Day One - Wednesday, September 19
Our day began at a very early 5 a.m., when we met at the parking structure to leave for SFO airport. We arrived at the airport at around 6 a.m. to see the longest check-in line I have ever seen! It took us about two-and-a-half hours to get to the front of the line. The time waiting was spent listening to Potter's portable CD Player We even started dancing our famous 'N Sync dance, until security guards came running, begging us to calm down. Megan and Christina both fell asleep in a corner and managed to jump in the front of the line with us.
We got on the plane about 45 minutes late. I have to admit, there were quite a few of us who were pretty nervous about flying because of last week's attacks. But once we all got squished in the middle seats of the plane, we got more comfortable. It was a pleasant ride, and we were fortunate enough to watch the new movie "Angel Eyes" with Jennifer Lopez.
Once we finally arrived in Hawaii, we packed into the minivans and headed to Jon's favorite restaurant. I can't remember the name of it, but it was a very local, Hawaiian place. The food was great and Jon claims that the restaurant will bring us good karma.
After our meal, we headed to our hotel. Getting into our rooms was quite a surprise. The rooms were literally the size of a shoebox-the smallest rooms I have ever seen. But it doesn't seem to bother anyone, we were all just so happy to be in Hawaii!
Practice began at 1:30 p.m. in Gym #1. This gym wasn't the actual arena. Rather, it was the practice gym that both Katie and Jon played in when they were in college. The gym was about 100 degrees F, causing all of us to sweat bullets. Practice went pretty well-everyone is getting excited to play Hawaii in front of thousands of people.
Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that when we arrived at the hotel, Alan, a really nice man, greeted us. He is sort of the official greeter to all the volleyball teams. He helped show us around.
After practice, most of the team jumped into their bathing suits and walked to the beach. It was a gorgeous day with very few clouds. At the beach, we were all like little kids playing in the waves. The beach was pretty crowded with many sun bathers and surfers. We stayed at the beach for only an hour because we had to get ready for our dinner reservation at Duke's at 6 p.m.
Duke's was absolutely amazing. The entire team got dressed up and everyone looked great. As we got seated, Jon, Katie and Dustin bought us all beautiful leis. This put an instant grin on all of our faces. The restaurant was located directly on Waikiki Beach. Our dinner was timed perfectly for a beautiful sunset. We all had delicious meals, ranging from fresh Mahi Mahi to Kushiyaki (a plate of chicken and steak kabobs). During dinner, we were fortunate enough to be serenaded with live Hawaiian music-definitely adding to the marvelous atmosphere. After dinner the owner of the restaurant surprised Jon with a lei of his own and a kiss on the cheek. You are probably thinking the owner was a woman. Oh no-he was a big Hawaiian man! Jon looked extremely embarrassed, his face turned bright red. The chefs also surprised us with their famous Hula Pies. They were gigantic desserts that our team virtually inhaled in about one minute. All of the food was delicious.
After dinner, the team hit the streets and went shopping. We got a chance to see much of the Waikiki nightlife.
The day was simply fabulous, everyone is having a great time. We are all getting excited for surfing in the morning.
It is really weird to be in a place where volleyball is so huge! As our team was walking down the streets-people knew who we were before we told them because they already knew the UH volleyball schedule. People would look at us and say, "You guys must be Santa Clara." It was really weird, but we are all loving it.
Day Two - Thursday, September 20
Let me just say that today was a blast. We woke up early and met for surfing at 8 a.m. We headed to the beach as a group and more people said, "You guys must be Santa Clara." It seems like everyone on the island knows who we are. When we got to the beach, the coaches decided we should get five boards and some surfing lessons. The boards were super heavy and long, but everyone on the team stood up. The waves weren't very big, they were just right for all of us learning how. The man giving us lessons was really funny... actually, he was really mean. The first group of surfers-Jessie, Merrin, Cindy and I-had all been surfing before so we went out on our own. He kept yelling at us because we weren't going near him. I think this put him in a bad mood for the rest of the day. He was screaming at everyone. But the funny thing is, we didn't care. We were just laughing at him. While the boards were being used, the rest of the girls sunbathed. We finished surfing at about 10:30 and began taking pictures. We got a super cute one with our surfboards behind us.
We then hit the road, and headed for North Shore. It took us about 45 minutes to get there, and when we got there we went to lunch. We ate at a super cute beach grill. After lunch, we all enjoyed the infamous shaved ice that Jon had been raving about. And let me tell you that it did live up to its expectations. After lunch, we headed to the surfshops for some shopping. There were some awesome surfshops in the North Shore.
In North Shore, there is a beach with just about the greatest waves for surfing called Pipeline. This place has huge waves with an awesome barrel. Unfortunately, there weren't any waves today. I guess there are huge surf competitions all the time at Pipeline.
After seeing North Shore and Pipeline, we took a scenic drive to the other side of the island. It was a very beautiful drive, we drove along the coast and saw some rad beaches. While driving, Jon's and Katie's van (with Cindy, Bari, Kelli, Jen, Potter and I) rocked out the whole time. We listened to all kinds of music, ranging from Tim McGraw to Snoop Dogg. Everybody was super hyper and made the ride lots of fun. The other van was quite different and slept for the long two-hour drive. We finally arrived to the most gorgeous beach called Lanikai. It was ranked one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and it really was. The sand was extremely soft and white and the water was a beautiful blue.
While at the beach, we frolicked in the water. I did the dumbest thing while we were there-I was running on the sand into the water and dove into the water as gracefully as I could. Well, that was hardly the case. When I dove in, I hit my head on the sand. I managed to scrape up my nose. It didn't really hurt, but I must admit, it was pretty funny. Everyone got quite a kick out of it.
Megan hurt her wrist last week and had to get a cast and this is preventing her from going in the water. It sucks, we all feel very bad for her.
While we were at the beach, Megan, Cindy, Christina, Jessie, Sharon and I decided to take a stroll down the beach. Jon told us to be back at 3:30 and after walking for about 15 minutes, we realized we needed to get back in about eight minutes. So, of course, we were late. Everyone waiting for us thought it would be real funny to pretend like they left us so they packed up their stuff and got in the vans. So as we casually walk up to our spot, we noticed that everyone was gone. We frantically began running and grabbed our stuff and headed to the parking lot to see the two vans driving away. REAL FUNNY - Not! So now we are sprinting, but I knew they wouldn't really leave us. When we finally got to the vans, everybody was laughing hysterically. HaHa-laugh on us.
It only took us 30 minutes to get back to the hotel, and we got ready for practice. Most of us showered except for a few stinky ones. Practice began at 6 p.m. We didn't do anything too strenuous, but it was good preparation for tomorrow night. The gym was rad, the seats are close to the court. It is hard to believe that all of the seats in the gym are going to be filled. WHOA! After practice, we just went back to the hotel and chilled and ate. And I end my night writing in this diary. This has made me quite tired, so I am going to bed. Goodnight!
Day Three - Friday, September 21
This morning began with an absolutely fabulous breakfast buffet at Duke's. We were back in our room by 10:30 for a day of studying. The coaches decided we should stay out of the sun before the big match tonight. Potter and I went down to the lobby and studied at a nice table in the shade. Road trips can be very relaxing and are a nice time to catch up on homework.
At around 2:30, we headed off to the Hard Rock Café for our pregame meal. Most of us enjoyed delicious salads. Let me tell you, we get to eat like kings and queens on road trips. We go to the most amazing restaurants-I love it!
Around 4:30 p.m., we headed to the arena. We started our usual pass around at 5:30. The pass around went very well! Everybody seemed very focused and ready to play. Before we began our warm up, Potter, Biniek, Sousa, Merrin, Cindy and I did our 'N Sync "Pop" dance. We perform before big games, in hopes of pumping the team up.
Before the game began, the whole crowd sang "God Bless America" to remember all of those who died in the terrorist attacks. It was really nice, it gave me the chills to hear everyone singing. When the game actually began, there were about 5,000 fans. This is most definitely the most people any of us have every played in front of. The funny thing is nobody really even seemed to be fazed by the big crowd.
Once the game began, we were all extremely focused and ready to go. I truly believe we played a good match tonight. Although we lost, I truly believe we can do it tomorrow night. I don't think that the Wahine VB team beat us, Kim Willoughby beat us. She played the most amazing game. She had 35 kills, her career high. Hopefully, tomorrow night we will be able to shut her down and beat the team.
After the match, we went to the Mexican restaurant, Compadres, with all of the SCU fans and enjoyed some good food. Everybody is taking the loss really well, but they also seem to be really mad and talking about how we are going to get them tomorrow night.
After playing Hawaii tonight, I realize that our team is really getting good. Hawaii is one of the best teams in the nation and we can beat them. It is very promising because I think we are going to beat some great teams.
As I write in this diary right now, I am watching our game on TV. Listening to the commentators boost up UH is making me really mad and making me want to really hand it to them tomorrow. But I am exhausted right now and really must go to sleep. GOODNIGHT.
Day Four - Saturday, September 22
This morning we were fortunate to get to go to the Outrigger Canoe Club. The club was right on the beach and was pretty cool. Katie, Jon and Dustin played volleyball while some of the team watched and others swam. I like that we didn't have to stay in the hotel rooms, it allowed us to get our minds off the game. Everybody seems very excited to play tonight. By the way, I hate losing!
We ate lunch at a cute restaurant on the water at the club. After lunch, we went back to our hotel just to rest and relax. This is a good time for us to mentally prepare ourselves for the game.
We arrived at the gym at 5:15. Just in time for our 5:30 pass around. The pass around and warm ups went well, but the energy seemed a bit low. You all know the result of the match. We got killed. The problem tonight wasn't the effort, we just didn't bring our A game. For some reason, we just couldn't do anything. We got down at the beginning and we didn't bounce back.
At the end of the game, the team was very upset and sat in silence for a couple minutes, as we waited for the coaches to come in to the lockerroom. We were expecting to get reamed for playing so horribly, but that was hardly the case. The coaches remained pretty positive, although they too were very upset. Jon gave a pretty touching speech, about how he had so much fun with us this week. He really turned the bad situation into a good one. This is one of the reasons I think that our players still have such a strong love for the game. After a loss, most players feel like crap for a long time after. But our coaches helped ease the pain.
After the game, we went to Cheeseburger in Paradise for dinner. The dinner was very tasty and there was live music, which made the ambiance very enjoyable. Everybody seemed to be okay after the game. I have a good feeling everyone will sleep well tonight! I am very sad to be leaving tomorrow.
Day Five - Sunday, September 23
I am very sad to write that today is our last day. And a short one at that because we are leaving for the airport at 10 a.m. Since we had to leave early in the morning, most of us got up early to start our day. Cindy, Megan and I went for a run down Waikiki Beach at 6:30 this morning. It was gorgeous running so early in the morning. We got to see the sun rise! The entire team met at the beach at around 1 a.m. to go surfing. Everybody had so much fun the first day, we wanted to hit the waves one last time. Right next to where we were surfing, there was a surf competition that was fun to watch. Everybody seemed to keep getting better at surfing. I think some of us may have found anew hobby! We had to leave the beach by 9 a.m. so we could have enough time to pack.
Looking back on our trip as I write in my diary while on the airplane, I have nothing but amazing memories. Although we leave Hawaii with two losses and no victories, I believe our team is coming back a better team that has bonded like no team I have ever been on. Every member of this team, coaches and players, is a great person and all of us have so much fun together. Not only do we have fun, but we have the potential to achieve so many great things. This trip was truly an experience of a lifetime. We got a chance to play in front of an awesome crowd, against an awesome team, and give them a bit of a scare.