Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…


Early on in our trip to Hawaii, both Brent and my mom collected lava rocks to bring home as souvenirs.  The rocks were glorious shades of blue, green, red, and gun metal gray – they would serve as reminders of the different beaches and mountains that we visited on the trip.

Trouble is, soon after the rocks came into their possession, funny things started to happen…

First, the house my parents rented for the second half of our stay wasn’t exactly what my mom was anticipating.  While hardwood floors and exposed beams were beautiful and the beach-side location was gorgeous, the house was far removed from our destination of Hilo and the separate entry for the two second-floor bedrooms took away from the sense of family togetherness my mom wanted so badly for this trip.

The view from the back of the house

My mom’s response?  “Hmm… Maybe those lava rocks were a bad idea.  I think I’ve upset Pele,” she said, referencing the Hawaiian goddess of fire.

A few days later, following a visit to the Kapoho Tide Pools, my mom was walking back to the car when she slipped on the glass-like lava rock shores and came out of the water with a 12-centimeter gash on the top of her foot.

The Kapoho Tide Pools

I had walked ahead of my family and was chatting with the volunteer at the tide pools’ information booth.  When I looked up, I saw my mom’s water shoe, soaked red.

“Um,” I said to the woman, “can you point us to the nearest Urgent Care Center?”

After two failed Urgent Care attempts (because apparently no one on the Big Island needs urgent care on Sunday afternoons), we peeled into the parking lot of the Hilo Medical Center.  Brent and I camped out in the waiting room as my parents and my nurse-of-a-sister headed for triage.

I'll spare you the gory wound pictures... Here's the doc cleaning things up.

Three hours and more than a dozen stitches later, we wheeled her out of the ER.

“I think it’s time to throw back the lava rocks,” she said.

But the fun didn’t end there…

Toward the end of that week, a wind gust knocked a palm branch into the electrical wires in our driveway.  The neighbors’ appliances began smoking out of their wall sockets and we lost power for half a day.

“Brent,” my mom warned. “I think you need to throw back your rocks, too.”

The next morning, the hot water heater exploded in the garage.

“Seriously, Brent, the rocks.”

My parents left on Thursday afternoon and Brent and I began to settle into a few days of traveling ourselves.  Later that day, as we were leaving the scenic-but-underwhelming Akaka falls, I received an email.

We have a friend staying at our house to watch the dogs.  That night, he drove up to a nearby restaurant and parked around the corner.  While he was eating, one of the storms that have apparently been ravaging the Mid-Atlantic passed through the area and left a not-so-friendly token on my car.

Thankfully, no one was hurt!

When we called my parents to let them know what had happened, my mom said, “See!  It’s Brent’s lava rocks!”

Fast-forward three days…

We just awoke to our final day in Hawaii.  Barring any weather complications, our flight takes off in 9 hours.

What do you think?  Should Brent get on that plane with the lava rocks?  Or should he throw them back to Pele?


19 responses to “Cursed?

  1. kari @ Running Ricig August 22, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Holy crap! That is the nuttiest vacation ever! Throw the rocks back! It’s like the bad luck is already waiting for you at home with the car!! Glad everyone is ok, though.

  2. Julie (A Case of the Runs) August 22, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    OMG… get rid of those rocks fast!

  3. Anonymous August 22, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    This is your Mom commenting (something I generally don’t do publically, but…) — THROW THE ROCKS BACK!!! My luck has been much better since I left mine on the island 🙂

    Great post Abby!

    Much love, Mom

  4. Kara August 22, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Dear lord, throw those rocks back!!!!!

    Your poor car!

  5. Natalie August 22, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    OH MY GOSH!! I cannot believe what happened to your car.. and your mom’s foot! But absolutely can’t get over that tree on your car. Holy crap!!! I hope you guys have a safe flight home.

  6. Brie August 22, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Whoa I heard there were some weird astrological things going on in the cosmos to that could be adding to this chaos. Travel home safely!

  7. Anne August 22, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Yikes! I’m not superstitious, but I’d definitely be considering throwing those rocks back 🙂
    Have a safe flight and hopefully, that was the last of the bad luck!

  8. Tasha @ Voracious Eats August 23, 2011 at 2:31 am

    OH MY GOSH. This is craziness. I’m so sorry! Wow, that is a lot of madness in a short time. And YES OF COURSE throw out those rocks!

    Besides, I’m pretty sure it is illegal to take lava rocks out of the country. When I was little, we went to Hawaii with my grandma and she smuggled on out of the country and tucked it in the overhead compartment on the plane. The plane was SO TURBULENT that overhead bins busted open, and she spent the whole flight hunkered down in her seat, terrified that the lava rock would fly out and hit her on the head!

  9. Julie C Martinez August 23, 2011 at 6:25 am

    No lava rocks on the plane! Throw them back! I have to say Abby, when it rains it pours doesn’t it! This happens to me too in life! Once again, what a beautiful picture!

  10. Anonymous August 23, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I saw this on the Brady Bunch…throw the rocks back!!!!

  11. Sarah S @RunningOnWords August 23, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    I really, really hope the rocks got tossed! That’s awful! I hope your car insurance will cover that.

  12. adventureisoutthere August 24, 2011 at 8:38 am

    oh boy! I don’t think I would take any chances on this – you don’t want things to keep happening do you? Throw the rocks OUT!

  13. Johann August 24, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Wow, that is really something, but fun at the same time. Can’t believe the car!

  14. pawsitivelife August 24, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    OMG, if thats not a curse i dont know what is. I am a huge believer in Karma and all this jazz. Throw back the rock!!! A few vactions ago I was scuba diving on a reef and a wanted to take some coral home (i know a bad bad no no) anyways I was being sneaky and i broke of a piece and stuffed it in my bathing suit. It turned out to be fire-coral and I had a mad crazy burn/rash for weeks weeks!!! Karma

  15. Black Knight August 25, 2011 at 2:43 am

    Beautiful pictures of a vacation to remember…..
    Poor mom and … poor car!
    However Hawaii are my dream-trip.

  16. RunToTheFinish August 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    craaaazy!!! I am not usually superstitious but sometimes…the token isn’t worth it!

  17. Elise August 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Hawaii looks incredible, but its too bad about all the bad luck! Perhaps throw them back? It can’t hurt?! And safe travels home!!!

  18. Angela K August 26, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    I am late posting but I sure hope you threw those rocks back. That curse is no joke.

  19. phillygal August 28, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    Glad you got home in one piece!

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