Friday, May 22, 2009

Maui Update

I have been home all week long with a horrible case of pneumonia. Whine whine whine.

During this time home, I should have been blogging like crazy with all this spare time that I have. Instead I have chosen to play on Facebook, Twitter a bit, watch TV, and sleep. A lot. I can't believe how much sleeping I have been doing.

Anyway, because of all of the online activities I've been doing, I haven't felt like blogging. I heard I'm not the only one who feels this way. Since Twitter and Facebook are the thing to do these days, a lot of people are foregoing their personal blogs because they can do snippets of stuff on FB and Twitter.

My mom doesn't like that and has asked me to keep posting on my blog since she doesn't do, nor understand, Facebook or Twitter. I'm happy to oblige.

My sister Andrea and I went to Maui on Tuesday, May 12, 2009. We were seriously squealing with each other, completely amazed that we were going and were going for free. I was a little bummed 'cause I woke up the morning before with a huge weight on my chest, feeling like I was coming down with a good chest cold. I figured I could cough just as well in Maui as I could in Gilbert. Nothing was going to stop me.

(I apologize for those of you who were on my flight both going and coming back - I kept my coughs to myself, but it wasn't fair to expose you and I should have at least worn a mask. I am truly sorry.)

Our flight left Phoenix at 9:30 a.m. and we arrived in San Francisco for about an hour layover. We left San Fran a little after 1:00 and were on our way to Maui. When we first checked in to our flight, Andi and I weren't sitting together on either flight. We at least wanted to try to sit near each other on the flight to Maui, so I talked to the ticket agent. She was willing to change our seats, but it was a $64 upcharge. I don't need to pay $64 to talk to Andrea when I can do it for free, so I declined and sat down. The ticketing agent came over to me a few moments later and said we could sit on the exit row for no extra cost if we were willing to take on those responsibilities if there were to be a crash (!!!). We took it.

When we were seated, Andi and I couldn't believe our luck at how truly GREAT sitting in an exit row is. Massive leg room to start with (couldn't even touch my purse with my toes it was so far in front of me), roomy seats, and the seats in front of you can lean back and you don't feel those effects at all. These seats also lean back and were just plain comfy. They were the best seats EVER!

We got to Maui around 3:30 or so and were even more giddy if possible. WE WERE IN MAUI.

We spent our time at the Westin and couldn't believe what a gorgeous hotel it was. Below is a picture of the view from our hotel room - seriously BEAUTIFUL.

The first night there, we had a reception with all of the other President's Club winners and their guests. Everyone was feeling the same as Andi and I were. Giddy, happy, amazed at our good fortune, appreciative of Infusionsoft, etc. Just good feelings all around.

On Wednesday, our first full day there, Andi and I decided to hit the beach and stay at the beach. We rented an umbrella and two beach chairs at about 9:30 a.m. that morning, and stayed put until around 3:30 p.m. that afternoon. Below is a picture of my view all day (not a bad one):

Wednesday night we shopped and shopped and shopped. I have always realized I am not a great shopper. I shop well when I have money and a purpose, but to shop just for the sport of it is not my thing. Not so with Andrea. She LOVES the sport of it - loves to look and try on and think about things and move on knowing she can come back if she wants. So not me. When I find something I like, I get. No need to see if something is better out there. We are so different it constantly amazes me that we get along so well.

Anyway, Thursday was much like Wednesday. Laying out on the beach, napping, being lazy, shopping again that night.

On Friday we jumped on the Gemini
ship that took us to Honolua Bay to go snorkling. I was apprehensive to go, mainly because I enjoy the water so much more when I DON'T know what's swimming underneath me. But I also had a curiosity about it all and was convinced to do the snorkling. Andi and I were fortunate enough to share this ride with several other people, including Dave and Karina Lee. I work with Dave at Infusionsoft, so it was fun to get to know him and his wife a bit better. The ride out was AWESOME. There was a pod of dolphins that swam alongside our boat and put on quite a show for us. Amazing.

We got to Honolua Bay, had a quick snorkling lesson, got fitted in our snorkling gear, and got in to the water. It was freaky. I couldn't believe how close some of those fish were to me, as well as the gorgeous coral. Andrea took to it (sorry for the comparison here) like fish to water. She was in Heaven. I, on the other hand, started to hyperventilate. I turned over on my back, took my mask off to beathe a bit better, and give myself a stern talking to, telling myself how ridiculous I was being, etc. I felt like I got control, put my mask back on, turned over, swam a few feet more, marveling at what I was seeing, and then my mind took control and I started wondering what I WASN'T seeing, but what was seeing me. Seriously wigged out and couldn't get back in the boat fast enough. SO. FRIGGIN'. DUMB.

Andrea got to see a lot of stuff, including a sea turtle that swam THISCLOSE to her. She could have touched it if she wanted to risk her fingers. Here's a picture she took of it:

Pretty cool, huh?

Well, we saved the best for last. We were leaving Maui for home on Saturday night. Saturday morning Andi and I wanted to do parasailing, since it was the first day it started. We went to check it out and was told the earliest we could go was 12:30. We had to check out of our hotel room at 12:00 noon so we were in a dilemma. The lady who was telling us about the parasailing said the hotel had a hospitality suite that we could look in to. Anyway, we both ended up booking our parasailing adventure for 12:30. We went back to our room, packed up, took a quick shower (we were to take off and land on the boat so we didn't think we would get too wet), dropped our bags off at the bell desk, and went parasailing.

Here we are taking off. We were both laughing and swinging our legs - it was amazing!

This is when we were higher up - they took us up 600 feet for about 10 minutes. Plenty high enough and plenty long enough. And I'm so grateful Andi and I were able to do it together so we could talk about what we were seeing and doing. It was so GREAT!

And this is when the boat driver decided to "skim" the ocean with us. I had told him I didn't want to touch the water, and apparently Andrea told him she did. She's much cuter than I and must have batted her eyes enough that he was happy to oblige. Like my face?

Luckily we were able to use the hospitality suite and shower up and be clean for the flight home. We left Maui at 9:30 Saturday night, arriving in L.A. at 5:30 a.m. We didn't leave L.A. until almost 9:00 a.m. and got to Phoenix around 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning.

It was a marvy trip - we stayed at an amazing hotel, got to do some amazing things, had some spending money to be able to play (THANK YOU INFUSIONSOFT) and traveling with Andrea was probably the easiest thing of all. We got along so great and traveled very well together.

I'm grateful for the many, MANY blessings in my life. This Maui trip was just one in a million.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

My President's Club Trip

Back in February, I announced that I was the winner of a spot on our President's Club trip to Puerto Vallarta.

As many of you know (and if you don't know - you must have been hiding under a rock or sumptin'), the swine flu has been a problem, here in the U.S., but especially in Mexico.

The Executive team at my work decided they didn't want to put their employees through a possible risk of infection, so they decided to change the location of the trip.


Less than two weeks away was when this decision was made, so they had a fun time trying to find and secure flights to Maui for 60+ people, figure out where all these said people were going to stay, what they were going to do, etc. It took nine months to plan Puerto Vallarta, they had 12 days to plan Maui. And plan it they did!

We are leaving this coming Tuesday, May 12, 2009, on the 9:30 a.m. flight. We will have a layover in San Francisco, then be on our way to Maui, arriving there around 2:30 p.m. Hawaii time (which is three hours earlier than Arizona time).

I am so stinkin' excited I can't see straight (again, if you didn't know how excited I was about this through my Facebook status updates, then SERIOUSLY, how BIG is that rock you've been hiding under anyway?!?). It has been a blast planning this trip with Andrea and figuring out what to wear, swimsuits and flipflops and coverups to get, how many books to bring, what activities we want to do, etc.

She and I have decided all we really want to do is go there and stay on the beach and read and listen to our iPods and have no one call Andrea Mom for four whole days. We'll probably do some other stuff since my company also provided some cash for us to spend while we're there.

They really do treat me well and I can't say enough nice things about the company I work for (Infusionsoft), who I work for, and who I work with. Talk about being truly blessed.

Anyway, I promise to take lots and lots of pictures and write about my trip when I get back (our flight gets in to Phoenix on Sunday May 17, 2009, at 10:30 a.m. - only bad thing about this trip is it's an overnight flight home).

A L O H A ! ! !