Maui Wowie Day 11: Beauty & the Feast

Today, we looked out our windows and saw nice calm waters, the perfect day to get to the beach. We snorkeled for a long time, Chad has the Go Pro thing figured out, and once I get the videos on youtube I’ll share it here, as well as the pictures of him trying to figure out the Go Pro.

Ry got in some quality sunshine and Cars finally got to test out  his new boogie board. ImageImageImage

I got to be artsy with my feet while playing with my zoom lens, which I appreciated since I can stand back and not worry about the lens getting wet. This isn’t something I have to worry about usually, since this camera & lens is typically used for work, basically so I can take pictures of things and stay back behind the crowd instead of right in it. Image

After the wind picked up we spent some time at the pool, or ‘Little Canada’ as we started calling it, since that’s where we always met mostly Canadians. I drank one of these, and I was so bummed I only had one because OMDELICIOUS!!! I had a Cherry Limeade one as well, which wasn’t as good. Mango Daiquiri all the way! I’ll be looking to bring these across the border into Big Canada. We need them. Like, bad.parrotbay

Monday night we had reservations at the Honolua Luau at the Grand Wailea. I was a little bit sad, knowing that when I booked this luau, it would be almost the very end of our trip, the next day being our last full day. That said, we enjoyed the moment many times over and made lots of great memories. ImageImageImage

It was a little windy, but it looks worse here than it actually was. It was actually the perfect night for a luau, not too hot, not too windy. I’ve heard a lot about the grounds of the Grand Wailea, and while it was beautiful, don’t get me wrong, sometimes the hype is a little too much. Of course, I’d never turn down a chance to stay here, either. It’s a tad rich for our blood, but you never know when a wicked deal will fall in your lap.Image

This picture is from my Instagram (orallyCoralie). The description read: Ry & I got lei’d! The look in Chads eyes when she ran up to him and said “Daddy I got lei’d” was worth the $15.

merileylei                               

As a sidenote, I’ve stared at this picture for hours. My daughter is a gorgeous young woman. Look at her!

We sat and enjoyed some free drinks, while the kids enjoyed all the free pop in the world. ImageImageImage

Ry enjoyed a little more than free pop, when she got served a non-Virgin pina colada. She didn’t ask for one with alcohol, or without, she just assumed because it was her third one she didn’t have to specify anymore. Apparently you do because they gave her one with a huge amount of rum in it. I didn’t mind if she drank it, she’ll be 17 in 2 weeks, legal drinking age here is 19, I expect her to have *a drink* here and there to learn to work it into her life. However this had so much rum she couldn’t stand it, and only sipped down to the bottom of the rim, about an inch from the top. Then she clarified NON VIRGIN, which is awkward enough to shout out in a public place. ImageImageImage

The sunset was AMAZING. Probably the best of our entire trip. This is what makes me want to spend a night by this beach.ImageImageImage

This is the third luau I’ve attended on Maui and I have to give credit where it’s due, this is probably the best luau I’ve ever attended. My first was up in Kaanapali at the Hyatt I believe. Last year Chad and I went for tradition and went to the Old Lahaina Luau, which was great, except the show wasn’t as funny as the show at the Grand Wailea. A good laugh will land me for sure, and the emcee here had us rolling.  The food was on par with OLL, and I don’t remember the food at the first luau. I do remember the drinks, though 😉  At OLL our drinks were very watered down. Not here at the GW! I was nice and toasty when we left 🙂

One more thing I have to give props to the Grand Wailea for…when we went to the front to ask for a taxi back to our condo, they sent their van for us free of charge. Our condo wasn’t far from there, being on the Kihei/Wailea border, and there was us 4 and another 4, but the other 4 chose to take a cab, probably because we couldn’t stop staring at one girls boobies earlier in the day. And that’s a whole other blog post.

Cor xo

Maui Wowie Day 10: Maui Ocean Center

 

Before I go into our 10th day on my favorite spot on earth, I want to share some pics I forgot to add to last Friday’s as I just uploaded them off my DSLR. After spending the day snorkeling Black Rock & having our tattoo/piercing consult, we meandered down front street towards Bubba Gumps for dinner. These pictures were taken at the beginning of our stroll, at the giant Banyan tree that takes up an entire block on Front Street in Lahaina & looks like a dozen or so trees but is only one.

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Does this lock mean someone’s trying to turn this tree into the bridge in Europe where people leave locks and throw the keys in the river? Or was someone just drunk and wandering down the street and though, meh, why not?

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Those damn hypnotizing turbines, obtuse angles for Ry’s math project of taking pictures of different angles during spring break.Image

 

On Sunday, it was pretty windy in the morning, too windy to go to the beach for us, so in the morning the kids got the condo in order while Chad & I went to Foodland to pick up a few more things. One thing we needed was toilet paper, and when we went to go down that aisle, we noticed there were paramedics over a man collapsed in the aisle, right in front of the toilet paper. It seemed pretty serious and of course I walked slowly past the aisle to try to figure out what was going on and if he was ok, but it didn’t seem overly serious, & I’m not a nurse anyway, just a nosy grocery shopper. We continued on and got almost everything, then went back to see if the TP aisle was clear, it wasn’t. Hmm maybe this was serious. Wandered around and found more things to fill our cart that we didn’t need, and looked down the frozen food aisle and saw a paramedic doing some grocery shopping. Hmmm, wonder if this means he was off duty now? Yep, the aisle was clear.  To us mainlanders, how strange is that? To the people of Maui, you save a life, then pick up some ice cream for the kids. For us, we bought 2 more tubs of Rosealini’s, coconut and chocolate macadamia nut. And we got our toilet paper and $100 later we were out of there.

We got the groceries put away and headed to the Maui Ocean Center. WOW. Something every family should talk time out to do. It is relatively small, especially compared to the Vancouver Aquarium, which you could spend an entire day at, this one you would need 2 hours max. However, the fish & sea life you see is incredible, not something we would ever see here at home, so it was worth it for us, even at about $100 for all 4 of us to go in.

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We spent the extra $$ and got these handheld devices to be used as a tour guide, however I found it to be a waste of money & we ended up reading all of the signs more than using the audio devices.

When we first walked in we were greeted by this big tank that had a ton of yellow tang’s in them. We used to have a saltwater tank for years and the yellow tangs were one of our favorite fish. We had almost all of the fish that were in Finding Nemo and this was in the late 90’s. Once we get into our new house we want to get a reef tank set up. It was so nice to look at, & now that I have discovered a love for snorkeling it would be nice to have some fishy friends at home.

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Starfish are another of my favorite sea creatures. Starfish are a running theme in our house for a variety of reasons.Image

Inside there are tons of colorful, pretty, weird, and strange looking and downright ugly fish. I wonder, when fish take selfies do they try to make people lips?

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Chad & the kids looking through one of the many windows to the giant reef tank. I see a fish that probably has a very happy wife. Can you find him?Image

There he is!ImageImageImageImageImageImage

There were even sea horses, this picture was taken through a microscope,this guy looks a leetle bit drunk.Image

This guy just finished a couple of growlers of Black Rock Ale & stumbled back to his tank. Silly Patrick.ImageImage

Shark Bait Ooh Ah Ah!Image

These fish are goby’s. We used to have one in our tank and that’s where my old email address and username on the TA forums comes from. They are the long, skinny ones on the left, and there’s one on the right.Image

These things were strange. They are called Garden Eels and they just stood there, like a worm standing up and blowing in the wind. This looks like glass but it’s a two way mirror, as in many of the tanks. This ensures the sea life will behave normally, if they knew they were being watched these guys would just bury themselves in the sand. They aren’t into voyeurism.Image

This is officially the ugiest, laziest fish I have EVER met in my life. No wonder he was all alone.ImageImageImage

I love any opportunity to check out turtles, so the Turtle Lagoon was nice, although there were’t many turtles in it, which is a good thing.Image

This turtle is a TMNT with his laser vision. He looks like a Raphael. They’ve finally been caught on film. I’m going to be rich!Image

There are even baby turtles. Awwwww.Image

It is a federal offense to even TOUCH a sea turtle in the United States. Does this mean we can do a citizens arrest to those touching the turtles at Black Rock (or other areas) when they know they shouldn’t? Well, I’m not a US citizen so I’m not sure how that would work. I could be a citizen for the turtles, though. Yeah, thats it.Image

I’ve had a thing for turtles since I was a teenager. I had a few as pets, and just always felt like I was kindred spirits with turtles. Maybe this is why we’ve bonded so well…Image

I don’t know who the hell these two are looking at, because I was the only one there. All I can say is, like father, like son. And My name’s Forrest, Forrest Gump.ImageImageImageImage

SQUISHIES! We were mesmerized for a few minutes here.Image

They have the coolest tunnel through a shark tank. I can’t believe I didn’t get a picture of the tunnel from a perspective standpoint. I did get my kids in the tunnel, though.Image

Then they got distracted by a stingray with a giant vagina.Image

Wait a minute, this one has a giant vagina, too!!!Image

This guy didn’t seem to have a giant vagina, so I assume he’s the male. No wonder he’s got such a big smile with all those big vagina’s swimming around. Image

He could have been smiling because this guy wasn’t eating him. Yes, that is a mother effing tiger shark!!! He was about 6′ long. They keep them as long as they don’t get aggressive, which they don’t if they are well fed. You can even go swim with these guys if you want. Well, *you* can, I’ll just stay on this side of the glass, thank you very much.ImageImage

Here the tiger shark is asking Mr. Dickhead for bedroom advice. Mr. Dickhead’s a lovah not a fightah.ImageWe stayed and watched the shark feeding at 3pm, two scuba divers in the tank doing the feeding. I wonder what their life insurance is like.

We wandered around the little shops there for a bit but didn’t buy anything. Stopped at Ululani’s in North Kihei for some shave ice, Chad and kids went for their usual while I tried the Lahaina, Pineapple, Coconut, & Banana. It was tasty but nothings beat Haleakala yet for me.

When we got home we hung out at the pool for a bit, cooked up some mahi mahi, not nearly as good as anyone has cooked it for us so we’ll stick to just ordering it.

We’re on the red eye Wednesday night so only 3 full days left. Sad this trip is coming to an end but happy to plan the next one for 2015.

Sidenote, as I’m finishing this up at home. At the end of our trip I asked my kids what their favorite parts of the trip were and both brought up the Maui Ocean Center. So even if your kids are older, remember my oldest will be 17 in 2 weeks, I highly suggest an afternoon here. I say afternoon so you can watch the sharks feed and it was surprisingly dead for a Sunday afternoon with not bad weather. It was windy but the sun was still out so lots of people stuck to the beach. I’m glad we wandered and had this experience.

Cor xo

Maui Wowie: Days 7/8/9 And We Chilled Out

The day after the Road to Hana is always a rest day for us. We slept in, ate a late and lazy breakfast, and then Ry & I headed off to get some shopping done. We had family pictures scheduled for sunset and she was still looking for ‘the perfect dress’. We stopped at Starbucks so I could share with her a drink I’ve only been able to get on Maui, the Choco-Coconut Frappuccino. So delicious. Anything with coconut is good in my books. I also grabbed myself a Starbucks travel mug, as is a travel ritual for myself. We then hit up an outlet shop in Kihei where I scored a beautiful windchime & a summer dress for only $5 that I am looking forward to bringing with me to Jamaica this summer 🙂 Nothing for Ry though, so we headed into the Shops at Wailea. Very ritzy, but lucky for us we found her dress there for under $50. Had a great lunch at Cheeseburger Island Style. Ry had the BBQ Bacon burger, which was delicious, as I had a bite of it. And I had the chinese chicken salad. Again, delicious. The prices were reasonable as well.  We only ordered waters, though. Chad and Cars walked Kameole 3 in search of sea glass for our photos while we were gone.

Behold: The DressImage

While I haven’t seen all the pics from our shoot yet, here’s another sneak preview that was put on Facebook by our photographer, Amy J. Short. Image

We came back to the condo and made some Tony Roma’s ribs we picked up at Costco, with some baked potatoes and veggies. I hope they sell the Tony Roma rib pack at the Costco’s I shop at because they were so yummy, Chad grilled them to perfection and the sauce was tangy and sweet, just like at the restaurants.

The next morning, Friday, we woke up early to see clouds hanging out over Kaanapali. Ry and I had appointments at 4pm for a tattoo consult (me) and belly button piercing (her) in Lahaina, so we were planning on spending the day snorkeling Black Rock, then heading into Lahaina for the consult, dinner at Bubba Gumps, and to enjoy Art Night in Lahaina. The art studio’s often have musicians, guests of honor, and free mai tai’s or wine. We had a great time at Art Night last year so had to do it again.

Despite the fact that the clouds didn’t seem to want to disappear, we headed up to Kaanapali. We were greeted by rain on our way, but that didn’t deter us. We parked at the Sheridan, and headed to the beach. We spent about 3 hours there, Cars loved snorkeling and exploring Black Rock, and Ry got some sunshine.

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Cars felt much more confident with his big pink noodle, and as a mom I loved watching him point out different fish to me in excitement. As we were coming into the shore I could hear someone yelling ‘turtle’ so I pulled him in that direction. He didn’t hear the yelling so when THE BIGGEST TURTLE EVER swam by us he was in awe. Seriously, in all of my snorkel adventures I’ve never seen one this huge. He must’ve been 500 years old. I loved sharing this experience with my boy. I took a mental picture I’ll cherish forever. We didn’t stick around long because the poor guy was being mauled. People were telling other people to touch him. We knew not to and tried to spread the word that touching the sea life is bad for them, when it’s a mob mentality people don’t listen to reason. Some did back away, but many cared more about their own needs to touch a turtle than the turtles needs to stay clear of human bacteria. Pictures here are of Cars with his noodle and Chad in the yellow snorkel set beside him.

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Once we were thoroughly flithy and covered in sand, we knew it was time to leave and head into Lahaina. First I insisted we take a quick scooch up to Kapalua to see how the Honolua General Store remodel looked and just in the off chance that they finally started serving the pizza I’ve dreamed about since I had it in 2008, but went bu-bye with the ABC takeover. No my pizza was not there, but I did pick up a couple bottles of wine to bring home and Chad found some shorts he liked.

Into Lahaina we went, tattoo consult went great and I can’t wait to get it on Wednesday. Well, I’m not looking forward to the pain but it will be worth it. We wandered down Front Street and ended up at Bubba Gumps. We don’t have Bubba Gumps where we live and collect the glasses from as many as we can get to. Love their food. 2 rounds of shrimp, 3 rounds of cocktails, and a meal. And of course we also hit Ululani’s again. I went for the Coconut Lovers concoction, but still Haleakala is my fave.

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If only we could have this gorgeous sunset every night.

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We bought a print we both love for our master bedroom, to remind us of our Hawaiian adventures. We will canvas wrap it when we get home and smile every time we see it.

Yesterday, Saturday, was another chill day. Ry has some friends from home staying in the same condo complex, she hung out with them, and I had a nice long nap on the taco couch and so did Chad. It’s a futon that’s not quite a couch or a bed, it’s stuck in some in-between phase. Hung out at the pool for a bit, cooked up some mahi mahi for dinner, then Chad and I headed down to Moose’s after 9pm for some cheap drinks while the kids were chilling on their wifi. Made some new friends, again. I love this town. I love KiHAAAAY.

Maui Wowie Day 6…aka You’re Gonna Hear Me Roar!

Today was the day my husband had been waiting for since last year when we were here….the Road to Hana. Chad loves his twisties, when we drove this on Superbowl Sunday last year, I could see him pretending he was switching gears as though he was on his motorcycle. Me, on the other hand, well I think I used up all of my daredevil luck before I hit about 25, so I get anxious on roads like this. Last year I was pretty much freaking out the whole time. This time, I took half a xanax before the drive. And it was AMAZING. Approximately 620 curves and 59 one way bridges. It’s quite the trek.

Side note: We were thrilled to be HOME this year on Superbowl Sunday, watching the Seahawks win it all 🙂 I’m a new football fan, but I’ve always been a Seattle fan, it’s half of my hometown. I’m from Seacouver, a hybrid that lives in my head.

If you are coming to Maui, I highly recommend spending $4.99 for the Gypsy app. It is a guided tour of Maui and like having your own personal tour guide with you along every nook and cranny. We named our tour guide ‘Bra’, said surfer-style, even though he sounds like a middle aged man wearing Docker shorts & a Tommy Bahama shirt. There’s also a lady chatting away for part of the trip. You plug it into the car, every car we’ve rented in Maui has a USB attachment for your phone, just bring the cord. Hit ‘start tour’ and wherever you are, Bra will tell you interesting historical stories, facts, and directions to different popular places to see on the island. We are Canadian so data roaming is very expensive here, and I’ve left mine off on my phone and the app still works as it just follows the GPS. We find a lot of the time we are talking out loud and think ‘I wonder why blahblahblah’, and then it’s as though Bra has read our minds and says ‘Blahblahblah because blahblah’. Really, a great app. There’s even one for Vancouver. It will be interesting to see how much I don’t know about my own backyard.

The Journey:

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For Christmas I asked for a gorilla tripod so I could confidently set my camera up and take pictures of all of us. Love having more family pictures. Our kids are getting old and we don’t have nearly enough. If your kids are young, start doing this more often. The timer is your friend.ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

We stopped at Hamoa Beach….last year when we were here I found a ton of sea glass. We were looking forward to stocking up again. No luck. Cars found 2 sweet pieces. I found a crap ton of plastic. Stop littering, people!

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My girl had me take a picture of herself with her iphone, then I took one after. On her Instagram she posted this picture with the tag #bodypositivity. She is a rock star. Image

If you’ve never driven it, the road to Hana is very narrow, and often times you have to stay hard to your side of the road to ensure there’s room for cars coming the other direction. We reached a really narrow spot with a coral fence on both sides. A couple in a black Camaro with the Go Pro hanging out were in front of us for 5-10 minutes at least.  We approached an extremely narrow part of the road with a coral fence lining both sides. Now, because we have common sense, & because we’d been listening to Bra, we knew that if someone was already in the narrow part you yield to them, and those on the right yield to those on the left because the left involves steep cliffs for much of the drive. Also, when you approach the one way part, it’s one-at-a-time, people, not every car til the one side is empty. People really need to learn vacation etiquette. It’s the same as a 4 way stop. ANYWAY. Approaching a narrower part, a grey car coming in the opposite direction was already in the narrowest part of the road. The Camaro in front of us started entering it as well…almost in the very center of the road, there was about 2′ between their car and the coral wall on the right. The grey car merged all the way over because Asshat was in the entire middle of the road, to ensure his go pro video was nice I assume. Grey car lady had a choice, smack the Camaro, or smack the wall. She chose the wall. CRUNCH. We heard it and it was loud. We stopped, drivers side doors parallel, to tell her we heard it, saw it, and make sure they were ok. She said ‘I can’t believe he didn’t even stop!’. We looked and he did stop, up the hill. So we said, don’t worry, he did, as she jumped out to check damage. She was cool with us takng off then so we did, AND SO DID HE! As soon as he saw we were driving away he drove off. We gave chase and got about 6 good pics of his license plate. When we got to our final destination, the Pipiwai Trail, they were pulled in as well. Chad wanted to go say something, but ME, I stayed more level headed and said not to, they could come kick our car or something. They’ve already proved their character. We had no way to get in touch with this lady and tell her we got his drivers license. Fingers crossed if we call in to report it, she did as well. I say he proved his character because he paused right away after the crunch sound. He heard it, paused, then drove off up the hill, and stopped again when we were stopped.

I bring you: The Douchebags! Image

 

We reached our final destination of Wai’anapanapa State Park, where we wanted to hike to the top of Oheo Gulch. Last year, we arrived really late for a hike we didn’t do any research on. I wasn’t in proper shoes, only flip flops. And to be honest, I was completely out of shape and scared to do it. I was still in the depths of grief as my dad passed from lung cancer one week before our trip. I was not ready to challenge myself.  I told myself, when we came back next year with our kids, we would do this trail. I would become a more active person and be able to handle it easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Did I become a more active person? Yes. Not as much as I intended to, but I’m a work in progress. I’m about 75 pounds away from where I want to be, but am trying to figure things out in my head more than anything (read Go Kaleo for more info), and the changes are happening. I can see it and others have noticed. However it’s a slow process, and a 4 mile hike round trip still seemed extremely daunting. Especially because 2 of those miles are uphill. I was not backing out now.

Off we went. We started at noon.

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This was a good hike. Definitely a work out. I told Chad and the kids not to rush me, just let me do it at my own pace and I would be just fine. I’ve got the shortest legs of the group so even on flat ground I have to walk twice as fast to keep up. Not including Cars, who has all that excess energy to spare anyway.

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The beginning of the bamboo forest was the last we saw of our kids until the top. We got a couple of pics and zoom they were off. And not arguing. Vacations rule.

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Eventually, after an hour of awesomeness and sweat, we reached THIS:

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And just behind her, was THIS: ImageImage

I’m not really a rebel, I just play one for photographs.ImageImageImageImageImage

We spent abotu 15 minutes there, enjoying the solitude, the views, and the cool. refreshing water. This area is prone to flash floods, and with all the recent rains, we didn’t stick around long nor did we swim in the pools. Dipping our feet was enough for now.

After reaching the top of that hike, I pretty much floated the whole way down. It felt like it took 15 minutes, and I was an inch off the ground the whole way.

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We wanted to hit a few more stops but were all exhausted from the drive home. I told my kids I was so proud of them and Cars said back, ‘I’m really proud of myself, Mom.’ That, right there, was the best part of my day. Possibly the whole trip. The kids passed out in the backseat while we enjoyed the rest of the ride. Came home, reheated some steak, added prawns, potatoes, veggies, and then Roselani’s ice cream for dessert. This is the best ice cream on Maui.

The next day we called in to report the accident, and found out the lady had as well. Hopefully our police report helps her situation and the asshats get a ticket & have to pay for damages.

Chad and I showered and were feeling energetic so we headed to Moose’s where we found out it was $2 beers after 9pm on Wednesdays! Lucky us! We made some new friends, & walked home at midnight, happily glowing, listening to the waves and an acoustic guitarist strumming away & singing Dirty Heads.

I said I think that we can stay here,
Cause I feel our time has come.
And we can walk down to the ocean,
And sit with the rising sun.
So unpack your bags this instant,
No more running from town to town
And now that we’ve arrived so safely,
Baby you can

Lay me down…
Lay me down…
Lay me down…
Lay me down…

Maui Wowie Day 5

*Disclaimer, my son said ‘just use my regular nickname in your stories mom, people still won’t be able to google me’. He’s got a good point. Cars is what we actually call him all the time in 3dland. So ignore Wheels, he’s now Cars 🙂 I will go back and edit previous posts eventually.*

Aaah, Tuesday. What will today bring? I slept for 9 uninterrupted hours, which is highly unusual for me, a total light sleeper who’s lucky to get 6 straight hours. We were a leeetle bit crispy from the few hours on the beach yesterday, so we stayed out of the sun for the most part. We thought it would be a good day to do the road to Hana, since we wanted to stay out of direct sunlight, but the weather gods were not smiling upon us, things weren’t looking so pretty over there. So we headed up north to check out the Nakelele blow hole.

These turbines hypnotize me every time we pass them.

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Of course, we played some bitchen’ tunes along the way. And we danced. Image

OK, *I* danced, these two just looked at me like ‘does she ever stop?!?!’ At least they smiled when I pulled out the camera.  The teenager usually NEVER lets me take her picture, so the face that she’s smiling for all these Hawaii pictures and not running away like I’m holding a 50′ cobra is pretty amazeballs.ImageImage

This is part of the road to get to Nakelele Blow Hole. To say I was having an anxiety attack is an understatement. I love the views and the destination, but have to remind myself over and over I’m not going to die. I was highly worried about missing the pullout and continuing on to what I affectionately call ‘The Road of Death’ up around the north side of Maui. Supposedly the best banana bread in the whole world is on that road, and I read something online lately where a family mistakenly took that road, and she’s convinced the only reason it’s the best banana bread in the world is because you feel lucky to be alive.  I believe the exact quote was ‘I have tasted death, and it tastes like banana bread’. From our experience on that road last year, I believe it. Image

Fortunately, we found the pullout just fine. 1/2 mile past mile marker 38. Maui Revealed is a pretty great app for this stuff. So is Gypsy if you want to feel like you have a tour guide with you in the car.

I don’t know Alex Vasquez, he had a short life but I hope it was full of happiness. One more person to send a flower out for. Image

I love the signs in Hawaii…for the most part, it’s not the government. It’s the locals, and they don’t mess around with their wording. YOU CAN BE SUCKED IN AND KILLED!!!  I take a sign like this a lot more seriously than a government one I saw the other day warning about slipping and falling, and the guy falling was doing jazz hands. That’s how *I* fall down but I’m not sure the rest of the world does.ImageImageImage

Looking at the steep climb down and then looking at my flip flops. I offered to stay up top and take pictures. That’s the kind of lady I am. Chad got a shot of the kids and I before they ventured down. Image

Me and my high anxiety warned them over and over about getting too close. So many have died here, sucked right in not realizing the power of the ocean. Last year when we were here, Chad danced around a blow hole over on the road to Hana. We had no idea until we got home how dangerous they were. Lucky bastard, he is. ImageImage

When they turned around, my heartbeat regulated again. We headed down to Honolua to see some surfers in action. The scenery up there is gorg-eous! My favorite, favorite thing in the whole world to see is viewpoints from up high. Funny for someone so afraid of heights. But when I can see for miles, I am a happy woman. This is why we bought our house. We have an amazing view of Mount Baker, which is in WA state, and we are in BC. ‘I like to get high, man’. ImageImage

The ‘flecks of dirt’ behind Chad are surfers waiting to catch their next wave. Image

When we were about to get into the car Cars noticed a ladybug was on him, a sign of luck and prosperity. So we took a quick photo. Then Chad said….’wait a minute, I think that’s a tick!’ Blech! Flicked it off and got the hell out of there. As Canadians the last thing we want to deal with is the US medical system, even if we do have insurance here. Image

We continued on our adventure and headed into Honolua Bay instead of watching it from above. We came here last year to snorkel but were freaked out by the difficult entry, it’s so rocky we actually weren’t even sure we had the right place, so we just enjoyed the walk through the jungle to get there. This is one of the views looking up the coast while driving south.Image

If you were a LOST fan like me, I was waiting for a polar bear to come barreling around the corner anytime. Fortunately that didn’t happen. We love this area. Cars was excited about all the chickens. I didn’t get any decent shots of them, though. They run around here like a bunch of wild hens. HA! There are roosters as well. ImageImageImage

Ry is doing a math project where she has to find as many angles as she can, photograph them, and measure them. Spiderwebs do come in handy for something.  Not much else but math projects!  (Yeah, yeah, I know I know they kill bugs. Still…SPIDERS!)ImageImage

At the end of the trail there is an older gentleman who owns the land. Him and his family live in tents there. There houses were washed away by a tsunami in the 60’s and they were supposed to start rebuilding this January (unsure what they’ve been doing for the last 50 years….) but the waters were too high. Hopefully next time we make it down he has a home. He reminds everyone no sunscreen/etc on when you go in as it’s bad for the coral. If he sees you with alcohol, he just says ‘wrap it up’ so the cops don’t see. His son carves totem poles and was 18. He told Ry to come back in a couple of years. And yes, he got down a coconut for Cars who was excited, this was ‘the best coconut yet!’  I’ve always wanted to snorkel here but haven’t yet, with the rocky entry, and lack of tanning spots for Ry, it will have to be on my Maui bucket list for now.ImageRy possibly meeting her future Hawaiian husband.

Image Cars said this was THE BEST COCONUT EVER, MOM! Much sweeter. Still, it’s not pina coladas, so I just let the water hit my tongue.

After our long day driving and exploring up north, we decided it was time to watch another killer sunset from Kameole 3. Stunning. STUNNING. ImageImage

There was even a turtle there. He came to say hi to me because he knows I’m one of his peeps. #turtleloveImageImageImage

After yet another glorious sunset, we headed to the pool, Cars had a swim and Chad started grilling up the Maui rib eye’s we’d been marinating in worcestershire for 3 days. He’s still trying to master this whole grilling thing, but even with our Chicago style steaks, it was best beef I’ve ever eaten in my life. All grown here, no hormones, they don’t fatten them up to slaughter earlier than normal. This is what a cow is supposed to taste like. At home I’m going to start looking for beef grown this way as the taste difference is incredible. We eat Alberta beef quite often at home and as Chad said ‘Maui beef kicks it’s ass!’ He is correct, never have I had such amazing flavor. And we eat a lot of steak. Image

We called it an early night because the next day we were waking up early to hit up the road to Hana. Wait till I tell you about my awesome day there. I’m still floating.

As I finish writing this post about Tuesday, it’s Thursday morning. This time next week we’ll be on our way home. I am going to try to savor ever last minute here.

Cor xo

Maui Wowie Days 3 & 4

On Sunday, March 16, we woke up to more grey skies. There is a severe weather warning March 14-16 so at least it was the last day. After some bacon and eggs we decided to head up north to Lahaina. We wanted to check out the new outlet mall and grab some clothes as we have family pics scheduled for Thursday and aren’t satisfied with our current outfits. OK I’m not satisfied, no one else really cares 😉 No, we won’t be wearing matching Hawaiian outfits.

We loaded up and drove up north and what do we see? Gorgeous weather! Calm beaches along the road all the way into Lahaina. Screw shopping, we wanted to go to the beach. We left all of our beach stuff, swimsuits, snorkel gear, water, at the condo. Lesson learned…our beach bag is our new American Express. Don’t leave home without it.

We went to the new outlet mall and were less than impressed. The prices were not outlet prices and half the place is empty of stores. We spent $60 at ABC and left. I know some don’t like them, but they float my boat for cheap, touristy crap. I’ve been telling my kids about shave ice for a few years now so we went to Ululani’s and they lost their shave ice virginity. Chad had vanilla ice cream with coke flavoring, Ry had Tigers Blood concoction, Wheels went for a coke/rootbeer blend, and I had my absolute favorite, the Haleakala with mac nut ice cream. So damn good. I really should have played with my Snoopy Snow Cone maker more as a kid.

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Once we made it back, my honey and I need an hour, Happy Hour! So we ditched the kids and headed up to Moose’s for some nachos and cocktails. We met some great people there. First a couple who just got engaged. He is from Australia and they live on Vancouver Island. He asked if I knew anyone who had died of cancer, and I replied my dad died last year and I had a piece of him with me in my purse right now. He lost his daughter to brain cancer and there were 43 of them there to spread her ashes. I told him I’d put a flower in the water for his daughter. These things don’t mean much to other people, but when I’m home and hear of a death of someone close or someone close to someone I love, I light a candle for them. It’s what I do. In Hawaii, I send them flowers on the water. So I’ll be doing that this trip for my dad and for Gary’s daughter. Fuck Cancer.

Chad was wearing his Seahawks shirt so we struck up another convo with some people from Kirkland, WA, right where my dad grew up. She graduated in ’74 from the same high school, same year as him although his name didn’t ring a bell. Although she knew where Taco Mama’s was (where he worked in high school) and DJ’s Record Store, where he managed after. I told her his funeral was at the Wild Rover and she about keeled over. She thought that was pretty cool, a funeral in a bar. That’s the kind of bitchen dude my dad was. He was raised Catholic but wanted nothing to do with it upon his adult life and eventual death. Bars and beers, that’s how we roll in our family.

I had two Cadillac margarita’s and a Bahama Mama sans grenadine because that’s how I roll. Nothing too sweet for me, thanks.

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After we caught a light buzz, we walked to Kam3 to watch the sunset. It was gorgeous.

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At the beach there was this rock star of a woman, scaling coconut tree’s in her bikini and chopping down coconuts. Wheels has been so excited about trying a real, live coconut. He has brought it up at least a dozen times each day we’ve been here thus far. So to say he was excited when we walked in the door with one is an understatement. Although you can’t tell in this picture, he was jumping up and down ecstatic. Get the camera out and he calms right down so I don’t capture the moment. Kids!

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Taking his first sip….

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I love his eyes here…a little bewildered at what’s touching his tongue.

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What really surprised me, is that Ry was willing to take a sip. She’s my more adventurous eater of the two, but something straight off a tree without being washed and who knows what’s inside? This was right out of her comfort zone. But she took one for the team.

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Nope, didn’t like it.

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I tasted it as well, but as the photographer there’s rarely pictures of me. It wasn’t quite ripe so the juice was somewhat dry, like how you smack your tongue to the roof of your mouth after a dry wine. And it wasn’t cold. I prefer my drinks cold unless it’s coffee/tea or water.

We finished the evening with leftovers for dinner & 3 rounds of Bullshit. I used to play this with my grandpa all the time, and felt like he was there with us. It was Bullshit for 3, Bullcrap for 1. Everyone won a round but me. Guess I’m the worst Bullshitter of the group. This is a little scary for me. Oh and what’s on tv in the background? Ridiculousness. Chad and Wheels have become addicted to this show on this trip.

Try to get a nice picture but….

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Before we went to bed that night we had the beach and snorkel stuff packed and ready to go. If the weather was crap here on St. Patricks Day, we were driving elsewhere.  Fortunately we woke up to blue skies and decided we were going to stay put for the day. We bought this wicked cooler at Costco. It’s soft sided and very large and has a hard table top. We are so packing it up and bringing it home, I see it coming in handy many times in the future. Today was it’s inauguration.

We headed across the street to Kam3 where someone was trimming the coconut trees. We set our things down and Wheels ran up to watch them trim the tree. He was more than ecstatic to get yet another coconut sliced open from a gentleman kind enough to pass him one.

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The sipping party began. Why can’t these just be filled with Pina Colada’s? I’d learn to scale the damn tree myself!

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We bought some US divers snorkel sets on Amazon for Chad and I, and brought our old snorkel equipment for the kids. If they loved snorkeling, we’d get them a good set. These are my bright pink flippers. I love them because they are bright pink, and because they are short. I’m a walking clutz so the longer ones scared me a little. Chad’s were bright yellow. He was a little perturbed at my color choices however I wanted to be able to see each other easily when we were out there.

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Wheels, who was so excited to finally snorkel, and I headed out. Chad got a little ahead of him self and just dove in and swam to snorkel, while I worked with my boy to get him comfortable. We did good for about 10 minutes in shallower water. Then the current brought us over on top of the coral, and suddenly we were both having mask problems. I was trying to get to a spot to where I could stand but it was all coral. If you touch the coral it dies so I was starting to panick and getting slammed up against it over and over again while trying to hold Wheels just up in the water. He was doing ok but we weren’t going to last much longer. Chad ended up floating right by and I got his attention and he grabbed the boy and got him to shore. When I got out of the water I saw how beaten up my legs were. I also had a pain in my butt and in my finger, it looked like little slivers but in our expertise we determined it must be a sea urchin sting. I posted on facebook and got many recommendations to pee on it to take away the pain. I was stone cold sober so that wasn’t happening, and it wasn’t painful, just swollen. Fortunately the slivers worked their way out and my butt is just fine but my middle finger is still pretty swollen, so if someone pisses me off, they are going to really be able to tell when I’m flipping them off 😉

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Last year when Chad and I came, I bought a pool noodle to snorkel with. I’m a decent swimmer but I wanted to be able to just relax and not worry about exhausting myself. He laughed and laughed at me. But as we were snorkeling at Black Rock, guess who was exhausted after 20 minutes and wanted to hold onto my noodle?!  The wife is right 99% of the time 😉 I think in advance, he thinks in the moment. After our little snorkel adventure I decided no more until I got a pool noodle for myself and for Wheels, so that’s on the agenda today.

After the sea urchin attack we stuck to the beach, I caught a nap and a burnt back, my boy built sandcastles, and my daughter was just happy to catch some rays. Chad did some beach walking and tanning as well.

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My Little Green Man loves to travel. Every now and then I catch him stowing away in my travel gear. He was the king of the castle.

In 2009 my mom and I went to Disneyland and I bought a Little Green Man to take a picture of everywhere I would’ve taken a shot with my kids, and he’s just stuck around ever since. LGM has travelled the world.

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Peekaboo!

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Chad and Wheels walked over to the reef and found some cool tidal pools with little fishies.  I forgot to mention when Wheels and I were snorkeling we found TURTLES and were super excited. I’ve been a turtle lover my whole life, but please don’t buy me turtle salt and pepper shakers or anything like that, once my house was filled with turtles thanks to my kind friends and so I stifled my turtle love for a few years to avoid becoming the crazy turtle lady. My turtle love is back, and when we get into our new house this year, the entire backyard will be done up Aloha style with turtles galore 🙂 I can be an outdoors crazy turtle lady, indoors not so much 🙂

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After a couple of hours we had enough of the sun and went to the craft fair up the road. Our kids really wanted Shamrock Shakes since it was St. Patricks Day and apparently the McDonald’s here does them better than in Canada. They were right, it was all fancy with whipped cream and a cherry on top. They were happy. I found this sign at the craft fair and am kicking myself for not buying it. It belongs in my backyard. Who needs crackers, anyway?

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We headed back to the condo and did a little swimming at the pool while Chad made up one of his famous footballs for dinner, then I came in and cooked up some Teriyaki chicken from Costco for the side. Really great chicken and easy to cook in 15 minutes if you’re looking for a good, easy meal from Costco.

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No Bullshit tonight, we were exhausted. All in bed by 9pm, and I even slept til 6am. That’s 9 uninterrupted hours for me, a rarity. Usually I’m up after 5 because of my crappy sleeping skillz. Today the sun is shining and it’s going to be a good day! We are going to find some good fitting snorkel gear for Carson and shirts for us to wear in the water as we are pretty red. Maybe hit the Maui Ocean Center. The day is young! Only time will tell 🙂

Aloha!

Cor xo

Aside

Maui Wowie Day 1/2: I SEE WHALES!

On Friday, March 14th our family dream vacation began! We flew from Seattle —> San Jose, had a 30 min layover then off to Maui. Our first flight ran a little behind so with 15 minutes to make it we were hustling our buns 10 gates down but they held the plane for us and let us on. We flew Alaska and while I’ve always been happy with my customer service, (they are the WestJet of the USA), for the first time on this flight they left me disgruntled. I fly very often, at least a dozen times a year. Many times I’ve been on flights and the attendants have asked that everyone be patient so those who are rushing to catch a connecting flight get off first.  I had chatted with a flight attendant on our first flight and told her our dilemma, she sympathetically said we weren’t the only ones in that situation on the plane. So to say I was shocked that we didn’t get that little bit of spare time to rush to our next flight was a disappointment. Boo Alaska! Don’t do that again!

We went from this, to that. Aaaah!

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We landed on time at 12:30 Maui time, which is 3:30 for us as we are in PST normally.  I should mention the day before we left, I flew home into Vancouver, BC, at 7am from 5 days in Vegas for our Passion Parties convention, which is always fun, and always a week of little sleep. To say I was exhausted was an understatement. I landed home at 10am, rushed home, did a load of laundry, unpacked, repacked, had parent teacher conferences, and drove to Seattle that night for our flight the next day.  So, we walked into the condo,  I spent 30 minutes unpacking, decided to lay down for 20 minutes and woke up 5 hours later. Aaah! Refreshing! Chad and the kids went to walk the beach, and then we went to Moose’s for dinner after my beauty sleep. I had the macadamia nut mahi mahi, delish! Chad had the mahi mahi beer battered fish and loved it. Ry had the coconut shrimp. Yum! Wheels (his new nickname) had…wait, I give you 3 guesses and the first two don’t count. Chicken strips. In his benefit he did say they were the best chicken strips he had in his life. Considering the amount of chicken strips he has eaten, that’s a pretty big complement.

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We were thoroughly entertained by the funny pictures they have hanging. Most of them have funny sexual innuendos. People, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about sex and kids in my life, is that you have to LAUGH at it so they know there’s nothing wrong with it. My son is only 11 years old, but we make penis jokes and were laughing at the pictures hanging up all through dinner. One of my clearest memories as a kid is visiting a relative (I won’t say which in case he is offended by me sharing this story) when I was 4 or 5 and having him wake up early to make me breakfast. He walked out stark naked, everything was hanging out. I don’t have one of those things so of course I was staring. He shamed me very loudly ‘WHAT ARE YOU STARING AT!!!!’. Your dick that’s hanging out for the world to see, what the hell did you think I was staring at?!?!  Do you think I EVER talked to him about sex again after that? Hell no. People, if you want your kids to be able to talk to you about sex, laugh about it with them. Body parts are funny. Penises are funny. They look like drunken elephants. Laugh. It’s good for you. Relative, if you know who you are, and if you’re reading this, I know you thought you were doing the right thing, it’s ok. But my advice is, if you don’t want people to stare, don’t walk around buck nekkid. Before anyone gets their panties in a knot, this wasn’t a sexually inappropriate thing for a small child, it was a house where people just walked around naked in the morning but damn if you looked you were in TROUBLE! Still to this day if I am rooming with someone at a work event or something and they are one of those naked people I just can’t stop staring. It’s a train wreck for me. Anyways, here’s some of the funny pics from Moose’s.

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We are not Bush fans and that bottom pic looks like Stephen Colbert at crotch level so it’s even more funny for us.

The next day we were up early as we had a 7:30AM whale watch with the Hawaii Ocean Project. I wanted to do Trilogy as Chad and I did a Trilogy tour last year and they really are the best, or Captain Steve’s because you’re so close to the water, but for $100 for the 4 of us we couldn’t pass it up. We will do another trip hopefully towards the end of our trip and go with a different company, but HOP was really great. The weather was crappy which is why we want to do it again, and we’d just like a different experience.

Thank god this is my third trip to Maui because when we put the address for the Lahaina harbour in it told us to cut through the center of the island and then come down on the north side, also known as ‘the Road of Death’ as far as I’m concerned. Chad almost lost his testicles when he didn’t turn around on it our last trip here. He still has them because he did turn around eventually. It’s amazing what testicular threats will do. So, due to wonky directions and us NOT following them, we literally made it in the knick of time and were the last on the boat.  The weather wasn’t the best, it was trickling and overcast, but we found the last bit of cover left and hunkered down.

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When the sun peeked through we found a warm spot at the front of the boat, but I had to go up top for optimal photos of whales and of my family looking for whales.

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You can see, the sun was trying, really trying!

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I get enough rain at home, but one of the beauties of Maui is the rainbows! My friend T plays for the other team and told me it’s her peeps that keep sending them over for me. Thanks, T’s peeps!

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My girl trying to protect herself from the wind and rain. She’s gorgeous no matter the weather 🙂

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I was beginning to feel like we came too late in the whale season. When Chad and I were here last February you couldn’t look at the ocean without seeing a whale spout, breach, or pec fin. Finally, someone came out to say hello. It was mama and baby, which ended up being the theme for the trip.

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We were wet but happy 🙂

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You can’t see the other end of the rainbow in this pic but a boat was right at the end, gathering up all the gold coins we imagined.

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Then, the most amazing part of the whale watch happened. This is a brand new, one week old the captain estimated because of the relaxed dorsal, practicing his breaching right in front of a rainbow! No photoshop here, just some color correction. This brought tears to my eyes. How lucky are we to witness such awesomeness.

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I started chatting cameras with another mom on the boat. She had a Canon Rebel and didn’t seem worried about the wetness. My Nikon was snuggled tight into my hoody and I pulled it out at opportune moments. I have a little panasonic that I’m not that concerned about for the rest of the time. We did some family pic swaps. I got her, her hubby and two cute kids, and she got us. She used our panasonic because I had the 300mm zoom on my Nikon so she would have gotten an awesome shot of our eyeballs but not much else. At least we have a family picture!

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Chad saw this pic as I was uploading them and said ‘HEY! Where was I when you were taking that picture?’ Um……he’s lucky he’s charming and makes me laugh.

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I had to get a shot of the shore to show the weather patterns. It was sunny/rainy/sunny/rainy. Bipolar weather weekend on Maui, people.

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We were starving! We hit up Betty’s Breakfast cafe. My facebook post showed this pic and said:

Banana Mac Nut Pancakes: $10

Mimosa: $2

Million Dollar Breakfast View: Priceless

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After breakfast we hit Costco since it was pouring. Traffic was slow so 3/4 of us fell asleep in the car.  Thankfully the 4th didn’t fall asleep. I just had a 20 minute cat nap, the kids zonked like exhausted toddlers.

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We got back, everything put away, and the sun peaked out so we walked across the street to the beach. Chad and Wheels went out to the ocean to play and I was getting anxious because they were so far out. When they finally made it back Chad told me they didn’t intend to, the riptide just pulled them. Chad used it as an opportunity to teach Wheels about the tides and how to swim parallel to them to get back to shore. After that they stuck close to the shore.

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Ry enjoyed some sunshine although she kept putting her towel down in a ‘safe spot’ and laying down, then a big wave would come and sploosh her. She got two towels drenched before heading back to the condo in defeat. The weather was turning again so we weren’t far behind her.

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In the meantime, I went from pasty white to eggshell on my legs so I was satisfied. We came back to the condo and had a roasted costco chicken and cesar salad for dinner. Chad passed out at 6:30, Ry at 8:15 and Wheels at 8:45. I fell asleep closer to 11pm, and was the first awake today at 5am. As I finish this up it’s 8:26 local time. Chad’s gone to the beach for a walk while I sat back with coffee and the kids are still sound asleep. The weather is crap all over the island so I think we’re going to hit up some shopping. We have family pics on Thursday and aren’t set on our outfits. The last of the severe weather warning ends today. We can’t wait to snorkel.

Mahalo for reading!

Cor xo