5 for …monday

  1. Today is the beginning of week 4 at my new job, although it’s really more like week 3 since I only worked one day last week. It is the polar opposite of my last job and pretty much exactly what I need at this point in my life. It’s been a little boring as I learn things, there’s also been a lot of downtime, since I will finish one project and have to wait for further instructions, but it’s nice. The 3 other people here are super nice and it’s quiet and there is no internet security so I can join everyone from 2007 and listen to internet radio while I work. It’s also a whopping 3.9 miles from home which is amaaaaaaaaaazing.
  2. We just got back from a family trip to Minnesota! It was also something I really needed…post forthcoming!
  3. The day after we got back, I had surgery. I got a stent put into my tear duct to widen it so that hopefully, one day, I can stop crying. Surgery went smoothly and I was only in a moderate amount of pain once the painkillers wore off. (Probably wisdom teeth level, but I had a really smooth wisdom teeth experience.) Back to work on Friday which was kind of miserable, but by today I feel pretty good and really only feel the stent when I move my eye, which is a big improvement. Although every time I move my eye I can feel the stent in my nose, since that’s where it is tied off and that’s pretty annoying. I am not allowed to wear makeup until I go to my follow-up appointment and I feel like a troll-person. I have been doing my eyebrows though so I don’t feel like a total monster.
  4. I was really excited to come into work and flip my calendar to May today since that means our Atlanta/Puerto Rico trip is on the horizon! I only found out last week about the Zika virus (I live under a rock) so we’ve got some DEET on the way and I cancelled our kayak/jungle tours.😦 We’ll basically just be hanging out on the beach, slathered in mosquito repellent because I’m not being responsible for bringing Zika to PA.
  5. I don’t even have a 5. I have wanted to get back to blogging for 3 weeks now but every time I think I have something, it’s actually only a tweet or a Facebook post. I’ve got some crafty plans brewing though, so maybe I will have something more to share soon. Adios!

#goodbyewashpa

  

  
Today is my last day at my job. At the time of posting, I have made my last AM rush hour drive to Washington and will be prepping for my last PM rush hour drive home. I’m having lots of feelings about this. 

At the start, the job was such an amazing change from my prior position. I was busy all the time! I felt important! I got to interact with so many different departments!

But I was driving 48 miles each way and spending 2-3 hours in the car. Every. Single. Day. (I listened to a lot of podcasts.)

When I took the job, I knew the commute was going to be killer, but I told myself I would give it a year and then reasses. 

Well, a year in was just about the time we got Loki. Daisy was very self-sufficient and didn’t seem to care how long she was home alone. Loki’s got some separation anxiety and on the nights Keith couldn’t leave work on time, the poor dog was suffering. Couple that will the fact that I was suffering, and it was time. 

The field I have worked in for the past 6.5 years is rough. Lots of people can’t handle it, and the people that can are some of the most impressive people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. 

But I was outside of that. I was in the wings. And of course, as they have told me time and again, they couldn’t do their part without me, I just no longer cared. 

Not that I stopped caring about the people on a personal level, I just no longer had any buy in, so I decided to leave. 

I looked for a while, I had a few interviews, some that were very exciting, a few that were okay, and one that was flat out horrible, and then I was offered one of the exciting ones. And even outside of how I feel about the opportunity, it is 3.9 miles from my house. I was concentrating my search to a 20 minute radius, I never thought in a million years I would come within a 4 mile radius. (The horrible interview was actually 3 miles away but even that wouldn’t have swayed me.)

So, they offered, I negotiated some things, I accepted. I put in my two weeks notice and actually cried. Weird. Today is my last day and I will miss a lot about the job and the place and the people, but the time has come. Peace out, Washpa. 

for what it’s worth – it doesn’t hurt – don’t cry

About a month ago, I was at work and noticed that my eye kept watering. I’m no stranger to the random eye twitch or dry eyes so I thought little of it and went on with my day. Two days later, it was still going and was starting to become very annoying. Everyone kept asking why I was crying and I kept having to repeat that I wasn’t crying, my eye was just leaking for no apparent reason. 

“Is it your makeup? Allergies?”

Except it was only one eye and no itching, pain or discomfort of any kind. 

I posted a plea to Facebook and a friend of mine from highschool who is an optician suggested I try some allergy drop for a few days and if that didn’t help, make an appointment with the eye doctor. A few days later, no improvement so off to the eye doctor I went.

As the eye doctor came in the room, I explained my constant tearing and she said “Oh! It’s doing it now! It’s like a lake!” 

Which was so great because just like when you make a hair appointment and your hair starts to look great, typically by the time I get into a doctor the malady has cleared up. It was nice to have some justification for being there. 

She examined and poked and prodded and took a tiny pair of forceps and “removed a membrane” (?!) from my tear duct. It really hurt. I asked what would cause that and she stated that she had no idea but if that didn’t fix it, let her know and she would refer me to an eyelid surgeon.

By the next morning, the tears were already flowing again so I called for the referral. It took two weeks but I got in to an optimologist who did much of the same poking and prodding and also flushed out my tear duct. Which he did not warn me he was doing or what it would feel like so I had my head tilted back, he’s messing with my eye and all the sudden there is liquid dripping down my throat. I seriously thought he severed something for a second there. It was the most bizarre feeling I have ever felt in my life. 

He said nothing about a membrane ( I am skeptical about this “membrane”) but said that my tear duct was swollen so much it was barely open and it was also surrounded by scar tissue. 

When I asked what would cause something like that (maybe an eye doctor ripping off an imaginary membrane?) he asked if I ever had pink eye. I did, once, over a year ago. He said it could be due to that or that sometimes it just happens and they’re not sure why. I was given prescription drops to take down the swelling and I go back on Friday to follow up. 

I can’t tell if the drops have helped with the river of tears or if I have just gotten so used to constantly crying out of my right eye that I don’t even notice it anymore. Every time I think “Oh, it hasn’t filled up enough to spill over!” It goes and does again. 

I actually sat through 2 interviews wiping away tears and I couldn’t decide if it was more awkward to mention it or more awkward to pretend it wasn’t happening (I pretended it wasn’t happening.) And I got a request for another interview and a job offer so it couldn’t have been that bad! Or I’m just so awesome that they could overlook the fact that the right half of my body was just really, really sad. 

If the drops haven’t improved anything by Friday, I will have to have a procedure in which they put a stent in my tear duct for 6 months. It sounds like a blast. 

Add this to the laundry list of strange ways that my body rebels against me. Thirty, man. 

2016 Pittsburgh Guest Blogger Event! #PghGBE

  

Today’s post comes from Kimberly of Yes, Wear That!, and is part of a special day of shenanigans from other Pittsburgh Bloggers. You can see my post over on Glam and Graffiti, where I talk about some of my current beauty faves! And now on with the show!


Lessons I Learned from my Dog
To say I am a dog and animal lover, would probably be the biggest understatement of the year. My dog Manny is a five year old mix who could be mistaken for a black lab if not for the patch of white on his chest and gray under his chin. I got him from a woman who takes in dogs in need of rescuing…in this case she had taken in his entire litter. When I went to pick my pup, I carefully held each one and watched as they played with one another and wrestled in the newspaper that was laid down for them. I’m fairly certain I would have been happy with any in the litter, but I instantly knew that Manny was my guy. While each of the other pups nestled softly in my arms, Manny’s demeanor changed when I held him. A big puppy “grin” spread across his face and his tail wagged back and forth. I knew this was my guy. A crazy dog mom was born.  

  

 
Any dog owner knows there are a million lessons and gifts that your dog will bestow upon you throughout the years…loyalty, companionship, unconditional love. That feeling when you walk in the door after a long day and your four-legged best friend is anxiously waiting for you with a sock or some treasure from the trash can. The weight of the world is instantly lifted away. For Manny and I, it has always been those things and more. In the quiet moments when we are snuggled together, my face pressed into his soft fur, I know he was sent to me for a reason. When I think of my weaknesses, my vulnerabilities, and my flaws, Manny seems to reflect the exact opposite of those things back to me.  

 
Here are the lessons I have learned from my dog:

➢ There is always a reason to be happy. Manny’s tail literally never stops wagging. While I am often full of worry and anxiety, Manny is the eternal optimist. He doesn’t get down, he doesn’t dwell on things that don’t matter or focus on the things he doesn’t have. He has no time for envy or feeling bad for himself. Give him a frisbee or an old tennis ball and he will be the happiest guy on the planet.

  
➢ Seize each day! While I am often afraid to try new things, Manny is always plowing forward…ready for any and everything. When we are on his walks, he pulls me the entire way anxiously smelling each new blade of grass and chasing every unsuspecting squirrel. He doesn’t hold back. While I am always waiting to do things…for the perfect time…the perfect situation…the perfect scenario that never comes…Manny seizes every moment. He takes nothing for granted. If there’s a stick, he will make a game of fetch out of it and if there’s a dam he will jump in and go for a swim. He’s not waiting to live his life…he’s living it now.  

  
➢ Don’t be afraid to be the dreamer. He’s a beautiful combination of dreamer and realist. He makes you believe that anything is possible, but reminds you that you shouldn’t save up all your good days for the future. He approaches everyone and instantly loves everyone…and wholeheartedly believes that everyone loves him back in return.  

  
➢ Being a partner means unconditional love, loyalty, and commitment. Manny shows me everyday what it means to be a partner. He’s always there…whether I’m happy or sad…having a good day or bad. He doesn’t love me any less or walk away when things are rough. He stays next to me…offering what he can…a warm nose, a tennis ball…and doesn’t ask for a thing in return. Only for my happiness.  

  

Despite several weeks of obedience training, he doesn’t always have impeccable manners. He will jump up on you and pull you on his leash, but I find it all to be part of his charm and his unquenchable thirst for life and love. While I often struggle with why I was put on this earth…what my purpose is in all of this…Manny is steadfast and content. He was put here to love, to play, and to show me what this life can truly be when we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We all have guardian angels and I think mine came down to run next to me for a little while….and for that I am eternally grateful.  

 
I don’t even know Manny but I totally love him. Look at that sweet face! Now blow off that TPS report and check out the rest of the participants below! 

Harvest + Bloom // Yes, Wear That! // jelly jars // Glam and Graffiti // To The Streets // In Pursuit // Pittsburgh & Pearls // Beezus Kiddo // Goodness Madness // Last Minute Panic // Steel City Intrigue // Crank Crank Revolution // Amanda Narcisi // Pittsburgh is Beautiful // From Cats to Cooking // Yum Yum PGH // Breelicious Bites // Parmesan Princess // Coffee & A Blonde // The Steel Trap // Wavy Alabaster // everybody loves you… // Eat with Emily // Don’t Forget to Eat // Sloping in the Sky // From Farm to Turntable // Secrets in the Wall // Red Pen Mama // Feedback Soup // The AP Collection // Blog Or Die PGH // Pittsburgh Happy Hour // Friendly Fitness Foodie // Small Town Dad // Josh’s World // Geeky Sweetie // Sean’s Ramblings // Lunges, Long Runs and Lattes // Try it and You May! // lil Burghers // Orange Chair Blog // Ya Jagoff // Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents // Melissa Firman

Monday Five

Let’s try this whole blog thing again. And let’s start with 5 random bullets. 

  • A few weeks ago Keith almost got sent to China for work. When I found out, my whole body started to burn with jealousy. I asked how much a flight to China was and he said “probably $5,000.” But then I looked it up and it was nowhere near $5,000. It was less than what we paid to fly to Hawaii and less than what we paid to fly to Seattle and the cheapest flight was also the shortest and it only had one layover and holy crap, I’m going to China too! I spent all weekend obsessing over it and on Monday his trip got cancelled. I was 10,000x more upset than he was. 
  • He just got word that he’s going to Chicago at the end of the month, the week after Easter, and since I now have a job that gives me Good Friday off, I’m going too! Well, we’ll go the weekend before, then I’ll fly home on Easter and he will stay for the week and work. I’ve only been to Chicago once, when I was 18(?) so it should be fun! I can’t wait to eat!
  • I am getting chickens this year. I have told Keith I was getting them for a while, but just recently I got proof that we are allowed to have them, so it is on. Keith told me I have to finish painting the dining room (I painted 2/4 walls 6 months ago) so this weekend it is on. I have already named my 4 chickens. Their names are so good. 
  • Loki is pretty good. The other day I was off work and left for a dentist appointment and when I got back Keith said he gave one long howl when I left. Ugh. So freaking cute. When I am here, he follows me around like the lost puppy he is and at least once a day I say:

  

  • On Christmas I broke my camera’s LCD screen. Like so broke you couldn’t see anything. I took it to see if it could be repaired and they quoted me $200. I spent $20 on parts on eBay and fixed it myself in 15 minutes! #independentwoman 

 

  • Bonus 6: Here’s a picture from the other weekend when I was sitting on the couch and Loki plopped himself down on top of me. What a weirdo. See ya.   

2015 / age 29 review

 

I’ve done these for a long time, since the live journal days, so even though I’m a week behind and I’ve only blogged twice in the past 6 months, here goes.

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1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?

Graduated from college! Traveled to the Pacific Northwest, got a giant tattoo.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?


I don’t know that I had one. So, good job, self!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


Same as last year: a ton of facebook/internet friends had babies, but no one I’m super close with.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

On August 10th, we lost Daisy and my world collapsed. I also lost a dear work friend in December. RIP Linda.❤

5. Where did you visit?

DC twice, Seattle, Vancouver, Miami, Fort Myers, Tampa, Brooklyn! It was a busy year.

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

A better commute.

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

August 10th.😦

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?


I graduated.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Meh, I dunno. Not finding a job with a better commute? Breaking my camera and having no idea how I did so.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I’m always sick.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Um, probably my new Frye boots.

12. Where did most of your money go?

Student loans, car payment, Daisy tattoo.

13. What did you get really excited about?

Elyse’s wedding! Our PNW vacation!

14. What song will always remind you of 2015?

Probably Adele – Hello.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:


– happier or sadder? sadder

– thinner or fatter? Not sure, probably the same or fatter.

– richer or poorer? Probably poorer, thanks student loans.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?


Walked Daisy more.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?


Let my work-related anxiety affect my life.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

Christmas eve at the in-laws. Christmas day brunch with Keith’s grandma and then my grandparents’ house.

19. What was your favorite TV program?

Hm…I watched Gilmore Girls again. Orphan Black, Shameless, Game of Thrones

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

I’ve got a whole ‘nother book post coming.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?


I am like 7 years behind on music, so I have no idea.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?

I am woefully behind on movies.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 29, I’m pretty sure I just stayed home with Daisy and ordered pizza.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

More time off work. Not losing Daisy.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

Well I now have to dress like a grownup for work so lots of cardigans, pencil skirts, black tights.

26. What kept you sane?

Keith.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.


I like dogs more than I like people.

on learning how to love again

I will admit, I have been in a bad place since Daisy died.

The perks of spending most of your late teens/early 20s suffering from depression is that you get really good at it. I can go to work, I can smile and say good morning, I can laugh at your stupid jokes, I can come home and make dinner and everything can appear perfectly normal. But if you would look into my soul, you would see a barren wasteland. I feel somewhat dead inside. And in those quiet moments, when I’m driving home from work…when I’m getting ready for bed…when I’m sitting on the couch on a Friday night, I break down a bit.

It’s getting better. Time heals all wounds, right?

Dogs also heal wounds.

We started to look for another dog pretty soon after, probably too soon after. I just needed something to focus my energy on and we wanted to get another dog eventually, so it seemed like a good idea. It was a terrible idea.

We would search the rescue sites daily looking for a dog that would work for us. We wanted something medium-sized, preferably female, somewhere around 3-5 years old. We submitted application after application and half of the time heard nothing back. The other half of the time we did hear back, but we were 3rd, 8th, 45th on the list to look at the dog. I was getting discouraged, I was getting even more depressed. I wanted a dog, I will love a dog more than anyone else even knows is possible, why can’t I have a dog? We expanded our search from only females, we expanded from medium to all sizes, we even looked at puppies. I told Keith I would take any dog but a yellow lab. Maybe one day, but not yet.

I started to consider getting a puppy from a breeder. If any lab breeders had actually had available litters, it would have been a done deal, but none were up for grabs.

And then my friend Amber, knowing my plight, mentioned that a friend of hers was trying to rehome a husky puppy, were we interested?

Of course. I knew nothing about huskies, I did not want a puppy, but I needed a dog and it was becoming impossible to find one.

Amber hooked me up with Sarah and we set up a meeting a few days later.

We met Sarah, her boyfriend, and Meeko at a dog park in Murraysville. Sarah owned the mom and one female from the litter. Meeko had been given away as a pup but had recently been given back. He had been kept outside and she just wanted to find him a loving (inside) home.

I will admit, it was not love at first sight. He felt a little standoffish. He didn’t really want anything to do with any of us, he just wanted to run around with the other few dogs that were there.

But there were no red flags, this was a dog that needed love and a home, and we had a plenty of both. I turned to Keith, “I think we just got a dog.”

We took him home and in the car decided to rename him.

“Loki,” I suggested, “the god of mischief.” While waiting the few days to meet Meeko, I did a lot of reading about huskies.

“It’s your dog,” Keith said.

So Loki it was.

The next few weeks were very trying. Loki is very high energy, Loki is also a puppy. I have never been solely responsible for a puppy and it was a lot to handle. He wanted to play all the time, which fine, okay. But he is also 50lbs. And can fit my entire forearm in his mouth, a skill that he would demonstrate time and time again. And bruise and bruise again.

He wasn’t used to being inside. He wasn’t used to us. He did remarkably well with house training, though. Multiple accidents for about 3 days and then only a few here and there for a week. He’s now fully trained on ringing the bells to go out. (And that training, I totally half-assed, but he was smart enough to overcome my laziness.)

There were multiple times where he made me cry. He wouldn’t listen to me, he would get entirely too worked up, he wasn’t Daisy.

Things slowly started to get a little better, but not great, and then one night we had a turning point which may have saved me from my breaking point. I was laying in bed, attempting to write a blog post…something about life after Daisy and I started to cry. And then I started to bawl and gave up. There I was, on the bed bawling my eyes out with the dog somewhere on the floor.

The next thing I know, he jumps up onto the bed, and instead of biting me or pawing at me, he wraps one paw around my waist and curls into me. I was stunned.

And remarkably, after that, things began to get better. The bruises began to fade. The tears began to dry. And in the barren wasteland of my soul, something began to grow.

Loki is a totally different dog from the one we brought home 2 months ago. He’s now my buddy. He’s still very high energy, but he can focus that energy on his dozens of toys instead of me. He follows me around the house, cries when I leave him, we take naps together on the couch and curl up in bed each night before Keith comes up.

Loki is a totally different dog than Daisy. He loves other dogs, he loves the park, he will chew on squeaky toys for hours when Daisy never wanted anything to do with them. He does not let us sleep in and he has no fear. But I think his differences have helped my healing. I have not once felt like I replaced Daisy because he is her polar opposite.

I will never in my life stop loving Daisy, but there might be room to start loving one more.

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Goodbye, Daisy. 

  

Daisy was having a rough weekend. coughing every time she moved and labored breathing even when she didn’t move. I took her to the emergency vet this morning and they found fluid on her lungs. So much fluid, it had significantly decreased her lung volume. She was in pain when excited/stressed and uncomfortable even when not. The only option we were given was to drain the fluid and reassess after that. But the options after that were not positive. Best case scenario: the fluid would stay away for a month or two before coming back and needing to be drained again. She also likely had a tumor which was pushing on her esophagus (causing the cough) but they couldn’t see it due to the fluid. Regardless of our decision, it would have to be an aggressive treatment. And Daisy was a senior dog.   

  

So today, Keith and I made the impossible decision and said goodbye. My heart is broken. My sweet Daisy girl only had 5 years with us. They were good years and they were spoiled years and I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the universe, but they were only 5 years. 

  

Last night she didn’t wake me up which is very unusual, she had woken me up in the middle of the night, every night for the past 2 years to go outside. I woke up on my own around 2 a.m. and went downstairs to lay with her on the floor. Her breathing was loud and sounded uncomfortable and even though in recent months she has scrambled away every time we try to cuddle her, last night she let me. I eventually got up off the floor and went back to bed but now I wish I had stayed longer. I think I knew. 

  

Every person that had ever met Daisy remarked on how sweet she was, how ladylike. She didn’t bark, she didn’t chew, she didn’t beg or jump until we accidentally taught her. Up until the end, she was always full of kisses. 

  

She was the most incredible soul I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and loving and I am going to miss her so much. 

  

life after graduation

So, life update.

I graduated. I mean, I guess I already wrote about that, but I received my diploma in the mail and it’s official and done. To be completely honest, I was about 5% convinced that I screwed something up somewhere and I hadn’t actually graduated, so I was dying to receive the diploma and know that it was actually 100% legit. I could have called the Dean’s office or something to check on that…but I would rather wait anxiously for the mail.

So. Life after graduation. Is exactly the same. Although a bit weird. It hasn’t 100% sunk in that I don’t have to go to school anymore. After 5 years of splitting my time, I kind of just feel like I’m on a little break. And I guess I kind of am, because I signed up for another photography class in the fall! I just can’t stop learning, I guess. The class is at Pittsburgh Filmmakers and I have been dying to take another class since the first one 3 years ago, but I just couldn’t fit it into my schedule. But now that I have some free time again, lets give it all away again!

I am really excited for it. It’s just Intermediate Digital Photography, but they also at times offer Photography on Location and Portrait Photography so I’m excited to one day try those.

I am still at my same job, not really on the hunt for something related to my major because I would have to attend a field school and I just don’t have the time or money or energy for that. A field school would be ~6 weeks away from home. It would be really awesome to do, but I would have to basically quit my job to attend and then who knows how long it would take me to find another job if that didn’t pan out. I am also really into my house and husband and dog and I don’t really want to voluntarily leave them for 6 weeks.

So, I’m just plugging along at my 100 mile a day commute. If something more in line with my interests and degree were to fall in my lap, I wouldn’t turn it away, though.

In somewhat more exciting news, we are headed west this week! Going to Seattle and Vancouver and pretty excited about that. Aside from Hawaii, the furthest west I’ve ever been is Chicago, so excited to see the west coast.

We also are planning a trip for Keith’s 30th birthday which will include 4 baseball games in 5 days so now I’m secretly plotting a trip for MY 30th birthday which will include…4 naps in 5 days? Probably need to think on that a little more.

I’ve missed you, blog.

honeymoon part 6: kailua kona

I went to a blogger event on Thursday and felt so bad about my stupid blog hiatus that I’m going to try to give her another whirl. And what better way to come back than to try to wrap up my honeymoon posts from 6+ months ago!

In case you forgot, we spent a lovely two weeks in Hawaii. You can read the previous honeymoon posts here.

For our final stop, we were heading to the west side of Hawaii and the Kailua-Kona area. And of course, the day we left Hilo was the only non-rainy day we were there.

We were heading to yet another Airbnb and when we got there, not only were we greeted with a huge bowl of fruit from their yard, we were greeted by Freddy the Peacock! Who would continue to stalk us for the rest of our time there.

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After we threw our bags down, we headed to Kahaluu Beach Park which was close by and ended up being a very neat snorkeling beach. Of course, we had no snorkeling gear, but even so, spotted a bunch of fish just by walking in the water.

The sand also had a really cool salt and pepper look to it. And of course I only took this one lousy picture.

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We didn’t stay at the beach very long because it was getting late, so we grabbed some dinner and called it a night.

The next day we headed to probably the most gorgeous beach I have ever seen in my life, Kua Bay.

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The waves were bananas though so yours truly kept her butt firmly planted in the sand for the majority of the time. I did go in once, about waist high and as I was trying to leave and return to shore a wave knocked me on my ass and my sunglasses went flying. Luckily, they got hooked on my bathing suit strap and they were not lost to Neptune. I lost a *different* pair of sunglasses a second time, but luckily Keith used his super-human swimming abilities to save them for me.

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It may have been this evening that we discovered one of the grocery stores nearby had KILLER poke for super cheap. We ate there multiple times, 1/3# of poke and rice for $7 or something like that, and double the poke for $9. I’d kill for that in Pittsburgh. And it would likely kill me because I would eat it every. single. day.

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We also got Scandinavian Shave Ice because I had to do my ancestors proud.

The next day we went to Kona Brewing for a tour and lunch.

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We had a tasting after the tour and the Lemongrass Luau was so good, I’m still thinking about it.

After our tour/tasting, we stayed for lunch and then back to the beach! And more poke for dinner!

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Our Airbnb was so far up the side of the mountain that it got these incredible sunset views. If you look closely, you can see the ocean over the tops of those trees.

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The next day, we went to Mountain Thunder Coffee for a tour. They are located in the Cloud Forest, which is like the Rain Forest, but way cooler. As soon as we got out of the car, we smelled peanut butter cookies. Both of us hate coffee, but for some reason the roasting coffee smelled like cookies to us and we were super into it.

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This was Lea. She was a great tour guide.

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We learned about the different blends of Kona coffee and the variety of beans and I pretty much forget everything now but I definitely remember how terrifying those geese were.

We left and of course went to the beach and then went home and packed because we were leaving the next day.

Now, poor planning on my part, because our flight wasn’t until 11 p.m. but we had to check out of the house at 11 a.m. We couldn’t go to the beach because we’d be all sandy and gross for the rest of the day. We *should* have saved our tours for that day, and I’ll remember that the next time I have a redeye.

We ended up driving north to Waimea and went to Big Island Brewhaus for lunch. We had a great lunch and I had a delicious lilikoi margarita while Keith sampled some beers.

And I made a friend!

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And then lunch was over and we still had hours before our flight so we just drove around and around and around. Too bad everything is so ugly over there.

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You can just barely see Maui peeking through the clouds. IMG_6963

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And then it was time to leave. Aloha, Hawaii. Until next time.

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