Posts tagged ‘Hawaii’
E kala mai ia’u to those of you who are wondering why the blog is up so late today. We are in the Aloha time zone, and, as Calvin would say, the days are just packed.
It starts with coffee. Not just any coffee. Kona coffee, hand-delivered by the CE who braves the elements (warm trade wind breezes and gentle morning sun) to slog alllll the way to the hotel lobby for our java fix.
Then it’s time for the morning shakedown. We awoke our first morning here to a cacophony coming from our lanai – a small gang of birds had assembled, demanding their daily pay-off. We quickly learned to stockpile bread for their morning and sunset visits.
Then it’s time for a walk. A plus to our location is that there’s a 2+ mile beach walk just steps from our room.
Our beach here is a favorite resting place for sea turtles, so we do a turtle count each morning. We usually see at least two turtles sunning themselves in the sand.
After all that activity, we have no choice but to head over to the breakfast buffet.
Then the real work begins. Off we go to the pool, where it’s decision after decision. Sun or shade? Iced tea or mai tai? Chips and guacamole or flatbread and hummus? Just no let-up to the grind…
Then it’s back to the room and more decisions. Do you take an indoor shower or an outdoor shower?
No sooner do we catch our breath from the rigors of the day than the birds show up again looking for their late afternoon snack. And then, more decisions – where to eat dinner and watch the sunset?
With all this stress, it’s tough to get a blog post up, so mahalo for your understanding! More to come…
It is not easy to leave Hawaii. I’m not saying I want to live there, because living there would imply going to the grocery store, making the obligatory run to Costco and doing battle with bugs the size of a shovel head. No, I don’t want to live there. I just want to be on permanent vacation there or someplace very much like it.
As I looked out at the beautiful view one last time, one of the cabana staff members came over to remind me that one never says goodbye to Hawaii, but, rather “A hui hou”; see you later. If I have my way, Hawaii will be seeing me much sooner than later. Here are a few last pix from Maui 2011:
Taylor flew with us to LA, then boarded a red-eye flight to WDC and went straight from the airport to work on Tuesday morning. Kind of the ultimate vacation buzzkill, that’s for sure. Of course, the magic was pretty much gone by the time we reached LA, anyway:
It is, however, good to be home. We got here just in time to wish Phyllis a belated 89th birthday:
We were amazed at how much the little ladies (can’t really call them chicks anymore) grew while we were away. They are almost three months old now! They’re testing their wings more, starting to work out the pecking order and making a big mess in the coop. Let’s just say our compost pile is growing by leaps and bounds.
Dateline: Ka’anapali. As they say, Maui no ka ‘oi – there’s no place like it. Ka’anapali is one of the most family-friendly areas in the islands, and we should know – we brought Steven’s girls here in the eighties, the girls and our boys here in the 90′s, and for this trip we have four grandkids in tow. Daniel arrived yesterday from his recent trip to Seoul, so everyone is here except Taylor – someone has to hold down a job in this family! A friend of Daniel’s will arrive today to join him, which will bring our group to an even dozen – so many of us we actually qualified as a “tour” with the hotel!
In decades past, we would arrive here with suitcases strapped to the top of a rented mini-van, teenagers and toddlers spilling out of the car and declare ourselves a “roving spectacle”, noting the horrified expressions on the faces of onlookers as we invaded the serenity of their Hawaiian paradise. But that was nothing compared to this trip – three and a half generations of one family staking out deck chairs, grazing the breakfast buffet and, in general, hanging loose. Not surprisingly, the crowds seem to part when we come through – everyone gives us a wide berth!
We’ve spent most of our time by the pool, but we did manage to pull the group together and attend a luau the other night:
While in Hawaii, we saw what appeared to be a weasel or ferret scurrying across a pathway into the bushes. A local told us that what we had seen was a mongoose. He did not seem to hold the creature in high regard.
The mongoose was brought into the Hawaiian islands in the late 1800′s when Hawaiian sugar planters imported several in the hope of controlling the rat population. Unfortunately, while a mongoose will eat rats, it prefers a diet of ground-nesting birds and their eggs.
While a goose and a friend are geese, a mongoose and a pal are just two mongooses, and with no natural predators in the Hawaiian islands, they have proliferated and become a nuisance. They have wiped out at least one species of bird on the islands and pose a serious threat to the nene, or Hawaiian goose.
According to local legend, the islanders of Kauai were not keen on the mongoose-as-rat-trap proposition, so they promptly drowned the ones that were sent to their island. Only Kauai and Lanai are free of mongooses. In the meantime, the rats just hang loose…or hang ten.
Heading for the airport soon to return home and none too happy about it, chickens and other pets notwithstanding. It’s always hard to say goodbye to Hawaii. I guess that’s why they say Aloha instead. We all had a great time and hope to return soon.
Daniel was under the weather yesterday, so instead of going to dinner without him last night, the rest of us gathered for room service and a game of Hearts. If you haven’t played, you’re missing out on one of the more entertaining forms of brutality this side of Gitmo.
Fortunately, Daniel is feeling better today, so tonight he can join us for another Hearts game – we’re hoping he has an appetite for the Queen of Spades.
Another gorgeous sunset last night…
That’s the logo for the company that sponsors the whale-watching cruise we went on this morning. Not too many whales, but lots of adventure, as in heave, pitch and roll of the boat. The emphasis, for me, at least was on heave, as in heaving breakfast over the side of the boat.
The kids went on a smaller boat the other day and a few of them got sick – they said it was actually worse today on our catamaran than on the small boat. They tried to go to sleep in the cabin while I tried to keep my eyes on the horizon in the back of the boat.
I was too ill to take in the information, but one of the deck hands said the Hawaiians have a particular name for the kind of wind that causes the extreme pitching of the boat we experienced today. I don’t know the word, but she said it translates to “the gods are laughing at us”. Maybe someone was laughing, but it wasn’t me. Turns out that even this place isn’t Paradise when you’re puking.
On a not-altogether-less-sickening subject, we went out for sushi last night. Taylor ordered octupus – you could see the tentacles from across the table!
And so ends another day in this beautiful place. Aloha!
One great option for dinner on the Big Island is the Blue Dragon for “Coastal Cuisine and Musiquarium”. Okay, it may not look like a hot spot at first glance, but this is most definitely the place to be on the Kona coast if you are between the ages of 3 and 93. Live music every night and everyone dances – except us, of course. Dubbed a “musiquarium” because of the open roof, most of the food served is grown or raised on the owners’ nearby farm and the fish is caught in the nearby harbor.
The kids had a great time on their “swim with the dolphins” trip today; they chilled out at the pool afterwards.
Mauna Kea pool is not what they term a “fantasy” pool, but never seems crowded and has an amazing view of the ocean beyond.
We’re hearing of frigid weather across the country – is it possible there is actually snow in Florida? Sending warm thoughts everyone’s way…
We drove up the road a piece to Waimea last night for dinner. Turns out the best Italian food outside of NYC happens to be in Hawaii! If you’re ever in the neighborhood, be sure to order the Big Island pizza at Solimene’s.
Tiny place in an unassuming strip-mall, but big on heart and on portions. After dinner, the kids posed with this paniolo – what Hawaiians call cowboys. Turns out that Waimea is home to the largest privately-owned cattle ranch in the USA.
For those of you expressing jealousy over our trip, hey, it’s not all perfect here in Hawaii – oh, wait, actually, maybe it IS perfect. Sorry…
Surf is still high, beaches technically still closed, but hopefully the kids’ “swimming with dolphins” excursion will still be on for tomorrow. As for the rest of today, it’s all work, work, work. Eat, apply suntan lotion, eat, pick up a book (I’m reading Les Miserables, so it’s a heavy one!), eat some more – you get the picture. Bernadette, if you’re reading this, all we can say is a big Mahalo to you!
Greetings from the Big Island! We threw a trip together in, oh, 24 hours or less. First visit to the Mauna Kea, which we’ve heard great things about and so far, we are fans! Possibly the nicest stretch of beach we’ve seen in the islands.
We’ve quickly discovered that things are Bird Perfect here – just a few hours after we arrived yesterday, we came face to face with a wild turkey. And there is a lovely pair of macaws here, as well.
And just to make us feel like we’re right at home, a kitty turned up at the breakfast table. Victoria gave him a saucer of cream. We thought the waiter would be angry, but he actually came over and whispered to us that Mr. Cat prefers salmon to anything else on the menu.
Don’t be jealous of us for the 80 degree temps and sunshine – it’s actually very hard work being here!