friday five

  • Update on my eye: the stent was annoying for the first week but I can hardly even tell it’s there now. Only when I open my eyes really wide or move my eyes all the way to the left, which I don’t exactly do with great frequency. But most importantly, the tearing has been drastically reduced! I don’t even understand how that is possible because the whole reason my eye was tearing was because the tear duct was swollen so much it was blocked. Now there is a solid tube in it, meaning it is totally blocked, but I am probably down to it overflowing 1-3 times a day. Which is a vast improvement from the 5-6 times AN  HOUR that it was doing pre-surgery. I go back for a follow up in August but won’t have it removed until November.
  • The Pirates cancelled their trip to Puerto Rico which means we cancelled our trip to Puerto Rico. We were able to get everything refunded, as all of the airlines were accommodating any changes to locations with zika. Except! yours truly, in order to save a buck, booked our flights and one hotel through Expedia. Cancelling the hotel was hassle free, literally one click, but cancelling the flight involved 2 days, 6-7 phone calls, HOURS on hold, being disconnected no less than 3 times, and by the time I finally spoke to a person, the flights we had looked up earlier that day had gone up astronomically, so although we were originally only changing our destination, I had to cancel everything. After swearing up and down forever that we would NEVER book flights on a deal site, Keith went and booked us through Kayak. 😂
  • A few years ago, before we went on vacation, Keith and I both bought new swimsuits, independent of one another. I went to the mall alone, and then his came in the mail and they were the exact same colors. Both were teal, navy, and white, with neither of us having any idea that the other person was even getting a suit. What are the odds? This week, I ordered another suit and then he mentioned he had ordered one. Mine came – black with white polka dots. His came – black. I don’t know what weird psychic connection we have with matching swimsuits but it’s pretty amusing that we’re 2/2.
  • Over the weekend I had a dream where I was mad at Keith. I can’t remember what it was, but I was really upset with him. After waking up, it definitely took me a good 5 minutes to remember if I was mad at DreamKeith or RealKeith. Then, one morning this week, I woke up an hour or so before my alarm and thought, “Well, I’m mad at him, but I’m cold so I’ll cuddle a little closer anyways.” It was only after I woke up that I remembered I was mad at the dog, not Keith. Poor Keith.
  • I am now in possession of tickets to FOUR different concerts coming up. A few months ago, we snagged tickets to Brand New/Modest Mouse. I haven’t seen Brand New since high school and I’ve never seen Modest Mouse so I am pretty excited. Earlier this week I somehow came across a post about Ingrid Michaelson having an acoustic night at Stage AE and I snapped up tickets for that right quick. We were supposed to see her at the Arts Fest in 2010, except the day of the show, I ended up in the E.R. due to my stupid gallbladder. We did get to see her in 2014, the day after our wedding, accompanied by my friend Sarah and moderate hangovers. 😉 While grabbing those tickets, I saw that Tegan and Sara were coming in November, so I texted my friend Brittney to see if she was going/would go with me. She agreed and mentioned Vinnie Caruana was playing at the Smiling Moose so I grabbed a ticket for that too! I have averaged 1 show a year for the past several years so the idea that I have four shows on the books (3 are in June/July but T&S isn’t until November) is simultaneously exciting and exhausting. My problem is I have a really hard time getting into new music since I just play the music I have on shuffle all the time. But now that I have a non-government job I can (and do!) play Pandora all day so I’m learning of all kinds of new music! Hooray for expanding horizons!

long dog

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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!

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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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.

ten years.

You guys. You. Guys. It’s over. Done. Finished. Finito. Caput. I am a college graduate.

A completely unconventional college graduate, but I did it.

I began college fresh out of high school, ten years ago. I went full time for ~2 years and then took a break. I felt like a failure.* I felt like a drop out. I technically was a drop out. Three years passed and I went back. This time, part-time while working full-time. FIVE YEARS of that (summers included!)…and I’m done. The longest break I have had was the first summer when I didn’t take classes. 14 weeks. That’s it. Now I’m going to have a break for 14 years!

It feels impossible. It feels like I should be gearing up for summer classes. It feels like I should be scouting amazon for my fall books. But I’m not. I am done. I’m not registered for any more classes. I did not fill out a FAFSA. I did my student loan exit counseling.

I am done.

The past 5 years were hard. They were trying. It was the most stressful time of my life.

But I’m done! I did not attend graduation because I don’t know anyone else graduating and I didn’t want to sit alone. I also didn’t want to buy a cap and gown. Instead, I took the money I would have spent on the cap and gown and treated myself to a hot stone massage and it was the best decision I have ever made. I need another one, right now. I also treated Keith to a regular massage for putting up with my schooling for the past 5 years. Lots of dinners alone and hanging out alone while I did homework and I’ve missed at least 4 of his birthdays due to being in class. But no more!!!

 

(Although grades don’t come out until Thursday so I’m terrified that I somehow failed. If I fail my GIS class, fine, no biggie. But if I fail my Anthro class, I cannot graduate.**)

 

*College is not for everyone. If you dropped out, you are not a failure. My dropping out would not have made me a failure, but I am insane, so I felt like one.

**I really don’t think I failed, but see above: insane.

ahhhhhhh

Oh. Hey. Just gonna stroll in here like nothing is different and I haven’t taken 4+ months to blog about my honeymoon. Still one installment left! I know you are waiting with bated breath!

 

But that’s not today. I just need a brain dump. 

 

My life has been cah-razy lately. I have never been this busy…or maybe I have and I have just completely blocked it out, but life is kicking my butt. 

 

Work is so busy. Every day is a race against the clock and I never win. My boss was out of the office for 4 days last week and I had grand plans to catch up on everything. And I didn’t. I did get maybe 75% done, so that’s pretty good!

 

And in breaking news, I was just elected to secretary of the safety committee today…so that’s great. Something else to find time for in my day and I don’t even like safety!

 

But! Enough about work. 

 

The real thing culprit of stealing my free time is school. One month left. Four weeks left. Four CLASSES left. 10 HOURS of class left. I have four classes, a final paper and a take-home exam annnnnnnnnnd a giant independent study project for the other class. 

 

The actual class, Ethnoarchaeology, is great. I love it, I love the professor and since it is my last Anthropology class, there are no new concepts, just building on everything, so it has been rather easy. (But still time consuming, lots of reading.) The midterm, I got an A+ on and I wrote it (6 pages) in about 3 hours, so I’m not concerned about the take-home exam. The paper…well the syllabus said a rough draft was due yesterday so I worked my little fingers to the bone all weekend typing one up and then HE NEVER MENTIONED IT. I took it to class just in case and he never said a word, never collected it….and I wasn’t going to be that jerkwad who says “Hey, wasn’t something due today?” screwing over my fellow classmates. 

 

But! At least the draft is done and I can take my good old time editing it before the end of the term. I wrote about graffiti, because why not. 

 

My independent study project, I have had all semester to do…and I started it last weekend. In my defense, no one would return my emails about it…then I couldn’t get any data…then Windows (through our Mac) wasn’t working…and then I still couldn’t get my data…and then the program is SO SLOW on our Virtual Windows…

 

But this past weekend, I buckled down and spent a day on it. I made some progress but I have a lot farther to go which is what this upcoming weekend is entirely devoted to. Because it’s due the week before finals week…which only gives me 3 weeks!

 

I may have to take the computer and go to the library or something because getting stuff done at home is so hard sometimes. There is either the siren song of “a quick nap!” or Daisy bugs the crap out of me…or it suddenly seems like a good time to clean the baseboards…I am pretty sure I have adult-onset-ADD. 

 

But! 4 weeks! Then I will be done! Forever! 


 

A picture I took of a strawberry massacre and ran through the Waterlogue app. 

 

honeymoon part 5: hilo part 2

Our last full day in Hilo was another rainy, drizzly day. I really should have planned better and planned things that wouldn’t have been ruined by rain but it’s Hawaii! Who wants to be inside!

One of the things I was most looking forward to was only about 5 minutes from the house…Ahalanui Park. I was most looking forward to it because there was a geothermal pool! The pool butts up to the ocean, so it doesn’t get that hot, since there the cold ocean water splashes over and mingles. It still was about 90 degrees. And on a cold, drizzly day, it was pretty much the only kind of swimming I’d want to do. You could seriously miss the place, it’s a very small/unassuming park. There were probably only 5 other people there the day we were there but there were two lifeguards, so I can imagine on a nicer day it would get a few more visitors.

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I only got ~5 pictures with our point and shoot because the battery died and I couldn’t find the charger…but look at the lovely green tinge of the water. (That’s Keith out there, the little girl photobombed him.)

We hung out in the pool for a bit…if it had been 5 degrees warmer, I would have stayed all day…but we had bigger plans.

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I can’t imagine anyone having the chance to see a volcano and skipping it…unless it was actively erupting…but this was pretty much a life dream come true. Before we hit the actual volcano, we stopped at Volcano Winery for a tasting. I think we paid $7 each but got to try 7-8 wines, including an awesome tea-wine fusion. Tea and wine sound like they’d be really wrong together, but it really worked. I was a huge fan of their Pinot Noir and I never like red wines and never ever like dry wines. It was just so bright and crisp.

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We ended up buying a bottle to take home. We had packed a lunch and they had a nice little picnic area where we sat and ate. If we hadn’t had plans to do the volcano, it would have been really nice to have bought a bottle to enjoy with lunch!

We left the winery and drove to the park. We headed in and spent the next few hours exploring. Since the volcano was erupting, part of Crater Rim Drive was closed (due to fumes) but we still were able to drive the Chain of Craters Road. It’s a 2o mile drive that winds you past all of the old craters and it was just unbelievable. You drive through all of these lava fields and then suddenly you’re in a forest. And the back to lava, and then more forest. The scale of the craters was also unbelievable. You could fit football stadiums into some of them. These photos will not do it justice.

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At the end of the Chain of Craters is the Hōlei Sea Arch, and a very angry sea.


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Apparently, the best views of the crater are at night…but it had been a long, cold day so we only stayed until dusk to see the glow before we peaced out. Still pretty awesome.

We had some mediocre thai food and then headed back to Pahoa and bright and early the next day we headed off to Kona.