Thursday, June 16, 2022

Hawaii - Maui

On Thursday April 29th we left the Big Island and flew to Maui. Our flight was at 12:30 but we had to get Joanne to another terminal so she could join Mark and Mary for her trip home, and we had rental cars to return, and we did NOT want a repeat of Monday. So we left in plenty of time. Sure we got to sit around our gate for awhile but that was much preferable to having a heart attack!

These are such short flights. We took off and a half our later we were back on the ground. By the time we collected everyone’s luggage, got our rental cars, and drove to our resort it was 3 pm. Our villa is spectacular! Ocean view, a gourmet kitchen, 3 very nice bedrooms, each with their own private bathroom, a beautiful lanai overlooking the ocean. It’s amazing, and we are here for almost a week.

Lee and I went to the grocery store. Sarah and Erik had a dinner date. There were 4 babysitters for 2 little boys so it was pretty easy. Lee made a vegan ragu. Kris and Leo made a salad. The dinner was yummy, at least until Kirby deliberately poured his milk on the floor. Ah well! The boys were tired. Even Leo didn’t want to watch TV before bed. He didn’t even want a book, just some cuddle time with Auntie Kris. Kirby listened to me read an entire Berenstein Bears book and then went straight to bed. Like I said, easy!

In the morning I ran 6 miles along the resort beach walk, and then along the road to finish the miles. It’s so pretty! I have to get up early here cause it’s hotter than the other two islands. I’m 51% heat acclimated however! I’ll probably be completely acclimated by the time we leave.

Later in the morning we went to the pool, or should I say pools. It’s a huge water complex along the ocean, with water slides and a lazy river. Lee took Leo on the lazy river and one of the slides over and over again. We ate lunch beside the pool. By then it was 1 pm and Kirby really needed a nap so I volunteered to take him back to the villa. He almost fell asleep in the stroller. I laid him down in his bed and he basically didn’t move for 2 and a half hours!

Everyone else is going to a luau tonight but Lee and I are going out for Japanese. It’s our turn to have a date night.

April 30 Saturday 

Last night Lee and I went to Izakaya Genbe. It’s a tiny restaurant with a decor like an old fashioned Japanese roadside tavern. Lee got a shoju (Japanese whiskey). I got a sake flight and tried 3 different ones. That was fun; they really did taste different. I liked them all.

Then we ordered a variety of things. Pork dumplings, butterfish. Then I got a beef brisket udon noodle bowl and Lee got ramen. They were both very good. It was a very nice night! 

I started getting ready for bed at 8. I was tired and I needed to get up early to run. But suddenly my glucose meter stopped syncing with my phone. I messed around with it for awhile and then gave up and went to bed.

Another 6 mile run on the beach walk. This time I ran the entire thing on the walk, it’s so much nicer than running along the road. I ran it 1 and 1/2 times and with going back and forth to the villa that made 6 miles . 61% heat acclimated. It is starting to feel easier. It was also overcast and slightly cooler today. That all helps.

When I got back to the villa Erik was making waffles for breakfast. A yummy second breakfast for sure. I called the company that makes my glucose meter and they had me delete and reinstall the app. Apparently I suddenly needed the latest version and it hadn’t installed properly. All better now.

Then we went to the beach, which is right next to the pool. Leo and Lee had a fine time splashing around in the waves, but Kirby was cranky and freaked out and being very clingy with mommy.

Finally I took him and sat with him in the sand, at the very edge of where the sand met the water, but close enough that every once in awhile the water nibbled my toes. I gradually inched closer but he was still very apprehensive. He didn’t want to walk in the sand either. I carried him back to our chairs. Then I carried him back close to the ocean. When he was ready to go back to the chairs I told him he had to walk. I promised him the sand wasn’t hot and he could walk in it because he was a big boy. He did it! We bent down and started playing with the sand, and then, oooo we found a rock! And we discovered that we could bury the rock in the sand, and then find it again, over and over. “Bye bye rock! Hi rock!” 

He carried it all over until finally he buried it and couldn’t find it again. But by then he was interested in helping Leo bury Lee in the sand.

It was close to 12:30 and time to go back to the villa for lunch. Everyone else went back to the villa in the car. I stopped at one of the hot tubs for 10 minutes and then walked the rest of the way back. When I got there poor Suzanne was downstairs trying to change the boys out of their swim suits. I let her manage Leo and I took charge of Kirby. He was losing it again, crying while I wrestled him out of his swim suit. I started to put on a clean diaper and realized that he had sand in every crook and cranny on his bottom. So I sat him on the edge of one of their sinks and while he shrieked I rinsed him off.

I brought him upstairs and just put him on the floor, still screaming. Someone else’s turn! I scrounged some lunch and had a beer too. Whew! I love him like crazy but he has true old fashioned temper tantrums and when he does they are a sight to behold. He ate a little and then Erik put him down for a nap, still crying, until suddenly, silence. It’s 4:30 and he’s still asleep. Just a lot going on for a little guy.

Lee and I walked down to the shops at the resort. There’s actually a nice big shopping center there, even a grocery store. Lee went into this shop called Tori Richard and bought a couple really pretty Hawaiian shirts. Then we got a coffee, hung out, and walked back.

Sunday May 1st

Last night Erik made dinner. Burgers and fries and corn on the cob and chips and salsa and lettuce and tomato and pickles. Yummy. Kris made smoothies for the boys; Kirby dumped his on the floor, twice. Then he dumped his milk too. TWO! Time for a tippy cup.

Sarah, Leo, Suzanne and Kris went snorkeling this morning. They said the first place they went was very choppy and half the boat got seasick, including Kris. Ugh! But the second place they went was better. They gave Leo a boogie board with a place to look down into the water and he saw fish and stuff.

My run this morning included 4 miles at marathon pace. Garmin says I’m 70% heat adapted but I still adjusted my pace for the heat. Did pretty well, but slowed down a little with each mile. I wonder how it will feel when I’m home? Will I feel like I’m flying? Or just freezing to death?

Then Lee, Erik, Kirby and I went to the small pool in the villa complex for the rest of the morning. Small is relative, it still has a little sand beach, 2 waterfalls, 2 hot tubs. Gradually Lee and Erik got Kirby to go in the water. By the end he was jumping in to Erik, saying “More! More!” I’m glad he had fun. I swam around, got in the hot tub, swam around the waterfalls. It was a nice morning, and when we got back the housekeepers had been there, finally. They kept trying to come during nap or lunch, so this was the first time we had service.

Kirby had one and a half grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. Everyone is napping now, except Lee who is out shopping for dinner, and me.

Monday May 2

Lee made kabobs for dinner. It was raining so we sat in the dining room, which is really the only table large enough for all of us anyway. Dinner was delicious! I went to bed early, even for me, and slept until after 6. I decided to make Monday my day off from running. Because I’m moving things around due to vacation I had run 4 days in a row and it was time.

In the morning Sarah and Kris took the boys to the pool and the rest of us took it easy. After lunch we did a portion of the road to Hana. It’s a very twisty road so Kris drove because she gets motion sickness and she was glad she did. I sat in the back because on very twisty roads sitting shotgun makes me nervous, and I was glad I did!

It was a beautiful drive, even though it poured the entire time. The waterfalls were roaring. 

We didn’t get banana bread, but we stopped to see the views. 

Then we drove back to Paia and parked the car. First we got shave ice with ice cream. It was yummy, but I was freezing! It was much colder there. We walked around and looked at the shops and I actually bought a sweatshirt.

Then we went to Flatbreads. Just like old times! We got salads,one with goat cheese, one with blue cheese. Instead of Nori they put green papaya on their salads. We got the pizza with their maple flavored sausage of course. We got some pepperoni for the boys, and Erik tried one of the specials, a street corn with chipotle sauce and Asiago sauce which was really good. Kris said her vegan pizza was good, and Suzanne got a gluten free pizza where I really couldn’t tell the difference, even though the crust was made from cauliflower!

Now we’re back, sitting on the lanai, watching the sunset.

Wednesday May 4

We leave tonight. It’s been a great experience, a relaxing vacation paired with a beautiful wedding. This resort has been great. Pricy but with 6 adults and 2 kids we needed the room and the amenities made it well worth it, from the spacious well equipped kitchen to the Lanai with it’s beautiful sunsets to the beach walk to the ocean to the many many pools.

Yesterday we were supposed to go on a sunset dinner cruise. In the morning we went to the beach. It was really windy, and the surf was high. The boys had fun playing in the sand and surf, but I started getting apprehensive about the cruise. Sure it’s a 65 foot cat but I don’t care what kind of boat it is, in 9-12 foot swells it didn’t sound like fun to me. Lee looked at the marine forecast. There was a small craft advisory. I called the tour company. She said that the cruise was still on but the captain would make the call that afternoon whether to cancel or not. if he didn’t cancel we either had to go or lose our money.

Later that afternoon he did cancel. Whew. So instead we got carry out from a place called Paradise Pita. We spent a nice evening on the lanai. One more Maui sunset and time for bed.

In the morning I ran 6x800 repeats at 10k pace. I ran them along the beach walk, which undulates a lot, but my times were almost on target and well under my heat adjusted pace. I just checked the weather in MN and the highs will be in the 60’s this next week. Spring!

Then we went to the pool one more time. Today was a water slide day. I went on all the little water slides and then screwed up my courage for the big one. It actually was really fun, very long with dark tubes, light tubes, tubes with flashing lights. I enjoyed it but once was enough for me. I did the little slides twice however. We ate lunch at the pool and came back to pack.

Tonight is going to be tough but then we’ll be home with the doggies. Our flight leaves at 8 pm and we'll get into Seattle at 5 AM, change planes and we'll be home by 11 AM. Then I'll just tough it out and go to bed at a normal time.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Hawaii - The Big Island

Monday April 26

My son is a married man! We have to catch a flight to the Big Island today but not until 3:18. I go for a short run along Waikiki Beach. I’ve been carrying some of mom’s ashes in my purse because I knew how much she would have enjoyed going to Daniel’s wedding. But now it was time to scatter them in the ocean, so during the first mile of my run I walked to the edge of the sand, held my hand up to the wind and watched the ashes as they blew away. It wasn’t very ceremonious but it felt like a private time, just mom and me.

Lee made an appointment at a nearby restaurant, Basalt, for lunch and Dan and Kelsey joined us. It was nice, and the food was good, but we needed to watch the time. We had to get back to the hotel, get our car, and start heading to the airport by 1:30 at the latest. We were doing ok, but then Lee’s sister Cathy and her son and daughter-in-law had an emergency. They had left the bottle with formula and special nipples for Willa at their hotel and they were already at the airport. The hotel found them and had them at the valet desk. Could we stop on our way and get them? Of course!

We drove to their hotel. Nbd. But it’s not just a hotel it’s a huge shopping complex, and Google took us to an entrance no where near the front desk. I ran through the complex, using my running skills, asking everyone I saw where to go. FINALLY I find the valet desk and tell them I need the baby bottles that were left behind. The first people I tell look at me like “what??” But then another guy comes up with the bottles in their carrier. Okay!

We’re on our way to the airport. It’s getting a little tight but we’re still okay. Return the rental car, now where do we go? We need Terminal 1, but somehow we end up at the terminal where Delta is. How do we get to terminal 1? A 10 minute walk or we can take the Wiki wiki shuttle and with Joanne we think the shuttle will be faster. First it takes 5 minutes to come, and then at least 10 minutes to get us to terminal 1.

Now, a few people need to check bags. NOW we need to get through security. NOW we need to walk as fast as we can from one end to the other! Made it! But, wait, we’re not in the clear yet. Sarah and Erik and the boys are in another car. They had to wait a long time to get their rental car out of valet parking so they are actually behind us, and not yet at the airport. Fortunately they go to the right terminal on their first try. Unfortunately one of their suitcases gets inspected by security. Then except for barreling through the terminal with two little boys they were almost at the gate as well.

They started to board our flight. Where are they? There they come! NOW you can say we made it! We all board and before you know up we go.

It’s a short flight from Honolulu to Kona. The Big Island is so different from Oahu. All that volcanic rock and those huge mountains in the middle. 

Our resort is ok, not amazing. It takes awhile to check in, get everyone’s rooms. The little boys and their parents are exhausted and so is Joanne. The rest of us head out to try to find something to eat, but the places we try have hour long waits or worse. We find some place that will seat us and decide it will do.

Our food was edible, but the drinks were strong. It was such a stressful day; I don’t often say this, but I needed a drink!

Tuesday we went to Hawaii Volcano’s National Park and had a private tour. Our guide was really wonderful. He told us about the geology and the plants in the park, and made it both interesting for the adults and Leo. His wife’s family is native Hawaiian and she is a 10th generation hula dancer so he told us about that too. Fascinating!

We walked out to a point where we could see the caldera, the steam rising from the vents. It was about a 5 minute walk and along the way he pointed to interesting plants as well. He told us their Hawaiian names but? I especially liked these red blossoms, 

and these giant ferns.


Then we went to see a giant lava tube. He handed out headlamps to make it easier to see in the tunnel and of course the little boys were enchanted. Kirby mostly wanted to turn the buttons on and off. He is so mechanically minded! 

Then we went out into a lava field and he showed us different rocks. The boys both found some special ones and Sarah kept a few for them in a ziplock bag. One of the rocks the guide showed us looked like a very thin strand of hair. It was too delicate to try to keep.

After that we could walk up to a place where we might be able to see an eruption. There was one going on but I think you would have to have been there at night to really see it, either that or have an infrared camera. It was a little over a half mile there and back, a lot of walking for Joanne, since we had already walked around 3 miles that day. She was pretty tired but she made it. Leo walked most of it too, but Kirby fell asleep in the stroller.

Our travel agent routed us one way to the park that went along the Kona coast. On the way back we went through Hilo and stopped to eat at Ken’s House of Pancakes. It’s supposed to be good, and the boys enjoyed it, but the rest of us thought it was marginal to down right gross. I got corned beef hash and it was good, but the pancakes tasted like dishwater to me. Yuck!

We drove the rest of the way back over the mountains. We went up to over 6000 feet, through sun and clouds. It was so beautiful!

It was a long day but so worth it, the highlight of the trip (not counting the wedding, lol) so far.

Wednesday we took it easy. We needed to have a day off from activity. I had my first run that included speed intervals on the schedule. It was the first time I had tried any type of speed since I hurt my hamstring last fall, plus there was the heat to contend with. I shortened the warm up, and told myself to stick to the higher pace range for the intervals, and to cut them short if I start to feel the heat. I made it to 8 intervals (out of 12) before deciding it was time to stop, but they were mostly in range, or close. It’s fine, my hamstring felt great, and I didn’t get heat exhaustion either!

When I got back to resort everyone was hanging out at the toddler pool. Sam and Danielle were there with Lula, so that was really fun. Willa was still sick so Cathy stayed back with her at their hotel. But they are probably moving back to Duluth so we will get to see them more often.

It was a nice day. I bought a running hat as a souvenir, took Kirby with us to get gelato, hung out with Leo in our room. In the evening we went out for pizza, and beer. It was good, Black Rock Pizza. Hit the spot.


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