Sunday, May 29, 2011

the last hurrah

I know, you're thinking "Enough with the lizards, lady!" It's just that I like the fauna of a place, and even though Montana has much bigger fauna, we're too cold to have fragile little reptiles like this. They look like tiny dinosaurs, and I always thought it was kind of exciting when I saw one. The locals probably thought I was as lame as I thought it was when I saw a magpie in the zoo in Seattle (like putting a winged rat on display).

Self-portrait, under the banyan tree, post ice cream. I'm seriously one giant freckle!

Our last sunset on the beach. Rob captured it via time lapse - here's hoping you get to see THAT stitched together into a lovely video on HIS blog.

A: "Ok, now at least smile or lift your eyebrows in this one."
R: "Sure. You first."

We capped off our last night with dinner at an Irish pub, of all things. This guy is the local bagpiper, and he was GREAT. He's actually Irish, answered the question that no one asked with "Socks and boots," and played Iron Man and Smoke on the Water. The food and drinks were okay, but we'd go back in a heartbeat for the entertainment. It was stellar!

Waiting for takeoff in Portland...

In the air! I loved seeing that there are no straight lines on the ground that are not man-made. Linear isn't in nature's language, and the folds and curves of the earth, the ribbons of water, the lay of snowfall on the land - it was remarkably beautiful to me on this trip.

One of my happy shots, and one I wanted to leave unedited. Those are God's original colors, and it was just spectacular, a truly incredible last sunset.

Those are the photos and videos I have worth sharing. The rest of the stories can be metered out a bit. I'm taking a few days off!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

made in maui

I had to post this before I lost my nerve (again). I'm a little over seven weeks. We've known almost three weeks. Aren't you proud of me for keeping it fairly quiet? We're due the second week of January and everyone is pretty excited.

I do not have morning sickness, but afternoons can find me double-fisting ginger ale and a preggy-pop. There's a very short window between thinking a food item sounds good and actually preparing and consuming it before it no longer sounds good. I'm eating a lot of cereal and yogurt these days.

yummy, except for the lizard

The food in Maui was top-notch nearly all the time. If something is "encrusted with macadamia nuts," that is what you want to eat, and you pretty much couldn't go wrong with the fish. Anything that fresh is bound to be delish. By this point in our trip, we'd hit all our high points that we really cared about, and all that was left was to make sure we ate at the restaurants we cared about. I was also aware that we had precious few photos of each other, much less the two of us together, so I got a little more intentional.

Testing the set-up of the timer, Gorillapod, and camera location.

We certainly LOOK like we're eating well...

This wine was very tasty. Our dinner this evening was at Cafe O Lei, and we recommend their lunch menu over the dinner one.

Regardless, look at how pretty this is! I got it and said to Rob, "This is too beautiful. I don't think I can eat it!"

Thankfully, I managed to rally and polished the whole thing off.

This excellent restaurant (green curry was tops) had a sign I couldn't resist snapping.

Kevin had a friend: Earl. He was much smaller, and neither he nor Kevin let me touch them. I'd usually warn them though: "Earl, you're holding so still... I'm going to touch you!" And then they scampered off in two shakes.

Friday, May 27, 2011

a whale of a time

On our way to the snorkel/SCUBA time at Molokini Crater, we saw a threesome of humpback whales, cruising along near our boat. Not only were they VERY close, it was late enough in the season that the ship's crew was really surprised to see them (we'd heard them on our second day snorkeling, singing to each other, but only when our ears were below the surface of the water).

Ain't he handsome, folks?

The Iao Needle, which apparently the early Hawaiians believed was the god of the ocean's willy. Why he'd put it here was anyone's guess.

I liked the way the vines seemed to embrace the tree (so apropos for a honeymoon!), but apparently it's a fig vine, smothering the tree and killing it slowly from without. I choose not to compare this to marriage in any way, shape, or form.

We went off the path (which is forbidden, though there was a pretty wide trail which presumes we had lots of company) and came to a wide part of the river/creek that had been laboriously dammed to create a lovely set of pools.

I loved the sun. The cool fresh water (not sticky, like salt water) was really pleasant too.

A mini taro root field, also at the Iao Needle.

Local kids, taking their lives in their hands and plunging into the not-that-deep pool beneath this bridge.

My artsy shot of a fern. Fiddlesticks!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

surf's up, dude

One of the item's on Rob's bucket list was to take a surfing lesson. Since it was not on MY list, I watched and shot video from shore, while reading one of the SIX books I managed to devour while on vacation.

If you say so...

He was, uh, the oldest pupil. And definitely the most handsome.

Getting up on shore is EASY!
R: "I figure it will be pretty natural since I snowboard."
A: "Sure."

He's the one in red!

And he's always skeptical of me behind the lens. I'm not sure why...

the road to hana

We got up bright and early one morning in order to gas up and drive all the way around south Maui: easily a ten-hour trip. The vast majority of the road is 25 MPH, and all but perhaps two bridges are one-lane. Most people simply drive to Hana (about 50 miles) and turn around. We were some of the few souls who decided to go all the way around (I have no idea how far). A goodly portion of the road, right on an ocean-side cliff, is one-lane. Remember what I said about "alarmingly narrow roads?" I think it is one way that Hawaiians say: we like tourism, but if you go where we don't really want you, we'll scare the bejeebers out of you as a penalty. Because we're growing weed back there, and we'd like for you not to find it.

This road in a convertible was AWESOME. And though I sometimes get startled and gasp, scaring him, Rob is a great driver.

A bamboo forest, waving in the wind. I wanted to get all Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon until I remembered that I am not so good with the hand-eye coordination and the balancing on bendy bamboo stalks. Plus - and this matters - there was no one to fight.

What can I say? He likes the wagon I'm draggin'. Can't argue with that.

Tropical tropical tropical. Anyone for bananas?

Pretty red flower, in some botanical garden where we were chewed on by skeeters.

We found a little black sand beach, along with a bunch of other people.

One of the road's many waterfalls.

Apparently the warm, fresh banana bread was THAT GOOD.

A tropical conversation:
R: Now, why did you marry me?
A: Do you really want to pull at that thread?
R: (surprised laugh)
A: No, I married you because you looked at me and all my life and baggage and history and you didn't flinch.
R: That's what you think. I called Lonnie in near panic, whimpering.
A: Ok, fine. But you didn't blink to my face. And that mattered.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

the dumps

No joke, that's the name of the beach we enjoyed most on south Maui. You drive past, well, everything. Upon reaching the incredibly narrow portion of the road, you take turns with any oncoming traffic to pass each other and poop your pants in the process, and you're quickly into a nature preserve. Since it's a lumpy lava field, here's the only real "nature" we saw from the road:

Chocolate brown goats, that you almost missed because they were the precise color of the rock, just not as sharp and jagged-looking.

Toes on the beach. We looked out at Molokini crater on the black lava rock spread. There were scrubby trees for a little bit of shade, and the snorkeling here was excellent. The fish were plentiful, large, and varied. We saw a puffer fish, a baby eel, and two sea turtles, among others. Despite our best efforts to scare the puffer fish into puffing, he practically flipped us the bird as he slowly swam deeply enough that he was safely out of our reach.

Molokini crater, site of 160-foot visibility and great snorkeling/diving.

When we got to the beach, the lot was nearly full of beater cars (the surest sign of a local: they do not drive Mustang convertibles!). There's a short walk on lava rock to the beach itself, and we crested a little rise to see all these locals waiting patiently in the surf. They were so thick, I was just confident they'd run into each other and knock heads.

But apparently good surfers don't do that.

They do, however, sometimes fall:

The only shot I'll permit of me in a swimsuit. I'm taking my fins off, I think, and possibly telling these guys about the sea turtles. Look at that cheesy grin!

There's no escaping it: the fella is a bit of a ginger. I hope our kids are too.

They might also have freckles and lots of 'em. That enormous freckle you see there, in place of my face? Yeah, that's mostly faded. Mostly. Back to face again.


Monday, May 23, 2011

nakalele blowhole

I've whittled it down to a mere 56 pictures. That still seems like a lot to me. Get ready for the flood o' photos over the next few days!

Aw, poor sunburnt man. SOMEONE needed a nap nearly every day. That hot weather and the crispy skin and the enormous bottle of rum we did our best to work through sure took a toll.

R: (gazing longingly at the convertible Mustang on the flyer) I have to ask... what would it cost to upgrade from our Ford Focus to this?
Thrifty Rental Guy: $66 a day.
R: Oh. Rats. That's actually pretty easy to say no to.
TRG: Tell you what, it's the off season... what do you say to half off?
R: Hmm... no. We're here nearly two weeks, and that's still nearly $400. I'm good.
TRG: You know... we have an awful lot of them out there. It would be good to have them seen on the road. What do you say to half off half?
TRG: (to me) What color would you like?

You can't tell from the editing, but I chose silver, ONLY because they didn't have any red.

The Nakalele Blowhole, a short hike from the alarmingly narrow road (which could describe many of the "off the beaten path" roads on Maui). It was fun to discover something new to me on Maui (everything was new to Rob!).

First puffs of spray...

... then it got serious. All this water just pumps up from the ocean, through a narrow tube/hole in the rock here. And you can't get too close because you could absolutely fall in.

What should I get?! Our celebratory anniversary dinner, at Maalaea on the Waterfront. They have a regular menu, or you can pick one of the types of fish they have that day and one of their many ways to prepare it. Opakapaka en Bastille is to die for. I was so full I felt ill when we left, but it was worth it.

The waiter took our picture, though none of them really turned out well. Oh well.

The view from the table. DROOL WORTHY. Plus the surf was high, so we got to watch surfers while we waited.

Good job, surfer dude.

It's like Hawaii was made for lovers!