Titans Recap Trip to Paradise
April 14, 2009
FULLERTON, CA - The Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team recently returned from its spring break trip to Hilo, HI, during which the Titans trained in paradise and took on Hawaii-Hilo in an exhibition while on the island. Defender Jenae Gibbens shares her trip diary with fans.
Cal State Fullerton Women's Soccer - Spring Break Hawaii 2009
Sunday - 3/29
We woke up in Kona for our first day in Hawaii and drove across the Big Island to our destination, Hilo. We passed by white sand beaches and molten lava, towards the more tropical and rainy part of the Hamakua coastline with waterfalls and rain forests. The girls spent the afternoon exploring the bay outside the hotel and crossed the footbridge to Coconut Island where they could jump into the warm Hawaiian waters from stone abutments. Later that evening, the team had its first training session at UH Hilo and then went to dinner to celebrate Sam Stillion's 20th birthday.
Monday - 3/30
We woke up early and drove to Rainbow Falls just outside of town. We were lucky that the water was low this morning, because it gave us the opportunity to climb the rocks surrounding the waterfall and get close to the beautiful 80 foot fall cascading into a circular pool and river below. From there we explored the forest surrounding the fall and climbed up and into the Banyan trees. Some of the girls even went swinging on hanging vines. A two mile hike uphill lead up to Pe'epe'e Falls, a gorgeous, five-spouted waterfall. Again we were able to hike down to the river rocks below the falls to get a closer look. From there we drove up the Hamakua coastline to Akaka Falls, the tallest single-tier waterfall in the state standing at 442 feet. On our way back to Hilo, we took the scenic drive that brought us through a rain forest garden and along the steep coastline for some beautiful scenery. We found a local pit stop, "What's Shakin," along the way and tasted some local food and tropical smoothies for lunch. This afternoon we trained at The Farm at Rainbow Falls. A field located in the middle of 22 acres of macadamia nut, coffee, and tropical fruit orchards. The beautiful setting for this field was second only to our stadium. For dinner, we celebrated two more birthdays, JeAnne Mazeau and Diego.
Tuesday - 3/31
We trained on the farm field this morning and played a game of 11 vs. 11 amongst ourselves in preparation for our game on Thursday. From there we packed up the vans and traveled south for the day through Volcanoes National Park on our way to Punalu'lu Black Sands beach. This drive took us through tropical jungles with heavy rainstorms to the other extreme of sparse deserts and areas of hardened lava rock flows. We got to view craters and walk through the Thurston Lava Tube. When we reached the black sand beaches we got to take pictures and swim with green sea turtles and spend some time in the sun before we headed back to Hilo.
Wednesday - 4/1
After our morning training session, our host took us for a tour around The Farm at Rainbow Falls. We sampled fresh coffee, macadamia nuts, apple bananas and tropical fruits like sweet rambutan and longan. We drove around the 22 acres and found ourselves at the beautiful Kulaniapia Falls. For lunch we headed to Hilo's Farmer's Market, the biggest and most lively farmer's market on the island. Again, we had the opportunity to eat locally grown produce and cuisine as well as shop for local arts and crafts. In preparation for our game the next day, today was a light tour day and the girls had the opportunity to relax by the pool and out by the bay. Jackie Hovda got to enjoy her 21st birthday lying on the beach in Hawaii.
Thursday - 4/2
Game Day! The team woke up and we went through our usual pre-game routine. We had a 1 pm kickoff and the team took care of business. We beat UH Hilo 4-0! The weather gave us the opportunity to prepare for multiple conditions in the fall as it cycled from hot and sunny to pouring rain throughout the game. The game was such a success, that we decided to play another 30 minute half at the end of it. The coaches at UH Hilo then invited us back to the university to partake in a BBQ with both teams where we got to enjoy some food and socialize with some locals of the Big Island.
Friday - 4/3
This was our last morning in Hilo, and we once again packed up the vans and headed back across the island to the Kona side. Along the way we stopped at Waipio Valley, the island's largest valley that slices through the Kohala Mountains. The valley is a mile wide and six miles deep, that starts from the black sand beaches at the ocean and goes inland towards some waterfalls. We decided to venture down the extremely steep, 1 mile paved path into the valley and make our way to the black sand beach. Looking into Waipio valley from the beach, a sight that has been described as looking at the Garden of Eden, made the treacherous mile hike back up the hill worthwhile. From there we drove to Hapuna beach, where we spent the day soaking up the sun on a beautiful white sand beach surrounded by palm trees, sea cliffs and sea turtles. Next to Hapuna we had dinner at the Waikoloa Village Luau. The girls not only enjoyed this amazing dinner, but they had the chance to see both coaches get pulled up on stage to show off their hula dancing skills in front of the audience. Many laughs were shared and incriminating pictures taken, and it was the perfect last evening for out trip.
Saturday - 4/4
This our last day of our trip, and the team had the opportunity to explore Kona and enjoy our time left on the Big Island. Some girls rented paddle boards and snorkel gear, others went canoe paddling out in the bay, and some walked through the shops on Ali'i Drive. After a day to do whatever the heart desired, we all came together for dinner and regaled in stories about the week. We headed for the airport, and 19 hours later we were on our way home.