Sunday, July 20, 2014

What's up on top of Waipoli Road?

Last weekend, I took myself on a little solo road trip to the other side.   Yes, all the way to the other side of Maui.    I stopped in Paia to browse the shops and then in Makawao for a stick donut at Komoda Store.   And then it was time to see what was at the top of Waipoli road.  

What's at the bottom of Waipoli Road?   The beautiful Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm.  

Restful, lovely, lavender farm

Shiny happy plants

No idea what this is called but isn't it great?

What's up on top of Waipoli Road?

Scenery that the majority of residents and visitors to Maui never see unless you're a hunter or a hiker. 

So please, enjoy...

Lake Tahoe sized pine cones!

Misty cool weather - 66 degrees at the time

Smokey the Bear

Big Trees
Alpine Forest

Have you taken a spontaneous road trip recently?   What did you see?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Rollin' with Hairy Coo Tours - Scotland

Oh look, a coo!

What's it like rollin' with Hairy Coo tours in Scotland?

Take a look and see!

But first - know that their Scottish Highlands tour is free.  Yes.   Free.   
As in zero pounds.  
And it's good fun all day long.   

First, a bus of fun.   Complete with your "drover" guide

Wee Hamish - perfect for photo ops at bridges
And mailboxes

A stop at the Wallace Monument where you can climb the hill, climb the tower,
or just get some coffee and a pastry.

And we learned the true story  about who the real
"Brave Heart" of Scotland is!

Hairy Coo Hats! Critical for successful photos.

Learning proper flag protocol - when CAN you fly the
royal flag over your home?

Random owl at our lunch stop in Aberfoyle

Coo feeding!
Precious baby coo
Loch Katrine

Doune Castle - of Monty Python  Fame

A great day all around!     If you're in Edinburgh and have a free day for fun and adventure in the Highlands, this is the way to go.

What's your  favorite thing about Scotland?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Lahaina Obon Festival

I've had a lot of wonderful experiences in the eight months that I've lived in Maui.  

The Lahaina Obon Festival, on July 5, 2014, was definitely one of the best of my Maui experiences to date.    The last time I had been to a Buddhist Temple was in Thailand.    I've never seen a floating lantern ceremony (in fact, the animated movie Tangled, might be my only frame of reference, as silly as that sounds).   I've never been to a Bon Dance.   

My manager was the one who said, "Jenni, you've got to go.    And if you go, you have to jump in and dance."    Well....she's been a witness to our spontaneous HR dance parties.   She even supported the purchase of a small disco ball.    So yes, I did jump in and dance.  *and you can too - just follow what everyone else is doing!

What is Obon?
Obon is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of one's ancestors.

What is a Bon Dance?
Technically, it's the dance performed during the season of Obon.    The story goes that a disciple of Buddha was using his powers to look at his mother, who had passed away.   He discovered that she had fallen into the "realm of hungry ghosts" and was suffering.    He went to the Buddha who gave him instruction to give an offering.   As a part of this process, his mother's spirit was released.   He also saw her true nature, giving and selfless.   The disciple, happy because of his mother's release and grateful for what she had done, danced with joy.   

What will you find at a Bon Dance?
I wish I had seen this Bon Dance 101 article before I went.   It shows the different components of the dance.   The centerpiece?  The Yagura - the tower in the center that you dance around.  

What is Toro Nagashi?
This is the floating of lanterns.    The festival this past weekend is the only one on Maui that does this - and it was so peaceful and beautiful.    It's symbolic of the ancestors spirits returning to the world of the dead.   

If you have an opportunity to go to an Obon festival, go.   You'll be glad you did.

Click here for the 2014 Obon Festival schedule for all of the Hawaiian islands. 

4th of July in Lahaina, Maui

Although I was lacking a star-spangled tank top and patriotic head bling (harder to find on an island, I'm telling ya), it was a very festive 4th here in Maui.    The day started with brunch.   A two pitchers of mimosas brunch.     In the afternoon, we headed into Lahaina Town for hula dolls, mai tais, Elvis and fireworks.

Elvis was NOT a part of your 4th?  
I'm sorry to hear that. 

A unique gift for the democrat in your life

Happy hour mai tais 

Of course

(I need to go see Burnin' Love at the Maui Theater!)

Waving flags

Nature puts on a real big sunset show


Whatever you did over the holiday - I hope you had a great time!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Passport Party Project Photo a Day Challenge - July 2014

What's the next best thing to actually taking a trip?    Enjoying the photos, stories and memories when you get back.    So I'm searching through my digital travel archives so that I can participate in the Passport Party Project photo-a-day challenge for July.   

  • I think that passports are important.   Without one, you are limited as to your destination. 
  • Exploring America is wonderful and I love to do it.    I also want to visit other countries.
  • I'm sharing pictures of some of my favorite places and experiences during the photo challenge on the Traveler For Good Facebook Page.
  • The day you get your passport is exciting.   You start imagining all the places you'll go in the life of that little blue book.   Share that excitement with others!

Do you want to share your favorite travel photos?   Use the prompts below and post your pictures via social media using #passportpartyproject.    That's it.   

What is the passport party project?    A grass roots initiative that helps provide girls ages 11-15 with their first passport - and for some, the opportunity to get their first stamp.     I feel fortunate that my parents made sure I had a passport at that age and encouraged me to use it in high school, college and beyond.   Celebrate your travel independence in July by keeping up with the Passport Party Project blog or on Facebook.  


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