Saturday, October 30, 2010

Vacation in Paradise

Robin and I were luck enough to go to Maui by ourselves fora week in the middle of October. Rachel and Justin watched the kids, who said they had a great time staying and playing with their cousins. They had been looking forward to it for months. We went with the Callisters and the Kepharts and had a great time.

Day One: Our flight left really early in the morning (we were at the airport at 4:30 a.m.), but we arrived in Maui at 10:30 a.m. (it's a 3-hour time difference from Las Vegas). We picked up the rental car and then went to Costco and Wal-Mart to get some breakfast food and snacks for the week. We then checked into the condo in Kihei (south Maui), put on swimsuits, and of course headed to the beach. We walked down to the beach, but it was so windy. The sand was blowing and whipping us in the legs and getting in our eyes so we decided to save the beach for another day.

Note: It was never windy the rest of the time we were there and we had perfect weather: 85 degree highs and 70 degree lows with a lot of humidity. The 75 degree water was a nice break when you needed to cool off, and perfect for snorkeling.

Day Two: We all met at Kama'ole Beach I for a bit but decided to head to Kama'ole Beach III because it was less crowded and had better snorkeling. I had never really snorkeled much but by the end of the trip it was something that I loved doing and looked forward to.

Day Three: We drove the Road to Hana, a slow winding road through a lush rainforest. It was quite a difference from the drier climate in south Maui. We drove a winding, narrow road about 32 miles that included many one-lane bridges. We also stopped at waterfalls (didn't really find too many) and other scenic spots. After about two and a half hours, we made it to Wai'anapanapa Black Sand Beach, which was really cool and definitely worth the drive (others who get car sick may disagree). On the way home, it rained and rained and rained some more. The weak waterfalls were gushing and it made the trip even more memorable. Locals said it hadn't rained like that for quite some time.

Day Four: We went on an afternoon snorkel trip to Coral Gardens. Though we found better snorkeling ourselves elsewhere, we still had a fun time on the boat and enjoyed some good BBQ.

Day Five: We went to a beach south of Wailea called Palauea Beach. It is a small beach a little out of the way, but what a hidden treat. There weren't many people and the snorkeling was amazing. To the north, the coral was so pretty and to the south, there were so many fish. On this day we also swam with about five turtles, a couple of which were huge. They came right in close to shore, eating the algae off the rocks. It was really cool.

Day Six: We thought that since we were in Maui, we should go to the west side of the island to see what all the fuss was about. We went to Ka'anapali Beach and stayed for a couple of hours. While fun, it was too crowded so we decided to leave. We drove down Front Street in Lahaina and stopped at a secluded beach off the highway that we had passed on the drive there.

Day Seven: We went back to Palauea Beach to spend a final day snorkeling and playing on the beach. We really loved this beach and would consider it a can't miss (if I were writing a guidebook).

Day Eight: Our flight didn't leave until 8:40 p.m. Robin wasn't feeling too good (too much eating out and too much sun) so we decided to skip the beach. While Robin and Natalie hung out, Brandon and I decided to drive around the west side of the island. This was a great way to end our vacation. It was probably for the better that Robin didn't come because of her aversion to heights. We stopped at Honolua Bay (from above) and the Nakalele Blowhole. Part of the drive included a 10-mile stretch of very narrow one-lane section of road that took us through a local village and some amazing scenery.

After a very crowded and uncomfortable flight to Los Angeles, where we had a short layover, we landed in Las Vegas around 7 a.m. We went and picked up Logan and the other kids once school was out. They were very excited to see us. Jayce even started crying (he is our sensitive one). Later in the day he said, "You know Dad, sometimes kids just miss their parents." It was so cute. Noah on the other hand said he didn't miss us (I think he really did, but didn't want to admit it).

Other highlights: Beautiful sunsets, no kids, lazy nights, fish tacos (for me since Robin hates seafood), great company, and of course Hawaiian shaved ice, which was amazing.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Run, Robin, Run!

Robin ran in the St. George marathon on Oct. 2. She ran with Justin, whom she has been training with all summer long. Living in Las Vegas, training during the summer months means a lot of really early mornings of running in order to avoid the heat. Justin was a great training partner for Robin, as he is always so positive and really pushed her to the limits. For Robin, it is an especially great achievement considering that just three years ago she was in a hospital fighting for her life. Me, Robin's mom, a nephew, our kids, and Rachel and her kids all drove up while they were on the course and waited for them a little before the finish line. The anticipation of them coming around the last corner had everyone excited.

Congratulations to Robin and Justin. Way to go!