Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 1

Well, Dale and I had two tickets to paradise. And now the amazing week is over and we are home. Booooo! A smidge bummed out that I had to return to reality. This trip was a blessing above all blessings and we treated it that way the whole time we were there. Every second was a thrill.

It all started when Dale earned a trip to Kauai from his work. It wasn't so simple, it actually was the most amazing thing. He had a month to generate a certain amount of revenue and if he did, we would be included in the group of "top performers" which meant a trip to Kauai for the both of us. He was short on his goal all month and it seemed impossible. He even told me half way through the month that there was no way he was going to make it. The goal that he had to reach was super high and he said it would be a downright miracle if we made it. And a downright miracle it was! He had been working super late nights all week and it came down to the very last day of the month and he had till midnight to make it happen. When 10:00 at night came around, he actually needed just one more sale to put it over the top. He scrounged up one last guy in Australia to call who he talked to for a long long time before sealing the deal. Dale finally got it and this is no joke, the time stamp on the credit card transaction was 11:59:59. He did it. Literally at the last second. He called me crying which freaked me out, I thought something terrible had happened. Then he said "We're going" and I knew what he meant so then I started crying. Then, I get embarrassed because I realize I'm on speakerphone. Apparently everyone wanted to hear Dale tell me the news and they had all been crying already. Dale told me later that had all been praying for Dale to make it because they cared about him so much. A lot of them were already done working that night but they stayed to help Dale and cheer him on. I get a little teary now just thinking about it.

So anyway, that was back in the fall and we've had months to think about the trip and get excited about it. And it was better than we thought it was going to be. I wish I could go back and take everyone I know with me. Truly a trip of a lifetime.

I took over 1000 pics and I hope you don't mind if I share a bunch with you. Don't worry, I edited them down. I'm only posting about 800. =)

We took off from Phoenix early in the morning. We were headed to Kauai but we had a layover in Oahu. Yes, I took a picture of my boarding pass. I was excited, okay?
I was so happy to have a window seat and kept my face plastered against the tiny glass to watch the scenery change. First view out of the window was blah Phoenix. No offense Phoenix, but you look sorta drab compared to Hawaii. I'm just sayin'.
Takeoff! I call this one pollution con clouds.
This pic was taken as we were getting near. Can you see the cruse ship?
First view of Honolulu. Can you believe the colors in the water?
Arrived at the Honolulu Airport and promptly received sticker shock:
Took off again, this time headed for our destination:
First view of Kauai. This is where they filmed Jurassic Park. Can you hear the theme song right now?
After we hopped off the plane, we went and got our rental car. I reserved us the itty bitty-est car they had but when we got there, they were all out of those so we got a free upgrade to full size thank you very much! I tried to convince them that what we really needed was a free upgrade to the Mustang Convertible but they didn't by it.

This next group of pics was taken by a very exited girl with her camera in a moving rental car. She was seeing Hawaii for the very first time in her life:
The Tree Tunnel. We got to go through this a bunch of times because it was off the highway, on the way to our hotel. Like all the shots of Kauai I have, the pic doesn't do it justice. A beautiful canopy of trees, it was.
Dude, I ain't gonna lie. Our hotel was straight up swank. I felt like royalty.
Here I am standing in their lobby, part of which had no roof and was open to the bright blue sky. In front of me is a tropical garden under the ceiling opening and in front of that is a sitting area overlooking the ocean.
We got leis as we came in. I used them as decoration in our room:
The view outside our room. I know. It seemed like a dream.
We didn't waste a single second after we got in our room. We changed into our swim suits and were out the door 5 minutes later combing the beach and swimming in the pools. When we were walking along the beach in front of our hotel, we found a little trail that lead to a meadow with white butterflies everywhere. Paradise! Of course, I didn't have my camera. That was the one and only time. After that mistake, I made sure I had it with me every time I left the room. The name of the beach that our hotel was built on is called Shipwreck Beach. It wasn't a great one for swimming or surfing because there was lots of coral. But it did have a giant cliff you could jump off of in case you felt so inclined. It was the same cliff that Harrison Ford and Anne Heche jumped off of in 6 days and 7 nights. I know, I didn't see that movie either but it sounds cool to say it.

Since I was a dummy face and didn't get pics of the amazing beach that our Hotel overlooked and pics of the outside of hotel itself, I did you the courtesy of finding pics of it online.

The famous cliff:
The gardens at the resort:
View of the resort and beach from the sky:
I kept saying that I would just come back and take pics of the hotel and beach we were staying on before we left but I never got around to that because we were go go go from sun up to sun down trying to squeeze every bit of adventure we could find into the 5 days that we were there.

Stay tuned for more. I have a bazillion pics to go thru and I will post them as I go. Aloha! Sorry, I had to say it.


johnsonteammom said...

I remember driving through that tree lined road a few times looking for places to snorkel. We stayed on the other side of the island. Just looking at the pics brings back great memories. Ben actually found the CD this morning and we were reminiscing. Ahhh, to be rich and do that again.

Greco Family said...

I am so jealous! That is beautiful! I can't wait to go there someday.

Sean & Julia Johnson.... said...

wow!! so awesome! someday we're gonna go to Hawaii- I always say that

Kim Skinner said...

that's so awesome that you got to go! can't wait to see the rest of the pics.

btw - my friend janeice said you guys are neighbors!

Anonymous said...

What an amazing trip! Can't wait to hear and see more... :-)