so delicious it would be fun to gain 300 lbs. Don't worry, we won't. In fact, both of us have lost some weight since being here. Look how skinny Cole looks:

I get after him to make sure he's eating. But I think both of us want to take advantage and lose a few extra pounds. We're in Hawaii after all, every season is beach season!

After getting some acai bowls (which are like frozen yogurt) Cole and I said goodbye to our friends and went home. The next day was errand day again. Costco, Walmart, thrift stores, it was exhausting. This is why I was so tired last night. While we were running around Walmart, we did see some interesting, umm, patrons? Little birds :)

So what have we been doing today? We went into Cole's work to get him set up with HR. And then? More errands. We got memberships at 24 hour fitness and worked out. Joining a gym was one of my move requirements, so I'm so glad that Cole was on board and we made it work. I'm thinking of working there! It would be pretty rad to work there, I'd love it. After 24, we went thrift store shopping. Can I tell you that I should have been doing this all along??? Today we got 2 dressers, a leather chair, a bamboo/wooden side table, a really cool and don't know how to describe it TV stand, a worn blue leather couch, and so much kitchen stuff. We probably spent $200. It was amazing. And it looks good! We also officially have a bed. It's makeshift, but comfortable and king sized which is the most important part :)

Well we're making it work, and once again we have lucked out and are enjoying our new life!

PS one of my highlights of the last two days was a text from Megan, "Hey frito feet, I miss you!" I laughed for 15 minutes. Girls don't smell like sweat, they just kinda smell like chips. I'm more frito and Megan is more Tostito's. Don't ask more, because it's probably too much information for you already :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day 17

Since our last blog post was so ominous, I thought I would post this morning to let everyone know that we made it through our first camp out safely. It was actually quite interesting! Well the whole day was... hopefully I can get all the details right.

Last time I left you we had departed out of our hotel and checked out the campground (so-called) during the day and found a little spot where we would stay the night. After that, we set out to find a car and a place to live. Throughout the day we drove and drove and drove. First stop, was McDonald's--free Wifi!! Cole says we are living the anarchist life out here because we go anywhere that has free wifi, don't buy anything (3 trips to McDonald's yesterday without buying any of their food), shower with baby wipes, and live out of our storage unit and our tent. Win :) At McDonald's we called around about apartments and cars. After setting up a few things we went on to the next agenda item. The Vivint Solar warehouse in Waipahu, which is where Cole lived last year, was where we ended up. We loved that it is in Waipahu because it's an area that we already know. It's smack in the middle of Honolulu and North Shore so it's kind of a big suburb with a lot of nice area. We stopped in to talk to the head tech there, Blake. He was super nice and we talked with him for quite a while. By the end of the meeting, Cole had a job. Man are we blessed and lucky! He is going to be learning all the ins and outs of Vivint Solar with Blake and working really hard. A lot of manual labor at first, but we are so excited.  Well I think Cole is a little bummed that he has to start working already, but it's definitely a miner negative side. We will play a lot before he has to start (two weeks from yesterday).

After Vivint, we went back to McDonald's to look at more cars and apartments. We realized we were absolutely screwed when we were about to go look at a car we liked and wanted to go to the bank to get cash... surprise, there isn't a Chase bank here! We had to hurry and go open a bank account so that we can transfer funds. We made a trip to the storage unit and couldn't even find our checks and so we felt quite stranded. How could we get an apartment or a car if we couldn't get our money?? The apartment thing works out just fine because they'll take our debit card, but we can't get money transfered to our new bank account for a few days. Luckily, we found our checks in the storage unit this morning and so we are okay. We still opened the bank account, because obviously we're gonna need it!

With that problem solved we started looking at apartments again. After our experience with the camping ground and being stressed all day-- this was almost too much for me. We kept running into the worst possible ghetto. It was unbelievable. I won't even show you pictures because it would scare you. It sure scared me. Finally we found this really nice place, in a gated community thank goodness, that we like a lot. We submitted a rental application and put $100 down to hold it assuming our application comes back approved. We can still choose not to take the apartment if we find something better, so we have continued to look. Back again at McDonald's around 6, we were back on our laptops and iPad's. Man are we a couple of bums!!! I actually did buy a coffee there, so not a total loss for McDonald's I guess...

I started crashing around 8, and getting kinda loopy from being so tired. But we had an appointment to meet a guy for a car at 9:30, so I powered through and despite some incoherent comments about Cole not making sense and would he please try to speak clearly because obviously HE was too tired to complete his thoughts (not so--I would too tired to hear the completed thoughts) I got a second wind. At this point we had eaten granola bars, bananas, peanut butter and jelly and crackers all day so we were starving. We decided to try some Hawaiian food in Cole's old neighborhood. Let me expand on this part of the day!

So it may have been that we had been in the sketchy areas and stressed all day, but everything seemed way more trashy than ever before. Keep in mind, we're in the same strip mall right next to where Cole used to live, where we walked a million times. It's extremely safe! But we were just on edge. Everyone was looking at us wrong, or looked sketchy. A little old asian man yelled at me for not buying his bananas for sale because I was a liar and he had family stuff to take care of... well that was my last straw so we went into the little Hawaiian food place and got Chicken Long Grain, Salmon something, and Kalua Pork. The Pork was delicious, sorta, and the rest was well... it made my stomach queasy. So we left and Cole got two tacos from Jack in the Box (cat food tacos we call them lol, they are the best) and I ate yet another banana and some craisins.

After a less than delicious but fine dinner we went to go meet a guy with a Honda Passport we liked. We pulled up to a really nice neighborhood, relieved, and a guy from the mainland (Boston) greeted us. We looked over the car, the guy was a real talker but it was so nice to talk to someone friendly. Long story short, the car was a piece, so we left knowing we still need a vehicle.

Finally, it was the end of the night and time to go back to our campsite! We made the drive up to the trailhead and started putting together the gear we would need to stay the night. While we were packing up, the security guard from the state department building I told you about, came over. He asked us if we were the couple that was camping there, and we said yes. He asked if we'd scouted out a place, and we told him yes. He then proceeded to tell us about a better place further down the trail, and gave us little points that we could use to our reference to know we were going the right way. He was so nice! He was originally from Sacramento and he and his brother owned a private security company and he was heading up the part that was in Oahu. He had left his family back in Sacramento, and he seemed lonely. He kept talking and talking and showing us pictures on his phone. He told us about how he hunts wild boars where we were about to camp. But not to worry! If we stayed up high (which is where we were camping) we'd be just find. He said that the hunters just used dogs, not guns, and that they wouldn't bother us because they'd be down in the valley. He also told us that the boars would smell us and stay away from us because they would be scared. This nice man talked some more about his horses and family while we were packing up, and then we left him and started on our little hike.

I was nervous, not really scared but just really tuned in to everything around me. It was raining pretty good, and frogs (huge 6-8 inch frogs) were everywhere. Well we saw two, but it seemed everywhere! After about ten minutes we reached a stream we jumped, as we were told by our new friend. After about ten more minutes we reached a rope that was tied to trees on this steep portion of the trail and we used the rope to climb up. Finally, we reached a place where there was an amazing view of the valley and we could see the town below. There was a bench and a little place for our tent. So we set up and got everything situated and settled down listening to the rain. Unfortunately, I was too wired to sleep. Probably still nervous. I played on Cole's phone, and listened to the rain, and every other sound of the forest. I think I slept about 2 hours total. Well I know I did, because I kept looking at the time.

All throughout the night it rained, but our tent was so good! We stayed completely warm and dry. When we woke up... we woke up to this:

After we woke up, we took a walk further up the trail to see if there were any better camping spots -- none that we found. But we did find this cool cave!!! We didn't have our flashlight so Cole didn't explore it. I'm kinda glad, because I was still a little tense.

This morning was interesting because after we hiked back we were SO muddy. We started freshening up back at the car and realized that the wipes we bought hadn't gotten put into our Walmart bag :( So we went back to Walmart to buy wipes, clean up in the bathroom, buy a double car phone charger, and get some laundry detergent. After we were all cleaned up anarchist style, as Cole says, we made it back to our storage unit (where we found our checks today so we can buy a car) and changed our clothes and finished cleaning up some more.

Back to McDonald's we went! We had had a breakfast of protein shake and candy for Cole, and protein shake and granola bar for me. It was definitely not enough for Cole after our meager food yesterday, so he finally patroned McDonald's for two $1 burritos and a coffee, I also got a coffee and it was wonderful. 

We are off to more apartment showings and car searches. Hopefully we'll get in some snorkeling today!  Oh, and we saw this cool blue stop sign yesterday :) Side note.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 15

We have quite a bit to catch you up on!! By the way I'm doing this post from my iPad-- don't let anyone tell you that an iPad is just as good as a regular laptop. This is so awkward because I had to download an iPhone app to even get this to work and the keyboard is stuck in portrait mode. #firstworldproblems... Oh well.

So since last time. Cole and I have been super busy. Cole was sick and we were worried he wasn't going to enjoy Disneyland on Friday so we took him to a doctor that a friend of ours knows thinking he would give us a good deal. Well it was pretty hilarious what happened. So we drive down to his office and find out number one that the office is in a strip mall. As we walk in we pass this guy smoking and chatting it up with these two fat white trash chicks and the guy turns and is like, oh hey, are you him? Cole says... Ya I'm Cole. He says, Great, let me finish this smoke I'll be right in. Okay....

He doesn't have a staff so he signs us in himself. He's this loud talkative Jew and barely let's us get a word in. He asks Cole a million questions. And finally takes us back to the examining room. There is a doctor table with that loud paper on it so I'll give him that-- but also in the room is some old garage sale desk, a toolbox with his equipment in it and a scary barred up door going to the outside. Is this a real doctor? I'll get to that! He examines Cole and tells him he's not sure if he has anything bacterial but if we want he'll sell us a generic Z pack. In fact he says, since your moving to Hawaii and won't have insurance I can sell you a few of them in case you get sick there. Done! So we buy 4 packs for $20 each and get the heck outta there. We find out later that he once lost his license for over prescribing meds... Makes sense. But worked out for us!!! Cole took one of the Z packs and was healed so Disneyland was back on in full force.

Cole and I have been desperately missing our friends James and Megan so we had a little date over Skype. It was awesome. Just the fix we needed with our cute, dear friends. It was so nice to see them that we took pictures too. Hi James and Megan, we love you :)

The next day was Halloween and so the Smith kids dressed up and Cole's parents came down to make Chili in a Fritos bag and go trick or treating. I'm 27 and still on Halloween I eat way too much candy!! The kids costumes were awesome. Summer and Raven were these Monster High Dolls. Skyler was a zombie and his makeup was amazing. Sierra was Athena. Cole and I stayed up and watched a really really creepy movie. We couldn't even finish it and had to watch funny YouTube videos in order to fall asleep. Remember the Back It Up remix news story YouTube? That made me laugh and put me right to sleep.

The next day we drove up to Los Angeles to hang out with Charles. Sort of his grandpa. We took him to lunch and talked with him for a couple hours before Adrienne, the boys, and Barbara met us up there to go to the BYU girls soccer game against he school right down the street. Most intense soccer game over!!!! The teams were very evenly matched and the goalies were amazing. Especially theirs because we had three times as many shots on goal and the score was 0-0 the whole game. The game was a tournament game so they went into overtime and still no score. During the second overtime BYU scored and won!!!!

We went to dinner with Charles after the game and had the best stuffed Marsala chicken with a big price of chocolate cake for dessert. That night we stayed at Adrienne and Tyler's and then the next morning was Disneyland!!!

We made it to the park just a few minutes after it opened. The first place we went was California adventure. We got fast pass tickets to the new cars ride which was for 4:30-5:30 that night!! And we got tickets for world of color. We rode screamin, Hollywood tower of terror three times, soaring, splash mountain, the railroad roller coaster that I can't remember the name, buzz twice and i got my best score ever of 125,000 and Cole got 175,000. We totally cheated and looked up online how to get the most points. We also did star tours twice, space mountain, splash mountain, the haunted mansion, Snow White, whinny the pooh, madderhorn, we watched the Michael Jackson 3d movie, pirates of the Caribbean twice, and I know I'm missing some but you get the idea that the day was super successful. Of course we went back to ride cars with our fast passes and had to sprint through barricades as there was a parade happening and got road blocked and almost didn't make it in our window. But we ran! And got there at exactly 5:30. I'm so glad we did because the ride was awesome!! We then watched world of color and that night after some more rides we watched Fantasmic. We were so tired and almost fell asleep on the way down to cole's mom's house but we made it.

I forgot to tell you the delicious food we ate!! You probably don't care but at least know that we got the best ice cream!

Saturday, Adrienne cut our hair and then we went down to Amanda and Matt's for a picnic and hike. That night we hung out at the house, repacked all our luggage and ate Skyline 3 ways. And then pizookies for dessert :)

Sunday morning... We flew away! The day was going great. We flew in, got our bags (7 big military bags that we were able to check for only 170 bucks!!) and grabbed our rental car. We drove to where our campsite was-- the area at least-- and bought a storage unit. We put most if our crap in there and then made a Walmart run. Walmart makes you feel like home wherever you go. After Walmart we met up with a friend and hung out with her for a bit-- mistake because now it was dark and we hadn't been to our campsite yet!!! We were so tired by 8:30 with the time change that we just wanted to set up our tent and go to bed. So we drove a half hour to where our campsite should be.... When we got to where the guard shack should be we couldn't see a trail and no one we asked knew what we were taking about. The trail we found, went alongside he chain link fence by this government building. It wasn't much of a trail. A guy told us to make sure that we left our names so if we got lost they could send search and rescue. So we were already scratched out. Not to mention the big signs that said Beware! Hunting Grounds!! And lots of other signs. 

Well we were out of options so we going to hike in anyway. We got out of the car and started grabbing our gear when a very clear and big wild animal started running around in the trees beside us. I was out. I jumped back in the car and started looking for another place to go. We ended up finding a deal for a hotel in downtown Waikiki about a half hour away. We drove there, and our exhaustion had really set in. We finally pulled up and Cole went to go check us in. He came back about 5 minutes later swearing and yelling about the fat guy who couldn't check us in because our reservation hasn't arrived from Priceline. So I called Priceline and was on the phone for about 20 minutes be we finally got it all cleared up. Cole had to parks 4 blocks away... Poor Cole was about to have a melt down he was so tired. I dragged all our stuff up so that Cole could walk with out luggage and we finally got settled in and to bed.

Surprise it's actually a pretty great room we got at a steal and we survived our first night in Hawaii.

On to more adventure!

*Update! I hadn't posted this yet and I wanted to let you know that we went back to that campground in the daylight and staked out where we want to stay tonight. It's much more acceptable at day time (this is where the picture came from above). The other idea I had if this place didn't work out was to go back to the rental company and get a truck and just pop up the tent in the bed of the truck every night!  Luckily for now we won't have to do that. AND thank goodness for McDonald's wifi and my lap top. I finished this post using my mac instead of my iPad--SO much better.