Aug. 31, 2007
WAIKIKI, Hawai'i -
As I sit here tonight and think about my first day in Hawaii, I cannot help thinking I have been awake for 22 hours. All week was spent preparing for this trip: telling friends we would miss the first football game, getting excuses for class, making new friends quickly in class to borrow notes from, and always these activities are paired with jealous looks from everyone who knew we were missing class for Hawaii.
On Wednesday after practice all the girls headed to run errands, wash clothes, get snacks and magazines for the plane, and of course pack. I was nervous as usual that I would forget that one little shirt or shoe that I would need for the games and went over everything I would need many times. I had to remember to pack Luau clothes and all thing things I might need for the beach, sightseeing, and of course soccer!
I know many of the girls set several alarms to make sure we didn't miss the bus that left at 5:30 AM!! I woke up several times excited like a kid on Christmas morning thinking that it was time to go and that I slept through my alarm, but finally it was time to get up and carpool with Carolyn, Kasey, and Liz to campus. We finally packed the bus up and left Auburn for Atlanta.
Solving the Atlanta airports many quirks did not delay the team too much. The whole team and all our luggage got on the plane and most people got a little breakfast. This flight was nice because we all were sitting together. In the past when we are dispersed, none of our neighbors enjoy the over-seat chatter.
A NINE hour flight is always tedious. Most of the girls passed the time sleeping, reading magazines, or listening to Ipods. (Chelsea had a nice nap next to me.) I was a bit of a nerd and did several sudoku puzzles. We all shared snacks and trail mix because most of us were not satisfied with flight food. Every couple hours someone would ask what time it was in Auburn and we would all count the time we had been flying and it never seemed to slip by fast enough. Finally the pilot told us that the left side of the plane would have a view of the islands. They were beautiful. The plane circled around to the airport and both sides had amazing views. It was so surreal to say to each other we were in Hawaii for a soccer tournament.
After navigating to the hotel where we had views of the mountains and scenery we arrived at our beachside (almost) hotel. From my balcony the beaches, sand, trees, and ocean are easily visible. But also the famous Diamond Head volcano mountain is just visible from behind another hotel. It is really cool.
The team had a "practice" session and afterwards we all got to play in the ocean. The waves were wonderful and there were surfers everywhere. Most of the team hopped in the water in our running clothes and wadded out to a seawall where we sat and let the waves splash and push us around. The customary team pictures and goofy pictures always follow and we gradually headed back to the hotel to shower and call friends and family.
For dinner the coaches let us loose on the beachfront in large groups to eat, walk, and take more pictures. I ate with Kara, Caitlin, Summer, Jen, and Kori; while Skylar, Addie, Kim, Lindsey, Moni, Jessi, Mary and several others were at tables nearby. At dinner we were all noticeably tired. It was only 6:45 in Hawaii, but it was almost midnight in Auburn. Needless to say we were not our customary animated selves, but we still had fun conversations in delirium.
More customary pictures on the beach till we finally decided that it was time to get to be sometime before 8PM. My crew meandered back to the hotel and we went our separate ways. This brings me back to describing my first day in Hawaii... It was beautiful for this amazing location, I am blessed to be a part of a team that I love, and thankful for the opportunity to play soccer at this level... but the most of all TIRED : )