Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A view from the Upcountry

Well, a lot has happened since my last post. I celebrated my Birthday on Feb. 28th. In a totally weirdo turn, it rained all day on Maui. We did manage to find some sunshine in the Upcountry. The cast rented a mini-van and we took a rainy trip to the Iao Needle Valley and got soaked. Then we went to the Upcountry and looked at the views and went to the Tedeschi Winery. It was fun.
Rainy Iao Needle Valley
Rance & Deanna at Grandma's Coffee House in the Upcountry

Piero, Mike, Jen & Larrance at Grandma's Coffee HouseBirthday Rainbow!Fun with perspectiveMike doing "the usual" View from the Upcountry to La Perouse

Larrance and I had just gone to the Upcountry the week before - we visited the Winery and the Ali'i Lavendar Farm. The Lavendar farm was great...lookee!
Larrance relaxes on the Lavender Farm

View from the Farm to the ocean
View of the Lavender Farm

We tried their Lavender Scones with Lavender Coffee and Lavender Earl Grey Tea. Delightful!

We also tried boogie boarding for the first time. FUN!!!!! It was amazing. Some of the cast had tried surfing and said it was super hard but boogie boarding is the opposite. I'm sure surfers probably look down upon it but I say "poo to you" it's awesome. We tried it on Kalapalaki Beach on Kauai. Mike, Deanna, Larrance and I went there on a very stormy day and rode those waves. I wiped out twice - basically I miscalculated the wave and instead of riding on it, I rode under it. Mistake but still funsies! I will do it again!

Since my last post, we've also done the Road to Hana. For anyone who is not familiar, the Road to Hana is on Maui and it is a twisty turny, one-way bridge, beauty fest. Because the road it so twisty we rented 3 small cars so we could all ride in the front seat...this made it much more pleasant what with less car sickness. The Road to Hana (RTH hereafter) is filled with waterfalls, bamboo forests and all kinds of delights.
Bamboo? Bamyou.
Little Bear Falls

The best delight on RTH is the Banana Bread stands. There are a a lot of them. We stopped at one called Halfawy on the RTH and the bread was fantastic. I don't have a picture of the bread - we ate it!

We had lunch overlooking the village of Nihiku.
We stopped at a Black Sand beach and looked at the beach, a sea cave and some other caves.
Cool sea arch and meView from the sea cavePiero, Rance, Deanna & Larrance on black sandCave where a Queen was killed...don't remember name!...they say the water turns red now and then. Creepy.
The RTH was great. Larrance and turned back after the Black Sand beach. Later that night, we met Mike & Deanna for dinner at the delicious Flatbreads. Amazing food!

This week we've had two adventures. On Maui, Piero, Larrance and I took a bus to Wailuku and started walking to the Iao Needle Valley. I know - we went there on my bday but it was so rainy we couldn't really see anything. We were walking there and about a mile/half mile away when we ran into Mike with his friend Kea. Kea had a BMW and offered us ride - we took it! He also became our informal guide through the Valley. Kea is from Maui so he told us about the valley and showed us the hidden swimming place. Well, not hidden but off the trail. It was wonderful.

Iao Needle - they say this is a God's penis. They do, too!View from the Valley to Wailuku and the ocean.Secret swimming spot with Kea & MikeMike doing "the usual."

After that we had Tutti Frutti, that's a local frozen yogurt chain. Delicious. I had Taro yogurt which is my favorite. How will I live without it?
Then Mike, Larrance and I got a little picnic from Whole Foods and went to the beach and ate it. We saw turtles along the way!

On Tuesday, we went for an aerial tour of Hilo. Deanna had chatted up this guy, Capt. Ron, and he offered us a special deal. We left the ship at 9am and headed for a small air field. Then we got on a little plane and went to see the volcano, waterfalls and other stuff. Here are some photos!
On the plane - us plus Renetta from Toby BeauLarrance is ready to fly.Pu'u'u vent - Magma below the steam!New lava field
You could see lava in person not so much here.....but trust me, it's there.
Fresh Lava, anyone?
New land & the ocean.Boiling Pots
Boiling pots again....?Keaukaha - a great swimming spot near the ship

That brings us up to date! We're thinking about going rock jumping at a waterfall tomorrow but nothing is firm yet.....we have just over 4 weeks left of our contract. It's been great!


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bad Jen

I'm working on a new post. Honestly, I felt crappy from that flu for about 2 weeks after I got over the major symptoms. I'm putting together some new photos and stories. I promise you.