Thursday, May 21, 2009

my new job

I started work a few weeks ago at Kualoa Ranch just a 20 minute drive from home in laie. check out this picture of the 4,000 acres of the working cattle ranch and tourist attraction. the thing I love about this place is the owners won't sell any of the land to developers, even though they have been offered millions for small pieces of it. they want to preserve the land and have actually found some plant species on the land that were considered extinct. It is an amazing part of the island in which many hollywood blockbusters have been filmed as well as the notorious TV series Lost.
anyway, so I work at the information desk in the visitors center. I just answer questions about tours and the surrounding area and check in guests and keep a big smile on my face everyday. I love my job so far! I get to use my japanese and play little tricks on the unassuming Japanese tourists. today a family came in and one of them spoke really good English so he was asking me questions and then translating for his family. they would ask him questions in japanese and then he asked me in english. When we finished up and they decided which tour to take the sister asked him where the restrooms were and I quickly replied in perfect japanese, "toire wa achira ni arimasu yo!" she just glanced at me with an incredulous look and turned to the direction of the toilet. nobody expects japanese to come out of a haole girl...hahaha!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Honeymoon time...oh yeah!!

we arrived early saturday morning on the green island and headed north, destination NA PALI. we were in no rush- it was our honeymoon after all- so we stopped in hanalei at a fun little farmers market for some fresh, locally grown papaya and bananas. then we grabbed lunch and took it to this sweet secluded beach and pile of rocks. while we were eating we discovered that there was a blow hole right next to us (a blow hole is formed by waves slaming against the rocks and creating a cave like formation allowing the water to enter and blow out of a hole in the top).

the view was breathtaking in every direction from the time we jumped in our car until we got to ke'e beach and the end of the road. we strapped on our shoes and headed up the mountain right next to the beach. it was such a fun hike and a breathtaking view nearly every step of the way to hanakapi'ai beach. we enjoyed every minute of it.
the coast is basically straight cliffs and ocean. the waves crash against the rocks below where you hike and the views are spectacular of the blue blue ocean and majestic mountains. it was a perfect day to do the na pali coast and we were grateful that we did it our first day because the rest of the time that we were there it was voggy (volcanic fog=vog).
this sign kind of scared us of swimming in the ocean at the beach so we played it safe and kept our upper bodies out of the water. it was a strong current. after our first day of adventure exploring we checked into our hotel that we had booked on it was the cheapest on we found and for good reason. we went to the front desk and felt like we were going back in time a few decades- retro carpet and dusty flower centerpieces. they checked us into our room overlooking the pool instead of the parking lot- they got us really excited for that. we were so tired we just wanted to crash so we grabbed our bags and found our room. we couldn't believe when we entered our room they had put us in a room with two twin beds. ha ha ha ha ha!! we laughed so hard...didn't we tell them this was our honeymoon? needless to say we got a different room not much nicer than the first and decided to check out and find something else- maybe splurge a little. the next day we went to a waterfall that had a rope swing above the falls. it was a blast swinging from it (check out the video).

we also checked out some other waterfalls and beaches but we knew we needed to find a different hotel so we spent a lot of time calling places for rates. we gave up on calling after a few answering machines- no one answers the phone on kauai. we asked our waitress for some tips on a good hotel to stay at. she told us not to go to po'ipu because that is a really expensive, touristy spot. so we went against her advice and headed to po'ipu. we went to the most expensive looking hotel we saw first and went in to try to negotiate a deal. they had kama'aina rates (for locals) and luckily because i have a hawaiian ID they gave us a sweet deal. i went online today to see what our room usually goes for (299.99 before taxes) and we only paid 156.76 total!! it was well worth it too. we had a beach front room with a balcony and the beach and jacuzzi were awesome! this is a picture of jauno (scared to get in the cold water-oooh) and our room is up on the left. it felt so much more like a honeymoon, there on the beach. we went to a local diner and got dinner and the most amazing cheesecake. i'll never forget that cheesecake...that we ate with a coffee straw. we also got free virgin drinks cuz we told them we were on our honeymoon. oh, snap.
okay, wow... this is long. the next day we went to waiamea and my camera died. i got water in it was voggy anyway but beautiful. i am relying on jordans picts that he will take in june when he and dad go to kauai.
so we thoroughly enjoyed every minute of our honeymoon...even the hotel kerfuffle.

Friday, May 1, 2009

gracias, domo arigato, thank you, obrigado, merci, danke schön

i am in the process of writing thank you cards to everyone and i am overwhelmed by the thought of the generosity of all of you...our loved ones. i am sure i don't even know everything that you did to help make our wedding amazing. i am so grateful. wow! we are so spoiled. I don't know how i can ever thank everyone. ah, card at a time...