Friday, April 17, 2009

Aloha from Maui

That was the morning of April 4, 2009
And this was the afternoon of the same day!

Before we continue much further, may we suggest you grab a snack to enjoy as you browse through this l-o-n-g blog entry of our Spring Vacation to Maui. Miss Em thought we should include as many photos as possible - so here we go! Emily was the chosen to one accompany us on this trip because Dad's conference was scheduled over her Spring Break. Miss Camber has a trip to France coming up this summer so her funds are being to applied to that wonderful excursion. We stayed at the beautiful Marriott at Wailea. The grounds were gorgeous.

This is called the infinity pool which is a very peaceful, relaxing and romantic place to enjoy time alone with each other - now why did we bring Emily along??? Oh yeah, it was her Spring Break and the time alone with her was going to be very sweet. (And it was! :)

While Mark was in meetings, Emily & I enjoyed this gorgeous sunset.
What a beautiful "welcome to Hawaii" moment that was!

Right before his meetings, they couldn't resist the urge of jumping in the pool!

Without being negative, I will say that Monday was the one
open window to real Hawaiian sun that we
experienced the entire trip.
Headed back up to the room after a wonderful morning on the beach. There was that lovely balmy breeze, tide pools to explore and sand between your toes!! Heavenly.

Because the weather didn't really want to cooperate - our snorkeling was unsuccessful. We took a fieldtrip to the wonderful Aquarium at the Maui Ocean Center and wanted to share some of Nemo's cool friends with Liam!!
Liam, don't they have the funniest noses??!
We enjoyed the giant tube you could walk through and be surrounded by Sharks and giant Rays. The Jelly Fish exhibit was fascinating - it was a fun morning together.

This is a view of the West Mountains
( not remembering the name)
If the clouds weren't so thick,
I can only imagine the view on a sunny day!!

This should have been up at the beginning, as it the gorgeous
view we had from our Lanai (balcony) off our room!

If there was one thing we could have brought home to share with everyone, it would have been this AMAZING shaved ice from a little shop up in Lahaina. Truely divine!! If you ever find yourself there, I think it was called a Pacific - Passion Fruit, Guava & Mango. Wow. It even beat the homemade Macadamia Nut Ice Cream!!

This little view is the bay where they filmed the opening shots for Jurrassic Park!

You could sit for hours and watch the amazing Kite Surfing - very cool.

One of many very gorgeous waterfalls on the Road to Hana.

The hours of laughter and entertainment a timer on a
camera can provide for us!

A little time to enjoy some watercolor. What a sweet activity!

Emily wasn't sure she wanted to model for this one, but we will all tell you that without a doubt this was the MOST INCREDIBLE Banana Bread we have EVER tasted in our mortal lives!! It was just that amazing. Really. The cool thing about this photo is the web address on their sign. Aunty Sandy will send you a mix for this heavenly mana for only 6 dolla!! That is a very big comfort to all of us!! Below is a photo of one the most beautiful sites we saw. This is a family's Taro Farm and the back yard is that amazing beach. If it weren't for the hundreds of inches of annual rainfall, we could move there next week to be the maids and man-servant of their sweet little home or gardeners! We can take dirt under our nails!  Their home was just to the left of this shot.

Off the beaten path we explored a trail and found many beautiful flowers and trees.
Isn't this bark sweet!? See Emily peeking at you, Liam?

Painted Eucalyptus Trees were voted the favorite of all living things here. Really fascinating! And this place was so Jurrasic Park-esque. If only we could grow one of these in our backyard!
(Do double click on this one)

Above is a lush Banana Tree and below is a flower called
Queen Emma!

Now we're talking about FUN! This is a beach just South of Makena - I think it is called Big Beach. The largest undeveloped white sand beach on Maui. (Not to be confused with Little Beach right north of here - an illegal kind of beach we chose not to visit, if you know what I mean, Vern!) There is a dangerous rip tide there - but really great for older kids and adults to boogie board on. We decided on some very inexpensive inflatable tubes for our riding pleasure, and despite looking a little silly, they were a BLAST! (we ended up sharing them with others!) You could really ride those waves in. We played hard there. I did win the prize for the craziest flips and ocean churning. At one point I came up with my hair so covered in sand you could NOT see my hair! Emily was surprised to find that once she came up with her bottoms around her ankles! That is a panic-and-a-half as you frantically try to pull up the wet-rolled up-sand-covered suit in a matter of 2.1 seconds - BEFORE the tide pulls out. Some really great laughs here. And to think that this was just another gray, rainy day in Hawaii!!
Those waves don't look like much, but there was real power there!!
It took multiple, long showers to get the
sand out of our hair and off of our bodies. I could have removed my suit and still stood there covered because of all of the sand that was stuck to me!
And, we all had a good portion of ocean water in our heads!
But so worth it!

So many beautiful flowers!! The smells are sensational!
The Plumaria (below) is our favorite scent!!

This is our favorite beach again! With such a cloudy day we really didn't expect the light show the sunset gave us that night!! So unexpected and so very memorable.

One evening when we were out visiting art galleries and doing a little shopping, we came across these thoughts on one of the T-Shirts for sale. We really liked them.

Never judge a day by the weather
The best things in life aren't things
Tell the truth, there's less to remember
He who dies with the most toys, still dies.
There are 2 ways to be rich: Make More ~ Spend Less
Beauty is internal ~ Looks mean nothing
No rain ~ No rainbows
Age is relative, when your over-the-hill you pick up speed

Our last night there we were able to enjoy a beautiful Luau right at the Marriott. (Because we suffered through one of those Time-Share meeting, we were able to score 2 FREE tickets to this event, a savings of nearly $200. And they gave us Emily's for only $25. YESSSSS! )
This was our first ever Hawaiian Luau!
Everyone was enjoying dinner and the music when suddenly a few guests spotted a whale breeching and two babes jumpng near her! There was a rush to the shore line and cameras were going off like crazy! We had been lucky enough to spot whales several times during our stay - but this show was really something special!!
Enjoying pre-meal drinks and socializing and then below, the whale spotting!

The show was so beautiful. Those Hawaiian's
have a way with grace and beauty.
We love the tradition and Hawaiian culture
that is still alive and well here.

The star of the show was Ifi So'o, a master at the art of Fire Knife Dancer. He is the three-time world champion.  What time and effort must go into learning this remarkable art!

Emily captured a little video we will close with. These were some of the men playing with fire right before the Fire Knife Dancer came on stage. Thanks for taking to time to read about our trip.  Blogging is such a great family journal!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fools!

A Post Script: First of all, why, of all the photos - the one we questioned even putting in here - would this be the lead one? Can you think of anyone that would make such a silly face for the camera phone shortly after a serious accident?  For the mom, just looking at this out of context is almost more than I can stand.  Love you, Cami!!  It was actually one year ago today that she had surgery to repair her knee.  We are all so grateful for the amazing recovery she has had.  

A few nights ago, Emily & I (Leisa) were laughing hysterically about how funny it would be to do a "What Not to Wear" post and made plans to go undercover to some various stores here in town and get some great shots! As the days went by, we decided it would not be the nicest thing to mock others, especially in a public way.  People, for the most part, are just doing the best they can with what they have. We will leave the humiliating to Stacy & Clinton.  However - we did agree that there would be a fair amount of funny photos  from our own albums that we could share with you, our happy viewers! Hope you all enjoy these fun and foolish photos!
Happy Fools Day to you all!

Things to look for:
 a pesky mosquito on Janell's neck
 a pig-pegleg on Davis
 Cami doing a balancing act
 a gi-normous video camera
Warning: Never borrow your little sister's shorts when there is a camera around!

and if only there had been more time to dig deeper...we left room for a sequel!