Surf’s up  but are the ladies' spirits up? The Real Housewives of Orange County women are finally back for the Season 9 premiere, as the three returning cast members catch up in Hawaii. It's time for our recap, so measure the temperature of your wine, enjoy some Oklahoma cuisine, and stay away from the chlamydia tree.

Old Friends, New Houses

The show is much different than it was at the end of Season 8, as Gretchen Rossi, Alexis Bellino, and Lydia McLaughlin have all left. Now, Vicki Gunvalson, Tamra Barney, and Heather Dubrow are back, and we also meet one of the season’s newbie’s, Shannon Beador. And yes, Shannon is definitely a character. More on her in a minute.

First, we get caught up with the show’s veterans. Heather and her family are waiting for their new house to be built, so in the meantime, they’re making do in a tiny rental property. Vicki’s divorce has been finalized, and she is excited that daughter Briana is pregnant again, although Briana’s family is off to Oklahoma. And Tamra is still waiting for her CUT Fitness gym to turn a profit.

None of the former cast members are mentioned in the episode, with the exception of Tamra briefly asking Heather during their jog whether she keeps in touch with Gretchen. Heather says that she doesn’t, although Terry saw her recently. Tamra quips that Gretchen still hasn’t bought her a wedding gift, and then Tamra says Gretchen is dead to her. But other than that, Tamra and Gretchen are besties.

A Wave of Emotions

Heather has nabbed a role on the cop series Hawaii Five-0 — go, Heather! — so the other two ladies take a vacay to the Aloha State to visit her. They convince Heather to take a surfing lesson, and despite her initial reluctance, Heather is the first one to stand up on a board. Poor Vicki finally gets the hang of it but cuts herself on a rock. What kind of surfing school has people learning next to rocks?!

The ladies take a harrowing drive — thanks to Vicki’s questionable driving choices — to get lunch, where Tamra and Vicki start to butt heads with Heather. Heather uses a complicated word to describe a tree, and Vicki questions her, thinking that she used the word “chlamydia.” Ew. And Vicki does not appreciate Heather’s quip about English not being her strong suit.

Over dinner, the ladies try to bond, but they keep bickering about silly stuff, like the best temperature to store wine. Then, Vicki is asked whether she and Brooks Ayers are truly over, but she clams up. Meanwhile, we get to know Shannon, who doesn’t let her kids use cell phones and is a big fan of holistic medicine. Needless to say, this will be an interesting season.

Our Overall Thoughts

Isn’t it great to have the ladies back? It’s definitely a blast to get caught up with their lives, and we’re happy for all three of them. That said, we can kind of see why Vicki and Tamra are getting frustrated with Heather’s strong opinions. We love you, Heather, but did you need to make that crack about Vicki being bad with English? Just sayin’.  

Based on the preview of the rest of the season, we cannot wait to see all the drama that’s about to unfold! And if anyone needs us, we’ll be keeping our distance from the STD trees.