We had an unbelievably crazy weekend. We headed out to the Big Island on Thursday (March 10th) and spent the day poolside, drinking beer, enjoying the sunshine and loving life. Around 9 that night, as we were sitting at the poolside bar, a buzz began about an earthquake in Japan. We all sat shocked and silent watching horrible footage of tsunami waves carrying away homes, buildings, cars, people.
A few minutes later there was a buzz about the tsunami warnings heading our way. We dealt with this last year after an earthquake in Chile, but luckily nothing really came of it. But it was surreal to see the look on the faces of the people sitting at the bar. Just a few moments later, the general manager stood up and made an announcement that everyone needed to pack up and either head on a bus or drive to the nearest evacuation shelter, a high school. We were being evacuated from the hotel.
Fortunately, my husband has family that lives on the Big Island who also happens to be a police officer. So he called us up right away and told us that we needed to head to their house and bunker down for the night. We were lucky that we had family to count on, all of the other tourists had to sleep in their cars or huddle together in a school gym.
The tsunami wasn’t set to hit until 3 am and despite our efforts, we couldn’t stay awake. Sleeping in ignorant blissfulness high up on a hill, we didn’t realize the damage that the tsunami was then causing to the little town of Kona, our hotel, and many businesses that we were just hours before perusing.
But we looked at the whole situation with perspective. Nothing anyone experienced on the Big Island would ever compare to the tragedies occurring in Japan. When our hotel let all the guests back in despite the severe damage to the entire first floor, we were grateful. (Although some rude ass, disrespectful, crotchety tourists had the nerve to complain about the situation and tell the hotel that “you are ruining my vacation!” Seriously. I couldn’t believe it either) So although we had to go without sleep or running water and step through puddles to get places, we were grateful the entire time knowing that we definitely were lucky in life.
We were supposed to run a 10K on Saturday morning, but with all of the events happening, the lack of sleep, and uncertain conditions, the husband and I decided to skip the run. I felt guilty about it for about .2 seconds, but was grateful that I even have the chance to make such mundane decisions in my life.
(Although we did still make it to the Brew Fest. Our hotel was supposed to be the location of the beer fest but due to its condition it was relocated, but it still happened and it was still awesome! Plus it was our anniversary, so it made the day even more awesome)
Life is short and unpredictable. I am grateful for every moment.