No worries -- more pictures soon... I just can't keep up lately.
We went to Hawaii for our anniversary this year -- partly because Ron is on sabbatical and it seems a shame not to take a fun trip on sabbatical; and partly because we needed some time together. When we found out JR & Ronna were going to, we pulled our trip in a week, they pushed theirs out a week and we went together.
Logically, I know Ron and I need time together, but emotionally, it's super hard being away from Connor! My sister mamie was super cool to agree to take care of him Mon-Sun, and my super-good friend Julie agreed to watch him Mon and Tues. I told them both we'd do a trade so I get to watch their kids when they want to get away. :)
Maui is definitely different than Oahu. I can't say it's better or worse, just different. We definitely have a better condo here -- right on the beach in a corner unit that has 180-degree views from every room! The unit has *actual* beds (the one we stayed at in Oahu had japanese futons -- basically foam mats on the floor. yikes!) and everything else you could ever need.
Day 1: We arrive in Maui at 11:30 am local time. Ron and I head over to Costco and JR and Ronna meet us there an hour later (They went to Oahu first for a few days, then flew to Maui). We bought all of our meals for the week and then found our condo (an hour's drive away). That night, we went poolside and threw some ribs, potatoes and asparagus on the grill.
Day 2: We drove the Road to Hana and stopped along the way. It definitely made us all carsick at one point or the other, except for JR who was driving. But we did see ALOT along the way, and had a great time. Our first stop was at a little watering hole where we did some cliff jumping. (Well, I wasn't up for it, but everyone else did. Ron even went to the very top level by the road to jump). The water was very cold, but not as cold as in the Pac NW.
The next stop was at a little water fall with a swimming area around it. I almost didn't get in because there were these little fish that would eat at your skin. In fact, I spit into the water and within ~30 seconds a ton of little fish showed up and ate my spit!
After that, we went to one of the only black sand beaches on Maui. It was beautiful! There was a cave we went through -- I would have liked to jump in the water on the other side of the cave, but I had camera equipment with me. Most of the beach itself is black river rock, but there was some patches with sand. It reminded me of a warm Hood Canal. :) There were warning signs all over about Man of War jellyfish, rough surf, dangerous tides, etc etc. But there were still tons of people swimming. People are dumb.... We didn't get in, but went to the next stop because we were running out of time to get Ronna's sister back to the airport.
(Doesn't this picture make you want to go jump in some water?)
Our last stop of the day was at the seven sacred pools, which are neither seven nor sacred. Apparently it's a marketing gimmick, but one that worked. :) It was pretty cool with a whole bunch of different "pools" formed from the rocks.
After we dropped Caroline off at the airport, we found a place to eat. Ron got this local dish called "loco moco" which consisted of rice with a hamburger patty and an egg and gravy on top. Didn't sound very appetizing to me. Ronna got the same thing... and didn't eat very much! JR got this combo platter which included Spam. He loved the spam. wierd..... I got fried fish, which was yummy, and some fries which were cold and gross.
Day 3: We tried snorkelling and decided to go off of our own beach. Our condo is *right* on the water so it was very close. Our goal was to swim a mile south to what a particular map labeled as great snorkeling. Well, we only made it .4 miles in ~2 hours. But that's OK, because we saw a bunch of stuff along the way: Eels, octopus, tons of fish, corals, etc. (We only saw a turtle after we got out!) We got out at a park just south of Kahana Beach Resort, which ended up having alot of surf. So we did some body surfing, too. :) We walked back and had lunch at the hotel. Next time we'll go North. We think there's even more stuff that way. We also want to hit Black Rock at some point.
That afternoon was a lazy day -- I love those! We relaxed and planned/scheduled the rest of the week. Some of the excursions require booking in advanced. We booked a snorkel tour for Saturday, and decided not to book the bike tour for Thursday, but just rent the bikes, and we talked about the other days.
After dinner at the condo we headed out to find some night life. We ended up at Whaler's Village. It's a cool market spot in the middle of the big resorts. It was fun. This was the first day I was able to talk to Connor. The other days I was out of range, or in crowded spaces.... He loved
it! Mamie said he tried to eat the phone (which is his form of "kisses" right now) which turned it off and she had to call me back. :) I miss him!!!!
Day 4: we rode down a volcano on a bike! We started at the summit which is only accessible if you're NOT part of a commercial tour because it's actually a National Park, and the park wanted to limit their liability. Since we just rented bikes and didn't go on the tour, we started at the top! For 34.2 miles we rode downhill on windy, curvy roads. My arms, legs, butt and neck are SO SORE. Ron clocked the mileage on the way down the second time after picking up the second car. 34.2 miles!!!! you had to have one at the bottom and one at the top. (The one at the bottom is to pick up the one at the top that took the bikes in the first place). We're told that Lance Armstrong trains on that volcano, except he bikes UP the mountain, and gets a ride DOWN. yikes!!!
After biking, we went to this restaurant that we heard was fabulous called Mama's Fish House. It was a REALLY long wait since we didn't have reservations and we were all starving! but we waited, and it was good fish. I don't think I would go back though, it was VERY expensive. and such a LONG wait!!!!
I talked to Connor again. He listened very intently. I hope he's not too confused by all of this.
Day 5: was supposed to be a day to relax and recouperate. I'm not in the best of shape these days, and you can see that our itinerary has had ALOT of activity... But, Ron is person who likes to be constantly on the go.
Our first activity was Snorkeling in the morning. We went to Black Rock and saw quite a bit. I was the only one to see an octopus, but we all saw more eels, corals, fish, etc. We even spotted a sea turtle that was HUGE. JR got some good pictures of it.
After lunch we went and did some shopping. (My poor legs!!!). Among other stores, we went into one called Hilo Hattie and did the "pick an oyster" game. i.e. there's a bowl of fresh water oysters (that look like clams) on the table. for a mere $15.95, you pick an oyster and the nice lady will open it up for you and show you your pearl! Then, they try and sell you a setting for the pearl for ~$200. :) I had a coupon for 60% off. So, it wasn't too much. They have you tap it three times and then all yell "aloha!". I found a fairly large gold pearl in mine. She took it out and put salt on it to bring out its luster (but only when it first comes out!). Then she wanted to poke a hole for the setting. I wouldn't let her, yet. We were still thinking about it. Then, Ronna wanted to do it. So, she picked one out, we tapped it three times, said "aloha!" and she got a purple/black one! It was pretty. So then, Ron wanted a black one, so we tried again. I picked one out for him. Tap, tap, tap, "ALOHA!". We got twin pearls! Gold again. Almost the same exact color as the other! :) It was very cool, but not black. We might get it set, maybe. It was fun, though.
Day 6: Snorkeling at Molokini, then movie in the afternoon. It was a fun boat ride. We saw Pilot Whales on the way out, and sea turtles on the way in. Snorkeling at Molokini wasn't GREAT. But, it was OK. There were plenty of fish, eels, and some corals. We even saw a reef shark, so that was fun.
After snorkeling we went to see a movie. Ronna and JR saw the new Twighlight movie. (Twilight is a super big craze right now). Ron and I decided to go see Sorcerer's Apprentice with Nicholas Cage. It was a super cute movie. I like Nick Cage as an actor. He plays a wide range of parts. We had a good time together. I talked to Connor again before the movie started. Mamie said he's finally starting to go to sleep without the restlessness. :( Poor little guy -- he's going to have to start over now that he's staying with Julie for two days. :( I actually just want to get home to him. I miss him so much! and we've had enough Hawaii... But, I have to wait until
Day 7: We went to the Lahaina First Ward Sacrament meeting at 9am. It was interesting to see ~1/2 the congregation were visitors, and as soon as sacrament meeting was over they all left. I guess that ward would have a ton of visitors each week, since it's right in the middle of the resort district.
After church we ate lunch and lounged for a while. Ronna and JR went on one last drive to see Dragon's Teeth and find the Blowhole. Unfortunately, the road was closed to the blowhole (but they saw Dragon's Teeth). Since it was my birthday, we decided to go find some cake and/or ice cream. We decided on Cold Stone (very yummy ice cream with stuff mixed in). I got the cake batter remix. YUM. Ron got the cheesecake fantasy.
Ronna and JR had to leave for the airport after that to go home. Ron made a reservation at Kimo's for our anniversary. It was nice... no long waits like at Mama's fish house! :) And the food was good.
Day 8: our first day alone.... we got up late and headed out. We decided to drive around the North half of Maui and look for the blowhole again. We found it! It was pretty cool. the water shoots up through this little hole in the ground. You can get right up on it, so we did. Ron got wet. :) Then we decided to continue our trip around the North end of the island. It was much more lush than the Road to Hana, but had fewer stops to see. The road, though, was VERY scary! at one point, it was a one-lane road with a mountain on one side and a cliff on the other! I didn't get a picture of that stretch, but I did get pictures of some of the other scary stretches... (None were quite as bad as the mountain-cliff, though!!!).
After our road trip, we went to finish shopping for souveniers for the awesome people that watched Connor for us! We couldn't very well come back empty-handed.... then we went to take a romantic walk on the beach. Ron taught me how to walk "Flat-footed" so your feet don't sink into the sand so much. It actually helped.... :)
Julie called me so I could say goodnight to Connor. He hung up on me again, :). too cute!
Day 9: Our flight left at 1:15 pm, and of course, Ron is super-paranoid about getting to the airport on time. So we spent the morning cleaning and packing and cleaning some more. Then headed to the airport. 2 hours early.... Oh, well, at least we didn't miss the plane to see our baby!!!!!!
Gavin and Brett Sports 2016
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