Jan 18, 2013

Adventures in Paradise

We enjoyed a significant number of adventure-filled days in the past two weeks, courtesy of the Hays Ohana.  The last of the bunch departed the House of Good Living yesterday, leaving us bereft of their wonderful company but with a packed-to-the-gills refrigerator (not sure exactly what to do with the miso paste and sake, Anne, but mahalo very much).

Here's a partial list of this week's escapades:
  • Paddling with whales.  Yep, that's right.  We got into whales via kayak (Greg and Anne) and paddleboard (you know who).  It took a while to paddle the mile or so offshore but we did and found what looked like a mama, her escort and a calf.  I may have frightened them away with my noisy delight.
  • A farwell to kids.  The Hays offspring flew back to their winter wonderland on Sunday.  The remaining adults took naps. Long naps.
  • Meal upon delicious meal.  We discovered the best way to eat well:  travel with Anne Hays.  That woman can cook!  I've already discussed the coolers that accompanied her and Adam on Alaska Air as "checked bags," right?  The day after their arrival we were feasting on ribs.  Subsequent days brought roasts followed by leg of lamb, followed by salmon, halibut ceviche, ribeye steaks, salmon patties, halibut hash ... there were many days of deliciousness.  
  • Tripping.  Rob, Anne and myself day-tripped over to Lanai for a visit with their buddy who splits his time between Hawaii and Nome.  He treated us to a jeep tour of the island that finished with a couple hours spent at his Hulopoe Beach camp (complete with hammock and outrigger canoe).  Can we say "wonderful?"  We're thinking a few days of beach camping may be in order next winter.
  • The birds and the turtles.  Ocean conditions and opportunity finally aligned closely enough at Kapalua Bay to allow for snorkeling whereupon which we observed Hawaii's own version of "the birds and the bees" lesson when a pair of turtles started getting it on at the shoreline.  The shoreline that was peopled (kidded?) with children.  Some stood and stared.  Some put on masks and snorkels for up close and personal views.  Horrified others hurried their families away.  We sat and marveled at the whole display.  While the turtle tupping was interesting, it was the family with 7 kids under the age of 11 that really got our attention.  How do they do that?  
  • Downton Abbey, Maui-style.  On the Hays' last full day on-island we journeyed to the place of privilege that lies far, far away.  A place where manses gleam in the sun with nary a speck of red dirt tarnishing their white-washed walls.  A place where bikinis sparkle and poolside cocktails are considered a bargain at $14.50 (commemorative tiki cup only $22) ... Wailea.  
  • Whales, wonderful whales.  It's marvelously entertaining and thrilling to watch the array of whale behavior visible from our little hale.  The downside?  it takes twice as long to get a chore done or blog post written because I get so sidetracked by the splashing, flashing, breaching and breathing.
  • Again, paddling .... blah, blah, blah.  I'm on the board as much as possible. I love it.  I don't know what I'm going to do when we return to the mainland.

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