2017-11-04 Maui Day 6, Return from Hana 🌅🚘🌅

Today started with the sunrise on the east coast and ended with the sunset on the west coast.

In truth, it was less about the trip back from Hana to Kihei and more just about feeling glad to be returning “home”. Our evening in Hana was good, but being on the east coast, once the sun went down it was dark and it was not long before the kids were just ready to retire to their beds (for Netflix and Youtube of course – what would we do without the internet??!).

As expected, I was really too tired to do much more writing or research, but did earmark a couple of sites I wanted to get to the next day. This included going past Hana and south down the coast to the Seven Sacred Pools at Oeh’o which would be another hour on the road there and back to Hana. Our checkout was 11AM and that means if we wanted any time at all to jump and play in the pools and waterfall we would have to leave early. Not a problem for me, I was going to get up to see the sunrise. Which I did.

It was actually the worst night sleep of the entire trip. I woke every hour or so and had terrible dreams. Once I woke at 2:30AM and found C was still awake and playing on his iPad. Teenagers! When my alarm went off at 6AM I was glad the night was over and ready to get up.

I got dressed in a hurry and not knowing what the best spot would be to watch the sunrise, I got in the car to head down the road. Hana beach has a huge land mass blocking the sunrise so I kept driving. A little further down the road there was a business with a parking lot that seemed like a good view of the horizon, but the scene was not very picturesque, so I kept going. I really wanted to get down to ocean level and watch from the beach and soon I found a turnout advertising bbq chicken (Huli Huli) and beach access, which ended up being perfect.

At 6:30AM, it was completely deserted so I had the coast to myself. The weather that morning was sketchy and the sky was filled with clouds so I wasn’t even sure I would be able to see anything. There was a break, however, and the scene that unfolded before me was a mix of clouds and rain in the distance and the sun popping up from behind the ocean horizon. Very peaceful.

I didn’t stay that long and as I turned to leave, the rain started coming down.. A sign of the day ahead.

I was able to coax the kids up early and we had breakfast and got ready to go with a quickness. They were excited to go to the beach and try out the boogie boards borrowed from the airbnb. We drove the half hour road to the Seven sacred pools where we learned the pools have been closed for swimming due to safety issues. Not only that, but the area is technically inside Haleakala National Park and they wanted to charge us 25 bucks to get in.

I knew this actually, but thought for sure that our 3 day pass (purchased 2 days ago) would still be good. I did not have my receipt with me but had pictures on my phone AND a link to my credit card charge on my phone proving I was there. They refused both, saying they could have been forged. What ridiculousness. I refused to pay so we turned around to go back to Hana. Two strikes on our morning.

Strike three was the timing and by the time we got back to Hana, it was time to check out (plus it was now pouring down rain again so no beach time either). We packed our things back in the car and headed back to highway 360.

On the drive, I intended to stop at several places, but nobody’s heart was in it. The rain put a damper on things and so did my being so over the intense driving. We passed turnout after turnout and mile marker after mile marker and just kept going. I drove all the way back to Ken’s place in Sunny Kihei. When we arrived, the kids found their spots again and I fell onto the couch and quickly fell asleep.

They woke me up about 4:30PM asking what we were going to do next. It was perfect timing to grab towels and boggle boards and head to Kama’ole beach park III, for swimming and sunset. It was a relatively cool evening and I pretty much stayed on the sand and watched the kids go out and be washed back in by the surf.. over and over and over again. We enjoyed a lovely sunset and then left to find dinner.

Of all the things we did in the last day and a half, I think they enjoyed the boogie boarding the most. I also enjoyed the relaxation of not having to drive and just being able to sit and do nothing. I could use an entire day like that I think. Perhaps tomorrow.

From sunrise to sunset, no matter what happens.. Life is good.

Puka ana i ka napoo ana o ka,
~Miss SugarCookie

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2017-11-03 Maui Day 5, The Hana Edition 🚘

Today we had our cake and we ate it too!

I have often said (and as recently as in the last couple of days) that life is about the journey and not necessarily about the destination. However, our day today proves that it can be BOTH.

When we woke up today the plan was to jump in the car and travel the Road to Hana. Similarly to all the other days of this vacation, we woke up when we woke up and spent a slow lazy morning relaxing, having breakfast, and preparing for the day.

Part of my morning routine has been to go through pics of the previous day, do some writing, and text people back home (morning is the best time because of the time difference). Today I actually called Simon and we chatted for a while. When I said I was considering renting a convertible for the drive to Hana today, he said “Go for it!” He also said “You should get a Mustang”.

Until that minute, it was just an idea I was toying with but he was so enthusiastic about it, I decided to search for rentals in Kihei as soon as I was off the phone. I actually found one and it was not nearly as expensive as I anticipated, so I went for it!

We didn’t really get outta town until about 11AM, which is par for this course, but it was not long until we were passing through Paia with the top down and the wind in our hair. Pretty soon, highway 36 became highway 360 and thats when the road gets really interesting and fun. Like the drive yesterday, it didn’t really seem that bad to me because of the conditioning I had going to the Nakalele blowhole. And this time, I was in a car that was built for speed and the curve of the road.

At first, we were trying to follow the guidebook which had suggestions for turnouts and secret places to stop and hike to see waterfalls, but about a quarter of the way, I abandoned that approach because I kept missing the mile markers and clues to stop. I don’t need to see some “secret” hideaway, I’m OK with stopping where everyone stops to see all the awesomeness that is completely obvious. And there was a lot of it.

There were cool things to see every couple of miles and cars stopped at a lot of them. Apparently a car stopped means there might be something worth seeing or doing because at one point, we randomly stopped at a fruit stand that had a vacant couple of spots where nobody was parked and within minutes, there were four cars beside us. Coincidence?! We stopped just to put on sunscreen. Ha!

Since the ocean was on the same side the entire drive, most of the turnouts were on that side and so not convenient for someone traveling east. As such, we didn’t stop at a ton of places and just tried to make a mental note to stop on the way back when the ocean-side turnouts would be easier. Be that as it may, we did still stop about a half a dozen times to see the view and take some snaps. We also stopped at a roadside stand called “Half Way to Hana” where C had his first taste of shave ice.. grape flavor.

After that he was amped on sugar and we were all in good spirits and we turned the tunes up and continued on the road. We arrived in Hana about 3:15PM and had to find a spot with cell service so I could get the instructions for our AirBnb. As such, we drove around the area for a bit and visited Haha Bay Beach and got our bearings for where things were in the town. There is not much to it.

Once we found and were into our Hana Home, the kids quickly took to the ping-pong table on the lanai. I let them play for a little bit before urging that we go grab food while the sun was still up. I brought some groceries, but it was mostly breakfast/lunch/snack type stuff and I felt the need for a well cooked meal. There are very few options in town for sit down restaurants and we opted to try the Hana Ranch Restaurant. It was slightly overpriced, but I paid just about as much as I did for dinner in Kihei last night. It actually would have been a lot cheaper, except C ordered a half rack of ribs (we are on vacation after all).

When dinner was over, we played outside for a bit and then I hit the local “market”. I took a pick of the price of milk. $12.49 for a gallon. Wowza!! I’m glad we didn’t really “need” anything.

Once we were back at “Home”, Z claimed her bed and C and I played a few more games of ping-pong (I won both). Of the dozen or so places we could have stayed, that was the thing that put this place over the top. It’s a longer walk to the beach, but the house and amenities are top notch. Right now, I’m typing from a desk area in the kitchen that overlooks the living area where the kids are also on their electronics. We are all pretty much ready for bed, but it’s only about 8PM.

I might do a little more research on the “Road” tomorrow so we can be prepared for things on the way back (but probably not 😉 ). We basically have all day to meander and play and like the rest of the days on Maui, I want to slow down and savor every moment. This might be a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I am treating it as such.

Makemak Wau Keke,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-10-16 Home Sweet Home

I arrived home about 10:30PM, got most things put away, and have just now settled into bed. The kids stayed at Brian’s an extra night because of our delay so it is just me and the kitten here. She greeted me at the door and has been following me around ever since.

I’m glad to be home and looking forward to a good night sleep in my own bed. I know I have a whole host of things that need following up on tomorrow, but right now I am just exhausted and can’t even think about what I’m supposed to be doing this week. That drive across Nebraska – Ewwww. I will say Colorado is no better. It only starts to get interesting when you get close to Denver and Boulder.

I think I am done with road trips for a while and also vacations in general (after we return from Hawaii of course). I am going to coast through the rest of this year and the holidays and really not plan anything new. It’s likely I will have a job come January and probably will not have much vacation time anyway, so that will work out perfectly.

Anyway, I’m going to call it quits on this day now. Kitten and I are ready for lights out.

When, what, who?
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-10-16 Sometimes the Fates Decide

Late on Saturday my mom decided she wanted to drive home on Sunday instead of Monday so once Sunday breakfast was over we loaded up all of our stuff into the Jeep to get on the road out of town. However, the fates had different plans for us and decided we should stick around until Monday like we had originally planned.

We left my brothers house and did what people do when they are getting on the highway in that we stopped for gas. I insisted we make a second stop so I could get a latte. When we got back in the vehicle and turned it on, it started to idle heavily and when she tried to drive it, it went a couple of blocks in the parking lot and then just refused to go when she pushed on the gas. Then the check engine light started to flash.

So we had a very un-fun afternoon on the phone with emergency roadside assistance, getting tows, and discovering that she put diesel fuel in her tank by accident. So we had to get a second tow to a nearby Jeep dealership where the vehicle would stay until someone could take a look at it when they opened on Monday morning.

We went back to my brothers house and unloaded all of our stuff. I guess we were meant to stay in Colorado and should not have tried to change the plan. It was a beautiful afternoon and I walked from the first car place back to my brother’s house. After the dust on all that excitement settled, Lance came to take me to his place in downtown Denver where we walked some more on 6th street looking for a place to eat. We settled on Blue Sushi, which is one of my favorites.

After that he and I went back to his place and talked more and watched TV. I took an Uber back home to my brothers as Lance and I had both been drinking all evening. I came home to a mostly quiet house and proceeded to settle back into my spot on the couch in the basement. I’m really looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, hopefully tonight.

The service department at the Jeep dealership has confirmed there was minimal damage to the vehicle (very lucky) and they should be able to flush it out and get us back on the road by about 2PM today. At this point my mom and I are both super anxious to get home even though we were not originally going to be leaving until today anyway.

It’s another beautiful day out right now (sunny and 60 degrees) and I’m going to take a walk and enjoy that to pass the time while I wait. I wish I had my bike here. Next time, I will totally bring that so I can ride the trails.

Happy Monday,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-10-14 A Full Day of Coloradoing

Today I was up early (before the sun) and had first breakfast in the solitude of my brother’s kitchen. Then when everyone else got up, he cooked us breakfast so I ate again. We waited a little bit after that before heading out for our hike because there was a pretty good fog covering the area. When it finally cleared (and mom was ready to go) we headed out in the direction of Boulder.

We went for a hike at a place called Halls Ranch. We took a moderate trail with some elevation that had lots of boulders and rocks on the path. We were nearly the only ones on foot as most people were traversing the trail on mountain bikes. It was very impressive to watch some of these people navigate over the really rugged terrain. I bet Simon would have really dug it. The hike was about 5 miles round trip, but at the top/end of the trail, we were not really as high as you could go so my bro decided we could leave the trail and go the rest of the way up to check out the view from the top. Our mom stayed below on a bench.

It was not that tough for me to follow him up, but my socks and shoes got covered in these little spikey sticker things. They tortured me the entire hike back down. The view from the top wasn’t really that great. Half way back down the trail and I very much lost enthusiasm and was just ready to be done. Alas, what goes up, must come down.

After the hike we drove back into Boulder for lunch. We had empanadas and I believe that was the name of the place. My brother’s office is in Boulder so he’s there all the time and knows all the places to have lunch. It was good.

When we got back to his house I was wiped out and ready for a nap. I am not sure how long I slept but when I woke, the sun was already going down. I drove my mom to a place she wanted to go shopping and I wandered around the store for a bit. I still only got 16K steps today which isn’t even as much as I have been getting on a regular day back home. I miss my routine and my gym and my Jazzercise.

Both my brother’s kids are in high school and they had their homecoming dance tonight. So the parents dropped the kids off at school and then the four of us went out for dinner. I’m super tired again now and feel like I have ate a ton of food and not gotten enough activity to make up for it.

My mom has decided we would just drive home tomorrow so a good night sleep is in order for us to be in the car all day again. I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tomorrow for sure.

Tired Typing,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-10-14 Waking Up in Colorado

Yesterday my mom and I made the drive along I-80 across Nebraska and into Colorado. We’re visiting my brother and his family in Broomfield which is a thing I like to do about once a year. I love certain parts of Colorado and could really see myself living here someday. My brother has lived here for over 16 years.

We arrived around 5PM but I haven’t actually had a conversation with him yet because Lance came and picked me up and took me out to his friends for a nice evening at their place. It was a lovely evening with good food and wine and conversation. I think it was just past midnight when I got back “home” and the only person still up was my brother’s wife who I chatted with for a quick minute before crashing on the couch in the basement.

I woke up around 6AM (which is 7 Omaha time), and so I didn’t have much of a sleep but I’m ready to get after the day. I’ve already been upstairs and had breakfast and now am back down in the basement waiting for others to stir. We are going on a hike today which is pretty routine for our visits here. It typically means a pretty drive through some mountainous areas to get to some trail we have not been on before.

My brother is an avid hiker and goes a lot, but we stick to the “easy” stuff. Our mom calls them “grandma” hikes. She declared yesterday that she wanted to do something a little more challenging this time. We’ll see where that lands us.

I’m hearing other human beings up and moving around above my head now so I should go say hi.

Happy Saturday,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-21 What I Would Do for Totality.. Apparently

Be up over 36 hours straight.
Suffer through a migraine.
Suffer through a terrible hotel stay.
Have the worst “free” hotel breakfast ever.
Hours of waiting (this part wasn’t so bad before the eclipse because we were with friends).
Stupid paper glasses (ok, now I’m just being a whiny bitch).
Lack of proper nutrition (my fault for not being more prepared).
Cramps and bleeding (sorry, now I’m going all TMI).
AND.. A one and a half hour drive home that took THREE hours.

But we were there, at the fairgrounds by Beatrice Nebraska right on the line of totality for 2 minutes of a total eclipse of the sun. I’m not going to lie, it was pretty freaking awesome. I was cheering and jumping up and down. It was also cool to watch the moon as it passed in front of the sun for an hour before, with the glasses of course.

We had off and on thick clouds so it was never a guarantee we were going to get to see anything. Just seeing the partial was really cool. When we all got to take the glasses off and the sky was mostly dark except for a 360 degree of “sunset” on the horizon, that was amazing. We even saw stars in the sky. What a sight. Despite all my hardships, I am glad that I went.

Despite all my anxiety and indecision leading up to it, I am glad I went. I’m glad I got to take the kids and that they got to experience this once, maybe twice in a lifetime event.

And now, I’m glad that it is over and I am back home in my own room in my own bed. It’s only 7PM, but I daresay I will not be able to stay up very much longer.

Totality Wiped Out,
~Miss SugarCookie