Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Water balloon fun!

This last Saturday night, Steph, Trev, Jill and Brian came over to hang out. Earlier in the day Will and I had picked up some water balloons at the store, so we decided to fill them up and play a little water balloon toss. It was so much fun! We felt like we were 12 again, but didn't mind that at all. Next time it's sunny outside I think I know what we'll be doing.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Will's evil laugh

I dont know where he got this laugh from, but I think it's funny. :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008


My trip to Maui was better than I could have ever imagined. I made amazing friends, saw amazing places and made wonderful memories. It is painful coming home and leaving paradise behind.
I met people from all over the US, Australia, the UK, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Russia, Canada, Ireland and more. I saw beaches of Golden Sand, Black sand, Salt and Pepper Sand and Red sand. I hiked in the jungle, I ate fruits that I didn’t know existed, I played in the water, I learned a lot of history of the island of Maui, I laughed…. My heart was SO full in Maui.
I think if I didn’t have my beautiful son to go home to, then I would have quit my job and stayed in Maui. I will miss the beauty, the friendships and the good times.

Saturday was my first day on the island I arrived at about 2pm. When I stepped off the plane I was excited, nervous and a little bit scared. I’d never traveled by myself, but I was so excited for the opportunity. I took a taxi to the hostel. The taxi driver was less than optimistic. He told me what a bad area I was staying in and that the Banana Bungalow was not going to be a good experience. It was kinda too late to change where I was staying so I tried to just have a good attitude about it. When I got to the hostel there was no one there since everyone was out and about for the day. I wanted to cry. I thought “What in the world am I doing in Maui, by myself?” But that quickly changed. Within a few hours I was surrounded by people, laughing and playing games and feeling SO happy that I was there. I felt the love of the people there from their smiles.

Sunday the tour of the day was to go to Big Beach and Little Beach, which are right next to each other and just separated by a small hill of dried lava flow. I started on big beach but realized that everyone was going over to little beach. So I followed over there. Little beach was quite the adventure. It is a clothing optional beach. Most bodies were less than desirable and I think the average age of the nude sun bathers was somewhere around 60. It was shocking at first, but eventually the shock wore off. I however did not participate in the nudity, which the Italian guys from the hostel told me was a disappointment to them. Ha ha. We stayed at little beach until sunset. There were many people in a drumming circle making beautiful island music. And others dancing and enjoying the festivities. I sat and took it all in and enjoyed experiencing the somewhat hipee side of the island culture.
Monday we headed for Iao Valley. On the way up there we stopped at Kepaniwai Cultural Park and learned some of the history of the Island and looked at the beautiful park dedicated to the Asian people who came to the island many years ago. The hike up Iao Valley was very beautiful. Along the way I met a girl named Amanda. She mentioned that she worked at Google and was from San Fransisco. Come to find out she knows Ann! What a small world. Once we reached the top, Issac, our tour guide told us we had an option of going down the way we came, which was steep but not too bad, or we could go the “fun” way. I chose the fun way. It really was fun! A little dangerous, but that’s that made things fun. The path was super steep. Some people decided to slide down in on their butts. I tried to just step down the whole thing. There were times that I would slip and literally be hanging by a branch of a tree, trying not to fall and take out the people in front of me. I laughed the whole way down because I was enjoying the “fun” of it. When we got back down to the bottom we went swimming in the sacred Iao Valley Stream, which was once the site of the biggest battle on the Hawaiian islands and ran red with blood. Luckily it now was not red with blood… but it was very cold. It took some convincing to get in, but once in I had a good time, even if I was covered in goosebumps.

Soon after I arrived back at the hostel from the Iao Valley hike some people at the hostel invited me to go with them on another hike up to a place that I believe was called Thirteen Crossings. It was a fun easy hike which crossed over a stream (probably thirteen times) and led up to some waterfalls. We all climbed the first small fall but Cassara and I waited at the bottom of the next one while the guys climbed up it. On the way back to the car we had a bit of a war using “Shampoo Gingers,” which appear to be a big flower that is about to blossom, but turns out to be a plant full of gooey liquid which smells like shampoo, and when you hit someone with it they get completely slimed. We were all covered in slime but smelt much better than we would have otherwise.

Tuesday was our all day trip to Hana, along the famous Road to Hana with more than 300 turns and crossing over more than 40 way lane bridges. I was lucky and snagged shot gun next to our awesome tour guide Gary. And although I enjoy Gary I was more excited about not sitting in the back through the hundreds of turns. Along the Road to Hana we stopped and got fresh Banana bread, stopped at a Black sand beach, a Salt and Pepper beach and a hidden Red sand beach. Each beach was amazing and held its own beauty. At the black sand beach there was also an area where we swam through a cave. It was cold and a bit scary, but fun. As I walked down to the main part of the black sand beach I saw a sign advising against swimming in the water because of jelly fish. But there were people in the water, and no one was screaming, so I decided to give it a try. Luckily I didn’t have any run ins with jelly fish. At the Salt and Pepper colored beach there were great waves and many of us decided to body surf. It was a lot of fun, until I caught a wave wrong and got tossed around quite a bit. Not only did I feel like I swallowed a gallon of sea water, but I also put on a pretty good show for anyone watching because when I came out of the wave my bathing suit was not covering everything it was supposed to. Jeesh, I should have saved that for little beach. The Red Sand beach was hidden from the road and took a bit more effort to access but it was a different type of beautiful from all of the other beaches we had gone to. The day was full of beautiful beaches.

On Wednesday we went out to West Maui and Lahaina. We rented snorkel gear and snorkeled around black rock. We didn’t see much in the water, but to make the trip a little more exciting Sanjay and I (one of my roommates from the UK) decided to climb up Black Rock and jump off of the top. It seemed higher than we thought it was when we were at the top and it was quite a thrill jumping off. Just as Sanj and I got back to our towels it started to rain. Some people decided to head back to the vans to wait out the rain but the rest of us decided to just get back in the water since the water was warmer than the air. Just as it was time to leave the beach the sun came out. We went down to downtown Lahaina and ate dinner and did a little tourist shopping. My buddy Issac, our tour driver, bought me a fresh lei. It smelt so good and I got lots of compliments on it.

Thursday was my last full day in Maui. I started off the day right by going with a bunch of people from the Hostel to "Tasty Crust" for breakfast. Sounds horrible but was delicious and cheap. Then we went out to turtle town to go snorkeling with the turtles. Barbara and I went out for a while and couldn’t find anything. Gary told us to try again and that we needed to go far to one side. We were kinda frustrated because we weren’t seeing any turtles, then all of the sudden we were surrounded by turtles. It was amazing, they were right next to us. We were satisfied after that. We soon after went to little beach. Barbara and I just laid around because we were pretty exhausted from snorkeling for so long. After that we went into Kihei. Barbara and I ate at Life’s a Beach and then did a little shopping before meeting everyone back by the water for sunset. I didn’t want the day to end, so I stayed up until around 2am playing games with friends back at the hostel.

Friday was a sad day for me. I really didn’t want to go home. And really I think if I didn’t have Will at home I would have quit my job and just stayed in Maui. As stupid as it is, I cried at the airport. I was just feeling like with family you know even if you go away that you’ll see them again sometime, but I don’t know if I will ever see any of my friends from the Banana Bungalow again. But I guess I need to just be grateful for the experience. It truly was an amazing time in Paradise.