Monday, September 29, 2008

The Last Aloha

Well guys, my time in paradise has ended. It was a beautiful three months! I had such a wonderful time! I highly suggest that everyone save some money, take some time off, and enjoy Hawaii! I will never forget the beautiful beaches, blue waters, green mountains, exciting hiking trails, Dole whip, Waikiki, snorkling with sea turtles, fellowship at Nightlife, spending time with Amy, Arden, and Dora, lazy days, pineapple planting, trips to Kuaui, champa fish, leis, hula dancing and I could go on and on!
The Lord really opened my eyes to the beautiful natural world around me, and allowed me to get closer to him and myself. Thanks to everyone in Hawaii for great memories! And all my friends back home for keeping in touch!
My next adventure brings me to Amsterdam, where I am typing this from. I'm working at a christian hostel, spreading the word about Jesus's love to travelers! I'm so excited for this opportunity! I'll be back home mid-December. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I start this crazy/wonderful adventure!
Mahalo! (thanks in Hawaiian)

ps. I might be starting another blog for Amsterdam. but, we'll see if I actually update it! Here's a tentative website for it:
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/dutchpineapple/

Friday, August 29, 2008

Endless Summer




I am sore.  And bruised.  It's the kind of sore that you get from hours of physical exertion, the kind where, when you are having such a great time going full speed ahead at whatever you are exerting yourself at, you don't even stop to think about how sore you're going to be.  Why am I sore?  I went surfing!  I had such a great time!  I decided to head to Waikiki to have a day to myself, and thought it would be a good time to get a surfing lesson in.  And where better to get a surfing lesson than the famous Waikiki Beach?  After finding some free parking (!) about a mile from the beach, I started walking.  I ended up walking down a street filled with Japanese stores.  I love these stores.  They have the funniest things in them.  And the craziest clothes -  that are so small!  I held up a pair of women's size Large shorts, and they would have fit a ten year old!   Definitely not finding anything to fit these hips.  I walked down the main strip, where all the luxury stores are, and past the International Marketplace where you can haggle with vendors for souvenirs.  I ended up across the street from one of my favorite places in Honolulu--The Moana Surfrider Hotel.  
It's a big whitewashed Hotel, with a long front porch filled with inviting rocking chairs.  It's exactly how I would imagine Honolulu to look in old glamorous Hollywood movies, with celebrities and socialites enjoying fabulous parties in the ballroom that spill out onto the beach.  I walked in through the big front doors, into the lobby with comfortable sofas spread around.  A wide staircase leads upstairs, but I walked out through the back, following the sounds of the ocean ahead.  From the lobby, you get a great view of the ocean.  There's open air restaurants and a bar to sit and people watch.  And more rocking chairs to rock to the day away.  After getting my fill of $900.00 a night glamour, I walked to the beach next door.  It was crowded with people, tourists from around the world.  
Different languages floated through air, along with the smell of sunscreen.  I signed up for a lesson at Star Beach Boys.  I ended up getting a private lesson for the price of a group lesson! My surf instructor John Paul was really fun, and a great teacher.  He taught me the basics on land, like how to go from your knees to a standing position.  Then he picked out a longboard for me, and charged into the water.  I left a tiny bit of nervousness on the beach and charged in after him.  We paddled out forever, and sat on the board for a little while.  Looking at Waikiki from this viewpoint is outstanding!  The blue water with sunlight bouncing off of it, palm trees swaying in the breeze, and mountains in the background.  And the water we were in is pretty shallow for a ways out.  JP set me up for my first wave.  He pushed my board off, and away I went!  I heard him yelling for me to get on my knees, so I pushed up, got to a kneeling position, then stood up, trying to remember to keep my knees bent.  I kept my balance for about 3 seconds, then started flailing my arms to keep steady.  I fell off about 2 seconds later.  But man, those 3 seconds on the board were awesome!  After that first wave, I like to think I caught on pretty quick.  I caught every wave I tried for!  It's so awesome to be going so fast through the water!  For a quick second while standing on the board you feel so in control of the water, and the board, and it's just so Fun!  The hardest (or worst)thing about surfing is the whole paddling bit.  I thought my arms were going to fall off.  You ride a wave all the way in, then have to paddle back out to were you started.  JP was a great teacher, and thinks himself to be part philosopher as well.   He stated, "This is what it's all about"  a few times while we were sitting on our boards looking back in at the shore.  "You just gotta be happy"  and, describing his job and Hawaii, "You know what tomorrows going to be like?  Just like today!"  He's been teaching people to surf for over 10 years, and was born in Hawaii.  Says he could never be anywhere else.  Looking around, I couldn't really argue with him.  After being in the water for about an hour and a half, I was waterlogged, tired, and getting a little red.  So I rode my last wave in.  I asked him if I did ok, and he said oh yeah!  But he asked me "How do you think you did?  How do you feel?"  Gotta agree with the man--I did great!  The lady back at the booth said I rode some really big waves--"choke waves"  she said.  Cool, I'll take that, whatever it means.  I was starving, so JP offered to walk me to one of his favorite spots about a block from the beach.  A smoothie and half a turkey and avocado sandwich later, and I'm feeling great!
 I still had the other half of my sandwich left, so I started walking down the street looking for someone to give it to.  Hawaii has a lot of homeless people, and a ton of them live along the beaches.  Last time we were in Waikiki, I felt so sad for them.  To be surrounded by so much wealth, and not have a place of your own.  So I walked along, hoping to find someone I could chat with.  I saw a bunch of homeless guys, but none really looked at me or looked like they wanted company.  I must have looked odd standing around where all the homeless people hang out.  Finally a guy saw me and motioned for me to sit across from him at a table.  He asked if I was lost.  No, I replied, just wandering around.  We struck up a conversation, and I found out his name is Handsome Eddie.  He liked my name, and told me he once had a big crush on a Deanna he knew in Peru.  Then he pulled some pictures out of his wallet.  He had one of him and Elvis!  Who knew?  We chatted for a while longer, then I decided I needed to start heading home.  I asked if he knew anyone who wanted my sandwich, and he offered to take it for himself for supper.  I was glad he accepted so easily.  I asked if I could pray for him and he readily agreed.  He took off his baseball hat and reached for my hands.  I praised God for the beautiful ocean He has surrounded us with and for Handsome Eddie's kind spirit.  Handsome Eddie thanked me for the sandwich and asked if I would be back tomorrow.  I said I'd see him around I guess.  I took some pictures of the ocean before I headed back to my car.  I felt like I'd had the perfect day.  Sun, surf, new friends...what more can I ask for?





Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wait...REALLY?!!!

Here at the Peterson residence, we've been pretty faithful to the Olympics.  Cheering has been cheered.  Gymnastics has been applauded.  Phelps has been watched winning the Gold(s).  But while flipping through the Olympics, we fell upon...Racewalking.  I gasped.  I thought it might be a spoof by SNL.  But no.  There on the screen were many very skinny men walking like very fast stupid ducks.  You have to see this.  When did this become an Olympic sport?!  Well, a little Wikipedia research, and its been around since the 1904 games.  And started, and still for the most part is, as a mens sport.  I thought power walking was for old ladies and, well, wimpy me.  I became increasingly agitated by this "sport".  They look so silly!  Dorothy flipped the channel a few times, when I became too impatient and yelled "just start running already!"  
All this frustration eventually turned into mockery, and that led to a home video.  I introduce our version of racewalking.
video

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Planting Pineapples

Aloha!  I've been very slack about updating my little blog here, so sorry.  It's just so easy to do, well nothing, when you're in Hawaii.  But I did want to share the video of Amy and I planting a pineapple!  It is so easy to do, I'm sure all of you back home will be regular farmers when I get back!  First things first, look up pineapples on Wikipedia so you know everything you ever wanted or didn't want to know about pineapples.  Then, go get yourself a beautiful pineapple from your local grocers.  Then, twist the spiky part out of the actual pineapple until it comes out.  You may also chop this part of, then remove any part of pineapple still attached.  Here is a link to a video on how to cut a pineapple in case I'm confusing you guys.  www.metacafe.com/watch/410687/how_to_cut_a_pineapple/ 
Then place the bottom of the spiky part in a bowl of water, and let set for a few days, until you see white roots start to come out of the bottom.  (Remember when you did this with potatoes in grade school?)  When the roots look long enough to plant, place in a pot of soil, and watch your pineapple plant grow!  It will, however, take about 2 years for it to produce an actual pineapple.  But, patience is a virtue, they say!  I hope you enjoy our lovely educational video.  And yes, I do look like a hippie in my tie-dye dress.  But hey, it's Hawaii and I'm planting pineapples.  
video

Monday, July 7, 2008

Gotta love a Muumuu!


I'm wearing a muumuu right now.  Yep, I'm typing away, as comfortable as can be in my muumuu.  And no, I have not turned into a fat old lady who eats ice cream out of the tub surrounded by her 50 cats.  That may be the image that most people have of women in muumuus, but here in Hawaii things are different.  Everyone wears muumuus!  It's amazing!  People wear them to work, shopping, to the beach, and just lounging around as I am now.  There's dressier ones, and more casual ones.  As it is warm here all year round, they are the perfect thing to run around in.  It's kind of my new favorite thing.  I even wore one to church yesterday.  I made it cute, mind you, with a belt and accessories, but it was a muumuu nonetheless.  I like to think myself authentically Hawaiian now.  And I got really lucky!  A few days after I got here, a church right down the road from Dorothy's had a huge rummage sale/kids day thing.  So I bought 5 muumuus for.....$1.00!  Really people.  You can't beat that.  not with a stick.  haha.  
Aloha wear is prominent here.  As it should be.  But before I got here, I thought I would see the occasional tourist or Hawaiian wearing a hawaiian shirt or such.  But everyone wears such fun, colorful clothes!  Hawaiian shirts and board shorts are a must for guys, and sundresses, muumuus, and sarongs are a must for girls.  And flip-flops are worn by 90% of everyone here!  Comfortable and casual makes up the Hawaii wardrobe!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

First Impressions


I got up early this morning (6am Hawaii time) and walked out on the deck.  And was speechless.  The view is Gorgeous!  Huge mountains covered in lush green trees surrounding us, and a beautiful blue sky streaked with orange sun rays greeting me.  I immediately thanked God for helping me get here!  I sat on the deck eating my cheerios, thinking how fabulous this trip is going to be.  I walked around outside a bit, enjoying the small breeze and quiet morning.  I unpacked everything, but apparently that was to exhausting, so I settled in for a quick nap.  Gotta catch up to the time change ya know.  So far today, Dorothy, Arden (her little girl) and I took a quick tour of neighboring towns, got to see the beautiful beaches, and stopped in at a macadamia nut farm.  with lots of free samples.  Yum.  Later today we're heading to the beach!  Can't wait for my first swim in Hawaii!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

7 Hours in Phoenix


Well you guessed it.  I'm here at the Phoenix airport where I've been for the last 4 hours, with only 3 more hours to go.  This is by far the longest layover I've ever had.  You might be wondering, "what does one do while stuck in an airport for such an extremely long time?"  Same question I asked myself when I arrived here.  

So far, I've gone through security again, attempted to take a nap, poked around in Borders, wandered aimlessly, had dinner at Chili's, talked with mom (twice), flipped through some magazines at the newsstand, and tried to connect to the internet.  But the biggest challenge so far has been to not spend any money.  (besides dinner.)  

Do you know how hard that is when you're trapped in an airport with a Starbucks every 10 feet.?!  It's hard, man.  I'm sitting outside of one now, smelling the delicious caffeine-ness of it all and trying hard to resist spending $4.00 on a cup of goodness.  Maybe I need to move to another area.  Hopefully I'll be flying out of here soon, with my wallet and sanity intact.  What do you guys do when you're stuck in an airport?

I just looked up and the store I'm sitting in front of (across from the Starbucks) is called Desert Breeze.  Were they trying for sarcasm?  I've been in Arizona before my friends, and let me tell ya, there is No breeze.   

On another note, if you want to see the worst dressed people in America, visit any airport.  No wait.  Wal-mart and themeparks might take the top two spots, but airports follow really close behind.  I know people want to look comfortable, but how hard is it to look decent?  

Well, that's all my airport musings for now.  I think I might try to take a nap again.  I'll try my best to find a spot far away from the tempting aromas of Starbucks.  

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Aloha!

The butterflies are fluttering, and that old feeling of "what the heck am I doing?" is creeping around.  Yes, I've caused complete upheaval in my life, again.  I packed up my belongings (and managed to cram them all in my parents house yet again - thanks mom and dad!), said my goodbyes to friends and coworkers in Charlotte, and packed my trusty carry on for my next destination-  Hawaii!  I'm so excited about going, but feel like I've been talking about it for eternity.  But now that my flight leaves in just five days, I feel like time is flying by.  I had three weeks in between leaving Charlotte and flying to Hawaii to crash at my parents and get things sorted and I've done a whole lot of...nothing.  Well, I have caught up on all the SpongeBob Squarepants cartoons I missed.  (there was a marathon on, ok?!)  

Back to Hawaii.  For those who don't know, I'm headed to Oahu to stay with my friend Dorothy for a while.  She's lived there for about 7 months now.  Her husband is in the navy, so they are based out there for three years.  They have an extra bedroom and invited me out.  How could I possibly turn that down?  I hope to be there for a while, splitting my time between Dorothy's place and exploring other parts of Hawaii.  

I plan on doing every possible tourist thing there is to do while in Hawaii.  So expect lots of pictures of me doing the Hula dance, and wearing those crazy Hawaiian print shirts while wearing a camera around my neck.  Well, you get the idea.  As excited as I am about Hawaii, I'm just the teensiet bit anxious about what I'll do or where I'll live when I get back.  (if I come back that is!)  But, never one to worry about the details, I'll think about all that later.  For now, I'm ready to hit the beach and check out some surfers.