Sunday, June 26, 2011

Maui Day 11, Makena Beach

                                            Brandon at Makena Beach
                                          Heather soaking up some sun
Tyler at Makena Beach
                                                The shirt Harry will need if he keeps eating spam!!
                                            Big dark cloud today, just drifted apart as the day wore on.
                                            Sunset at Kaanapali, the night before.
Swap Meet
This was probably the clearest morning we have had, we could actually see the top of Haleakala. Most days it is covered with clouds. At the swap meet yesterday we met some fantastic photographers and some of the photos were of this great beach with sea turtles. Harry asked her where it was and how to get there. After looking it up on the internet he found information that suggested that further down the beach where she told us might be better. Well, this being the islands, nothing is named the same in any book you look at, including the internet. So after a bit of confusion and ending up at the Big Beach with the killer surf we went back and followed the original instructions and found a magnificent beach. Makena beach part was a long sandy beach with lots of snorkelers in the water. Not crowded at all and a bit of shade to get out of the sun part of the day. The snorkeling wasn't great at our end of the beach so I sat with the stuff and everyone else headed to the other end. That paid off with the sighting of one very large sea turtle. Harry got his wish and got to swim with the turtles. As the afternoon wore on, the surf became a bit more rough, much to the delight of the kids, Carl and Harry. I got rolled in it pretty bad and stayed out of it after that. The water was so warm and beautiful, it was just nice to sit and watch. Had lunch at the beach and just lounged most of the day. Back to the condo for margaritas, since we didn't make them last night. Great dinner last night, beef kabobs with fresh veggies and pineapple. YUM. Hot dogs tonight.  Decided it is way too expensive to eat out all the time. Even tho' groceries are spendy, still cheaper than the restaurants. The boys had spam,the national food of Hawaii, for breakfast along with their eggs. GROSS. As far as I am concerned it is not a food!! Hope I don't offend anyone with that. LOL

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Maui Days 8,9,10 Catching up.

                                          Blooms on a gorgeous tropical tree
Petroglyph cinder cone
Blow Hole

Lunar landscape at the blow hole

North Maui Coast
Snorkling beach

Weird Lava Rock
Wow, it is easy to get behind, the last few days have been so busy that we have had dinner and dragged our selves to bed exhausted. I thought this was a v-a-c-a-t-i-o-n? That is the problem with going somewhere with so much to see that you can't see at home, you just can't sit by the pool or the beach and do nothing. Thursday we had seen in the guide book, a place not too far, that you could hike in and see ancient petroglyphs, it was a short hike and it was on the way to the other area we were headed so we took the time to do it. By this time of day, all of 10am, it was well into the 80's temperature wise, so we grabbed water and camera gear and headed up the road which was the trail. Thank goodness it was a trail with no incline or I am sure I would of died of heat stroke. Very little breeze, dusty dry and very hot. 1/4 mile never seemed so far. At the end of the trail we came to the petroglyph wall and were glad to find a picnic table in the shade to sit. Sad to say that over the years vandals have defaced the stone, so it is difficult to tell what was real and what wasn't. So much history here but not a lot of information at the site. So back we go after getting some photos. A slight breeze kept us a little cooler on the hike back. At the little store, we enjoyed our first Shave Ice, an Hawiaan version of a snow cone. So refreshing and cold.
Our next destination was up to the North coast area of Maui, the road is paved only so far and then you hit a dirt road that you can't take rentals on, too windy and narrow. We were stopping at a spot before the end of the road anyway. This site is called the Blow Hole. It is a hole in the lava where the surf comes spewing thru with the surge of the waves. It is a hike down the hill thru lava rock, not too difficult, if you are a billy goat!! I persisted even when my knee protested. It was worth it, talk about an area that looks like the moon. Really strange lava formations and the blow hole did not disappoint. The hike back up..............not so easy, pretty steep and picking your way thru the lava rock is tricky, not to mention it is HOT. We did find a fantastic looking snorkel beach on the way up there so that was to be our trip for the next day. We came home and told the kids about it and decided to get an early start the next morning. Parking was limited where the beach was and we wanted to get a spot. Perfect for snorkeling, nice and calm but I discovered that snorkel is not for me. Kept getting a mouth full of salt water, so I sat on the beach and tanned. After everyone had enough snorkeling we headed to Kaanapali to let the kids,plus me, play in the surf again. Needless to say we all came home sunburned but happy. Off to a very nice dinner in Kaanapali at the Whaler village, then to Lahina for ice cream and to walk off dinner. Back home exhausted after a VERY full day. So today, day 10 was supposed to be a resting day except for the swap meet. Harry and I headed there to search for fresh veggies and to see if there were any bargains on souvenirs to take home. Veggies are cheap, souvenirs are CHEAP, meaning of course crap!! Harry did find some very nice, not cheap necklaces for his daughters. BBQ tonight and Carl will be making some mean margaritas soon.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Maui Day 7, Week One

How can it be a week already? The time flies by so fast when you are having so much fun in the sun. It has been a great week and I am not even going to think about the time slipping by. I am going to lose myself in denial and just dream that I will be here in paradise forever. Sigh.
We have had a great week, seen many amazing sights and plan on seeing more. Having the fresh tropical fruits is amazing too.
                                           Big Beach
                                             Surf at Big Beach
                                           One big wave
                                            Mokapu and Ulua beach
Carl arrives today, I know the kids will be happy to see him. Heather will be happy to turn the driving over to him. We have yet to drive the road to Hana, see sunrise on Haleakala, do the zip line and take a snorkel trip. Looks to be a busy week ahead. Yesterday we tried to find a snorkeling beach that was a bit calmer than Kaanapali. According to the guide book there was one just south of where we are staying, so we loaded all the gear in the two cars and headed out. The book said Big Beach was one of the best and what many describe as the perfect Hawaiian beach. Well, we get all the gear to the beach and see the surf, it must be 10'. We asked the lifeguard if this was Big Beach the snorkeling beach cuz we had heard it was great for snorkeling. He said did you see that on the internet or read it in a guide book? We said guide book, he happened to mention the one that we have been using. He said yeah, that one gets a lot of people in trouble. He said pretty much only locals were going in this water today, it was breaking right on the shore so the waves were very powerful. Harry posted a great shot with a surfer in the pic to show a bit of perspective. It is on his facebook page. I only had the iPhone for pic again, not taking the camera in the sand, but he has a new small waterproof camera to take in snorkeling. We did find a beach up closer to home that was pretty good, once again the surf is a little rough, I was able to get in the water but still too rough for me to feel comfy snorkeling. Waiting for Molikini for my snorkeling. Spent the day in the sun, all of us are sunburned from head to toe, but loving every minute of it. Had bbq hot dogs and fresh corn for dinner and relaxed in the warm Hawaiian breeze. Would say I missed you all, and I do but watching the OR weather I can say I don't miss that at all. Aloha. Off on a new adventure today, heading to the North end of the island to the end of the road, at the least as far as the rental co. will let us go.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Maui Day 6, Snorkeling

A perfect paradise day dawned today, so far that is how they have all been. Glorious!! First day of summer, had we been home I am sure we would of been wondering if summer was ever coming, but here we have been enjoying it every day. Heather and the kids arrived on time on Monday, we got them settled in and acquainted with the condo then it was off to eat. Two growing boys are ALWAYS hungry. We took them to an open air place we had found and liked called Lulu's. Spent some time in the water and exploring then of course it was time to eat again. In Kona, our last trip to Hawaii we all loved Bubba Gumps so we headed there for dinner, not the one in Kona but the one in Lahina. Filled ourselves with shrimp, then stopped at the ice cream shop and got ice cream. Not, me I had too much dinner.
The next day we decided to attempt snorkeling again at Black Rock beach, the spot of the key incident!! Everything went well, we kept the keys in a bag and one person stayed at the beach with the stuff, no one lost keys. LOL. The water is gorgeous, turquoise blue and so clear it is unbelievable. I went in the water but the surge is pretty strong and it is hard to stand when the water rushes back out and not being a great swimmer I decided I would wait for a calmer place to snorkel but everyone else saw beautiful fish, Tyler saw a sea turtle swim right by him.
Tyler and Brandon played in the surf and were having a great time letting the waves wash them in and out. I tried but my knee took a beating and I opted to just stay on my feet as best I could. Brandon said to me, as he is laughing with joy, "Grams, this is the best time I have ever had in my life." Oh, be still my heart, what great words for a grammy to hear. Love you all so much, and am so happy you are here to share this with us. Not sure what is on tap for today. Mornings start a bit slowly, Maui time ya know, no rush.
                                            Kid first wade in the ocean by the condo.
                                          Tyler at Kaanapali, Black Rock Beach snorkeling spot.
                                     The gorgeous turquoise water at Kaanapali
                                                   Tyler at Tiki Lounge
                                                   Brandon at Tiki Lounge
                                         Heather, Harry and I
                                              Margaritas at the Tiki Lounge
                                                     Parrots Beak flower.

After all the exercise in the water of course it is time to eat again, we came back and got cleaned up and headed into Keihi to the Tiki Lounge for pizza, well the kids and Heather had pizza, I opted for grilled shrimp and Harry had some amazing fish tacos. Then off to the grocery store to fill the cupboards and try not to have to take out a loan. Food is very expensive. Spent what was left of the evening relaxing with a glass of wine and tv. Kids wanted to swim, so they all went to the pool and took a walk before bedtime. Carl will be here tomorrow, I am sure they are all anxious for daddy to get here.
I have only taken photos with the iPhone, so these are snapshots of the first two days the kids are here.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Maui Day 5, 'Ioa Needle Hike

We woke, early again, to a little different weather, more clouds and a bit more humid. We had put off the sunrise trip to Haleakala for a weekday hoping there will be less of a crowd. Instead we had read about an easy hike to 'Ioa Needle in the mountains out of Wailuku on the other side of Maui. Sounds far but it is all of 8 miles I think. It is a popular and easy place to get to and the hike amounts to a walk up to the observation deck and and around the paved trail along the stream. Regardless it is beautiful. The mountains are high pointed peaks the needle itself sits alone more or less and is over 2200 ft tall. The mountains are taller.
I had told myself that this trip to Hawaii I was coming to do more relaxing and less photo taking. I would have been really upset with myself if I had not brought the camera, there are so many sights to see here that being a photographer you just have to be out there. So so much for just laying on the beach and soaking up the sun. Funny how our priorities change as we get older. When I was younger and came to Hawaii that is all we did pretty much. Had to have that tan. Not so much anymore.
On another note, Harry read that you should not take rocks from the island as Pele frowns on it and bad luck befalls those who dare!! Hmmm, I got to thinking about the key thing and wondered if the 2 rocks that I took from the volcano had anything to do with it. Coincidence?
 'Ioa valley peaks
 Looking toward the west side of Maui from the valley
 "Ioa Needle
 The rugged mountains of the valley. Below, one more of Haleakala
In just a little over an hour Heather and the kids get here, I am so excited. All of us have been planning and looking forward to this trip for at least 6 mo. It is finally all here. JOY.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Maui Day 4, OPPS

Ok, so one of the things that they told us at the car rental place was, "If you get the key wet, it will cost you $250.00". Yesterday we had decided to go to Black Rock beach in Kaanapali to snorkel, we had heard it was great. In the car we asked ourselves, what the heck do we do with the keys while we are in the water? Not wanting to leave them in the bag on the beach. I said we would just have to go in one at a time. With that Harry put them in his swimsuit pocket. Can you see where I am going with this?
                                         Cheeseburgers In Paradise
                                                          Beautiful Hanging white flowers, don't know what they are.
                                              Lahina, Maui HI. Below, sunset from the condo
I had a bit of trouble getting my mask adjusted, and since Harry was anxious to get in the water I told him just go I'll figure it out. Well, as I am sitting there a horrid thought came to mind where the hell did he put the keys? I tore the bag apart hoping against hope they were in there.............................NOT. They are still in his pocket!!!! He is swimming in the water of course and I tear down the beach hoping I can get him before he swims off and I can't yell at him, luckily he is headed back in cuz he forgot his flippers. I tried to keep my voice calm as I yelled "Where the HELL are the keys? You guessed it!!!! Needless to say we panicked, how do we get in the car if the remote doesn't work? No door locks on the car on the outside.  He told me to wait and he would go back to the car, so I waited and waited and waited, finally decided I better go see what happened or where the heck he was. Luckily, the remote worked once so the car was unlocked but he couldn't chance locking it to come get me so good thing I got upset waiting and went back. Needless to say our day was pretty much shot! All we could think about was that $250. we'd be out. Desperate, we tried to think what to do, go to the airport and confess pay the piper, try drying it out and hope for the best? We decided to try an new battery first since it is a common type and we found one at Longs. There must be a God in heaven cuz the darn remote is working fine now. Don't know if the car rental has a way of telling but if so I guess we fess up and pay. Tried to salvage the rest of the day by sitting by the pool and taking a swim in the beach by the condo. Needless to say no photos from yesterday. I am posting some from a few days ago.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Maui Day 3,Haleakela

                                         Pack horses coming out of the crater.
                                           Silversword plant, these actually look like someone sprayed the silver.
                                          Looking down into the volcano
                                          The cinder cones in the volcano
                                         On the way down.
                                          Shifting sands trail, believe me it was. Pic Below, Harry on the road up, we were above the clouds looking down on the island.

OMG, yesterday was such an experience. We want to see sunrise from the Haleakala Volcano but decided to drive up in the daylight to see how long it took and to scope it out. We knew it would be cold and we did not bring anything warm to wear so had to find a hoodie somewhere, luckly K Mart had some. I had remembered that it was a very windy place from my last visit to Maui but nothing, not even memories prepares you for the WIND. You can barely stand up and walk it blows so hard. But oh what a sight. You drive to the top and at the observation deck it is 10,023 ft above sea level. In total, counting what is beneath the sea Haleakala is actually 600+ ft. higher than Mt. Everest. There are trails all the way thru the crater to the end of the island 13 miles total,camping sites and cabins down in the middle of the crater. We took a short hike into the crater to get a closer view of the cinder cones. It is pretty eerie being in the middle of a volcano, albiet, an extinct one. It was so worth the effort, an experience not to be forgotten. Even tho' I complained the whole climb out LOL. The wind, luckily down in the crater was a lot less than on the top. Looking forward to seeing the sunrise, hopefully tomorrow morning. Even tho' it means getting up at 3am to get there in time. We have been told it is not to be missed. If the photos we saw in the visitors center are any indication, it is true. They are stunning.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Maui Day 2

                                                       Drinks at the Barefoot Bar
                                             One of the large koi in the pond at a small shopping mall in Keihi
                                                  Banyon tree in Lahaini planted in 1864
                                                   Cheeseburgers in Paradise......yummy
                                                            Harry's new friends from Dallas TX, they all had the same hat from the ABC store.
Woke up early because of the time difference so it has seemed like a very long day. Today was a day to explore and find some of the beaches that we want to snorkel at. Headed back into Keihi to do a bit more shopping, looking for snorkel gear and a few other things we needed. Took photos of the BIG Koi that were in the pool at the little mall where we had dinner yesterday.  Headed to Lahaina to see old town and have lunch at Cheeseburgers in Paradise and see the HUGE banyan tree in the park, amazing, it is so big. Walked from one end of town to the other to walk off the hamburger from lunch!! Still feel bloated and full. UGG. Headed to Kaanapali to see if I could find the beach side barefoot bar that I remembered from a trip to Maui yrs. ago. After not too much walking thru the Whalers Village Mall we found the Hula Grill where the bar was. So nice to sit by the beach with my toes in the sand. There is a great snorleling beach not far from there that we are hoping to go back to tomorrow. We walked on the beach but the wind was blowing so hard that the sand was blasting across the beach and actually hurt when it hit us. Little bit of rain but not enough to actually call it rain, not like home. All in all a very busy day and both of us are feeling exhausted, I think more from the heat and humidity than from activity. It is 11:50 pm at home and only 8:50 here, it is going to take a few days to get used to that. But I think I can manage to do that. Anxiously waiting for Heather and family to arrive next week.