Texas Soccer is officially in the land of Hawaiian floral shirts, pineapples, Puka shell necklaces, coconuts, sandy toes, and plenty of sunshine! Can you say tanning, exploring, shopping, eating,
Let me not get ahead of myself, however… It all started Wednesday in the wee hours of the morning when we all met at our field house at 6 a.m. to depart for the airport. Let’s just say the excitement and realization that we were going to Hawaii had not yet sunk in because we all were still half asleep. We arrived at the airport and lounged for a bit before boarding our plane. Here’s where the real adventure starts: we board the plane around 8:15 for our 8:45 flight to Phoenix with a connecting flight to Honolulu. Well, something went wrong with the plane so we have to take all of our belongings and de-board the plane and wait until the mechanics can fix the problem! We all get a little anxious because, hello, our final destination isn’t Phoenix! We finally departed an hour later than scheduled and make it to Arizona. The flight attendants and pilots held our connecting flight for us because we we’re so late and would have missed it otherwise! We sprint to the correct terminal and gate and arrive on the plane sweating a little only to walk on and see that the Arizona State soccer team is on the plane as well. For those of you who don’t know, our first game in Hawaii is against the Arizona State Sun Devils. We put on our game faces and walk right past them like we own the place. Confidence is key, ladies and gentlemen! We settle into our seats and prepare for the 6-hour flight to Honolulu. Some of us slept, others watched movies, and a couple played some Sudoku. In the end though, we made it to the Aloha state with all our bags and plenty of smiles! We’re hereeeeee, everyone! We ventured to our hotel and then went for a little jog at the beach before heading back to the hotel for some much needed showers. Because of the time difference, all of us were a little sluggish but when the coaches said they were taking us to a Hibachi place for dinner, our stomachs began to growl and we got a second boost of energy. We all chowed down as if it were our last meal ever…the food was so delicious. Once all of us were in sufficient food comas, we mosied back to our beautiful hotel and passed out. A big bed and a comfy pillow has never been such a lovely sight. I don’t think any of us had trouble getting to sleep that night!
We woke up the next morning feeling oh-so refreshed. Since this is a business trip for soccer first and foremost, we headed out for a light practice and technical session. Having a good and focused practice, we were then surprised with a little afternoon excursion: we were going to Pearl Harbor! We got there just in time for our tour at 1:45 and what an amazing afternoon it proved to be. Learning about the history of Pearl Harbor and stepping on the memorial site for the USS Arizona gave us all chills. We all gained more respect and admiration for our armed forces and those who lived through the attack on Pearl Harbor and the events following it. It was a very sobering experience for all. After Pearl Harbor, the fun afternoon continued! Ange said we had 2 hours of free time. Free time meaning we all hopped into our swimsuits and headed to the beach!!! The crystal blue water had been taunting us since our arrival and we finally got to go enjoy it! There was an extra pep in our step on the walk to the shore. Rushing to put sunscreen on, we sprinted into the water and didn’t come out until it was dinnertime! It was an absolute blast. Being on a collegiate soccer team gets very competitive at times and this translates to both on and off the field. Some of my teammates challenged one another to see how far they could go into the ocean…needless to say, out competitive spirits came out and it was a race to see who could make it out the farthest in the ocean. Some of my teammates went so far out that from the shore, we couldn’t see them over the waves. They made is back (eventually) and recounted their stories of exploring the deep dark sea. Ha! We came back to the hotel and our dinner was awaiting us. We all ate by the lovely pool at the hotel where there was a live band playing Hawaiian music. We all enjoyed the sights, the sounds, our dinner, and just relaxed for a bit. That night we had a quick team meeting and then once Ange said “Goodnight!” we all B-lined it straight to our rooms for a quick shower and bed! Being on the go all day really makes your appreciate a good night’s sleep, let me tell ya.
We awoke on Friday morning and all had a little more excitement than normal because it’s officially game day!! We went downstairs for breakfast (the pineapple here in Hawaii is really better than anywhere else, I promise…) and ate some tasty food before having a quick morning pep talk with the coaches. We play the Arizona State Sun Devils tonight at 7 o’clock! We are super pumped and ready to go!
Stay tuned for another blog post in the coming days so you can stay up to date with all of our Hawaiian adventures. Who knows, they next time I write to y’all it might be decided that we all might never want to leave the islands! I think we’re slowly but surely turning into soccer playing surfer chicks…stay tuned.
Hook ‘em Horns from Hawaii,