January- Hawaii

My family has started a new tradition within the past probably 5 or 6 years where we try to have our own family reunion every other summer. Our first official one I think would probably be considered Lake Powell in 2006, but, maybe that isn't what all my siblings would consider the first one.

Regardless, our most recent one was to Hawaii!! My Dad had convinced us all two years ago that we could all save up the required sums and then bribed us with one free air fare per family if his "kids" ran a half marathon during the trip. I think all of us were a little star struck by the idea of Hawaii, and so we all a bit naively made the commitment to save the money and go to Hawaii two years from then.
Siblings, you can correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure none of us started training for the Half Marathon OR saving money for the trip until a year or less was left until the race. HA! whoops.
Anyway, all the time leading up to the trip I had a very grumpy hubby because he just couldn't believe how expensive this trip was turning out to be and he didn't want me training for the Half marathon. In my defense, I did start training for the Half in the Spring of the year, but then about a month or so after I started training I got pregnant, and then miscarried. When I felt back up to it, I started training again, and again miscarried. For the third time I started training and then got pregnant again and was capable of not much other than feeling sorry for myself in my sick-o state. Because of how sweet my hubby is, he didn't want me training, and because I'm such a good wife and wanted to support him, I went along with it. ;) hehe. Cuz y'know, I REALLY wanted to train to run 13 miles feeling sick and sore and gross.
Did any of these reasons stop my family from giving me a hard time though? NO! They did NOT! My dad probably wanted me to run the race with a throw up bag, but, too bad for him, my husband is way too sweet and chivalrous. So, he ran the race in my place. :) But, I'm getting ahead of myself.
The week or so before the trip I tried my darn-dest to get my husband on board with Hawaii fever. He was killing my buzz and so I had to give him a piece of my mind a time or two to get him excited. After all, how many times does a person get to go Hawaii in their life?! Exactly. Not many. So I told him to GET EXCITED! He obliged. Slowly, but surely.
Our flight there was pretty rotten, ain't gonna lie. It was over 12 hours of air travel with a lot of lay overs and NO sleep. Very exhausting. But my goodness, stepping off the plane in Honolulu, and seeing the green and smelling the green...*groan*. It was AMAZING. Hawaii is so so beautiful. The airport was an open-air airport where they had little mini gardens growing in the center of it that you could go sit and relax in.
We got to Maui, which was our first island destination, and met up with Dacia and Joe in their ridiculously nice condo. It was seriously amazing. The whole back wall of the condo was basically a sliding glass door from floor to ceiling and opened to a glorious view of a carmel colored sandy beach and gorgeous ocean. Topher and I immediately felt like we were in Heaven and were ready to vegg and relax on the beach.
But, did I mention this was Johnson family vacation? So, because of that, the "relaxation" part of the trip never really happened. Our family needs to work on that. Part of what makes a vacation wonderful is RELAXING.
But, even without a relaxing moment, it was beautiful, and amazing. We saw and did so many gorgeous things. Rainforests, waterfalls, volcanoes, beaches, flowers, sea turtles, fish, snorkeling, hiking, driving, vine-swinging, black sand, green sand, jeep off-roading, kayaking, paddle-boarding...we did it all. :) And we definitely loved every moment of it, even if we did come back more tired than when we left. :)
The half marathon was in Maui and I think every adult except Joe and myself ran it. They all did such a great job and are seriously troopers. Emily was quite pregnant by this point yet she did it and did a great job. Dacia was having serious issues with both her knees and did it and I think even Alan and Jen were having some leg issues too. But they all did it and did awesome! This concluded Dad and Karen's goal of a half marathon in every state and we were all really happy for them and their really neat achievement.
Not to downplay that achievement, but, uh, since this is my journal, I'm totally not going to downplay what in my mind was the COOLEST part of the half marathon...my husband. He kicked its butt!!! Like I said, he ran it in my place. But I didn't say yet, that he didn't train. Not even a little bit. And he hasn't run 13 miles since High School. But he just up and did it, and he KICKED. BUTT. He got 2nd place in his age group and 22nd overall for the Men...and, if that weren't cool enough, he was his humble self when my Dad presented him with the challenge, that he didn't think Topher could beat him. Well, Topher was sweet and just said he would do his best to finish the race as well as he could, but the rest of my family said, "Topher, do it!! You gotta beat him! He challenged you!!". And so Topher did just that, he BEAT MY DAD! :) Which, kinda was freaking awesome. :)
Some of the really memorable things for me from Hawaii were:
Eating all the really good food, especially the really yummy spaghetti that I ate for breakfast on the morning of the race. :)
Haleakala Sunrise, where we woke up way too early to be considered healthy and drove to the top of Mt. Haleakala to watch the Sunrise. It was beautiful, and freezing cold. And Dacia didn't pack warm clothes for her children. Smarty pants. After the sunrise the boys all mountain biked down and the girls went to a really pretty grove of trees to have a picnic and go on a nature trail, then we all went to a really pretty nature garden and Jen went to the Doctor for a severe infection! Not so fun for her. :(
The Road to Hana, where we all packed into our vehicles and drove a road that goes around part of the island of Maui. It is speckled with waterfalls, covered in lush green rainforests and is just a beautiful drive. We were with Dacia and Joe and their family and had so much fun with them. Joe is very adventurous and did some crazy stunts! We had yummy snacks and cute girls to love on, the views were breathtaking and I wouldn't trade the company for anything.
Fish Tacos. Wow. I had never had fish tacos before, nor had I ever wanted to have fish tacos. But, those fish tacos we had were amazing. I don't remember the name of the Beach we were at right off, but they were "What About Bob" groan-worthy fish tacos.
Snorkeling with Topher. Topher took me out snorkeling at one of the many beaches we went to and held my hand while we swam around and pointed out fish to each other. He found a sea turtle for me and we followed it around and I about hyperventilated I was so excited. The fish were colorful and beautiful and the sea turtle was just awesome.
Kayaking and Paddle boarding with Topher and Joe. Topher and I managed to lose my glasses while kayaking. Topher managed to severely damage a paddle board. I managed to get UP on a paddle board and it was just fun to play on the beach at Dacia and Joe's condo.
Flying on a TINY little commuter plane from Maui to Hawaii. It literally sat only 9 people including the pilot and we were each weighed individually and assigned seats based on our weights and how the plane would be best balanced!! It was VERY nerve-wracking, but also a really neat experience. Since it was such a small plane, we flew really close to the ground and water, so we could actually see whales in the ocean from our plane and our pilot was pointing out sharks and everything!
Seeing whales from Dacia and Joe's condo. They had binoculars and you could spot so many whales that were breaching and that was really neat.
One of the beautiful waterfalls that we walked to had a plethora of rocks to hop on, over and around and skip to and from to find yet more waterfalls. Jaxon and I were the only unlucky ones to take a spill off the rocks! Then on the way back to the cars, finding the rainforest covered with hanging vines, that believe it or not were strong enough to hold a person. We all took turns swinging from the vines. My favorite was Grace swinging from the vine, hollering like George of the Jungle, her vine snapping, her falling on the ground face first and all of us gasping, then her lifting her head and saying "George don't feel so good!!" and breaking out into giggles.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The red glow you could see driving up to the volcano that was just an eery red light you could see from miles away. Hiking into the volcanic crater and standing in all the "heat vents" where hot sulfur air was blowing out and into the open. Then just enjoying standing there while it started to rain and made the heat vents feel like humid saunas.
Jared's steak dinner. Mmmmmm. Soooooo good. I love good food, but not as much as I LOVE good steaks.
Jeep off-roading to the Green Sand Beach with a fevered Gracey in my arms telling Uncle Alan he was a crazy driver.
Taking pictures on the Black Sand Beach.
Having my family there to talk to, play games with, be silly with and enjoy. I loved getting to see my siblings each day and enjoy their company.
I loved seeing my nieces and nephews and watching them play.
These are the things that stand out the most to me.
It was such a fun trip and I'm so grateful that we were able to go. Thanks Dad for all your extensive planning and for your financial aid in our being able to go. Thanks family for all going and making it such an amazing trip for me. :)
Grace's favorite parts that she talked about for WEEKS afterwards were swinging from the vines and off roading with Alan. Which is funny, because at the time she kept telling me how crazy Uncle Alan was. ;)


Super Daysh said...

Look at you! You managed to fit all of Hawaii in one blog. I'm taking four. And yours was plenty interesting. Maybe I am a big long winded? That was such a fun trip and I'm so glad we could all go together. It was muchos fun and we all made some pretty awesome memories!

Thoughtful Runner said...

I managed to get through the entire blog in one sitting! Glad the trip ended up being enjoyable and memorable. Ultimately, that is why we have them. And particularly glad that it appears Topher enjoyed it, as well. It was definitely a great trip and a great time with family.