It’s just stairs

A couple months ago I got into reading people’s bucket lists and decided to make my own on tumblr here. I have about 100 more ideas on random scraps of paper around my house to add to it before I’m done but one of the early ones that already made the list was hiking the koko head trail to the top of the crater.

Albeit one of the easier items on the list to accomplish (compared to staying in a 7-star hotel in Dubai or landing a job in Antarctica) but one I was really nervous about. Because despite it being a hike that countless locals seem to do on an almost weekly basis, hiking over 1,000 “stairs” (really old railway tracks) seemed way above my fitness level.

And that’s why despite the fact that it was one of the things I wanted to do most in Honolulu, I almost chickened out a dozen times. I may not have ending up doing it at all if my brother-in-law Neil hadn’t told me I could come along with his friends. Well, that was very a nice and all (yay – new buddies!) until I found out that Neil typically makes it up to the top of Koko Head in 20 minutes.

Excuse me, say what now?

My goal was a quick and impressive 45 minutes. Maybe that was just him though. Yeah, he could just hang out at the top while the rest of us meandered our way up there together. Except that these friends of Neil apparently get together weekly to hike around Honolulu, including several previous trips to Koko Head. Gulp.

But I went.

At first when everyone was passing me by it was because I was conserving energy. Then they passed me by because the train tracks turned into these big gaping holes about 6 feet off the ground. I was literally trying not to cry and had to keep telling myself “it’s only a 6 foot drop, you’ll get hurt but you won’t die. No biggie!” And then the tracks seemed to go straight up the face of the mountain, almost completely vertical. And that’s when people passed me by because oh-my-god-this-is-the-most-strenuous-thing-I’ve-ever-done-in-my-life-and-I’m-only-at-the-800th-stair-how-will-I-ever-make-it. Yes, someone nicely wrote out the stair count every 100 stairs or so.

Amongst the noticeable people that I saw along the hike was a guy carrying his little Pomeranian. The guy looked fine. The Pomeranian not so much. There was a man and woman whom went up the mountain to collect the trash from the cans at the top of the crater. Note to self: add trash collecting at the top of Koko Head Crater to the list of jobs I do not want. And lastly, there was one of Neil’s friends whom apparently bored at having to wait so long for members of our group (read: me) decided to walk halfway back down before turning around and making it back up to the top. What?!

It was so pathetic towards the end of the hike, because I could see I was so close, could see all the faces of the people already relaxing at the top, but I had to take breaks every 3 stairs or so to be able to breathe. But I finally did it! I made it to the top. No more stairs.

I was quietly sitting and enjoying my victory when another hiking “buddy” leaned over and said, “if you’ve never done this before you should go all the way to the top.” Mother F-ers, I wasn’t at the top?! So I got back up, and on legs that were now completely jelly, I started hiking AGAIN. At least it was only another minute or so to the top-top… really half-a-minute for those without jelly legs.

The views really were awesome though. Though not something I’ll need to see every weekend.

And as a wonderful surprise for me this week, Neil sent through the money shot – a picture of my final steps up the crater, taken without my knowledge… So no, I’m not smiling at the camera – I’m smiling because the pain was finally over.

So a BIG thanks brotha Neil! Who knows, I may work it into my regular work out routine when I move back. After getting into much better shape first, of course!


Take the presidential election quiz and see which candidate you side with!

My friend posted this link on her facebook page today and I thought it was so completely awesome that I immediately clicked to take the test. Not because I wasn’t sure whom I was siding with (not a surprise to you all I’m sure as I’m not exactly quiet about my thoughts on this here bloggy-blog), but because I’ve been really confused lately about something. There’s a good portion of my peers that are gung-ho Romney fanatics. In fact, I probably have more acquaintances that are going with Willard Mitt Romney this election year than not. And while I respect that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I am confused. Because these people are all around my age, probably less religious than I am (as in REALLY not religious), grew up and went to college in “blue” states, are very liberal in their points of view on social issues and (probably) make either the same or less money than I do. So I just keep thinking over and over to myself, what am I missing that makes me have such a different opinion from them. There’s clearly something I am not getting but I think both sides (as in me versus 60% of my facebook friends) are too heated in our view points to ever have a serious and intelligent conversation about it so I’ll just live with my confusion.

I’m rambling, but that’s why I took this quiz. To figure out this missing piece of the puzzle. So did it help me find any answers? Absolutely not. But I did find a couple of interesting things about my results:

1) Not Obama but Jill Stein as #1? Crazy! I have to admit, I never heard of her until today, but she’s a presidential candidate for the Green Party. Sorry Jill, 90% is pretty awesome but I believe there’s a 0% chance that someone besides Obama or Romney will be President.

2) Actually not surprising at all but I lol’d at having no major same beliefs as Romney. I guess that’s why I’m so scared of November.

3) How bad am I? I knew Ron Paul, but who the heck are these other people?!

Life without bacon is a life without smiles

As you can see, I’m depressed.

I am super excited about my weekend plans which include 2 days worth of hanging out with wonderful friends AND making appetizer-type food, which is my favorite type of food to make (and eat!). So I started drafting my list of food ideas and looking up saved recipes from tumblr and pinterest when I realized a good portion of my Sunday group of friends are vegetarians. And turns out everything on my list had bacon or pepperoni on it. Now sure, I can just eliminate the bacon from my Sunday recipe plans, which is probably what I’ll end up doing. But the thought of food without bacon is making me sad. Ridiculously sad. More sad than any sane human (especially one trying I lose weight) should be.

I think I’m actually tearing up!

Color Run NYC 2012: “the Happiest 5K on Earth”

Usually I tend to extend my vacation until the last minute possible. This typically entails taking flights that land in New York very late on Sunday and resulting in a very tiring first day back to work on Monday. This time since we had already registered for the NYC color run when booking our flights in and out of Honolulu, I made it back to CT by Saturday afternoon…. which I suppose is a win for not being useless at work tomorrow.

But onto the color run. Ryan was not a happy camper about the alarm going off at 5 AM on a Sunday after he had gone to work jet-lagged for the previous two days. And he was not a happy camper about having to trek all the way to Brooklyn. And he really wasn’t a happy camper when I asked him to turn around 30 minutes into our commute so I could pick up my ID which I forgot at our house… in case I needed it to pick up my race packet.

So to sum up: pre-run race photo – not a happy camper!

I know the color run sold out super fast and the amount of people that wanted to run it in New York was so much that they had it over two days, but I can’t believe how many people showed up. We were actually in the front of the line.

3.1 miles and 4 color sprays later we made it over the finish line and were ready for the rest of color palooza.

And look who finally stopped being grumpy!

Color palooza!

The final color shot! I was terrified to hear that it may have taken a couple washes for the color to come out of hair. Cause pink / blue / green hair at work tomorrow was not going to fly. Not in the slightest. But it actually washed out of Ryan’s hair pretty easily so maybe I’ll chance it without the dorky bandanna next year.

Let the Hawaii photo overload ridiculousness begin

First a random comment – SFO’s United Airline gates have free wi-fi if you watch a rental car commercial first. This is phenomenal.

Now onward with the pictures. I noticed that all my pictures can really be grouped in 3 ways – hikes, beaches, and food. So we’ll start with the one that makes me look all healthy and fit so that when the gluttonous food pics commence I can refer back to this to show you how super healthy I am…. yeah right.

First up was hiking to Manoa Falls.

I grew up in Manoa so hiking Manoa Falls was always my go to hike when I lived here, and pretty much always made the “to do” list when I came back to visit. Maybe one of these times the falls will actually look more like Niagara Falls and less like a faucet leak.

There was the Aihualama Trail. Which was cool but ended in a bamboo forest (instead of some place with a view). There were additional trails you could take that probably would get you out of the trees, but after 3 miles up a mountain I was ready to turn around and hike back down.

Yes, I am the epitome of fashion… I know. Also, I spelled the word “epitome” wrong at first and tumblr’s only suggested solution was “sodomy.” Thanks.

I really loved the bamboo forest portions of the hike.

Our next hike to the top of Koko Head Crater is going to get a whole post of its own (I know, contain your excitement). But for now, here’s a shot of Ryan’s hometown. I grew up on the other side of this mountain…. I think. My directional sense is not the greatest.

There was the Makapu’u Lighthouse hike. I know – same awesome fashion as before. But my mother-in-law was completely awesome and washed my smelly clothes so they were clean!

So I was under the impression that the Makapu’u lighthouse hike would end at the Makapu’u lighthouse. Turns out you can’t reach it because it’s off-limits unless you are with the U.S. Coastguard. Believe me, we tried. But this is the closest we got…

My last hike was the Hauula Loop Trail on the North Shore. Being a work day and not a trail typically frequented by tourists, it was pretty empty.

The pictures don’t do it justice but the views at the top of the loop were pretty awesome.

Filed under: how to lose weight of the day

I have plans from 2 PM onward today until I board the plane to head back to CT (waahhhh for me – fantastic vacation is over and a big waah for you because the Hawaii photo posts will start to commence!). So here’s my problem. I just finished eating these fantastic banana pancakes for breakfast. I really want to stop in at my favorite sandwich shop before leaving Hawaii. So with only a couple more free hours to go I’m thinking of following up my breakfast with some lunch. Crazy idea or awesome idea?