Roni: In 1991 I was 15. Jen was turning 16, and when she told me her dad was taking her to Hawaii I was ecstatic for her. When she asked me if I wanted to come, I was beyond shocked.
Actually, if I remember correctly, I was also nervous. I didn’t think there’d be any way in hell my mom would let me go.
But she did.
Jen: I remember choosing Hawaii when my dad asked where I wanted to go because it was the farthest away. I was a teenager who loved to travel. Roni was the one friend in high school I could always depend on. She was (is) the only person I would have taken on this trip. I knew at 15 we were perfect travel buddies.
Roni: Awwww Jen. You know the feeling’s mutual. I love you.
Weren’t we total cheese balls?
And apparently I was a blogger in training because I wrote a note on the back of each and every photo.
Jen: That is so true. I just have all the photos in an album. Nothing exciting.
Roni: I’m SO glad I did because now I’m old and I don’t remember a darn thing!
Jen: Are you kidding? I remember a lot! It was the first long trip that I took.
Roni: Don’t get me wrong. I remember a lot! But none of the details like place names, dates, etc. Overall, the experience has stayed with me to this day. This trip was a lot of firsts for me.
First time traveling without my mom.
First time cross country
First time off the continental U.S.
First time I saw the Grand Canyon (from the plane, but still!)
I do remember we stayed in a hotel with an amazing view of Diamond Head Mountain …
Jen: We were there over Thanksgiving break. I remember making Thanksgiving dinner that evening. The hotel was more like an apartment. Honestly, the view of Diamond Head kind of freaked me out. It was a HUGE volcano!
Roni: OMG I DO remember now that you said that. Man! I really do wish we had digital cameras back then. I would have photos of everything!
One of the first things I specifically remember doing and have photos of is wandering around The International Market Place.
Jen: We were there almost every evening to eat and shop. My dad and uncle were masters at negotiating. I bought a pearl ring there and many other dust collectors. I think I even bought a “hang loose” statue! We loved to go because we were able to walk around by ourselves. That was major.
Jen: WOW. I remember meeting those football players. I stalked them in the market and finally went up to them asking if they were Notre Dame players. I think we even stalked them at the hotel across the street. That was probably not smart. Later in the week (actually the day we were leaving) we even went to the Notre Dame football game verses the Rainbows. Some random man gave us tickets in the elevator. I was so excited because I was a huge fan. Roni was still in denial.
Roni: That I was. Now I’m married to the biggest ND fan ever. Go figure.
According to my notes we also visited the Polynesian Cultural Center. This is one of those places I remember but wouldn’t have remembered, if THAT makes any sense.
Jen: My dad wanted us to learn on our trip. Ugh. But, this place was great! We had fun with our fanny packs, slouch socks, and white Keds. So cool.
Roni: You may have been cool. I was just dork in denial. lol I remember watching the dancers, the food (of course), and the guy climbing the coconut tree. I also remember hanging out with your dad, uncle and grandparents.
Jen: I guess my dad needed back-up. Taking two teenage girls on a cross-country trip must have been too much for him.
Roni: I can’t even imagine!
I do remember spending a day at the USS Arizona Memorial.
Jen: At the time, I don’t think we understood the gravity of being in this place. We need to go back.
Roni: I agree, but I do remember being fascinated and awed there.
According to my notes, these next photos were all taken at Waimea Falls.
And one of my favorite spots was this beach on the North Shore.
It was the quintessential Hawaiian beach in my opinion.
Jen: Ditto. We just walked around picking up lava rocks and examining the landscape.
I cannot believe this trip was 22 years ago. We need to go back with our husbands and kids. I am so grateful that we are still traveling today.
Roni: Wait? What? It was 22 years ago! I didn’t do the math yet. That is blowing my mind!
I remember being awed that I was in Waikiki.
Now I’m awed it was so long ago. Oh! and here’s the scary part. Your Dad was as old as we are now.