About a month or so ago I began thinking about how I wanted to spend my 25th birthday. I’m turning 25, I don’t want to just go to dinner and watch a movie, I want to do something spontaneous. I don’t want to spend the day thinking about how most of my friends are married and I’m not, I want to spend the day loving my life for what it is! So I began planning a road trip. I thought California would be nice, so I contacted some friends that lived along the way and looked into car rentals.
In the end of November I hung out with my friend Paige and I mentioned this idea to her. She loved it and I invited her to join me. The plan was all coming together, I began the process to make a car rental reservation and we were going to leave after work on Thursday, the 5th.
On Monday, the 2nd I get a call from Paige asking how much of our plans were committed, which at that time the plan was to kind of wing it. She said, “I have an idea, are you ok with being surprised?” Are you kidding me? I love surprises! She said, “Ok, I just need to know your passport information and your credit card information.” This is what trust looks like, people.
She arranged the trip in 2 days and just told me, “We are still surfing and pack for 70-80 degree weather.” That gave me a bit of an idea of where we could be going, and knowing Paige, I had my assumptions.
December 5, 2013: Our sketchy journey begins
We arranged all of our rides to the airport and packed one book bag each. Right before we got to the border she gave me my birthday present. Inside was a hawaiian doll, a lei (that shed all over me), a birthday tank top that said, “Aloha Bitches” on one side and “Badass since Dec. 7 1988″ on the other, and a surfing magazine. When I pulled out the magazine she said, “Do you know where we are going yet?” I looked at the cover and it said Australia on it. I was like, “Australia?” She was like, “No! HAWAII!”
We got to the border and had a pretty smooth entry which was a nice change for Paige. Then we had to walk to Edalene Dairy which in normal life is about a 5 minute walk. But when you are walking on one of the coldest days of the year, with nothing but a light jacket because you are en route to tropical weather, this 5 minute walk feels like it lasts HOURS.
We set up camp at Edalene for a good hour and a half waiting for our next pickup. My friend Kylie drove us to the airport and mentioned that she is prohibited (by her plane mechanic father) to ride the airline we were about to board but wouldn’t explain why. Once we were on board, we knew why our flight was so crazy cheap. This airplane was not only the simplest version of itself (no air, no reclining chairs, no TVs, no pockets on the chair), it was also falling apart.
The engine starts and the whole back of the plane (which is where every single person was seated, and the entire front of the plane was empty) filled with exhaust fumes. We were off to a great start.
Paige and I used to be roommates in college. The theme song of our friendship is “Taking the Long Way Round” by the Dixie Chicks because they say, “Drank with the Irish, smoked with the hippies.” And Paige is in love with Hawaii and I am in love with Ireland.
One night I was preparing for this big lunch the next day and I had to cut 3 onions. My eyes were on fire. I couldn’t fall asleep, my eyes burned so much. Paige, who is completely obsessed with peppermint oil, was like, “Oh, I’ve got the perfect thing to help you fall asleep!” She runs out of the room and comes back in with her bottle of oil and rubs it all over my temples. It made the pain so much worse. Not only were my eyes burning from the onion, but behind my eyeball sockets were also being cleared out!
So we’re sitting on the plane and everyone else is sleeping. Paige gets up and grabs her peppermint sage oil and goes to put some on her nose. But since the lights were off, she didn’t notice that the roller ball at the end of the bottle was missing and she dumped peppermint oil all over herself. Suddenly, over the loudspeaker we hear, “Whoever is spraying menthol in the back of the plane, you need to stop immediately! You are bothering the people around you and they are complaining of headaches (which is ironic given that peppermint is a natural remedy for headaches)! Again, whoever is spraying their menthol spray in the back of the plane you need to stop immediately!” Suddenly the girl next to us wakes up and just says, “What did you do?!”
We made it through the rest of the flight. We had a sketchy landing and after we touched ground I hear this loud noise. I look over and there is a huge piece of plastic in the middle of the aisle. The arm on Paige’s chair fell off, like completely. She just looks at me and was like, “I didn’t touch anything! You saw, my hands were right here the whole time!”
We got into Honolulu a little after midnight and Paige’s friend Heather picked us up. We then travelled a good 20 minutes in the wrong direction, which was nice as it was my chance to see the west side. We were staying up on the North Shore in a shed behind Paige’s friend, Glo’s, house. It was sweet! We got our own little space and a futon!
December 6, 2013: Pre-Birthday SEALabrations (You’ll get it in a minute…)
The next morning we woke up and walked to town for breakfast and coffee. On the way to the coffee place, Paige was like, “Let’s go through this path in the field!” I totally biffed it and my feet were covered in mud.
Then we went to a local beach and swam around for a bit. The water was SO warm and clean! My earring fell out after a wave hit me and I found it like 5 minutes later! Then we went for a beach walk and we saw a seal just chillin on the beach! It was adorable! It was not dead. (I am making 25 with my hands)
We walked to a swimming hole and hung out there for a couple hours. I swam with goggles and checked out a whole bunch of fish! I tried to do a cartwheel on the sand, and we made sand angels! I was lying there and I tried to make the 25 with my hands. I said, “Paige, does this make 25 or 52?” She was like, “Yup, it makes 25.” Nope. But we had so much fun!
After that we went and got huge bowls of guacamole for “dinner” and went surfing. We all wanted to puke avocado everywhere, but we held back.
They were like, “Whatever you do, DO NOT stand up because you will cut your feet!” This filled me with fear. So, I hop on my board and without a wet suit that thing is like crazy slippery. There weren’t even any waves around me and I was just sliding off. But every time I slid off I was so nervous of the reef that I would just fling my legs up so I was floating on my stomach.
Also, because I’m only used to Westport, I’ve never paddled much. So, Heather, the amazing woman that she is, would come up and tell me to grab her feet and she would paddle me out to the waves. At one point this old guy goes paddling past us and was like, “You go girl!” It was a bit embarrassing. Then Paige was like, “grab my foot too and I’ll help.” I was like, “No, this is too humbling.” I caught one wave and rode it all the way in and a bunch of little kids almost ran over me while they surfed. Surfing in Hawaii is amazing!
December 7, 2013: My 25th birthday AKA Pearl Harbor Day AKA “a date which will live in infamy”
This day was packed, and I loved every second of it! First we went and got acai bowls for breakfast! Then we went to Pearl Harbor. A lot of people don’t know tons about Pearl Harbor, which is unfortunate since FDR said it was “A date which will live in infamy.” I always thought if I ever went to Hawaii I would want to go to Pearl Harbor! How crazy is it that I got to go ON my birthday! Pearl Harbor Day!
We didn’t go inside, since that cost money, but we took a ton of pictures outside with signs that say “Pearl Harbor” and some Navy guys. I literally said, “Um, excuse me? It’s my 25th birthday. Can I take a picture with you or is that totally not cool?” They were like, “uuhh sure?” And I said, “Great! Thumbs up!”
After that we went to this guy Dave’s house on the east side which is where Jurassic Park was filmed. I walked around every corner and looked at every tree anticipating a raptor attack.
Dave lives close to China Man’s Hat, so he let us borrow his kayaks and paddle around for a while! And, I saw a turtle! He was too quick for me to take a picture, but I definitely saw him looking RIGHT at me. It’s like he just popped his head up for a quick, “Happy Birthday!” Then went back down. He probably knew how much I love turtles, what a tease.
We went back in and Paige and Heather lounged on some inflatables while I snorkeled for like an hour, not even kidding. It was the best! I saw so many fish!
We drank delicious Sangria made with guava juice, because what other juice would you drink when you are in Hawaii? Dave made us dinner with hamburgers and hot dogs and chicken and beans and chips. It was a packed meal! Dave was super generous, he was an awesome guy!
On our way home we stopped by Pipe which was happening while I was there. The waves were HUGE! Seriously, I would die if I went out there. It was beautiful!
After that we just went home and watched “She’s All That”
We went to bed and had to wake up at 4am to catch our flight home. Coming back to cold rainy BC was hard, but I do love my home and my friends here. It is good to be back for a few days before heading home for Christmas.
My trip to hawaii was crazy spontaneous and it was amazing! I am so blessed to have a friend like Paige who is willing to be crazy spontaneous with me! I just think about all the people who would need to have all the details in order before they left and would have to have this all planned way more in advance. Those people are way better prepared, and I need people like them in my life because if everyone was like me, this world would be much messier than it is.
But when I think about my favorite book (which I feel like I quote in my blog all the time), A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller, this is the kind of stuff that he talks about.
Our life is made up of stories, spontaneous moments that take our breath away and make us feel alive.
I wanted to run away from my life for a little while. I didn’t want to think about the fact that I was spending another birthday alone with friends. I didn’t want to watch a whole bunch of couples snuggle in front of me while I tried to talk to them.
And ya know what, I got to forget that thought for a little while.
We were driving around, listening to Justin Bieber with the windows down and dancing. We were just being entirely ourselves, completely care-free.
At one point “Crash” by The Dave Matthews Band came on. I don’t know if this made me get all deep because I was actually moved by the lyrics or because it was slow. Slow songs just make me think, no matter what they are talking about. But I think the girl he is talking about in the song is a little bit crazy, and maybe that’s where all my thinking began.
As this song was playing my head was lying by the window and the wind was blowing my hair back. The view was beautiful and I would just close my eyes in total bliss. And as I lied there I just thought about how if I was married with children I would not be able to do any of this. Or maybe I would but it would look a lot different.
I thought about how I am free to go anywhere and do anything. It can sometimes feel like a lonely life, but it is a full life. I have the ability to love so deeply. Sometimes people get married and start having kids and they just get really focused on themselves. Not always, but a lot of times. And I mean, it’s ok because their family comes first. But their friends often fall by the wayside, because you only have the capacity to invest in so many people.
I too have a capacity of how many people I can invest in, but given the fact that I don’t have people that I have to invest in 15+ hours a day, I can invest in a larger number and spread it out more. I hope that my friends feel that I invest enough in them, because I do have the ability.
I came back to BC and all the feelings I wanted to forget for a day are back. But I hold on to that feeling. I hold onto the wind in my hair and the smell of the air. I hold onto the memory that my life is beautiful, exactly as it is. There are a lot of things that could have made my life different, and I would have still loved it, but this is my life. Not that. This is what I’ve been given, and it is my choice to love it for all that it is. All the messiness, all the loneliness, all the love, and all the beauty. I choose to love it. #YOLO