Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Memories of Hawaii...I had a fabulous trip and I look forward to returning to Hawaii again. I rediscovered how beautiful the islands are. I am including a few more pictures of my time there. Two of the shots are of a class of children with their teachers learning how to surf on Kailua Beach. Another is a mural I saw on the Big Island.Enjoy and Aloha!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Flowers I found around Maui. White Hibiscus, Tuberose that smell heavenly, Quail Bromilaid and Pink Protea (maybe...not sure), and gorgeous Pink Plumeria

A Unique street address in front of a home. The monster waves on a remote Maui beach, an outlook where I stopped to search for a waterfall on the road to Hana, notice the Hawaiian flag flying in the distance on the home. Another view at the Hyatt.

My last day on Maui. I had a wonderful day. I had breakfast at Whaler's Village. I ate at the Rusty Harpoon right next to the water and had another special food from Guam. Those of you who remember breakfast at Shirleys; fried rice with portugese sausage, with poached eggs on top will be drooling. This was almost as good as Shirleys! What a great way to start my day, with a breakfast I love on the water. I spent some time shopping and getting some last minute things before I left. Then I went and sat on the beach in front of the resort next door. Really a gorgeous view with several boats going in and out of the area. From there I drove further into West Maui and found another out of the way excellent beach. This one was called Mokelea and it is also called Slaughterhouse Beach. Yuk! There used to be a slaughter house on the cliffs, now long gone. This beach was one of the best I'd visited for watching the waves and seeing nature at it's best. The waves were at least 12 feet high. No one was swimming of course, but some were body surfing the waves and that was enjoyable to watch. I spent nearly two hours there just relaxing and enjoying the monster waves. It was the perfect way to wrap up my trip. It was sad to say goodbye and fly away from Maui. But I know in my heart I will return again and that leaves me with a good feeling. Check back for more pictures. Aloha!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Another Fabulous Day! This was my last full day on Maui and it was excellent. I spent the morning on the beach in Kapalua which has to be one of the best beaches on the island. Super half moon medium sized bay and great conditions to swim and relax. The waves were higher today than the last time I visited. But still a great day! After my morning reading and swimming I decided to have a little adventure. There is another drive here that takes you around the West Maui coast. This is a drive that is similar to the Hana drive, but not as many people make it. It was the adventure of a lifetime and it made me fall in love with Maui. It takes you through the most remote parts of Maui and two sections, one eight miles and another six miles of the road are a NARROW ONE LANE ROAD, so you have to be on the ball completely anticipating any cars coming around blind curves and bridges. There are SMALL, as in tiny pull overs periodically in case another car does come. Three or four times I had to pull aside for another car and a couple times a car pulled aside for me as well. This drive is the most beautiful drive I have ever experienced, but it isn't for the timid I can assure you. There were sections of the one lane road that dropped off into deep ravines going down to the ocean with no guard rail next to you. A couple times I had to take a deep breath and say a prayer. But the magnitude of the mountains, the lush green colors, the ocean view and the tiny village half way around made it heavenly to drive. It was somewhat like the mountain drives in California only twenty times more difficult. I enjoyed it and felt really happy I did it. It was a wonderful way to wind up the trip. As I said, I met a few cars, but everyone was driving with good sense, being careful and sensible. You really could not drive above 20 sometimes with hairpin turns only 5 mph. So the entire drive took about three hours and it was only about a 25 mile drive, plus many stops to see the gorgeous views. I will have to return to Maui and drive it again, as I only had my waterproof camera and I ran out of film! I didnt want to take the digital to the beach when I was swimming alone. So I have very few pictures. About a third of the way around I stopped in this valley I think called Honolua Valley or something similar and this woman had a tiny tiki stand set up selling drinks, homeade oatmeal cranberry cookies with a killer view of the ocean and cove. I imagine they love living there. It reminded me of the tiny villages on Southern Guam only a hundred times more gorgeous. More later, Im almost out of time!

Spa Day.. Well I needed a break after the day of the drive from hell and the dead bird..LOL So I made an appt for a Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage and had a fabulous time at the Hyatt (Hey Kathy you and Steve have to visit this location. It was heavenly.) Their spa is wonderful, everything you could ask for. I have pictures I will add later. The massage was excellent, my only wish that I should have asked for scented oil, such as a Hawaiian flower choice. Ah well, the massage was treat enough. When she finished she brought me to a room they call the Relaxation Room. WOW...I want to move in. It was as fabulous as the massage, maybe more so! This room is the size of a medium sized living room and has loungers, tropical flowers, drinks, fruit, wicker chairs and an entire wall that is an open window looking right on to the ocean! God it was like dying and going to heaven. It was so relaxing that I spent at least 40 min or so there. Which is how I got pictures, everyone else stayed like ten min and I had the place to myself. So I went back to my locker and got the camera :) I never wanted to leave! After that calm centering time I used the jacuzzi and had that to myself as well. How much more fabulous can it get? So I had a heavenly day and I can highly recommend the Hyatt on Maui to anyone. The grounds are very nice, not as nice as the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Oahu, but excellent all the same. I had a chance to get some nice pictures of the flowers around the grounds which I will add soon! All in all an excellent day concluded with sunset on the beach and Vietnamese food which I love.

Monday, October 17, 2005

These are pictures I've taken here on Maui. I feel moderately better today. I spoke to the man who own the B&B where I am staying and he said that even he doesn't do the drive on the road to Hana alone. He said really it requires two, one to drive and one to check the guide book and map for stops. That made me feel better. But still I don't like that I have traveled all over the world, and to several countries alone and I can't do Maui alone! This island is the first place I have ever felt odd being alone. There are almost no "single" travelers. It is very different, I have only seen two other women who are traveling alone and even in restaurants everyone is in couples. I have never felt this feeling overseas or even on the Big Island. But here for some reason I really feel it. Would it stop me from returning, absolutely not. It's a beautiful island and I love the beaches and the views. But this island is just more "couples " centered.

Upcountry... Today I drove to what is considered Maui Upcountry, into the mountains with gorgeous views from Makawao, Paia and Haiku. It was an interesting trip. I always say that when something didn't go quite right. LOL! Makawao was a really charming little town that reminded me somewhat of Julian, the mountain town outside of San Diego. For those of you who know that. Of course with the fire Julian may never look the same, but I hope it has been rebuilt. I enjoyed the peace of the area and the small town feel and few tourists. From there I drove to Paia. This is where the trip took a turn for the not so great. As I was driving the winding roads two pheasant like birds ran out in front of me, and I slowed down as much as I could, but with three cars behind me I didn't have many options. I hit the second one, and I felt bad for the next two hours. They were together which means to me they were a family and I feel so sad for the remaining bird to know that bird watched the other being hit. It was a very sad moment for me. I am so careful when driving and I've never hit an animal that I can remember. I've saved a couple cats that were hit by someone (One I now own....Hense the name Money cat!) but I've never hit one, until today. That really put a damper on my day. I know it was only a bird, but even birds are precious. So after that I didnt enjoy my visit to Paia so much. I did enjoy walking around a bit and I had lunch there. After that on the recommendation of my friend Veronica (thanks Veronica!) I drove to a well known windsurfing and surfer beach. I have never seen so many windsurfers! It is said to be the windsurfing capital of the world. I must have seen at least thirty on the water. So that was cool to see. Also many excellent surfers! From there I tried to find two waterfalls. (this area was on the road to Hana. But with the Haole (mainland tourists) driving like they were on a race track it was impossible! The roads are winding and speed limits are 20-30, and I watched people driving much greater speeds, at least 40 or 50! So it was difficult to find these spots. The Undiscovered Maui guide book I have is GREAT. But they give you mile markers and such to find things and say something like 8/10 of a mile after mile marker ten look for the light post and barb wire fence. Great if you have two people in the car so one can drive and the other can look, nearly impossible alone! I did manage to find what I thought was one spot, but when I got out and walked as directed I saw no waterfall. I doubled back twice but with the INSANE drivers on the road it was fruitless and frustrating. I wanted to slap them! I swear to god, we are on an island, it is a vacation paradise and they need to drive like they are in NY city! I cannot tell you how irritating it was! After that fun (NOT) I drove to the beach I had seen on an earlier drive and parked myself on the sand and spent a fabulous hour watching surfers! They are really fabulous, so good. Really fun to watch! So that and an excellent sunset made my evening much better! More later and hopefully pictures as well. :)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Ulalena.....what a fabulous show. It was mesmerizing and such a beautiful expression of Hawaiian culture. It lasted two hours but went so fast it was unbelievable. The costumes were simple but the lighting and the surround sound as well as the props were just fabulous! I paid extra to do the producers package, which meant I had a chance to meet the actors afterward as well as learn how they do some of the special effects and see and learn more about the native Hawaiian drums used in the performance. The Hawaiian chanting and drums are such beautiful sounds, that part I found very moving. The entire show is just so perfect, everyone who comes to Maui should see it. I had two photos taken with some of the cast afterwards. I will try to post them tomorrow. That was also fun! Then afterwards I found a Vietnamese restaurant and they had my favorite dish from Guam. I have gone to MANY Vietnamese restaurants in the last nine years and none have had the exact dish, that I loved on Guam, so to actually have it as it should be served was an excellent way to end a perfect evening! What a treat. For Sally and Myscha it was BBQ Beef with Lemon grass, served with rice noodles, mint leaves, bean sprouts and the lettuce leaves that you use to wrap all of it into a wrap. Fabulous! I'm going back. More on that later and the wonderful Vietnamese woman I met there. More later, Aloha!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Maui I've been in Maui now almost 24 hours. This island is a little crazier than I expected. I should have known, as it is SO POPULAR. Traffic is heavier here and people drive faster. They aren't very patient either. That could be attributed to the fact that so many of the drivers are visitors from the mainland still in their mainland RUSH MODE. It is absolutely gorgeous. There is just so much to take in that it is sensory overload at first. Yesterday as I drove in from the airport I noticed so much variety in the scenery. Mountains, red dark volcanic dirt, open countryside and the gorgeous ocean views. As you fly in the mountains are fabulous, get a window seat, it was amazing! But adjusting to this place is a real challenge. It's completely new to me, so I dont know the roads or the towns and am finding my way around slowly. I spent last night exploring Lahaina and watching the sunset. It is a quaint little town, filled with zillions of tourists just like me. Ahg! But even then it is worth the time to visit and explore. I also drove out and explored for a few hours today. I visited three beaches in West Maui. Ka'anpali Beach, which is in front of several resorts and has a nice walking path to follow. I also found Kahekili Beach Park which is the same area and there you could sit in sand or grass, and they had bbq's covered tables and really a nice beach area to relax. It was a gorgeous walk! The ocean colors are just so stunning, it isn't even easy to describe how beautiful it is. The third beach was Napali Beach, this one was smaller and more intimate and fewer people. Really excellent area to swim as it was a more protected cove and the water was crystal clear. I hope to return to that beach another day. All in all it is a wonderful island, just a bit overwhelming at first as there is SO MUCH HERE to see and do. Tonight I'm going to see Ulalena. This is a show that was recommended to me by some of my Hawaiian friends. It's a theatre production of Hawaii's history and culture with hula and many other things included. I'm looking forward to that. I'll give you a report another time! Take care. Lisa

Friday, October 14, 2005

On the way to Maui.... I'm waiting for my flight to Maui. It's been a great week here visiting friends. I wish I'd had more time with each of them, yet seeing all of them was very special and allowed me to reconnect to their lives here in Hawaii. I'm looking forward to Maui. I'm especially excited as it's my first trip to the island. I hope that you are enjoying following my trip and adventures in the islands. I wish my trip were longer, it's great to be here, and I wish I could stay forever. It really is a wonderful place. Though yesterday a local woman I talked to in Haleawa said that there are trade offs here

Surf shorts and Hawaiian drivers.... Just a couple short but cool things I wanted to add. Driving here has been a real pleasure. The Hawaiian drivers (I'd forgotten) are very friendly, they always let you in, they don't get impatient when you dont take off the second the light changes and they basically drive with a very considerate attitude. Now I did have a FEW jerks, but my friend Dory assures me they are mainlanders who just can't let go of that rush attitude.. It makes driving a real pleasure I can take my time and really relax. The surf shorts, how did I never own these before?? These are excellent, very comfortable, soft and instead of a zipper they have velcro and instead of a snap close they tie like a shoe lace back and forth. SO COOL. I love them. I found them today and I'm certainly buying another pair before I leave! Off to Maui tomorrow.

Lanikai beach taken in the morning sun. Pink Plumeria which smell divine! Byodo Temple in Kaneohe.

A couple pictures of my favorite beach areas. One is Sandy Beach where you can always find surfers and the second is Waimanalo Beach, which is up the windward coast a bit. It's a really gorgeous area that makes me REALLY WISH TO MOVE BACK TO HAWAII. As I stood there looking at the beach all I could think of is, I want to move back and live on an island. It was a really sad moment, to know that I have to wait, that I have to stay where I am for a time and let things unfold naturally, not an easy thing for a gypsy soul like me to do.

Aloha The picture is the From Here to Eternity Beach I had a wonderful day exploring the North Shore and driving down the windward coast, past all the surf beaches. What a great day! You'll laugh when I tell you where I'm sitting to connect to the internet.... in the back yard next to the pool. I tried several times to get my wireless to work in my bungalow and couldn't get a strong enough signal. So I KNEW there was a signal nearby. It was a matter of finding where the signal was good and it's the backyard!! I had a chance to visit some of my favorite places today. I drove to Mokeleau Beach and Kaena Point, which is a remote beach area that I used to love. There are always windsurfers in that area.. Today I watched kite boarders and they were amazing to see!! But sadly the area has gone down and it's a bit rough around the edges and you have to be more careful out there. No one bothered me, and I knew ahead of time to be careful. Well, I've hit some unknown key, because I suddenly have italics and no way to get out of it. Ah... computer fun! After the kiteboarders I drove to Haliewa and had lunch and visited a few of my favorite shops. It has grown a bit, but still has the same wonderful small town feel. After lunch I drove the coast back to Kailua and stopped at several of my favorite beaches. The sunset beach area where I stopped was packed with surfers and the waves were really high. Only experienced people were in the water, but lots of people watching. I also stopped at Chinaman's Hat. A favorite beach park that has an island off the coast that looks like an asian straw hat. Really a beautiful area with beach and huge mountains. Tonight I had dinner with my friend Dory. I've enjoyed seeing all my friends, one each day and just catching up on their lives. I will add some pictures tonight or in the morning. Enjoy!