Alright, its been more than two weeks. I intended to write while in Hawaii, but I was never alone long enough, and if I try to do this with my parents around, there are way too many questions. I already get mocked for checking my Facebook and my email all the time, and that was plenty.
I just flew in last night, and boy, are my arms tired. Had a wonderful trip, beautiful weather, blah blah blah, but you may have heard that the state of Hawaii was in the news on Saturday...
TSUNAMI WATCH 2010!
(Dun Dun DUUUUUH!)
We were woken up at 6:20 a.m. by the emergency alert system in the resort saying, "May I have you attention please: A tsunami warning has been issued for the Hawaiian islands..." I was a little drowsy, but it didn't take me long to get that warning trumps watch and advisory and I started to get nervous. Images of Thailand were going through my head, and I made Rob go downstairs and move the rental car to a higher parking level. We were under instructions to stay in our rooms starting at 10 a.m. until the state government gave the all clear. Since we were all up early, kind of wigging, my mom and I took a walk down to the marina where boats were leaving to go further out to sea, one after another. It was like a regatta. Then we walked over to the little store in the resort to see if the shelves were cleared of all emergency supplies (chocolate covered macadamia nuts and dashboard hula girls) and there were actually a couple of people in there with baskets full of water and other stuff to get them through.
We went back to our room and turned on the local news. We didn't stop watching for four hours. Across from our resort is a big industrial sight complete with three tankers that were also tugged out of the harbor. That was cool to watch. Leila set up camp under the dining table, with some stuffed animals and video games, but assured me that she wasn't scared. Hm. At noon we made Mai Tais, and realized we were out of mix. Now it was time to panic. The sea outside our window on the 10th floor was calm, but the thought that we could be stuck in that room for hours with no cocktails was almost more than we could handle.
We could see on the news that whatever tidal movement there had been was calming down, and that we would soon get the all clear. We had already put on sunscreen and bathing suits, and once the voice came over the emergency speakers telling us we were good to go, we did just that. Along with everyone else in the resort. It was like ants streaming out of an ant hill, talking about a tsunami that wasn't.
Of course, when you're considering the damage and loss of life that can occur during a natural phenomenon like a tsunami, you hope that nothing will happen and all the precautionary measures will be for naught. But there is a little disappointment. We were told that the first waves would hit Oahu - that was the word they used, hit, like brute force - at 11:18, and at 11:15 I was on the lanai with my camera waiting to see the leftover boats in the marina get tossed around. I was starting to plan what I would do with the money that CNN was going to give me for my footage. But nothing happened. It was kind of a let down.
BUT THEN! We went down to the pool and turned our chairs to face the beach and suddenly the sea just changed like it was pissed off, and resort personnel were running down the sand yelling for people to get out of the water, which they did in a hurry. There are some man-made breaks at this particular beach, and the water started flowing through and over them, like an overflowing bath tub, creating white water where there usually is calm, and the sand in the bay was churned up and spread out like milk in your coffee, and the water just rose, and rose some more. The shore line changed before our eyes, the rock line at the break disappeared bit by bit, and then, the next minute, it reversed itself and drained as quickly as it had come in. You could see how far up the sand it had come, you could see the water line on the rocks, and I'd say it was a two to three foot surge. If you've ever been to the beach and stayed there for any amount of time, you've noticed how, over hours, the waves start getting closer and closer to your towel until you have to move back to protect your stuff from water, right? Well imagine that happening in a matter of three minutes, and then receding a few minutes later. I don't think it sounds as unnerving as it looks in real life, so just believe me when I tell you it was freaky. F.R.E.A.K.Y. It happened two or three times, and then it was over. They kept people out of the water just in case, and one dude had to be rescued from a rip tide, but that was it.
There's more stuff to tell you about Hawaii, like how my boobs are all chafed from wearing a damp bathing suit for two weeks, and how my parents are much nicer to me when my husband is around, and about how I had to shake my butt with a Samoan chief in front of 200 people, and about how I couldn't give two shits about the Olympics, but I think you've hung in there long enough for now. Here are some pics.
Just another day in paradise, no Tsunami... yet.
Leila, waiting out the Tsunami warning under the dining room table.
In between the palm trees, you can see the churned up sand starting to spread.
This was the first surge.
Apropos of nothing, here is the Black Pearl from Pirates of the Caribbean