When we found out last year that we’d be going to Hawaii the one thing that Zach said he really wanted to do was ride waves at the North Shore. I think it’d be fun to do some surf lessons together when we go back but Zach wanted to rent a boogie board and ride the waves that way. Random thing to do, in my opinion, but since Mr. Rusty and Mrs. Charlotte had a rental car we planned to spend the whole day Monday at North Shore.
We got up early that morning and ate the free Aflac breakfast then headed out. I got so car sick and was pretty much miserable all day. It’s tough to sit in the back seat of a tiny rental car for two hours when the driver isn’t sure where they are going and the other passengers are totally doing back seat driving! Our first stop was Dole Plantation. I remember visiting it on my previous trips and wanted Zach to at least see it. We got there before they even opened so we just looked around at all the pineapples. It’s so neat to see them growing from the ground…I mean it makes sense but it’s still odd!
We are a LONG way from the East Coast…
Great photo opportunity 😉
Zach’s facial expression is pretty awesome
We opted not to pay to do anything they had there (no tour or anything…we were fine with seeing the pineapples we saw) and instead do the Pineapple Garden Maze. It’s a HUGE maze, in the shape of a pineapple, and it’s actually the largest maze in the WORLD! Being that I was nice and pregnant…Zach sweetly asked if I was sure I wanted to do it. In reality I think he didn’t want my waddling walk to slow him down haha! I was fine with sitting it out and Mrs. Charlotte ended up sitting with me. I LOVE these pictures in front of the sign 🙂 I think that non-maternity dress from high school looks pretty dang cute!
Once I decided to sit out, I got pretty hardcore about it. Turns out you can win a world record if you complete the maze in the fastest time. I was ALL about the guys trying to beat the record (why not? it makes things fun!). Here are the rules:
crunk for the maze
Their time starting ticking as soon as they got their scorecards so they were OFF!
what the maze looks like
They had to beat a time of 8 minutes and 34 seconds. During that time they’d have to not only finish the maze but also find 8 different check in spots throughout the maze and do a stencil at each check point. Pressure was ON! 34 minutes later…they exited the maze…with their cards unfinished haha. To their credit, all the people who have come close to beating the time (including the ones with the best time as of now) were all Hawaiian names so they probably do it over and over again!
Can’t believe they LOST!
We checked out the gift shop (and Zach and I bought our Hawaii ornament!) then got ready to head out…Zach wanted me to snap a picture of these super cool trees. They had smooth trunks and a rainbow of colors!
We continued driving until we saw some public beach access areas. It was nothing like I had pictured. Waikiki is so tourist friendly and this was seriously just little dirt patches to park your car and walking down rock hills to get to the beach. We picked a beach that had a good bit of sand for Mrs. Charlotte and I to lounge on and got out. It was pretty funny all trying to change clothes (I figured they would have a public bathroom or something?!). Zach and I don’t really worry about stuff but Mr. Rusty climbed up into the woods to change. Haha!
Ready to ride the waves!
When we originally talked about spending a day at North Shore I envisioned laying out and getting my tan on…well we didn’t have any chairs so we had to make due with towels on the sand and I’m too pregnant to be comfortable laying on my back for that long especially in the sand! We both just sat and talked (Well mostly Mrs. Charlotte freaked out the whole time b/c she was worried they were going to get hurt. She was constantly looking out for them and she’d say “oh there’s Rusty! oh ok I see Zach” over and over haha).
They didn’t last as long as I expected them too and when they came up for a break it ended up being they were up for good…the waves are SO big there that it was a TON of effort just to swim out and once they were back in they didn’t want to face that swim again! Zach caught several waves, but poor Mr Rusty never did catch one! I’m really glad Zach got to have that experience and it was great that it was with his dad. Even if I wasn’t pregnant I so would not have been fun doing that!!! Hopefully when we go back we can do surf lessons together…I think it’d be a BLAST!
The surroundings were too pretty to not to a mini-photo shoot!
We stopped at a random place to get pizza for lunch! It was VERY yummy and very nice to relax 🙂
Best comment of the day from Mr. Rusty “My treat, just take it off of what I owe you!” haha
We headed back so we’d have time to shower and get ready for the awards banquet that night. It was a VERY full day for sure!!! On all Aflac trips they tell you what the attire is for each event and for the awards night it’s always formal. Usually Zach and I get pretty dressed up (not as fancy as some people who rent tuxes and ball gowns! haha) and love to match each other (duh!). This time around though it was impossible for me to find something remotely “formal”. I couldn’t wear heals (thank the LORD I didn’t attempt that) and nothing maternity really makes you feel all that sexy ya know?
I ended up wearing a dress of my grandmothers that somehow looked more flattering on me than my maternity dresses did. It really put a damper on my evening b/c I felt so frumpy and unattractive. ESPECIALLY when every where I looked I was surrounded by size 0 women dressed to the max. Aflac is one of those companies that tends to draw a lot of couples made up of an older (bald?) man and a young, sexy, young woman. Usually Zach and I enjoy kinda making fun of those couples, b/c it’s obvious someone has a sugar daddy, but this time I just felt jealous of how hott the girls were!!!
The dinner and banquet were held at the Hawaii Convention Center and it was THE nicest convention center we’ve ever been to! When we arrived everyone was lining up for pictures in front of this fountain and what was so funny was that no one was there to take a picture for you! We all just took turns taking them for each other.
We get assigned seats for the event so we weren’t at Mr. Rusty and Mrs. Charlotte’s table. It was the first time that we’ve attended one of these things and Zach actually “worked the room.” We usually skip the cocktail hour but with the elevator issues (more to come) we ended up making it there early so we were there for the cocktails. It was SO boring for me to sit there while Zach and his dad walked around talking to other Aflac people. I get that it’s important for business, but it makes it feel less like a vacation ya know? I did talk to a couple of women at our table and they were all nice. We talked about kids a lot and one lady has 5 kids. My new thing is to ask if they are all healthy. I know that’s random but it makes me feel better to hear that people DO have lots of kids sometimes and have them all be born healthy! Of course, she said no. She said she actually had 6 kids but one died at 26 weeks pregnant. Ugh.
Thankfully the next morning I met a lady in the bathroom who has 15 grandchildren and she said every single one is perfect and healthy! Made me feel a LOT better. I keep thinking about her when I worry about stuff 🙂
The awards part of the evening is usually pretty boring, but a friend of ours (who we met in Paris) won the top award of the night! That was pretty neat! It’s also fun to get to hear the big announcement of where we will be going next year. They typically rotate places every five years so we all can guess but it’s still fun to hear the news for real. Next year’s trip is to Las Vegas. I totally called it! And I have very little desire to go back there. Next year we already know we are going to Tornoto, Italy, and (most likely) on an Alaskian Cruise. When you add Vegas in there that’s four weeks of vacation (and Zach might be going with his dad skiing in Canada so that’d be FIVE weeks of missed work…), 4 weeks of being away from our children and 4 weeks of having to ask people to rearrange their schedules to watch them. Mrs. Charlotte had a good idea to let the guys take the money (if you miss an Aflac trip they will give you $500 instead…not really a great trade but ya know!) and go golfing for a weekend or something. We seriously might do that! It’s TOTALLY unlike us to miss a trip, especially a free one, but I have honestly seen all of Vegas I need to see and I just don’t know if I can justify leaving the kids to see it again and I know Zach won’t like it! However, we may change our minds. Depending on what all is included and what the upgrades are etc…we may want to go 🙂 We shall see!!!
One great thing about the Aflac dinners are the centerpiece giveaways. We didn’t get the actual centerpiece this time but we got some amazing silver chargers that match our house! We got a set of 10 of them then we got matching napkins and napkin rings! Score!
A couple pics back at the hotel
We were both EXHAUSTED from the long day (and the lack of being able to catch up on the time change thing) so we headed straight to bed after we got back. Only one day left of our vacation!