Tuesday, December 29, 2009

10 Years Ago Today

So I just saw the date and realized that today celebrates the anniversary of two things. First of all in 2006 the marriage of my sister and brother-in-law Kelly & Nate happened. Congratulations kids, I never would have guessed you two would have made it. The second thing was in 1999 I entered the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo, Utah. Even though I officially became a missionary on December 26, 1999, it was the 29th when it all really began. That was a great time of my life when I grew and in my opinion became a man.

That's not what I want to talk about though. When I think of my time in the MTC, I think about Y2K. It was only two days away and everyone was freaking out about whether or not their bank accounts would be safe. If I remember correctly, everyone thought that the computer programs at the bank were not capable to go past a 1999 date so they would just all begin to malfunction. People were pulling their stocks, savings, and a many other assets out so they would not lose everything. Other people thought it was the end of the world, Jesus was going to come and so on.

While all this was going on I was tucked away safely in the MTC. Now this is the part that people have a hard time believing. The MTC was an awesome place to celebrate the new millennium. They threw us a huge party and it was catered by everyone. Pizza Hut, Subway and many other fast food places were all there to feed us. Missionaries from all over the world were congregated in this little melting pot and were celebrating the new year the way they would in their native country. Pacific Islanders were doing cultural dances in the hall way, African, Asian, European, South American Missionaries all there doing their thing. It was awesome and I couldn't think of a better way or place to be to bring in the new millennium.

After it was all said and done, there was no need for panic. Nobody lost money or stocks. It was funny though to think that everyone was panicking over something so simple as a new year. So now I ask, where were you during the change of the millennium? Was it extraordinary or was it totally disappointing?

Monday, December 28, 2009

So I was Wondering...

...Did this happen to you this year?

Monday, December 21, 2009

New Background

So I have been seeing all these "cute" backgrounds on everyone's blog and I thought that wanted to get in with it. So I searched the backgrounds available and they were so girly. This is the manliest background I could find. Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kauai 2009

I know that it has been some time since we have been back home so I apologize for not getting this post up here sooner. I actually have had much of it written for about a month and a half. I guess we were just busy, you know how it goes. So I guess it is now my job to finish what I started. A lot has happened since my last post so let me start with Kauai. So in short, Kauai was awesome. But in long, this is how it all went down.

We left on Sunday the 25th of October. Our friends JD and Katie Price were kind enough to drive us to LAX. What champs they are for picking us up at 5:15 A.M. to get us there for our early flight and for picking us up a week later. They truly earned their Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nuts.

Early in the morning at LAX. Sorry for the bad lighting.

Nothing real memorable happened on the flight to our destination except for a crazy bird lady in the Oahu airport during our layover. We watched her for about 10 minutes gnaw with her two front teeth some macadamia nuts and put them in her hand and all around her were these pigeon looking birds that would surround her and eat her nuts. Now those pigeons were not like our pigeons here in California. They looked nice and healthy and were a bit smaller but I am quite certain that those were some dirty birds. They would swarm around her and land on her hand and eat directly from her palm. She had these fragments of nuts all over her face as she would grab more nuts (with the hand the birds were landing on) and shove them in her mouth so she could chew them into smaller pieces. This woman was nuts.

We got to Kauai and got our car rental and finally made it to our hotel in Princeville, Kauai. We stayed at the Bali Hai Villa's which was actually quite nice. We did notice one thing that night though. It became apparent that we were two of the youngest people in our resort, by far. I think it may have been senior week or something.

Monday we decided to do a hike to a place called Hanakâpî'ai Beach. This was a great hike that was about 2 miles to the beach and 2 miles back. I had been there before about 13 years ago and actually witnessed a person die and helped save the lives of two others. One guy probably would have survived without our help but the other was a goner without us. This is all for another post though so let me get back to the current vacation. The beach was beautiful and the trail smelled like fruit the whole way. It really reminded me of Jamaica.

This was our view for probably 75% of the hike.

Here is a picture of the beach we were hiking to from the trail above.

Here is the sign welcoming you to the beach.

We had to cross this river which ran right into the ocean.

A cave on the beach.

The view on the beach

After our hike back we hung out at a beach at the trail head and just relaxed for a while. That water was so calm, clear, warm and salty.

That night we went to the Postcard Cafe for dinner and it was fantastic.

On Tuesday we decided to do a Kayak and Hiking tour. On our way to the Wailua River where the tour started we stopped off at a cool beach by Kapaa called Kealia Beach.

Our tour was to take us kayaking up the Wailua River two miles so we can get to this spot where we hiked for one mile to "Secret Falls". I forgot the Hawaiian name for the falls. We had a guided tour which was cool but I think next time we will just rent some kayaks now that we know how to get there.

Here are the "Secret Falls"

On Wednesday we went to the southern part of the island and launched off at Port Allen for a 1/2 day cruise around the Na'Pali Coast. I had a wonderful time. The view was amazing and the ride was fun. Something you have to understand is I love boats. I really feel like I was meant to sail or just be on a boat forever. I never get sick, I love being in the middle of the ocean, I love sea life and the creatures you see. I just really feel at home on a boat whether it is on a lake, river, or ocean. Jennifer on the other hand was miserable the whole time. She was the first to get sick and to make the captain stop the boat after only about a minute of our trip. Literally, about one minute. I still have a hard time believing that she was sick and I know she will be mad at me for saying that. I think she was just nervous about getting sick.

Anyways it was wonderful (in my opinion) and here are some pictures.

By the way as a side note for this boat trip. There are two decks fot the passengers to sit on. There was one point of this trip where I was sitting on the lower deck enjoying the scenory when all of a sudden I looked at Jennifer and she asked me to sit where she was (only 15-20 feet away) so I did. No more than one minute later someone from the top deck barfed over the edge all over where I was just sitting earlier! Thank you Jenny for calling me over.

After the boat ride we went to Waimea Canyon which is the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. It was so weird to think that this place was a part of the Hawaiian Islands.

That night we visited our friends Megan, Todd, and their two kids Tanner and Garrett. I have known Megan for I don't even know how many years. Lets just say for most of our lives. They were kind enough to have us over for dinner. I have not seen Megan for many years and consequently had never met her husband or kids. They were really cool and a lot of fun to hang out with. Thanks again for dinner and for your hospitality. We hope to see you again there next year.

Thursday was very simple. We had some down time in the morning and then went to tour some of the Island.

This is the Spouting Horn

Everything was DaKine, including the coconuts

Our hike to Kipu Falls

Rope swing

And the Falls

After driving around we went to this place called the Hanalei Dolphin Center Restraunt which has the 2nd best rated sushi on the island. Holy cow that was some good sushi!!!

We decided to do a tour of the island by taking an hour plane ride on Friday. This was a really cool thing to do and we would recommend that to anyone who would go. It was much cheeper than the typical helecopter ride that everyone else does and apparently is more environmentally friendly. I got to sit in the cockpit which was awesome.

How many waterfalls do you see?

"The plane boss, the plane"

Later that evening we went to a Luau at the Smith Family Garden Luau. It was fun but Jennifer was really disappointed considering she was used to such excellence from working at the Polynesian Cultural Center when she lived in Oahu for a summer. You see we had some of the same complaints which may have had something to do with some of the performers. Well lets say that some of them had some rolls (the kind you don't eat). I was actually impressed that they were able to move the way they did considering.

My favorite fruit from Jamaica, The Soursop

My least favorite fruit from Jamaica, The Jack Fruit

A very interesting fruit that I liked from Jamaica, The Breadfruit

The Imu Ceremony

The rest of the Luau pictures didn't really turn out and really aren't worth looking at. Sorry.

Saturday we went bike riding in Kapaa. We always enjoy a good bike ride.

Aquafina, It's good and good for you!

After that we found the best beach on the Island. We don't know the name of this particular beach, but it was right next to Hanalei Bay which has been rated the best beach in the world. While at this beach we saw 5 Sea Turtles within our first 20 minutes of snorkling. It was an amazing little spot and we were a little sad we discovered it so late in the vacation.

And here is an awesome St. Andrews Spider we saw at a gas station on our way to the airport the day we left.

So that was our vacation. The only notable thing worth mentioning for the return flight was that Jennifer and I had about three toddlers/infants sitting all around us. For the entire 5 hours of flying at least one of those kids were whaling and crying. We never once had a break from the crying. When one stopped another would start. I have never come so close to Suicide.

Once again, Thank you to the Price Family for picking us up from LAX, this time 9:00 in the PM.