Or: “Oh hey guys, my honeymoon totally changed my life.” subtitled: I promise I’ll get to posting about things that didn’t happen 6 months ago shortly.
So after the wedding, which we narrowly plucked from the jaws of total disaster, we headed off for a few days in Disneyland and a week and a bit on Maui. It was a very welcome respite. At that point I’d spent months balancing an insane workload at both my dayjob and freelance ventures with the ridiculous amount of wedding related projects that I had taken on. Just typing that sentence made my eye start twitching, again. It was all bad.
But nothing that an open bar and 2 weeks doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING couldn’t fix.
The morning after the wedding I was up bright and early. I had an appointment to cut off the hair i’d been growing out for 9 months at 10am. Everyone at the salon, who assisted me on my quest of pantone matching the blue and getting the perfect set, thought that I was insane. I suffered through growing my hair out for 9 months (through the hot atlanta summer!), hating it the entire time, for 1 day.
My stylist didn’t think I was crazy, though. She had to listen to me bitch about my hair the entire time. I’m sure she was just as happy as I was to have my hair cut off. I decided to get a good “fuck you hair!” haircut, basically a mohawk with longer sides so it can be work appropriate.
I got back to our packed bags, and we were off to the west coast!
A few hours later we arrived in California. This was my first trip out there, which is odd considering almost all of my family still lives there. Tim and I compromised on our honeymoon, I wanted to hang out on the beach for 2 weeks and he wanted to go to disneyworld. We ended up doing a couple of days in Disneyland and then to Hawaii for the remainder of the 2 weeks.
We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel, which was undergoing some renovations. The building our loft is in has also been undergoing renovations for the past few months. It was nice to travel 3000 miles to still be awoken by hammering.
We stayed in a newly built tower with the most ridiculous headboard of all time.
To be perfectly honest, I was underwhelmed with Disneyland. After having gone to Disney World an obscene number of times during my life, Disneyland just can’t hold up. It’s so tiny in comparison. However, it’s really cool how Disneyland has been tucked into the middle of a city and it still feels really isolated from reality when you’re in there. It’s not quite the same as Disney World, where you really ARE isolated from everything — you can still heard sirens occasionally and see glimpses of outside the grounds on the monorail and such — but considering how built-up the area surrounding the park is, it’s impressive.
Tim’s sister, Emily, had sort-of recently finished a contract working at Epcot and had some leftover gate passes she gave to us. Yay for free park admission!
You can catch the monorail from Downtown Disney to get to Disneyland. It drops you off in Tomorrowland by way of the Matterhorn. You get an interesting view of the backstage areas and some traffic. But it’s only half a mile or so to just walk to the park.
Sleeping Beauty’s castle is half the size of Cinderella’s castle. It’s kind of sad. However, Sleeping Beauty’s castle has this little walk-through attraction that tells the story which is really cute. I’ve learned that this was recently refurbished and opened to the public through Tim’s dvd watching. I liked being able to go into the castle, because it’s something I’ve wanted to do at Disney World ever since I was a kid.
The first ride we went on was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. This is the only roller coaster that I am not terrified to get on. I am perfectly okay with stating the fact that I am 26 years old and terrified of roller coasters, the dark, and heights. Having said that, you should have seen me when I rode Space Mountain when I was 18. I’m pretty sure my mom still has scars from the death grip I had on her arm.
We went to Tom Sawyer’s island, which is Pirate themed at Disneyland. I definitely liked it more than the Disney World island, soley because there are tons more caves in the pirate themed one. I love caves whether they’re real or fake.
Around the middle of the day we headed to New Orleans square to have lunch. We ate in the restaurant that is inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Speaking of, that ride is completely different and so much longer in Disneyland.
While we were being seated, the park caught on fire and we were all evacuated into open spaces. We spent the time watching the pirates from one part of New Orleans square jam with this jazz guitarist.
We also had a jaunt over to California Adventures, which was directly across a little courtyard from Disneyland. It was an extremely disappointing park. We actually left there in the afternoon and went back to Disneyland until it was time to watch the World of Color show that night.
The whole park seems to be getting revamped. There was construction everywhere, which made navigating the crowd at busy times pretty hellish. There’s a little building full of models of what the park will look like once the new attractions are in. I was really happy to discover that they’re making a Little Mermaid dark ride. Only a little disappointed that it wasn’t open while we were there, since the Little Mermaid is one of my favorite movies of all time and I’ve been desperately wanting it to have a ride since i was 5 years old.
The cutest part of California Adventure is the little boardwalk area that had this huge ferris wheel.
I was really excited about the ferris wheel. Although terrified of heights, I love ferris wheels for whatever reason. I’d actually been wanting to go on one for about a year and was never near one. Here was my opportunity!
Tim somehow talked me into going on one of the cars that moved instead of the nice, safe, stationary car. Worst. Idea. Ever. I’m pretty sure that I managed to choke out that I wanted to divorce him between my tears of pure terror. Day 3 of marriage: already the magic is over.
Tim had been lamenting the fact that he couldn’t ride Space Mountain with me there because I don’t ride roller coasters and don’t take well to being abandoned. I decided that as a wedding present to him that I would suffer through Space Mountain so that he could enjoy the honeymoon as well. We walked back over to Disneyland and through Tommorrowland. Space Mountain was blocked off. It was closed for the rest of the day! Victory was mine! Tim has been pushing me to honor that next time we go to Disney, but that was a one time only offer.
I almost forgot! We also caught an ASIMO show. It’s even more crazy seeing it run in real life.
If you want to see pretty much the full presentation, it’s on my youtube channel. I’d link all the videos, but this post is crazy long as it is.
The last day in California was spent shopping in Downtown Disney and then headed to LAX to fly out to Maui.
We landed in Kahului pretty late and made our way to our place. Maui is only 20 miles across, but it takes forever to get anywhere because the interior of the island is impassable due to mountains, the roads are treacherous, and the speed limit is 40.
We stayed in a place between Ka’anapali and Nipili Bay. It looked out over the ocean and you could see Lanai’i and Molokai. It was incredible. The first morning I woke up and was in complete awe.
Okay, so that particular picture isn’t too impressive. How about:
It just got better around sunset
We were gifted our stay by one of Tim’s aunt & uncles. We had a lovely phalaenopsis orchid waiting for us in a huge basket full of various macadamia nut confections and kona coffee cookies.
Beside the building was a little walk-down to the beach. However, the beach near our unit kind of sucked. There was a lawn, which you can see in the above pictures. Past the lawn was a retaining wall and then just a shitload of rocks. While in Hawaii I definitely learned the value of those queefy water shoes. Almost all of the beaches there are pure rock once you get into the surf, it was really painful after a while walking on all those pointy rocks.
Also, there are so many fruit trees there! It’s crazy, you’re constantly walking on fruit that’s fallen off trees. I kept joking that Maui must be the best possible place to be homeless. It’s warm, there’s free food all over the ground, tons of tourists to panhandle from…Speaking of mai tais: they’ve been my drink of choice for a few years now. I had no idea what a mai tai paradise Hawaii would be. EVERYWHERE offered mai tais. I was in heaven! Although some were gross and had weird shit like amaretto in them. Those were very ungood.</p>
We spent one day up in Napili Bay where there were wild sea turtles just hanging out, eating algae off the rocks. It was incredible! We actually got to get really close to them, they weren’t scared of humans at all. The surf actually knocked one of them into me and it grabbed my legs in sort of a sideways hug. We later went snorkeling in Molokini and the turtle arches, which wasn’t nearly as thrilling as seeing turtles unsupervised in the wild. However, Molokini was amazing. We were swimming along with giant schools of fish, there were lots of underwater caves, and the coral was gorgeous. It wasn’t nearly as disappointing as snorkeling in Belize was.
We got a little adventurous with our driving of the rental car. One day we went to check out the beaches in the middle of the island, where Wailea is. Wailea is apparently where all the celebrities go when they go to Maui. There was an “undriveable” road through a lava field that we drove through. I really wanted to see real lava, but the volcanic roack left behind was almost as good.
The closest city to where we were staying was Lahaina. I absolutely fell in love with Lahaina. It’s this little artsy beach town that reminded me a lot of the cities on the barrier islands here in Georgia. Except much more touristy. We ended up spending a lot of time there shopping and going out to eat. One of our last days, we took the historic Lahina walking tour. It ended up with us just visiting a lot of cemeteries. Tim and I are big cemetery tourists.
At the end of our walking tour, we drove down the the Dojo on the north end of town. It boasts the largest jade Buddha statue outside of Japan. I don’t know why I found this surprising, but there is a TON of Asian influence in the culture of Hawaii. I knew that before we went there, but it was still surprising just how pervasive it was.
After exploring the Dojo, we ventured into the adjacent Buddhist cemetery (of course). It was particularly striking as the sun was setting toward the end of our visit.
Unrelated to our cemetery tourism, Lahaina was the source of excellent shave ice. It took us a while to find Ululani’s but holy shit was it worth it. All the syrups are hand made and delicious. The guy that owns it is amazingly sweet as well. We literally went every day (two punches shy of a full customer appreciation card by the time we left!) and he recognized us every time. On our last day he came out and hugged/thanked us for frequenting them. I miss the guys there. :(
After being warned that it would likely ruin our marriage, I still really wanted to drive the road to Hana. There were guided tours, but we were pretty convinced we could drive it ourselves and save $100+.
The road to Hana is TERRIFYING. It’s this tiny-ass road that winds up the mountain through the rainforest. You can’t see around the bends AND the bends are restricted to one lane. I can totally see why the locals claim that the trek sends people to divorce court. It’s pretty gorgeous, though I don’t know if it was gorgeous enough to make that drive again.
We started the trip by stopping at this park that had a walking trail through part of the rainforest.
We then stopped by the Garden of Eden because it had a good view of one of the waterfalls. This botanical garden also had a view of the rock formation from the beginning of Jurassic Park. Apparently a lot of Jurassic Park was filmed on Maui. The mountain that was closest to us had the Valley of Tears, a valley full of waterfalls, that was also featured in the movie.
Honestly, most of the botanical gardens is a blur of flowers that I couldn’t name if my life depended on it. The only other thing that sticks out in my mind was the random bursts of torrential rain that kept spoiling the time.
One of the main reasons I wanted to do the road to Hana was the see black and red sand beaches. The black sand beach was really easy to find. It was surrounded by an intricate labyrinth of caves, carved out by volcanic activity.
The red sand beach was ridiculous to get to. Apparently it’s one of two clothing optional beaches on Maui and you have to go some crazy batman way to get to it. First you trespass on some government property and then hike this crazy ledge that’s about a foot wide and covered in loose gravel and sand, high above the ocean pounding away on pointy death rocks. There were many times I almost cried and/or wet myself getting there. I would post pictures of just how treacherous it was, but it was too treacherous for pictures. It was totally worth it to get there, though.
The beach is in a bay formed by a cinder cone. It was fucking incredible.
We also caught a luau, of course. Videos of that, and other random things that I haven’t included here can be found on my honeymoon playlist on youtube.
Needless to say, I have totally fallen in love with Hawaii. I actually started looking at house prices while we were still there. It’s comparable to Atlanta, so who knows? We might end up there eventually. Tim has looked into getting a post-doc or something there, but I don’t know how seriously. I can’t think of a lot of things wrong with moving there other than the price of food and fuel. The weather is great, the atmosphere is chill, and it’s really amazing being that isolated. It’s a 6 hour time difference from east coast time, so you know no one is going to get in touch with you unless they really want to.crossposted from fuzzdecay.com.