Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Slice of Life Day 31: A hui hou (until we meet again)

Don't forget to visit other blogs at:
This being the last post in the challenge to blog every day in March and the last of my travel journal to Hawaii, I want to share with you the ways I am reminding myself of the trip.  First of all, I have a photo album of over 200 pictures. I also have a book I made from Shutterfly that details the trip in summary form. Then I also have the slices of life I have done every day for 31 days. These are saved on my computer as well as printed in a folder. But, how to keep in the aloha spirit?

First of all, I am reading books, usually historical fiction, that remind me of the names and places I visited. Here are a few:
Moloka'i by Alan Brennert is about a young girl who lived most of her life at the leper colony on Molokai. I loved all the historical facts that were entwined in the story.
When I finished Moloka'i, I had to read another of Mr. Brennert's books. This second book is about a girl from Korea who went to Hawaii as a picture bride. Again, I am learning so much about the culture and history of this island community.
The Last Aloha is a novel by Gaellen Quinn. This book takes place in 1886 when a young girl travels to Hawaii to live with missionary relatives she's never met. She becomes involved in the turmoil as the Missionary Party tries to topple the throne and Hawaii's last queen, Lili'uokalani.

I have also purchased several CD's and find that listening to those before I go to sleep, brings soothing nights. Here are the ones I have:
  • 80 Minutes: Hawaiian Surf Guitar by Massage Tribe
  • Sounds of Kauai
  • Lifescapes' Listener Favorites---Just Relax: Maui
Even though I have those reminders, nothing replaces the actual experience of being there. That is why when people on the islands told us: "Don't say, 'If I come back..."  Say: 'When I come back..."  We listened to them. We have already set a goal to go back in three years for our 35th anniversary.  We would like to go back and be able to go to the USS Arizona since we didn't get that part of our tour this time. We would like to see the northern side of Oahu since we didn't have time to fit that in and we want to spend more of our time on Maui. We felt so at home there and absolutely loved Front Street.  Also, as our Maui Downhill guides told us..."There are other places to see and stay besides the Lahaina side." So, we want to do that, too.

So, a hui hou (until we meet again). Hopefully, you enjoyed our tour and are now planning your own. Aloha, see you in Hawaii

Monday, March 30, 2015

Slice of Life Day 30: Reflection and Camera

Don't forget to visit more blogs at
The end of our trip came way too fast. After taking a picture walk through our resort, we packed up and headed to the airport. The road there took us along the shoreline of Maui from Kaanapali past Lahaina. Since it was Sunday, many families were out on the beach having cookouts and camping. It was a beautiful view with the ocean on one side and mountains on the other. The really sad part was the fact that we were leaving so many memories inside my camera there in Hawaii.

The rest of that story is: We decided as soon as we were settled in at home, I would spend the day calling that exact rental place in Kauaii.  Darrell would do his part by calling the rental place home office and giving them the information on how unhappy we were with that particular car rental. We had a plan of action.

Fortunately, we didn't need to do that. When we got home (the next day) I received an email from the rental company. They had found my camera and would be sending it right out. What a wonderful message!  Sure enough, a week later, the camera came home. Now I had all my pictures!  Here are the places we stayed on each island, along with our favorite ice cream store on the islands!

Our "home" in Oahu
Our condo in Maui

Our bottom floor condo in Kauai

Each of our places to stay was great. I think our favorite condo/hotel was in Kauai. This is because it was most like a real home!

Lapperts in Kauai

Lapperts in Oahu

Lapperts on Front Street in Lahaina, Maui

Mahalo for taking this trip with  me over the month. Mahalo to the Two Writing Teachers for giving me the platform to share it. Tomorrow I will sum it all  up and let you know what's next for us with getting our Hawaii-fix!  Aloha!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Slice of Life Day 29: Watching Whales Up Close

Don't forget to visit other blogs at
The adventure of watching whales was happening on our last full day on the islands.  It was an amazing site. We had been waiting by the dock watching all the catamarans come into shore. Finally, it was our turn.  We all boarded the boat and took seats. We got close to the front on one side.

 The entire staff gathered on board and explained the rules and what we would be doing. One of the rules that stayed with me was that the boat was not allowed to get closer than 300 feet of a whale. That is unless while stopped, a whale came to the boat.
 We would see a few boats gathered in one spot, so we would head that way too. Then we would stop and wait. Sure enough a whale would breech close to us.
It was such a peaceful, wonderful site. These mothers, babies and guides would bounce up any where. The mothers had come to this area in December to have their babies. The area between Molokai, Lanai, and Maui was a safe area for them.
The passengers would hustle from one side of the catamaran to the other trying to get pictures of these creatures!  I gave the camera to Darrell to run from one side to the other. I had taken a pill that morning to help any seasickness, but I still was a little drowsy. He did a great job getting pictures.
Sometimes, a pictures would be taken after the whale had gone back under. They were so fast. The baby whales would pop up and then soon go back under. They couldn't hold their breath as long as their mothers could. They would by the time they left in April or end of March to head out to Alaska waters.

After over an hour of watching whales, we headed back to the shores of Lahaina. I know I could do the whale watching every single day I was there. However, our time was running short. One afternoon and a morning was all we had left in this amazing state.

Tomorrow I will reflect on the whole trip plus give an update on the lost camera. No, I still did not have it or know anything about it. The car rental place assured me they would still look for 30 days, but I hated to have to leave without those pictures!  Aloha!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Slice of Life Day 28: Lahaina Harbor and Whale Watching

don't forget to visit more blogs at

On our last full day on the islands, we booked a Whale Watching Tour. Lahaina Harbor is home to a wide range of whale watching tours and this is where our was out of, too. We had it scheduled for the morning session. We wanted to be sure to get a parking spot on this Saturday because parking was at a minimum in the middle of the day. So, we parked and walked round the area before we got in line for our tour.
Maui is the gateway to some of the best whale watching in the world. The waters here are shielded by the West Maui Mountains and Haleakala, creating calm and clear waters for great visibility. The whales come to this are from December to May to have their young. Being here in February was perfect for whale watching.
Our catamaran came and parked in front of us. We watched as another tour group unloaded. Then they prepared for us.
From 1825 to 1860, Lahaina was the center of whaling in Hawaii. This port town was once the royal capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom before it was moved to Honolulu in 1845. During this time, Lahaina was known as the Pacific's most significant whaling port.

We had so much fun watching the whales that day, that we wished we had done that EVERY day. Tomorrow's blog will show pictures of the whales we saw. Amazing!


Friday, March 27, 2015

Slice of Life Day 27: Kapalua Golf

Don't forget to visit other blogs at
One of the places we had on our list to visit when we were on Maui was the Kapalua Golf Course.  This is a famous course, so Darrell really wanted to at least see it.
On our last afternoon on the island, we took off from Lahaina and traveled north until we found it.
We first just walked up to the Pro Shop and looked around inside. Darrell found a hat he liked and purchased that. It was fun to see the variety of Vera Bradley items they had there. I wanted to tell them that I was from where Vera Bradley is, but I didn't.
We then took a peek out the back at the beautiful grounds. It was a real paradise. Just beautiful.
We were so glad we got to spend at least a small amount of our time at this course. I am sure Darrell will remember this trip every time he watches a match from there!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Slice of Life Day 26: Hawaiian Cowboy--Paniolo

Don't forget to visit other blogs at
After getting up at 2:00 a.m., riding to the top of Haleakala, seeing and sunrise, taking a bike ride down the volcano, and having a photo shoot with bikes, it was time to load the bikes back up and head down the mountain.  The area we were now in is called Upcountry Maui. In the distance, we could see a small town. This was Makawao, which was once named one of the top 25 arts destinations in the U.S.
As we were waiting for the guides to load all the bikes back into the trailer behind the van, we checked out the area. We were now on the mid-slopes of Haleakala. This Upcountry is famous for the Hawaiian cowboys or paniola.  We did not visit Makawao, but we did get to see a paniola.
The history of this area is interesting. In the 1790s, an explorer, Capt. George Vancouver, gave a handful of longhorn cattle to King Kamehameha I. The king put an order of protection on the animals. They could not be slaughtered. The cattle took surprisingly well to the land and they multiplied. By the 1820s, they were tearing through towns and devouring crops.
In 1832, Kamehameha III brought in horsemen of Spanish descent from Mexico. They taught the Hawaiians skills of their trade. That lifestyle and the skills are still seen on Maui's half-dozen or so surviving ranches.
Ranching became Maui's third largest industry after sugar and pineapples. Makawao would be a great place to visit. In July, they have Hawaii's largest paniolo competition at their rodeo. It would be fun also to just meandering through the shops, boutiques and art galleries. With the arts community and the paniolo heritage, it would make a unique stop as you visit Maui.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Slice of Life Day 25: Biking Down Haleakala

Don't forget to visit other blogs at

We had gotten up at 2:00 a.m.. We rode to the top of the highest point on Maui to see a sunrise. We took a look at the whole island from the top of this volcano. Now it was time to climb on a bike and head down the mountain. Well, I have to admit I couldn't do it. The vertigo and nausea had hit me on the way up that morning. It didn't get easier. So, I made the call to ride in the van and watch Darrell do the biking. The Maui Downhill guides were great about it. They didn't want me on the bike being scared to death! Our driver, Doug, took us to the next part of this tour. We went part way down the mountain to where the bikes awaited us. All the bikes were especially fit for each person. R.C. was the guide to ride in front of the group. Tony drove the van and watched from behind the group.
The tour was qualified to drive on the road. They took it slow and were very careful. It was beautiful to see the countryside this way. I had the chance to really talk to Tony and find out all kinds of information about the land. He was a really fun and nice guy!
The bikes made switchbacks. They went down the hills using their brakes. We stopped at a lavender farm for breakfast and then they got right back on the bikes and took off down the road.
After going for quite awhile, they stopped for a photo shoot. It was fun the way they posed us on the bikes for these shots. They took our cameras and took lots of pictures for us.

R.C. would show us how to sit on the bike. Then he grabbed a camera and took shots. R.C. and Tony were just the best guides ever. We were a family, for sure! When they dropped us off at our hotel later that morning, each of them gave us a hug. Now that's family!
I teased Tony and told him since I spent so much time with him in the van, I had to have a picture with him. He finally agreed when he realized I was serious. R.C. snapped our picture. What a fun group!
We had the best time and enjoyed ourselves so much! We wrote a letter to Maui Downhill before we left the island telling them how much we loved our time with them. I know there are other bike tours, but this is the original one and they have a class act!  Maui Downhill, you are the best!!!!


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Slice of Life Day 24: Haleakala, Highest Point on Maui

Don't forget to visit other blogs at
After seeing the sunrise on the volcano Haleakala, we drove a short distance so we could see the other side of the island.
The view of the volcano looked like we had landed on the moon. This crater is amazing.
The view from any side of Maui was beautiful.
This early morning view while the sun was still creeping up the sky was breath taking!
Since it was winter (February) when we took this tour, it was only 20 degrees at the top of this mountain. The wind was strong at this altitude, too. So the wind chill was even lower. You can see the heavy jackets and gloves that they gave us for this tour. What an amazing site!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Slice of Life Day 23: Sunrise on Haleakala - House of the Sun

Don't forget to visit other blogs at
Haleakala= House of the Sun
Our tour bus, driven by Doug, picked us up at 3:00 a.m. We were tired and groggy but Doug made it fun. The bus was full of sleepy people. We traveled 1/2 hour to the headquarters for Maui Downhill. There we got our helmets and heavy coats and gloves. We then went on to the top of Haleakala Crater. That trip took an hour.

When we got to the top, it was so dark you couldn't even see the person standing right beside you. We moved to the area where we would best see the sunrise. And we waited, and waited and waited. Slowly we began to see this amazing sight.

There is a legend about the way this mountain got its name. It went like this: a mom complained that the sun sped across the sky so fast that her tapa cloth didn't have enough time to dry. So, her thoughtful son, Maui, went in the predawn hours to the top of the volcano. When the sun rose, he lassoed it, halting it in the sky. The sun begged to be let go. Maui said he would let the sun go if it promised to slow its trip across the sky for more sunlight. The sun agreed. In honor of the agreement they dubbed the mountain House of the Sun or Haleakala.
Bike Ride in tomorrow's blog!