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Wow. Could my life get any better?

Nahe Nahe means sweet melody in Hawaiian, and that’s kind of what I have been experiencing this week.

I have spent the past week on The Big Island of Hawai’i with my family from Turkey and my parents, and I couldn’t have asked for a better vacation. As you know from previous posts, we usually go to Turkey to visit my family there, but because of the current turmoil in the political and social system, we planned a getaway for both families.

Let me just say- it is a LONG journey to get here from up north/the boonies/Minnesota (aka Canada). From Minneapolis, we took an afternoon flight and got to LA in three hours only to board a five hour flight to Kona. Pretty harmless, but when you’re as jetlagged as we were, the story changes a little bit.

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Anyways, we arrived later at night into Kona and got to our restaurant reservations just in time (at the Tommy Bahama cafe) and before we knew it, we were all falling asleep and crabby. The poor Turkish family was now experiencing a 13 hour time difference.

Early on in the week, we unpacked at our beautiful home/resort at Pauoa Bay, and met our concierge who had already planned a bunch of activities for us for the week. We hung out around the pool, cooked up some margaritas, and relaxed for a bit. Then we decided it was time to move around, so we saddled up in the suburban and went to Pololu Trail in North Kohala, about an hour from us. Mom and I had actually already done this hike, and thought we should bring my cousins and aunt to show them the beautiful sights at the bottom of the mountain.

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We kind of forgot how much more fit we were the last time we went.

But we made it to the bottom, took some sweet photos, and all made it back up safe and sound. On our way out, a clearly avid hiker recommended to us that we do the Waipi’o trail just on the other side of the valley, and we kept that in mind.

Halfway through the week, we went snorkeling, even despite my HORRIBLE, panic-attack-inducing fear of sharks. My parents can attest to that. Not only were we the only family on the boat, but I GOT TO HOLD AN OCTOPUS. It was the weirdest and coolest experience I have ever had snorkeling. And I didn’t freak out. We were in a lagoon so I was okay. We swam over to the black sand beach and made friends with some little fish before returning to the boat for some cheap wine and delicious chips and dip.

After the snorkeling adventure, Utku, my cousin, convinced us to go on one of the most challenging hikes on The Big Island, the same one the hiker at Pololu was telling us about: Waipi’o. I immediately said no, given that I had been devoting almost every morning to some sunrise vinyasa yoga (yes, I brought my mat, no, you cannot judge me, and yes, I know you’re jealous), and was not ready to expend my leg energy anymore.

Our concierge even sounded a bit against the idea, but encouraged us to give it a try if we dared. Sure enough, we were all of a sudden on our way down this treacherous vertical road towards the beach. It really is only a mile down, and a mile up, but when there’s an incline, distance really doesn’t matter to you or your body.

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We turned left when we got to the bottom to walk into a village and see some beautiful waterfalls from afar, and also get eaten alive by flies. We came back and turned the other direction to walk to the beach before heading back up the hill. It was A LOT harder than I thought it would be, but I also did a lot better than I thought I would. I finished about 10 minutes before one of my cousins, and we waited about 15 for my aunt and other cousin to make it. My mom kindly drove the car so that we could just hop in and get on the road (kind of a long drive). Overall, not worth the amount of pain that I am experiencing today, but still feels good to say that I’ve conquered that.

Today, we literally did nothing. Except we went to an art/coffee fair where I purchased a tribal symboled tank top and a small painting of a Hawaiian bay. I’m still planning on stopping at the grocery store on the way out of town to buy a go green grocery bag, it’s adorable and y’all that know me know how obsessed I am with those. I collect them. It’s a little excessive.

Other than that, mom and I have been going to get coffee every morning since I always wake up at like 6, haha, and then we come back, help dad with breakfast and get going with our day.

Like I said, I have been doing yoga every morning and even working on my headstand, which my parents have both been helping me with, and even at one point when my mom wasn’t with me, I used a palm tree to help me out. Naturally.

We played some beach volleyball today and enjoyed some of our last sun rays at this beautiful restaurant called Lava Lava Beach Club, which is right on the water. We move out of our residence and into another one briefly tomorrow afternoon and then we board our plane to fly home, which I cannot believe. I have to go back to reality now? No, I don’t think so, I would rather stay here, thank you.

At least my family from Turkey is still staying for a few more days, so ill be able to enjoy my time with them before starting school again…what?!

Hugs and love,
Zeynep

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