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I meant to blog every day in Hawaii but it hasn’t happened. It’s hard to write about life while you’re still busy living it. The stories are piling up. Oh the stories. I have stories for days! Let’s start with one that happened today.

So you remember how back in December we were robbed? Heath was forced to upgrade his camera equipment, which was the setting for an eventful day yesterday. And I lost all my earrings. Every pair, including the pearl earrings I wore on our wedding day. Heath was bummed for me and promised to buy me some awesome new earrings.

For Christmas, or a few days early, he bought me some really nice earrings to start off a new collection. I also got some cheap earrings from Target that put my heart at ease. They were so similar to the earrings I had lost. I love my new earrings and Heath says it’s a nice beginning. He really wanted to replace my pearl earrings in Hawaii.

Our plans this afternoon were to go back to La’ie for some shopping and dinner. We finally found the BYU Hawaii Bookstore right as they were closing. We decided to go back to the Polynesian Cultural Center and actually shop. We went there yesterday when it rained so much I swear we swam island to island. It was a fun but exhausting day so we planned on going back later to shop.

The first shop got us. We were wandering around looking at all the island themed trinkets. I was thinking that it was all quite lovely but so not my style and certainly not anything appropriate to buy for our kids. At the far end of the store there was a jewelry counter. Heath suggested we look.

As soon as we got to the counter a girl came running over all smiles and saying hi. I said hi back thinking she was our tour guide from yesterday at the PCC (Polynesian Cultural Center). She said, “I’m from your [city]!” As she said it I knew she wasn’t our tour guide but I couldn’t place her. She definitely seemed to know us. Then she said her last name and I immediately remembered her. Heath taught her youngest brother when he was a deacon. I didn’t know the girls as well since they have been off at college.

We told her we were visiting to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. Then Heath told her how we were robbed and wanted to replace the pearl earrings. As I looked at the beautiful jewelry in the case I wasn’t immediately attracted to any of the pearl pieces. Heath would have bought me anything I wanted but I took my time waiting for something to speak to me.

I looked at the Tahitian pearls and thought they were beautiful. Then back to the opposite end of the counter to look at the fresh and salt water pearls. I found an earring/necklace combination that caught my eye. I liked the color and the settings were pretty. She had me try on the necklace that was lovely but it was sold separately from the earrings. In an either or situation, I would rather have the earrings. Of course they were more expensive. I promise I don’t pick the most expensive stuff on purpose!

Diana wrapped them up. She gave me a jewelry box for free because she knows us. It was worth $30. That was sweet of her. I don’t quite know what happened next. She said that she would give me a free oyster pearl outside and escorted us to the Pearl Factory stand. I don’t know if she did that because she knows us or if we spent enough money at Na Hoku that we got a free oyster gambling experience or what.

My mom loves opening up oysters for the pearls inside. She told me I needed to try it especially since we were going to Hawaii. Diana saved us $15 so I figured why not? The oyster I chose had a cream colored pearl with some pink to it. Honestly I didn’t really notice the pink. The guy helping us measured it. He said 5mm is average. My pearl was a little over 6mm. He offered to turn it into something. I agreed since I didn’t know what else to do with it.

He put it in a really pretty love knot as he called it. I loved that setting but it was hello expensive. Heath just spent more than I wanted to spend on pearl earrings. So I talked the guy into showing me cheaper settings. I picked a nice one that was still more than I was hoping to spend. At least I was getting a pretty necklace. I picked out a chain to put it on since I am having issues with chains at home. One of mine broke and I haven’t found a good replacement for it. Remember that heart I lost and found at church? Yeah, it sits in my jewelry box since I don’t have a good chain for it.

I was satisfied and ready to walk away. The guy said he wanted to give us another free oyster pearl as a parting gift. I was done but how do you say no to free? So we go through the whole process again. Heath picked out three more oysters. I picked the one that spoke to me. The guy opened it up and I freaked out. It was a black pearl. Anything not white is considered a black pearl. My earrings are a greenish blue color. My “free” pearl was a light blue color and it was exquisite.

It measured at 8.5mm. Jackpot! I felt like I just won the lottery or something. It was the most beautiful pearl. It seemed a shame to just take it home in the hopes of turning it into something later. When the guy asked if I wanted to see it dressed up I immediately agreed. He put it into a setting that went quite well with the description I gave of my earrings. Heath was done spending money too but he agreed it was perfect. “No chain!” we both vehemently told the guy.

He put the perfect pearl in a separate box and said he really wanted us to leave with a free pearl as a parting gift. Heath and I begged him to let us just go. I could not open another oyster after what I found in my second free oyster. We were done and needed to step away from the money pit. The guy insisted. It’s his job after all. We told him we wanted to give our free turn to someone else. A lady was standing around the cart so we picked her. “Give it to that girl!” She seemed surprised but we insisted she take our free turn.

She didn’t want anything more than the experience of opening the oyster. We told her that come what may she would get to keep the pearl. We just wanted to see what was inside. Luckily for us it was a boring match to the first pearl we foolishly turned into a pendant. I don’t know what she did with her pearl but we walked away. At least we eventually learned how.