Monday, June 28, 2010

Back to the grind!

All good things - a.k.a. VACATIONS - must come to an end... So now, I'm back at work, and I'm earning every darn cent of my 'play-cheque' this time around I tell ya! It's been a busy week, but I did manage to have a little bit of fun through it all. On Sunday, a big group of us spent the day climbing at Cougar Creek. Well, some of us climbed - including 3-1/2 year old Sophia - and some of us napped! Yes, that's cool little Erik, snoozin' on a creekside rock.

Everybody had a great time except Todd... he injured his shoulder while pulling down on a route, and unfortunately it was nasty. I haven't heard the doc's verdict yet, but my fingers are crossed that he merely stretched something, as opposed to full-on ripped it.

Anyway, tonite I get to enjoy the fabulous weather - I am photographing some high-school graduates... should be fun!! Watch for them on my photo blog, if you like:  Free Spirit Photographics


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Final Countdown

Well, we are down to our last few hours on Maui.... Boooooo.... Oh well, it has been an awesome trip! We've seen nearly the entire island, and each day has been fun and busy... and HOT!! This morning, after we got all our cleaning, laundry and packing done, we took a drive down to Keawakapu Beach - the folks who own the condo in which we are staying said it is their favorite - and we walked along in the lovely sand one last time.

Then we came back and barbequed up some steaks, and now we are lounging around, finishing off the final ounces of Captain Morgan's (gotta empty out the fridge you know... heh heh).

This time tomorrow, we'll be back to reality. Ouch. Although I shouldn't complain... home is good! I'm looking forward to getting out rock climbing and hiking and seeing my family and friends! Plus I really need a haircut.... Tooooooniiiiiiii!!!!!


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Exploring the Lava

This morning we hiked out past Cape Hanamanioa, which is south of Makena. This is the side of Haleakala that seems to have the most exposed lava - the fields of sharp black rock stretch for miles and miles, and they extend out into the ocean in places as well. We walked through dense old forest and picked our way over volcanic boulder fields, which is nothing like any topography we have back home... and I think in total we covered about 5km.

The absolute best part was when we saw a Hawaiian Monk Seal, sunning herself in a hidden cove. What makes it so special is the fact that these seals only live in the Hawaiian Islands and they (sadly) are approaching extinction. So we enjoyed a very rare sighting! How cool!

We had a late lunch at a beach-side cafe called the Five Palms, and then I went and checked out the aquarium while Todd had a nap. He didn't get to kite today, since there was barely a breath of wind - first time since we've been here! Oh well... maybe tomorrow... it is our last day here and it would be great if he could get one final ride in Maui.

UGH. Did I just say that tomorrow is our last day??!! I guess that means the vacation is almost over. Booooo. Well it has been fabulous I must say! Hopefully things are looking more summery in Alberta... I am pretty used to +30C now, so anything less is going to be disappointing!!


Mmmmm, shaved ice...

Todd color-coordinates his clothes with his food... in case of spillage... hee hee...

Shaved ice... basically a giant lump of snow, covered in a flavoring of your choice, sitting on top of a scoop of ice cream. Hits the spot on a hot Maui day! Yeah!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Big, but not the best...

The aptly named Big Beach in Wailea is where we hung out for a few hours this morning, and so far, it is probably one of the nicer beaches we've seen on Maui. However, after spending time on the pristine sands along the southeastern Australian coast, I am somewhat of a 'beach snob' and it is hard to be jaw-dropping-ly impressed by other coastlines... heh heh... But this one was quite alright I must say.

By eleven o'clock though, the crowds were amassing, and we bailed and headed back to the condo. This afternoon started out overcast and cooler than it has been, but it was still unbelievably windy. Todd was the only kitesurfer for several hours and again had a blast ripping it up on his new smaller board and 9 metre kite. He is still baffled at not needing the rest of the quiver we usually travel with! Mmmmmm gotta love those trade winds!

Tonight we ate at a place called Ocean's. It was inexpensive and the food and service were great! Now we're enjoying our usual nightcap and trying to decide what to do tomorrow morning - a hike, or visit the aquarium? Guess I better consult the guidebook... which was an extremely good purchase by the way. If you ever plan to travel here, "Maui Revealed" needs to accompany you.

Oh yeah... Todd has been bugging me about not being in any of the photos, so I thought I'd better take one as proof that I'm really here! Here I am!


Thursday, June 17, 2010


My sister has been to Maui before, and she suggested we stop in at Charley's in Pa'ia, for breakfast while we're here. So this morning, we did. And oh, what a brekkie it was!! Todd had the special - an amazingly tasty Hawaiian version of eggs benedict... and I had a breakfast burrito... which was the size of a Volkswagen!! I'm not kidding! Back home, a 'breakfast burrito' is just a fancy name for a Q-tip sized hunk of tortilla filled with a bit of cheese and sour cream and perhaps some hamburger if you're lucky. But Charley's breakfast burrito, well, this thing was stuffed with eggs and black beans and cheese and salsa and rice, and it took up about a third of the table! I barely made a dent in it and enlisted in Todd's help to try to finish it... but to no avail. Sadly we left over half of it behind. Oh, and we didn't get to see Charley! He is the namesake giant Great Dane who hangs out at the establishment. Must have been out for a walk while we were there.

We wandered around Pa'ia for an hour or so, and then we headed back to Kihei. The lovely, predictable trade winds picked up early in the afternoon and Todd had the place to himself... again! It is surprising that for such a nice location and conditions, not more people kitesurf here.

This evening, we had supper at a restaurant in South Kihei (I'm not naming it, because it was VERY expensive and the meal was mediocre), and now we are kicking back at the condo, enjoying drinks and the air conditioning! Tomorrow morning we are going to go snorkelling at Big Beach, which I am looking forward to, and I'd also like to take a walk along the boardwalk in front of the fancy hotels in Wailea. And then... more kiting for Todd! He's only missed one day so far, and that was due to a self-inflicted malady (remember all the beer and wine and rum that one night??!!) Hee hee!

Oh, I'm soooo enjoying this life... sun, beach, warmth, relaxation... I've finished two books already, and I'm trying hard not to think about going home... especially since it doesn't sound like summer has arrived there yet! ICK!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hana and Beyond

By 7am this morning, we were on the road to Hana... and that wasn't NEAR early enough!! D'OH!! Not because of the distance or road conditions or anything sane like that... it was because there were soooo many other people who picked the same thing to do as we did. I'm pretty sure that every tourist visiting Maui decided to go to Hana today! Oh well. What do you do.

In spite of all the traffic, we did take in some pretty nice scenery. I was excited to see Jaws, but I guess it only 'attacks' during the winter months... so I had to settle for a pic of the peaceful looking bay that is dormant for the summer.

The highway travels through some seriously dense, rainforest-ish vegetation and is lined with many waterfalls and neat little fruit and flower stands. Just west of Hana, we stopped at a market and tried the coconut candy I've been reading about. It was yummy!

Then we detoured out to Black Sand Beach and had fun wandering around on the lava flows. And, after a few attempts at route finding, we were able to check out Red Sand Beach also. Both were super cool!

We continued past Hana instead of turning around and going back the way we came. This is a spectacular drive as well - I think I almost liked it better, especially since there were few other vehicles!! The terrain is so different, it's almost hard to believe you're on the same island. Oh, and there was the most awesome old shop with the best antiques ever - my friend Toni would have loved it!! Of course I drooled over the collection of cameras... and then pouted a bit because nothing was for sale. 

By 3pm we were back in Kihei and half an hour after that, Todd was out riding. Unfortunately he suffered a gear failure (chicken loop blew apart), so his session was short-lived... but barbequed steaks, rum, and a gorgeous sunset quickly made up for it!

Well, now we have officially circumnavigated Maui in its entirety. Yeah! Over the next few days, I'd like to get in a bit more hiking (early morning - since it has been averaging 90F by 10am or so!!) and Todd will continue to take full advantage of the trade winds I'm sure. **SIGH** I can't believe how fast the time goes by, when we're having such a great time!! Not much longer and we'll be heading back across the Pacific. Boooo. Vacation is just too much fun!!