When I got the call asking if I wanted to be sent to Honolulu for work, there was no hesitation. How could I say no?
Yes, the company I work for messed up my flights. Yes, I had to shift around my other work schedule to accommodate the needs of the second job. There were a lot of hoops to jump through to make it all work out. The kind of hoops that make me second guess my choices.
But I got on that plane to Hawaii and was so excited I could hardly stand it. Even though it was a work trip, I had the excitement in my gut like when I’m going on vacation to a new place I’ve never been before.
Once I landed I found out how they messed up my hotel reservations and had to call back to the mainland to get the office to pay for it. My pay contract was messed up as well. And I had to deal with issues from my other job.
The way I saw it, I was the only stressed out girl in Hawaii.
So once I’d appeased most of the loose ends of my life that seemed to be rearing their ugly heads and requiring more attention than they normally do, I dragged my tired ass out into the city to explore and actually experience the city I was in.
I was told I had to experience shave ice. There’s a place in West Seattle that has it, and I’ve always enjoyed it, so I decided that treating myself wouldn’t be a bad way to go.
I created my first concoction of strawberry/acai and from the first bite knew that I would be eating shave ice every day of my time here.
I woke up in the morning thinking about it. Should I add in ice cream? Mochi? Condensed milk on top? Green tea or passion fruit?
The options were endless, and the answer to all of the above questions is yes.
Were they sprinkling cocaine into the ice? Because it was definitely a driving force in my day and something I thought about way more than I should have: Where am I going to get my next fix? Is 10am too early for shave ice? How many times a day is it acceptable to have this delicious treat?
I considered myself to be quite an expert on the subject of shave ice by the end of the trip, experimenting with different varieties each day.
I was still really stressed out, but because of the three hour time difference with Seattle, I was naturally waking up by 5am every morning, which gave me time to get a coffee and walk the beach at Waikiki before heading to work for the day.
I don’t think I’ve ever had the opportunity to walk a beach shortly after the sunrise with very few people around. There’s a sense of peace and serenity that calms even someone like me, with the most restless of natures.
I’ve always felt better overall when I’m near a body of water. If that happens to be one of the most gorgeous beaches I’ve been to, even better.
I started my work day in a better mood, which only got better when Australians seemed to have infiltrated the convention center.
When one beautiful Australian man came up to me to ask about some shirts, I suddenly forgot how to speak English and stuttered and struggled to spit out words. It was horrifying. So in an attempt to make myself seem cooler than I actually am, I told him I used to live in Sydney for a hot minute. He told me that’s where he came from to get to Honolulu.
In my best effort to make small talk, as clearly I had forgotten how to have a conversation at this point, I asked how long the flight took from Sydney to Honolulu.
He responded that he wouldn’t know because he was part of the Australian navy and he sailed there.
I picked my jaw up off of the floor as he walked away, the mystery of the mass Australian population had been solved. The Aussie navy was docked in Honolulu for the weekend so a ton of them decided to come to Comic Con.
My last night there I treated myself to a nice meal by the water. I waited for almost an hour and was about to give up when the man in charge of seating people came to get me personally before my buzzer went off because apparently I looked like I would be murderous if I didn’t get food in my belly soon.
The waiter was this young kid from Vancouver who seemed overwhelmed when I first sat down. I understand that feeling 100%, so I told him I was fine, take care of what he needed to and I’d be ready with everything by the time he got back.
Once things slowed down, I’d eaten and had a Mai Tai or two, he came to sit at my table for a minute and thanked me for being so nice.
I said it wasn’t an issue. Maybe the Hawaiian chilled out attitude was rubbing off on me.
After I let him know where I lived, he said he loved Seattle and wanted to know if we could switch lives. I wondered why he would want to live in Seattle over Honolulu—and I very seriously told him not to joke about that, because I’d gladly wait tables in Waikiki versus work two jobs to survive the Seattle freeze.
I suppose even a paradise loses its magic if somebody lives there all of the time.
I went to get my final shave ice of the trip as I meandered home, wondering when I would make it back to this place.
Ultimately, even the most stressed out girl in Hawaii can learn to chill out with enough beach time and shave ice.