...Okay okay. We didn't actually go to Maui, but I did take Leah to the islands of Hawaii (aka Big Island) and Oahu for our fifth anniversary. In order to make it extra romantic we decided to invite my brother Seth out for a couple of days. Actually we had Seth come for many reasons: 1. We needed a photographer, 2. Seth can fly for free anywhere on a moments notice, 3. Seth is fun to travel with, 4. Seth's the best, 5. We had a big vacation rental with an extra room so why not?
Anyway, we had a great time and here is the proof:
We stopped for lunch one day to try Giovannis famous shrimp in Kahuku near the north shore of Oahu. You don't expect to get such good food out of a graffitied white van on the side of the road, but Giovannis was amazing.
Here we are at "The Point" in Laei close to where Leah lived the summer of 2005. We are standing in front of large rock that probably has a long multi-syllabic hawaiian name with many vowels and apostrophes that most likely translates to "rock with hole" or something.
Like Pineapples? There's none better (allegedly) than Dole's Hawaiian Pineapples. Quick fact: Pineapples are the only fruit you can bring back to mainland with you...I found that out the hard way when they took my $4 apple away!
Provo needs some these blue stop signs (much better than red). I don't know why Hawaii has some blue stop signs, but I did hear that they cause accidents because people stare at them and just roll through the interesection. Some people are easily confused.
I performed an impromptu haka in front of the Polynesian Cultural Center. Unfortunately Leah didn't get a picture of the part when I ripped my shirt off and started making "haka faces." I accidentally scared off a small polynesian gang who probably thought I was really mad, but I wasn't....it's just part of the haka.
My princess pony on a beautiful beach at the Laei Point State Wayside just off of Kamehameha Highway. That reminds me of a joke Leah made while driving and seeing all of the crazy hawaiian names. It went something like this:
Why doesn't Hawaii have Wheel of Fortune?
Because if you buy a couple vowels the word is already done!
I won't tell you the other joke she made up.
The temple in Laie was really pretty. There are several reflection pools that lead up to an homage to motherhood that Leah really liked. It was a statue of a mother bathing a baby with two of her children nearby with a sign above it reading "MATERNITY."
Leah on the shores of Kualoa Beach Park in front of "Chinaman's Hat." Looks more like Gandalph's hat to me.
The mountains in Oahu were very lush and dramatic, just like my lady ...I mean...what I meant to say is...lush and beautiful, just like my lady, Leah. Don't beat me.
I read about this awesome hike on the Big Island. You hike a half mile up a stream that lies between to pieces of private property (nobody can own the stream). Then you come to an enormous three tiered waterfall with huge swimming holes called Uma Uma falls (google it). If you see it, it is what you will picture every time you hear the words "Garden of Eden" for the rest of your life.
So Seth, Leah and I hiked up this stream. It was kind of like walking on mossy bowling balls. It was very slippery and we all fell down at least a couple of times. I also stepped on an underwater rock, slipped under the neighboring rock, and ripped up my big toe nail to the nail bed. Yummy.
It was tough going and after a while it felt like A LOT longer than half a mile. The branches and trees over the stream had spiders all over them, an endless supply of spider webs strung across the stream and the mosquitos buzzed in our ears. We kept going forward because, as Seth kept saying, "it's got to be just ahead, we've gone so far" or "I think I can hear the waterfalls!"
At one point, after two hours, I heard Seth yell "DELIVERANCE!" from up ahead. I told Leah that we had finally made it to the end. We hadn't. When I asked Seth why he yelled that he said it was because we were about to killed by crazy locals (like the movie Deliverance) and not because we were saved. Leah's face (above) says it all.
At the end of long, arduous, painful hike we finally did make to the end of the stream. We would have cried if it wasn't so funny. The end of the stream was just a concrete pipe coming out of the mountain side! We had hiked up the wrong stream! The two streams were just 300 feet apart from where we started the hike. We did find Uma Uma falls later though, but we were too dejected to care.
This is Akaka Falls, a 400' drop north of Hilo on the Big Island. If you look closely you can see my ratty toe nail.
Later in the trip I sqeeeeeeeezed into those little jean shorts( Leah has on in earlier pic.)when I didn't have a swim suit at a giant naturally occuring volcanicly heated swimming pool on the beach. It wasn't too bad until an other man called me Daisy Duke. Then I was ready to go.
This is Leah hiking on some lava flows above Rainbow Falls in Hilo.
Leah inside of the one of the biggest/crazyest trees we've ever seen (and we've seen some crazies).
Rainbow Falls was really cool. Hiking above them was fun too.
Here is Seth helping this little arson start forest fires at Volcano National Park. Why is there a little girl with a gas can? We could never figure it out.
Seth and Leah deep inside the Thurston Lava Tube. It is a mile long cavern made by an underground river of lava that has since emtied and cooled. After the first quarter mile they built a wall and fence that said "Warning" "Keep Out" "No Hiking Beyond This Point" "NO Trespassing" that we though was code for "Awesome beyond this point." We were right. It was really fun to hike way back into the mountain. I kept thinking that there was going to be an evil lair at the end. There was no lair there.
One of trip highlights was hiking the Kilauea Iki Trail. It hikes around and then across a volcano crater that was molten lava 30 or 40 years ago. This is Leah and I inside of the crater.
There were many hot steam vents in the still cooling lake of lava.
Here is Leah standing on a cute little steam vent. I guess she thought the humidity hadn't made here hair frizzy enough so she wanted to stand in steam! Just kidding honey. But on a more serious note, check out Leah's purple pants, purple jacket, and purple shoes. When she had them all on Seth and I thought we were hiking with Barney. She didn't realize she had grabbed all purple gear when we left our vacation rental that morning.
Seth and I on a railing trying to balance above the crater 800 feet below. You can see Seth's sac if you look closely.
After five years our marriage is still steamy. That one's for my dad (the king of bad puns).
Beautiful sunset on top of a volcano.
Big Steam vent.
From the Jaggar Lookout you can see the boiling lava inside of the Kilauea Caldera. It was an incredible thing to experience in person. The amount of light it gave off when the sun went down was surprising.
Leah on a cool tree in front of a Lagoon near Punalu'u Beach.
Same lagoon, different tree.
If you're wondering my neck looks like an NFL linebacker's neck (below), you might think it's because of Leah's arm pressing on it. It's not. I was really really mad and this is the beginning stages of me turning into a Hulk....I got better.
Me on Black Sand Beach joining a bale of turtles. Yeah, that's what a group of turtles is called. They voted me out of the bale though when they discovered I wasn't actually a turtle (when I stood up on two legs).
Here's Leah just casualy getting ready to do some studying on White Sand Beach (near Kailua Kona). She wasn't studying books though...she loves to people watch! btw, creative beach names huh? We also went to Green Sand Beach (the only green sand beach in the world).
BYU Hawaii is THIIIIIIS big.
When you gotta go you gotta go. (A street sign near Pe'e Pe'e falls).
Our last day on the Hilo side we found some cool hot springs.
We also went to the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, the only factory in the country (or world, can't remember) that grows its own cacao and processes it into chocolate on site. Eat your heart out Willy Wonka! Below is me holding a cacao placenta (tasted like an orange), a vat of dark chocolate, and me standing by some cacao beans.
This is our friend Pascal. Mahalo very much.