Friday, September 10, 2010

Across Lakes and Over Oceans

Hello and aloha! I am here in Hawaii, preparing myself for an exciting year of school, here at BYU-Hawaii! I haven't written in a bit and I have adventures to tell!

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go to Shasta with family and a couple of friends on a houseboat vacation trip. It was part of my graduation celebration and it was basically my one last shindig before college as well as my best friend's. We drove all day on Friday in three separate cars, boat and jet skis in tow. It was the normal kind of road trip: there were slumbering people, many stops for the bathroom and complaints about needing food at appropriate mealtimes. That night, we slept in a hotel room in Redding, California.

The next morning, we packed up our things and headed to the mega grocery store of Winco's for our week's food supply. There, we happily met with my two remaining siblings for the trip and embarked on one of the most epic grocery trips ever. Well, that is if you don't count all the trips made for Girl's Camp food this last summer. Now, that is an epic collection of food. Anyhow, we snatched at least three carts, or maybe four, and rapidly went through our lengthy list of items and necessities. It was simple enough do we get it safely to the boat? No problem! Just shove some of the fridge items don't know how we did it, but we got that food together and we set off on the next stage of boat preparation.

Up the winding road along the coasts of Shasta lake, we finally drove into the marina, sighing as we took in the heat of the sun and...the long wait to get your vehicle to an area to unload everything to your rented boat. Let's just say that when we got on the boat, we were ecstatic. Of course, my best friend and I claimed the best room! Windows on almost all walls and it was basically our own private place...just wonderful. The only flaw was that the windows weren't sealed from water all the way, so when kids or, ahem, brothers decided to throw a bucket of water at our windows, water splashed in and got some stuff wet! Still, it was a great place!

Our week was an amazing experience. We ate such great food as we cycled through our turns for dinner and we even witnessed some actual pizza dough tossing! I seriously must have gained weight on that trip because it was all so delicious! But, by far the most exciting thing that happened all week was the extreme battle tubing tournament. The director, my brother, was very serious about it and it was kind of hilarious to watch him setting up all the matches and making sure we captured every one of them. During the tournament, we had several moves that we used against our opponents. They are as thus:

*Shake and bake-grabbing the handle of the opposite tube and trying to shake it violently.
*Clam Shell-lifting your own tube and somehow managing to place it over your opponents.
*Vice Grip-pushing down one side of the opponent's tube with both your fist and foot.
*Pogo Stick-push down on one side of your opponent's tube...then watch it flip.
*The Kick-well, it's just kicking.

Most of these didn't work, but it was still fun to shout, "Oh, he's using the Clam Shell!" At one point, I flew up in the air about three feet--which is some serious air--and then five feet or so another time. It was cool while you're in the air, having a similar feeling to "Weeee! I'm flying!" Then you come back down and you're saying, "oh snap" in your head and finally, "OUCH" as you hit the water again. You feel a bit like a rag doll flopping back down to the ground. When the tournament finally ended, my oldest brother was in first place and my second oldest brother came in second. My best friend was third and I was in fourth...but I got first for most air!

My brothers and one of their friends also got together to make an action movie. Again, they didn't skimp or go cheap with anything. They went all out. The chosen stars, my second oldest brother and his friend, climbed up the side of the boat as part of this movie; my best friend and I were the bad guys, getting shot and dying in various creative ways; and we even had a shootout scene with water guns. Of course, the rest of the family were supposed to shoot the water guns at the main characters as they swam towards the boat and we were told to miss. Apparently, we are horrible shots because we kept hitting them in the face and such and my brother replies, "wow! These guys are really bad at missing!" As I was shot as a bad guy, I had to fall in such a way that I would slide down the slide. I felt a bit like a Sweeney Todd victim as I slid right into the water! My best friend had to fall backwards into the hot tub and stay there as the characters continued their espionage moves. It was very intense, it'll be interesting to see it all together.

Another highlight of the trip would be the family water fight. The guys were in charge of it and they made a terrible mistake. They chose to have the water and the shore as their domain while the women, children and my father had the boat. Keep in mind that the boat has a hose, a hot tub full of water, a kiddy pool full of water and a large bucket. Both teams had water balloons and some water guns, but that meant nothing. While they swam helplessly in the water, trying to squirt up to the top of the boat, my dad doused them in bucketfuls of water until finally they climbed aboard our ski boat and fled. They tried to come back and get us again, but that didn't really work out and they were forced to surrender. EPIC FAIL!

At night we would play board games and eat various junk foods. We had some seriously funny times, especially with the game Balderdash. The game overall took a long time and it was difficult for people to win, but we had some great laughs and we still chuckle about the phrase, "Wild Women of Wongo." Outburst was by far the favorite, as we played it almost every night, and it was refreshing to play an Outburst game that wasn't made in the 80s! We actually knew some things!

Overall, the houseboat trip was a blast and what a party!

When I returned home, I was met with all sorts of requests for my attention! Everybody wanted to hang out before I left! I seriously sprouted a social life just before I went to college. It was great to see everybody and spend some time with them; I'm going to miss them! One weekend, an old friend of mine that I had known in the third grade told me, "wear something casual, I'm picking you up at five o' clock." So, obediently, I did so and I was met with the wonderful surprise of...seeing other people from grade school! I was part of a program in elementary school called EXCEL and our class was pretty close. We were together for third and fourth grade, then I moved towards the end of fourth grade and I hadn't seen anybody from then for years! To my surprise, one of my closest pals from the good days came to this party and I got to see him again! Promptly, we hung out the next week on his day off, going to a park where you could see the gorgeousness of the city. It was fantastic to catch up and we discovered we were still the same! We meshed just as well as we did in grade school and we were still having the best of times together. So, we hung out the next week!

The following week we went just about anywhere we could. We went along trails and sat out in the rain; we even traveled to a swimming hole in my hometown called the Potholes. We took off our shoes and socks and we walked around in the shallow parts of the river, but I am too clumsy for that to be safe! I slipped and somehow scraped my toes on a rock! Ouchies! Then I was bleeding and I was just sitting there staring at he says to me, he says, "Laura, put your foot in the water." I was like, "Oh! Yeah...right..." I suppose I don't really think about things sometimes. After that, we pranced about Vancouver like it was our playground. Some of the best fun I've ever had!

My summer was wrapped up in some seriously good times and I'm so glad that my last moments at home were happy and full ones. But, I already can't wait for Christmas break to come!

When I left for Hawaii, I didn't feel nervous or anything, but perhaps that's all just delayed. My apartment wasn't quite ready for my arrival, so I had the chance to stay with my parents for a couple of days while they helped through some orientation things and college preparations. I had to get my TB shot and my ID, then I had to go through some more hoops for employment and other school things. I can't wait until everything's done and settled! But, by then I'll be starting school and I just don't know how that'll be... It's weird to have people stop texting me by eight in the evening, as I'm used to texting until eleven or so. Time is just at a different level here I suppose! I'm sure I'll get used to it sure enough. Time to step into a new stage of life. College, here I come!