Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Our Honeymoon: Maui, Hawaii. (Part 3)

Day 4

This day was Halloween! The hotel had a competition to see who could make the most creative pumpkin. Greg and I didn't participate, but here are three that we loved. 

This day, we decided to "rest" and get some pictures taken and some beach time. 

We got to hold birds! One of them had an "accident" as soon as I held him. They said many words and responded to questions!
Thank goodness it didn't get on my clothes!

During the evening, we had our first "Luau", which is a traditional Hawaiian party reserved for special occasions. According to tradition, it has to be in an open space (outside). Couples who were celebrating anniversaries, weddings, or honeymoons also got to wear a necklace (lei) made of beads and flowers. So fun!

And then... the host called all the couples who were celebrating an occasion, to come up and dance to the traditional Hawaiian love song. Out of all of us, only us and another couple were honeymooners'. We were married on the same day, too! :-) The man sitting beside us grabbed my camera and took some pictures of us (we had already made friends with him and the rest of the table)! SO thankful he captured this moment. 

Day 5

The next day, we woke up at 3:00 AM. You read it right. Three A.M.

We were ready in less than ten minutes. We then traveled by car/foot for about two hours to the peak of Mt. Haleakala, a dormant volcano! 10,000 ft. Ready to beat sunrise.

I really wish I had brought a tripod to take continuous, non-grainy pictures of the beautiful view above the clouds. Nevertheless, it was breathtaking - literally. The O2 levels were lower than normal and it was freezing up there. 

Here comes the sun!

We then headed back to the hotel, stopping at a local coffee place on the mountain-top.

I had to take a picture of this chair outside the coffee place. 
So dreamy.

After taking a nap, we headed for a road-trip to the north-western part of Maui. Three words of advise: don't do it! The Road to Hana has nothing on this road. To say it was scary is an understatement. Two hours of deep anxiety. Night time fell upon us as the road narrowed and narrowed and narrowed. There is a villa, in the middle of it, of about 100 people. The road is only available for 1 car. On one side, you have the mountain less than a foot away from your car, and on the other side, a 1000+ ft vertical cliff, no guardrails, again, about two to three feet away from your car. For most of the road, you can't back up - or you and your car will fall off the cliff. Thankfully, we didn't have too many cars coming the opposite direction. The views (and the thrill) are awesome, and if you get out of your car, you experience the full force of the Pacific Ocean winds - but the risk is not worth it. 

Phew. I can breathe now. Just thinking about this experience makes my heart race! Needless to say, I didn't take any pictures, as I was tightly grabbing the armrest for dear life. 

Day 6

Minnesota bound!

My heart overflows with gratitude. It was an incredible, humbling experience. The Lord's works are majestic; fully proclaiming His glory!

Thank you for allowing me to share with you!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

There is always something to be thankful for. 3.0

Our home - Instagram style
1. A new home with my husband. I recently moved to Minnesota to live with Greg! 
2. A new, welcoming family (let's not forget the adorable little nieces and nephews!).
3. I also recently resigned from my job (in Texas) as a pediatric nurse. I was so anxious and overwhelmed that I had to do this. I am thankful that the process was extremely better than I expected. My coworkers had a party for me at work. My manager was very understanding and told me that the doors will always be open for me if I ever went back to live in Texas.
4. For all of our family and friends who attended the wedding. So thankful for the love shown.
5. The opportunity to travel to Hawaii. I am telling you, God is a show-off, people, and He succeeded. ;-)
6. Daily phone calls with my parents. 
7. The opportunity to "stay-at-home". I am so grateful for a husband who can provide for our family. I am praying/looking for a job as a pediatric nurse in Minnesota. In the meantime, I trust that God wants me to work here, at home, with Greg. I am learning so much! More on this on a later post.
8. Our first Christmas tree (Too soon? Of course not!). It's 6 ft tall and we purchased it for a good price! Our lights are the vintage kind - perfection. 
9. For a husband who can clean a kitchen. He also dances with me in there. :-)
10. Hot chocolate, coffee and tea. Enough said. Oh, and Reese's. 

What are you thankful for today?  

Much Love,

Friday, November 15, 2013

Our Honeymoon: Maui, Hawaii. (Part 2)

Day 3

The next morning, we were ready at 5:30 AM (in Maui, you have to get up really early to get the most of out of the day...we figured this one out quickly). We headed off to a town by the name of Hana, taking the historic "Hana Highway" or "Road to Hana". This highway is a 68 mile stretch, traveling about 3 hours non-stop (we stopped along the way - that is the fun part about traveling through the highway - which took about 6 hours),  59 bridges (46 of them are one lane only) dating back to the early 1900's, and...wait for it... approximately 620 curves! Talk about motion sickness.  

Below, Hawaii's motto: "The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness."

Behind the pineapple stand, there was this road that led to two waterfalls, which you could only reach if you hiked it. Of course, I wasn't prepared and I had to hike in my Toms shoes and non-hiking outfit. Nevertheless, it was worth it. The place was like an enchanted forest.

A very nice couple took a picture of us.

One of the many bridges.

After visiting the falls, we stopped by "The Garden of Eden", a tropical garden along the Road to Hana.

Rainbow Eucalyptus.

Anyone recognize the pointy rock on the picture?
It's the Jurassic Park rock filmed at the arriving scene.

One of the locals who worked at the hotel, a man we became friends with, pointed out that I was wearing my hibiscus flower on the wrong side. Turns out, if you wear it on your right, you are single and available, and if you wear in on your left, you are married/in a relationship. Oops! :-)

Halfway down the road, we stopped at this famous stand, called...well, "Halfway to Hana". They make the most delicious banana bread. 

We arrived!

A local man from Hana, who displays his 6-year-old granddaughter's "art" on his stand, gave me this "fish"! 

Maui has a very large Catholic community (more than half the island people are Catholic). I was very surprised to find this out! However, there was a big difference I found between Catholic churches in the "mainland" and in Maui. Their church buildings are so, so simple. I understand why some churches are big, and the altars filled with gold and what-not, but I really loved the beauty and simplicity I found.

When you arrive to Hana, people advise you to return through the same road, since parts of the roads ahead are quite dangerous and some are not paved. Having the husband that I have, we just had to go through where they just advised us not to. Yeah. It wasn't that bad, though, and a few cars had the same plan! 

Then we pretended to live at this house.

You see a pretty sunset, you stop and take a picture.
Even if you don't quite get it.

Now, we can say, WE SURVIVED THE ROAD TO HANA (and the road back to civilization)!

Ah! It was such a long, beautiful, tiring day. That night, we went to bed around 8 PM! 

I'll continue posting about Day 4 and 5 (not so long as this one)....well, kind of. :-)

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." Psalm 19: 1-6

Happy weekend! What will you do? I'd love to know!
My sister will be visiting her fiance, here in MN, this weekend and I am so excited to see her! It's only been about 3 weeks since I last saw her, but we feel it's been way longer. It's a sister thing, I guess.