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2nd Anniversary

It is crazy, but it is true. I have officially been writing this blog and living in Hawaii for more than two years now! I can't believe how fast time has flown by, and there are still adventures to be had out here. I have a few more things to check off the Hawaiian bucket list, and as I meet new people, I am discovering even more new places to visit.
Peter was back on the ship for a few weeks, and we had lots of catching up since he hasn't been out here for a year. We went and saw Pitch Perfect at the theatre. Living in a floating metal box will often leave you out of touch with the real world. I never know what movies are showing, or what the latest trends are, and I often find my sources of current events are facebook, twitter, and my ESPN zone app. I had no clue what I was getting myself into when going to see Pitch Perfect, but I left with a sore jaw and stomach from all the laughter! In the last few months I have had almost daily encounters with people who think I look just like Anna Kendrick. I don't see the resemblance, but if you do, I will take it as a compliment!

 One week the coast guard came on board to monitor our weekly emergency drill. Since that took place on Monday, it freed up our normally drill filled Tuesday, so Alex and I rented a car and went on an adventure! Our first stop was a trek through a lava field before making our way to the geothermal ponds. The ponds look like any other pond, but when you get in, they feel like bathwater. The 90 degree water is heated by the volcano below! It wasn't outrageously thrilling, but not many people can say they have been in a lava heated pool.

After the ponds, we hiked along the coast near by and took in the awesome views. Being photographers, we had to get right in on the action which resulted in getting drenched along the seawall, but we had just been in natural hot tubs, we could use a little cooling off!

 We then went to Rainbow falls. First, our handy dandy GPS steered us in the wrong direction, and we ended up at a very sketchy looking motel, but after a little bit of research, we were on the right path. When we arrived at Rainbow falls, we discovered it was more like a rainbow trickle. I think my shower sees more action each morning. It had been pretty dry in Hilo for a few weeks, so the waterfall was not very powerful, but only one week later, I saw images of that very same waterfall in full force!
To make up for the lack of action at the falls, we wandered into this tangled jungle and did some exploring. All in all, it was a great day, and we got to see a lot of Hilo that we do not get to explore often.

 Later that week, I ran into the rare situation that I had free time in Kauai! Kauai tends to be our busiest port for photo shoots, and I rarely find time to squeeze in lunch, however this day left me with a huge gap of time in my day. I was not going to waste that free time hanging out in my room when we were on my favorite island. What better way to see the beauty of the island than taking a helicopter ride over it all?!?
Scott has become my regular Thursday lunch date, and he was up for substituting our lunch break for a helicopter ride! As a photographer, I discovered our best option was a no doors helicopter was our best option. I did not want to risk glare from the windows in my photos, and the no doors helicopter guaranteed us a window seat! Immediately after take off, we got a birds eye view of our house before heading to the north side of the island.

 As we passed the Waimea canyon, Scott took advantage of the no doors by hanging his feet out over the canyon. Then we headed for the gorgeous cliffs of the Napali coast. The ship sails by the coast each week, but the helicopter weaved in and out of the cliffs this time for an up close view!

 We then saw countless waterfalls and got a special treat as we approached the center of the island. The center of Kauai is one of the rainiest places on earth and receives over 460 inches of rain a year. We just so happened to be in flight when it was not raining, and we got to fly into the center of the volcano!

 After the helicopter ride we had lunch on the beach before heading back to work. Since then my life has consisted of work, work work. I have been a busy bee keeping everything running in the studio. I managed to squeeze in a few nights of movies, relaxing, board games, and late night pizza and milk shakes. Plus, Scott and I have discovered a nice beach with sea turtles and very little traffic. It is a nice, peaceful escape, and a perfect picnic location!
 I am looking forward to my vacation in two weeks. Although I am dreading the cold of a Midwest winter, I am willing to trade 80 degrees and breezy to be with the people I love. I am so lucky to spend the most wonderful time of the year with the most wonderful people in the world!


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