March 12, 2013
Aloha Pirate Nation,
Welcome to Honolulu, Hawai'i, and the East Carolina softball team's spring break trip to the Aloha State.
We are now into our sixth day in paradise. The Pirates took advantage of the scheduled off day from games and lined up plenty of activities to keep the team busy starting bright and early at 7 a.m. with a hike. I did the climb although it was certainly much more of challenge for me than any of the current and former athletes who did the event a lot easier. So I won the mini-battle and made it to the top, unfortunately I lost the war on the way down though as I slipped several times in mud and needed to hold onto each tree limb with a deadly grip to prevent further slipping and embarrassment. All in all it was fun experience, although it was not one that I will want to repeat any time soon. We also ate breakfast as team at a restaurant called Cinnamon's. The food was excellent. It seems like I have been saying that a lot, but it is very true. I have yet to have a bad meal since we arrived in Hawai'i and my growing waist line will tell a similar story. On the way back to the hotel we stopped off to do some sightseeing at a lookout point. The views were breathtaking with the ocean and mountains in the background. From there the team got in a short practice at park down the street, before getting ready for the night's primary activity, a luau. The luau was a great time for all and even saw a few of the players - Sarah Christian, Jordan Lewis, Courtney Smith and Jill Jelnick - get on stage to learn how to hula from the professional dancers. Later in the evening a few members of the coaching staff - Leah Kelley and Courtney Crews - really got into the spirit of the islands and went on stage as well to also learn to hula and get a certificate telling the world of their brave and noble accomplishment.
Tomorrow, the Pirates are scheduled to play a few games and have their last full day in Hawai'i before making the long journey back to the mainland and starting conference play in Birmingham, Ala. over the weekend.
With that said, I will turn things over to freshman Casey Alcorn to share some thoughts from her experience of spending time on the islands this trip.
"Today marks the end of our sixth day here in paradise. Even though it rained yesterday and we got some unexpected time off, today was our planned day off and we started the day right away with an early 7 a.m. hike. Although it was a little before our usual wake up time, it couldn't have started any better. The hike wasn't too hard (except for the few times I slipped in the mud) and the scenery was breathtaking to say the least. When we finally made it to the top of the Pill Box hike, we spent a lot of time together enjoying the scenery and taking tons of pictures. All the moans and groans of the early morning wake up seemed to fade away quickly at the top of the mountain.
After working up quite an appetite, we stopped at Cinnamon's where we had a big team breakfast. One of the best things about being in Hawaii has been trying all the different foods. Cinnamon's breakfast of guava French toast, red velvet pancakes, macadamia nut rolls, and Portuguese sausage was enough to satisfy everyone's appetite. Following breakfast, we returned to the hotel to have a team practice. We gathered our gear and walked down the street to a local park where we had as coach said, "a nice Monday work out." We had a throwing and hitting session, while our pitchers and catchers worked out as well. Around two o'clock, feeling accomplished and a little tired, we all headed back to get ready for the much anticipated luau.
We left for Paradise Cove at 4 p.m. and when we arrived at the luau, we were greeted by locals and given beautiful leis and Kukui nuts. Before dinner was served, we all had time to walk around and participate in some fun activities. Some of us held parrots, got tattoos (fake ones of course) and took pictures with the sea turtle. Most of us were simply in awe of the scenery and culture. At dinner we were served a delicious Hawaiian dinner of mahi mahi, pork, chicken, salmon, rice, corn, and other equally delicious dishes. After dinner there was an amazing show of singing and dancing. The performers of Paradise Cove made us feel part of the culture with their Hawaiian stories and dances. The dancers performed the famous hula dance and some of our players and coaches even got to participate up on stage. That part of the performance was the highlight of my night. Everyone enjoyed the day so much. I think it's safe to say it was another day well spent in paradise. Now it's off to bed, we have a lot of butt to kick tomorrow!