I figure, that by committing this list to the far-reaching corners of the internet, that I am locked in, and sure as heck I should do them. I may be updating my list as the time moves along, but here are the first six things that I've completed so far...Here goes!
1. Get into a graduate program in physical therapy, DPT: Bam! Way to start off with a bang, I applied (spent a lot of money doing do) and yes, got into a program that I am thoroughly excited about!!! Starting this June, I will be (again) a graduate student, committing my life to this whole crazy-awesome physical therapy thing. I interviewed in early November and found out the day before Thanksgiving that I got into my program of choice, cool timing especially considering that my parents were in town to celebrate the news with us, yay!
2. Swim with dolphins: Basically a lifelong, childhood dream...and I got to do it in their natural habitat not a pool. This past month, I had the opportunity to swim/snorkel with dolphins off the West coast of Oah'u and it was fantastic...Which brings me to fear: overcoming my fear of deep water swimming (sharks, yo!). The first jump into the water was like a cold rush of adrenaline, with a heart rate spike and plea that "please God let there be no sharks nearby!". Trust me, that fear vanished in less than a minute, as I saw the pod of spinner dolphins jumping and swimming around. THEY ARE MAGICAL. I literally had a smile plastered on my face the entire rest of the day, because it was so freeing to be snorkeling in the water, following these beautiful animals and having the patience to be still and let them move around us. Totally something that I want to do again...and possible again.
3. Participate in a relay race/trail run: the Cow Race @ Kualoa Ranch. Having not run trails in oh, a couple of years, this was awesome. The event is from sunrise to sunset, it's a relay race for individuals and teams. Beautiful scenery and one amazing way to start the new year! My friend Jen is the race director, and while I was slightly injured, I still ran one of the five mile trail laps and then spent the rest of my time the day of and the morning after helping out with race volunteer work and clean up. I HAD SO MUCH FUN and would totally recommend this race to others both local and on the mainland. Not only do you get to run on some beautiful private property, you'll see filming locations including: Jurassic Park, Godzilla, Lost, and cows...yes, there will certainly be cows! This point brings me to another...
4. Visit Kuala Ranch: so yeah, this race met lots of points. Not only did I get to run on trails, I also got to visit the Ranch which I have been dying to do and have a private off-roading tour courtesy of one awesome lady. This one however will call for another visit though, so I can take my husband there too for an ATV tour!
5. Go to the top of Mauna Kea: Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano that is 13,796 ft above sea level and is the highest mountain peak in the state of Hawaii. Because it forms part of the island of Hawai'i, much of the mountain is under water; so when measured from its oceanic base, Mauna Kea is over 33,000 ft tall. Making this bad boy taller than Mount Everest.
I've been to the Big Island (Hawai'i) four times now, and up to the Mauna Kea observatory at least three times. BUT, Anthony and I had not yet been to the top, as it requires a vehicle with four wheel drive (and we're always cheapskates when it comes to a rental car). So, we booked a stargazing/nighttime tour the last time we went with our parents and it was the bomb.com. They took us all the way to the top and we got to see an incredible sunset above the clouds amidst some phenomenal telescopes. It was legit cold up there, but very worth the trip. After sunset finished, the tour included stargazing with electronic telescopes and some hot cocoa.
6. Sunrise on Haleakala: for those of you who do not even know what the heck that word is, it is a massive shield volcano that forms more than 75% of the island of Maui. It's tallest peak is 10,023 ft and it is a popular (and well worth it) place to see an incredible sunrise above the clouds. This activity, which we did over Labor Day weekend 2015, required a VERY early wake up as we were staying on the southern shore and heard that you had to get there really early to beat the crowds up...So that;'s what we did, got up really early to make the drive up the mountain. There was traffic at the park and we were fearful that we weren't going to see sunrise, until we noticed a little trail on the way up to the top, with plenty of parking spots available. Score. This trail took us to an overlook of the crater and an awesome view with only one other couple present-no crowds. Not only did we see sunrise, but with saw it in peaceful silence. We did go up to the top but at our own pace after enjoying the scenery on the way up to the tiptop.