Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Almost Halfway to Hana - The Keanae Peninsula, Maui

Aloha Friends!

I hope you had a fun Thanksgiving with your family and friends.   I'm on week two of my Hawaii staycation.   My mom, aunt and sister all came to escape the cold in Illinois and Colorado.   We spent our time enjoying the island of Maui from one end to the other:  Haleakala, upcountry sights, the road to Hana, whale watching, beach time and all the shave ice we could eat.  

Last Tuesday, more that a  year after moving to Maui, I finally drove the entire road to Hana.   It's considered an iconic drive (I believe my sister found a review that called it the crown jewel of roadtrips....that's pretty high praise) and it was a fun day with my family.     At the end of October, I drove almost halfway to Hana:  to the Keanae Peninsula.    It was a sunny afternoon, and the color of the ocean and the way that the waves crash onto the rocks...well you can see for yourself below.  The natural beauty of Maui never dissapoints.      

And now off to my next adventure, a quick two night trip to Oahu.    Big city, here we come!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

It Feels Like Fall: The Waihou Spring Trail, Maui

Aloha Friends!

Hopefully you had a fun Halloween, with just the amount of shenanigans that you enjoy.    It's been years since I've been able to dress up at work, but since Lahaina takes Halloween very seriously, there was absolutely nothing wrong with us dressing up like scary dolls and asking all our co-workers if they wanted to be our friends....for eternity.   

The trade winds are back, so the heat of August and September has abated a little bit.   When you drive into upcountry Maui, the temperature drops in a most pleasant way.    It was in the low 70's at the trail head, compared to to the low 90s when I left the west side of Maui.     Hiking the Waihou Springs Trail felt like hiking back in Colorado or in Wisconsin - the smell of pine in the air, needles underfoot, and a crisp breeze.    It's the closest we're coming to fall here in Maui, as far as I can tell.  

This hike isn't very long.    You may have to jump across the creek depending on the water flow (or use a downed tree, like I did).    The spring trail switch backs down into the valley and on the way down, you can hear the waterfall and if you turn uphill, you can see it.    I was hoping at the bottom of the spring trail that I would see the full waterfall, but that was not the case.   


How to get to the trail head:   From Makawao, take Olinda Road up to mile marker 11.9 where there is parking and a sign for the Tree Growth Research Area.   You'll walk through the gate and be on the trail.

It's hard to believe the November 3, 2014 is my one year Mauiversary.    The year has gone by so fast!    When I arrived, it was 2am - after 12+ hours of flight delays.     On the drive to the hotel, I knew the ocean was there, but I couldn't see it.

This was one of the first pictures I after arriving here on the Valley Isle.  

Maui No Ka Oi

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Aloha Sunday Update

Happy Aloha Sunday to you!

Fortunately Ana behaved herself and we just had clouds, rain and cooler temperatures.    Great for residents who want a lazy day inside, but not so much for those here on vacation.    There aren't that many indoor activities here.

A little over a week ago I was in Honolulu for a day long conference.   Even though it's another island and requires a flight, many people will just hop a commuter flight for the day and go back the same night.  I spent the night to enjoy the big city experience...and to avoid getting up at the pre-crack of dawn.     Sitting in the cab in traffic on the way to the hotel, I immediately appreciated the lack of congested traffic on Maui.   The best game to play in Waikiki is How many ABC stores can you spot?   A lot.

Honolulu from the air - look at all those buildings!

The pumpkin spice madness continues.  Today my sister posted a picture of a limited edition pack of pumpkin spice gum.   Um.  No.    Looking for more PSL humor?  Check out this clip from Last Week Tonight or this pumpkin spice movie trailer.   Or even better, this buzzfeed post about trying a PSL for the first time. 

I've been seeing some good looking soup recipes  recently.   I haven't gotten organized yet to make them, but I have intentions.   Intentions for chipotle potato soup and a chicken, bacon and orzo soup. I did, however, make time to bake these cookies

Love the Huff Post feature:  Funniest Tweets from Women this Week

And the first lady is pretty clever in her Turnip for What vine responding to questions filed under #askthefirstlady.

My friends who were serving in Liberia and have been in limbo for the past few months since coming back to the states have a new call.   They will be serving in Hungary in a few weeks.   It's hard to say when they'll be able to go back to Africa.   There has been a lot of press about the confirmed cases of Ebola in the USA (as this infographic and article point out).  Keep praying for the health and safety of everyone affected, wherever they are.   

My friend Chantal has recently moved back to the states after 8 years of living abroad in Switzerland. If you want to know about Swiss life, or returning to American life, check out her story over on One Big Yodel.

And there you have it!   Have a great week.  

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Ashcroft Ghost Town, Colorado

We were looking at the map in the comfort of our condo and there was an arrow that said to ghost town.  

We no longer wondered what we would be doing prior to the next concert at Jazz Aspen Snowmass.   We were going ghost hunting in the broad daylight.      

The key to successful photos while visiting a ghost town?   Sepia / Vintage filter on your camera.
We definitely got our $3 worth!

You don't want to miss the ghosts!

Think of the ermine

Looking into my past

Reppin' the WW (Wild West)

Ghostly buildings
Andy was in the middle of this photo.  Until the ghosts got him!

And awesome Colorado mountain views

The price of stamps caused a fight to
break out at the post office

Old Tyme Selfie

Ready to plan a visit?   Click here to learn more.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Aloha Sunday Update

Happy Aloha Sunday!

Sunset on Wednesday was awe-inspiring

Today I'm attending TEDxMaui.    I've never been to a TED event before, so I'm pretty stoked to hear all the different presenters.   The theme for this one is A Brilliant Life.   Beginning Monday, I'll be better equipped to drop my brilliance everywhere.    Looking for some TEDx inspiration?  Watch "What is your 'What if?'"

Have you seen this Disney princess rap battle?   Pretty freakin' hilarious.  

And then there is the Budweiser "Friends are Waiting" commercial.    Don't make your friends, four-legged or two-legged (or any other legged) wonder if you're coming home.  As they say in Pitch Perfect "make smart choices."

This article about the fall flavor fallout between pumpkin and apple is great.  It seems like every product has a pumpkin spice option this fall.   Too much.    Just one of the many truth bombs: "Apples have upheld only the highest standards throughout their history, lending themselves to respectable endeavors like the patriotic apple pie or seasonally appropriate apple cider."

My friends, the Stantons, are missionaries in Liberia.   They came back home for the month of July to go to a conference and spend time with their families.    And they haven't been able to go back due to the Ebola outbreak.   Read their journal entries, From the Home Front and My Quarantine, to learn more.

I love all the fun music that Jimmy Fallon has on his show....like "All About That Bass" on classroom instruments.  

And finally, last weekend, I finished my #100happydays challenge.   

Are there are thing fun things I should be reading or watching?   Share in the comments or on Facebook.

Have a great week!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Success: The #100happydays Challenge

Can you be happy for 100 days in a row?

When I read about #100happydays earlier this year, I wasn't sure.   A few years ago, I tried to complete Project 365, taking a photo a day for the whole year.  Honestly, I was exhausted after day 270 and didn't finish.    

Did I have it in me to make a conscious effort every day for 100 days in a row to find something that made me happy?    It turns out, I did.  

Some days are BIG happy:  parties, a visit from my sister, my vacation.   Other days, you find happy in the smaller things, like Nutella or a flower. 

{well...Nutella is pretty amazing....could be a big happy}

My sister Heather, my friend Laurie, and I all decided to celebrate happiness together.  I posted all my  pictures on Instagram and they did theirs on Facebook.   It doesn't matter how  you do it - you can even keep track on your own and just enjoy the accomplishment.  

Friday the 13th seemed like the  perfect day to start a quest for happy.    We started in June and ended in September.   So what did my 100 happy days look like?       Here's a little sample.  

The ladies of 100 Happy Days!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Six and a half quick facts about hiking the Lahaina Pali trail

Last weekend some friends and I hiked the Lahaina Pali trail here in Maui.   If you've seen the big wind turbines on the west side of Maui when you're driving to Lahaina from Kahului or Kihei, you've seen the trail.....from a far distance.     Want to get a leg workout while getting up close and personal with some big ass windmills?   This hike is for you.   

Six and a Half Quick Facts About Hiking the Lahaina Pali Trail

1.  There are two trail heads.  You  can do this as a shuttle hike, by parking a car in each lot, or you can carpool and just go up and back from one of them.   We parked at the lot on the Lahaina side before the tunnel and hiked up to the top (sign post 10) and then back down.   

2.    It's all uphill.    Seriously.   Even going down feels like going up (aka work) since you still have to pay attention to where you're going so that you don't slip and fall.   Elevation gain is 1600 feet.

3.   Bring lots of water.   However much you think you should bring, bring more.  

4.  Start early.   I like to sleep.   I really do.   But starting at 7am versus 9am equals two more hours in cooler temperatures.   

5.  You'll see shade where there isn't.  Much.    That scraggly tree with a few leaves?  Suddenly it's your best friend.   Bring your sunscreen and wear your hat.   

Finally at the top!

6.  The windmills are HUGE.   The view of Maui and the ocean is beautiful from  the top.

6.5.  You'll justify the lunch you have a Leoda's pie shop afterwards.   No guilt.   Not one crumb.

Ready to hike?   The Lahaina Pali Trail is part of the Na Ala Hele trail system.


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