Sunday, May 31, 2020

Hawaii 50 - My Complete Itinerary

I came across some pictures the other day of fond memories on my trip in 2007 to Hawaii.  My brother, retired Military, was stationed in some pretty locales.  But, Hawaii may have been one of my favorites.  The cool thing about my brother is, he should have been a travel agent/trip advisor.  He can really put together the best experiences when people come to visit.  For my trip in 2007, he typed out an itinerary, and for years I held on to it.  So here's just some cools things to see when you visit Honolulu, HI, compliments of my brother (and I added some of my personal experiences as well):

Yes, this is me in my 20's rather proud of my delicate Scotch Irish skin tone!  Believe me, copious amounts of SPF's were involved in the making of this photo.

Get Lei'd at the Airport:
Once you rest your sea legs into the airport in Oahu, the Hawaiian greeters will welcome you with a fresh flower lei.  This is an exceptional way to arrive to a new place.  We can all learn a thing or two from Hawaiians!

Dole Pineapple plantation/factory:
This was originally operated as a fruit stand in the 1950s, but it's one of the more popular attractions in Oahu.  They have a pineapple garden maze (one of the world's largest mazes scaling 3 acres), refreshments, tours, an express train through the pineapple plantation, and you can even leave with your own Dole pineapple!

Diamond Head:
This is a must!  A rather arduous hike that is a thigh burner, this hike has volcanic ash as soil/shale so you have to be very careful where you step.  It will pulverize under your feet.  Adventurers think it's a tropical paradise, but people seriously plummet to their death all the time in Hawaii.  The views of the City and the ocean are incredible at the top of Diamond Head.  This is for sure a hike you won't want to miss.  Make sure to wear supportive hiking shoes.

Submarine Ride:
You start by boarding a huge double decker barge which takes you out to the submarine.  Once you get off the boat atop the the Submarine, you can take a ladder down into the actual belly of the submarine which has several round windows to observe the marine life of the beautiful ocean.   You will see so many gigantic and beautiful sea turtles and tropical fish.  There are also large castles and shipwrecks at the bottom which provide an absolutely otherworldly scenery.  I will say after a delicious breakfast at Hilton Hawaiian village, I lost it all on that Sub that day.  

It started when my ears felt the pressure difference and I saw all the many bubbles in the round submarine window.  In the picture you see a green tint to my skin.  Luckily they had plenty of airport baggies.  Once I filled one of those, I climbed up the stairs where the submarine continued to rock back and forth.  At which point someone handed me a kitchen trash bag and I begin to fill it up as tourists on the double decker boat came closer snapping their cameras.  Good times!  

Pearl Harbor:
If you're into history, this is a must see!  The morning of December 7, 1941 there was a surprise attack by Japanese fighter pilots that will forever go down in history as one of the largest terrorist attacks on American soil.  Many people don't know this but the Japanese had offered the US a peace treaty right before the attack at Pearl Harbor, making the attack even more egregious.  More than 2400 people were killed in the attack.  Battleship USS Arizona sustained about an 1800 pound bomb crashing through the deck.  The ship sank with roughly 1,000 sailors aboard and is a national grave site/memorial to this day.  It's a graveyard so it's somber they are entombed and were trapped inside.  It's just a solemn moment.  They tell you not to use your cell phone and to practice silence.  Sadly many tourists do not comply.  But, what can you do?  Also, many EPA environmentalists have argued that Oahu should bring up the ship back up since it's been bubbling up oil for decades now.  You can stand on the overlook and see gigantic bubbles of oil surface to the top.

Guess who funded the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor Memorial?  Answer: Elvis Presley

University of Hawaii in Manoa:
This is where Obama's parents met studying Russian During the Cold War.  This is seriously one of THE most beautiful college campuses in the entire world, second to University of Colorado and maybe Pepperdine in Malibu.  Definitely worth the trip.  You can buy a Rainbows t-shirt and just walk around the campus.  If you're anything like my brother, you enjoy collecting college campus collections/memorabilia.

Mopeds rides to Waikiki and Honolulu:
One hundred percent, the best way to explore the island is either on mopeds or by motorcycle.  Why?  You don't have to pay for parking which can get expensive on your trip.  #2, they get about 100 miles per gallon and gas ain't cheap in Hawaii.  You can basically park them right in front of a business or restaurant or bike rack area.  It's so convenient.

We rented a few Honda mopeds one day in downtown Honolulu from a Samoan guy.  He immediately asked both of us if we needed any tutorials on the operations of the mopeds.  My brother was quickly dismissive and told the guy that our entire family road motorcycles...which is true, everyone but me.  My brother hopped on after doing the paperwork and securing a credit card and was on down the street as I was still figuring out my moped.  I gassed it and took off, but in all the excitement I pulled the throttle and the break at the same time and spun out in the middle of the street.  I still am not sure how I didn't sustain more injuries than my awful road rash in my short shorts.  I remember some Japanese business men running out of the Starbuck's with some wood chip napkins as I screamed.  My brother was screaming, "Get up, let's go, let's go, I can't get charged for this!"

Oh, by the way, my brother left the scene of the accident as I was entangled in a Honda Moped in the middle of the road with business men who didn't speak English.  He called my mom and told her what had happened.  When I finally regained composure, I too, called my mom to tell her that Jon had disappeared and that I was scared.  It was at that moment, and I'll never forget this, my mom said, "KIM, it's like a bike, with a motor!"  And that sorta put things in perspective for me a bit.  After that I was ripping and roaring down the island rods.

On one adventure we took, my brother and I were pulled over by the local police for riding the mopeds on the road!  Now here in Boulder you can get a ticket for riding a bicycle on the sidewalks.  However, we had created such a traffic backup and didn't even realize it.  I looked back and saw about 15 cars inching up the mountain behind us.  Definitely a "Dumb and Dumber" moment of the trip.  You can't double stamp a triple stamp!

This picture makes me look like an amputee.  

Emerge in the Culture - try some road side shacks:
My brother had a Honda motorcycles and one day while touring the island, we stopped off for some  roadside prawns.  I had never had prawns before.  Also, I a la carted pretty much everything on the menu which pissed my brother off pretty bad.  I think our roadside snack was about thirty dollars.  They only took cash back then.  Honestly, I had never seen seen anything so horrendous in my life.  These were massive prawns with huge beady eyes and antennas.  I couldn't take one bite.  It really messed me up in the head for a while.  Remember I was a vegan/vegetarian for several years of my life.  Could be from those prawns.  

Go to a Luai - The Polynesian Cultural Center:
This was a really cool experience.  You again get Lei'd and go into an outdoor arena. You watch the symbolic story of Man and his beloved Lani in a Polynesian dance, music and blazing fireknives in the "Ha: Breath of Life" evening show featuring over 100 Polynesian natives, special effects and surround sound.  It's a Pacific isle saga of birth and death, love and family, tragedy and triumph.  You have the option of staying afterwards to partake in the buried smoked pig dinner with many delicious local sides dishes.  A lot of the natives are Mormons.  The reason why is BYU has a university there and do extensive community outreach and mission there.  Another little known fact about Oahu.  There are a lot of Mormons. 

Rent a boat!  Explore the Ocean!
We took a six man boat out to a sand barge on the Kaneohe Marine Base.  Oddly enough I did not get sea sick on a six man boat.  Moving atop the water is much different than the pressure differences in a submarine apparently.  We also took a ride by where they filmed Gilligan's Island!  Here are some shots of a sand barge in the middle of the ocean with a bunch of hot Marines playing sand volleyball.  It was a great day!  How many times can you boat out to a sand barge in the Pacific Ocean?!
 Oh Captain My Captain
 My little brother driving the boat

 Marines playing volleyball on a sand barge

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve:
Bring your swimsuit and get ready to crowd into a room to learn about how you shouldn't feed the fish!  Millions of years ago at the bottom of the ocean, a volcano erupted and Hanauma Bay was formed.  You can quite literally spend the good majority of the day here snorkeling and looking at all the beautiful ocean wildlife and coral reefs.

Additionally, there are no snakes in Hawaii!  So you can literally explore the entire area in tall grass and not worry about stepping on any snakes!

Sunset gazing:
These are some of the most stunningly beautiful sunsets in the world.  Great thing I was with a local who knew the most amazing parts of the island for a spectacular sunset and also, MORE SEA TURTLES!  I was shocked by the cars on the side of the road that were turned into homeless camps.  You wouldn't think it, but Hawaii has a pretty large homeless population, because people get there and then can't afford to get back home.  The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.  So you wanna go to the west side of the island unobstructed by the mountain range.  A lot of people don't realize how mountainous and rugged Oahu is.  But, the sunsets on any part of the island are breathtaking.

Schofield Barracks:
This was actually the first place attacked, not Pearl Harbor (in the Japanese raid of December 7, 1941.)  And, the reason why is the Army and Air Force used to be the same branch, Amy Air Corp.  So the Japanese wanted to bomb here first.  We saw gigantic bomb craters that were still untouched.  This was where my brother was stationed for three years.  Now Oahu is about the size of most counties you live in.  Take for example, my county of Boulder is 740 square miles.  Oahu is 590 square miles.  So, after three years, you become extremely landlocked, unless you're from there and don't know any better.  Would I live there?  Yes, it's like a tropical paradise.  But, California is cheaper.

Airforce Base/Marine Base:
Some of the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii are owned by the government and fortunately my little brother had clearance.  Interestingly enough, aside from the government owned bases and beaches, an individual cannot own beaches in Hawaii.  Therefore you can have an $8 million beach home and people can just be fishing in your backyard and you cannot ask them to leave your property.  Because it's not your property. 

Surfing - North Shore:
Okay, I don't surf.  It's something I always wished I had learned, but I didn't grow up on the beach or ocean side.  However, I did get hit by one of the most gigantic waves.  It turned me around like a washing machine spin cycle for God knows how long.  To me, it seemed like an eternity.  And, my brand new Ray-bans were no longer polarized.  The wave basically destroyed that pair of shades.  But, all that to say this, never turn your back on a wave in Hawaii, because those suckers can grow pretty big!

Hilton Hawaiian Village:
This is the place to go for some retail therapy, more shopping and some eats.  22 acres of 90 shops and over 20 restaurants you could literally spend the day here!  Set along the beautiful beaches of Waikiki there are so many stunning photo opps as well.

Are you a Foodie?:
I am and I'm going to be completely honest with you.  The best seafood in Hawaii was Red Lobster.  Honestly, I can't speak in depth about the "out of this world" food in Oahu.  Maybe it's because they have to import everything but pineapple and macadamia nuts.  But, Hawaii isn't a place you would go solely as a foodie.  It's definitely a place to be in a paradise and explore the beauty and nature that Hawaii has to offer!  Oh and the chocolate macadamia nuts are out of this world!!!  You'll want to take as many boxes back with you in your suitcase as you can fit!

Have you been to any of the islands in Hawaii?  What was your shareable adventure?  Any recommendations I missed?

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The "B" Word

I watched this movie last night that was actually pretty heavy.  I mean, I went into the journey after reading a short synopsis that didn't being to cover the weight as the story unfolded.  The plot wasn't based off a true story, but it very well could have been.  As I watched it, some non-repressed childhood memories came into mind.  This movie, by the way, is called, "Teacher", and I rented it on Amazon Prime.  
It's about a high school English teacher up for tenure who advocates relentlessly against bullying.  The main character, the teacher, endured bullying as a child (shown through a series of flashbacks both at home and at school).  Now as an adult, he sees the bullying unfolding in the hallways and classrooms of his school, which triggers the all the aforementioned flashbacks.  He sets out on a mission to protect the victims which seems highly legit and sensitive and way outside his pay scale.  However, everything quickly turns into absolutely madness.  The downward spiral begins when the film uncovers why the bully, a star baseball player, bullied.  I would recommend this movie to everyone.  The scenes of the bullying and aftermath were indeed convincingly real.  The theme of this movie focuses on the word "victim"...(you'll see that in one of the class lectures which foreshadows the looming conclusion)

Having bullying on the brain, my thoughts took me back to grade school.  I grew up right outside of Chattanooga, and had a really great childhood.  My parents built a custom house on a lake, and we had vines growing from trees that we would "AHHHHH" Tarzan off of.  We could hike through the woods down the lake and see neighborhood kids on boats and jet skis.  We would be on our bikes til sunset and then we knew we had to be home for dinner.  It was a different time then.  One view from out neighborhood dock was the back of the magnificent house across the lake owned by Ellsworth McKee, the guy who built an empire by selling Little Debbie cakes out of the trunk of his car.  

I had a best friend (yea I guess I've always kept my circle small).  I can't really remember how we met, but I think we sat together on the school bus and became inseparable after that.  The funniest memory I have of this friendship is each and every time we set out to bake brownies after a long day in the sun...we would burn the brownies, but not just burn them.  They would be a black concrete of smoke by the time we remembered we had backed some brownies.  We never once successfully baked edible boxed brownies.  But, I'm so glad I had a community then.  A best friend, a supportive family.  I guess what I'm saying is a lot of kids don't have that.

I went to a small rural elementary school third through fifth grade, and my first experience with bullying took place in fourth grade.  There were two girls, Julie and Starla.  We were all friends at one initial point at the beginning of the school year.  And, then some "Lord of the Flies"-phrenia crept in and I became their prey.  It was just mean and relentless and constant bullying from both Julie and Starla for no reason whatsoever.  I stopped making excuses for people's behavior a long time ago, but maybe they fed off each other by being mean to me.  Here, I can't tell you why bullies bully.  I think a lot of times it stems from the upbringing and home life.  But sometimes kids are just sociopaths, like the "Good Son"...geez McCaulay Culkin was straight up evil in that flick.  But back to Julie and Starla, the "mean girls," I remember one day I just screamed out loud after being targeted, "STOOOOOPPPP!" right in the middle of class  I got called in with the teacher and Principal to explain my sudden outburst. And, oddly enough, after all was said and done we all became friends again.  I had set my first boundary in life, and they respected it, and we all became friends again.

Skip one year to 5th grade.  I know I've always been different.  These days you can go to a city park and see little ginger heads everywhere, but back when and where I grew up, I was the oddball.  Freckled and redheaded...and to top it all off, I was gap toothed and had a pretty fierce overbite.  Today you'll see all these features gracing the covers of magazines and on America's Next Top Model.  I'll stop right now and say that would have added so much character, as if I needed more.  But, I do thank my parents for the investment in my orthodontia because I can share my "award winning" smile with the world, aside from my crooked bottom teeth (because I kept sitting on my retainer) and the fact that my smile is pretty darn goofy at times.

There was a new kid in my class.  The girls loved him.  I would totally post a picture right now of this kid all grown, but doing so on the internet would probably be bullying.  But, oh, it's so good.  He still looks like bully.  And how his name sounds like "the bully" in a movie. Can I just say, out of random curiosity and the good ol' Information Age, I looked him up online and when I saw his mug shot, it made me smile.  Oh, I'm so bad, I know.  

Now, there are certain rom-coms and moms that will teach young girls that a boy must have a crush on you if he picks on you.  They never taught us that some boys are just straight up run of the mill sociopathic assholes.  Could have made life much easier to not muddle the lines of abusive behavior and potential love connections.  Billy was an abusive bully.  His favorite name for me was, "Red Headed Stepchild" followed by "Bucky Beaver."  I mean, how is that even an insult?  Stepchildren, albeit ginger ones can still be awesome and beavers are super cute.  But believe me, back in the day, it was like the Scarlet Letter was sewn to your chest.  I felt ugly and alienated by him.

It didn't stop with the name calling.  Billy sat on the first row and I sat in the second, and thus we sat next to each other.  One day as I was sitting down at my desk, he pulled the entire desk out from under me and I came down hard on my neck.  Really, had I hit any differently, he could have paralyzed me!  Nobody laughed, which was the catalyst that drove Billy's menacing behavior most of the time.  My teacher, Mr. Stone, ran over to make sure I was okay.  And, Billy had to stand in the corner for the rest of class.  I remember he kept turning around and giving me these death stares and mouthing to me.  Recently, I saw, "Welcome to the Dollhouse" which reminded me of a pre-Napoleon Dynomite 'Coming of Age' classic.  If you watch it, the bully in this flick likes to mouth threats to the main character.  It's actually quite funny, because then he tries to make her his girlfriend.

I graduated 5th grade into the bigger world of Middle School.  I have absolutely no recollections of any first hand experiencing any bullying.  I was so lucky!  These kids were just super chill and relaxed.  However, I do recall a specific instance on the bus one day.  I can still recall how this girl looked.  She was freckled faced like me, had red hair and one of the most terrifying evil grins on her face.  She was always picking on someone.  That day, I saw her blowing spit wads and putting other nasty things in my neighbor's hair.  I had this neighbor who was slightly mentally challenged.  Looking back, I think she may have been somewhere on what we refer to as the spectrum now.  But, she was sweet and kind and thus she was my friend.  And, the longer I watched that happening from the back of the bus, the more this warmness rose up inside me.  When it was time for my stop, I got up and walked down the aisle.  I waited for my neighbor to get off, and then I grabbed the red headed girl's hair and just yanked it as hard as I could and I told her to leave my friend alone! 

So, yea...I was suspended from the bus for a few days.  But when I explained to my parents what had transpired, I was rewarded for sticking up for my neighbor.  I think I even got ice cream on the way home from school for the following days. That girl left my friend alone from there on out.  Then one day my dad came home and made the announcement we would be moving to West Tennessee for his new job.  It was a tad bit traumatic to move right smack in the middle of your eighth grade school year.  

New house, new school, a whole new world of bullies.  I remember walking home from school one day and a group of kids who lived in my neighborhood.  And, this one kid was making fun of my mom for working in the yard.  "Your mom works out in the yard!  Hahhahaah"  I mean, did our affluent community apparently looked down upon any physical labor by women?  Later I learned, obviously, it was a socioeconomic "no no" not have a crew of Mexicans doing your yard work for you.  

I had to basically relearn a different set of values to be accepted into this new environment.  We had a Chevy pick-up truck in the driveway, maybe because we didn't hire everything that needed to be done.  I learned how to drive on a Chevy Silverado.  My mom, by the way, can name most trees, flowers, plants...she enjoys working in the yard!  It's her therapy.  But, yea, I got "yo mama" insults in middle school.  And, I've always been protective of my family so that hit me to the core.  Today's Kimmie has a lot thinner skin after waiting tables through college.  Talk about bullies...wait tables!  But, still to this day, I am super protective of family.

The "new kid", I remember getting up to turn in an assignment to the front of the class and on the way back to my seat, a guy announced loudly to the entire class how flat chested I was.  Laughter broke out.  The teacher did nothing.  Little did I know I should have augmented my chest or maybe worn wonder bras for Kevin's perverted little viewing pleasure.  There were two other girls in my classes who also moved around the same time from other states.  I bonded with them and we quickly became friends.  All three of us were targeted by the same group of boys.  

I remember the worst of the bullying took place at my locker.  By the way, to give a visual of my surroundings, this middle school looked like an insane asylum in a movie.  All the windows were way up high to where there was no view of the outside world.  All the walls were stark white.  And there were rows of lockers on the top and bottom.  I had a bottom locker.  And, as I would bend down to grab my books, one of the boys were walk by and do (what they called) a "three finger swipe."  That's where his fingers would swipe over my privates.  It felt so embarrassing and humiliating, and I couldn't understand why it was happening.

I came home and went to my room most days after school.  I felt alone, I felt violated.  I felt embarrassed for my body.  I would have crying spells.  And, I remember my Dad pressing me to find out what was wrong.  I feel lucky to have grown up in a family where I felt like I could trust my parents.  When I opened up and told him what was happening, he went straight to the school.  He spoke with the Principal, who initially, according to my dad, wanted to be pretty lenient about the fact that this group of boys had preyed up three new female students.  Let's be blunt about it.  It was sexual harassment and the school had the responsibility to protect its student. Police officers came into the classrooms and pulled the boys out of class.  And, from then, I am not 100% sure what happened.  But, those boys never bothered us again.  

My high school years were great.  I played softball, volleyball, was the yearbook co-editor, did the morning announcements and took 3 AP classes.  I can recall even today walking down the hall and always seeing these same cliques, these closed circles in the hallways every day.  And, it always kinda bothered me how each circle would have the same exact people.  I can't really recall ever really being in a clique.  I was raised to be nice and respectful to everyone, I waived and acknowledged everyone. I had two major crushes on the mysterious loner types who sat and read books under a tree at lunch.  The worst of the bullying was being called "Bald Eagle" because one kid found my forehead too high.  The same kid called and left a message on our home phone as a prank, "Kim you left your panties at my house.  Through caller ID, my dad had a pretty intense conversation with the guy, and I believe that was the last prank call that came into our household.

So, I'd like to say the bullying stopped there, but it didn't.  Most of my adult life I've been bullied.  I'm a single female, so I've had to be my own advocate.  The difference in my adult life is I have a lot more choices.  Like for instance, school was mandatory, but relationships and jobs are never mandatory.  I can walk away.  Most importantly, I've learned to protect my energies as an empath beacause bullies are just a fact of life.  Manipulation is most common and is a passive aggressive bullying.  The only way you can become a target is by having no goals in life.  There are so many types of bullying, really.  I learned the art of setting boundaries a few years back, and it's been a game changer for me.  It's the most important part of self love and armoring up against bullying.

 Back to the movie from last night, the main character continues to be bullied even into adulthood by the parents, the administration, even his students.  And, I think may of us who experienced the bullying in our youth can attest that these same bullies are bullies even into adulthood.   Although the main character goes to some major extreme and illegal lengths to protect his students, I strongly think this movie should be shown in schools.  It just shows the snowballing effects of bullying.  Some kids bounce back to live perfectly healthy lives.  Some kids live with anxiety later on as adults.  Some kids end their story through suicide.  Some kids go and shoot up a school.   I feel for kids these days because of the internet and social media.  At lease back in my dad, my home was my recluse.  Nowadays, the bullying can come straight into your bedroom and phone.   

 A friend of mine called the other night .  She said, "You have always been an inspiration to me, and you know why?  Because you don't take shit.  No I mean it, you don't take shit from anybody!  And, I've always admired that about you"  And, it caused some slight pause.  I guess to experienced mostly bad consequences from advocating for yourself, it came as a shock that something positive came from it to help others.  And, I said to my friend, "you know what?  I don't take shit, you're right about that, BUT that doesn't make my life easy trust me!"  In fact, for all of my thirties I lived in a community that praised strong women publicly.  There were so may women owned small businesses.  Yet, time after time, every time I advocated or stood up for myself, I paid a heavy price for it.  The point is, I'm thankful for the journey.  

Were you bullied?  How did you handle it?  Do you still have issues that stem from the bullying you endured?  Have you journaled about it and released it?  Do you ever wish years later to confront or talk to the people who tried to destroy you?  

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Routt National Forest: The Frog King

 Last Thursday I headed out with a good friend of mine from Poudre Canyon to Routt National Forest + Cameron Pass and hiked up to the base of Never Summer Range.  Our purpose in this hike was (for me) to learn mindfulness and for my friend (to fight addiction).  I'm not sure about you, but I always like to set out on a mountain journey with some purpose (whether it be to find my mind or lose it).  Honestly, though, the true purpose of this saunter didn't hit me until about mid-hike, when my friend encouraged me to listen to nature.  Prior to that, I just wanted to see a moose at the creek bed or maybe a Rock Marmot (please, stop and YouTube Rock Marmot right this'll thank me later..).

However, being a city girl from the South, I'm not completely aware of my surroundings like you should be in Colorado. And, I'll be the first to admit...I don't know the musky smell of a moose or a mountain lion.  I wouldn't know if I was hunted.  Kind of like that guy in Boulder, CO, who was attacked by a mountain lion.  And, I don't always look to get my photographic memory bearings and know my surroundings before stopping to take a picture.  I'll see something beautiful and pull out my camera and get lost in the beauty.  But, these are all wilderness trails, and trust me, you can AND will get lost and completely turned around if you're not mindful all the time.  

So, now I find myself 41, still, an avid adventurer and day hiker "fire fairy"of the mountains, and JUST now becoming aware of the world around me (in a way that is hard to explain).  Instead of "street smarts," think "mountain smarts."  This hike was so captivating.  It was playfully skimming the one, maybe two clouds atop the mountain horizon.  I tasted THE purest mountain water from magical melted snow caps.  I saw fluttering butterflies as the sun gleamed through the tall happy trees, huge mushrooms, gold sprinkled creek rocks, adorable rabbits, chattering squirrels, a coyote, and some moose and mountain lion tracks.  Sadly, no spotting of any rock marmot, guys.  Maybe next time.  However, check out the "snow damned dam" snaps I took!

Additionally, the day started with a drive by of a lama farm, so I mean, c'mon, I just knew it was going to be a pretty stellar day from there on out.  One memory I will forever take from this hike, forever etched in my memory is the mountain frogs.  While hiking, we heard these ATV's coming up the mountain.  We were in a frog symphony mediation moment when these ATV's completely sound raped the land.  After they trekked on through, the mountains were so quiet you could hear a gnat fart.  My friend was so super bummed the zen-like meditations had ceased.  So, in jest, I suggested, since his animal sounds, specifically his highly convincing persuasive croak was so on point, that he simply lead the mountain marsh frog symphony with his maestro queue.  And, he did!  And, right after my crony's convincing croak, the entire marsh lit up in the most fantastic nymph-like white noise.  I took one recording of and will forever love and grin to this melodic enchantment.  It was simply amazing.  And, my friend is forever, "The Frog King!"  The End.  

What is your favorite mountain saunter memory?  I'd love to hear about it.  Unless it involves, "he got a real pretty mouth ain't he?" or "squeal like a pig..."

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

First Blog Post Request: Embarrassing Childhood Event

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far!  It seems like there has been a dreary cloudy fog for three days last week here in Colorado, which is so weird.  Colorado IS the sunshine state.  All is well though, because I woke up and could see the mountain range again.  All is right with the world again.  These past two days have been gorgeous.  Blessed be the fruit.

In my first blog post, I asked if anyone had any requests or suggestions he or she would enjoy me writing about, and well, leave it to my little brother to make the suggestion: "An Eventful Yet Embarrassing Childhood moment".  Crazy how there have been so many.  But, Jon was kind enough to refresh my memories to the FedEx St. Jude Classic of my awkward middle school existence.

Growing up, I played softball, my brother played baseball, we went to Braves baseball games at Atlanta Fulton Statdium (back when tumbleweed blew through the stands and well before the Braves won the World Series).  And, there is a CLEAR baseball rule.  Whenever the batter hits a ball into the stands, over the netting...the fans get to catch the ball or run for it and keep it!  It's the rules of baseball.  So, my dad took me and my brother to our first golf classic.  I cannot remember the exact hole.  I cannot remember the golf pro, although my family think it's Davis Love III.  But, my brother and I were sitting around whatever hole this was, and the two golf Pros were hitting when one ball came flying right over the boundaries.  It was like in sudden slow motion, I saw that glorious ball coming almost right at me. Surveying the situation, I got so excited, would I be the fastest one to get the out of bounds ball? I ran towards the ball and picked it up proudly showing my bounty to my brother and to the onlookers!  Suddenly, everyone and I do mean everyone yelled, "DROP THE BALL!"

It was terrifying!  Why was everyone yelling at me for claiming my rightful "foul ball??!"  And, so out of mass confusion, I threw that ball and it bounced down the grassy knoll, also in slow motion, and rolled onto the green and so very close to the putting hole.  And, the rules official didn't call my snafu a stroke.  So sure the other player was super pissed.  So, my golden classic golf tournee ignorance actually helped the Pro.  I was never slipped any money or not even a wink and "thanks kid!"  But, the next day, the paper mentioned the "overzealous fan" at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. (I'm thinking my dad made this part of the story up)  But, to this day, I've not ever lived this one down.  I guess looking back, though, I was a hero that day.  Whatever you gotta tell yourself, right?  Re-write the script?  

So, one last thing I want to say about the years I revisited this golf classic.  It was always held in the hottest summer months.  Everyone usually walked the golf course with Level HIGH of swamp ass.  The corn dogs were off the chain delicious...Pronto Pups.  The trick was copious amounts of mustard painted all over the dog.  I remember one year, I got so overheated, (and the trick is getting those tent passes to those white tents that had all the beer and cold beverages), I sought out a tent with all these turbo fans blowing everywhere.  It was a cigar tent.  And, it was there I tried my first cigar ever is stifling Memphis heat.  And, it was there I blew chunks everywhere, because while you're heat stroking, you probably shouldn't puff puff pass a Cuban.

Anyways, that concludes blogging about an embarrassing childhood memory.  Not quite as juicy as my brother's Mid South Fair Tilt-a-World story, but a good one nonetheless.  What is your most embarrassing childhood event?

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