8 ~ Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets
2 ~ Mr. Deeds
5.5 ~ Lord of the Rings: TTT
7 ~ Star Trek: Nemesis
1 ~ The Transporter
6 ~ One Hour Photo
6 ~ Goldmember
8.5 ~ Signs
6.5 ~ Bloodwork
5.5 ~ Vanilla Sky
5.5 ~ Monster's Ball
7.5 ~ Interstate 60
7.5 ~ Escape From New York
4.5 ~ Elvira's Haunted Hills
4 ~ K19
6 ~ The Bourne Identity
5 ~ Halloween (8?)
7 ~ Men In Black 2
8 ~ Minority Report
6 ~ Scooby Doo
4 ~ Undercover Brother
7 ~ The Sum of All Fears
8 ~ Insomnia
7 ~ Star Wars, Episode II - Attack of the Clones
9 ~ Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone
4 ~ Snow Dogs
1 ~ Gosford Park
6 ~ Spiderman
6 ~ Jason X
3.5 ~ Murder by Numbers
7 ~ Panic Room
7 ~ Van Wilder
5 ~ Ice Age
4.5 ~ The Time Machine
2 ~ We Were Soldiers
7.5 ~ Blackhawk Down
7 ~ A Beautiful Mind
5 ~ Hart's War
4 ~ Collateral Damage
2 ~ Mothman Prophecies
7 ~ I Am Sam
:: Friday, May 30, 2003 ::
On the Big Island of Hawaii, there are four National Park sites and we managed to hit them all. We started off with the biggie: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which encompasses Mauna Loa and Kilauea volcanoes and much land on the island. The big island is pretty much ALL lava, EVERYWHERE. It's the youngest of the Hawaiian Islands so I guess the lava hasn't had as long to be broken down or something. At Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, you can actually see lava flowing because Kilauea has technically been erupting almost non-stop since 1983.
We were pretty excited about getting to see the lava flow, but ended up disappointed because the only way to do so at this time is to drive to the end of Chain of Craters Road (a 40 mile round trip) and then hike two and a half hours to arrive at a place where at dusk or after dark, you can see the lava in the distance. Then you've got to hike back in the dark over the "trail" which is really just old lava flows. The whole thing would have taken about 7 hours and then it was a two plus hours drive back to Kona where our condo was. We wouldn't have gotten back until after midnight. We were both under the weather and had had a pretty full day so we diecided it wasn't a good idea. Instead, after visiting the Visitor Center, we drove around the crater rim of Kilauea and visted all of the sites there. We got to walk through a lava tube. They have it all lit up so tourists can go through, but then at the end there is a second lava tube that you can go in "at your own risk". It is undeveloped and unlighted and is about 330 meters deep. There were some flashlights sitting on the steps outside, so we headed in. That was cool. Mr. San Diego really enjoyed that part. It was mostly just really dark and drippy, but it was sort of a little mini-adventure. We had a nice day and ended with dinner at the Lava Rock Cafe before heading back to Kona.
Oh! On the way TO HVNP, we drove down to the southern-most point of the United States, which is called Ka Lae (South Point). It was BEAUTIFUL. There were fisherman fishing, but when we walked down to the water, it was just us and the waves and we sat and drank Heinekens while we watched the waves break. I loved it there.
The following day, we again headed south of Kona to Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park (or Place of Refuge). This site was home to chiefs and also a place where people who had brokedn KAPU or law and should be sentenced to death could escape to and be absolved of their crimes (if they could make it there alive!). The beach there was absolutely beautiful: sandy, but with picturesque rocky bottom and jetties in the water, palm trees waving, and archeological buildings of Heiaus, etc. I really loved the site. The Park did not have a real audio visual presentation, but the had a sort of amphitheatre so I think they may give presentations at times... just not at the time WE were there! When we finished a self-guided walking tour of the area and had lots of pictures, we headed to the cove just next to the park and donned masks, snorkels, and fins and saw some beautiful fish, stunning rays, endangered green sea turtles, etc. It was a really great day and I enjoyed getting to take Mr. San Diego on his first snorkeling experience. It's awesome for me, so I know for him it was really special. My daddy is going to get him certified to Scuba Dive so we can go diving. I love so much to help someone to find new experiences. It's as much of a blast for me to do it as for them.
The last two Parks we visited on our last day on Hawaii. The first was sort of a quickie visit with only a short hike to the beach at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park and then we drove to get a quick look at the fishponds created by the ancient Hawaiians. There is a tremendous amount of acrcheological signifigance at this park and i would have actually enjoyed doing some hiking through the ancient ruins and findind petroglyphs, but we just didn't have a lot of time. The beach there was again, gorgeous. On Hawaii, many of the beaches are rocky, so it was nice to run across these sandy beaches and they just looked so much like what you imagine when you think of going to Hawaii that they made me smile. They are currently building an entrance/Visitor Center for this park, so unfortunately there was only a flier to find out any information rather than the usual audio-visual presentation.
After leaving, we continued north to Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site. This site was where King Kamehaneha was instructed to build a temple so that he may someday rule over all of the Hawaiian Islands, which he did both of. This was a small visitor center with only a video for a presentation and a bookshop and then we walked downhill to see the temples. You aren't allowed to get close to them to maintain the structures, but there were pretty impressive. The trail went down to another lovely beach that was home to Hawaiians of the 1800s. It's a small park that we did fairly quick, but boy that hike back up the hill was brutal in the 90 degree heat! After Puukohola Heiau, we finished the island of Hawaii by driving to the end of the northbound road, picnicing at a pretty little beach bark (which would have been fabulous for a wedding... if it weren't all the way in Hawaii), and then driving back to Kona through the inland route. In Kona we spend our last night watching the sunset drop while sipping on Pina Coladas. I know, just like a commercial, but darn it, I HAD to do that at least once! We had a nice time, I just hope for our NEXT vacation we're both healthy!
I'm pretty sure that I've mentioned that I'm obsessed with National Parks & Monuments. So, while we were in Hawaii, we visited 6, as I mentioned yesterday. This takes me up to 50 out of the almost 400 sites in the US! I'll give you the highlights of what we saw.
The first one we visited was the USS Arizona. I had visited Oahu before and hadn't gone there. It is a pretty cool site. They have a museum that has displays regarding the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the Arizona. There is also a film about the December 7th bombing and then they take you to the Memorial on a boat. There is no entry fee and they have some concessions and a book store. Mr. San Diego purchased his National Park Passport Book and got his first Passport stamp there. That was cool. It's nice to have a National Park Buddy now =)
Next we visited Haleakula, the dormant volcano on Maui. That was pretty much a quickie as Mr. San Diego's friend picked us up, drove us the 2 hours up to the 10,023 ft. summit, we did a little walking around and picture taking and then we headed back down the mountain. The Visitor Center closes at 3pm, so we couldn't even enjoy the audio visual presentation normally found at National Parks, let alone get our Passports stamped. But, it was beautiful up there and from what I understand it is THE place to watch the sunrise on Maui. We got to see the Silver Sword plant which is this plant that only grows above 10,000 ft and is almost always only found in Hawaii. Apparently they are endangered and they are working to grow more, but they take years before they flower and once they flower, they die. So, it was a short but sweet trip to Haleakula.
I'll talk about the four National Park Service sites on the Big Island tomorrow.
Wow... what a shitty-ass day I'm having today. I won't bother whining and yakking the details at you, but suffice to say, it's sucking. I guess the good part about it is I have now officially, in writing questioned my boss about some issues that need to be cleared up and requested a written response within 2 weeks. No more sweeping me under the rug, damn it! And, I get to see my mommy tonight, so that will be nice. I'm going to try to focus on the positive.
Okay, a short recap of the trip in general We visited Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii. They were all lovely AND hot AND humid. I did not return with a tan as we were mostly on the go and I sunscreened up to protect myself except for the day I forgot which has provided me with glowing red shoulders. We visited 6 of the 7 National Parks/Monuments/Historic Sites/etc on the islands. I will be going into more detail on those a little later. Besides hiking a million miles, we also did the touristy stuff like the Dole Plantation and the Polynesian Cultural Center and of course we did a little snorkeling and took a zillion and a half pictures. Who would have thought that you could drive over 500 miles while visiting islands! It would have been a better trip if I hadn't been sick, thus CRANKY, but I have to admit that Mr. San Diego is probably the best travel companion of any I've ever had. Man, that guy is patient as hell with me. I actually started doing most of my travelling on my own before he came along with just the occasional trips with others. For me it was nice to just do my own thing, but he's proving to be nice to travel with. Of course, I could do with a little less fast food and a lot less mall shopping while on vacation, but I guess you have to do a little compromising. Anyway, I have plenty of advice on Hawaii now, so if you're planning a trip, keep me in mind!
I'm actually thinking about starting a new website that is devoted to travel tips and data and links. I know that there is so much info out there on the web, but there are always those little things that you just don't find or know until you get there. Like for example, did you know that pretty much ALL hotels in Hawaii are REALLY OLD AND REALLY SHABBY unless you move up ABOVE the "moderate" price range? In other words, if you try to go budget, plan on decor from the 60s and worn carpets. Little things like that really aren't talked about. When I was going to Peru I was searching and searching for thoughts on what kind of luggage would be most effective and could find nothing, but now that I have experience I could give recommendations to people. SO I'm thinking about working on a site focusing on travel. I've done an awful lot of it, so I think it could be good.
I've been meaning to get my site back up anyway. I need a good domain name though. I figure if I'm starting fresh, I might as well come up with something new since the focus has changed a bit. I need something a little general though, since I plan on having different areas there... I have to get my Partygirl site back up, too! I'd love to figureout how to move this over there, too. It would just be nice to have everything in once place and if I'm going to put out money for it, I might as well do it that way.
Well, I've rambled away from vacation talk and I'm pretty swamped at work at the moment, so I'll be back to talk some more about the National Park Sites we visited. I know you can't wait!
I'll talk about the vacation as soon as I can. hawaii was great, but I was sick most of the time, which was a bummer. I've got lots to do to catch up at work, so I'll come back here later to talk about Hawaii and Jimmie's wins and whatever else I wanna blab about.
I haven't written because I am soooo sick. I finally got all of my budget junk finished, then yesterday I did a quickie clean up oof all the pending crap on my desk and went home to sleeeeeeeeeep. I have pretty much been sleeping most of the time since then. How much does it suck to get totally sick two days before you leave for your Hawaiian vacation? That's right. I'll be deserting you as of the end of this post. I won't be back until the 27th, so don't forget me while I'm gone. There's always a possiblity that I may write while we're there if we have access to the internet, but otherwise it's no Jenn-blither for you for ten whole days. Just cross your fingers that I have a miraculous recovery because I do not want to sleep through my whole vacation! Don't have too much fun without me! =)
To all the moms out there. I hope you had a lovely Mother's Day! We took Mr. San Diego's mom out to dinner on Saturday night and my mom out to breakfast on Sunday. It was nice, but hurried as we actually did SO much this weekend.
Friday night we had a dinner of Tapas at Sevilla in the Gaslamp and then visited his co-worker's wife's gallery for a show they were doing featuring an artist who does fused glass art. It was interesting, but I'm more into the "old stuff" when it comes to art. Not really into modern art so much. Don't get me wrong, I like some of it, I just prefer Van Gogh or Bosch or some of those other crazy guys from the past. After the gallery we finished off the night with a stroll through the Gaslamp and beers at Hooters.
Saturday after AM toy shopping we hit Pacific Beach for the annual Block Party there. That was fun, but then we had to rush off to make it up north for the Mother's Day shtuff. Then on Sunday we had to rush back again to make it to a concert we had tickets to. Yeah yeah... the old guys: Styx, REO Speedwagon, and Journey. It was fun and we enjoyed the show and had KILLER seats. The only downside was the chick sitting by us who felt the need to bathe in perfume before attending a public event. I'd really like to kill people who wear perfume. It's so rude. It makes me want to buy cigarettes, light up, and blow smoke in their faces. It is the EXACT same thing. I spent the evening with a runny nose, itchy eyes, and scratchy throat, thanks to her. But, whatcha gonna do. We got some great pictures and if I had a real website, I'd actually put them up for you! Actually, I heard there are some places you can post pictures for websites like this, so I guess I'll try to track one down and see if I can't get some pics of fun stuff online... since I'm obviously never going to get around to getting my website back up!
As much as I'd love to torture you with more blithering, I need to get back to work.
I'm still really busy trying to get my budget package done today, but I'm going to take a short break to be HERE! Yea! haha But, really, it isn't as though I can just NOT comment on the whole Survivor thing. Does anyone else wonder how much the "jury" got paid to vote for Jenna to win? There is no way that you can convince me that all of a sudden Christy decided Jenna should win after 40 days of hating her. That is such bullshit. I'm not saying that at LEAST three of the jury would have voted for Jenna and it's quite possible she could have won on her own, but Christy? She HATED Jenna. Something is so not kosher there. And NO one disliked Matt. He wasn't perfect, b ut he really didn't do anything to make waves or anything. After this season, I finally believe my dad that the show is at LEAST partially scripted. Between the mystery fire and the Jenna sweep, I just don't buy the whole thing. Not saying I won't keep watching, but BROTHER.
I guess all I can say is WOW. What a strange twist this week when both Steve Park and Jeff Green were fired from their respective Nascar Teams. Then in an odd turn of events their teams each hired the other driver! Steve will now be driving the AOL #30 Car while Jeff will be in teh #1 Pennzoil. I have to admit that it wasn't a huge surprise about Steve. There was someone handing out hints about that recently and he HAS wrecked quite a bit. I'm actually a little surprised that RCR picked him up. But, it is always good to have cute guys in your sport to keep the ladies itnerested. HAHA Of course they brought in that Larry Foyt for cute factor... but he's a little young and "boyish" for my taste.
Anyway, I wish them both luck and maybe a change of teams will help them both out. It's going to be a little difficult rooting for the AOL car, but I'd like to see Steve have a change in his luck out there.
Off to do laundry and run errands on this nice day off full of work... *SIGH*
I'm actually thinking good news, myself. I've come to a decision. This wedding stuff has been stressing me out so much that I suggested to Mr. San Diego that we just have our immediate families there and do a small beach wedding with dinner afterwards. I told him if he really wanted more than that, we could talk about it, but that I think it's crazy to spend thousands of dollars when I have debt I could be paying off. Don't get me wrong... I'm having a wedding, dress and all. I just think it would be in our best interest to do something small with our families in attendance instead of all the stress and money for 125 people. I have been having a crappy morning, but just thinking about doing the wedding like this has de-stressed me a bit and I'm feeling better. The only wrench will be if the boss decides he wants to go with the original plan of family and friends. But, I have that planned, too. HE CAN PLAN IT!!! haha I have a year to work it all out. I am so glad I leave for vacation next week. I really need to veg out on a beach.
It's state budget crunch time for me. This means I have a week to pretty much get my state budget completely prepared and ready for review, so I might actually get some work done this week! Of course, FIRST I must work on my personal budget, mainly getting my bills paid... TODAY! heh I'm sure I'll need some Blog-time, though.
Oh, this week's food tip? Don't go to your mom's house when you're trying to diet. But, damn those tacos were DELISH! I guess I haven't been doing so well the last couple weeks... I am pretty much just hanging in there at 20 lbs lost. I need to kick back into high gear and be a good girl. Can I blame it on others? If so... it's EVERYONE else's fault. Really.
For not doing a whole lot this weekend, i sure am beat. We did not make it to opening day of the Renaissance Faire. Simply because it was POURING. Then I just didn't feel like doing SUnday because after a long day outside and drinking and all, we'd have to drive home 2 hours. Just didn't sound fun. So we sat home Saturday night and watched Nascar... of COURSE Jimmie wrecked in the last 30 laps... duh! it was actually a pretty exciting race though... lots of wrecks, position changes, etc... pretty wild ride. Congrats to my team mate, Joe Nemechek, who took home the win.
Yesterday instead of faire-ing, we spent the morning toy shopping and mall hopping and then the afternoon at the beach in Oceanside watching Jet Ski races and then stopped by the Flower Fields in Carlsbad. It was a long busy day and we ended it with a beer in the jacuzzi. Tonight is massage night, so I'm spending the night with my mommy instead of my man. It's really good for me to stay one night a week away from him because I never want to fall into my old habits of being too dependent on my partner and letting my relationship consume me. It's extremely important to me to keep my individuality. But, I sure miss him when I'm gone! heh
Speaking of Mr. San Diego, good lord, have any of you ever tried to plan a wedding? What a freaking nightmare. I'm trying not to let it get to me, but the costs are astronomical so I am constantly having to find new ways to "compromise" on what I want. On the bad note, it looks like I won't be getting an ocean-side wedding, on the good side, I DID find my invitations - 150 for less than $60!!! Today, a new "bad side", the friend who I wanted to be my Maid of Honor (my ONLY attendant I'm planning on having) just told me she is going to be in Missouri on my wedding day. Gonna be tough for her to hit both. It's like as soon as a good thing comes to pass, something shitty happens. It's not like I have any OTHER friends to take her place! I just wish that everything could just come together smoothly, but I see with this new situation that it isn't really all about money, either, I'm just up against roadblocks no matter which way I go. Sorry, not trying to be whiny, it's just that wedding planning is stressing me out. I need to be rich so I can hire someone else to do it all for me! haha Off to do some real work now... maybe.
Survivor is pretty good right now, because really, it's anyone's game. I'm starting to wonder if my initial pick of Matthew (who I later threw out as too much of a psycho) might actually be a possibility here. In a bit of a twist, Christy got voted out last night. She was extremely shocked, which seems to be a trend unlike any other I've seen. People getting voted out are feeling totally secure and then BOOM, they're outta there! It's crazy. I was really thinking Rob had a chance, but now everyone he screwed over will be on the jury, so he's pretty much not gonna have a chance at the Mill. I would be surprised if they gave it to him. Personally, it's a game you assholes, he has DEFINITELY played it best as far as staying in, but somehow people get so wrapped up in the whole personal relationship thing. That is ridiculous. You are there to make money, not friends. Just like at a poker table, baby. What really cracks my ass up is Heidi and Jenna getting all indignant about people breaking their alliance when they had NO problem voting out Deena, who they ORIGINALLY had an alliance with? Holier than thou assholes, basically. Do they not realize we see them on TV??? DUH. Anyway, only one more week, two more shows to go. Should be interesting because I really don't have any idea who's going to make it.
Missed yesterday as I attended a meeting, not in San Diego, but in Chula Vista. So, while everyone thought it was a nice break for me from driving, it took me about an hour to get there. But, it was only a little over 3 hours long, so I was out be 1:15 and off to lunch with Mr. San Diego. Kinda nice that way. Certainly mot enough time to make the 2 1/2 hour drive to San Bernardino and still have an hour left of work, so I had the afternoon for a little grocery shopping and cooking.
Why can't my job just be to cook everyday? I so love cooking. Last night I made Acorn Squash stuffed with spicy pineapple rice. It was DELICIOUS. It was accompanied with fresh sliced cucumbers. Mr. San Diego LOVED it and said it was a definite "have again". If I could make any money at it, I'd go to culinary school, but it takes years to become anyone in the cooking world and I can't affford the pittance that would be my pay in that field. It's just wrong. My other option would just be to have my OWN restaurant, but hell I can barely afford a house, let alone starting a business!!!
Speaking of the house thing. The house I LOVE is just not going to work out for us, we have chosen to not make an offer for it and to continue looking. Have I mentioned I hate house hunting? We're both very sad about the "perfect" house not being so perfect, but there were so many problems with it that it would end up a money pit more than likely. Once we purchase a house, we won't have any money to PUT into a pit, so there ya go.
I've decided that I can't wait until after the house stuff to start the wedding planning so I'm trying to do both. I'm going to let Mr. San Diego focus on the house and I'm searching diligently for a location for the wedding. These places book up Waaaaaaaaaay in advance which sucks. I found one place that is probably the cheapest place I've found and it wseems great, but I haven't had an opportunity to check it out. Location wise it's right on the ocean, but it could be cheesy and it still is by no means CHEAP. Here I just wanted a nice simple cheap wedding, but I don't want to spend all of my energy doing EVERYTHING, which then makes me think I need to look at other options and maybe I might have to spend a little more than I planned. I REFUSE to go over $5000, though and even that is scary to me. I dunno... I guess I need to be a little more proactive in my searching, but damn it, I have no time!!! Things should calm down after we get back from Hawaii. Of course, I'm constantly saying "things should calm down after..."