Aloha and welcome to Hawaii. If you expect to be greeted with a flower necklace and a cocktail, forget it. That only happens in movies or maybe in luxurious hotels. When you land in Kona on Big Island, you are greeted with the craziest heat and humidity in a completely open airport. No actual buildings, no air condition, no air. Again, aloha.
But first things first, it has always been my absolute dream to travel to Hawaii. It was on the top of my bucket list and when it came true, it was hard to wrap my head around it. It’s just an amazing feeling when dreams come true.
My travel buddy and I landed and met up with another friend who would spend the week with us. Three girls, one mission – fun, fun, fun! The first big laugh came when we picked up our rental car. I mean yes, I basically chose all of the cars beforehand, but they always looked bigger online. So here we were again with a really small car, only this time, we were tree people with a whole lot of luggage. To be precise, three large suitcases, three small ones, three backpacks, jackets, more bags and more everything. Good thing I inherited some of my mom’s packing skills. While the theme song of Tetris was playing in my head, I managed to fit everything into the car plus three people. Trust me, we had an audience who didn’t believe this would work but I’m a genius if I may say so myself. It wasn’t the most comfortable trip for my friends, but you just have to make some sacrifices.
We had to drive to the other side of the island and during the whole ride, you pretty much see nothing. If anything would happen, like a flat tire or an empty tank, you’d be screwed. Gladly, we made it through the week without any of this happening but at least once, it was super close. This car just did what it wanted and the amount of gas wasn’t always indicated correctly but hey, a full tank only cost us like $20.
For this week, we had rented a room in an air bnb house. The first few days, we even had it all to ourselves, we were served with a nice breakfast, every morning and we’re still trying to figure out the name of an exotic fruit we were given. Who knows what we ate. The place was ok, although not the cleanest and animals were able to get in easily. Let me tell you that it’s not fun to discover that your suitcase has been conquered by a colony of ants and a huge cockroach suddenly emerging from behind a mirror definitely makes three girls scream like little babies. We succeeded in capturing him though and named him Hugo. Little green lizards joined us here and there, as well, but those were super cute.
The worst hing were the mosquitos though. Yes, something you can expect from a place like Hawaii but when all of a sudden your feet swell up and you can barely walk, it’s not fun, anymore. And this was only one of many things that killed my mood in Hawaii and I have to admit, I was a cranky bitch, most of the time. Thank you lovies, for dealing with me. Then again, I was the driver so they didn’t really have much of a choice.
When I thought about Hawaii, I always imagined sunshine, beaches and just the most beautiful scenery ever. Well, nobody thought about telling us that Hilo, where we stayed, was the most rainy city in all of the US. And I’m not talking about a few refreshing raindrops, I mean those raining buckets moments. Also, where the hell are beaches on Big Island? We only found ones with black rocks that you couldn’t really walk on or a few sandy areas the size of my backyard. I mean, I googled everything beforehand but I never thought we would have trouble finding a proper beach, the one thing I didn’t do research on.
And while I’m at it, if something is named a National Park, it’s not always a huge area where you can hike for a couple of hours. Sometimes, it’s just a platform to take some pictures of a waterfall or a little walkabout that takes 20 minutes to get through and shows you another waterfall. Sure, it was super pretty but also highly disappointing. When you expect to fill half a day but are done in half an hour, you need to come up with something fast and not everything works just then and there. Don’t judge me for ranting about Hawaii.
Of course there are also nice things to say. One of our highlights was to zipline through the jungle. It is amazing to zip over a waterfall, 450 feet above the ground. It’s a little scary though when you realize that you’re slowing down toward the end of the line and there’s a possibility of getting stuck. One of the guides explained to me how they would get you back, which wouldn’t have been too bad, since he was sweet, but better not. Unfortunately, all three of us had this problem. I guess we were just light as feathers or simply doing it wrong. Anyway, I recorded all of it with my GoPro and just re-watching it gives me the chills. Adrenaline is awesome.
Another great thing to do in Hawaii is snorkeling. Yeah, I’m a little scared of open waters but when someone shouts “dolphins” you forget about it. It was amazing to see these animals in their natural surrounding. When they left though, I remembered that I was out in the open and couldn’t see nothing below me and after realizing what I was doing, I really had to swim back to the reef and shore. I mean there could be sharks. And more sharks. Oh, and sharks. Better safe than sorry. Snorkeling was super fun and man does a GoPro come in handy. Now we all have fun underwater videos and photos. I admit, I look like a fat wannabe mermaid but it’s the memories that count. Rumor has it, there were sightings of white whales.
So yes, this week wasn’t entirely perfect and I guess my expectations were maybe a little too high. Maybe it was the wrong island, who knows. Still, I was in Hawaii and I will never forget it. Not every trip can always be completely perfect but the memories are still great. I will always think about the dolphins, the adrenaline, volcanos and a mini car. I will think about how the first things we did was buy flowers for our hair and how my friends always braided mine.
I will remember being stopped at Target by someone asking me for a photo and thinking “this is how celebrities must feel.” Turns out, the girls were doing a scavenger hunt and needed someone with pink shoes and a flower in their hair. I was totally their girl. I wonder what ever happened to that photo. And I will never forget how we made it to the airport with our last drop of gas. We even have a video that shows a little panic and a lot of blinking lights. I’m sure the car was happy when it was done dealing with us. And of course, I almost got a ticket in the last few minutes because I was accused of almost running someone over at the airport. I can assure you that it wasn’t true. I mean, three people would’ve noticed something like that, right?