The Real World: Hawaii – Episode Two

closePlease note: This post was published over a year ago, so please be aware that its content may not be quite so accurate anymore. Also, the format of the site has changed since it was published, so please excuse any formatting issues.

I have so much to tell you about and I don’t know where to begin!

Right away, memories came flooding back. Everywhere I looked, I saw things that I hadn’t seen in years. It was interesting to see what I had forgotten that, for whatever reason, was important to me. A particular building, a specific tree, some pile of junk that had been laying in the same spot forever. It was also interesting to see how much has changed.

One of our first stops in Honolulu was at Longs to buy slippers for Morah. As we were leaving, I ran into my fourth grade math teacher (we had two teachers in fourth grade, a homeroom teacher and a “switch” teacher who taught us whatever subjects our homeroom teacher didn’t). I was in the fourth grade in 1990, but he remembered me. And it wasn’t just, “Oh, you were in my class,” but, “Hey, you’re Tommy Brown!” I was stunned. How many kids have passed through his classroom since I did and he still remembers my name? It was especially funny because we had been in the state for less than an hour and had already run into someone I know.

We ended up not finding any slippers in Morah’s size so we headed over to Local Motion, a local surf shop. The last pair of surf shorts I bought was from Local Motion and that was easily seven years ago, maybe more. So I don’t think I need to say that my old surf shorts were ready to call it quits and I was in dire need of a new pair. Morah also needed (read: wanted) a new bathing suit, and being so close to my grandmother’s flat, Local Motion was the perfect place to go. I bought a cool new pair of red surf shorts that I like a lot. Morah’s luck wasn’t any better here as she couldn’t find a bathing suit that she liked.

We decided to look elsewhere later and go back to my grandmother’s flat. It was super hot out and we were still wearing our jeans, so we wanted to change really badly. After we did, we went down to the beach so Morah could experience it for the first time. In my opinion, Waikiki beach isn’t the greatest beach out there, but it was the closest and we were working on carefully budgeted time.

That evening, Morah, my family and I went to Mark and Judy’s house. Mark and Judy are old friends of my parents who offered to let Morah and I stay with them. We were extremely grateful when we found out what living at my grandmother’s is like (I’ll tell you about it in a later installment). Mark and Judy threw a little “welcome home” party for us and we pretty much just spent the evening relaxing.

Sunday morning found us up early to hike Mariner’s Ridge. The hike was pretty tough (it’s a long hike that’s pretty much uphill the whole way and you’re left exposed to the sun for the first half), but entirely worth it as I proposed to Morah when we finally reached the top. My sister was there taking pictures of the event, so hopefully they turn out (I was going to have her use my digital camera, but I forgot it, =of course=. I knew that =something= would go wrong, but hey, it could have been worse). Morah hadn’t really been expecting it, so she was shocked and delighted when I got down on my knee and gave her the ring.

That evening my parents were celebrating their thirtieth wedding anniversary and they threw a big party to celebrate. The party consisted almost entirely of people we had known before we left and they were all delighted to hear that Morah and I had gotten engaged.

On the third day, we went to Hanauma Bay and Sea Life Park. At both locations, we saw tons of fish. I took plenty of pictures, which I think I’ll use to make myself a 2005 wall calendar. If I do, I’ll be sure to give you a shot at buying one.

Both Hanauma Bay and Sea Life Park held surprises for me. In order to get into Hanauma Bay now, you have to watch a nine-minute video. While we were waiting to get into the theatre and watch the video, I guessed out loud that the video would tell us the history of the park, not to feed the fish, not to touch anything in the water, and not to step on the coral. Sure enough, that’s exactly what the video told us. On top of it all, the video was rather poorly produced.

At Sea Life Park, there were two unsettling changes. The first that I noticed was that the masts of the ship are gone (for those who have been there before, you’ll know what I’m talking about). I don’t know why they took the masts off, but I got the feeling they were renovating the ship, so hopefully the change isn’t a permanent one. The second change was to the dolphin-penguin show. The penguins used to have a segment where they would jump in that water and swim around, as well as do some tricks. When Morah and I watched the show, the penguins came out, ran across the stage area, then were promptly put back into their holding area. That’s it. No swimming, no tricks, nothing.

At least we only had to pay ten bucks instead of the full twenty-five (because we got there in the afternoon).

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