Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Leavin' on a Jetplane

This is a sad day. It's my last day in the sunny warmth of Maui. I'm flying back to Spokane today. I went to the ocean last night to say goodbye. It was sad, as well. It didn't even have the energy to give me a sunset. The sun just dipped down behind a thick layer of clouds. My flight leaves tonight at 7 p.m. I haven't flown during night hours since Africa, and I'm sorta excited. It makes the trip go by SO much faster! As long as I have some 'lully' music (as Dad would say), I can sleep through just about anything. I've already got my 'list of things to do' upon arrival back in Spokane. It's rather long, I must admit. But what can I say, I'm a planner. I'm very excited to spend Halloween with BOTH my sisters this year - it will be a treat after feeling so far removed for so long.

It might be a surprise to some of you that I'm coming home early, but it was a decision made several weeks ago. Although I LOVE it here, and am planning to come back many more times, I honestly didn't see the need to spend more time and money here on the island when I had things to get back to in Spokane.

Bunny and I are about to go out for breakfast which I'm personally very excited about. Just a few loads of laundry, a bit of packing, some good music, and I should be ready to leave for the airport. I'm always a bit jumpy on travel days, so hopefully this goes well.

As a side note... I risked my life yesterday! Bunny and I drove around the west end of the island yesterday. She tried to tell me how narrow the road was. How there was only enough room for one car. How rental cars aren't allowed, but people do it anyway. How it was cliff on one side and mountain on the other. But these things can't truly be understood unless you actually see them for yourself. As you can see by the pictures below, it was all worth it for the beautiful scenery. But truly, I risked my life yesterday! The road was so terrifying. Sorry I don't have any pictures of the road. I was too busy holding my breath and sitting still.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Photo Essay

Last night's sunset.

It made me smile.

My destination. The street has a number of alleyways leading to the ocean.

One of my favorite gates. Metal leaf sculpture is a common gate style. And since Scott loves motorcycles, I couldn't pass the photo op up.

A shack I admire. Two beater cars to work on, tons of shelving to the right for tools, and that bright area past the garage? That's the ocean through the door and windows of the house. Not a bad setup.

People and their statements.

My favorite street in the area.

Nice tree. Not a bad house behind it, either.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Update

Aloha! Just wanted to send a quick Friday update since most of you will be away from your computers over the weekend. Not too much to report here, though. I finished my copy editing project (yay!) and have really enjoyed the experience. The weather, although warm, hasn't necessarily been sunny the past few days, so I've mostly just been reading, walking the beach and souvenir shopping. I found a few more seashells this morning to add to Scott's mom's collection, in addition to scoping out some beachside houses (most of you know how much I love designing houses...). The trick about that, however, was not to step on any crabs while I walked on the higher part of the beach, trying to catch a better glimpse of the homes (the crabs and their holes are all on the upper slopes of the beach, away from the waves).

I'm going to drive to Wailea this afternoon to check out the shops in that neck of the woods and hope for a sunnier day tomorrow. Take care!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Another Excuse For You To Take A Break At Work

Walking back from Starbucks (I know, I’m very disappointed in myself, too) a number of things came to mind that I wanted to share about Maui after several weeks of observation.

To all my Print Journalism amigos: I read a publication called Maui Time Weekly (similar to The Inlander in Spokane, if you are familiar with that) and it has really opened my eyes to both the professional and social atmosphere here on the islands. When any mainland publication would worry about objectivity, bias and professionalism to the point of losing all sense of voice, the writers for Maui Time Weekly have a clear, coherent way of being real. They don’t shy away from cuss words, but don’t overuse them either. Profanities like “damn” just flow with the text. The writers are down to earth and call shots as they see them. It’s rather refreshing.

Suped up, tricked out and MONDO is the way to go when it comes to vehicles around here. The bigger a truck is jacked, the cooler it is. The locals, especially, take great pride in the height and width of their trucks. They even feature them in music videos, just in case their coolness was in question. While the price of gas is a dollar more than you are paying on the mainland, they haven’t quite been driving to that point of making changes. Most people drive SUVs here. Well, maybe not most, but noticeably more than the mainland. One thing is for sure, they keep their vehicles CLEAN. Even the beat-up, old Volkswagen buses seem to be washed every other day.

Maui has not escaped the repression sweeping the mainland. Rumors and stories of slowed revenue and closed resorts circle round and round. No good.

Maui also isn’t without from the typical political scandals that plague so many American cities now. A recent headline revealed a Maui business CEO resigned after sexist and racist comments were uncovered from his work email account. And so the world turns.

This is The Place for ‘morning people.’ While I’m sure there is enough night life to go around here, you’ll also find many people who take ‘early to bed, early to rise’ to heart. A drive between the hours of 6 and 8 a.m. will illustrate the crazy numbers of walkers, runners and cyclists who enjoy the cool a.m. hours for some exercise. Crazy healthy morning people. I’m glad I’m not alone in the world. 

Monday, October 20, 2008

The King's Highway

I started bright and early today with a wonderful little hike. Using Laura's car to get there, it was my first time driving in Hawaii. It was also my first time driving PERIOD in several weeks so I didn't feel very comfortable with it at first. By starting so early, however, I missed the morning rush. The drive from Kihei to La Perouse Bay takes you through a few community areas, past the fancy houses, alongside the beaches (that usually only the locals know about) and through a huge lava field. There are signs warning drivers "No parking for 2 miles," since the road is only about 1.5 cars wide. A 10 mph speed limit is enforced around the blind corners. Every once in a while you'll find a wider spot used for squeezing past the unusual oncoming vehicle. The road is ROUGH, too. I like it. It's like an adventure on your way to an adventure.

Once I got to the bay, I was... well, confused. There were NO signs indicating ANYthing. Well, there was a sign signifying that indeed I had found La Perouse Bay, and that some French guy had found the place via boat at such and such time. So I just started to walk around... And without much effort, I found a trail the led off along the beach, in keeping with the directions I had brought. So I just went with it. Several people were near the beginning of the trail, but I was all by myself after a while.

I suppose Hawaiians not into signs much, because it was only after I had hiked 2 miles, took a right at a fork, realized I had walked a mile in to a lighthouse, walked back out, took the left at the fork and walked a ways that I found a worn sign reassuring me that I was on Hoapili Trail (look at above website and scroll down). Nevertheless, I loved the views. It was so strange to see the course, jagged rock juxtaposed next to the curves of the ocean waves.

I must admit, I didn't make it all the way. After my unnecessary side-spur and a blister on my left Achilles tended, I didn't find walking on movable ground very enjoyable. It might have been one thing if the footing was secure, but the volcanic rocks below my shoes were constantly moving under my feet as I walked. Still, I think I made at least a 7 mile hike out of it. I was cooled by a gentle misty rain for a short while. My first actual precipitation here. Well, it rained during the Hula cookie-fundraiser, but I was inside at the time.

The sun has finally shown its face today after a few cloudy days and the whole area is alive with activity. I went to the beach for a bit and am now doing some copy editing and waiting for my laundry to get done. Life is good.

Oh, by the way, I went to Hope Chapel yesterday for church and I know mom would have LOVED the drums during the worship. They were very prominent. I liked it a lot. I think next week I'll go to the 8:30 service, though. As much as I loved getting called at while I'm walking... I think fewer people will be awake if I go to the first service. Apparently not many people walk around here. Either you bike or you have enough money to buy a car. Apparently.

Today I am a cute, furry, sleepy cat and an ice cream Sunday (not I drink, I realize).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cookie Fundraiser

Aloha! I'm currently exhausted from an early rise and long morning putting cookies into bags for a Halau fundraiser. 'Halau' means 'school' in Hawaiian, so this was Laura's hula school. Taught by one of the most famous hula instructors in Hawaii (who is also a famous musician - the one who performed at the fair), the halau seems to have at least 80 participants. From 6-year-olds to 70-year-olds, the halau includes classes for all levels. Once a year they have this massive cookie-baking event to fundraise for costumes, travel expenses and the like. One event in particular (the big kahoona of hula competitions, actually) is called the Merrie Monarch Festival and will be held next April (I hope they telivise it!)

I was picked up by a friend of Laura's a 5:20 a.m. and we made it to the other side of the island at the elementary school kitchen/lunch room area by 5:50. I had been told the process was a 'well-oiled machine,' and I found that things did go rather smoothly. Most of the halaus came and went in shifts, but for some reason, Laura's halau (which was for the older women; it eliminated the dances that require one to kneel and use the knees) had to stay for the whole ordeal. By noon, however, we were done and started to keep up. I made lots of friends with the women and truly enjoyed watching all the work that went into the performance I saw earlier at the fair. Having seen many of these women on stage, it was amazing to see them interact in their everyday lives. Conversations ranged from activities on Maui, travel, education, politics, family, hobbies and much more. It was fun to get more ideas for activities to try out while I'm here. I even got a free start fruit out of the deal. And it was GOOD.

The 10-pack cookie bags sell for $5 each, and apparently they're a bit like the girl-scout cookies back home; they sell like hot cakes. Everybody knows about them on the island.

It was also pretty cool to see the instructor working and milling around. After hearing his songs on the radio and watching him live, it's quite an honor to share a room with him. He has a lot of dedication toward preserving the culture and history of Hawaii.

I went to the grocery store today and splurged on some fantastic food. Lol, so I'll be working that off the next few days. :) Tomorrow I'll be going to church, reading and visiting the beach. The next day will mostly likely be the hike.

No new pictures today, sorry, but I'm sure there will be some more soon.

Today I am a skunk (without the stink capacity) and a NF 1/2 pump chocolate, 1/2 pump maple mocha.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Tedeschi Vineyard (in dedication to Kara)

Aloha! The adventures continue! Today was very windy, but Bunny and I took refuge up-country to check out the winery. Although the winery is about 5 miles from Kihei as the bird flies, no road connects the two locations. Instead, we had to drive to the north side of the island, then back around up the mountain. It took over an hour to get there! But it did provide amazing scenery. I love driving through fields of crops and seeing open space all around me.

The winery was much smaller than I anticipated, but just great. We arrived in time for the 1:30 p.m. tour, which included a walk around the grounds and a view of the wine-making machinery. The winery is operated on a piece of historic property. While I'm sure curious readers can learn more on the winery's website, the gist is: a retired navy captain brought his family to live here after seeing the property from the sea during his career. He was very wealthy and quickly made a mini-village out of the place that was pretty much self-sufficient. The King of Hawaii liked the place a lot and came for a merry time (he was called The Merry King because he was always down to party). The grounds are filled with enormous, impressive trees from all over the world. One in particular is from Australia (or New Zealand? I can't remember) that is/was commonly used for making ship masts. It hadn't ever occurred to me before that ship masts are TALL and yet need to be made of one solid trunk. Not many trees are tall enough or straight enough to fill such an order. I was very impressed by this unique tree. It also made me think of John John; I wonder if he's seen any on his voyage.

The wine was wonderful. Four complimentary glasses were offered in addition to the free tour (can you believe it!? Free?!). I had a blush (GOOD), a sparkling wine made from Pineapple (smelled like ham, strangely enough, but tasted good. Tasted more like sparkling cider than wine, though), and something called "Splash," which was also made of pineapple (and smell of cheese...?) that tasted DELICIOUS!!! The last was a dessert Raspberry wine. I LOVED the smell of this one! But man, I wouldn't want more than a few sips. It was great, but so sweet!

The next few days will be windy, so I'm putting off my hiking trip until Monday. Saturday I'll be helping Laura's hula dance team with a fundraiser and I'll attempt to find another church in walking distance on Sunday.

FYI, today is my six month anniversary with Scott. Shout out to us.

Today I am a gecko and peach wine, if there is such a thing.

Here are some pictures of both my 5 mile (one way) beach walk and the scenery from today's winery trip. The beach ones are dark because it was freaking early, not because it isn't sunny here. Cuz it is. (haha to you!) And really, would you guys start leaving more comments for me?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Nice, Loooooooong Walk

Aloha! Things have been busy around here lately since Laura is packing up and preparing to leave for France this evening. She's been trying to get everything in order for us while she's gone (bills, keys, etc.).

Yesterday was pretty unproductive since I'm staying out of the sun for while (strange skin problems with my shoulders...) so I just did a few errands and enjoyed the house.

Today I got up at the crack of dawn (REALLY!) and left the house at 6:15 for a long beach walk. I had heard of this stretch of beach that runs 5 miles without an interruption (such as resort grounds or natural rock barriers). Being my father's daughter, I thought I'd try it out. Well, it took me 45 minutes just to get to the stinking START of the 5-mile stretch. It wasn't quite where I had it placed in my head... Well, I had it right, they just added a few more barriers to the ones I already knew about down the shoreline.

In any case, once I started the beach walk I loved it. And since it was so early in the morning, very few people were out to crowd my view. It was 8:45 by the time I got to the end, and found there wasn't easy access from the shore to the actual town's center (although you could tell lots of people have tried to find one because every ten feet right toward the end is a "PRIVATE! DO NOT ENTER!" sign. Instead of walking the extra half-mile around into town, I just ate my cereal on the beach and took a little break.

The walk back started to give me some problems. My knee joints and feet started to a bit more like jello and raw bone in all the wrong places. So once I got back to the start of the beach stretch, I had Bunny come pick me up. None of this 45-minutes-back-to-the-house business.

I really liked the walk, though. It was interesting to see so many different types of beaches in one continuous, long one. I even found a nice shell-grooming spot, so my collection for Scott's mom is starting to look substantial.

This afternoon I went to the store for more groceries and have just been doing this and that. Tomorrow I'm going to check out a craft fair, and perhaps the day after that Bunny and I will go to the winery up country. We'll see. I don't want to over-book myself or anything. :)

Hope all is well!

I am a crab and a peach and coconut Italian creme soda.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A New Bob-ism

I hope you all have had a wonderful, relaxing weekend. Mine has zipped by quickly, but it's been pretty great. Every day is great in paradise, though.

I ventured up the southwestern coast of Maui on Friday with Bunny and enjoyed seeing all the coral, sea life and landscapes that side had to offer. Although Maui is small, I'm beginning to learn that every side has its own varying type of beach. The north side is perfect for wind-related ocean activities, the east has lots of rocky beaches (and sea life, like big black crabs) because of all the lava. My side (yes, MY side) is more calm, so it's good for sunning and kayaking. Up near Lahina, where I was on Friday, it is perfect for snorkeling and surfing. We stopped at a wildlife refuge beach and ventured to the tip of the island before returning back to Lahina (a road goes all the way around the tip, but it becomes very narrow and sketchy; rental cars are not permitted there).

At Lahina, we walked through a historical Hawaiian village, complete with totem poles and A-frame huts. We explored a few art galleries, as well, before driving to the Buddhist center. Although I believe people actually worship there, they permit tourists to walk the grounds and take pictures of the statues (although a low rail discouraged tourists from entering the actual church building). We drove through the center of town, which was very small but very packed, viewing the famous Banyan tree and a few historic buildings along the way. The Banyan tree was an incredible sight. The oldest Banyan tree on the island, it covers an entire block! The area is a designated park, and at first glance it looks like it is full of multiple trees, but upon closer inspections, all the "trunks" are connected.

We checked out a few more areas in town before going to Baby Beach, which gets its name from its shallow waters. The waves crash some 75 feet out, allowing the ocean to lap calmly at the water's edge. A big cruise ship was anchored in the distance as Bunny and I just watched the sunset for a while.

The rest of the weekend has gone fairly quickly. Copy editing, tending to a heat-rash of some kind, and generally taking things slow. I did, however, attend church this morning and am proud to introduce a new Bob-ism! The pastor was an energetic, sharp, well-educated man in his late 70s. Although he tended to wander from his outlined points, he did make for an entertaining sermon. He used the expression "half a bubble off." Well, at first I didn't know what that meant. But neither did half the congregation apparently because he went on to explain that its "when you're using a level, and you're just half a bubble off to one side." It reminded me of Dad, right off. And most of you know I like to balance levels on top of my head...

I haven't gotten around to transporting my pictures, but I'll do so soon. Take care and have a great day! Aloha!

P.S. A side comment for those familiar with the Kittitas County wind-farm disagreement: Remember how half the locals were arguing for the wind-farms to create more usable energy and the other half were arguing against wind-farms because they would look "unattractive" and ruin the natural beauty of the horizon? Well, Maui has a prominent line of seven or eight wind towers in plain view of over half the population. It hasn't seemed to hurt their tourism one bit. Surprising, wouldn't you agree, that such an "unattractive" feature wouldn't deter millions of people from visiting the island? Perhaps, they aren't so unattractive after all. ;)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Paia and Makawao

Life here has been more of the same; a day or two split between the beach and copy editing, then a day to explore more of the island. Yesterday Bunny has some business that took her back toward the north shore, so I rode along to see the town of Paia. LOVED IT! It was the exact size of Winthrop, WA, and likewise, seemed to have its own special appeal that the surrounding towns didn't have (although it certainly wasn't western-themed!). Put bluntly and in my own words, Paia is a hippie surfer's paradise. Especially if that hippie is a vegan. It was a town filled with young faces. You could tell lots of transplants from the mainland lived there; those who came to vacation, drove through Paia, and never left. About 80 percent of the stores were either restaurants of some kind, art galleries or clothing/gift shops. Bunny and I went into a food store that still a very local feel; boxes and extra supplies were stored within view, on top of the shelves. No box-store renovations had been done to upgrade the purchasing counters. It was wonderful. Lots of fun tattoos to look at, too, I might add. I managed to track down a gallery showing the art of Randy Groden. He does a few landscapes, but mostly portraits. I LOVE his work! (click on "Giclees" at the bottom of the site.)

Next, Bunny took me along the coast to watch the windsurfers.

We then headed to Makawao, which is 'up country' about ten miles or so. We passed a few historical plantations and churches along the way. Makawao also had an incredibly strong art vibe to its downtown area. Having already walked around a town for over an hour, however, I only had enough energy to watch some glass-blowing and walk through two galleries. Makawao's downtown area seemed like it could have been smaller than Paia's, but its residential area was very expansive.

Although we wanted to continue on to see a winery, the map indicated it was still another 20 minutes away, and we were both tired already. The drive back provided many beautiful shots of the fields in up country before the view gave way to the ocean. Today I am headed to Lahina. More art galleries and historical sites. Instead of a hippie's paradise, however, this town boasts lots of money.

Today I am a lion and a mango margarita.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tuesday Delights and a Music Recommendation

Aloha! Nothing too crazy to rave about, but just the usual life-in-paradise sorta stuff. So far this week I've seen two geckos, one slug/snail (well, it was the size of a banana slug, but had a 1.5 inch wide shell on its back) and a frog, which happened to be in the house so I had to catch it and put it outside. I LOVE frogs, but I can't deny, I squealed a bit when I finally got a hold of him. I haven't touched one since I was a kid and I forgot how creepy it feels when they try to jump inside your hands.

My friend emailed me the material I'm planning to copy edit during my stay, so I've been busy doing that for the past two days.

Since I mastered the bus system, I've been going toward Wailea almost every day to the beaches down there. It's taken some time, but I'm finally getting used to swimming in the ocean and I think I'll rent some goggles soon and make a real occasion out of it.

I've looked up a few hiking opportunities, and unfortunately, most require a jeep or truck to get to the trail head. There is one, however, that I think I can get to via bike, so I'm going to ask Laura to borrow her son's bike some day soon.

Speaking of transportation, I can't believe how mellow the driver's are. Some of you may be familiar with my slightly angry driving side... But getting around over here is a whole different experience. People aren't in a rush to get anywhere, and they'll gladly give someone else the right of way. The only time people honk is to get a friend's attention; then they'll return a 'hang loose' sign, smile and be on their way.

In closing, I want to tell about an amazing singer I've been listening to a lot lately. I got her CD from a friend at the Rocket Bakery who shared my passion for Ani Difranco's sound. This new artist's name is Kathleen Edwards and the album I have is called Failer. The first three songs are okay, but once you hit the forth song, all greatness breaks loose. She has a bit of Joan Armatrading sound, mixed with Ani Difranco and a certain amount of her own style that I really like. I think Jill and Gracie especially will like it.

Oh, and one last interesting tidbit I've learned about Hawaii.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A New Trip Highlight!

Hello all! I've had a busy couple of days! Two evenings ago Bunny saw that I was watching TV at 5:30 so she decided I was too young to be in the house so early at night. She took me east along the coast line to show me some great places to see the sunset from a few cliff vantage points. We ended up being very close to where her son lives, so we stopped by his campsite to chat for a minute. She showed me a few places on the way back, but most of them were closed down by that time. Although I haven't seen it, I'm sure Maui has a very fantastic nightlife. I think, however, that the other half of the population does what I do; go to sleep when it gets dark and wake up when it gets light (hence the closed shops). It's a wonderful way to live, if you ask me. I did realize that night, however, that I have been missing out on some amazing nightscapes. The way the moon reflects off the water and clouds... It is not to be missed.

Yesterday morning I caught up on some phone calls, internet research, grocery shopping and such. Then Bunny and I set out for some adventure. There is a tropical plantation that I think Grandma would love. You can take a little bus trip to see how the fruit fields look, but there's also a lot of tropical flowers and gardens right around the main entrance. I realize why there are so many artists here now. Maui has such unique and strange plant life that it almost defies your preconceptions of what nature can do. Your imagination is free to run wild in a place where every flower your eyes can find is out of this world.

She then took me to the I'ao Valley, which is on the eastern part of the island. The angles of the mountains up there are SO steep! And such a beautiful lush green everywhere!

Next was an open-air mall covered in beautiful white canvases. It was a big mall, it out-sized Spokane's mall quite a bit. But the natural light coming in from up above sure made a huge difference. It was named after a Hawaiian queen who ruled for 16 years, but who made a huge impact on Hawaiian history, and she was the first female to ever rule in Hawaii.

Then (THE HIGHLIGHT!) we went to a beach on the north shore and saw kite surfers! I cannot explain how amazing this experience was. It is beyond words. SO MANY of them! Such speed, such power. Some were able to jump 30 feet into the air. Snowboarding looks boring compared to this. There were windsurfers as well, but I liked the kite surfing the most. Bunny and I just talked and watched them for about 45 minutes. There was a young girl, she couldn't have been more than 12, who was just ripping it up! She is my idol. I want to be like her when I grow up.

Lastly, we went to the county fair to watch Laura do the hula. We had a few hours to kill so we walked around some of the tents. They didn't have the agriculture/livestock aspect of the fair that we are used to, but they had an arts and crafts tent, as well as a better living tent. Plus all of the rides and games you could imagine. A world-known Hawaiian singer was playing that night (who I hadn't heard of before, nor can I remember his name, but he was good!) and he had hula dancers from Laura's school dance. This was also an amazing experience. FYI, hula dancers are not just the skinny, coconut clad women moving their hips. It is so much more than that. In a series of about 7 or 8 songs, different classes were featured, each performance wearing a new kind of dress. It was like watching a princess welcome royalty into her court with a dance of greeting. Their movements were so slow and graceful and precise. Their movements usually represented the story of the song being played, and even though I didn't know the language, you could understand what was happening to a point. Every dancer was smiling like it was the happiest moment in the world, but you could also tell the dance was for the audience. They would constantly readdresses the audience with their their hand motions, pulling us all into the story. It really redefines the concept of a beautiful woman. The fashion lines of New York and Paris might have one perspective, but this is most definitely another perspective on beauty altogether. A far surpassing one, if you ask me.

I am a peach and strawberry smoothie and a leopard.

P.S. I just looked up kiteboarding lessons... the cheapest is $300. :(

Saturday, October 4, 2008


I can officially get around the island independently now! Today I rustled up enough courage to figure out the bus system and it went perfectly well. For $1 per bus ride, I can get to almost anywhere on the island. I took it slow today and just went down to Wailea, but that was adventure enough for me. I spent a few hours on a long, wide beach and had a great time people watching. Its slightly different than crab watching because the people are farther away and they don't hold still every time they think you've spotted them, but it's still relatively close. I may have gotten a little red in places, but I'll be busy seeing new things with Bunny tomorrow, so I won't be in the sun again for a while. I took the long bus route back to see just how far west the buses went and I got a good idea of what areas and shops I'd like to look at next time I'm down there. The really handy news is that there is a bus stop just a few blocks away, so I don't have to walk too far.

I seem to have settled into a nice routine now. I go to bed fairly early because the sun goes down at 7 p.m. and I'd rather not be out by myself at night. That means I'm an early riser in the morning, which most of you know I don't mind a bit. It's nice to be out in the peace and quiet, especially before the heat gets to you. I've been going for a walk every morning, discovering a new little part of Kihei. Today I finally found Safeway and had coffee at Starbucks. The shopping center was fairly large, actually. After getting back to the house I usually check my email, do some exercises, put my suit on, and head to the beach for a few hours. I'm typically back by lunchtime, at which point I come up with an afternoon plan. My afternoons have been pretty random so far, but that's good. A little routine for the morning, a little spontaneity for the afternoon. :)

Tomorrow Bunny is going to show me a few tourist spots all afternoon, and we'll make it to the county fair by 7 p.m. to watch Laura and her hula class perform. I'm pretty excited. I guess hula dancing is a bigger deal than I thought. I asked Laura how long it takes, like how many years of classes, for someone to become really good at hula, and she laughed and said "a lifetime, starting when you're a little girl." She said she'd never be as good as some people simply because she didn't start soon enough (although she's been taking classes for a couple years already). And here I thought it was just a little move of the hips... I can't wait to see a live performance!

I saw a few shops today which reminded me about gifts. If anyone has any requests, please let me know.

Today I am an orange julius and mermaid. With silver and blue hair. And iridescent blue scales. And blue nail polish with diamonds on them.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Beaches and Turtles and More

I am so very tired right now! But looking back, I didn’t do too many extraneous things, so it may just be a of a lot of sun and heat overworking my system. I woke up bright and early this morning at 7:30. It was the perfect, still morning (no wind! Yay!) so I took off for an adventure. I walked toward the beach but took a right at one of the streets that runs along it. I walked for quite a while and then took a left to one of the ‘beach access’ alleys. It was just as far as I had walked along the beach the day before. So I backtracked back toward the main street, but headed down a small neighborhood street instead. It was so quiet and beautiful in the morning! Here is a picture I took along the way.

For most of the route, however, the view was filled with houses. And you should see the effort these people put into their gates! All were at least 10 feet tall, and they came in so many different and creative ways! Some were metal sculptures to look like plant life, while another was a ying/yang sign with two dolphins (yes, one right side up, the other upside down) swimming around it. Another was solid wood with three dancing monkeys holding drinks in their hands… Like I said, some more creative than others.

After walking 45 minutes in one direction, taking time to look at all the beach accesses, I came upon a park and surfing area. It was pretty cool to see all the surfers. A lot were standing on their boards and using a long paddle to get around.

I ended up deciding that my favorite part of the beach was actually the closest to Laura’s house. Pretty handy if you ask me. So I backtracked to that spot and spent an hour or two there. And I tried to make friends with the little cwabby-wabbies (they are too cute not to have silly names) but they are fairly aloof little fellas. Most were the size of the tip of my pinky finger, but there were other Big Daddies that scurried along every once in a while. I saw 4 of them yesterday when I plopped down on the beach digging sand out of their holes and keeping a watchful eye on me. The area I was in today, though, had a lot more. They are darn hard to see, too, because they blend in with the sand so much. There are two crabs poking their heads out. Can you find them?

Back at the house I spent a few hours doing this and that, and at 2 Laura took me along to Makena were she was having a class for her work. I spent the hour just exploring the rocky beach area. I expected to see lots of starfish and sea enenimies, like on the Oregon Coast, but that was not the case here. Just a few tiny hermit shells in a few of the pools. There were, however, fish stuck in some of the larger pools and that was something to see! All different sizes and types! It was beautiful there. I think the pictures speak for themselves. After her class, Laura had a little time to kill, so she drove me further down the beach past all the fancy, million-dollar houses to see the lava flow. SO BIZARRE! SO huge. Mind blowing. Imagine looking up at Mt. Bonaparte and seeing this poky lava stuff start to trickle down and then completely cover the land from about the sno-park down to the house. Then you turn your head and look as far as the bottom of Mt. Hull (yes, I realize you can’t actually see that far in real life, but just go with me) and all you see is lava. Laura says people get disoriented out there sometimes.

Well, I’ve written a lot, so I’ll cut it off here, but know that I’m thinking of you all! P.S. That picture of nothing but water? I SWEAR there is a turtle's back if you look hard enough! One was so big I thought it was a dead bloated cow at first (the cowgirl coming out in me) before I realized cows didn't often swim in the ocean, but turtles did. All in all, I saw 6 turtles, but not all together.

Maui Galleries Gallore!

I picked up a few publicity/advertising-driven magazines while I was in the airport the other day and was so intrigued by some of the artists they promoted that I just had to share a few links with you. The first is Andrew Gonzalez, who makes paintings that almost look like sculptures. The second is Vladimir Kush, who paints so surreal my mind just lights up when I look at his work. Unfortunately, his website sucks, so I suggest you just Google his name and look at the images provided.
Lahaina is the most popular town on Maui for artists, and I think both of these artists are showing work there. It's a pretty posh place from what I here, though. Well, not really posh, but it's got everything (amazing beaches, great eats, all the artsy things you can think of) so I'm pretty sure the real estate there is through the roof.
More later!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New Photos

I tried out Jillian's camera for the first time today and I'm very pleased. It might not allow for a great deal of clarity, but at least you'll get the gist. Maui is
roughly shaped like one massive circle (the bigger mountain) next to a smaller circle with a little flat land between the two. You can see the smaller mountain in the following picture.

This last one is facing the opposite direction. It's not a lot of beach between the ocean and the grass, but it's nice and secluded. The big fat beaches are where all the resorts are, I'm sure, and I don't really like all the people that come along with resorts.

First Afternoon

I'm currently eating Waffle Crisp cereal from the box and it tastes exactly like regular waffles. And you all know how much I love those so I'm in good shape right now. I've pretty worn out already, although it's only 3:44 in the afternoon. Laura and I got some coffee (oh my goodness! the coffee was amazing!) and some breakfast (bagel with cream cheese... my total bill was over seven dollars!) this morning and then she took me around the area to see all the great beaches and stores nearby. I'm very thankful she's helped me so much!
Once we got back I met one of my housemates, Bunny, who is a great-grandmother (but looks fantastic!!!) and a very fun person. I think it'll be wonderful to have her around.
I took off for several hours of beach walking after that. It honestly wasn't too productive because I walked up the beach to the right and it was mostly just seaweed-covered sand. Nevertheless, it was great exercise, I had a beautiful view and I'm working on my tan. :) Tomorrow I will tackle the left side, which Laura told me would be the best side from the get-go, I just wanted to see for myself. :)
I took some time to settle into my room once I got back. It's very big, actually, and Laura has a drum set and piano in there, so I like the vibe a ton. She has a very eclectic taste because she's traveled a lot (Indonesia, Asia, Europe) so her house is pretty fun. It's nice and shady from all the trees outside (Jill, tell Freddy that I've met some of his relatives). The front door leads directly into the living room/dining room, and straight ahead is the kitchen and then my room beyond that, but there is a hallway to the right between the dinning room and kitchen that leads to the bathroom and several other bedrooms. I have a sliding glass door (yes, that locks) out the back of my room that leads to backyard. There's a washer out there and Laura has a 'solar powered dryer' (which means a clothes line) set up out there, too.
I love it so far. Well... it's a bit windy here. And my Ellensburg amigos know how much I love the wind... But Laura says today was unusually windy. Oh, and my tarantula friend moved from his spot, so they must not be as stationary as Laura made them seem... Ek!
All in all, though, I've had a great first day. Don't worry too much about me!


Hello everyone! I’m safe and sound in Maui. I didn’t sleep too well my first night here, but that’s to be expected in a new place. My host, Laura, is wonderful. She’s 45+something and reminds me of Gracie and Susie Shaddox if they were one person. She works as a massage therapist for one of the hotels here. I haven’t seen much of Maui yet because it was dark by the time we drove to her house, but I’ll be getting my first glimpse this morning.

The trip over here seemed extra long, but I met some nice people on my flight from Seattle to Maui. John is a physician (who did his residency at Deaconess and Sacred Heart, so he knew Spokane well) who currently lives in White Fish, Montana. My boyfriend goes to White Fish sometimes for the BNSF railroad so we had a good time chatting about that. Kathy was from New Jersey (yes, I asked her about Bruce; turns out Bruce is like “having a Jacuzzi in your backyard- after a while you don’t use it anymore cuz you know its just right there.”) and flying to Maui on the year anniversary of her son’s death, who died in a waterfall/jumping accident. Nine of his friends were also on the plane. Lucky for me, I checked in extremely early for the flight, so I got my choice of a seat on the plane. I LOVE EXIT SEATS!

I stayed at the airport for several hours until Laura was out of her Hula dancing class. There really wasn’t much going on at the airport besides little aphid bugs that started to crawl all over me and my luggage. It was an open-air airport, though, which was an amazing twist. The weather outside was perfect, and it’s amazing to think it is perfect like that year-round.

I saw the biggest spider of my life last night and it was in the house I’m staying at. I trust Laura, however, when she says not to worry about them; they don’t move, bite, jump or get any kind of rowdy. Completely without threat. Just… the size of a small tarantula. Oh well, it’s always good to make new friends. Maybe it’s just an overgrown kissing spider.

Today I am a unicorn and apple juice.