Regarding Hawaii (My very obvious answer to the question: "How was your vacation?")

As those regular readers amongst you know. Wednesday I returned from a week long trip to Hawaii - a vacation planned because my friends Lisa and Eitan were getting married there - and a vacation long awaited because the rest of us, oh, somewhere around January, started talking about how AMAZING and GREAT and FUN and MEMORABLE it was going to be for the group of us (friends since high school) to spend a week HAWAII! An island chain with beautiful beaches and views and leis and Mai Tais! And honestly, I could stop writing the blog post right here, because you know exactly what happened: We had an amazing, great, fun time. I'd be more creative in my choice of descriptive words, but that's truly how it went down. Hawaii is this incredible place, as anyone who has been there knows. Not only are the people who live there very kind and welcoming, and not only is there a ton of fun stuff to do, but there are palm trees and views of the bright, blue ocean everywhere you look.

I mean, if you want me to go on and on about how great it was and all, I will, but suffice it to say that I had a fantastic vacation. And I can't wait to go back to Hawaii someday.

Here are a few pictures that tell the story much better than I ever could.

A few of us girls spent our first few days of the vacation on the North Shore of Oahu, where we rented a house. And oh yeah, we also rented this:

Our sweet Mustang

That's right, a totally sweet Mustang convertible. Have you ever tried to fit five people in a Mustang convertible? With all their luggage? Yeah. Maybe it wasn't the most practical choice, but believe me, it was worth it, especially when I was able to take pictures like this from the backseat while we were cruising around town:

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Our days on the North Shore were pretty chill, and mostly consisted of waking up, eating lots of pineapple, putting on lots of sunscreen and heading to the beach where we'd go swimming and snorkeling. We also hiked to and sat underneath a waterfall one afternoon.

And by the way, the beach looked like this:

Glorious Hawaii view

I know. Poor us, right?

Our next stop was Kauai. That was where the wedding took place and where, would you believe it, we had even MORE fun.

We (attempt to) surf!

That, for instance, is a picture of me and my friend Cate trying to surf. The two of us, along with our friend Jennifer, took a surfing lesson one morning and actually got up on the boards for entire seconds at a time! There are no pictures documenting us standing up on the boards, but believe me, we did it. And it felt incredible. What didn't feel so incredible was when I wiped out right at the shoreline, with the board going in between my legs, falling frontwards, then backwards, then having the waves wash over me and my face in the sand. But whatever. You've got to sacrifice if you want to be a righteous surfer. Thankfully, there are no pictures of me falling down, either.

Another adventure was a hike we took on the Na Pali coast on the northern shore of Kauai. I could try and explain what a gorgeous place this was, but pictures should do the trick:

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Na Pali Coast

After the Na Pali coast hike

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Those are a few of the things we did on our vacation, and that doesn't even really begin to explain it. We lounged around the pool, we ate shaved ice and macadamia nut ice cream, we tried in vain to snap pictures of huge sea turtles stick their head up out of the waves, we talked and talked around the dinner table, we took tequila shots and crashed a birthday party, we sang and danced and tried to do the hula, we ate pig at a luau and shrimp from a shrimp truck, we read gossip magazines and, of course, we went to a wedding, the reason we all were there.

Lisa and Eitan get married

I met with stark reality the day after my friend Abby and I boarded the plane to come home, when, following an all-night flight from Honolulu to Newark, I was forced to wait an extra couple of hours for my one final flight home to Raleigh. I was tired, and unshowered, and totally not on a beautiful island anymore. I was, instead, in an airport in New Jersey.

While I waited there at the gate as they kept pushing my flight back another ten minutes over and over again, a little boy, barely two-years-old, came over to chat with me in nonsense, baby words and I smiled at his mother and said it was perfect, "about all I could handle after the nine-hour flight" I'd just had. "Nine hour flight?!" she said. "That's so long! Where did you go?" And then I realized that whining was absolutely out of the question and I told her, "Well, I just came back from Hawaii where I spent a week with all my best friends. So I really can't complain."