08 November, 2006

Hawaii's Funnest Day

My most fun day started off with a required breakfast with the entire team and the team leadership. My team commander recently left us so we presented her with a parting gift - a plate that I've still never even seen. As a matter of fact, I didn't know what we got her until she opened the box and exclaimed "It's a beautiful plate!"

After breakfast we were allowed to have a free day. Most of the guys wanted to go snorkeling at some bay I can't spell or pronounce - but I'd been there 3 times before so I pretty much wanted to do my own thing. And in all reality I also didn't want to go hang out with the people I work with if I didn't have to. Don't get me wrong, I consider some of the guys I work with my close personal friends; but I had all week to spend with them. I thought about it and I wanted to go hiking in the mountains and find a waterfall - something I've never done in Hawaii before. So I acquired a vehicle and set off to find my waterfall. SGT Lief and his wife wanted to go kayaking or something so he and his wife asked if I could give them a ride somewhere.

They had me drive them to some other bay that I can't spell or pronounce on the other side of the island. I was happy to drive them because it would give me a chance to see some other parts of the island as we were driving through the mountain range. It was really cool but unfortunately it's kind of impossible to take pictures while driving......

Eventually we were at a stop light where I saw this sign:

Um.... yeah - I don't get it either....

So I dropped them off at their bay and set off to find my waterfall - but I didn't know where a waterfall was on the island.....

I some how found an information center where some old lady told me there "might" be a waterfall on this hiking trail with a name I won't even try to pronounce. I asked her for directions and I'm still not sure if she gave them to me in English. Eventually I stopped at a gas station to ask for directions. As I'm looking for directions 3 local 19-year-old girls said "you're looking for Miklikiiliikaulaukillai Hiking Trail? Just follow us, we're going there too!" Who am I to argue with 3 hot 19-year-old Hawaiian girls?

We arrived and the hike was pretty cool going through the mountains.

The trail WAS pretty nice, but it was very muddy from the storms that came through here recently - it was horrible picking up hot Hawaiian girls out of the mud the whole way up the mountain.

Going up the view was awesome!

Eventually we started seeing the stream so I was getting excited about the waterfall....

But I would soon find out we still had mountain to climb...

And then some more mountain...

We saw some more water motivating me to continue onto the waterfall....

Where I saw a sign....

But we had more mountain to climb.... at least we were getting higher!

As we got up there the view was awesome!

Yes, that is my ugly mug on the mountain....so I looked down the mountain and it was steep....

The pictures don't do it justice if you didn't notice.

Eventually we made our way down into a valley and I heard the exciting sounds of the waterfall....

The picture doesn't do it justice here either - it was really amazing. I found a spot to hide my stuff and jumped in the pool to find a place to jump. The water was friggin cold!!! But after hiking up the mountain for an hour and a half then down the valley for half an hour, it was very welcomed. As soon as I got to the other side of the pool I jumped in from the lowest spot - it was mildly fun. There was some cocky 14-year-old named Dillon who pointed up to the high spots and said "You wanna jump from there?" I started himming and hawing about it and he said "What! Are you scared?"

I couldn't let this 14-year-old punk me out in front of my Hawaiian Hotties so of course I said "HELL NO! Show me the way big guy..." That was when my adventure went from hiking to rock climbing. This little bastard was like a friggin spider monkey climbing the cliffs up there - it was everything I could to do keep up with him. Eventually I looked down and started to realize what I had gotten myself into. The kid brought me to the highest spot, which I'm told is 100 feet. When we got up there I realized it was at least 100ft if not more... I asked the kid where I wanted to land so as not to hurt myself and he said "Just watch me" and leapt off the cliff. He didn't even think about it - he just jumped. Cocky bastard.

I peered over the edge and was about to jump - but then a thought suddenly popped into my head. If I got hurt, like broke my leg or something, my NCOIC MSG Love or my Sergeant Major would KILL ME! I started to think this wasn't a good idea and was about to chicken out when another thought popped into my head. I had just scaled a 30 foot cliff and could have died on my climb to this jumping spot - there is no going back down that thing. I was pretty committed at this point....

I decided to jump - I had done things like this as a kid so I knew it would be fun. I jumped and had a blast on the way down - but then the water wasn't where I expected it to be. It was still WAY below me! I was pretty freaked out, but there wasn't much I could do except to continue falling. I hit the water and received the biggest enema of my life - I don't think I'll have to wipe my ass for a month!

If you look at this picture you can't see the spot I jumped from. The spot was above the top of the frame!!!!

I popped out of the water and was ecstatic! That was the best thing I'd done on the island so far! I got a lot of high fives from the other guys at the waterfall and also a few "Dude! You're crazy" comments. The hike down was not nearly as hard of work as the hike up - obviously - but it was hot out so I was glad to have a bottle of water in the AC inside the car.

Eventually I picked up SGT Lief and went back to the hotel where I prepped myself for dinner with MSG Love.

For dinner MSG Love, his wife, and I went to Dukes for dinner:

If you ever go to Hawaii you NEED to go to this restaurant. The food is awesome and the desert they gave us was AMAZING - it's even been featured on the Food Network.

The even had live music for us!

After dinner we walked the streets of Honolulu to see the local street performers and some interesting "side shows".

The first street performer we saw was "The ONLY Live Statue":

Then we saw another "Live Statue"

So much for him being the ONLY one huh? Later down the street it appeared that these two weren't the only ones...

We saw some really strange Egyptian robot type thing.

Next to him was one of the most interesting drummers I've ever seen.

The "Phantom of the Drumming"?

Then we saw a guy playing a tree branch

I didn't think this was possible.... He actually had it hooked up to an amp too.

Then we saw another drummer.

Then actual local drummer

Then the really weird guy playing the banjo.

We ran into a local guy who was playing the "wind pipes".... or at least that's what I called them.

He played a song, then started the same song over - eventually we passed him again and he was playing the same song again! When a lady tried to sell me his CD I declined.

There were quite a few guys playing the guitar like this guy.

And this guy

During all this time there were a lot of side shows. Take this transvesitte for example.

This isn't a very good picture but I couldn't get another. He....er... she.... it? Whatever it is didn't want me to take another one - and I didn't want to explain how I got into a fight with a transvestite to my Sergeant Major.

There was also this guy.

Here's what I don't know: What injustice is he fighting against? Here's what I do know: This guy ain't blind! He's been sitting there, in the same exact spot, since the day I got to Hawaii. He's there every night all night - he just sits there. I can't prove it at the moment but I know he's not blind.

So that's my best day in Hawaii. We did other things like go to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. We went to a Luau. I went to the north shore to do some more cliff jumping and catch a sunset - but it was overcast and nothing has high as the waterfall...

All in all, it was a good trip. But by Friday night when we left I was really ready to go home - going on vacation with a bunch of people you work with isn't most people's idea of fun... Like I said, there are a few guys on my team that I really consider my friends but the others.... I'd rather just work with them.

-SGT Guardsman