So this is my Hawaii 2013 Trip Summation post.
(Note: I've stopped using LJ-cuts much now that these journal entries are mostly just for me, but if my long entries bug you, let me know, and I'll cut. I just figure: why do it if no one cares? If a writer cuts text in LJ and there's no one there to read it, does it make a sound?)
1. We have always flown through Honolulu in the past, but this year Shannon found a good deal flying through the Kahului Airport on Maui. There was a drastic difference between the two. For one thing, the Honolulu Airport is almost entirely open to the fresh air, with few areas of solid walls. The Kahului Airport was almost the opposite, with almost all of it rigidly contained and stuffy with recycled air. Also, the Honolulu Airport has a few beautiful outdoor gardens, where Shannon and I traditionally go to sit -- for lunch, reading aloud, etc. -- during our layovers. But Kahului only had one area that looked vaguely "garden-like," and the possibly attractive stuff on the ground was almost entirely covered in plywood and other debris. Kahului is a much smaller airport than Honolulu, as well, and so there were very very few restaurants, shops, comfortable places to sit, things to look at, etc.
In short, I'm not sure how much cheaper the flights were, but 3 hours in Kahului compares very poorly to 3 hours in Honolulu, in my estimation.
2. Hawaiian Airlines still gives free meals on their long flights. This is only one of the many reasons that they rock and why I've "Liked" them on Facebook. Our breakfast on the flight to Maui was atrocious -- basically just solid corn syrup in a variety of shapes and textures -- but the dinner on the way home was delicious (chicken pasta with yellow curry sauce, with an admittedly iceburgy salad, a large piece of excellent chocolate cake/brownie, and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting).
3. Hawaiian Airlines gives complementary passionfruit/orange/guava juice on their inter-island flights, and it's amazing. For a little while (maybe only last year?), they were giving something different, and Shannon and I were both very disappointed, but this year they were back to the "POG," which we adore. I experimented while on the island this year, and discovered that it is actually the guava juice that really makes my eyes roll back in ecstacy. Unfortunately, you can't really find it here. Not even POG. I've looked since we got back. Sad, because POG -- if not simple guava juice -- is all over Kauai, just in normal cans as if it were Pepsi or Dr. Pepper.
4. I did not swim. This made me happy. Shannon swam quite a lot. This made him happy.
5. On the Friday night we were there, we went to the weekly Hanapepe Art Walk, when this little town full of art galleries opens all its doors, everything stays open late, vendors sell varous kinds of food under awnings in the street, throngs of people roam around looking at art and sampling expensive chocolate, tiki torches flicker here and there, every block or so a musician (or small band) performs live music, the stars are bright and clear above because the town is in the middle of nowhere, and it was just the neatest thing EVER. I ended up buying a necklace in one of the art galleries, because it wasn't ridiculously expensive and it was just too weird and cool. (It was a necklace by this artist who works only with found objects. I don't have a photo of the pendant I actually bought, but it's in this style of her work. Mine is just in blues/grays, rather than copper.)
6. One of the food vendors at the Hanapepe Art Walk was The Right Slice, and they make some of the most amazing pie in the universe. I took their card, just in case we could maybe manage to visit their store in Lihue before we left (this didn't happen), but I should put "The Right Slice" in my To Do list for the next trip.
7. Saturday night, the in-laws treated us to dinner at a fancy restaurant called Tidepools, where the dining area was divided into these little hut-like shapes over a koi-filled pond, and you looked out over the ocean, and they served me fresh guava juice, and there was lobster and prime rib and the most delicious broccolini I've ever eaten, and tiki torches here and there, and the koi kept jumping up right next to our table like they were trying to snatch the (amazingly wonderful) bread rolls off our plates.
8. We went to Lappert's (famous Hawaiian ice cream) twice. That, in itself, probably defines it as a good trip. My favorite is the "Kauai Pie" ice cream: Kona Coffee Ice Cream, Hawaiian Macadamia Nuts, Shredded and Lightly Toasted Coconut, and Rich Dark Chocolate Fudge.
9. Most of my comments about the trip seem to focus on food. This is not surprising, as it's one of my favorite things about traveling.
10. I had a hard time with anxiety much of the trip. Just living in our house with one other person, I often feel overwhelmed and flee to hide for some necessary solitude. But on this trip, we were staying in a similarly-sized house, and I was living with three times as many people as usual. Part of the time (about 1/3 of the time) it was four times as many people, because a friend of the family was staying there at the same time we were. And everyone was walking around and talking and watching tv and playing loud stuff on their computers and I ended up spending an inordinate amount of time hiding in our bedroom with the door closed. I slept much of that time, but some of it was just hiding.
11. Also, people on the beach tend to talk very loudly and raucously. I'm not sure why this is, but those particular people seem to really like to sit near me.
12. Shannon and I made our annual pilgrimage to church on Sunday (since the in-laws are extremely active in their church and we like to respect this part of their lives), but I was totally freaking out during the service. All these people kept walking up to us, wanting to meet us, and I had to talk to everyone, and they all wanted to touch me, and everyone was so nice that it would be rude to hide in the corner, and so I was just hanging in there and trying to smile and act like a normal person. Then, when the service started, they were singing all these songs, with the lyrics projected onto a screen in the front, and I felt sort of intellectually claustrophobic, if that makes any sense. It was all this stuff repeated over and over again -- about Jesus being Lord, for example -- and I felt like this song (and the church, though not any individual person) was trying to brainwash me, trying to repeat these things often enough that I would start nodding and agreeing, and so part of the time I didn't sing, but then I worried that my in-laws would see me not singing and be hurt, and so I sang. It was not the most comfortable hour+ of my life.
13. I am still obsessed with "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries." They got me through a lot on this trip. Escapism can your friend. I spent much of the trip, in times of difficulty, listening to music and planning a fanmix (a music playlist that relates to something fandom-related) for Lizzie/Darcy. I finished it yesterday and posted it a couple places online, and it makes me happy. No one has commented on it or anything, but it makes me happy.
Well, those are the high- and lowlights that immediately come to mind. When I got home and talked to my therapist, she commented that a lot of my anxiety on the trip had stemmed from auditory stuff. We're working very hard on my anxiety issues right now, but in the short term she suggested I think about getting some kind of headphones to block out sound when I need it. (I must admit, I like it better as a short-term solution than I do medication.) I did some thinking and researching, and I'm going to try using some white noise apps, just putting in my headphones when I'm freaking out and listening to ocean waves or rain or whatever. Maybe it will help.