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  • Writer's pictureJon Watkins

The Curse of Pele

Updated: Dec 10, 2021

hank you for dealing with our surprise hiatus. We had an unexpected flood at our house that destroyed all of our podcast equipment! From the flood, Jon then was almost hit by a driver driving the wrong way. Then, a semi-truck dropped it's gravel load onto one of our cars! That's when we realized something was up.

It turns out, that there is a curse that you can get while traveling in Hawaii. The curse of Pele. If you take any volcanic rock from the island, you will have bad luck until the lava rock is returned. We had no idea! So, the rock has been mailed back and we are feeling like things are turning around.

Transcript from our podcast:

Jon: Welcome to Our Savings Starts Tomorrow, if you have never listened to the podcast, we are just a travel podcast. My name is John, my wife, Jen sitting next to me and we just share travel stories and adventures and mishaps. Oh do we--

Jen: A lot of mishaps.

Jon: --have mishaps for you this time around, a big one; we can't wait to share with you exactly what happened and why we haven't had an episode the last few weeks. But first we got to tell you coming right back with the sponsor. Which is cool, so our podcast is sponsored by Heart, Soul Heat. These are the creators of Ghost Honey. It's a 100% American made hot honey. So, it's a ghost pepper infused raw honey and it's great on pizza and fried chicken. And here's the cool thing they reached out to us. And they're like, we know that you do a lot of wines and you do some Charcuterie cheese boards.

Jen: Oh, I bet that would be so good on there.

Jon: Exactly! So, why not have some ghost honey from heart soul heat? So, they're actually offering fans of this podcast right here, 50% off your first order with the code "savings" cuz we're Our Savings Starts Tomorrow. And you just got to go to their website its Again, use that promo code at the checkout "savings", I saw that they were putting it on ice cream.

Jen: Ooh.

Jon: It looked really good

Jen: That sounds good. You know, I'm going to make tonight some of those little like burrata and Prosciutto and figs. I bet it would be so good. Drizzled on there.

Jon: Get a little hot, like a little spice on top of that.

Jen: Yeah yummy.

Jon: Thank you so much. Heart, Soul Heat and Ghost Honey for sponsoring our podcast. All right. First and foremost, what we'd like to do at the beginning of every show is see exactly what Jen is drinking. So, what are you drinking today?

Jen: Just straight up Elijah Craig,

Jon: Not even doing wine. We are a wine and travel podcasts and you're not drinking wine today.

Jen: I know.

Jon: You're drinking whiskey?

Jen: You know what, when life throws you water so much water, so much cold water, you just pour yourself some Whiskey,

Jon: Whiskey heals, all things.

Jen: It's like a medicine.

Jon: It is it. To me it's NyQuil. If I have a cough, just give me some Elijah Craig.

Jen: We've been very ill.

Jon: Very ill

Jen: And so, you know, the last month, it's really how I've been dealing with my stress.

Jon: All right. So, where have we been--

Jen: We're back first of all.

Jon: We're back yeah.

Jen: We're back!

Jon: Thank you for joining the show again, if you kind of were wondering what happened to our first season. I don't know if we consider this season two, or just ... it was like fall break.

Jen: Yeah.

Jon: Spring break. We're back.

Jen: Fall break. Yeah.

Jon: And the reason why we had to take a break was that when we were in Hawaii, getting ready to get some new content for the show.

Jen: You're welcome.

Jon: We were flying back on a red eye, which by the way,

Jen: Just horrible.

Jon: Why do we even do those?

Jen: Why did we do those?

Jon: They're the worst flights. There's nothing good about it. Red Eye's, I can't sleep on them.

Jen: Who sleeps on planes, crazy people.

Jon: Also, you know what it reminds me of? Like, if you've ever stayed in a hospital for any reason, like you don't have like the constantly wake you up because you're checking vitals or like there's a ding of some kind of machine going off it's like that because the flight attendants are always walking by or you hear someone getting up or the person at the window needs to get by you. Like, it never stops. You can't sleep.

Jen: And there is a lot of dings.

Jon: Constantly.

Jen: Dings for the, I don't even know what the dings all mean.

Jon: What do the dings mean?

Jen: I know, I am always curious, like two dings, does two dings mean like prepare to land?

Jon: I've heard it that if you ever hear ding, ding, ding, that means there's a problem.

Jen: Three dings?

Jon: Three dings in a row, three fast dings.

Jen: Oh, I'm going to look that up.

Jon: So, I don't know if that's true or not, but that's the kind of fake [crosstalk04:04] on our podcast but yeah, so, so we're on this red eye and we land in Salt Lake and it's like six o'clock in the morning.

Jen: I don't think it was six O'clock

Jon: Like 10 o'clock in the morning.

Jen: Yeah, that sounds right.

Jon: And you know, you and I are kind of groggy and we're turning on our phones, getting ready to get picked up.

Jen: And as we're like also turning on our phones. Like that was an amazing trip. That was so good. You know what we're gonna start doing it. Right. You know what? That was nice little break drinking, eating, doing what we want. But now we're going to really just like tighten up

Jon: You and I have like a whole fitness plan that we were going to do.

Jen: Yep, we’re going to start working out.

Jon: We had a diet that we were going to be a part of. We're going to go seven days, sober.

Jen: At least seven days.

Jon: And you know that something's crazy cause we're drinking Elijah Craig while doing this podcast. So, we didn't make it seven days.

Jen: No, we did not make it one day.

Jon: You turn on your phone and you already have a text message.

Jen: Yes. My sister who was watching our kids at the house had sent me a text saying, have you landed? And I replied back, like we just landed. And she's like, I need you to call me as soon as you get off the plane, but know that the kids and the dog are okay.

Jon: I assume that they were okay. But someone got hurt. Like either our dog got hit and was in a cast or kids got hit and were in a cast.

Jen: I thought maybe we talked about this. Maybe that my sister had COVID.

Jon: Oh yeah. That was another thing we thought

Jen: Yeah. And like, and honestly I was like, oh, dang it. Now we're all going to have to quarantine in the house.

Jon: Just took a week off on vacation and now this

Jen: All right Okay.

Jon: So, that's kind of what was in our mind as we got off the plane and had to find a spot for you to actually call your sister and you do.

Jen: I called her back and I'm all refreshed off a plane. Hey. And she's like, so last night, one of the toilets malfunctioned, and it ran all night long and your entire house is flooded. And I mean, I just couldn't even comprehend. Like when I heard it, I was like, well, I don't even think she said whole house. I think later on, she even said, I didn't tell you the whole house. I didn't want to completely stress you out, but I wanted you to be aware of what was happening. She sounded very panicked. And she said I just want you to know before you got here, there's a lot of people here it happened this morning. Like the mitigation people are there and you know, I just want you to know that it's bad.

Jon: And I really just thought, you know, it's not her house. She's stressed, obviously it's bad, no matter what, right. Like she's just worried about it and that's why she's calling us.

Jen: Yeah. It was the bathroom upstairs. So, I'm like, okay so like some water got on the tile floor in the bathroom and maybe it got into the hallway carpet, like. Okay.

Jon: We'll be fine.

Jen: Yeah.

Jen: Yeah. So, we get to the house and she wasn't kidding. There were a lot of people there, there was like three disaster cleanup trucks and --

Jen: Like a Dump trailer

Jon: And people that we didn't know, just running in and out of the house with our things, our garage door was open.

Jen: Like all of these like old family heirlooms or just like, thrown about like in the garage, it was like surreal.

Jon: Yeah. And we get inside and that's the first time we look at our house and we see like towels, just sopping, wet everywhere. And our ceiling has like a bunch of bubbles in it as does like the, the walls. And, and that's when we realized, wow, this isn't just like a tiny little flood. No, this was so much more.

Jen: It was... it really was the whole house.

Jon: Yeah. so our top floor flooded and as water does a find anywhere to go down following gravity and it started to rain through the ceiling or to the next floor. And that was our kitchen and our main floor. And it continued down into our basement. So, all three levels of our house completely flooded in eight hours while everyone slept. Which just sounds insane.

Jen: Insane I know that Ella, our daughter had mentioned that she woke up in the middle of the night and she thought it was raining outside. She heard rain. She's like, I heard rain outside. It's not raining outside

Jon: And then our son Liam said that he heard the dog barking at one point and like running around the house. But he, you know, he wasn't going to get up he's 10 years old. So, everyone just slept through the whole thing. And the house was completely destroyed. And when, I mean completely destroyed, we keep trying to tell people because everyone has like, oh my house flooded story

Jen: Yeah. We had a flood in our basement. Yeah.

Jon: Oh yeah. That's so difficult. No, no, no, no, no, no. Like our house burnt down. That's the best way to say it. Our house burned down. It was completely gutted like it was just... so with that, our podcast equipment was destroyed, which means that's why we had a few weeks before we had an episode also mentally we needed a few weeks just to right the ship. And we got put into a hotel and then we went to my in-laws your parents and now we're in temporary housing, all thanks to the insurance company. And it's not like a financial devastation or disaster. --

Jen: I mean, it's not great,

Jon: --but it's sucks. we're definitely.

Jen: Yeah. We're Just finally coming out of the fog.

Jon: Yeah, we are.

Jen: A little bit

Jon: So, that happens.

Jen: That happened.

Jon: And then a couple of days, right after that, I'm leaving work in downtown Salt Lake City, there's one-way streets. And I'm driving along in my car and there's a one-way driver coming right at me and I'm flashing my lights and honking my horn. In fact, I stop because there's nowhere for me to go to get around it. So, I'm like, well, hopefully I don't want to keep moving forward, so it's two momentum. I don't know what the safer way to do it is. And at the last minute the person looks up, sees me swerves around, flips me off. --

Jen: Oh my gosh,

Jon: -- Thinking that I'm going the wrong way and keeps driving. And I was like, wow, that is a really close call. That's scary. So, then the next day I'm driving home from work and I'm on the freeway and the semi-truck carrying gravel drops.

Jon: It's gravel load on the freeway in front of my car and I'm talking not just a tiny bit of gravel. The entire semi that was full of rocks dropped closed down the freeway for six hours. And I'm the car behind it dodging rocks now that are just bouncing everywhere and their poor motorcycle guy who was in their lane next to me, he's getting hit by rocks and it's just like pure chaos. And I get home and I'm telling you about this and I'm complaining about how it seems like everything is going wrong . And I happen to do a morning radio show in town in salt lake. And I was talking about everything that's been going wrong for us. And a listener called and asked if I happen to take any volcanic rock from Hawaii, I did.

Jen: Yeah, we did.

Jon: My son, Liam asked me to bring him back some volcanic rock.

Jen: That's like the one thing he wanted,

Jon: He didn't want any other gift or trinket. And he just said, I want some rock.

Jen: And you know what, we'll talk about Hawaii at another time, we didn't end up going to the volcano like we had initially planned. And that's where we were initially going to get the rock. So, on like our random morning walk'(s)

Jon: Yes.

Jen: Damn you Elijah Craig. We just randomly picked up a rock and I'm like, this looks like a Volcano...I'm sure it is.

Jon: It was yeah.

Jen: Yeah.

Jon: And we took it home.

Jen: Yeah.

Jon: Well, there is a curse, it's called the curse of Pele and the volcano goddess of Hawaii. And it brings bad luck to those who take lava. And I didn't really believe it, but there was a lot of stuff going wrong in our life. --

Jen: Oh my gosh.

Jon: --Like a lot of stuff.

Jen: I know. And so when you told me about it, I was like, okay, like, is this real? Then you did some research. And you're like, it sounds like it's kind of a thing. And people like mail it back. I'm like, how do we get out of this mail it back.

Jon: There's an address that you mail it to and they return it for you.

Jen: We told our son about it and he was not all about it

Jon: No because this was like the one thing he wanted from mom and dad and their vacation. Yes. And we were like, okay, well maybe we are overreacting a little bit. It's just kind of in a hard time. And then I happened to have a, a CMA award and we were moving into our temporary housing from the flood. And the CMA award was dropped and broke into a bunch of pieces. And like we're standing there at the shattered Waterford crystal award. And we're like, all right, --

Jen: It's time.

Jon: We're mailing it back.

Jen: Its going back.

Jon: That’s it! Yeah. And we did, we actually looked up that address and we have a photo. If you go to our Instagram page, you can see the address to where you mail the lava rocks back. But I guess like the lava is shipped back from Germany or Japan, Australia, like everyone mails back the lava rocks because people have horrific luck.

Jen: So, did you like read about like what some people, have experienced

Jon: People have lost their jobs upon coming back home, gotten divorce. --

Jen: Oh geez.

Jon: Oh yeah. Lost their homes. And they say their luck turns when they return the rock.

Jen: And if you mail it back that's okay. Cause I did tell my boss, I might have to take another week off.

Jon: If that's what it took. We would do it. --

Jen: Oh my gosh.

Jon: --The, so the national park, the Haleakalā, the volcano national park says that it receives almost 1300 rocks a year.

Jen: Wow.

Jon: So, 1300 people are taking rocks. --

Jen: Ours is one of those.

Jon: Yeah. And go, oh my gosh, life's terrible. I'm going to mail this thing back.

Jen: I do think knock on wood. I don't know if this is wood of not, but , nothing horrific has happened since mailing it back. Yeah.

Jon: So, we're going to go with it

Jen: I'm going to go with it.

Jon: I don't understand why the luck has to be that way. Why there's a curse?

Jen: We didn’t know.

Jon: No,

New Speaker: We had no, no idea.

Jon: I know it's illegal to take the rock.

Jen: I mean, I kind of knew that that was probably bad,

Jon: But I'm like,

Jen: It was like small,

Jon: It was tiny.

Jen: Teeny tiny. They weren't going to miss it

Jon: I was reading though that they believe that the reason why there's even a no, we were trying to video this one and my phone just fell. They say that the curse was actually created by just a disgruntled park ranger who was sick of people, stealing lava rocks. And so they just started to make it up. And then another, I read a bunch on this. This said that it was actually like the tour companies. Cause people would steal it and then leave it on the tour buses. And so they were just like, Hey, don't take a rock. You'll be cursed Well, let me tell you, I don't know which one it is, but I can tell you it, it cursed us in a big way,

Jen: In a big way. I really, yeah. I had no idea. I definitely would read up on some of this stuff before taking anything else from anywhere else.

Jon: Yeah. I would say that's a good idea. Pee in the seven sacred pools this time,

Jen: Is that bad?

Jon: I would assume it's frowned upon.

Jen: Yeah. Like, is it bad to like take shells?

Jon: No, it's the volcano.

Jen: But I just mean like, I I'm curious if there's other curses like this in other, in other areas, like don't take the shells from this beach.

Jon: I don't Know.

Jen: We basically stole the heart of [inaudible16:34]

Jon: Yeah. I also heard that this happened in a Brady bunch movie.

Jen: Oh yeah it was like a little figurine though. Wasn't it?

Jon: Yeah, so. --

Jen: Wasn't it like a.

Jon: Surfer dude? A hula girl? I don't know.

Jen: Again, we should really research things

Jon: That would take away from the charm of what this show is.

Jen: Fly by the seat of our pants.

Jon: We've had a hard time.

Jen: Oh my God. How long can we ride this?

Jon: Well, that's the other thing. Like, you've complained a lot to people when they're like, Hey, can you do this? It's like, oh, life's been hard. Like how long do you get to complain like that before? You know, you have to stop

Jen: Two, three years.

Jon: Oh, Okay. I was going to say, now that we're in temporary housing it has to stop

Jen: I know fine.

Jon: But then again, we're--

Jen: Things are getting better

Jon: We're going to go look at the house later on after we record this and maybe we'll be back to finish the Elijah Craig. But so anyways, we just wanted to do an episode. I know a lot of times we talk about specific trips or vacations or things, but we really wanted to do one where we just kind of explained where we've been. .

Jen: Yeah, and what not to do. Don't take things from places

Jon: You'll be cursed, forever

Jen: You could be cursed. And you don't want that. Trust me, you don't.

Jon: But what we do want from you, if you don't mind, if, if a far sob story today has made you feel bad and you're like, you know, I've listened to the show, but I've never reviewed it, hey,

Jen: You know what I could really use right now?

Jon: What do you need?

Jen: Besides another drink, I definitely could use some five-star reviews,

Jon: Please, please. So, you can do that just a... if you're on apple podcast, you can give us five stars, maybe a few kind words.

Jen: Yeah. Definitely kind words. And also if you aren't following us on Instagram you should follow us as well

Jon: And of course, that Instagram is Our Savings Starts Tomorrow

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