I have never been to a tropical location before. Every vacation I have ever taken has been safely in the Northern Hemisphere, far, far away from the sun where a comfortable summer day is a balmy room temperature. I take Vitamin D supplements in lieu of seeing sunshine for all but three months of the year. The three months in Canada that we see days above 20 degrees Celsius, I'm generally complaining about the heat. The thought of spending a week close to the equator made me very, very nervous. Six days before the flight was scheduled to take off from the depths of Canadian winter and deposit Mr. Bastard and I into our first tropical vacation , I realised I did not own three crucial items. Sunscreen, sandals and a hat.
This blog post is really so I can show you my family vacation photos. Sorry if you're not into that.
Having heard horror stories about vacations ruined by the pain of something called a "Sunburn" sunscreen was on the top of my list. Surprisingly, it was procured with relative ease, and Mr. Bastard and I each packed a bottle of the most waterproof, S-P-F-iest sunscreen money could buy. We may be the only two Canadians who returned from the beach with skin as pasty as when we left. I consider that a great success.
The shoes were a little bit harder. I ran through every shoe section in every store I could find. I knew what I wanted, I wanted a cross between sandal and hiking boot, an oxymoron in shoe form. I was pretty sure what I wanted existed, but after efficiently spending one minute or less in every shoe store in South Calgary I determined that what I wanted definitely was not in stock.
Eventually I admitted that I should have been more prepared, and shopped for summer items in Canada when it was still summer. Sandals aren't exactly a big seller when wearing them out of the store means certain frostbite. Eventually, I gave up on finding the perfect sandals that I wanted and took a chance ordering them online. With 6 days to spare, I placed my order and the perfect pair arrived at my door step approximately 36 hours before we left for our trip. I like to live dangerously.
You know what's awesome in Hawaii? Lava tubes, they are cool and I can walk through them without sweating.
Finding the hat however, was a lesson in retail hell. Not because I'm picky. Not because it's winter and toques outnumber sun hats 10 to 1. Not because I have a tiny head. But because I have a tiny head, I'm picky, it's winter and toques outnumber sun hats 10 to 1. It. Took. Hours. I still don't know why or even how Mr. Bastard kept up with me. I tried on every hat in every store in every department in Southern Calgary. Kids hats fit better. Ladies hats look better. Why don't they make this hat style, with that material, in this size and that colour? Eventually, and after many, many, many trips to the mirror, I found a hat. It wasn't perfect, but it was the material I wanted, it mostly fit and I had been dragging Mr. Bastard through store after store for hours. I bought it, and was happy that my head and face would be protected from the sun. Mr. Bastard was also happy.
Have I mentioned the sun makes me nervous? I'd never been to a warm place, ever. I have never had a reason to really fear the sun, but some days in Calgary it can be 30 degrees Celsius, and wow. That is hot. My brain turns to mashed potatoes. I get fatigued. I hate the heat yet here I was about to embark on a tropical vacation, but I was armed and ready. I had sunscreen. I had sandals. I had a hat.
Within 16 hours of arriving in Hawaii, Mr. Bastard and I had picked up our car, checked in to our hotel, slept, woke up, procured breakfast, driven across the entire Island, found a very cool waterfall to explore and I immediately lost my hat.
We then spent four of our seven days in paradise searching for the perfect replacement....