It's been a while...

2:14 PM

It's been almost a month since my engagement and boy has it been fun. The day after Payden proposed we hopped on a plane at 6am on our way to Hawaii. I had been planning this trip since August so needless to say, we were giddy (and tired). I won't lie, it was nice being able to get away from the rush and craziness of being home. We had so much to do with both of our families, it was nice to simply be together. We were flying or lounging out in airports for a total of fifteen hours so when we walked out and felt the warm (and humid) air, I was beyond excited.
We stayed at one friends apartment for two weeks. They had two kittens that were so precious and I learned a lot about the military like between the hours of 0400 and 1600 are very boring. They would have been better if I had a car to go do things or a job. After Payden got off work though was amazing. We had lots of movie nights, beach dates, walks through downtown Honolulu, game nights, pool, and so much more. We both rode a taxi for the first time ever and a city bus! I know that may sound pathetic to some of you but it was such an experience and very quick we became awesome bus riders. We loved being able to ride down to the beach or Waikiki and walk down the strip at night. The strip at night is so neat with their gas lanterns and street performers everywhere. I don't know about him but I could walk around for hours looking at the artwork and in the stores. Not to mention we always need a good helping of gelato afterwards.
On our last weekend at their apartment Payden and I dedicated a day to fun activities. We started by watching the sunrise at Hanama Bay and snorkeling with so many fish it was unbelievable. You could practically reach out and pet them and they wouldn't move. That was one of the neatest experiences ever! Then we wen't to the Honolulu Zoo and had so much fun looking and the turtles, elephants, alligators, turtles, rhinos, turtles, monkey, lions, turtles, hippos, did I mention turtles? They're Payden's favorite animal so we have lots of pictures of them. After the zoo we got ready and wen't to see Catching Fire. After the movie we spent the evening on the couch and eating beans and fried hot dogs. That was one of the most perfect days ever.
That next Sunday evening we packed our things and house hopped. A super sweet couple whom we had never met offered for us to stay at their place until I flew home. We nervously knocked on the front door unsure of what to expect to meet Kailyn and Mitch. We haven't known them very long and I can already tell we're gonna be great friends when I move out here. Kailyn is an amazing cook and Mitch is super funny.
We spent our Thanksgiving with them and the food was delightful, and the company was even better. Some of their friends came over and watched The Walking Dead with us while we all lounged on the couches with our dinners. We made plans with their friends that came over too and the next morning we went hiking!
So Payden being the sweetheart he is bought me new tennis shoes that I LOVE and then we wen't and hiked up to Ka'au Crater. What a fun hike! It was so beautiful, we hiked past three beautiful waterfalls, rock climbed, and roped climbed up to the peak (I didn't go all the way to the top because Payden made me sit down and rest my knees). The rappelling was freaky as ever especially doing it along a ridge. The view was beautiful!! You could see the dormant volcano crater, downtown off in the distance, all I can say is it was breathtaking. It took us from about 11am to 5pm.
The next day we wen't to a beach and snorkeled with a friend. The weather wasn't quite ideal for diving through underwater tunnels and spear fishing like we had originally planned so we explored a bit more then decided to go bowling. That was great and I found out very quickly that I stink at bowling and that chilly cheese fries are delightful after a long day in the water.
I still can't believe I leave to go back to Idaho tomorrow evening. This month has gone by so quick and it has been more than I could have ever hoped for. I know when I move out here we will have plenty of adventures together. Right now I'm a little sad at the thought of leaving, I love it so much. All of the friends I've made, the places I've been and the memories I've made, they've been so lovely. I'm incredibly grateful for the generosity of those who let us stay with them. For now, I think I'll go. I'm on my way to go Christmas shopping for a very special person, I can't wait!!
Here's a picture on the go, I'll post more later.

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