Don't worry! I'm not leaving the beach for Baltimore. Hah! What were you thinking?

Just going back to my hometown for a little visit. I haven't been in Maryland (or pretty much anywhere but Hawaii) since my move here in February of 2010! I'm a little overdue.

My best friend just got married so I'm excited to attend her Halloween-style reception this weekend. Since Halloween is arguably my favorite holiday and I live for costumes,  needless to say, I'm psyched.

I have been planning my Halloween costume for about 3 months now. Pictures will come soon!

I'll also be attending a Baltimore Ravens home game. Dear Lord, I'm so happy. I think I'd be thrilled just to have the game occur later than 8am but to be present at the game, beer and all? Literally, heaven. Purple heaven.
Living life as #bikinigirl and LOVING it.
Will also post soon about Hawaii Five-0 activities. I'm alive and well on set as Bikini Girl. I've (lucky and fortunate enough to have) been an extra in several episodes in season 2 and hope to appear in several more. 

Geez, I'm blessed.
I'll be tweeting this week. Stay tuned! 
I've been lazy about updating. I apologize. I've been eating up every possible moment with Nick that I could lately. And we picked up our new puppy a week ago and I have since felt so completely distracted I can hardly finish---

What was I saying?

Due to Nick's many Homecoming date changes and the fun of the Navy not extending our already shortened leave time (from 10 days down to 7), we ended up not being able to visit the island of Kaua'i, but we did get one extra day in Maui than originally planned. And we still got a honeymoon, so that was what counted amd what made me happy.
Yes please!
Kahului Airport- Excited even at 9am!
We left on Sunday, October 31st (Halloween!) and came back on Friday, November 5th, spending 5 days in Maui. I was excited to spend Halloween in Maui since Lahaina is supposed to be a fun place to go, but unfortunately this year the town didn't block off the main road Front Street from cars so it was much tamer than I have heard it has been in the past. It was still interesting to spend it somewhere new- and WARM! (I appreciate this more than many people- 2 years ago I was Pam Anderson for Halloween. Pam Anderson from Baywatch. With the red bathing suit. In like 45 degree Baltimore weather. I slow-motion ran for 3 1/2 hours, took shots to keep warm, and stuck hand-warming pads in strategic locations. So yes, a warm Halloween was welcome with open arms!)

Just...drink it up.
Beautiful drive up to Ka'anapali
Nick and I didn't really get to put a lot of time into costumes though. We didn't think we would be doing anything this year for it since we were originally supposed to be on Kaua'i, which doesn't do anything for Halloween. So basically I dressed up pretty and said I was Barbie anyone asked, and Nick had a fedora on with some beachie clothes and told people he was Jason Mraz. It worked.

We didn't really know anything about Maui other than Haleakala is like the Grand Canyon of Hawaii. I had no point of reference for where we were staying.

We stayed in Ka’anapali located in West Maui, about a 45 minute drive from the airport. We had an early flight in, landing at 8:30am. Although it was only a 40 minute flight from Honolulu Airport, you still have to be at the airport early enough to go through all the TSA stuff so we were ready for a second breakfast en route to our hotel. And with my handy Maui Revealed guidebook in hand, we drove the gorgeous drive up the coast to Ka’anapali as I read aloud the history behind everything we passed.

View from breakfast at Longhi's in Lahaina
Our gorgeous resort grounds- Westin Maui
We stopped in Lahaina and ate breakfast at Longhi’s. The food was just incredible. We rapidly realized Lahaina was the place to go on our side of the island. We lucked out too- Lahaina was only about a 10 minute drive from our hotel location. Lahaina has lots of shopping, bars, and restaurants. Really fun place in general.
After breakfast we strolled around Lahaina a bit before heading to the hotel to check in. Unfortunately, with the multiple changes I had to make with our honeymoon plans due to Nick’s multiple changes in homecoming date, we lost money as well as our ocean view room at the Westin. Fortunately when we got to the hotel around 11am (way too early for check-in) not only were we able to check in early, but the nice guy at the front desk gave us a complimentary upgrade back to an ocean view room after I explained about Nick’s homecoming date complications.

Partay at the Westin!
We LOVED the Westin. I had originally wanted to stay at the Grand Waimea because it was fancy and seemed honeymoon-ish. Also because I heard they had a bar inside a cave you swim up to. (Later in our trip I saw where the Grand Waimea was located- about 2 hours south of where we were- and was VERY happy about choosing the Westin.)

The Westin was located right by a string of other hotels, restaurants, and shopping. Great location. Realistically if you didn’t feel like going anywhere, you could totally stay at your hotel the whole trip. Of course we didn’t do that though.

We may have had a few Mai Tai's at this point.
Doesn't he do a great Jason Mraz impression?
That night we went out to Lahaina for Halloween and walked around. We were so happy to discover the hotel had an hourly shuttle to Lahaina which just made the trip so much more awesome when we didn’t have to decide who had to be Designated Driver for the night.

Our second day we decided to book a couples' massage. I wasn’t sure if Nick would want to do it after I told him how much it cost, but when I asked him about it he agreed before I could even finish my sentence. We had our hour long couples' massage in a beach cabana next to a waterfall. It. Was. Incredible. I didn’t realize Nick had never had a massage before. I’d had two in my life. This beat both of those.

We went to the Old Lahaina Luau later that night. I had read in our guidebook and heard through multiple sources that this particular luau was the best in all the islands. I had gone to Paradise Cove Luau on O’ahu when my sister visited and it was just okay. I felt pretty cheesy there. It could have also had something to do with the fact that it was only 15 minutes away from my house.

Mai Tai time!
Old Lahaina was awesome. We got there early and had $3 Happy Hour Mai Tai’s at the Aloha Mixed Plate restaurant next door to the luau. Three Mai Tai’s each later we headed over to the luau and received an additional Mai Tai at the door. All the drinks there were complimentary. Awesome. (We had taken a shuttle there too.)

The food was excellent, the drinks were yummy (did I mention included in the luau price??), entertainment was really fun, the view was just gorgeous. I was even impressed by the flower leis they provided. It's a real sign of quality when they bother to give you the flowered ones- usually it's just the cheap shell leis (that I have about 18 of at this point, all draped on my rearview mirrow).
Pregaming before the luau
At the luau enjoying more Mai Tai's in our school Halloween straws (from my sister!)
Who doesn't love a Hawaiian backdrop?
So many things to love about this picture. Mainly the crazy ape thing.
One of our stops along the drive.
Tuesday we decided to do a drive to a waterfall and hike the falls. We drove up the West coast of Maui along this dirt road that was only a lane wide over mountains, basically. I was so thankful that I was not driving. Multiple times if you looked out the driver’s side window the car was literally inches from the edge of the road/mountain with a drop of hundreds of feet down. I freaked a little every time a car came from another direction and we had to pull up onto the side of the mountain best we could. Eeek! 

After about 3 hours of driving the Hana Highway we went through this crazy little town called Pa’ia. I was fascinated by the guidebook’s description of Pa’ia: “It has become an attraction without any attractions other than itself. No great views, no waterfalls, no scenery, no big institutions like an aquarium. Pa’ia’s sights lie in its character- and characters.” The book wasn’t kidding. The people watching made it fun to drive through. So much in fact that we purposely drove back that way to get food on our way home. We shopped in a store called Alice in Hulaland that had some fun clothes. I was thrilled actually that I found a great little store with all organic foods and vegetarian stuff. (So sue me. They had awesome food. Even old fashioned real cream soda. So there.) We also drove by a town called Haiku. No kidding. I had to take a picture.

Nick in his element.
Waterfall Number 1
 After about 3 hours of driving that morning and shortly after passing through Pa’ia we finally reached our destination: Na’ili’ili-haele Falls. Our trusty guidebook described it as overcoming  multiple dillemmas to reach "the kind of scene most people dream of." It stated that due to how difficult the hike becomes eventually, most people stop after only the second waterfall. This made Nick determined.
We spent three hours total hiking to make it to that final waterfall. The book promised it would be difficult but worth it. We had to climb essentially a 12 foot rock wall to get past the 2nd waterfall, then a pretty fair amount of hiking afterwards. To get to the last waterfall, the best one, we had to swim through a cold muddy lake where I was freaking out I couldn’t see the bottom. Disgusting. At the end of the lake we had to climb up another mini waterfall to get to the final falls. We finally made it. The waterfall was about 34 feet high. We were the only ones there and just sat there for a few minutes taking pictures and admiring it (and me dreading getting back into that lake again).

Waterfall number 2- the last easy one
Waterfall number 3- and the lake we had to swim through to climb over it
The 4th & final waterfall..thank goodness!
That was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. I think it was Nick’s favorite part.

Po’olenalena Beach- basically abandoned
Black Sand Beach!
 My favorite part was our last full day there. We finally spent that day exploring beaches. I was a little bit tempted to search for Little Beach, which has a reputation of being…well, a nude beach. Alas, Little Beach we did not visit. We did visit one of the Black Sand Beaches of Maui, Oneuli Beach. We spent some time at Po’olenalena Beach which was virtually abandoned. We thought we were alone, but a stroll along the beach revealed some nude sunbathers hiding behind rocks. Oops.

Stealing a moment at the black sand beach

The snorkeling there was awesome. Nick saw a 3 ½ foot turtle before I joined him in the snorkeling. The coral was relatively untouched by humans and looked like the fake kind found in fish tanks. After a little while at that beach, we moved on to another one further up in Kihei and spent some time there before going to lunch at Tommy Bahama’s Café.

I had a gift certificate to go to the café, otherwise we might not have gone. When I think of Tommy Bahama’s, what pops into my brain are way-too-expensive Hawaiian shirts that only middle aged white golfers purchase. Definitely wouldn't have thought the  food would be good at one of their few cafes. Amazingly I think that was my favorite place we ate the whole trip. The décor was beautiful- it reminded me of Charleston’s laidback, beachie style. The food was excellent and our server was just the best. We took home a slice of Key Lime Pie (I was in a total southern mode) to enjoy later.

The snorkeling views at our abandoned beach
Undah da sea!
Champagne + Hot tub + Love of my life = Perfection
The last evening in Maui we had a lovely dinner near the hotel with some wine tasting, then we finally visited the resort's hot tub and beach bar and I got to drink champagne in the hot tub. Definitely such a fun day.

The next morning, since it was once of my life goals to order room service at a hotel, we ended up having a ridiculously overpriced breakfast in bed and spent the morning being lazy as we had a late checkout and flight. What a great end to the trip!

While I was initially bummed we didn’t get to go to Kaua’i and do the incredible ziplining I have been wanting to do since I found out we were moving to Hawaii, Maui was awesome. I wish we had had more time there. We didn’t make it to the town of Hana which is supposed to be pretty cool, nor did we get to visit Haleakala, the Hawaiian Grand Canyon. But we got to do everything else- hiking, waterfalls, massages, beach time, and more Mai Tai’s than….well, basically I don’t want to see another Mai Tai for at least another year.

We came home well relaxed that evening, and Nick had duty the next day. We picked up our new puppy that Sunday. But more about our new little devil later.

Dinner and wine tasting our last night in Maui
Thanks everyone for all the homecoming and honeymoon wishes! I just can’t describe how amazing it is just to be able to sit next to my husband on the couch and cuddle and eat pizza. Having him gone for half a year really makes you appreciate those little things, and the honeymoon was a great way to kick off his coming home.
Every time I step outside here I feel like I'm in a constant state of awe. Seriously, how did I get to live here?
So nice to see green & mountains again!
It seems so funny now finding out so long ago- over 5 months now- to the actualization of living here. And it's crazy to think that while it's been warm and sunny here (I'm already completely acclimated to the warm- I can't stand cold weather!) back in Maryland they set records for snowfall and blizzards. Literally the day after I left, the airport began canceling flights, two blizzards came in one week, record-setting snowfall, even I-95 was shut down. I don't think I've ever seen that before.

The view from my mom's front yard in Baltimore
I'm really lucky I left when I did because it would have been over a week later I would have finally been able to get here.

I'm still adjusting a little bit with the time difference. It's definitely not hard to get up early here since it's kind of like sleeping in in Maryland. :) Unfortunately, Nick and I have been sharing a car off and on so I've had to drive him to work a few times if I needed the car that day so I would get up at 5:30am and be exhausted by 9:30pm that night...doesn't help get on schedule.

I think I'm just about there now. Five hours is a lot to adjust by. I think I'm closer to California time at the moment, but that works.

Last Monday we got me a car. A little aqua '99 Toyota Corolla which I have promptly named "Little Clunker," due to its slightly clunking engine. Also "Little Beater." That's actually more of an island term- the crappy little cars that people drive a lot of times when they live here are called beaters. Much of the island is military so people just get temporary cars. Also, you don't put a lot of mileage on cars here since it's not like you can suddenly plan a road trip out of state. The funny thing is my new (to me!) little car had 117,500 miles on it when I got it last week- the one that I sold had 117,555....Weird.

The houses on our street- don't they look like faces?
We moved into our new house on Friday. Well, I got here and got to read a few pages of my book before realizing I had no toilet paper in the entire house. I walked over to the office to borrow a roll (take a roll? not like I'm giving it back) and by the time I got back to the house, the moving truck wasn't far behind. We have three shipments total coming. Our biggest one on Friday was from back in October when they boxed up almost everything from Charleston, SC. The second which is coming this morning is from the end of Nick's being stationed in Groton, CT. The last one which I think will probably be sometime next week will be the final one they took from my house in Baltimore, MD the week I left. Oh, and technically four shipments- Nick's car isn't here yet either. We'll be expecting that sometime next week.

I hate dealing with movers. I feel bad asking them to unpack everything, but it's what they're getting paid for. Also if they don't unpack the stuff while they're there, for one you end up with a ton of packaging materials you don't know what to do with until they come pick it up. But the biggest thing is that if something is broken, you can't claim it because you can't prove you didn't just break it after unwrapping it.

Downtown Kailua behind a shopping center
In our shipment Friday, our dining room table didn't make it- the legs broke on the journey so now it's sitting awkwardly in our living room. My bedside table lost the whole handle and looks pretty ugly now. My favorite Target lamp is no more. Our couch has some slashes on it. And they dropped a dolly on the side of my car and put a nice gash in the front of the fender. We'll get reimbursed but it's a bummer. Especially with the dining room table because I have no idea what to do with it at the moment. It's big. I don't know if they'll be able to fix it (I think a claims guy will come out and tell me that) and I really don't want a new one- I love my old one. It was a $100 Craigslist purchase in Charleston and well worth it. Beautiful oak table.

So at the moment, I'm waiting for the second shipment to get here and today will be spent trying to organize everything and put it in its place. It's helpful that the moving company unpacks everything- it saves a ton of time. But then you're left with mounds of THINGS in every room piled up high. Sigh.

Nick is working extra long tonight and I might not see him until tomorrow. He took the car since I have so much to do here anyway.

The beach on Kailua's Marine base- Gorgeous.
Other than the craziness of moving, Hawaii has bowled me over so far. It's incredible. Especially the area we live, called 'Ewa Beach (pronounced Eh-vah). We stayed in Kailua the first week with friends on the base and Kailua was incredible. There was even a beautiful beach you could walk to that was on base. I went two days in a row I didn't have a car. I saw 4 different kinds of crabs I had never seen before, sea anemones, got stung by a jellyfish, and even rescued a tiny little octopus which tried to squirt ink at me. Twice. (His little tentacles were so cool! They kept sticking on my fingers as I was trying to get him back in the water so he wouldn't die.) 

This little guy visited me while I was laying out
Oh, and I almost had to be rescued by the base lifeguard. The water is NO joke here. I was walking in the water up to my calves when it suddenly dropped off up to my chest. And rocks appeared. And waves that wouldn't let me get away from the rocks. Fun. (I did end up with some scratches on my knee, a pounding heart, a talking to from the lifeguard who warned me that the area wasn't safe for swimming, and I got knocked down a few levels in the embarrassment department

Kailua is on the rainier side of the island. It was pretty nice while we were there but they said it had been raining a lot prior to my arrival. And toward the end I drove in and out of rain quite a bit.

To the left, rain. To the right, sun. Crazy island living.
The Ewa side of the island doesn't rain as much. It's not too hot here. It's been between 74-88 every day and sunny. But the crazy thing about the rain all over the island is that you can drive into or out of it. If it's raining on one side, just drive out of it. Half the time it will be raining on one side of you and sunny on the other side (see my picture)- which is why you see so many rainbows here. I think I've seen six already in just over a week.

The house is beautiful. It's a new house but needs a lot of work. We've been trying to cover the windows in our bedroom at least with duct tape and sheets and beach towels. And I guess we didn't realize that grass doesn't come with the house- our backyard is a red clay. I have light colored carpets- clay and light carpets do not mix well when you have a dog. So despite the decently sized back yard, we have to continually take the dog for walks. Kind of a pain when I got so spoiled by my parents yard and just being able to let her outside.

We began investigating how to get grass since I think grass and blinds are priority. We talked for ten minutes to a guy at the base garden shop on all the steps we need to take- sand down first for filtration, top soil mixed with spongey rocks since apparently clay is no good for growing, purchasing multiple cubic feet of grass and tearing them individually apart and planting each one a few inches apart. We're waiting for a sale on all that.
We also priced blinds through the base. Nick isn't around much to be able to install a ton of blinds and we thought instead of getting the cheap ones from Walmart/Target, since we already have really awkward sized windows we would get professional blinds done. We're looking at really nice white wood grain horizontal blinds for the entire upstairs and light off-brown verticals for all the downstairs which would match our sliding glass door. We priced it at $2500. Ouch.

Owning a house is definitely not cheap. So many other little costs like those- and just filling up the house, buying a bed and stuff for a spare bedroom. Ugh. Money.

How can you complain when your backyard could look like this?
Our realtor actually took us out to dinner last night at the Cheesecake Factory in downtown Waikiki. CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY PACKED area. It's the most touristy part of the island and there is no off time. It doesn't get less busy on a Monday during the day because everyone there is on vacation. It was insane how packed it was. Definitely trying to stay away from there as much as possible. On Oahu they try to keep all the hotels in one area of the island so it's not like that all over. And that's pretty much where they all are. The beach was incredible though and looked like a postcard with the sun setting colors and the palm trees in the foreground. The shopping was incredible. Louis Vuitton, Rolex, Fendi stores. Crazy. But I'll stick with staying out of Honolulu and Waikiki whenever possible. Even the restaurants were ALWAYS packed. Man, that's be a hard but lucrative place to work.

Some of the other crazy things I've noticed so far- traffic is horrendous. I heard someone say it got voted #1 worst- Los Angeles was number 2. Ouch. All the street names are crazy to pronounce. I try to say every one I see out loud to practice pronunciations. You mostly just try to pronounce every vowel. But in some cases that isn't easy- Kamehameha Highway is a popular road here. I still haven't figure out which part of the name to stress. But at least I have the pronunciation right. I think. And just when you think you have pronunciation down- you get three vowel in a row and just have no idea. And then there's the state fish: the Humuhumukununukuapua'a fish. Yeah, try that one when you think you're good at pronouncing Hawaiian. I just figured out this week how to say my street name.

Banking has been an adventure. There are no Suntrusts here. No Bank of Americas. No M&T Banks. Basically nothing there is back home other than Navy Federal Credit Union. There are lots of local banks. Bank of America actually froze my account for suspicious activitiy the day I needed to get money out for my car. AFTER I had already called them to make sure it wouldn't be a problem. I spent 45 minutes on the phone in a bank parking lot. Nice.

Superbowl kicked off at 1:25pm. The only thing live here is football. So during the season there will be 8am games. That's some real tailgating. The 10pm Jay Leno show comes on at 9pm. I still haven't figured out any other TV show times. And I miss good ol' eastcoast Comcast cable. I'd even take ghetto South Carolina's Comcast over this weird Oceanic Time Warner. There's no TV on demand! I miss my Pilates on demand from Exercise TV.

Hawaii is also the place that those "Prices and participation may vary" disclaimers were made for. My first night here we tried to order the 3 mediums for $5.55 from Dominos- only to get "Yeah, that's the mainland price." (They call the other 48 states the "Mainland.") It's 3 mediums for $7 each here. And Subway's $5 footlong is $6. Just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Everything is more expensive if you don't buy stuff on base (which I can't by myself since I don't have a military ID). I heard one of the ladies say they had to go to a regular grocery store one day after commissary hours and spent $7 on a gallon of milk. I bought gas the other day for $3.30 a gallon. Yup, miss mainland prices. It's not a bad trade off to avoid the cold weather and snow. And hey, while talking gardening to the garden center guy, he told us plants grow year round. I'll be planting my own herbs and some veggies too. Oh, and hey, my Verizon cell service works better here than anywhere I've ever been. I didn't even know I could have that many bars!

Well, it's definitely an adventure here so far. I'm not going to have much of an adventure the next few days as I go crazy trying to organize everything-unless your idea of adventures include finding our that hand soap spilled all over my favorite towels. But hey, I do have Nick's bike so maybe I'll ride to the beach once or twice.

And when he is here, we decided to try to explore and have real adventures as much as possible. Every weekend we can. I like that idea.

PS. I have a house and cable now finally so I'll try not to slack on updating. I currently don't have access to pics on my camera though. (Just thriving on pure camera phone pics at the moment.) Darn USB cord went missing. Hey, maybe it will be on today's shipment!

For more current updates
as I travel the island (& take pictures of it!):

Today is Monday, January 25th, 2010. Nick received the info on his plane tickets (finally) and he leaves Sunday morning, January 31st. I follow shortly after next Thursday, February 4th. Holy CRAP, time is ticking down.

Nick graduated from his Connecticut classes this past Friday and drove into Maryland Friday night. Well, his friend drove him. His car is now underway to Hawaii and will arrive in about a month.

I've been trying to finish off the last few steps of getting ready to move. I cleaned out my car, got an oil change, and listed her on Craigslist. She's been up for a week and I had two different groups of people that came to look at her Saturday. She is getting a Maryland State Inspection today then I'm giving those people a call back. Both are very interested though one offered slightly more money. So it looks like my dear little car will be leaving me soon.

Maggie has her vet appointment scheduled for this Thursday (one week before we leave). She has to be checked out a last time, get a health certificate issued to her, and have a flea and tick medication administered by a vet and signed off on.

It's crazy how quickly time is ticking down now. I have gotten to hang out with quite a few friends up until now. There are still some more I'd love to hang out with, but I am just simply running out of free time. This past weekend was my last weekend here. This Friday we're driving to Rehobeth Beach for one of Nick's good friends' weddings. The actual wedding will take place Saturday. We have to be there Friday night since Nick is in the bridal party. Since Nick is flying out from Baltimore's airport Sunday morning, we'll have to leave Saturday evening.

The things going through my mind at this point are....well, AGHHH.

I got a call from the moving company that's making one more pickup from my house (Thank GOD!! Saves me from having to ship everything and pay for everything myself!) next week. They have to come out "survey" the stuff that we're shipping again. So they'll be here Thursday for that.

On the girly side of leaving, I tried to cover all my bases. I LOVE getting my hair highlighted. But highlighting by a professional at a salon- well, it's expensive for one, and it's hard to find someone you can trust. Here in Baltimore, I've been going to the same person for about 15 years. I wish I could move her with me! So I won't have to worry about keeping my hair done nicely when I get to Hawaii (I can hear you laughing!! Stop it!), I talked to my hairdresser about changing it to something I can keep up with myself. I got it done Thursday but it came out a little more gold than I usually like, so I'm trying one more time today. Don't worry- I'm definitely staying Blonde at the Beach. Ginger at the Beach just doesn't have the same ring. :)

I woke up this morning with my head just buzzing of stuff to worry about doing before we leave (the call from the moving company didn't help with that drowning feeling either). I need to open an account at Navy Federal sometime this week since apparently there aren't any Bank of America's in Hawaii (or any other local bank for that matter). I need to pack...although anything I pack and the movers take next week I won't get back until the end of February. Hopefully I have enough summery clothes with me to last a week or two. I might be buying shorts when I get there! At least I remembered flip flops. Only 2 pairs but it will work. Still have to get the car officially sold. I need to pay off my bills for next month so I won't have to worry about getting money into my Bank of America account from Hawaii. I need to start changing addresses over on all my mail again...although since the house isn't quite done yet I'm not sure how soon I can change the address. I wonder if we even have a mailbox at this point!

Like I said....AGHH.

I'm really excited for this great adventure though. I just wish it would hurry up and get here so I can stop stressing out about it! Everything will just feel better when I get there, get some sleep and get to the beach the next day. :)

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I am stressed to no end.

We finally got an answer from the moving company- they're coming next Monday, which was our first choice in dates. So that's good at least. The bad news is that a surveyor is coming out first to look through our stuff and take inventory.

My friend Ali said when she and her boyfriend Matt moved from WV a surveyor came out and took inventory, and since they weren't married, they carefully avoided her things and only took things that were obviously a guy's or gender neutral. When she packed her stuff into storage last week she told me no surveyor came so they took everything. Now that I know a surveyor is coming, and Nick and I aren't married so the Navy is not really responsible for my stuff, my life is getting sucked into vacuum packed bags.

First it was more of a nice compact organization method. Now that it makes a difference from what I'm going to be struggling to fit into my car for my trip back to MD next week and then have to ship with my own money to Hawaii in February...well, I bought 8 more jumbo and x-large vacuum pack bags today. I'm avoiding putting pink things in eye view (why don't they make NON see through vacuum pack bags???) and deliberately putting Navy shirts and guy colored things on the tops and sides of the bags as much as possible.

I'm also majorly stressing about job hunting when I get back. The unfortunate thing about job hunting for restaurants is that you really can't apply ahead of time. Most require you to apply in person. So there isn't a lot of prep work involved other than making lists. Ahh, I wish I could be more prepared. I just have to believe it won't be a problem when I get back. Hopefully. Like I said, worse comes to worse I guess I can always go back to Hooters.

The one good thing about today is that I did some househunting online and actually saved about 13 properties. Five of them Nick and I really liked- I had two favorites. I'm looking at an area called Ewa Beach which is pretty close to Pearl Harbor. Turns out the area Kailua I was looking into before is pretty ridiculously expensive. I actually think it's where a lot of the stars and stuff live- many of the homes are listed in the multiple million dollar range.

We actually found some great 3 BR detatched houses in Ewa Beach for decent (for Hawaii) prices. Nick is emailing our agent tonight to find out more info about them. Some of them say they have central air and some don't, for example-which doesn't mean they don't have central air but it might not be listed. Not really feeling the loud window units. Although I don't know how much it costs to install central air so I suppose if we found something we really loved that's always an option.

Those are my major things I'm stressing about at the moment: moving, jobs, and houses. Those are prety big things. God, I wish I could just fast-forward to halfway through February when I'm already in Hawaii and in a house. Although jobhunting would still be an issue.

I just can't wait to get settled in there. Don't even get me started on booking the flight. I'm going to have to call the airlines since the dog will be flying with me. Oh Lord. One day at a time.