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Today was my last shift. The shift leader, who’s newly returned from a few years away from Kalani, didn’t say good morning to any of us and had a horrible attitude the whole time. Another person working with us volunteered here once before and thought she knew everything, which resulted in time-consuming mistakes. She seemed sort of aggressive and had a very superior attitude. It was a miserable shift and the food wasn’t very good. I think the shift leader’s bad attitude flavored the food. Believe it or not, I felt nostalgic for that frantic shift leader I had to get used to. At least he talked to us and his food was great. This shift made me relieved to finish up working here. The kitchen is under-staffed and the busy season is starting… soon there will be 100 guests instead of just 8. God help them.
I celebrated my freedom and the start of my vacation with a trip to the massage clinic. This time, I had Kristen, and she was excellent. When I stood up, I felt like I was floating on water. The next logical step was to grab some green tea ice cream and head down to the Point, where I saw a couple of sea turtles but sadly, no whales.
Staff hiking trip in Volcanoes National Park. First, we hiked the Crater Rim Trail, which led around the edge of the crater and down into it. Inside, you could see where the lava had moved, and dried into complicated and interesting pattern. From there, we hiked back up the other end of the crater and over to the Thurston Lava Tube.
Overall, I’d say the trail was cool, but not as “beautiful” as everyone else made it out to be.Next, we visited the Jagger Museum to learn some scientific information about the lava and take picture s in front of the scenic lookout over the steaming crater.
On the way back to Kalani, we passed the most festive army barracks I’ve ever seen. Small, light brown houses with peaked dark brown roofs looked just like little gingerbread houses, all in a row. Each pair of houses had a theme: Whoville/The Grinch, Winter Wonderland, Candyland, inflatables, the Nativity and soldiers. The decorations were incredibly detailed, with lights and fake snow on the trees, figures in the yards and cutouts on the houses. It was very impressive and must be jaw-dropping at nighttime.
We finished our trip at the PVC (Pahoa Village Café), then went to the lounge for Jamie’s birthday, and then on to the Emax for the Christmas ball. I was going to skip it, but Cosimo and Edme told me I had to come and, “no arguing,” so I did. I appreciated their insistence when I saw their surprise… Stuart in a Santa hat and aloha shirt with his white moustache, Cosimo in a little Santa outfit of shorts and a vest, and Vincenzo dressed as a “grumpy chaperone,” complete with glasses on a chain and some sort of topiary on his head. It was hilarious, and we all took photos on Santa’s lap!
Slept in late today because I stayed up half the night finishing the first Harry Potter. I’d picked it up once years ago, randomly read a few pages in the middle, and found it boring. This time, I was hooked, and I can’t wait to read the rest. At least they’ll be easier to get ahold of, since I’m about 10 years behind the trend and all!
In the afternoon, Mitsu cut my hair. She used to be a celebrity hair stylist in L.A., with clients like Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, and many more that she can’t reveal due to confidentiality agreements. Someone else told me that Mitsu used to charge $400. I paid $20. My hair looks fantastic. It’s a little below shoulder length and has lots of body. You can really tell the difference between this and my usual cut.
We celebrated our successful haircut by grabbing Kami and Siobhan and eating homemade ice cream at Hale Aloha. That stuff is addictive.