Monday, September 15, 2008

Kihei, Maui, Hawaii, September 2008

Monday 9-15-08
67° now and today its supposed to be 87° and partly cloudy.

Yesterday was a long travel day. We left our house at noon which was nice not to have to rush around in the morning and be at the airport at 6 a.m. which is our usual vacation M.O. Our flight left at 2:10 p.m. right on time. 6 hours later we arrived in Maui right on time. It took 45 minutes to get off the plane and another 55 minutes to get our luggage and another 30 minutes to get the rental car. The door-to-door experience always ends up being exhausting. By the time we got here it was 7:15 p.m. (10:15 our time). I had told Paul that if the resort and room weren’t decent after the fiasco we had last year, I want to sell our timeshare. We are at the Maui Beach Resort on Kihei. The place is actually nice (from what we can see in the dark) and I’m not disappointed with the room. It’s big and clean. The only downside is there is no air conditioning which we knew but a lot of resorts here don’t have A/C on Maui. The reviews I read when we booked it said that the no A/C really wasn’t an issue and with the doors and windows open it was pleasant. With the exception of one man who bitched about everything the reviews were all good. I had called in advance to request an ocean view and a room on one of the upper levels. Again, recommendations from reading the reviews. I told her we had a bad experience with location last year and didn’t want to repeat it again this year. She got the impression our bad experience was here and I didn't chime in to correct her. Anyhow we have an ocean view and we’re on the 5th floor (of 6) so I’m happy I made the call. It was a little stuffy when we got in our room but after we opened the sliding glass door and all the windows a nice breeze came thru and it was not uncomfortable. We had passed a Kmart on the way here so I told Paul that I would got out in the morning and get a box fan.
We went to dinner at a restaurant right in front of the resort, Isana. We thought it was Japanese but when we looked at the menu it was Korean. Paul found a beef dish that looked normal so we decided to stay. I had sushi (spicy salmon roll) which was okay. We got back to the room and it had really cooled off. Nice, but if there was A/C we probably would have turned it on. Paul was up sick all night and thinks the beef was bad. I think it was just seasoned and cooked different than what he’s used to.  First night, bad meal, again.
I finally got up at 4:30 a.m. and made coffee. They left a complimentary packet of Kona coffee which is very good. I’m out on the balcony, enjoying my coffee and a biscotti. I'm glad the wireless is working. I was greeted with a nice e-mail from a friend (CDP) that started my day with a smile. It’s still dark out. They say sunrise is at 6:13 a.m. The full moon is still shining as it’s settling its way over the horizon and the only sounds I hear are the waves crashing into the land. As soon as it gets light out I’m going to take a walk on the beach. I just realized I didn’t bring my “walking clothes”. I typically bring some sweat shorts and a workout tank top (i.e. built in bra). No big deal. I’ll wear regular shorts and a regular tank top. When we’re out today I’ll pick up some shorts for my morning walks.
So far the only thing on the agenda today is the market. I don’t cook on vacation even though we have a full kitchen. We buy coffee and beer and soda and snacks and his mandatory ice cream. Paul usually gets some sort of muffins for the morning and I buy fruit. I think we’ll still go to Kmart and get a fan just cuz we like it cooler than the average bear. Then we’ll figure out which direction we’ll venture into today. It’s 6 a.m. and right on schedule it’s getting light out so I’m going to change clothes and venture out to get some sand between my toes. Aloha!

***later that day:

I just :love: my walk on the beach. I stood there and let the surf run up on my feet and the water was warm to my surprise. I had a great walk. There weren’t many people out. A man doing some meditation and stretches. A little Maltese came running up to say good morning, his Dad was not far behind. I walked down and walk/jogged back. I only passed one other lady. When I was crossing back over a guy about 30-ish with dreadlocks was riding his bike. He smiled and I said good morning and he said “good morning gorgeous lady” (and stretched out the geooooooor part like he was singing). Yeah, gorgeous. No make up and a baseball cap. What a site for sore eyes. I came back to the room and Paul had just gotten up. I went in to SF&P (shower, fluff and puff for you newbies to my blog) and he was out on the balcony. Then I went down to the front desk to register since we got in after they had closed last night. I asked her to send the maintenance man up because the ceiling fans in both rooms were barely circulating. She asked what number I had them on. All the way up to 5. She said try 1 because sometimes they are backwards. Bingo. They are on warp speed now. We went to the grocery store and then ventured in to Lahiena. We walked around the shops and had lunch at Cheeseburger in Paradise. Walked around a little more and then scheduled a tour tomorrow on Atlantis, an underwater excursion. We were walking back to the car and neither one of us could remember where we parked so that turned into a big fiasco. We went out of our way, turned around and back the other way.  He started getting cranky.  I finally saw a police officer and described the lot to him and he told me where it was. When I drive I totally pay attention to where I’m going and where I park, but when someone else is driving I kind of tune out. We literally only walked about a block or so out of our way. We drove back without much to say to each other and now he’s taking a nap. I’m trying to chalk it up to lack of sleep but I’m not making excuses for him. Whatever.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Yesterday afternoon he got up from his nap and we went down to the pool for a little while. When he got back he said his stomach was still in knots and he couldn’t eat dinner. No biggie. I had a snack pack with ham and cheese and crackers that I had not eaten on the plane so I ate that with a peach. I went to bed early and man was it windy. The vertical blinds in the room were slapping against the wall and the dresser. I almost got up and closed the windows but it was nice and cool in the room and the noise wasn’t all that annoying. Paul can’t hear when he takes his hearing aides out so it didn’t bother him!

I love having the ability to check my e-mail every morning ;~)
This morning the plan is - after my walk we are going out to breakfast. We have to be at the Atlantis tour meeting spot at 1:30 for a 2:00 departure. Aloha!
***later that day:
We took a drive south and had breakfast at the Five Palms at the Mana Kai Maui. Really nice outdoor patio. We sat at a corner table of the deck between the pool area and the beach. I started with a Bloody Mary (What? Hey a girl has to get her veggies!) and had my favorite breakfast – bagel with lox and cream cheese.
He said he’d like to buy another timeshare at a place like that and use our current one to travel various locations and one on Maui to come to every year. I told him I didn’t think we vacation together well enough to have to endure it twice a year. He apologized for his “tirade” (his words) yesterday and said he was tired and didn’t feel good and the extra ‘walk to nowhere’ didn’t help.
We drove around soaking in the beauty of the south side of the island. Ventured back to Lahaina for the Atlantis excursion. It was interesting. You get on a boat that takes you out to sea where you watch the submarine pop up and the passengers get on the shuttle boat and then we get on the sub. And down, down, down it goes to 134 feet.
Pretty fish, sunken ship, blah, blah, blah. It was an hour and 45 minutes total. The pilot said “its been a beautiful thing but you can’t stay down forever so time to come up for air” (hi Jay).
Oh, speaking of Jay, I’ve searched the ABC Store
and the E to Z Store and no alphabet soup or alphabet cereal to be found!
Dinner reservations at the Maalaea Waterfront Restaurant which is rated Best Overall Restaurant; Best Service; Best Seafood by various magazines.

Wednesday September 17, 2008
It's 72° right now and 87°/partly cloudy is predicted for the day.
Dinner last night was above average but not what we consider 5 star. I think we’ve become total restaurant snobs! The location was beautiful right on Maalaea Bay. A little hard to find down a small side street and behind a condominium complex. We sat outside on the patio which was beautiful complete with tiki torches and palm trees lining a walkway between the restaurant and the bay. The service was good but I wouldn't go as far as "best". We skipped the appetizers, he had lobster soup and I was going to have the Caesar Salad but it was for two so I decided to hold off of the fat intake and share dessert instead! I tasted his soup and I really didn’t care for it. It had some spice in it that I couldn’t quite figure out and it was full of chunks of potatoes which made it more like a lobster chowder. I ordered the Ono which is my favorite fish. They said it was wrapped in ribbons of potato and sautéed, topped with diced tomato and mushrooms with a garlic/lemon/herb butter sauce. The potato ribbons were more like hash browns and it was very potato-y. I removed most of the topping and just ate the fish, which was good - very moist and firm. The green beans had julienne red and green peppers and I don’t like peppers so I didn’t eat many of those. Peppers have a way of permeating everything they touch. He had Mahi-Mahi Cajun Style. It wasn’t Cajun spicy like we’re used to but it was flavorful. Unfortunately it was boney which turned him off but he removed the boney area and ate most of the rest. Time for dessert! When she came to get our dessert order I mentioned that the Mahi-Mahi was boney. She almost got a little defensive and said “well, we take extra care to debone the fish, but it IS fish ya know”. After she left the table I was thinking ‘Ya, I know but you ARE advertising you are a 5 star restaurant so you should go to extra-extra efforts IMO. Fish shouldn’t be boney in a fine dining establishment (except trout which is typically always boney). We shared a White Chocolate Blueberry Cheesecake on chocolate graham cracker crust with lemon crème fresh. I thought it was pretty good except we’re still looking for the blueberries. He didn’t really care for it. He said he understands when someone wants to take a recipe and make it their own but why bother if you aren’t making it better than the original. He didn’t like the lemon crème fresh because it was too tart but I like tartness so that didn’t bother me. When she dropped it off she said the chef apologized that the fish was boney so our dessert was on the house. That was nice and almost made up for her snippiness about it. On a scale of 1-10 I rated it a 7.5 on the Patti scale.
On the way back to the resort we stopped at the ABC Store so he could get a six pack of beer. He bought a local Hawaiian brew and it was 10 bucks. He couldn’t believe that it was that expenses for local. I told him he was a kvetch. Sometimes I pay $8.99 for a six pack for him so this was only a dollar more and we’re on vacation and you know Maui is expensive so stop complaining and get over it. He agreed. He’s a kvetch.

Today we don’t really have anything planned. I’m waiting for daylight so I can take my morning walk/jog on the beach. We might just hang out by the pool or down at the beach and just have a relaxing lazy day. Sounds good to me.

Thursday September 18, 2008
I had a great walk/jog yesterday morning. The sun was shining, I would guess it was about 70° and the wind was trickling by. Did you know the wind could trickle? Probably better known as a slight breeze. I must admit I really don’t like the “jog” part and I’m not all that good at it. I count my steps and force myself to go at least 50 and at 40 my legs start burning and at 50 I have to stop and catch my breath. It’s pathetic. Why do I do it? Cuz it’s good for me, so they say. Those “they” people must be right because my FBS has been good and yesterday at Longs I used the blood pressure machine and it was 98/66. Anyhow when I do the jog part I move up away from the water a little and when I’m walking I’m at the water line and the surf comes in up to my ankles and rolls back out and then falls short of my feet and rolls back out and back in to my ankles almost rhythmic. S
o I’m getting close to being back to my starting point and its ankles, not quite, ankles, not quite, ankles, not quite, and all of a sudden BAM up to my knees with the splash past my whoo-haw. Where did THAT come from? No wonder there are warning signs all over that say not to turn your back on the surf. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out – it could be over your head. Anyhow, walking in wet shorts – not so good. I was about to turn off the beach and back to the road and there was a nice looking man standing at the entry point with a big ole old fashioned camera (as in uses film). We exchanged good mornings and he asked if I would mind if he took my picture. I said “I would only mind because I look like crap right now” (mind you I walk before I S,F&P, yesterday’s make up and a baseball cap to cover yesterday’s hair! Very pretty – not - as you can see for yourself). So smooth talker that he was he said “if this is what you consider crap, when you are all shined up you must be stunning”. WhatEVer. Snap-snap and on my way.
In spite of the good walk and the compliment from a random stranger I wasn’t in such a great mood. Paul was just getting up and in a surprising and rare pretty good mood. After my SF&P we went to breakfast at Stella Blues. Average. It was 10 a.m. and I wanted a tuna melt but they don’t serve lunch until 11. I wasn’t in the mood for eggs and I don’t typically eat pancakes so I had a repeat of bagel, lox and cream cheese. Not bad but not as good as the day before and skimpy on the cream cheese. Again I fed 1/4 my bagel to the birdies since we were on the patio and they were hovering for food. We came back and put on bathing suits and went down to the pool. The Jacuzzi wasn’t working and I thought there was a timer switch somewhere that we couldn’t find so I went to the office and the maintenance man walked back with me, pushed the button, no bubbles, said he’d fix it shortly and within about 5 to 10 minutes he got it going. I must admit they are right on the ball here if something needs to be attended to. We laid out for about an hour until it got really windy and chilly. Then we took a drive way south and stopped at a couple of arts and craft fairs. Then stopped at a couple of beaches. We wandered around and all the way to the way to the lava fields. Last remaining lava fields on Maui as Paul pointed out. They are pretty impressive. Black lava for miles and miles similar to rock formations. You could just imagine how it looked when it was red and angry and flowing its way to the sea. Then all of a sudden you realize there is nobody around for miles and it feels kind of creepy. We stopped by the resort so I could change clothes and powder my nose before venturing out to dinner. We went to Ka’anapali to Whalers Village and ate at Leilani’s. It’s been there for 45 years! I couldn’t decide what I wanted. They had four fresh fish options, none of which tripped my trigger. I couldn’t even imagine eating steak (I'm in another no beef funk) and had a brief thought of rack of lamb. I just wasn't in the mood for meat. The only shrimp they had was scampi so I was going to get that but wasn’t too thrilled about my prawns swimming in butter. Just then a lobster tail went by and looked fantastic so I ended up ordering lobster. We split a salad, “Upcountry Greens with Maui Onion and a Papaya Dressing”. I was really just lettuce with some sliced onion on the side. The lobster was excellent but I couldn’t finish it. How can you leave lobster behind? I had to, I was stuffed. It was only a couple of bites so I didn’t feel too awfully bad about it. Probably should have skipped the piece of piping hot sour dough bread with whipped butter that I had before my salad but it was m-m-good and I hadn’t eaten lunch so I was really hungry when we got seated. After that we walked around the shops and Paul had an ice cream. Where he puts it I have no idea. I drove back to the resort. That’s one thing I really enjoy about being on vacation is that he drives everywhere. Except back after dinner if he's had a few drinks.

Today’s agenda: We thought about taking the road to Hana and then we thought about doing one of the tour vans for the road to Hana because as beautiful as the scenery is it’s an ugly twisty turny drive and the driver really can’t enjoy the view until you stop along the way. We haven’t decided yet. He wanted to do a dinner boat cruise until I reminded him they will sit him next to people he doesn’t know and he hates that. A social butterfly he’s not. He blames it on his hearing (or lack thereof) but seriously, he wasn’t much of a social butterfly when he could hear. We’ll probably do a Luau Saturday night.
Time for my morning stroll.

My walk was tough this morning. The tide had come in closer to the road barrier last night so the sand was super soft. Good exercise to be sinking in like that with every step but too difficult for me for the jog part. I gave up after 3 or 4 runs and just walked today. We had breakfast at the Sea Watch at the Wailea Golf Club. Again, beautiful outdoor restaurant and again, too early for the lunch menu so I was stuck with bacon and eggs. I feed the birds the rest of my toast.
There was a really pretty orange head bird (Doug told me it's a cardinal) mixed in with the sparrows (or whatever they are). Paul thinks they are the same birds just following me from breakfast spot to breakfast spot. I told him it’s not like they can go buy groceries. We left there and decided to do the Road to Hana. He ended up driving instead of taking a tour van. Much better idea. The vans linger in places that you might not be as interested in and don’t stay long enough in places you want to explore. And what about potty stops? Anyhow it was beautiful but a long ass drive. We stopped and bought the CD narrative which is worth every penny. It took us about four hours to go up to Hana (with all the stops and site seeing) and about two hours to get back out. Along the way I got eaten alive by a bug in the arboretum and at another stop I climbed over a small railing (there was no keep out sign and probably a dozen people were wondering over there too) to get a better picture of a waterfall and on the way back to the rail I hit my toe and cut it on a lava rock. Not to worry. I sanitized it with spit. (Now isn't that pic worth a little injury?) When we got to Hana we went into the historic Hasegawa General Store and got an ice cream. Then we headed back down the ‘long and winding road’. Exhausting drive, especially as the passenger. ;-) Paul got on the computer and did some research and decided we should have dinner at Duo at the Four Seasons. Reservations at 8. I’ll be starving by then since again, no lunch. Unless ice cream counts as lunch.

Friday, September 19, 2008 – is it really already Friday?

Last night dinner was incredibly disappointing. On the way there Paul said if this didn’t measure up to fine dining than he gives up. I told him if the Four Seasons doesn’t measure up than maybe we need to lower his standards! We arrived about 30 minutes early so we took a stroll around the property. Absolutely gorgeous doesn’t even begin to describe it. Four Seasons is top notch in the ambiance department. The dining area was outside but covered in canvas and really nice with candle light and fresh flowers and the tropical breeze. We were seated at 8. Bottom line – our food arrived after 9:30! We both ordered "Prime Filet Mignon", I ordered the small one (cuz I was only half way out of my no beef funk) and he got the large one. He ordered the “Caramelized Maui Onion Soup with Three-Cheese Crust”. I decided to skip the salad and save room to share dessert. We ordered “Cheese Truffled Potato Spuddies” to share, which are kind of like little (like size of a quarter) potato pancakes topped with some melted cheese. He ordered creamed spinach. He got his soup and then we waited and waited and waited and waited. Our server came over and said our food would be out in 2 minutes. 10 minutes later the manager came over and apologized. He said they had a big party come in (points over to a group) and the kitchen was backed up but our meal was being plated right now. I look over at the group he pointed to and there were 10 people. Personally I think a restaurant of that caliper should be able to handle a table of 10 and still provide good service to their other guests. Anyhow our meal came out and everything is good (except my steak was overcooked but still tender and juicy). We both literally ate two bites and that was it. I had one potato thingy. We were so over the dining experience. The manager came over and told us to please have dessert on the house. We got everything to go including the dessert. On the dessert menu the only thing that looked like it could travel well was chocolate cheesecake. It took so long to get the dessert and check I told Paul “two more minutes and I’m leaving”. We didn’t get out of there until after 10:30. Over two hours for a fine dining experience wouldn’t be bad if we had ACTUALLY EATEN!!! We got back to the room and I had a couple of bites of the chocolate fluff and it was certainly different to say the least. Nothing about it resembled cheesecake, however, it WAS chocolate. Paul said he gives up scoping out restaurants and I need to pick for the remainder of the trip. Sad thing is the food was good and it would have been an enjoyable experience if they wouldn’t have shipped our dinner in from another island while we were waiting.

This morning it’s another beautiful day in paradise. It’s about 70° right now and upper 80’s predicted for today. The weather has been consistent since we arrived. My toe is throbbing this morning. I’m going to soak it in hot water. I should probably go buy some Neosporin or something. Not sure walking on the beach is such a good idea. The water should help, the sand, not so much. I hate to give up my morning walk though. Maybe I’ll go and soak it when I get back.
I skipped the walk on the beach this morning. I can’t fool around with an open wound on my toe. I went to Longs and got peroxide and Neosporin and band aids. I’ll leave them in my travel bag when I get home since it’s a good thing to have when you’re away. We decided to skip breakfast and have an early lunch today since I’m burnt out of breakfast food. I had a biscotti with my coffee this morning and two small plums when I got back from the store. We haven’t quite decided what to do today. I’m thinking of getting a tattoo while we’re here so I might check out a couple of places today and get it done tomorrow or Sunday. We have plenty of time Sunday since checkout is 11 a.m. and our flight isn’t until 9:30 p.m. The first tattoo I ever got was here on Maui with my buddy Mike and the tattoo parlor, Skin Deep, is still here in Lahaina. Maybe we’ll venture up there today and I’ll check it out.

We went down to Lahaina and had lunch at the Lahaina Fish Company. I had fish and chips made with Mahi-Mahi and it was fantastic. Crunchy on the outside, moist and flavorful on the inside just as it should be. Fed some fries to my birdies. We walked up and down the shops and I got some t-shirts for the boys and a couple of other odds and ends including a silk scarf top that you can wear several different ways for only 20 bucks. I had seen the exact same thing at a little kiosk at Whaler Village for $69! What a bargain.
 We stopped at the tattoo parlor and they didn’t have what I wanted. He said to search on line. They don’t have any appointments available until 2 p.m Sunday. I might go check another place right down the street from our resort. Now we’re going to get in some pool time.
I’ve made dinner reservations at Sarento based on a recommendation from a lady I met at the pool. This is their home resort and they’ve been coming here for 8 years. She said their other two favorite restaurants are the Waterfront (we’ve been there for dinner already) and the Five Palms (had a great breakfast there). Fingers crossed!
I also called my friend Doug who wasn’t home but spoke with his roommate Tony and I’m hoping to get some visit time with him. I’ve known Doug for 20 years and he moved here about 4 years ago is my best guess. I was really happy his phone number was listed in the phone book. The e-mail address I had for him was old. We’ve been in touch off and on over the past few years. I adore him. Long story about how we met so I’ll have to get into that another time.

Blogger is doing something weird for two days now. I post and when I view its all there but when I go back to edit it’s not. I thought it might have just not caught up with itself yet, but what I posted this morning isn’t in my edit view. Good thing I’m typing in Word and saving the document because
I need to re-post the entire entry to update. Weird huh?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I had the BEST time last night. Doug called as we were on the way to dinner. Not so happy that I had been here since Sunday but totally shocked that I was here and tracked him down. Said I was “toast”. Anyhow, dinner first. Fantastic. Finally! The beautiful view, the excellent service and the fabulous food. We split a Caesar Salad which just perfect. I ordered Wild Tiger Shrimp which was much better than it was described on the menu. They don’t have their menu on line or I’d copy and paste their description vs mine. There were too ginormous shrimp stacked on top of each other, stacked on a layer of ravioli with a pink sauce that was not too creamy and not too tomato-y. Paul had Osso Bucco which he said was one of the best he’s ever had. We split a tiramisu which was also delicious. (Don’t know what the scale is going to say about my eating habits when I get home but my BG and my BP has been good and those are the more important numbers anyhow.) **edit to add scale said minus 2** We left the restaurant and Doug had called again. Paul went back to the resort and I went to Doug and Tony’s. He asked how well I knew my way around Kihei and I told him Longs is my landmark and I knew enough to know that there aren’t addresses posted on every business so you have no idea how close you are to your destination. He said “meet me at Longs, I need to go there anyhow”. We figured out we haven’t seen each other in about 15 years and still had no trouble recognizing each other instantly. He was at the check out line and I walked in and this cutie patootie leaves his side and walks up to me and says “Patti?” and I said “Tony?” and he put his arms out and give me a big hug and planted a kiss. Doug and Tony have know each other for 7 ½ years Anyhow, our resort is a few blocks north of Longs on S. Kihei Road and his condo is a few blocks south of Longs on S. Kihei Road. What were the odds? We picked up right where we left off so many years ago. I said I’d tell the “Doug story” another time but I have to tell part of it now or the story and the pictures we took won’t make any sense at all. I met Doug on a trip to Mexico that I hadn’t even planned on. My friends Mark and Jim were supposed to go and Jim got sick with some intestinal parasite and the doctor forbid him to go to Mexico. So Mark called me and said “can you go with me tomorrow!” There were about 12 or 14 people going and they were all couples and he didn’t want to be the odd one out and they had already paid their share of the room. So I got off work and off we went. We met at some random spot and caravanned our way to LaFonda Mexico. After we got out of the metropolitan Los Angeles area the ride was boring as hell and all of a sudden Doug (who was the passenger of a little truck in front of us) took off his socks, opened the back window and with his socks on his hands he started entertaining us with sock puppets. OMG we were hysterical. I’m like "I love this guy, who is he?" Mark had never met him but we were driving with another couple and they knew him. He was recently divorced and had two small children 5 and 7. He had moved in with their friend Pete.  We didn’t actually meet until we stopped at the border to buy Mexico vehicle insurance. It was love at first site! We hung out together the whole time. We’ve kept in touch over the years even though he moved from the L.A. area up to Stockton (Northern California), lived there for several years and moved to Maui 4 years ago.
So, short history lesson over, when I called yesterday and left a message with Tony, he said he got home from work and Tony said “do you know Patti S********?” He said “yes, sock puppets!” Tony said “she called”, *no she didn’t*, “she’s here”, *no she’s not* “she’s right down the street” “she is not” I told him that when Tony asked my name I was going to just say “tell him sock puppets called” but I thought he would think it was a crank call. Tony said “if you would have said that I would have dropped the phone and let out a big Oh*MY*GOD!” How funny. I knew Doug would remember the sock puppets but had no idea he have shared the story so many years later. In fact when he called me he said “what are you wearing” and I said not much and he said “what, no socks?” I told him I didn’t bring socks and he said “I live on Maui, I don’t have socks I have flip flops”. Well he searched way back in the drawer and found two pairs of white socks and we took lots of pictures.
We sang “I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates, you’ve got a brand new key” doing hand motions of the words with sock puppets. Tony took pictures. We walked down to the beach and enjoyed the stars and the moon and the surf. We talked about Mexico and how we had walked on the beach holding hands and he named a star after me and then we had make believe babies and named the stars after them. Crazy kids. Neither one of us could remember the names of our babies but I told him since it was 20 years ago we probably had grandchildren by now! So we decided there were four of them and named them Tony (the brightest star – with a little baby naming help from Tony, imagine that) and then there was Coty and Sophia and Gracie. He asked me if I’d remember the names of our grandchildren 20 years from now? (Pay no attention to the bottle of Grand Marnier. I don't drink, remember?!) We went back to their place (cuz I had to pee or we’d probably still be there). He told Tony that I’m prissy! Who me? Then he took out the bikini shirt. The story is that a few years ago, I think it was Tony’s Mom was there visiting and really liked the big t-shirts that have the skimpy bikini body on them but they were 30 bucks and she thought that was crazy for a t-shirt. So Doug bought the shirt and kept it there so everyone who comes over has to put on the shirt and have their picture taken in it. He showed me a slide show on his computer of dozens and dozens of friends and neighbors posing in the shirt. Men, women, children. So I had to put on the shirt and he took a bunch of pictures, but only with his camera and said when I send him the pictures from my camera he’ll send me his. Brat. Then came the flowered floppy hat. Last year a friend came and bought a hat and left it there so now that’s part of the bikini pic tradition. Then Tony put on the shirt and I put on the hat and we danced to the theme of Grease (you're the one that I want) and laughed and had so too much fun. I finally left at 1:00 a.m. Tony invited us to do a dinner cruise tonight. He works for Pacific Whale Association and they have a nice sunset dinner cruise. I told him we’d go if they went with us. Doug grimaced but finally cracked to the peer pressure. Tony told me to call this morning after I confirmed that Paul would go and he’ll book it. I think Paul will. It was one of things we thought about doing and going with someone we know will make it a little easier on him. He’s met Doug and liked him and Tony is one of those people that you meet and feel like you’ve known forever.

And I still woke up at 4 ficken o’clock but forced myself to stay in bed til 6. Jay’s right. Sleeping is a waste of time.

Sunday, September 21, 2008
Let’s see, what did we do yesterday? I took an extra long morning walk on the beach to sort of make up for not going yesterday morning. My toe looks good by the way. Paul wanted to stay in the room and watch the Cubs game, which had a happy ending as the his Cubbies clinched a play off spot. I went and ran a couple of errands. Took back a dress I bought at Hilo Hatties because I decided I didn’t really like it anymore. (Glad I put it on before we left rather than not liking it when I got home.) Filled the car up with gas ($ouch$) and then went to the tattoo shop that Doug recommended right here on Kihei called Hot Rod Ink to check out some designs. I picked two out that I really liked (combined), and had the guy make a couple of minor alterations to the flash. He initially told me what I wanted couldn’t be done (what?). It was really important to me and I wasn’t going to get a tattoo if I couldn’t incorporate what I wanted into it. We put our heads together and figured out a way to do it. I scheduled an appointment for noon today since check out time is 11. I thought we’d go to breakfast, come back and pack and then I’d go. I got back to the room and told Paul and he said he had really wanted to go to a Sunday brunch after we check out and had already found one on the internet up in Weilea. So I called the shop to see if he could just do it now and no answer. After three tries I told Paul I’d just run over there and check since it’s only a few minutes down the road. I got there (the phone was unplugged!) and the guy I had made my appointment with said he couldn’t do it because he had someone coming in in 30 minutes but one of the other guys could. I felt bad for him because we worked it up together but it wasn’t like I went in there asking specifically for him so I really didn’t mind. Besides, he offered. It’s up high on my left thigh and it’s a Tribal Celtic Trinity Knot with some vine work off to each side. I really like it. Good thing since it’s there forever.
The Trinity Knot is a shield of protection with many interpretations:
The triquetra has represented many things for many religions and cultures. It has been used as a powerful amulet since ancient times. To the Christians it symbolizes the Father, the Son & the Holy Spirit. The triquetra shape incorporates the Ichthys (fish) used as a secret symbol by early Christians. To the Wiccans it symbolizes the triple goddess, or 3 stages of a womans life; Maiden, Mother & Crone. It symbolizes many things across many religions and cultures. The constant cycle of Life, Death and Rebirth; the triplicities of Mind, Body, and Soul; the three domains of Earth, Sea, and Sky; the Taoist concepts yin, Tao and yang; the tantric energy channels ida, sushumna and pingala; the Hindu trinity Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu; the alchemical concepts Sulfur, Mercury and Salt; the phases of the moon waning, full and waxing; and the Hebrew letters Mem, Aleph and Shin. In the post-modern world it symbolizes the Power of Three lovely witches from the immensely popular Charmed on the WB. The unbroken circle symbolizes the essential unity of whatever triad is being signified by the three outer points and the central, curved triangle

BTW the first guy’s appointment didn’t show up. Such is their business I guess. People are rude.

This pic taken about a week later at home>>>>

Anyhow, where was I? I came back and Paul was taking a nap so I just sat out on the balcony and enjoyed the beautiful day. We’ve had absolutely picture perfect weather. Not too hot, not to chilly. The epitome of a perfect tropical breeze. Blue skies, fluffy clouds and the ocean has been anywhere from glass like calm to raging surf.
Doug and Tony came over at 4 and Tony brought his daughter Chelsea with them. She’s almost 16 and move over Katie, there is a new princess on the rise. She’s a beautiful girl and very sweet but with the flip of a switch those teenage hormones kick in and here comes “the look” with the “hand on the hip”. I think its cute but then again, I don’t live with it. She really is a good girl with good grades and she wants to be a doctor. She is a finalist for the Governors Volunteer Award. There were 100 others nominated for it. She moved here 7 months ago from California. Her 13 year old brother still lives with his Mom. We went on the Pacific Whale Association’s Dinner Boat Cruise (thank you Tony) and it was really great. The staff was good, the food was good and the cruise wasn’t too short or too long. I finally got a picture of a beautiful sunset. Most of the time we’ve been here the sun has just been setting into the clouds and disappears quietly into the night. Last night it was fiery orange and just amazing.
The dinner menu was salad, mixed veggies, roasted potatoes, fresco tomato pasta salad, grilled chicken and steak with grilled onions. Dessert was a little brownie and a little piece of pound cake with a tart orange sauce and fresh berries on the side. M-M-Good all the way around. I had a Blue Hawaiian and Doug had a fit because I gave Chelsea a little sip of it. He said now she will be an alcoholic. I told her to watch out because next is crack and then heroin, it’s just the natural progression of one sip of alcohol. I told him not to worry, she sipped from the straw and only got the pineapple juice off the bottom! ;-) Out on the deck I told him to send her to me and he said “no, you’ll give her alcohol and she’ll be an alcoholic”. I told him “don’t you know that when it’s forbidden it’s more enticing?” Don’t we always seem to want what we can’t have?  My Mom and Dad never locked away the alcohol and when there were parties they always let us have a sip if we wanted one. I’m not talking an entire cocktail, just a sip and your taste buds said ewwww and you screwed up your nose and they were happy you didn’t like it. To this day my sister and I are not big drinkers. Both of our parents smoked too and neither one of us has ever smoked either. I’m sure it doesn’t always turn out that way.
Anyhow, we had a really nice time. Doug bitched that I was MAKING him go and than thanked me for MAKING him go because he really enjoyed it.

And now our trip has come to an end. I’m going to go enjoy my last morning walk on the beach. The Bears game is on right now (7 a.m. here) and should be over about 10. We’ll pack and check out and go to brunch. I’m not sure what we’ll do after brunch but we’ll have a few hours until we head to the airport around 7-ish to return the car and go thru Hawaiian agricultural customs. Our flight leaves around 9:30 p.m. and we’re scheduled to be home at 6:15 a.m.

Monday, September 22, 2008
Yesterday I took an extra long walk on the beach. I walked and walked and walked and all of a sudden I looked back and thought I could have just walked around the entire island! Well, probably not. I saw the man who took my picture and exchanged good mornings and I said "just out of curiosity why did you want to take my picture?" He said "every morning I find a beautiful woman walking on the beach and take her picture so I can convince his wife that she should be walking with me. As you can see it's not working as she is still in the room and I'm enjoying the glory of Maui in the morning all by myself".

We went to brunch at the Maui Prince Resort. Nice. We haven’t gone to brunch in eons. We walked around for a while and then went to Haleakala and that took most of the day. It’s really amazing and I took lots more pictures. We got to the airport about 6:40 (for a 9:30 flight) and the line for check in was already all backed up. It takes so much longer now that you have to pay for your checked bags (US Airways) since they are processing credit card payments. A lady on the plane was saying they arrived an hour and a half before their flight and checking in took so long they had to run thru the airport to catch the plane. We barely had time to eat and we had a little tiff in the restaurant. Nice way to end of week in paradise. The flight home was miserable. I can usually sleep pretty well on an airplane but not last night. US Air has the smallest seats and practically no leg room so it was difficult to get comfortable. It would have been so much easier to click my heels together three times and chant "there's no place like home". Our flight was on time and our luggage came down first and we walked out to the curb and my sister had just pulled up. Perfect timing. As soon as I got home I went over and picked up Josie and Romeo. As much as I love going on vacation it’s good to be home with my babies. I hope you enjoyed my journey. Aloha…..
The Bottom line:
Maui is my favorite place to vacation (from the places I’ve been). It’s beautiful and the weather was perfect. The Maui Beach Resort on Kihei was very nice and I wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again. The staff was excellent, the room was spacious, the ocean view was spectacular and the one minute walk to the beach couldn’t have been closer unless we were in a tent ON*THE*BEACH. Our dining experiences were not so great, however I would highly recommend Sarento. We had the best meal of the trip there. I would also highly recommend the Pacific Whale Association’s Dinner Cruise. The highlight of my trip was reconnecting with Doug. Life long friendships are priceless and should be cherished. And the ultimate souvenir, the tattoo. It will be with me 21/9 (that’s a private joke for those of you who are thinking it was a 24/7 typo!).

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My Maui Bird of Paradise.