Friday, July 27, 2007

Maui 2007 Photos of LoveHubbie & Me

This is the last part of my three part Maui vacation pictures, and the best pictures of all. These are all from the last days of our vacation, after our family left and Hubbie and I were on our own. They are all taken by Hubbie Mark or me.

I call them photos of LoveHubbie, because during this vacation, Hubbie s-l-o-w-l-y transmuted into LoveHubbie. You can almost see his metamorphosis in the pictures. We had a magical time, truly.

We started out staying in a hotel, which I would not recommend, unless you like being "where the action is" or have free hotel Starpoints (which we did).

Ahhh, alone at last---me and LoveHubbie. The hotel had a wonderful view, and we enjoyed being alone together. Here's a picture we took in our mirror. In order to really enjoy ourselves, though, we got out a lot, as the hotel was very, very small (just enough room for a bed in the room, with a small bathroom), very crowded, very noisy and bustling---with guests coming and going, and with staff in and out of our rooms for various tasks. It seemed like we had lots and lots of service---maid service, check-on-the-maid service, turn-down service, "I got the wrong room" interruptions, etc.---for much of our stay. So we took lots of trips.

We took a road trip to see Northwest Maui---very rural and picturesque.

We went back to Dragon's Teeth Labyrinth again---I couldn't stay away!

This time we walked way out on the point, since the tide was low and that part is usually covered up. We took pictures of ourselves too :)

The view from our room was the best part of the hotel:

One of our favorite trips was to the Iao Needle and Iao Valley, where the bones of ancient Hawaiian chiefs and ali'i are buried:

We enjoyed our activities and were happy in the hotel, but were looking forward to leaving so that we could get some privacy, get away from the crowds and the noise, and have a kitchen and a washer and dryer again. Here we are in the hotel lobby, which was a lanai---having a roof but open sides (basically no walls, or few walls):

Finally the day came to leave our hotel, and here is one of the spectacular sunsets we bid adieu to:

On to our condo! You might wonder why I chose this next picture out of the 1065 pictures we took. Well, it's because in it you can see one of the best things about our vacation---the balcony on our condo. It was on the 5th (top, as in penthouse) floor of this aging apartment-turned-condo complex, and it was almost 2000 square feet---yes, the balcony itself! We spent most of the rest of the vacation there, out there on that balcony. You can see the view. We could hear the ocean and see Moloka'i and Lana'i.

This was our view on our balcony to the left:

This was our view on our balcony to the right:

LoveHubbie relaxed and was like a different person. So was I!

LoveHubbie cooked in our lovely kitchen in our condo, and we stayed in a lot and just relaxed, watched and listened to the waves, spotted turtles, and best of all---watched the small ships sail into Lahaina harbor.

We ate so much good food here. One of the weirder things we ate was this dragonfruit---oh, so yummy! We bought some delicious goat butter and everything we cooked in that came out tasting like heaven!

LoveHubbie was always picking me plumeria blossoms, every day, from local trees.

Look how happy LoveHubbie is with his new beard, tattoo (albeit temporary), and carved necklace (a gift from me).

This pictures says it all! This was me at dinner our last night on Maui.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Maui 2007 Photos of Cultural Experiences

This is part two of my three part Maui vacation pictures. For me, the heart of my Hawaii visits is always the Hawaiian culture. These are all from our second week of vacation, after our family left and Hubbie and I were on our own. They are all taken by Hubbie Mark or me.

We spent some time at Ho'omana'o, an interactive Hawaiian cultural experience, where we had a chance to "talk story" with Native Hawaiians who demonstrated traditional ways of living the Hawaiian way.

Here I am getting a chance to do a few steps of the hula, which was originally a form of whole-body prayer for Hawaiians. It was prohibited by Christian missionaries for this reason, but also because the attire and movements were considered lascivious. Due to the missionary influence, many Hawaiians converted to Christianity and began to wear Victorian dress. The hula was banned for many years.

I really got into throwing this spear!

We visited a Buddhist temple and saw this peaceful statue of the Buddha, the largest in the US:

By far, the most moving experience of our vacation was going on the Maui Nei Walking Tour. This is something you should not miss if you visit Maui and you love Hawaii. It is a tour of the history of Lahaina, led by a Hawaiian tour guide who weaves her/his experiences and knowledge of history and beliefs into the tour. It encompasses the whaling history, the missionary experience, and of course, the Native Hawaiian culture. Because each tour guide has a different background, the tour can be taken again and again and enjoyed each time.

Here I am waiting for the tour, with no idea of the great impact it would have on me!

The tour was led by Kalani, who "talked story" with us and spent two hours pounding the pavement with us, answering our questions, and revealing fascinating details.

What is with this doll? It is a doll belonging to a missionary's daughter at the Baldwin House, but the look on it's face was definitely unique for a doll and kind of creeped me out. In fact, the whole part the missionaries played in Hawaii kind of creeps me out. They intended to do good, and accomplished much that was good, but their influence began years of oppression of the culture of Native Hawaiians. Fortunately, there is currently a Hawaiian Renaissance---a pro-Native Hawaiian movement---taking place that may prevent the language and traditions from dying out.

Periodically, Wainani Kealoha, our chanter for the tour, would almost ethereally appear, and chant before we entered sacred areas. This added a precious spiritual dimension to the tour.

This is part of the sacred site of Moku'ula, a royal and sacred sanctuary that was buried under a ballpark and is currently in the process of being restored. It moved us in ways that words cannot express. Although we are not Native Hawaiian in our spiritual beliefs, the impact of Moku'ula was undeniable for both of us. We are very supportive of the grassroots effort of the Hawaiian people to reclaim this part of their heritage that was taken from them.

I'll put up the last, and best photos of Maui tomorrow. I hope you enjoy these and they give you a taste of the peace and beauty of Hawaii.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Maui 2007 Photos of Family

Ok, so here are some of my Maui 2007 photos. I'll be blogging the pictures in three parts. This is part one. I'm saving the best for last :) These are all from our first week of vacation. They are all taken by Hubbie Mark or me.

The family in these photos are Hubbie, my best friend of 32 years Patty (who is really a sister to me), and my stepdaughter Brianne. I am the 50-year-old blonde birthday gal with the glasses.

Below is where we stayed. It has a most important feature---a balcony with a view of the ocean---so that in the mornings I can have looooong quiet times, plus read and write at other times during the day.

Long walks on the beach:

Time at the spa for pedicures and massages and steam baths and saunas:

Parasailing (something I'm glad I did once but will not do again):

Yes, this is me going down the water slide!

Below is the Dragon's Teeth Labyrinth, my favorite labyrinth. We had a special "50th Birthday" stone ceremony there. I gave each person several glass stones with special writing on them that signified what I wished for them for the future. I also gave myself several stones. It was sunset, and a very special time.