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Why I think living in the middle of the ocean would be a great idea

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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!

Alicia on a plane

this is my standard "there's a camera in my face" expression

tim on a plane

This is what my lovely husband does on planes when not reading comics

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.

our feet at john wayne airport

In California!

john wayne airport logo

It's hard to turn the designer off. i love this logo!

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.

tickets to disneyland

Our tickets from the first day

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!

monorail and matterhorn

Monorail coming up on the Matterhorn

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.

in front of sleeping beauty's castle

In front of Sleeping Beauty's (miniscule) castle

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.

dancing on thunder mountain

Yay! Dancing on Thunder Mountain!

no dancing sign

What's this? No dancing?

sad, no dancing

No dancing = sad panda D:

just married button

We both ended up with a crapload of buttons. It started with this one.

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.

tim in pirate cage

Tim really enjoyed the island as well

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.

jazz guy

This guy was awesome and actually from New Orleans

mickey candy apples

It was pretty close to Halloween, so they had tons of cute Mickey candied apples

umbrella

After Tim partook in his much-anticipated Dole whip, I stole his umbrella while we were waiting at the Tiki Room.

tim churro

Tim eating the shit out of a churro. He makes me proud. You can see a bit more of our button horde.

astro orbiter

On the Astro Orbiter. This is one of my favorite pictures from the honeymoon. :)

teacaups

Although the tea cup ride is my favorite.

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.

trolley model

A model of the street cars to be installed. The little guy is carrying an Acme anvil briefcase!

The cutest part of California Adventure is the little boardwalk area that had this huge ferris wheel.

ferris wheel

Sunny ferris wheel that towers over the park.

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!

death ferris wheel

Except for the fact that almost all of the cars were on these circular tracks.

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.

lax

The crazy, retro-modern tower at LAX

plane wing

We flew well into the night. It was a LONG, uncomfortable flight. There was a woman next to me who kept trying to be plane friends and would not take the hint that I didn't want to chat.

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.

lanai

The view out on our lanai through the living room.

Okay, so that particular picture isn’t too impressive. How about:

right of the lanai

To the north from the lanai

or

rainbow molokai

A crazy rainbow with Molokai in the background. Whenever it rained, there were just crazy rainbows.

It just got better around sunset

left on lanai

The view south from the lanai. That's Lanai'i in the distance.

sunset molokai

Sunset over Molokai

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.

orchid

We left the orchid behind for others to enjoy. The department of agriculture frowns on taking back plant matter.

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.

walkway to beach

Walkway down to the beach, littered with guava.

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…

pineapple

There were a couple of cute farmer's markets near us on Lower Honoapi'ilani Hwy. I absolutely hated pineapple before I had some there. It's the sweetest, least bitter pineapple I've ever had.

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.

[caption id="attachment_574" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="This is where the turtles were, between the two ridges of rocks."]turtles

sunset napili

Sunset over Napili Bay

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.

lava flow

Some of the rocks in the lava flow.

volcanic beach

At the end of the undriveable road, there was this secluded volcanic beach. See what I mean about it just being rocks everywhere?

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.

lahaina cemetery

Speaking of cemeteries, this was taken in the cemetery the last kings of Hawaii are buried in

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.

jade buddha

And here it is! It give you a sense of scale, the platform Buddha is sitting on is about shoulder-high.

from buddha platform

Being all artsy from the Buddha platform.

dojo

The pagodas

pagoda

Like I said 2000 words ago, it's hard to turn the designer off. I'm such a whore for interesting architecture.

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.

cemetery fence

Fence running through the cemetery

cemetery hill

View uphill towards the ocean. This cemetery ended on a cliff facing the ocean. It was gorgeous.

cemetery sunset

Sun setting over the cemetery with Tim in the background.

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. :(

shave ice!

I'm pretty sure this is lilikoi, guava, and tamarind shave ice. I persuaded them to stock tamarind our second day and religiously got it every time after that. Tim got pretty sick of my tamarind addiction.

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.

trees at work

This was at one end of the trail

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.

rock

In Jurassic Park, there are dinosaurs...

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.

bird of paradise

There were wild Bird of Paradises everywhere. It was crazy to see these growing on the side of roads.

plumeria

I remember what these are! These are plumeria. They are a traditional flower for making leis because of their intoxicating scent. They really do smell intensely lovely.

hibiscus

I had no idea how large hibiscus flowers could get. There were frequently flowers the size of my fist or larger.

peacock

There were a bunch of feral peafowl in the botanical gardens. Tim attempted to make a friend of this guy, even after I warned him about how mean peacocks are. My mom's best friend's mother used to have a peacock that was an ass and chased me around their yard on multiple occasions.

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.

Black sand beach from on top of the cave system.

black sand

I really REALLY wish someone would have warned me about how damn rocky these beaches are. The actual sand was 2-3 feet of pointy rock away from the shoreline. It made swimming difficult.

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.

red sand beach trail

That ledge in the background is part of the death trail to get down to the beach.

red sand beach

This is the other wall. It was hard to get good pictures because there were a ton of people there. I regret not getting a good picture of the back wall of the beach, it was a sheer rock face that went up at least 8 stories.

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.
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On February 9th, 2011 12:30 am (UTC), 4bit4 commented:
Wow, looks like you guys really had a lot of fun.
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On February 27th, 2011 11:24 pm (UTC), fuzzdecay replied:
we totally did! it felt like so much longer than 2 weeks while it was happening. it totally revived my soul, which was something i VERY MUCH needed
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On February 16th, 2011 04:21 pm (UTC), all_hail_duke commented:
loved this entry. great hair, by the by. there is a ferris wheel on coney island like the california disney one with the rails. except it is old. and by the ocean. and rusty. rusty like rusty with holes in the rails. you want terror? that'll do ya.
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On February 27th, 2011 11:25 pm (UTC), fuzzdecay replied:
thanks!

and just reading that description almost makes me want to wet myself. ugh. :(
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