Thursday, July 30, 2009

Maui: Road to Hana

We left our resort early Sunday morning and headed towards Paia and the start of the road to Hana.

We had our bookmarked guide book in hand and were determined and excited to follow the suggested hiking paths to hidden waterfalls.

Most of the shops in Paia were still closed when we pulled up into town. Paia is notorious for the eclectic mix of people roaming its streets. This time it was just Lord V and I wandering with Chanda dressed in her large telescopic lens.

At the start of Hana road we blew past the first fruit stand, smugly snorting at the swarm of tourists gathered there. Our guide book had told us to ignore that stop so we could get ahead of the tourist pack on the (mostly) one lane road to Hana.

We passed mile marker 5 and slowed. This was where the first hidden trail was.
We pulled over and I noticed a shoe atop a fence post.

Hmm. I wonder if that's a marker?

A few cars had pulled over and we walked up the road a bit following other people. They scaled a fence with a "KEEP OUT" sign attached to it. I shook my head at Lord V. I wasn't about to intrude on peoples property even though the guide book had said to ignore trespassing signs.

We headed back to our car when I spied a hole in the dense bamboo like forest along the road.

"I think this is it!" I called to Lord V.

We peered in and could see a faint trail leading into the shadows.

We stepped into the tropical forest and the trail widened into a sunny stretch of a well trodden path.

Yes, we found it!

Our glee quickly changed to trepidation as the trail veered from a dry, sunshine light path to a dark, dank, muddy steep decline peppered with moss covered rocks.

We slipped and slid, gripping foliage to slow our downward hike. The muddy trail grew steeper with each turn but we gamely pressed on until we came to a section where a creek had dug itself into the mountain top creating a 8ft ravine between us and the next section of trail.

Someone had wedged a plank of wood across the ravine to aid in crossing to the other side.

I looked left...

And right...

And tentatively stepped a foot onto the plank.

It shifted beneath my foot and it suddenly dawned on me that we were down in the depths of a hidden trail in Maui and no one knew where we were. If we fell to our deaths here, it might be months before we were found! Nothing left but a sack of bones dressed in Hawaiian shirts, khaki shorts, gripping a camera with the "MAUI REVEALED" guidebook fluttering in the wind.

"Oh hell no. I'm not dying here!" I muttered yanking my foot from the plank of death.

Lord V agreed and we trudged back up the trail bursting through the opening of the trail, gasping for breath and drinking in the feel of the glorious Maui sunshine.

A car pulled over and 4 old people peeled themselves out with the "Maui Revealed" guidebook in hand.

"Is this where the trail is to the waterfall?" They asked, looking from our mud streaked bodies to the hole in the bamboo forest.

"I don't know." I said, sucking in air from our rapid ascent. "We never made it that far."

"I just know," I wheezed, leaning down to smack a clump of mud off my calf, "I wasn't gonna die on that trail!"

They shot me an alarmed look and then looked back at the trail.

I could see them evaluating their dream of hiking to a hidden waterfall against our rendition of the hike.

I shook my head at them. 4 old people dressed in Dr. Scholls support shoes of the elderly. No way in hell were they going to make it.

I looked at Lord V. He shrugged and gave me the look of, "What can we do?" and climbed into our car.

I flopped in beside him and we headed back onto the road to Hana.

To Be Continued...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Catmercial Interruption

We paws the blogging of my Maui trip for this catmercial interruption

I shall return tomorrow with "The Road to Hana" blog details.

You can see a preview in pictures HERE.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Gabby Abby: Snoozing Lap Angel

'cuz it's been awhile since you've seen a picture of her...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sailing the Waters of Maui!

We arose early and headed out to the town of Lahaina where our sailing boat "Trilogy" was docked.

We arrived an hour early so we could fortify ourselves with coffee--then splurged and ate a delicious breakfast of over easy eggs, pepper bacon and home fried potatoes with a dab of their special hot sauce. (purr-fection)

Breakfast finished, we turned our trip vouchers in to a Trilogy crew member in the parking lot and headed towards the docks. It wasn't hard to find--we just followed the mass of plump white tourists carrying day bags filled with sunscreen and towels.

They divided our group into two tours and we climbed onto the boat assigned to us and set sail.

Unfortunately, there was no wind for them to be able to use their sails and we ended up motoring the entire way to Lana'i Island. The trip was gorgeous though and any time I am lucky enough to be on the water I am thrilled!!

Once there the group headed out to the beach to snorkel but Lord V and I and a group of 4 women traveling together (who were hilarious) climbed onto a RIB boat (reinforced inflatable boat) and zoomed off for another adventure.

O.M.G! They two guys manning the RIB boat zoomed us around the rim of the Island at break neck speeds!! I was yelling the entire time with WHO-HOO's!!! and ARGH MY SPLEEN!! as we slammed up and down on waves zooming across the emerald colored water.

It was the best...EVER!!!

I didn't take Chanda on this trip for fear she would get water damaged. I regret not taking another cheaper digital camera though, for the 3 waterproof disposable cameras I did take took horrible pictures of the most fantastic views of emerald surf smashing against massive Island cliff faces I've ever seen.

We made it back to beach and staggered off the boat. We waved goodbye to the crew and headed to the pack of tourists who were busy getting ready to snorkel.

Our guide warned us of the ominous surf that was slamming onto the beach that day. The waves were the largest I had ever seen crash onto the shoreline! He explained that the waves came in groups of 10. We would have to have our mask and mouth piece on, clutch our fins in our hands and run into the surf when he told us to GO! There would be no time for delay or panic. We had to run or drown.

I was a little alarmed at that but determined to press on with our snorkeling plans.

Lord V and I donned our snorkel gear, clutched our fins and stood at the top of the beach waiting for the GO! signal.

The waves rolled in and threw themselves at our feet in an angry tantrum. I kept my eyes on our guide and waited for the signal.

GO! GO! GO! He screamed. We took off running into the surf. Once neck deep in the water I struggled to pull on my fins but labored as they had insisted we wear waist flotation devices and it kept flipping me onto my face when I lifted my foot up to tug the fin on!

"GET YOUR FINS ON!" A crew member yelled at me bobbing on a surfboard beside me.

"I'm TRYING!" I yelled back but kept struggling.

"HANG ON TO THE BOARD!" He yelled back.

I gripped the surfboard and managed to tug my fins on just as a giant wave came hurling towards me.

"DIVE! DIVE! DIVE!" He screamed.

I turned my body and dove into the wave.

It swirled me around and I broke through gasping and looked frantically over to see how Lord V was doing.

He got hit full on with the wave and was coughing and gagging on ocean water having not been fortunate enough to have a surfboard to cling to to help him put his fins on.

He waved me on and headed back to shore.

I struggled for a bit then made it past the row of waves and got out far enough to calmer waters.

I snorkeled for awhile snapping pictures of angel fish and brilliant blue colored fish.

I got to swim with a school of tiger striped fish then headed back to shore as the current was so strong it was exhausting me.

Once back at the shore I flopped down on my beach mat with my towel and rested for a bit, thoroughly exhausted.

I felt bad that Lord V didn't get to snorkel but he said it was OK because he had gotten a little sea sick from the pounding we took on the RIB boat and trying to snorkel in the rough waters just made it worse.

I had just enough time to catch my breath and slow my pounding heart when the crew called out that there was a van tour heading out to see the Island of Lana'i.

I gathered myself up, wrapped myself in my beach towel and headed with Lord V into the air conditioned interior of the van.

The trip was optional--but I was determined to see the most I could on our trip!

It was a very pleasant tour. Our tour guide was a local and she drove us slowly around telling us about the town and the history of the Island. It was currently owned by David Murdock...but he was losing money and they hoped that the next person who bought the Island would be Bill Gates so they could get some computer jobs out of the deal :)

After the tour we headed to the pavilion on the beach where the Trilogy crew was busy cooking us dinner.

Roast chicken, Oriental stir fry noodles, Peas, Salad, dinner rolls, Iced tea and Guava juice.

It tasted very good after our ocean experiences!

Our boat had broken down so we all piled on the remaining sailing boat. I was able to snap up a front seat right on the tip of the sailboat and resting my head on my arms on the rail I sighed and watched the waters fly by us as we sailed back to Lahaina.

They managed to catch a few minutes of wind and put up the sails. It was a beautiful sight. White canvas stretching and catching the wind--but for most of the time we used the ship motor to get us back to the main Island.

It was a fantastic day and the best birthday I have ever had!

xoxo to my Lord V.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Maui Trip

I have begun posting pictures at AKatsEyeView of our trip.

I (usually) don't like to repeat a vacation place, so we wrung out as much as we could of our Maui experience :)

The flight was long. 6 hours! But Lord V and I packed enough entertainment gadgets along to keep ourselves occupied.

The first thing we noticed when we climbed out of the plane was the humidity. It wrapped around us like an electric blanket--but--I was thrilled to see brilliant sunshine after the fear of flying into possible hurricane weather!

We took a shuttle bus to our rental car place and picked up our island vehicle. They gave us a red convertible Mustang. I smiled inside myself because my friend Mikey would have loved knowing that--as it was his favorite car.

Our hotel in Wailea (click to see a link for pics of it) was beautiful. We stayed on the 7th floor that over looked the ocean.

We spent the rest of our Friday acclimating ourselves to our surroundings: taking pictures and plotting activities for the next 4 days.

Saturday, after picking up our tickets for our sailing trip, we were taking on Monday, we tossed on our swim gear and headed to the beach for some body surfing.

The waves were so strong!! They tossed me around and spit me out on the beach like a pebble.

The third time the waves horked me onto the beach, I staggered to my knees spitting sand and salt water, flung hair out of my eyes and patted my hands down my body to make sure it was all still intact when I realized I was patting skin where my bathing suit should be!

I looked down at my chest and yelped frantically tugging my girl bits back behind my suit when I heard laughter from the shady part of the beach.

Two middle aged women lounging on beach chairs were grinning big and laughing at my frantic coverup. I shrugged and grinned back at them and headed back into the waves.

fracken tourists...

Next post: The Road to Hana


We are back.

We had a fantabulous time!!

The only sign we saw of the hurricanes was high surf on the last couple days of our vacation.

It was hot. Sunny and beautiful!

We are burnt. Exhausted and happy to be home with our animals and MiniWarrior :)

I have spent the day downloading my pics and trying to categorize them for my akatseyeview blog.

I will be trickling them onto that site tomorrow after getting some much needed sleep tonight.

Here is a peek. I shall blog about some of our adventures, tomorrow.

Garden of Eden: Road to Hana

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Carlos and Dolores

There are two hurricanes headed towards Hawaii right now.

Carlos--who is tuning down to a Tropical Storm and veering south away from the Islands...


Dolores--who is in hurricane status right now and in a direct path to the Islands.


So if you don't hear from me in a week?

Send for the Wizard cuz Toto? We ain't in Maui anymore!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New Toy, Trip Plans and Cyclone Carlos!

I came home from work last night and Lord V met me in the kitchen with a solemn look on his face.

"Did you receive any phone calls today?"

I eyed his serious face nervously.

" I lost service today. Did you too? What's the deal with fracken AT&T?!"

He took my arm and turned me towards some paperwork on the counter.

I eyed it with trepidation then realized it was the itinerary paperwork that had come in the mail for our Maui trip.

"YAY it came!" I pumped a fist in the air with a grin.

"Look closer" He said shifting the papers slightly.

I stood up on tiptoe and peered over the stack of papers and...


"Happy (early) birthday, Hun." He said with grin.

I flung my arms around him hugging and kissing him then leaned back and smacked his chest for alarming me with his pseudo Mr. Serious face.

Gotta love him, right?? LOL. Yeah. He's awesome :) xoxo

As for our trip:

Earlier in the day I had told my boss about our upcoming trip to Maui. He was very excited and spent most of the day sending me links to different maps and detailed Maui websites so I could be well prepared for our trip. He and his wife had been several times so he had the low down on which places were a "must see" for our trip.

I zoomed out to Borders at his recommendation and snapped up the Maui Revealed travel guide book then poked through it with him so he could explain to me some of the maps in it.

When I came back from my lunch he and the guys at work had put up a satellite tracker site of the Hawaiian Islands.

"Hey, come look at this!" They said, waiving me over.

"LOOK!" They said, grinning and pointing to the satellite image on the screen.

There...THERE on the screen was an swirling image of a Cyclone named Carlos that was headed towards the Islands!!

"NO!" I yelped. "You guys are just messin' with me, right?"

"Nope. It's real." They insisted.

"And" They added with big grins on their faces "There's a 'High Potential Disturbance' incident following right behind it, too!"


We've kept an eyeball on Cyclone Carlos' progress for the rest of the day and first thing this morning when I came back to work. It looks like its mellowing out and heading South away from the Islands so cross your fingers for us!!!

And last but not least (You didn't think I'd actually send out a post without Gabby Abby news and pics, did ya? Hmm?!)...

I give you my first pics taken with my new toy this morning.

Gabby Abby has taken to laying on her nest on my bathroom counter demanding pets and scritches while I get ready for work.

I've become quite ambidextrous curling my hair, applying make-up, etc with my right hand while scritching her with my left hand!

She's becoming quite the little Diva :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Twice The Amusement

Since it's Monday--I thought I'd give you not one amusing pic...but TWO!

Walking in downtown Portland in the Pearl District Friday morning I happened across this in front of someones condo.

And...because your week cannot be complete without a Gabby Abby shot...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Gabby Abby

Gabby Abby had surgery this weekend.

She had a broken molar.

She's back with us after a night at the Vet hospital and greeted me this morning with her usual chattering and purring.

It's hard to believe we've only had her for only a couple of weeks. I've grown so attached to our little bundle of orange striped fur!!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

As They Say On Cuteoverload...SQUEE!!!!

Guess where I'm going in 8 days.


Kahului, Maui ---Hawaii!!

It still hasn't sunk in yet.

I'm still sorta dazed by the surprise of it all.

We are renting a car so we can travel all over Maui and...

We have a Sunset sailing cruise set up for my birthday.

10 hours of sailing, feasting, snorkeling, touring, lazing on white beaches...

o.m.g. !!!!

I gotta go polish up Chanda and rummage through my summer stuff and...



I'm just a little bit excited--can you tell??


Monday, July 06, 2009

4th of July Goodness!

Our friends piled over on the 4Th to celebrate with us.

As usual, we had a great time of feasting and much laughter!

Apparently I am still a rookie at grilling--as I loaded hamburger patties, brat and hot dogs on the grill.

All. At. Once.

The grease from the hamburgers hit the flame and FOOSH! There were arm length flames spewing outta my grill!

I was ACKING! and frantically trying to rotate the various meats so they wouldn't die a charcoal death.

What should have taken 20 minutes to cook?

Took 10...

My friends were laughing and frantically handing me plates to fling the flame tortured meats on advising me that perhaps I should have only turned ONE burner on instead of the three and not put all the meat on at once...




Ah well. It all turned out fine and I must say mighty tasty! :D

Our neighbors sons were putting on a party for their friends next door to us and playing Beer Pong.

One of my friends ambled over to them and found out instructions on how to play then promptly appropriated our outdoor table and turned it into a Beer Pong festivity of our own!

I lost and got a little tipsy on all the beer I had to drink...

We set off a bazillion fireworks when the sun went down. And...

So did our neighbors!

'Cept their fireworks? Were all set off in one gigantic "OOPS" display when one of the guys holding a lit mortar accidentally dropped it onto the box of unfired fireworks!!

There was a huge explosion as the box burst into flames and fireworks shot everywhere while the party kids frantically scurried out of the way like cockroaches!

Something caught on fire by the house but they quickly doused it and amazingly nothing was damaged.

We laughed and applauded the show then skulked out and set off our now lame-in-comparison fireworks.

They were not impressed by our sputtering fountains...


We had a great time but I'm not sure when we'll be able to have another 4Th gathering like that as I work the on the next 4 4Th of July's.

Good times though. Good, good times!

even though my friends did mock my Heart, Elton John and Pink music!!


Friday, July 03, 2009

MiniWarriors Newest Obsession

Wanna know what's consumes MiniWarriors every waking hour?


Hello Kitty---Live!

What do you get when you're the only female in an all male household and your new Mom is crazy....(over Hello Kitty)?

Hello Kitty cat! me...

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Holiday Festivities

Big BBQ plans for the 4th.

Our day will be full of friends, laughter, music, fireworks and feasting!

We had a pre-4th of July fireworks display for MiniWarrior and his friend last night.

MiniWarrior tends to get a little overwhelmed when there are lots of people and finds it hard to enjoy the fireworks at the end of a party. Sensory overload!

I thought it would be nice for him to have a little time away from the crowd to shoot off fireworks before the crush of sensory overload on the 4th.

It's always a balance game of too much too little too...when dealing with Autism!

Gabby Abby news:

I dragged out a piece of cat furniture that I had purchased for Guido a couple of years ago. He never really played on it as he was too large of a cat.

I plunked it down by Gabby Abbys favorite family room window, sprinkled a little catnip on it and carried Gabby Abby over and set her on top of it.

She immediately took to it, rolling around, grooming herself in the sunbeam and playing with her new set of mice that lay beside her.


More pictures of Gabby Abby can be seen HERE!