Tuesday, March 04, 2008

West Coast Mayhem

I was in such bad shape leaving North Dakota that I did not notice when they forgot to tag my luggage. Now instead of detailing the one-margarita-too-many excuse and anguish involved spending four days of my life in heated phone calls to airline customer service agents in India I will just tell you that I finally did get my bags. Folks, just some advice to you all, even if you are feeling a little under the weather make sure they put the white baggage tag on your stuff before they throw it on the belt to no-man’s land, ok?

Never fear, after that all has been happy and fun.

Honolulu Diamond Head from the airI mentioned in my last entry that I was working on applications to grad schools, one of those schools being the University of Hawai’i. I don’t know if I’ve been accepted or not yet (I’ll keep you informed), but Dad and I took the excuse to fly over so I could meet some of the professors. Oh yeah, and to hang out on the beaches and relaaax. We stayed two days on Oahu Island at Waikiki beach and then flew to the Big Island of Hawai’i for some volcano action.

Last time I went to Hawai’i you could walk over active lava fields and actually see red hot lava pouring into the ocean. And last time my sister was with us and we took turns wearing her mullet wig around. This time no mullet or lava, the lava had shifted and wasn’t visible so the main excitement was now record levels of sulfur dioxide in the air. You can drive around the big crater but you can’t stop or open your windows or you could pass out...aren’t volcanoes cool? Dad and I did a two hour hike across the smoking Kilauea Iki crater (upwind from the sulfur vents). The floor of the volcano is warm to the touch and it is pretty creepy to think that you are really walking over the dried crust of a giant pool of lava. I left a lei in the crater as an offering to Pele, the volcano goddess, to thank her for letting us cross alive.

2004 Kilauea Iki with mullet2008 Same crater, no mullet1959 Same crater, I don't know if mullets were invented yet
Vancouver, BC
Vancouver skyline Arriving back to Seattle, I drove up to visit my buddies Max and Sanae in Vancouver. We played Nintendo Wii (fun!!) with their friend Katsu and then they introduced me to Chai, the best restaurant in the whole wide world. Chai, as the website explains, “offers delightfully tasty Ayurvedic food in a relaxed and exotic atmosphere.” I don't know what Ayurvedic means, but we had a buffet of Persian, Middle Eastern, and Indian food, mostly vegetarian and every single item (except maybe the unconventional desserts) was absolutely amazing, with live Indian sitar music and cool ambience. If you are ever in Vancouver and like Arab and Indian-type food you have to go to Chai!

I also had the chance to experience the ultimate Canadian event, a hockey game. The teams were semi-pro, the Giants (famous for fighting) vs. the Rockets. Now I had always thought Canadians to be our more mature and enlightened neighbors, but I don’t know about that anymore. I have seen the dark side. If the puck wasn’t in play the punches were guaranteed to fly. Sweet child spectators shouted for more fighting. And the food---ooh the food---made American state fair Elephant Ears seem healthy. I wasn’t too keen on the fighting but I secretly enjoyed when the players smashed into the glass partition. YEH! Thanks Max and Sana for everything!

The "Dark Side" of Canada: fighting Broken glass partition

What’s Next?
What’s next, you ask? After two months of recuperation the travel bug is back. I just got my visa today and will be dedicating my next month and a half to the vegetarian cuisine of southern India---yippee! After that I am going to Japan for Golden Week through summer, and then I’ll be starting “real life” in August, whether that be school or a job. I will blog more from India, I promise.

In the meantime, check out Ravioli’s YouTube, he put our Peru/Bolivia/Chile photos to music and they’re pretty fun to watch. He calls himself Laberinto Records. click here to see

Take care and until next time!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for paying appropriate tribute to the mullet. It plays a big part in Hawaian history.

sister Sam

P.S. I am #1 because mom is still at work!!!

Shannen said...

*sister Sam*

Did you actually buy it that way or did you cut it yourself??

Hey, Tell Lura that last night (actually this morning) in my dream I saw her out with Johnny Depp. Is there something she isn't telling us here?

Anonymous said...

I'm not allowed to discuss Lura's secrets with you.

The wig is actually my own hair. I shaved it off to donate to kids with cancer, but they sent it back.

sister Sam

Moe: said...

Ravoli's video is awesome! Way to make something scary, scarier.

So I'm still a bit confused about this...are you going to grad school in Hawaii or are you going to be teaching there? Regardless, I'm jealous, even if they have nasty old foot long cockroaches.

Shannen said...

*sister Sam*

Ha ha, you're a riot. And about your mullet being natural...ew!


Thank for checking out Ravi's video! He moved and had no internet for a couple of weeks and got creative, ha ha.

I would be studying in Hawaii. And thanks for reminding me of the cockroach situation...blah!