Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Big Island- Saturday and Sunday

All right, these are the last twenty seven pictures of the Big Island, I promise ;)

We started Saturday by driving down to the black sand beach.  Even though I knew that's what it was called, I was still caught off guard by the sand.  It's for-reals black!

Because it just wouldn't be me without a pic of my kid's hiney, you know?

This is how frickin windy it was.  We woulda gone swimming if it wasn't for that dang wind!!

Then we headed back up the mountain for lunch and to drive way down to the coast, where the lava hits the ocean.  We considered taking the hike to see it, but it's like seven miles or something, and I wasn't even sure WHAT it is that we would get to see, so I chickened out.

On the way, we stopped to check out these lava 'trees' and to play around.  Like I said, we're not used to spending a lot of time in the car.

Daisy ate a few lava stones.  They made it through just fine.

We thought this was HILARIOUS.  Lava is super light.  Like, insanely light.

Then we hit the coast.  It was breathtaking, to say the least.

And of course, just what you want to see when you take your four babies on a hike...

A sign about how life threatening this is.  Nice!

On the drive back up, we stopped to hike out to the petroglyphs.  I have to say, I don't exactly get it.  Ancient Hawaiians made these carvings in the lava.  Way out in the middle of the field, far far from the road.  Which, granted, they probably didn't have a minivan, it was just weird.  And it was just at this one spot.

See that shot on the bottom of that collage up there? All those little holes are places where people stuck umbilical cords.

So yeah.

Then we went home and died.  Actually, no, that was the night we drove down to Hilo to eat at Lucy's Tacoria or something like that.

It. Was. Awesomesauce.  I shoulda taken a picture.  If you go to the Big Island and you do not eat there, we aren't friends anymore.  First of all, the food was to die for.  Second? They had a play area for the kids!!!

Looks pretty sketch on the outside.  And you stand in a (long ass) line, place your order at a counter, and then fight for a table.  But there's a reason that line is so long.

My mouth is watering.

So THEN we went home and fell into a coma.

And Sunday was the best day.  We did the hike I'd been wanting to do.  In the pouring down rain.  And it was perfect and magical and just perfect.  And magical.

Can you see me?

I don't understand what these curly things are.  But I love them.  I took at least twenty pictures of them.

The mist in the air and fog on my lens gave these shots a PERFECT flaw.  I love them all.

We checked out the big steam vent one last time before we left the park.  Safety first!!

The last thing we did before heading to the airport was check out this cave thing.  You can't see much in these pictures, but basically, you pull over on the side of the road, climb down the steepest, narrowist stairs in the history of ever, and then you're in this HUGE cave slash lava tube type thing.  Other people had those headlight flashlight things and went INTO the cave, but needless to say, I was NOT interested in that.

And then we flew home and went back to real life.  Gross.

Weight Check Wednesday...And an Update on the Crazies

Down two pounds this week!!! Wow.  I don't get it.  That brings my grand total to 27.4.  In thirteen months.  Trying to be positive, but if I'd have known how LONG it was going to take me to lose this baby weight, I might not have eaten those bags of Halloween candy when I was pregnant.  Or the cartons of ice cream.  Or the chocolate shakes from McD's.  Every night.

So down two pounds!!! I'm still chugging through the Ripped in 30 dvd and it is NO JOKE.  I started week three yesterday and I almost died.  And I can only do about half the work.  I was laying on the floor dying this morning and Ava says "Mama, how come you're not doing what they're doing?"

Uh, because I'm having a seizure.  Shut up and bring me that bag of Hershey kisses.

Yeah.  I'm not one of those lucky people who want to eat well when they work out.  Nick is, when he runs and does his Insanity, he wants to eat Greek yogurt and cucumbers.  When I walk to the mailbox, I feel like I deserve a Snicker's bar.  Hmph.

I also wanted to update you on my crazies.  All this last year (three years) I knew I needed help.  I truly did.  Ever since Robin told me it wasn't exactly normal to be convinced that my baby was dead while I was at the library, that's when I knew I needed help.  But I didn't know anyone else who took meds.  I thought in the back of my mind that I was too good for meds, I was stronger than that, I wasn't going to take the easy way out.  If I'd been following a blogger who maybe talked about it...maybe I would have gotten help sooner.

Um, that's sort of crap.  Plenty of people reached out to me.  Normal people, helpful people.  I just didn't have my shit together.  Regardless, I want to put it out there, in case someone stumbles across this blog looking for a little help.  So that's why I delve into the personal details.  It's not because I'm addicted to oversharing.

Although I sort of am.

So I've been on zoloft for over a month now, two weeks on 25mg and then I doubled to fifty, and I feel good.  I gotta admit, not as amazing as I sort of thought I would, but still good.  I can't lie, I kinda hoped it would give me more hours in the day, make me have more money and cuter clothes, make Scott mind me, and make Warren a little less dirty...

It hasn't done any of that.  But I feel much calmer.  I haven't cried in over two weeks.  Except for when the wind caught the car door down at the volcano and it slammed into my arm, but that REALLY hurt.

I've taken it at night from the get-go.  For the first five days, I slept horribly.  Well, horribly for me.  I'm a sound sleeper, and I can crush thirteen or fourteen hours when Nick lets me.  The first few days, I tossed and turned a lot, and woke up multiple times a night.  I considered switching to taking it in the mornings, but it really does make me sleepy.  So that wasn't going to work.  A month later, I think it's pretty much worked itself out, although I got up at four this morning and couldn't get back to sleep, which NEVER happens to me.

I got heartburn one night so bad that I considered going to the ER for help.  I had heartburn with my last three pregnancies, and that was bad, but this was ten times worse.  It was like on tv, when the guy has a line of fire down his throat.  I thought I might die.  Moral of the story: if your meds say take with food or milk, TAKE WITH FOOD OR MILK.  I now take it with a dixie cup of skim milk (I hate milk) and I also take a zantac every day.  I probably don't need to, and I'll stop soon, I just don't want to chance that horrible fire again.

Also, if your meds say don't take with alcohol....don't take with alcohol.  I went out with some girlfriends about two weeks after I started, and granted, I've always been sort of a lightweight, but I got SO drunk, SO fast, it was UNBELIEVABLE.  I'm not much of a drinker, so it's not that big a deal for me, but watch out.  It might affect you more than you'd think.

What else...oh, I had a headache for the first three days, but that's gone now too.

So, the side effects were slightly scary, but definitely worth it.  It's nice to feel calm.  Yes, my life is still hard, this is a tough season.  I have a six year old, a five year old, a three year old, and a one year old.  But I don't think they're dead when they're not with me anymore.  When Scott dumps out every single lego we own, I no longer think life is over and I'm the worst mother in the history of ever.  I still don't want to talk to strangers.  I still don't answer the phone if I don't recognize the number.  I still have to order my pizza online to avoid talking to the guy.  I still have to rely on Laura to figure out what we need to do for summer camp.  But.  The idea of having to do that stuff, having to talk to strangers and the pizza guy and the summer camp doesn't make my heart race.  It doesn't make me break out in a cold sweat.  I don't want to do it, but I feel like, if I had to, I might could try.

And that's a huge step for me.

Engelbrecht out.  Hope this might help someone one day.

The Big Island- Friday

So we started day two by driving ALL the way to the other side of the Big Island, Kona.  Bear in mind, we haven't driven for longer than forty five minutes (the time it takes to get from Big Navy to Andersen on Guam) in over two years, so those two and a half hours were LONG for me.  But gorgeous, and fun.  So it was cool.

Not cool? We were headed for the brewery, to take a tour of the factory.  But once we got there, they told us you had to be thirteen to do it!!! No where on their website does it say this, no where in ALL the travel brochures and pamphlets...I was pissed.  But whatever.  So we grabbed a quick lunch and pulled over at the first awesome thing we saw.

Then we found this fun little beach to play at.

Wasn't long before the clothes came off and the white trash came out.

And check this sucker out!! Thank God I didn't hear Nick talking about it because I woulda freaked.  I don't like sea life.  I didn't know this was there till I was uploading the pictures.

Our beach fun was cut short when Warren fell (surprise surprise) and cut the hell out of his foot.  I wanted to take him to an emergency room for stitches, but I was outvoted and had to settle on Target for bandages and a sterile wash.  Nick assures me that lava rocks are not the same as coral and that Warren's foot will NOT begin to grow lava.

Time will tell.  I still think it needs a stitch.

So, caramel frap light in hand, we started back to the Hilo side.  We tried to take a detour to go see a lighthouse and a botanical garden, but we got a little lost, and the winding roads proved too much for Warren and he barfed ALL OVER the back of the car.  It was so gross.  As usual, Nick stepped up and took care of everything.

We rested for a while, then headed for a mini hike at the park, the Thurston Lava Tube.
The flashlights the camp provided in our cabin proved the be the biggest hit of the week.  Naturally. 

We grabbed lunchables and frozen stuff for dinner at the general store, then roasted marshmallows in our fireplace.  With goggles on.  Duh.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Big Island- Thursday

Yes, I have so many pictures that I have to break it into days.  Sorry.

So.  We went on a five day vacation to the Big Island, or Hawaii Island.  When you're looking at the chain of islands, the Big Island is...the big one.  On the bottom.  It's HUGE, and the home of the only active volcano in America.

I learned that last bit on Good Luck Charlie, so I'm not certain of its accuracy.

We stayed at Kilauea Military Camp, in the Volcanoes National Park.  I put in the link for anyone who wants to look into it- I can't say enough great things.  We were almost literally IN the volcano.  We were WAY the hell up in the mountains, so it was in the low sixties.  We had to use the heaters pretty much around the clock, but especially at night.  We had a three bedroom, two bathroom cottage, with 'full' kitchen.  I'm using air quotes because it didn't have a dishwasher, but that's it.  Two twin beds in one room, and a queen in each of the other two.  Plus a pack and play.  And a whirlpool tub for Scott.  Oh, and even though they didn't have a dishwasher, whoever came in to change the sheets and towels ALSO washed the dishes.  So really, it wasn't an issue.  We stopped at Wal Mart as soon as we got off the plane and stocked up on milk and peanut butter and snacks, because it's a thirty minute drive up the mountain, and there's NOTHING up there.  That's not true, there's a general store on the camp, but it's a little pricey, and has a limited selection.
Also on the camp is a bowling alley with bowling alley food, a cafeteria with the best coffee I've ever drank, a game room with a mini starbucks, the general store, and two laundry mats.  No washers in the cabins.  I packed every single thing we own though, so we were good.

All right.  We got there Wednesday night and we saw the glow, but I wasn't sure what it was that we were seeing, so I didn't take a picture.  It was just this orange glow off in the distance while we were driving in.  We fell asleep as soon as we got in, and started Thursday bright and early.

And it was gorgeous.

Now.  We all know my knowledge comes from TV and movies.  So when I think volcano, I think of this.

You know? But the Kilauea volcano is a caldera.  I didn't get a chance to read all the plaques (which sucks, because I LOVE that) but what I gather is that the pointy volcano erupts, and then it's hollow in there.  So it collapses into a caldera (which may or may not be different than a cauldron) and you end up with what we saw...a big hole in the ground.  That sort of looks like a meteor might have landed.
 And there's LAVA in there!! LAVA!! So it's hot, and it steams up!! It was AWESOME.  All over the park, there's just these holes in the ground with HOT as hell steam pouring out!!

Now.  You know I'm into the Jurassic Park look, all green and rain foresty, lush and wet and alive.  Well, Volcanoes National Park has a few of those spots tucked in, but for the most part, it's this post-nuclear-apocolyspe wasteland.  Something about plants and trees having a hard time growing when lava keeps flowing all over the place burning everything up and covering the land in black rocks.  Who knew, right?

But in the midst of all this rock and desolation, there were all kinds of plants.

It was weird.  Very very weird.  To me, at least.

So we looked around the park, briefly, then started down the mountain to Hilo for lunch.  This is two minutes after we backed out of our parking spot. (We rented a van.  You cannot go to the Big Island and not rent a car, so if you're too cheap for that, I suggest maybe Maui or one of the smaller islands.)

After an AMAZING lunch at Cafe Pesto, we headed off to find the waterfalls.  I was NOT disappointed this time :)

Look at the size of this fucking tree!!!

I'm probably going to get this wrong, but going by the timestamps, I think this is Rainbow Falls.  I think.  Does it really matter? If you go to the Big Island, you want to go see ALL the waterfalls, it's not like you'll plan your hikes from my post.  If you do, you're a moron.  I'm making half this shit up as I go.

And for my Favorite Shot of the Day...

I haven't shot with my 55-200mm lens in forever, and I forgot how much I really love it.  It only gets down to f4, but if you're zoomed all the way in to 200, you still get an awesome shot, you know?  I doubt I could have got such great blur even with my 50mm, which goes all the way to 1.8, so whatever.  

In other news, I want a wide angle lens.  If anyone is interested in buying me fancy presents, that's what I'm looking for.  My stellar husband just got me the Kelly Moore Libby in orange, and now I need even more fancy camera shit to stick in it. If you're looking for a camera bag, I love this bag more than at least half of my children.  

This was a close second for My Favorite Shot of the Day.  Aren't they just cute? Let's not talk about the fact that Nick's lost twenty pounds in five weeks and I've lost half a pound in seven months, okay?

I can't get this picture lightened up properly!!! I guess that's why it's more important to know how to take a good pic than to know how to post process, huh?

All right, what's next...

How about my super cute son's super cute hiney?  Bear in mind, we haven't worn jeans in two and a half years now.  SO CUTE!!! I could have DIED.

This is either Akaka Falls, or Kahuna Falls.  They were on the same hike.  I guess, I don't really remember.

Here's what I do remember.  This waterfall was WAY the hell up in the sky.  It musta been twenty miles high.  For reals.  And there were people chilling out at the tippy top!!!  Inches away from their deaths!!!



So after all that exploring, we headed back to the camp for dinner at the bowling alley and a low key night of baths, tv, and bed.  We like to walk on the wild side.

After we were all settled and comfy, we raced to the car in the mid fifty degree weather, bundled up, and went out to see this view.
It was worth the cold.  Easy.

If I can get some more editing done, I'll have the rest of our vacation up tomorrow.  But it's the first day of summer, Nick is going back to work, and this double dose of zoloft is still leaving me pretty tired and foggy, so we'll see.