Monday, May 27, 2013


When we got home from vacation we had this surprise from my garden: 

Yesterday, I had so many tomatoes that I gave bunches away at church. Right now I am getting about 15 cherry tomatoes each morning. Soon it will be too hot and stop producing, but for now, YUM.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Last Sunset

How do you say goodbye to a place like Hawaii? Our best guess was a walk along the beach and gazing at the sunset. There is some finality in that.

We'll see you next time, Hawaii. Aloha. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Road to Hana

You can't go to Maui without seeing at least part of the road to Hana. Yes it is winding, yes it is scary to drive over busy one way bridges, but you truly don't feel like you are in Hawaii until you have been there. Take your time and stop along the way. You wont miss the beauty that way, and you wont get as carsick! Around every turn there is another waterfall.  On a rainy day water gushes from even the sides of the mountain. It is everything that doesn't exist here in the Arizona desert. It was raining, but does it really matter... it's Hawaii you are damp anyway. You can take hikes and swim in ponds under waterfalls. You can drive to black sand or hike to red sand beaches.  You can see violent crashing waves along a rugged lava shore, or snack on homemade banana bread. Just plan to be there all day long.

So here is the tour of some of the places we went this trip:

Me on the short hike to Haipua'ena falls. Random flowers just sprouting out of the side of the path.

Haipua'ena falls:

 Me at Lower Puohokamoa Falls. This one is a bit more of a hike, not too bad. The path can be more slippery if it is raining.

Dee at the lower falls. Very pretty but hard to find from the road.

At Ke'anae Peninsula. We ate lunch here (food that we brought) and watched the waves against the shoreline.

Here you can get banana and mango bread. We saw some locals looking like they were prepping for a boating(canoeing?) trip. I was scared they were going to launch from this point, but I don't see how that could be possible. Such jagged rocks!

Upper Waikani falls. It was raining a lot so the picture is particularly misty. That and the falls were really going.  This is also called the three bears falls, but you cant really see the separation here.

Hanawi falls. This is just 1/2 of the falls, there is another side that you cant get in just one picture easily and still do it justice. 

We took the long one lane road to Nahiku. Here it is so green and has a lot of vines and at some points well manicured vegetation.  Here's Dee prepping for his swing. All my pictures in-swing were fuzzy. I didn't look as cute trying to swing. 

If you take Nahiku road all the way to the bottom there is a parking area. Facing the ocean to the right is a guard rail. If you walk the ocean side of that rail you can find this hidden waterfall. Careful of the shear drop-off.

An amazing thing about this place is that just stepping out of the car it smelled sweet. Fruity even. I did not see any fruit but it was like being surrounded by fresh cut pineapples. Who knows if it is like that all year round.

This time we did not go all the way to Hana. You can get beauty overload on the way. Maybe if we go back we will stay a night in Hana so we don't have to go up and back all in one day. Makes for a long trip. So much beauty all in one 30 mile stretch of road!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Fish Story

Ocean fishing is a lot of fun. If you get sea sick, this is probably not for you. I only get queezy on large boats, but the small ones I'm fine... go figure.

We took a boat off the coast of Maui and set out on a hunt for fish. We trolled for a couple of hours in search of "the big one." When that didn't work, we did some bottom fishing, and managed to catch a few.

 Dee as we were setting out to our bottom fishing spot.

Us enjoying the boat ride.

After catching my second fish. Sorry you cant see it. The deck hand was so quick to get it off the hook and onto some ice. I caught two good sized blue striped snapper. I also caught another fish that they quickly threw back. I was a pretty coral red color, but apparently it isn't good eating.

Dee catching the largest fish of the whole boat. I think they said it was a grey snapper. It had some pretty sharp bitey teeth. It was a much harder fight to reel this one in than the other 2-3 pound fish.

My bag of fish that I was able to keep.

Our lunch/dinner that afternoon with the fish we caught out of the ocean just an hour before. You can't get fresher than that!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

High on the Mountain Top

We braved the windy, foggy, narrow road to the top of Haleakala crater. It is a strange thing to be 10,000+ feet above sea level AND be on an island in the middle of the ocean. Who knew it could be so cold in a tropical paradise.

Here we are at summit at over 10,000 ft. The air is thin up there especially after spending a few days at sea level. You really notice the contrast when you change that drastic of an elevation in 1 hour.

They even have warning signs about it:

"Caution: Walk slowly at this elevation."

This is a picture of the Silver Sword plant that is unique to Haleakala crater. It really shone silver in the sun. It reminds me of an agave or one of our desert plants, just a lot more silver.

The clouds lifted enough to let us see part of the crater. Looking in there were still clouds.
We went for sunset. We didn't want to get up at 2AM just to see the sunrise. Sunset should be the same- just in reverse, right? We wore all of the clothes we brought plus a couple of towels and a blanket from the hotel. And yes, we brought jackets to Hawaii and Dee was prepared with gloves -he so gallantly let me wear. 
The show was great. Very bright to look at, however.  We are all bundled up. 
The sun setting into the clouds with a hint of ocean in the distance too. 
We stayed till the sun was gone and did some star gazing. Above the clouds, with the thin atmosphere and few lights, the sky was thick with stars. It was almost difficult to identify constellations there were so many stars. I couldn't stay out long it was just too cold. So if you go to the top of the crater, use everything you brought and everything else you can find. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Snorkeling and Hiking

Day 3 and 4:

We took a drive and hike out to see a blowhole in the lava along the shore north of Lahina. The height of the water depends a lot on the tide. We were there at low tide so it may not have been as big, yet still impressive.

We went on a separate hike also and were able to see the blowhole go off in the distance.

Here I am at the top of the hike.

We then went to lunch at the Cool Cat Cafe, a diner style eatery with milkshakes and hamburgers.

This is the giant Banyan tree across from where we ate. the branches are supported by other trees and in some places by posts because they are so big.

Day 4 we went snorkeling off of Molokini crater and off the coast of the island of Lanai.

This is Molokini, a cresent moon shaped island. too bad we didn't have an underwater camera to show all the many fish!

Here we are on the boat before getting our wet suit tops on and heading into the water. note the breeze in my hair:)

And this is the turtle swimming alongside our boat off the coast of Maui. See, he wants to say "hello" to you.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Arriving in Maui...

Day 2- We traveled to Maui and stayed at an awesome hotel that has only ocean front condos. We had the most amazing view. The water was literally 40 feet from the hotel:

We even saw turtles swimming in the water along the shore. They are hard to see in the pictures but how amazing that they were that close.
Our condo had a beautiful kitchen so we didn't have to eat out as much. Dee was even willing to do the dishes:)

Later that day we went to the beach a walked along Napili bay. 
And then we went on a short hike out to Dragons Teeth. The edge of the sea wall was curled back and smooth on the inside and carved into sharp pointy teeth. Even the tips of them were red from the iron in the lava. If the waves were crashing higher it could look like smoke from the dragon's mouth. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Hawaii Vacation 2013 Day 1 1/2

So this was a busy trip to Hawaii, so I'll take things about one day at a time.

Flying Allegiant: Good or Bad? Yes, it is cheaper, but you may also spend 2 hours in the plane just to be diverted to Las Vegas for an all together different 3 hour tour. Broken engines take a while to fix so we waited for our new plane to arrive from Canada. So what do you do in Vegas with an $8 voucher for food?
Buy a $5 Cinnabon and $3 water of course. Yum! Haven't had one of these in years.

We did arrive in Honolulu, eventually, and got situated in our hotel. We only stayed one night there. (Good thing since we probably would have missed our connection if we hadn't)
We were upgraded to a deluxe room with an ocean view. 
There actually was an ocean view, in the distance. We could see the cruise ships come into port too.  

The next morning we rented a car and went to the Laie Temple.  Here I am in front of the temple. 

The grounds are so beautiful, full of flowers and plants.

You can see all the way to the ocean from the front door. See it in the background:
After the temple we went for a drive through lush greenery and then, to the swap meet at the Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. Probably the best swap meet around. You could spend hours walking through it. 
We then hopped a plane and set off for Maui. That plane was on time, maybe even early. Hooray for Hawaiian!