Week in Quotes: Winter Vacation Edition

December 24, 2012 at 2:56 PM (Uncategorized)

Is this what my blogging life has dwindled down to? Post of QUOTES? I suppose so. I mean, there’s only so many times I can complain about life and then write “no life is ok”

Listening to: Generationals – Yours Forever

Danny (friend, not coworker): I still think you are going to be the first of us to get married. You are the dark horse
Me: WTF why would you ever think I would be the first?
Danny: Because you just randomly decide to do things and you’ll do it.

And Danny gave me THE NICEST COMPLIMENT EVER (well, second to the all-time best compliment which is “hey you look thinner”). We were at Cafe Intelligencia (LOL I suggested the cafe to him, and we basically spent 1.5hrs driving there, driving through Colorado Blvd., finding parking, and waiting in line … not a great idea to come here the day before Christmas Eve) and he said “I just thought of a future job idea for you but I’ll tell you when we get our drinks.” His idea ended up being “you always know what is hip and trendy in difference cities, so you should just find what’s hip somewhere and then bring it to different locations.” I was like OMG AWWW you think I’m hip and trendy?! And laughed in his face. But it was ALSO nice that when he repeated this to others, my other friends did not laugh and scoff. I still don’t see any truth in what he says but I guess it’s nice that I’ve fooled someone into thinking I know anything about anything cool!

Me: Drive faster. As long as you aren’t the fastest driver, it’s fine
Mom: That is not true. Cops will catch the unluckiest driver, not the fastest driver

Book I’m reading quote:

Can I tell you something about Seattle? Everyone there is a filthy liar. They’re all “Don’t move to Seattle – it’s so rainy!” And yet every time I’ve been there, a tiny amount of rain falls before the whole sky explodes into rainbows and sunlight. Seattleites mean to hog up all the stunning vistas and good coffee and flowering bushes for themselves.

Me: I kind of want to go on vacation
Mom: I would like to go with you too
Me: Um … yeah …
Mom: I am just offering myself as a vacation companion
Me: I like traveling with you mom, but sometimes … I think I just need to go on vacation with someone my own age. I’m sorry
Mom: It’s ok I understand. It is ok to say you went on vacation with your mom again. But not. again and again and again

Mom: Can you do me a favor? It’ll take twenty minutes
Me: What?
Mom: I’m going to my friend’s house and she wants to meet you. Can you come with me?
Me: Fine
Mom: Good. Can you wear what you wore yesterday? The jeans and everyhting
Me: I’m not your BARBIE
Mom: You are my … showcase … my … what’s the word
Me: I am your toy
Mom: Yes you are my toy

Eric: Isn’t that the whole point of life? To figure out the easiest way to get what you want?
Me: OMG WHAT?! I have lived my entire life thinking I would just work as hard as I possibly could and then seeing what comes out of it
Eric: I mean … I guess … that’s one way to look at it … some people just like to think things through first

Danny: You’re pretty much the most successful in our group
Me: WHAT?! Are you joking?! I am like the least successful out of my college friends
Danny: THAT’S BECAUSE YOU WENT TO BERKELEY

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Week in quotes: sad work week edition

December 17, 2012 at 8:11 PM (Uncategorized)

Friday

I caused Danny to get yelled at by the client. My interpretation of the series of events that unfolded is that: the client told us to do something immediately even though the client blew their deadline in giving it to us. They then stopped us from working on it. Thursday afternoon they give us the go ahead. I decided to bust it out and ask my questions by Friday afternoon. We get yelled at because they didn’t expect questions until after Christmas. Fucking fantastic.

5:03 PM Another Manager merry xmas again..
are going home for xmas?
5:04 PMTang, Melissa yeahh
tonight
flight got delayed
so i can do more work.
HAHAHA
life
5:04 PM Another Manager waah!! you’re addicted to work!
5:07 PMTang, Melissa i have nothing in my life
HAHA
when i don’t want to work
i realize i don’t hae anything to do
it’s been a very depressing week
5:09 PM Another Manager hahaha… that’s just a phase in your life.. im sure you will get through it..
5:09 PMTang, Melissa yeah HAHA
5:09 PM Another Manager you have your family and have a lot of friends..
but its probably time to find the “special someone” hahaha..
5:09 PMTang, Melissa maybe i’ll buy a cat to love me
5:09 PM Another Manager oh noh!!!
you are too young to be a lady with a cat.. hahaha

Thursday

I don’t remember any. I spent my night with two cats who love me very much.

Wednesday

Listening to: Baggi Begovic ft. PHATT – Chasing the Sun

I don’t even know what the fuck to say about Wednesday. I had gone to bed at 3am on Tuesday and woke up at 7am on Wednesday. I was supposed to take Amy and her husband to the airport around 10:30 so I just sent an e-mail to Danny “By the way, I’m not coming into the office until 11am. SORRY. Forgot to tell you, have to take Amy to the airport.” He responds “Whatevs”

So this is how my day plays out

7 – 9:45am – Write two performance reviews
9:45 – 111am – Go to Amy’s and airport
11am – Arrive in SJ office. Open my e-mail and see that I have been told to “drop everything and focus on goodwill testing.” Senior manager comes over and we talk until like 12:30
12:30 – 2pm – One of the partners I work with takes me to Scott’s for lunch. I think the general purpose of the lunch was to sell me on staying by bringing up secondment opportunities and where I would like to travel. I have to admit it does somewhat work because now I am more confused about how I feel about this job
2pm – 2:45 – Meeting about what our game plan for goodwill is. Basically it’s “DO EVERYTHING WITHIN 2.5 DAYS even though the client was 3 weeks past deadline.”
2:45 – 3:50 – Phone call with other manager about other team about review notes and open items on that engagement.
3:50 – 4:50 – Lindsay and I have our coffee date, which usually happens in the morning on the few occasions we are in the office together, but it was postponed till the afternoon since we both came in late. I finally finish my muffin and we go back to the office
4:55 – I get back to the office and read my e-mails and find out that the client has told us not to work on goodwill anymore. So all that time spent talking about it – WASTED. Whatevs. At least I don’t have to do it anymore for the next two days.
4:50 – 5:40 – Where I realize that I completely forgot about a risk assessment call I was scheduled for, but thankfully made it back to the office in time
5:45 – 6:15 – Another status call. Afterwards I essentially tell Danny “should I be working on these tonight?” and he goes “no. you need to stop sending me things at 3am” and I go “ok. I think I’m going to go home”

So then I walk back to the parking lot with Lindsay and go home at a perfectly reasonable hour. Except when I get home I am determined NOT to work but as I look around my room I realize I have nothing else to do BUT work. So I write two christmas cards, Eugene just happens to be in South Bay so he comes over, we go over to Amy’s house where I am supposed to be catsitting and we eat the earl grey ice cream she made for me, and then we leave around 11:30 and then I go to bed.

Basically the entire day was meetings, talking about game plans, and then producing absolutely nothing.

Tuesday

Listening to: Sub Focus ft. Alpine – Tidal Wave

Tang, Melissa i just hate working in my room. it reminds me of how i’m probably going to die single and alone
on my floor
in my cardigan
10:40 PM Manager i am going to cut myself right now
hahahahhahah
10:40 PMTang, Melissa as my space heater dries out my decaying body
10:41 PM Manager i laugh b/c i have the same thoughts…..except im wearing my pajama pants and ugg slippers
and some piece of shit t-shirt
10:42 PMTang, Melissa LOLOL
amazing
10:42 PM Manager please
i cant take this
we may as well be related
or soulmates
hahahhahaha i love it!
10:43 PMTang, Melissa HAHAHA
omg
the saddest soulmate pair ever
we were destined to work together

10:47 PM Manager my roomate told me i should go to bed b/c i look tired
10:47 PMTang, Melissa wait by roommate do you mean … mom
10:48 PM Manager yes
fml

Monday:

Listening to: Cherry Cherry Boom Boom – One and Only (R3hab remix)

One of the best things this week was watching the La Vic’s cashier’s expression when this conversation went down:

Me: Super flour quesadilla with carne asada please
Danny: Super flour quesadilla with carnitas please *takes out credit card*
Me: What are you doing?! I have my own credit card
Danny: I know
Me: Wait what are you doing why did you put it on my same bill? I can pay for myself
Danny: But …… I thought ……. this was a date
*cashier stares at us a little awkwardly*
Me: What? ……… Um …….. this is a little awkward ……. really? La Vic’s? Um …….. ok fine ….. I guess if I get a free quesadilla out of it, sure let’s call this a date
*cashier awkwardly laughs at us*

Danny: I haven’t taken vacation since April
Me: OH MY GOD You must have been losing time
Danny: Yeah … so I’m taking vacation at the end of this week
Me: Oh … ok that’s cool. Do you think I can work from “home” on Thursday and Friday?
Danny: Do whatever the hell you want
Me: Ok that sounds good

And then we shared our suicidal tendencies. Apparently the both of us (and I know SEVERAL other auditors) used to think the best way to go would be to swerve our cars into a median on the way to work. But as we became more senior, both Danny and I decided that we wanted to go out in ways more specific to our clients HAHA For me, in Redwood City I used to stare out the window when my manager would call me and envision myself walking into that stupid Redwood City lagoon and never coming out. Apparently I am also not the only person who has dreamt of doing this. I’m guessing every office worker with a window office to that lagoon has thought the same. Danny says his fantasy was 1) death by flour silo (he works on a food client and he says he wants to throw himself into the flour silo, die cremation-style, and then be spread across the company’s tortillas) or 2) death by puddle (he says there are a lot of puddles at this client and he has pictured himself just laying on the ground with his face in a puddle LOL)

I sent him this e-mail with this song:

When they make a movie about us, I want this to be the song in the final scene. I envision split screens of you jumping into a flour silo and me walking into the Redwood City lagoon

AND IT’S JUST MONDAY, FOLKS

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Skype dates

December 13, 2012 at 12:18 AM (Uncategorized)

Margot and the Nuclear So Sos – Broadripple is Burning

My manager is in Singapore right now. Oh I may have already written that previously. Everything is blending together.

We do daily Skype dates where I ask him questions and we do status updates. These are like … some of the best highlights of my days. I’ve never used Skype before now. How do people still buy calling cards when Skype is free?! Anyway, our  favorite thing to do is to use ridiculous pictures, because neither of us really like being on the video camera function.

Day One:

My manager used an old Skype picture of himself and when I went “OMG IS THAT YOUR PICTURE?!” he went “yeah … I really need to change it. I look fat in it” and I said “Yeah you do look fat. I feel like you want to eat me. I feel like you’re looking at me like I’m a donut, and you want to eat me”

Day Two:

skypedate

LOLLLLLL. As one of my associates said “I can’t believe you’re the one holding the team together.” HAHAHA I was saying to our first year something like “no I really do think this is fun” and the second year associate was like “seriously? who are you going to believe? Me, or the person who hasn’t slept in weeks?”

1:29 AMTang, Melissa
 this night has consisted of me trying to work, being too tired to work, lying on my floor curled up in a ball in front of my space heater so i can nap but not feel so comfortable that i’d fall into a heavy sleep, waking up, doing more work, repeat
1:32 AM Manager
 STOP AND GO TO BED
 YOU ARE GOING TO WIND UP SINGLE AND WITH A BEARD IF YOU KEEP THIS UP
 1:35 AMTang, Melissa
 AHAHAH omggg
i got my third wind
1:36 AM Manager
GO TO FUCKING BED
 NOW
 GOD
 DAM
 DAMN
 IT
 DONT JUST LOG OFF
 I KNOW THAT TRICK
 THATS WHEN MY BEARD STARTED
3:07 AMTang, Melissa
i defied you. I’m sorry.
3:07 AM Manager
 you disgust me
 i disgust me
 go shave your face
 thats the advice i would have given to my former self
 aka you

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I heart my manager

December 11, 2012 at 2:59 AM (Uncategorized)

Listening to: Kyle Andrews – You Always Make Me Smile

I’ve come to the dark realization today that I am a lot more alike with one of my managers that I would have ever expected.

For one thing, he wrote this e-mail to me yesterday

THE F’ING REVENUE IS UNBILLED.  DEBIT UNBILLED. CREDIT REVENUE.
That was for —-, not you.  We can discuss.

He vents like I do!

He often makes statements like “I am a worthless piece of shit who doesn’t deserve anything good in life” and I am starting to think the same of myself.

And today it’s 3am and I woke up after a fairly unrestful sleep. My eyes had been so tired around midnight that I felt like I had to sleep. But my brain was apparently still awake. So I spent the past three hours in a fake sleep where I think my mind was just thinking about things to do. So I signed back on and he is online (he is in Singapore right now working on our client, so he is awake at a globally reasonably hour). We have been trying to plan our next status call, but both of us will keep going “let’s do this time … but I may not be awake” “let’s do this time … but my body may give out and I may be passed out on the floor”

Tang, Melissa: my body decided it did not want to sleep so if you happen to have time to talk i’m actually awake
2:45 AMmanager: we are getting kicked out in 10 minutes
the cab takes 30 minutes to get to my hotel, at least, it just turned into thunder andlightning and hurricane outside so i am guessig traffic will suck right now
2:47 AMTang, Melissa: ok np if i’m still online when you get back & want to talk, just shoot me an im
2:47 AMmanager: ok
it would be my preference that you go to sleep
2:48 AMTang, Melissa: mine too but we’ll see hahaha
2:48 AMmanager me and you are not good for eachtoher
two hot messes setting bad examples for one another
2:48 AMTang, Melissa: i know … i’m realizing we are more alike than i would have ever thought when i first met you
HAHAHA
2:48 AMmanager: hahhah
we have come a long way since our capital asset observation….
2:49 AMTang, Melissa: HAHAH yeah
all right i hope you do something fun
2:49 AMmanager: nope
hurricane
2:49 AMTang, Melissa: storm chasers time
2:50 AMmanager i love it!

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We need longer weekends

December 9, 2012 at 4:31 PM (Uncategorized)

Listening to: Of Monsters and Men – Mountain Sound

I want like, an extra day … or maybe even a half day would be sufficient, where it’s mandated that you cannot do work and you cannot go out with friends. Because when given the option of going out with friends, or taking care of my personal life, there is always one clear winner. And one clear loser. And that loser is me – living in a messy, unvaccuumed room with undeposited checks from September 2012, no food in the fridge, and a very low amount of clean underwear.

Things I Thought I would do once I Got home from the Holiday Party:

– write christmas cards
– spend about three hours working in preparation for Monday hell
– call mom
– read for fun
– eat something healthy
– go running in Palo Alto

Things I did accomplish

– laundry
– watched 80% of an episode of Homeland before I decided I was pretty certain that the site I was streaming from was giving me a virus (I definitely spent a good 5 minutes contemplating “but if I try to finish the episode … I wonder JUST how virusey my computer will get:)
– nap
– more nap

Things I wish I had done:

– stayed in SF and hung out with Eugene

But it took me about 30 minutes just to get from the onramp and past Candlestick Park. How dumb of me. I also never knew that many people would watch the niners play in Candlestick Park.

The fun things I have experienced of late include:

– Not So Silent Night concert: Two Door Cinema Club, Of Monsters and Men (MY FAVORITE), The Shins, and Metric. I heart Jon.

– GT holiday party: damn. At one point during the night I was just surveying the room and thought, I would have a lot of difficulty trying to quit this office. I heart so many of the people I work with. Kristen said she felt like I was friends with everyone who seemed fun. That must be a plus. And evidence of my excellent judge of character

– Oh is that all? Hm.

So the weeks of my lowest point at my job are now over. The number to beat is a consecutive 17 days of hating my life and feeling pretty adamant that I would quit. The bad thing is, I had expected to have about three days of cruise time until I return to my main client on Monday. I did not get that cruise time. Instead I need to spend a good 2-3 hrs tonight figuring out what the fuck my team did (or didn’t do) while I was gone and reading through the mass of e-mails my manager bombarded me with (including one: I just sent you a ton of e-mails. Can you also make a list tomorrow of all the things I wanted to discuss?). Sigh.

The highlights of the past three weeks were few:

1) Reading this article about a woman in Noe Valley who attacks a burglar with bear spray.

2) Random Sunday Palo Alto get-together with Eugene

3) One awesome Thursday afternoon where I happened to coordinate a Embarcadero Farmer’s Market lunch with me and Kathy (in the SF office), Marina and Natalie (at one of the SF clients) and Vic and Mark (at another SF client). I freaking love when groups of people manage to all converge in one spot AND when I see people from my class. I think after that lunch I came to the conclusion that I have had a pretty shitty past few weeks but there are definitely people who have had it much, much worse. So it’s nice to put things in perspective.

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The Hawaii Blog pt 1

December 2, 2012 at 4:13 PM (Uncategorized)

Listening to: Cider Sky – We are in love

AND

dberrie – Aquarius (this is the kind of song I love because I know it’s easy to mash up with another song. Like this one. Which I also love right now.)

At this point I’ve forgotten most of my day to day of Hawaii, and I certainly don’t really recall my emotions at the time. This is why I should always blog during vacation. But I spent my free time trying to figure out the itinerary for the next day’s activities. Family vacation – NEVER AGAIN!

So the whole reason this Hawaii trip came to fruition was because I had been too busy to plan my own international trip. So come August I was like … fuck … everything is really expensive so there goes any plans of going international this year. At the same time, my mom told me that she had been hoping my brother would take her to Hawaii but my brother is all talk and no action so she was starting to think it wasn’t going to happen. When she told me that she thought “it was just as well, since Hawaii is just one big beach and what would she do there anyway” I was like OMG WHAT?! You can go hiking in Hawaii! and she goes “really? are there even mountains?” and I go “THERE ARE VOLCANOES.” So I felt like it was somehow my duty to make sure my mom didn’t die thinking Hawaii was some big sandy beach or something.

Well I don’t mind traveling with my mom, I actually enjoy it. She’s very, very easy going, enjoys the same things I do, LOVES to eat, and expresses a lot of excitement over new experiences so you know she’s enjoying herself. Plus, she usually offers to pay. My dad is like taking a quiet child on vacation. He doesn’t really add anything and you just have to make sure he’s taken care of during the trip, and he may throw a tantrum here and there, but it’s nothing horrible. My brother, I have learned during this trip to Hawaii, I will never travel with again.

So my Hawaii trip really started with me flying down to LA for a training, since I’d miss the one scheduled in the SF office while I was on vacation. I then drove back up to SFO, dropped my rental car off at like 4am, then got on my flight from SFO to LAX. That flight was fine. It was actually early. But there was some plane sitting in the place where we were supposed to deboard, and they didn’t leave until much later than scheduled. My flight from LAX to Hawaii didn’t wait for us … which seemed really stupid because clearly the majority of the people on my flight were trying to catch the flight to Hawaii. Delta Airlines, people. No recommendations for that airline coming from this direction.

So we stayed in Waikiki pretty much from … Wednesday through Wednesday – a full week in Oahu!

The view from our weeklong vacation rental in Waikiki

The view from our weeklong vacation rental in Waikiki

I think we spent so long in Oahu that I am comfortable with never returning again, unless it’s just my stop onto the next Hawaii island (I really only want to visit K’auai). I don’t know what I expected of Hawaii but it wasn’t what I expected. I guess I thought it’d be more pristine, although it makes perfect sense that it wasn’t.

These are delicious - malasadas (Portugese donuts) from Leonards

These are delicious – malasadas (Portugese donuts) from Leonards

I did eat a lot of delicious food though. I envisioned eating a lot more sushi than I actually did. It turns out that we ended up eating way more pork than fish.

Who's that asian family taking pics in front of a restaurant? Oh. Mine.

Who’s that asian family taking pics in front of a restaurant? Oh. Mine.

We went to Pearl Harbor on Day Two (Thursday) and spent way more time there than I would have anticipated, but I was secretly relieved because Thursday morning I was beginning to think “OMG WHY did I plan for us to stay in Oahu for A WEEK?!?!” We didn’t even do all of Pearl Harbor, just two of the sites. We decided to do the Bowfin submarine which I think my dad really enjoyed

Aboard the submarine

Aboard the submarine

We then drove to Aulani, the Disney resort, which I think was the main reason my brother wanted to go to Hawaii *rolls eyes* It was one of the best sunsets of the trip I’ll admit.

I need to pick up the pace, there are a lot more photos to go

I need to pick up the pace, there are a lot more photos to go

The next day (Friday) was one of our driving days – we just went from Waikiki through Nuuanu Pali Lookout and up the Windward Coast (past Polynesian Cultural Center and several shaved ice places and shrimp trucks) all the way up to the North Shore and then back down the middle of Oahu. We started with a breakfast at Mitsu Ken which was more traditional Hawaiian fare (ie. rice, meat, heavy foods).

We ate beneath this giant tree

We ate beneath this giant tree

Nuuanu Pali Lookout is amazing

Nuuanu Pali Lookout is amazing

We stopped at an arboretum – Lyon Arboretum I’ll spare you all the flower pictures. This place had a very nice lake you could picnic at. The rest of the day was a lot of driving around, and just stopping whereever we wanted, which is what I like to do on trips

Up the 83 hwy

Up the 83 hwy

We had Hawaiian shaved ice, which is something I don’t get because I don’t think it’s that delicious. Continued onto some beaches, then back to Waikiki. My mom and I then started what would become our vacation tradition of walking up and down the Waikiki shopping strip and collecting as many free samples of Hawaiian Cookie Company cookies as we could.

Saturday was Diamond Head hiking … I made my family go eat acai bowls which I LOVED. I am not a good sales person though

Me: So I found a place for breakfast … I don’t know if you will like it though … it’s called … the Diamond Head Cove Health Bar … and they serve acai bowls? It’s kind of expensive … but it looks good …

IT WAS THOUGH. One of my favorite things that I ate in Hawaii

Includes acai, blueberries, granola, taro, bee pollen, honey

Includes acai, blueberries, granola, taro, bee pollen, honey

We then went on the Diamond Head hike. I was tricked because there were a LOT of Japanese tourists walking up the trailhead in very casual clothing. Some females were wearing heels, a lot were just wearing pretty dresses. I thought, no Asian ever wears this little clothing if there’s sunlight. WRONG. It was SO hot and unshaded.

Diamond Head trail

Diamond Head trail

It’s worth it for the view though – you get to see a lot of Honolulu

You actually go the hard way first, then come down the easy way

You actually go the hard way first, then come down the easy way

View from the top

View from the top

I tried to take my family on another hike but it seemed like we wouldn’t make it back before the sun set so I said to just turn around. Boo. Oh well. We ended up going back to Waikiki and swimming in the ocean for the first time.

Waikiki beach at sunset

Waikiki beach at sunset

Sunday’s main event was a catamaran trip I got off groupon. I thought it was TOTALLY worth it … like $72 for four people. That is pretty cheap for a good two hours of fun. And about an hour of my mom drunk.

Only one person handles their alcohol worse than I do and that would be my mom

Only one person handles their alcohol worse than I do and that would be my mom

For our mid-day snack we had Rainbow’s Drive in which was another one of my favorite spots for Hawaii. Their hamburgers are SO GOOD. And I wish I could try everything on their menu. It seemed like Hawaii’s version of In N Out. We ended up going there twice. For dinner we went to Marukame Udon which was my mom and dad’s favorite.

Udon and tempura

Udon and tempura

Monday I went scuba diving by myself in Hanauma Bay. I think my parents and brother went to some arboretum and when I returned to our vacation rental, everyone was just sitting around in the hotel room. Normally I would want to whip everyone into action and have them all do things but I was like “I really need to nap.” Scuba diving was rather terrifying to me but I think I would want to do it again. Hanauma Bay wasn’t the diving paradise it was marketed as but it’s a good starting place I’m sure. I met this super cool couple on the trip

Diving

Diving

I then took my parents to Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail which was one of my favorite trails in Oahu. The drive to get there is also very scenic and we kept making stops. Somehow it was all timed perfectly so we ended up ending the hike right at sunset.

Some stop along the 72 hwy

Some stop along the 72 hwy – Halona Lookout?

Oh before the hike we went to another arboretum … Koko Crater Arboretum. We passed by the Koko Crater Trail which was initially a trail I was set on doing. I’m so glad I opted against it though – it was the steepest hike I have ever seen in my life, practically like going up a ladder. And it’s just straight up and down. And zero shade. Clearly a hike more for the glory than for the experience.

IMG_1922

IMG_1973

TUESDAY. The final day in Oahu. This day was a lot of “hmm I’m not sure what we should do…” I clearly told my family “ok you have two options. There is a hot, unshaded hike in an area of Oahu we have not gone to. Or we can go to this hike, it’s shaded, it’s a great view, but it’s close to Waikiki.” They picked the hot, unshaded hike. When we go there, they seemed very displeased by how hot and unshaded it was. This is what I’m dealing with, people.

Well before we went, we finally went to this poke place Kathy told me about that I AM IN LOVE WITH. I heart poke. Raw fish. YUMS. I made a fool of myself because you pick it by the weight so I kept pointing at things and going “I want a quarter lb of that. Ok maybe half a lb. Should I get a full lb? No. Half is fine. Wait I want that too. Maybe I’ll get that too.”

There is no appetizing way to display this

There is no appetizing way to display this

The next arboretum on our list … I think it was the Foster Arboretum. I got heavily bitten by mosquitos here. Amazingly the bites all went away in a day so I didn’t mind too much.

Bird

Bird

Instead of hiking that hot hike, we ended up going to the Dole Plantation instead. Did you know pineapples grow on the ground?

Pineapple

Pineapple

My captioning leaves a lot to be desired.

Then we went back up a little to the North Shore just to see some beach views and then drove down Central Oahu again.

Pu'u O Mahuka Heiau lookout

Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau lookout

It’s a beautiful Bay Area day and I’ve been sitting in my room. So I’ll do the Maui post another time.

———————————-

Ok back now. Went to Philz, wrote two Christmas cards, Eugene drove down from SF to meet up with me, and then we had dinner in Palo Alto. Apparently Pluto’s is not the cheap greasy pizza place I had imagined, and is actually some sort of salad bar to-go place. I am partially annoyed that I paid $7 for a freaking salad … but I am also left with a great feeling of healthiness that I just can’t put a price on.

Might as well finish this post so it’s not hanging over my head. Why a blog post should hang over my head, I have no idea.

We flew to Maui on Wednesday morning. Spent three days in Maui which I personally felt was the appropriate amount of time. Maybe an extra day if you want some real hiking, but our Maui trip was primarily spent in a rental car. We flew into the Kahului airport and then immediately set off for our next destination, Iao Valley State Park

This place is crazy green

This place is crazy green

It was super green and it seems like a perfectly placed spot in between the airport and the hotels in Lahaina.

We got to our place in Maui which was hands down the most luxurious spot, and it was very cheap too! Aston Villas! Then we went to Old Lahaina Luau which is total tourist trap … but an expensive one. The food was good, the show reminded me of very well produced talent shows but more importantly it gave my family something to do.

Oceanside luau setting

Oceanside luau setting

The next day Thursday was one of the best. We probably would have tried to leave immediately but our hotel was so awesome and check out was so late (1pm) that we basically tried to stay at the hotel for as long as we possibly could. We all split up and did our own thing (I read on the beach, I think my brother went to get food, and my mom and dad went to the beach and nearby Westin and walked around to take pictures). Very peaceful.

Reading spot

Sunrise reading spot

Then we set off back to Kahului so we could start on the Road to Hana. But rather than taking the easy, smoother highway we did the Kahekeli Hwy which was … quite stressful but also very beautiful.

Kahekili Hwy

Kahekili Hwy

It switched between high mountains and fields

It switched between high mountains and fields

It was the definition of a harrowing drive. At some points cars would have to reverse … down a mountain. And sometimes reverse up a mountain which usually shouldn’t happen … we were very lucky to be behind other cars during those points.

The views and the experience of Kalekali Highway were far more impressive than the Road to Hana, which is probably the main thing people do in Maui. Road to Hana looks like the sort of thing that is best experienced after a heavy rainfall … which there hadn’t been. Or maybe I’ve been spoiled by driving down the PCH. It just wasn’t that interesting to me. But anyway …

We got to Paia which is like the start of the Road to Hana. It was already way later than I ever expected to start the drive … like 2pm. And most tourbooks say Road to Hana is like an all day thing. I’m glad we did the Kahekili Hwy first and that we had stayed at the hotel late into the afternoon, but it was somewhat terrifying to drive to Hana at night time. We made it to our rental house ok, and I had no idea what it looked like until the morning when the sun came up. It was very nicely decorated inside though, so I kind of loved it.

Walking around the backyard

Walking around the backyard

The ridiculously large front yard

The ridiculously large front yard

Thank goodness for my mom’s ramen packages because by the time we got to Hana, which is a very small town, nothing was open at all. Also the owner of our vacation rental had left us a ton of locally grown fruit (some as local as  the backyard) and we made guacamole which we ate with crackers, and then the ramen and then cut some up guava, passionfruit and bananas. Pretty awesome.

The next morning my mom, dad and I went on a walk to the nearby Waianapanapa Park (Black Sands Beach) which was probably my favorite destination because I thought black sand was SO COOL.  It was a wonderful walk to the beach, basically through the street onto the beach (we were literally one block from the street, although the block was decently long). There were even underwater caves which is something Kathy is obsessed with finding for some reason and I have had to accompany her on several fruitless hikes in the East Bay in search of rock caves.

Dog who followed us for a bit

Dog who followed us for a bit

Underground water caves

Underground water caves

Personal favorite

Personal favorite

WordPress is being really annoying right now with uploading pictures. There’s like a 70% failure rate which is pissing me off.

Well last day … Wednesday … we woke up in our Hana house, did black sands, then got in the car and drove to Haleakala Park. I think an ideal Maui trip would include hiking around here … apparently moonlit hikes are the thing to do here. But we didn’t have the time + it seems like a camping thing or a wake up at 3am and leave your hotel to hike sort of thing, neither of which entice me. So I feel like Maui worked out really well for us actually.

Within Haleakala Park is a site called Oheo Gulch or Seven Sacred Pools and that’s a really awesome photo spot.

Oheo Gulch

Oheo Gulch

This took forever to load correctly

This took forever to load correctly

This was our last place and then we drove back up to Kahului airport and then flew out that night back to Oahu then back to SFO (me) and LAX.

And so concludes Vacation 2012. Basically this year I went to Seattle, New York, Chicago, Hawaii. I need to change things up next year.

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