Taco Frenzy!

The day after my birthday just happened to be Taco Tuesday at Fred’s Mexican Cafe in Kihei, which is a very popular weekly event. Perfect! I sent an invite out to friends I wanted to celebrate with, grabbed Keely and her friend, and we had tacos. It was an intimate event, but certainly fun!

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Thirteen

Yesterday was my daughter’s 13th birthday. Wow. I didn’t know what to do, so I met with her dad, who is visiting this week, and we couldn’t decide even together. BUT, we saw a little place in the Triangle in Kihei that does hair feathers, and we all love sushi. That made it easy. We went to get hair feathers after we picked her up, then waited for Sansei to open at Life’s a Beach, where Keely got a virgin Lava Flow, and her dad and I shared a giant mai tai. Oh boy.

At Sansei, we ate entirely too much, and I think that her dad and I had a bit too much sake. It was all a bit goofy, but especially once we got home. She opened up a few presents we had for her, and then I decided to tickle her. Poor thing. I dated three wrestlers in my day, so she had NO CHANCE. All in all, a good birthday I think. She seemed happy enough.

Although, today her and her dad both tried to get me to drink at dinner…said I was lots of fun on her birthday. I am not sure if that’s a compliment or not. I am going to think positive…

Seeing Red

Only in Kihei is your broom stained red on the ends, and your toilet bowls have red rings, and EVERYTHING is coated in red dust. That, or spend $500 a month for the AC. I was mopping my kitchen to prep for my friends visiting, and I went through three buckets of water! It didn’t look that dirty, but it sure was! EEEWW! Window sills, glass, wood, any surface you can imagine is covered. Add to that all the gecko poop, and you have the tropical desert landscape of a Kihei home. Did that make any sense? ….Neither does Kihei, but I love it regardless.

Stunning

The other night, I was blown away by the sunset. In fact, the sunsets have been absolutely stunning every night here. Not to mention, the flowers are bright and beautiful, and the wildlife is fun. So, thought I would share some of the fun and stunning things in my life. Enjoy!

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Ohana

Just posting pics of the ohana because someone was interested in maybe renting it later… any suggestions on how to furnish it??

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Thank Your Lucky Stars

Sometimes, things just work out, and all you can do is be oh so thankful for the stars aligning. My daughter got back today from a month on the mainland. I hadn’t secured anything for her during the summer because I didn’t know my work schedule yet, so I have been stressing this week. I work too far away and too late to do any of the day camps, plus they are uber expensive.  Add to that her participation in swim team in Kihei at 5pm every day when I am across the island, and you have quite a conundrum on your hands. Surely, nothing I haven’t dealth with before, but it’s never easy….almost never.

I had to opt out of work today to pick her up, and I wanted to go to a P&T meeting, but I really needed to get Keely settled. Well, now I am glad I didn’t go. I called WooHawaii, which had been highlighted in a Maui Weekly article a few weeks ago. Their day camp is all full, but they have a program starting Monday with two hours of art and music, and I am tacking on 2 hours of tutoring. Keely got the very last spot. I got a great deal, and they will pick her up from the house each day! It’s right by the pool, so she can just walk over there. Win-win situation!!

Keely gets to sleep in, sing, play instruments, do art, and stimulate her brain. She will be close to all that is familiar to her, still gets to swim, and I don’t have to worry about her until 6:30 every day.

Yes, some days the stars are aligned, and you don’t question why or how. You just go for it and count your blessings.

HO’OLAULE’A PREP

I am writing a day late because I literally had no time to write yesterday. It was such a fun, sun-filled day, that I literally came home and collapsed into bed. I want to start with Thursday though, because this is a fun little story.

I responded to an email from the cycling listserv on Tuesday or Wednesday of this last week. The person I responded to had questions about the upcoming stage race, as well as a link to his nearly approved bed and breakfast, Sugar Ranch Maui. He invited me to his dinner party that Thursday, so I decided to go for it. I think I was the only person there that hadn’t windsurfed or kite-surfed, but it was a great time! I love how everyone was active and into so many different sports. They talked more about their activities than what they “do” to support their activities. A person’s career is not nearly as important here on the islands as what you partake in, either through sports, volunteer, arts, community, etc.

Met some great people, most of whom were friends of Suzie Cooney, whom I did the SUP (Stand Up Paddle) clinic with back in November. One of them was Matt of Olukai, who told me all about the Olukai Maliko downwind run in May. They had a practice paddle yesterday (April 30, 2011) from Paia Town to Kanaha Beach. I hadn’t done a downwinder before, so I was a bit nervous, but I rented two boards and Keely and I braved the surf.  Even though it was free, we had coffee and granola bars at the start,  experienced paddlers to escort and guide us, and two people on jetskis to make sure everyone was safe. At the start, we both had a hard time just getting through the initial break. Thank goodness I have a good sense of humor, or I might have cried and given up right there. We both finished fine and had lots of fun. Keely was the youngest paddler of the group! Everyone (myself included) was really proud of her perseverance. I think she did all of it on her knees, but she did it darnnit!

Matthew of Olukai setting up for the fun paddle

Coffee and goodies for attendees

The early risers and go-getters of the crowd

                  Matt invited Keely and I to his house that evening for a BBQ up in Haiku, where many of the volunteers for the event would be. How could I say no? First though, Keely and I took advantage of the boards we had rented at $35 each, and we went back to the south side (Kihei) to do some more paddling. We set out from the Cove near Kalama Park, and I told Keely that we needed to head upwind first so that we could just coast downwind to get in. Well, that didn’t happen so much. It was windy and choppy yesterday, and it was a struggle for both of us. I think we were out there for a good 1.5 hours. Upwind paddling is rough, especially when the wind is coming in at an angle. I also have NO technique, so I expend twice the energy someone experienced does. By the time we got to shore, and I had hauled both boards to the car, my arms were shot. Hoisting those up onto the car in the wind isn’t as easy as some make it look!

When we got home, I decided to wash my car. I figured I was already covered in sand, along with clumps of sand in my salty, sticky hair from carrying the boards on my head. So, we washed my car in our bikinis, cuz that’s how you do it on the islands! Of course, it meant I didn’t eat nor drink water, so by the end I was completely spent.

We cleaned ourselves up and headed straight to Haiku for the dinner party. It was a great time, and everyone was so welcoming! I had many great conversations throughout the night. At one point, I told Suzie that it was amazing how I suddenly found myself immersed in this new group of like-minded people, but she didn’t seem as surprised. I guess kindred spirits find each other and join forces, so to speak. Perhaps I wasn’t ready before, but now I am. The drive back was rough, and I fought off falling asleep at the wheel. Keely and I both walked straight to our rooms and CRASHED. I woke up to birds singing, a crystal clear blue sky, and only the faintest breeze. I love mornings in Maui.

Today, we are taking it easy, as our whole body aches. Keely doesn’t like it, but I do. I used every muscle from my head to my toes, and even my stomach is sore. There is certainly more SUP’ing my future!!

Kiddos playing

View of backyard campsite through screen. Can you say AWESOME?

Fun screened in room

LOVE the dog house!!

Lots of BBQ'ing going on!

Aloha Friday

Today was our big deadline for submitting our MTM (Medication Therapy Management) cases for 2010. What a relief to have it done! Sheena and I chatted a lot today, mostly about the residency, ideas, etc. We also just needed a mental break. Fridays are funny on Maui. Doctors’ offices close at noon, and nothing happens really past 3pm, unless you are in the food/entertainment industry.

I decided to hit the beach before Keely’s dad arrived in town, so I could relax a little. Well, the water was totally murky, nothing like the usual crystal clear water. Plus, it was full of all kinds of debris, so that didn’t last long. I felt so dirty! I am sad that it is like this when he is here, because he has never been to Hawaii before. Hopefully, the weather will be good for them while he is here. I overloaded him with options, partially because I am excited to share Maui, partially because I am worried that stormy weather will mess up most of their plans.

Regardless, when he came here, he was upset that it took him 2 hours to land at the airport, get the car, drive to Kihei, and check into his hotel. He was so adamant about getting checked in, that he missed an amazing sunset just outside the building where he is staying….the beach is RIGHT there. The whales were there, and all he had to do was take 2 minutes away and relax.

By the end of dinner time, I could see him relaxing a bit, but it will take some time. He is such an East Coaster. Seeing him and listening to him shows me how much more relaxed I really have  become. The islands are good for stress levels, even if it is expensive beyond belief here. On that note, time to reduce my stress level with some sleep so I can enjoy my weekend!

Aloha!

Flooding, fighting, freedom and friendliness

Aaaah, good, healthy, filling dinner of salad with mushrooms, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries, along with steamed broccoli with a touch of cheese, buckwheat, and chicken with eggplant and onion. Now, a Coconut Porter to top it off while I look back on a day full of crazy, cool, serendipitous happenings.

ALL WET

Last night was a true tropical storm, all night long. It bent a giant leafy branch down to my window, and it looked like a giraffe looking on me…kinda weird. It rained enough to flood central Kihei, and they canceled school for 5 schools, including Keely’s. Instead of snow day, we have kona day here! There was a flash flood warning in effect for the whole island, road closures, rock slides, mud slides, and more. I figured work could wait a couple of hours. Lo and behold, between 9 and 10am, the sky went from dark and stormy to blue with fluffy white clouds. Weird.

FEELING ANTSY

During that hour, I was getting dressed and looking to wear something different for once. I reached into my drawer of tanks and camisoles, and there was a swarm of those tiny yellow house ants, and as I pulled the shirts out, there must have been 3-4 more swarms. One more drawer had some swarms as well, so they went outside and got Windexed. That seems to work at keeping others from coming. I had been having these little guys crawl on me here and there at my desk, and I figured it was just a nuisance I had to live with, but now that I found those swarms, and I have since laid out little borax ant traps, things seem better. Of course, with the flooding, I now have gnats swarming outside my windows, and flying cockroaches, and now there is a cane spider hanging out at the window by my bed. Fantastic.

RUNNING FREE

Work was crazy again, so after I drove home, decided the house needed some serious cleaning, and took Keely to swimming, I went for a run. I am still not feeling so strong, but tonight I felt a little more stable, more even. The wind was insane, and heading south was really hard. When the wind whips across my mouth that fast, it feels like it’s sucking the air from me. Coming back felt awesome with the tailwind though. I wanted to make it to the beach closest to the pool, so I finished at a little beach that was dirty from the storm. It felt amazing to take off my running shoes and put my hot, sore feet into the cool sand. Despite some strange looks, I took some time to stand and stretch, and to feel the chill wind rush across my sweaty skin, giving me tingles all over. I was pretty much covered in sand when I was done, but the sun hadn’t set, so I finally gave in and sat in the sand, looking out at the murky ocean, usually crystal clear, and the debris scattered all over the ocean. Then, to the horizon, where you could see rain far off in the distance. No whales did I see tonight.

ALL DOGS WELCOME

An older lady with 3 cute dogs was sitting  quite a ways to my left. I smiled several times at her dogs, and she eventually got up and walked over. We talked a bit, and then she told me she wanted me to have two books she had written. She just had to wait for her friend, who was walking her 4th dog. Well, when they showed up, I was surrounded by 5 dogs, all loving my nails scratching their back. I wanted to take them all home. Probably the cutest one was the mangy, skinny little dog with one eye missing. He seemed so wise, and despite being mangy, his hair was soft as silk.

The lady’s cousin fetched the books. One is titled “So You Want to Live in Hawai’i”, and her name is Toni Polancy. The other one is titled “Hawai’i in Love” about island romance. I guess she has written a couple other books as well. As she left, she said she was interested in interviewing me for the update of her book, which is in its 3rd edition right now. I just had a very special Hawai’i moment, where everything comes together. It’s the kama’aina friendliness….it’s contagious. Afterward, I had to run up the hill to get Keely from practice, one hand in each arm, and my stride felt strong and even, ready to take on more serious running finally.

Tortoise and the Bunny

I just have to say that I wish I had an underwater camera with me on my snorkeling today! I swam with a sea turtle…twice!! The first time, it came up to me, and I had to back up it got so close. Second time, I touched the rear flipper, just to see if it really was that close. It really didn’t seem to notice me at all, just floated there, flippers outstretched like wings, looking down at something, then reaching it’s head above water for some air, then back to floating. I saw a really long, thin fish that I couldn’t tell at first which end was the head. Plus, some sea urchins the size of my head….and spear fishers. That kind of freaked me out, but it’s pretty common here. The water was too perfect today to not go out.