Note there are going to be a lot of pictures.
This was the most amazing trip.
Holy cow what can I say. This was more than an outstanding vacation.
Mom, Dad and I headed to Hawaii on January 14 one day before my 30th birthday. We were set to spend 7 days in paradise.
After a long 9 hour plane ride don’t even get me started we were in Honolulu. Our first stop was the Outrigger on Waikiki Beach.
The Best Hotel in Hawaii hands down.
This is an amazing hotel that I would recommend to everyone. It is right on Waikiki beach. We had an oceanfront room with this amazing view!
The view from our Room.
We had room service which was awesome. We had a great first night however we were going to be up early the next morning to do something so very special.
January 15 my 30 Birthday.
Ready to do the very special thing that I waited 9 years for and worked so hard to do. I was hiking Diamond Head today. Dad decided to join me on this expedition of mine. He is pretty amazing. Got all suited up with my Bioness and all the things we needed. 6am rolled around and we were on our way to Diamond Head. I was so excited. Well we got to the park and we were paying to get in and somehow it was mentioned that it was my birthday and the nice lady let us in for free. First birthday gift. All parked and even got Mom facing the mountain. Dad and I embarked on our trip very close to sunrise. Climbing was surreal. Hiking on rocky dirt switch back trails was interesting. I still couldn’t believe that I was doing this. We made it to our first look out point and because we had started just before sunrise we got to see the sun coming up over the ocean. What a beautiful sight.
Half way up Diamond head and we got this amazing view
We were going to hit our first set of stairs. Here went nothing. Up I went alternating feet like a champing. No problem they were a piece of cake. A few more trails and we were at a dark tunnel. There were twist and turns there. Only hit the railing once to busy trying to take a video or a picture. At the end of the dark tunnel there was a “fun surprise”. 99 step stairs straight up. These were what I was most nervous about.
The second Mountain I had to climb.
Up I go.
After a few pictures I sent Dad ahead of me and as there was no one behind me I could take my time and pictures. Started up the stairs that looked like a second mountain. One foot in front of the other. Even managed to video a little. Dad made it look so easy, he did an amazing job, 82 never looked so good. I went up those stairs with great pride. I was happy to be doing them at all. None the less alternating feet. Made it to the top with a smile on my face and was treated to a nice little view.
The view from the top of the 99 stairs
Dad made it to the top first
Right after the 99 stairs there was a spiral staircase. No rest for the tired. Up we went. At the end of those stairs we entered into a bunker. The reward at the end of that stairs was an awesome view. See for yourself below.
There were so many stairs.
They view that you could die for. I felt like I could touch the clouds.
This was on the 99 steps.
Climbing out of the bunker one heck of a step.
After the bunker it was a short walk to the end of the trail . There were a few stairs left. The view from the top was so worth it all. It was as close as I can get to heaven. I had such a big smile on my face the whole time.
The view from the top of Diamond Head.
I reached the top. It was so worth it. Best Birthday ever
It was an amazing way to start the celebration of my birthday. I accomplished something that I have wanted to do for a long time. It was the best feeling standing at the top of Diamond Head. The smile was so big on my face and it never came off. I was very proud that my Dad made it all the way to the top too.
Hanging out in the bunker with my hiking side kick.
The hike back down was easier than up for me. Thank goodness we didn’t have to go down those 99 stairs. Mom even got to see us coming down. It is something that I will never forget. It is a memory that will last me a life time. We had a nice breakfast at a local place and a piece of coconut cake.
Yup Diamond head is mine.
After that it was time for some relaxing on the beach. Oh my goodness I loved swimming in the ocean. I couldn’t do that at home on my birthday. The day didn’t really feel like my birthday no snow it was warm but I loved every minute of it.
The night ending with dinner at Michels. This was a French restaurant that was just amazing. We got to watch them cook things right at the table. It was really cool.
Weighing in at 208. Very proud of my self. 30 never looked so good.
It was an amazing day that I will never forget. It was lovely to relax and do what I wanted. Spending the day with Mom and Dad was the best part. We got to be with each other and I loved that. It was a different birthday but I loved it. I hope Mom and Dad had a good day too. This is a day that will always be with me. I set a goal, worked hard to get there, and then accomplished it. My heart was so full that day it was amazing. To be standing at the top looking down on the world was amazing. This is one of the biggest things that I have done in my life. I am so happy that what those doctors said 30 years ago never came true. We might have limitations but they can’t stop you. I will always hold my head high. This is a birthday that I will never forget.
Another amazing day was ahead. I was living a life long dream. Today I was going to swim with dolphins at Dolphin Quest. I was so excited. Once again I was up early 4am my body took a little longer adjusting to the time change. I was enjoying this time I had by myself in the am. I was able to just take in all the things that were going on around me. I would sit out side and just marvel that we were in such a beautiful place. Everyone else was finally up and ready to go. We were headed for breakfast at Dukes, an amazing restaurant right in our hotel.
Headed for the dolphins and can’t wait. As I saw where I would be swimming I got very very excited and a little nervous. The nervous was that I would need to be getting in and out of the water with out a railing. With my cerebral palsy I have bad balance sometimes and can have hard time doing certain things. But nothing could spoil this moment. I was willing to try ans ask for help if I needed it. Well it was an amazing hour. I was able to feed the dolphins, touch them until my heart was content, and even kissed one. I got in and out of the water no problem until the end. Almost fell in from standing up so many times. I had a great time. It was everything I hoped it would be. An experience I will never forget. I was very proud of myself and loved being with the dolphins. It is another day that will never be forgotten.
I made a new boyfriend at Dolphin Quest.
Hugging a dolphin was so cool.
Loved touching them.
A day that will never be forgotten. Two new best friends.
Have a treat.
We spent the afternoon relaxing and enjoying the amazing weather. We ended the night where we started it at Dukes. Best restaurant. We had our first piece of Hula Pie. It was to die for. If you go to Dukes you need to eat this pie.
This Pie is amazing. It was so good.
Today was going to be an easy but fun day. We were headed for the North Shore and a drive around the island. When we reached the North Shore we were treated to an amazing sight. There were at least 30 foot waves. See pictures. None really do the waves justice but they come close.
Driving to the North Shore
Headed for the North Shore. Never get tired of looking at the ocean.
Waves and more waves.
The waves were just so big. This is the famous sunset beach.
None of these pictures do justice to the size of these waves. They were at least 30 feet high. It was one of the coolest things to watch.
Heading back to the hotel was an experience in 5 o’clock traffic. Dad did a great job driving, even if the navigator (me) complained. Dad id learn how to change the topic awful fast and it was very funny. On the way back I had my Hawaii Five-0 moment we drove by the statute in the opening.
A show that I am totally in love with
However I missed watching it in Hawaii as the time change The day ended with another swim in the ocean and room service. It was a fun day!
We started the day at Duke’s once again. This is a great restaurant. We were spending the day on Waikiki Beach. We rented some beach chairs and an umbrella for the day.
This is where we camped out for the day.
I got a special treat of renting a boogie board. I was excited because my surgeon said no surfing but could paddle board but didn’t have the guts to try. I was very jealous of the surfers however. My heart was really telling me to try it. But I knew better. The boogie board was a ton of fun though. Spending the day with Mom and Dad really doing nothing was great. See those two sitting there in the sun enjoying themselves made my day. After hours of sun and fun we were headed back to the room. After a nice shower I learned that I was very sunburned. Even managed to burn my scar. On the weekend we got a special treat of live music right outside of our room. It was great. We spent time listening to the music and just enjoying each others company. The night ended with me doing some shopping at night. Great time just walking around Waikiki.
Look knees are almost even and my feet are both pointing the same way.
I loved the ocean.
This was done as a joke but thought I would share. Diamond Head in the background.
Yup tried my hand at boogie boarding. Not that great at it. But had tons of fun.
The view from our hotel.
Today we were headed for a special brunch. But first I wanted to enjoy the nice weather. I went for a walk. Once again I was enjoying my hip and having no pain. I walked more than 2 blocks and was loving every minute of it. I got some shopping done. I even walked far enough to find the statue of Duke. Thanks to some help from a stranger I got my picture taken with Duke.
I walked to Duke and much father that day. It felt great
Selfie with the Duke statue
I headed back to the hotel and stopped at the salon to get a new hair due. I get part of my hair put in corn rolls. I really thought it looked cool. Headed back to the room for a quick change of clothes and headed to brunch. We were going to the Oceanarium, This is a restaurant with a giant aquarium in the middle of it. We were eating lunch with the fish. HAHA. I met a new friend. I named him Lance.
Selfie with my new friend Lance. Yes I named the fish.
Another little friend.
Mom, Dad and I spent time talking and enjoying each other. After what was a great brunch we were once again headed back to the hotel. Spent the rest of the afternoon swimming in the ocean and enjoying the weather. One last night of live music. Watched another amazing sunset and took so many pictures. You can never have to many pictures of a Hawaiian sunset.
This is from our balcony. These sunsets never get old.
Another beautiful sunset from our hotel room.
I spent part of the night walking around again. I loved being out and doing things.
Our last day in paradise. I was very sad that today was our last day here but knew that the vacation was not over yet. Today Dad and I were headed for Pearl Harbor. Once again something else I needed to sit out on 9 years ago. The only thing that would have made this better was if Mom could have joined us. Dad and I headed out, I had put on my Bioness to help with all the walking but I very quickly learned that it was broken. What a heart breaker.
The flags flying at Pearl Harbor.
Being at Pearl Harbor was such a humbling experience. Being so close to something that I have only ever learned about in text books. Knowing that so many men gave their lives so we could have our freedom is amazing. I stood there just thinking about them and how they are an inspiration and heroes. I learned so much that I will never forget. It was a great experience.
The ship is still leaking oil. Some believe that the oils are the tears that the ship is crying for all those that were lost. The belief also is that the ship might cry its last tears when the last Arizona survivor dies. I think that is an amazing idea.
To all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice on the Arizona. There are crew members that are now buried along side of their fallen brothers.
A sight that will never be forgotten. The water is shallow that some pieces of the great ship still stick out of the water.
This is the real anchor from the USS Arizona. Dad had a hard time getting the whole thing in the picture because of how big it is.
I made it through all that walking with out my Bioness. I was very happy that I could do it. It showed me that yes I need it but I am very capable of doing things with out it. But yes it is easier with it, I will grant you that.
One last swim in the ocean. I was loving that so much. We ended our last night at Dukes. Tropical drinks all around and a little Hawaiian music. Oh how I am going to miss this place.
Celebrating our last night in Hawaii.
Two ladies with leis.
Mom and Dad and I together in a selfie. Thanks for an amazing vacation.
Time to leave Hawaii. We got all packed up and left the Outrigger a place that became a second home for 7 days. It was a sad to say good bye.
Goodbye my Friend
We ended up getting to the airport 3 hours early because the airline didn’t tell us the flight was delayed. There are some great views from the airport. I could have stayed another week but knew it was time to start heading home. The trip was not over yet we were headed for San Francisco, for a day.
Airport selfie. What a great trip, I hated to leave.
View from the airplane. Goodbye my Friend. I will miss you. Thank you for the amazing memory.
Headed for San Fransisco
After what seemed like all day we were in San Francisco at 6pm their time. My hip held up to the 5 hour flight just fine. But I was a tired and a hungry grouch. We all were not very happy. But we made the best of it.
Sun setting on the way to San Fransisco
After a quick phone call with Bioness to try to get a part replaced and nothing settled but buy a new battery and give that a try. We were off with an amazing tour guide. We were able to make a stop at Radio Shack to get a battery. Didn’t help, it still didn’t work.
So we spent 4 hours with our amazing tour guide. We got to see so much. I did a good amount of walking with out the Bioness once again. Our tour guide took us to Pier 39, Lombard street, we drove across the Golden Gate Bridge twice, we saw Alcatraz and we ate a a famous restaurant. We got to see so much more but that those were the highlights. I loved all of it. Dad and I even got to walk down Lombard street. It was a good last day to our awesome vacation.
We walked around Pier 39 or Fisherman’s Warf. But there is no fish market there. Who knew.
They let me off the Rock. We didn’t get to visit, but it was cool to see from a distance.
What a view of the Golden Gate.
This is at Pier 39. Very famous restaurant.
An amazing view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
After finishing out nice tour we were headed back to the hotel to watch some TV and have a little break before we needed to get on our 6 hour flight to the east coast.
Finally at the airport. After going through so many airports I never once went through a metal detector, which I was a little sad about I wanted to set it off. HAHA. I always went through the body scanner. There was one time where the body scanner might have picked it up but I don’t think so. Well it was about 8 at night in San Fransisco. I spent a little time shopping and I started writing this post. (Little pokey) 11pm rolled around and we were getting on the plane once again heading for Washington DC. Vacation was finally over. 😦 After leaving Hawaii which was the hardest part I was ready to head home by this point.
The view from the plane. San Fransisco at night.
Venus in the night sky.
The Sub rising over Washington DC.
6 am and with very little sleep we were in Washington DC. Seeing the city all lit up as we flew in was pretty cool. Landed with about an hour until our next flight took off for home. Time to say good-bye to my shorts for 3 months or so. They will be missed. One last plane ride until we were in the tundra. It was about -2 back home and someone didn’t have a jacket. All loaded up and ready to go one last time.
Almost home. Getting closer.
9:30 am finally back home. I was happy and sad at he same time. I was happy to be around family and friends again. I was very happy to see Jake. However I was sad that the best vacation that I ever had was over.
This is a vacation that I will never forget. My parents and I have created ever lasting memories. I know for a fact that this is the most amazing vacation that I have ever take. It was the first one in a long time that I was able to just enjoy it. Well maybe the first one where I didn’t have to worry about pain. I was able to relax, take part in pretty much whatever I wanted and what my heart wanted. No surfing though. I was loving life for all that it was worth. Loving the time with Mom and Dad in paradise. Being me and making dreams coming true. Loving who I am and what I can do at the moment. Everything that I had worked so hard for was coming try. It was a vacation, a time to be with people I loved. For a few days I forgot that I had my hip replaced and loved being me. Happy, trying things, walking with out my Bioness and loving every single moment of it. Knowing that Mom and Dad were on a real vacation where they could do what they wanted, knowing that they were happy to watch me try things. It is a vacation that will never be forgotten. My heart aches to be back there and I know it is because the vacation was one of a life time for all of us.
So you may ask why I decided to share all this an not just my hike up Diamond Head. Well I wanted everyone to see how much I was able to do. 3 years ago this would have all been impossible but I would have done it. We left on January 14 which marked 16 months post op for me. Who knew that I would be pretty much pain free and totally enjoying life. Showing everyone that there is a light at the end of this long long dark tunnel is an amazing feeling. Knowing that my life has forever changed and I can be 30 and do things that many 30 year old do is amazing. 3 years ago if someone told me that I would be hiking Diamond Head I would say that it was possible, but you were crazy. But I did it and it puts a smile on my face every time I say or think of that.
I hope and wish that there are many more pain free vacations in the future. I am ready for it. I am ready for whatever life throws at my way. I have set goals and reached them with my whole heart. I am loving every minute in life.
Loving Every Moment in life.
My feeling about this whole trip. I loved every minute of life.