Archive for July, 2007

Hiking Day

It’s Thursday and it’s my last day here in Maui. So sad. Actually I’ll still be here for most of Friday, but much of that time will most likely be spent hanging out at the airport. Whoop. I felt bad that I haven’t blogged since Monday but then I stopped feeling bad b/c I’m on vacation, I shouldn’t have to blog :)! But I will anyways.

Yesterday was awesome.

Jake took the day off of work and we went out to hike the hills of Maui. I’m not much of a hiker. I know Portland and the NW has great places to hike, I just never do it. It’s not something I think about doing on my days off. Plus the last time I went for a hike was 4 years and 30lbs ago and I thought my heart was going to explode, so that may have added to my avoidance.

The first hike was labeled ’strenuous’ and it was just that. We got out of the car, and immediately we were faced with a steep hill that didn’t seem to end. The hill did end, but there were many steep switchbacks to be faced. We hiked along the ridge of enormous hills with over 100ft drops. It was nothing short of spectacular and the views were amazing. After three miles of climbing we reached the very top to discover we were surrounded by clouds. It really wasn’t disappointing to be at the top and see nothing but white. It was a bit eerie and exciting as it reminded me of my cloud dream. I wasn’t able to take a chunk out of any clouds, but it was still crazy fun. The way down went much faster then going up, although at times it felt even more treacherous as the rocks were steep and slippery. We found that sometimes it was better to run/jog down the steep parts rather than constantly put on the leg brakes.

We reached the bottom and no sooner did we pile into the car before Jake asked if I’d like to go on another hike. I said ’sure’ and we drove off to our next destination. I was drenched in sweat and my legs were a bit tired but I still felt like I had plenty of energy.

The next hike was labeled ‘hardy family’ and was only 4 miles round trip, so I figured we’d be fine. And we were. The trail wasn’t nearly as steep as the last hike, and the views weren’t as spectacular either. our first hike had us on the very high ridges of Maui looking at the gorgeous valleys, this hike had us in the valleys looking at the sharp ridges. It was a great way to experience the island. Our hardy family hike followed along streams and creek beds. In the middle of the hike we had to cross two different dry beds full of rocks. To assist in our crossing was two separate, dilapidated suspension bridges. Long boards lay across completely rotted 2×4s that were then attached with coat hanger wire to cable ‘hand rails’. They were a piece of work and a bit freaky. Some of the long boards were completely split and were hardly nailed to the rotted 2×4s below. Despite the condition, person after person made their way across the bridges.

At the end of the trail was a small dam/waterfall thingy tucked away among towering trees, that made for a picturesque place to make a lunch. When Jake and I arrived, there was a bunch of people spread out eating lunch. It seems we were right behind a guided tour of about 25-30 people. We saw that behind the waterfall/dam thingy there were some dry rocks that lay by the stream giving us a good place to rest our bones. We made our way behind the falls just as two buxom beauties bounded in their bikinis off of the waterfall. Yes, life is good in Maui.

We sat and ate what little food we had. I brought only an apple, but after 8 miles of hiking, it was quite possibly the best apple I’ve ever tasted. After eating and swallowing our last swig of water we made our way back the final two miles. It was a good hike, but Jake and I agreed that the hardy family hike was no where near the strenuous one.

After the hike we had time to kill before picking up Jake’s wife Kara. We drove up to another part of Maui that has awesome views, and ended up on a small farm that grows several types of lavender, appropriately named ‘The Lavender Farm’. We were surrounded by rolling hills, trees and a gentle breeze. It was nice, and maybe a little romantic but it was best just sitting on a huge hill talking with a good friend as the clouds rolled by. We checked out the gift shop which sold everything with lavender in it, but we didn’t buy anything, we only tested the samples.

At the end of the day Jake and I were feeling pretty good. I think we were both a bit surprised that we busted out a 10 mile hike on a whim, I’m glad we did it and the sense of accomplishment was thrilling. Definitely a highlight of the week.

Cloudy Tops

End of Trail —This was the end, otherwise we would’ve kept going

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Maui Weekend

I just spent my first weekend in Maui and as you guessed, it was nothing short of wonderful. The fun, heartily started on Friday as we all went to a local joint for some happy hour with a bunch of Jake’s co-workers. We had beers and salty nachos (saltos) and plenty of laughs. Afterwards we hit up quiznos for Kara and after that, I don’t remember much….so it must’ve been a good night.

Saturday we drove all over West Maui. My gentle hosts took me to see the petroglyphs which look to be some old time graffiti mixed in with some new graffiti.

It was neat and a little freaky because recently there was a fire and so everything looked barren and smoky.

After the petroglyphs we went and saw the dragon’s teeth. They’re not real teeth, just a cool rock formation. Near the teeth was a cool rock circle thingy on the ground. There were no signs explaining what it was, but none of us dared go in the middle, it just felt like we shouldn’t.



Our next stop was this cool blow hole. The waves come crashing underneath the rocks and shoot up through this hole, spraying water over anyone that dares to stand underneath. That was us. We stood underneath and got soaking wet, it was great! I don’t have any pictures b/c there was water everywhere, so use your imagination.

Next we went way up in the hills and saw some super secluded parts of the island. It was a bit scary and fun because the roads were super tiny with no guardrails and cliff edges. The thing is, these aren’t one-way roads so when you meet up with another car you have to try and make room. Pretty awesome ;) see below:

Before we went up the windy hillside there was promise of insanely good banana bread, I was excited because I am a huge fan of bananas cooked in bread. You can only imagine my disappointment when we reach the banana bread stand and found a hanging sign that read ‘on vacation’. I don’t know what kind of vacation you take from paradise, but sometimes I guess you need it.

We finally got off of the crazy hillside and went to weilai (I think that’s the spelling) beach. It was super nice and beautiful just as most beaches here are. We did some wave jumping and wading, Kara did some boogie boarding and we all did some reading.

We came home and got cleaned up and tried to decide what to do for supper. We were going to go some place inexpensive and close since we were a starved bunch, but Jake had the great idea of going to a pizza place called
‘flatbread’. As it turns out, it was his best idea all weekend. Flatbread is a hippie, organic pizza and salad place. The pizzas are way different and have super thing, crusty crusts. I loved it. We ordered three personal sized pizzas, which are 12″ in diameter and ate to our fill. So , SO good. If they came to Portland, they would thrive with customers. Big time.

Sunday was our most mellow day. We slept in and tried to figure out what to do. Someone suggested a movie and within minutes we were at the theater to watch Ratatoulle. And just like everyone else has said, it was great. It was more of a story rather than being geared towards the kiddies. I really enjoyed it, and it made me hungry for delicious French food. YUM!

After the movie we got ready and geared up to go to the beach. Once again it was super nice, although it was a bit hot for me and the sun was really getting to me. I had sunscreen on, but my arms were already a bit burned and the sun started to feel really oppressive. We all went in for a dip and to jump some waves. Things were going great until out of nowhere a huge wave came and pummeled me down. I was fine and for normal people this wouldn’t be a big deal. I was freaked though b/c my head went underwater and as many of you do or do not know, I generally try to keep my ears dry. As a kid I had so many issues and infections they always told me “keep the water out”. My (good) left ear was all plugged up and I had water stuck in there. I was freaked about it since I could barely hear. This lasted for a couple of hours until we were getting ready to go find some food for dinner. I was so frustrated that I couldn’t hear I started head banging my head all crazy like a metal rocker and Jake started laughing at my like I was freak, and admittedly I’m sure I looked like one but it worked! The remaining water splooshed out and suddenly I was BACK.

We brought food back and ate in front of the tv. The night was mellow as the rest, full of beers and cookies. Kara was falling asleep while we were watching the ‘heaviest man alive’ on TLC and I thought she was headed for bed around 10:30, but once I found the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air marathon on TV she perked right up. We all had fun singing the theme song and watching episodes until midnight.

A great weekend.

One more pic of the jeep symbol in Jake’s forehead, I thought it was cool.

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Lenticular Dreams

Day two in Hawaii nearly mimicked the first day, and really, that’s ok with me. Although today I woke up much more tired. I’m not sure if the beautiful sun and bodies are just too much for my brain to handle, thus tiring me out or it could be the crazy dreams I had all night long. My first night I snapped this photo of what sincerely appear to be lenticular clouds:

Click the link on ‘lenticular clouds’ to see even more amazing photos of this rare cloud. Yesterday I looked at these photos in wonderment and thought about writing about it, but never got around to it. Since I wasn’t able to share the knowledge I think my brain went nuts last night. All of my dream were centered around these clouds.

I was near the beach with Jake and Kara, my grandma and the rest of my family as these strange clouds started forming over us. The wind was whipping around something fierce and it felt like a big storm was rolling in. But instead of escalating into something dangerous, the clouds came down to our eye level (it was as if they were intelligent, which was freaky) and we could touch them. They were full of mass. We could break off large pieces of them like Styrofoam, but it was very heavy, unlike Styrofoam. In my dream this was a big deal and I called Jake and my Dad over to witness what was happening. We knew there was something valuable about these seemingly intelligent clouds and we had to hide them. It turns out we weren’t the only ones interested in our new lenticular friends. Overhead about 20 different military jets swooped and flew. They never landed or came down,instead they very menacingly flew above us. We were in trouble and knew it so we started directing our clouds to a nearby forest and that is pretty much where I started to wake up.

Very odd and a bit exciting, more exciting then seeing the lenticulars in real life, but you never know, maybe they’ll come down one day and end up being our friends.

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I’m in Hawaii

As most of you know I am spending the next 8 days on the beautiful island of Maui visiting Jake and Kara. They are leaving the Hawaiian islands soon to move onto bigger and better things. I always told them I’d come visit them before they left, so it was time to make good on my promise. Since this whole thing was spur of the moment I was able to score a good deal on round trip tickets down here. I was unfortunately not able to score a good deal on the person I sat next to on the plane. Nor should the word ’score’ be used in the same sentence in reference to said person. She was….’interesting’ to say the least. Curly grayish, thinning hair atop a head and whole body that has seen waaay too much sun. Long, wonky teeth that could eat corn on the cob through a tennis racket, and bony elbows that constantly found their way across my arm rest and into my arm.

All of that wouldn’t have been so bad except that she complained about everything. All the things she complained about were completely out of my control, so I never knew how to respond. Lunchtime was interesting. She wanted to know the details of what was in everything, which is understandable since she mentioned that she was a brand new diabetic and needed to know. She ordered the turkey sandwich and then
immediately left towards the bathroom (presumably to shoot up the insulin). When she came back:

Crazy Lady: (at me) Where’s the mustard?

Me: They didn’t give us any.

CL: How can they not have mustard? I need mustard!

Me: (stuffing my face) I dunno.

CL: Well this is ridiculous I can’t eat this w/o mustard.

Me: “….chomp chomp chomp.”

She flagged down someone to go find her dang blasted mustard, but they never came back. Insane woman offered me her sandwich but I didn’t want it because she had spilled crazy all over it. The bag lady came by picking up everyones trash and my fellow passenger threw the whole sandwich away. Moments later a male flight attendant came by with a glorious packet of mustard, pleased with himself he presented it to her as if it were a highly desired delicacy.

CL: Oh, well this is no good! I just threw my sandwich away! The other steward told me you didn’t have any mustard.

Male Attendant: I’m sorry ma’am. There was a whole bin full of different packets, I had to dig for this one. We are out of sandwiches, can I offer you something else?

CL: Yes.

She began ranting again about the service/mustard/everything while she was stuffing chips in her mouth. I was sad that she felt the need to rant right then, because more chips were shooting out of her mouth during the rant than were staying in. Gross. I landed safely, got picked up and then had time to burn. I walked around some town that I cannot pronounce, smiled at a few Hawaiian honeys and finally settled into a small hippie cafe for lunch. I went to the beach near Kara’s work and snapped this photo.

Don’t be deceived by beautiful blue water. It was a tiny, sorta nasty beach, but it’s still Hawaii. Once my two hosts were off work we went back to their place and hung out. We drove around and they showed me a bit of their small town. We decided upon a local Vietnamese eatery which was mostly tasty. I ordered the lemongrass chicken but it should’ve been called lemonsalt chicken, as it was incredibly salty!

After the food, we got our beach chairs, stogies and headed out to watch the sunset. It was fantastic. Except Jake and I discovered just how hard it is to light our cigars on a windy beach with little matches. How many matches does it take to light two robustos? The whole pack. We relaxed and laughed, got our feet wet and watched the sun set on the calm water. The sun sets at 7:15pm here and there really isn’t much twilight, it gets dark very quick, so that was a bit of a surprise. But it’s beautiful and relaxing and warm.

After the sunset we went to Safeway and I quickly realized that Jake was not a liar. : ) Food is way more expensive here, and I mean…that makes sense and all but its something you just don’t think about. I got salad fixins and thought it’d be great to get some bell peppers to go with my salad. I left the peppers on the shelf as they are $5.99 a lb! This is definitely my week to lose weight. I spent $53 on not very much food. Oh well, I’m here for the friends and scenery not the bell peppers. The most irritating thing is my wonderful logic was completely backwards.

Before I left, I picked up a few items and purposefully didn’t buy other things because I was going to buy them here. I bought my flip-flops at target for what I thought was a reasonable $9.99 (they were even more a Fred Meyer). When I told Jake he said, “WHAT?! They like only $3-4 here!”. “That’s ok” I said, “I didn’t buy any sunscreen because I figured it would be so cheap here, the streets must be flowing with it.” This caused Jake a great internal merriment. “But it’s not! It’s sooo expensive here, such a ripoff.” And indeed, he is right. A small bottle is $13.49 where it is probably somewhere around $5 back in the mainland. Well poop. Now I know. At least I’m in Hawaii. :) :)

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Yellow Splotch

I was just in the bathroom getting ready for bed like I often do, when I noticed a yellow splotch on my chest. The last couple days I’ve been sunburned and I was concerned that maybe my skin was freaking out or cancerizing. The splotch was weird looking, it wasn’t a bright yellow, or a redish-yellow, rather it had more of a jaundice flare. Upon closer examination I realized it wasn’t some rare form of chest cancer, but actually dried mustard from earlier, during the thunderstorm (see post below). I was eating a sandwich and must’ve squirted some mustard on my hairy chest, I was so captivated by the lightning, I hadn’t even noticed. Then I let out a big belly laugh because it reminded me of how awesome it is to be a guy. We can walk around all night with our shirts off and mustard stains on our chests and not have a care in the world! I love it.

Lightning storms are fantastic.

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There was ‘talk’ of Portland getting a chance of a thunder storm tonight but we just blew that chance right out of the water with a full blown light show. Awesome! Portland has pretty crappy T-storms, basically the sky flashes with no distinctive air searing bolts coming down. Blah, boring. Nothing like the Midwest. But we just had a pink bolt light show right above us for the last 15 minutes. We even had a huge, super bright bolt thunder down behind the giant trees across the street. I love those lingering ones, the kind that you can still see 30 seconds later when you close your eyes. Nothing like a mid-summer thunder storm to freshen things up…
Did anyone else see the action?

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Calling all Razr Phone Owners

I know at least one of my readers has a Motorola Razr, but if anyone else out there owns this phone, please pipe in. Can anyone tell me why I can’t store as many text messages as I used to? The storage space seems to be getting smaller and smaller. My phone used to hold somewhere around 48 messages. Then I got the smart idea to delete some old messages. After that it only held 37 messages before showing ‘full’ and now it only holds a measly 34 txt msgs b4 it sez dun. In my old phone there was a setting that you could change to store messages in internal memory or on the memory stick. I see no such setting in the Razr. How many messages can your razr hold before it fills up? Anyone? Is there a way to make it hold more?

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Millimeters Matter

I didn’t know what to expect when I started this video but it so cracked me up. Pointless and funny.

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Happy 4th

I hope everyone has had an enjoyable 4th of July. I did. I was surrounded by a bunch of Brits, which felt a little funny. We declared our independence from them, yet they’re still all around us. It was also Michelle, my partner’s birthday today. We celebrated with sword fights, musical chairs, ice cream cake and plenty of illegal fireworks. Great fun for everyone. The whole day really was awesome. I slept in, finally rolled out of bed and worked out. Played some video games then ate lasagna for breakfast. Drove around to buy Michelle some fun stuff. Came home and relaxed, met up with my mum and Phil for the latest Die Hard movie. Had fun watching my mother get all tense during the movie. Came back home to kick Phil’s ass at video game basketball (it was much too hot outside for real basketball) then went to the brit bbq. AND I’ve listened to John Philip Sousa’s ‘The Stars and Stripes Forever’ no less than eight times today. So really it’s been a brilliant all American day.

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Drinking in Scotland

Thought this was funny, every place is different :)

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