I certainly hadn't intended four months to go by in between posts! I don't think I could possibly do justice to everything that's happened since April; if I did attempt it, this single post would probably meander so much that anyone who began reading it would lose interest before they hit the half-way mark. So, in order to avoid sending my (very few) readers on a trip to dreamland, I've chosen what I think is the most sussinct way to present a mostly chronoligical history of the past four months: a list.
1. I am still writing and occasionally taking pictures for the Florida Catholic on a free-lance basis. I've had more pieces published, and am becoming slightly more adept at taking publishable photos.
2. Shopping for the Hawaii trip was lots of fun, and draining on the bank account. And it seemed that whenever I thought I'd finished, I would find something else cute that I absolutely needed to take with me to the islands.
3. K-mart merging with Sears was a very good thing for me. On super-clearance I found a massive navy blue rolling suitcase for $24, and the pink linen dress I wore to my cousin's wedding (which looked not at all like something you would find in a K-mart) for $13.
4. Packing the aforementioned clothes items into the above-mentioned navy suitcase (and a smaller green one) was made 1000% easier by the creative people at the Spacebag company, who, through American Tourister, market bags that you put your clothing in, and then procede to squeeze all the air out of, thus shrinking the volume of the clothes and making room in your suitcases for things like shoes, hairdryer, toiletries, cameras, and the multiple other sundries that you think you'll need (disposable underwater camera, anyone?) but never use. Happily, both my suitcases came in at under the 50lb. weight limit (though the larger case admittedly topped out at 47lbs.) And no, I didn't wear all the clothes I took with me. I could have left three pairs of shoes and a few belts at home as well.
5. "The Count of Monte Cristo" is a very heavy book, but well worth carting half-way across the world and back. I don't understand how I managed to avoid reading it all these years. What a fantastic read! I also took 2 other books with me, which ended up merely adding extra ounces to my already heavy carry-on. Remind me why I needed two decks of playing cards, again? And did I listen to any of the cd's I took with me? Again, no, so I could have left the portable cd player on my bed. Well, these things are good to know for future reference.
6. The flight to Hawaii (non-stop from Atlanta to Honolulu) was very long. Airline food (on Delta at least) is very good. Bathrooms on airplanes are very small. During the flight I read, played Scrabble, slept not a wink, and avoided watching the in-flight movies (though "Hitch" I saw later. "Elektra" just looked too wierd for me.). I saw New Mexico (red and clay brown-sculpted mountains and valleys) from the air. And the last three hours of the ten-hour flight seemed closer to three years than their actual length.
7. I really have no words to truely describe Hawaii. The mountains are breathtaking and the beaches are beautiful. It is warm, but humidity is minimal and there is always a breeze. I hiked the Diamondhead Crater with my brother Ethan the first morning we were there, went to museums, lazed on the beach, walked a lot, visited the USS Arizona Memorial, ate far too much food. I hung out with family, joked around with my cousins, my cousin's other cousins, and my cousin Matt's now-wife Sarah's cousins, tried several tropical drinks, did lots of shopping and probably spent too much (again). The wedding was beautiful. I turned a nice tan (yes, I used sunscreen...no burning for me) and took over 300 pictures. One day, I will go back.
8. The flight back was fine, actually shorter than the flight out. Readjusting from a six-hour time difference, however, was not. I think the exhaustion of jet-lag is the closest I think I have ever felt to being dead. I couldn't fall asleep til 4:30 or 5 in the morning, and wouldn't wake up til nearly 2 in the afternoon. Once recovered from jet-leg, I promptly caught a summer flu bug. Lovely.