Saturday in Kaui

September 15, Saturday
We love this place, Lawai Beach Resort.  Never stayed on the South Side of the island before.  The Resort is lovely.  Our room 2105 faces the ocean, but being on the first floor, we are limited in view due to the foliage and trees.  Upper floors see more, but we are happy. 

 Decided to drive to the  North side to reminence  our ole' hang outs

After walking the grounds  of THE CLIFFS where we own,  it was a somber moment thinking, we may never return to our timeshare home.  One never knows the future, only God knows what is ahead for us.    But leaving Princeville, I told Ken, I am not sorry we invested in time share property.   It forced us to have some wonderful trips together.  It allowed  us to visit New Hampshire with Joel, Jen and  O'Neil.   It enabled us to Introduce the Colliers to the beauty and our love of Hawaii.  And to visit Cabo San Lucus with our children.   We've used it to take the Kev Scriv's  and Scharpfs to Branson.   Then there was SanAntonio, SantaFe, Lake Havasu, Spain ..... we would never  have made these trips without being timeshare owners.



OnThe Plane to Maui

September 7, 2012
We are headed to Hawaii to celebrate 55 years of marriage.  Tulsa to Memphis  to Los Angeles, then Kahului.   I am thinking this could be our last trip to Hawaii, simply because there are so many other places we have never seen and things we have never done.  We used Delta fly miles for our tickets (plus $350 I had to buy) and are using our Club de Soile or Princeville The Cliffs Club for the places to stay.  We are staying one week at the Kahana Falls Resort, arriving 8:30 pm Hawaii time and 1:30 am Oklahoma time.  www.kahanafalls.com  We will be driving 27 winding miles in the dark.  We have no particular plans of what we will do and see for we've done the scenic plane into the volcano, we've done the road to Hona, we've visited the Sugar Plantations and driven those exciting curving, winding roads around the ocean discovering fun surprises and unique adventure.  We've been to several Luaus and done a dinner cruise over the years. 
 We are far less adventurous when it comes to the ocean -- no snorkeling or whale watching for me this time.   Now is our time for rest and adventure with God and His creation as well as enjoying the Hawaiian culture and mankind.  So, Hawaii, here we come!

First Day in Maui. MAHALO! Saturday, September 8

Beautiful Day in God's Country. Our Condo is nice enough. A Murphy pull down bed in the living room is part A of #202 and later we figured out our key also opens part B, with a bed and second bath -- what they originally had scheduled for us and call a hotel suite. We are spreading out in parts A and B and don't even mind the lanai which overlooks a side parking lot. (Oh that first year when we had an ocean view.) I'm smiling here and remembering the romantic escalation of that ocean view. That was the year we bought the time share at The Cliffs in Princeville, Kuai. I went looking for that lava hot tub which is open 24 hours and found it. Here is our private little romantic spot. No one else around. Then off to remember Lahaina and Front Street. Fond memories flood our spirits as we grab our cameras to capture the beauty. We end up having breakfast on the upper deck of ------------- me with the scrambled eggs and toast and Ken eating his Macadamia Nut/Pineapple pancakes with 2 eggs over easy and Polish sausage. Love this ocean breeze. We walked the street, remembering the fun and beauty. Then we visited Safeway for a few groceries. It is hard to be careful and not over-buy more than we will consume in the next six days. Eggs, milk, olive oil, bananas, a pineapple and papaya,Some deli meats and a loaf of bread -- $100 plus and a lot of fun.

We take another drive, this time down the southern part of Maui's coast line.  This is our journey through Wainee to Maalaea and across the sugar plantations to Kihei.
We are looking for that memorable, historic little church where we were taking photos when suddenly the wedding party came rushing out the door.  We took photos of the happy bride and groom, nevee knowing who or why.  

We keep going as far south as the road takes up.   Oh my,  what wealth we pass, luxury mansions and massive resorts.  We travel through Kamaole and Makena all the way to the end of the road where we find the miles of lava rock and the Kanahena Beach.

We are on a Marine Life Conservation District and Molokini Isle is so close, you can almost swim there. 

But where is that little church?    So we start baclk up the Island still looking until we finally find it.


Remembering the very first time Ken brought me to Hawaii, and our experience of visiting an old Historic Church on Sunday morning in Honolulu, I wanted to visit a church. Ken remembered there was a Word church but could not remember where it was. In the phone book I found a church that met on the beach not far from where we are staying so we choose that Church to visit. After church we took another 'memory drive' this time around the west part of the two volcanos. From Kaanapoli we headed up toward Honokahua and on around the top coast down toward Wailukl. We were looking for that little green church with the bright red roof nestled in a tiny little town with fruit stands. The drive was longer than we remembered and the roads became more narrow and curvy than we remembered. But the views were spectacular.

Haleakala ..... House of the Sun ..... followed by Mama's Fish House

Today is Tuesday and we are remembering 911 eleven years ago today.   How our world changed that day. 

Today we are driving to Haleakala.  Pronounced Hale a ka la and means  'house of the sun.'  we are headed south down  hwy 30 past Lahaina then up 380 through Kahului.  I think we will stop for macadamia nuts before heading through the sugar cane fields and highway 37,   when we arrive, our elevation will be 10,023 feet.   The drive is a stunning view starting with rolling grassy fields, lavender gardens, homes with breath-taking views and free roaming cattle.  as we climbed the curvy road, looking up all we could see was clouds above.  we wondered if we should turn around and go back rather than rach the top and see nothing but clouds.    the bicycles were assending -- they were up there for the sunrise.  we were due to make it to the top between noon and one o'clock.

we continued to climb .... Roads seemed newly paved with painted lines.  Just many turns and twists.
Inside the National Park, we stopped at the visitor center.  we had 30 minutes of driving time left.  and no promise of a clear view into the crater.  everyone said it constantly changes.
this is when we began to see the Silver Sword

 which only grows on Haleakala, once it blooms, it dies.

Yes, we could see into the Crater.  the camera can not do it justice with all the hues and shades of color.

Driving down we were due to reach the bottom around 3:30 and had not had lunch.  I suggested we try Mama's Fish House in Pa'ia.   I had see the commercials on the tourist channel and thought it too pricie ... But maybe lunch would not be too expensive.   Pa'ia is a homie little town south of the airport  and Mama's was a family run restaurant which only served what the fishermen brought in daily.   what a surprise!  we were not allowed to park our own car ... Clue number one.   we walked down onto a beautiful beach to open windowed building that rambled on and on.   finally finding an entrance, we were allowed to seat ourselves in the bar area as dinner starts in 45 minutes and those with reservations got those romantic window seats.     the lunch menu called 'light menu' consisted of appetizers, entrees (all raw fish) and salads.  Ken not eager for raw fish had the coconut prawns and Mama's salad.  I went for the macadamia crab cakes and Ahi crusted salad...and the Ahi was raw.  

The service was classy, the food amazing, the ambiance romantic and fun, and the bill was large.


September 12, 2012
I can't believe we did this again.   Went to another Time Share Presentation just to save $180 on a guided trip to Hana tomorrow.   You trade two hours of your precioius time listening to skilled sales people show you how you can make your life better by committing another $50,000 or so so your vacations can be more fun with no fees when you check out of the 4,000 glorious Wyndham resortsall over the world.   It definitely is a better plan than what we have with our two time shares.  And the point system and Wyndhams plan is appealing if we had the money.  Even trading our two timeshares each year with Wyndham, for $22,000. and only $42.50 a month in maintenance fees for the rest of our lives, we could go anywhere and do what ever we want with our children. 
Problem????? It is all about luxury in an age when the world is so uncertain and luxury not so necessary.   There are far greater things to do with our resources.

Andrea was beautiful and  compelling.  As all the other sales persons are,  they work hard to make it make sense to the happy vacationers while they are living in paradise and dreaming lofty dreams of bigger and better vacations.  And when you say "NO" they have a lesser plan for you.  And  once again we say "NO" walking away feeling a tiny bit guilty and sorry for the pretty sales lady who worked so hard and did an excellent job and wasting her 2 1/2 or 3 hours on a no sale.

So we returned to our room.  Had our lunch on the lanai of BBQ which Ken bought off of a big smoker truck last night.  Probably our cheapest meal so far but enough BBQ ribs and chicken with all the fixens for two meals.

It is our 5th day in Maui and we don't know what we want to do with the rest of this day.  So we take a nap, blog a bit, look at each other and discuss a plan.  The sun is glorious, the water a turquoise blue like no other I've ever seen.    Are we growing old or what?


Westward HO - Tucumcari New Mexico July 28, 2011

Tucumcari is the middle of New Mexico and about seven hours from home, so even though it is in the middle of nowhere, is a good stopping place  for a first night out from home.  
Traveling across desert, Tucumcari's main source of livelihood is repairing broken down vehicles.
We know we are getting close to Santa Fe when we see the welcome sign.
We rose early the next morning to take advantage of the hot tub. 
One of Ken's favorite morning pleasures.
We spotted this cafe as we were leaving town Friday Morning.  What a photo opt!
And just across the road was one of many windmills in New Mexico.


Westward HO - Santa Fe -- July 29, 2011

Friday morning we left Tucumcari headed for Santa Fe.  When we reached Clines Corner to turn northward, a rain blew in and it was actually chilly.  Ken turned off the air conditioner of the car -- and that was the end of our air conditioner.  As we drove into Santa Fe, it was hot.   Friday is not a good day for car repair and no air conditioner service would even look at it -- telling us they were booked up one and two weeks out. We found our hotel in the midst of all kinds of construction and things were looking a bit disappointing for us.  Of course plans were changing fast.  We decided that the devil would not steal our joy and took a two hour walking tour of the downtown plaza.   
The Cathredral Basillica of St Francis of Assissi was one place we had not entered in the past so it was a treat to view the relics and rituals of the Cathedral.   Most other places on the town square we had frequented in the past.  (Wish we had not snacked lunch in the motel room as we could have enjoyed lunch on the town square.) 

After that we made more phone calls regarding the car and finally Mines........... said they would look at it.   The man spent a couple hours trying to find some simple problem but could not find anything within his ability to repair.   We returned to the hotel.  At that point it was really getting hot, so we did not want to drive far and ended up eating across the road at a Mexican Restaurant.   Since Santa Fe is known for it's wonderful Mexican cuisine.and the decor outside seemed interesting, it had to be good......  wrong  ...... The food was another disappointment to overcome.    We still had a good time but left out early Saturday morning for Flagstaff.  The goal was to beat the heat of the day driving without an airconditioning.  God extended mercy and made the trip tolerable for us.  We were happy to pull into Flagstaff by noon.  We checked into an EconoLodge and went down town to do a 'walk-about.'


Westward Ho - Flagstaff

Early Flagstaff meant Lumber Jacks and Choo Choo Trains

I really love Flagstaff: about 7000 feet elevation, close to Grand Canyon, tons of history, small and homie.   Actually, it reminded me of Asheville....  old buildings turned into little eateries.   Small business owners......F;agstaff has far more dogs escorting humans around the town.

Ken's Favorite Hobby
Flagstaff as a frontier town suffered many fires to the point that in the late 1800's a law was passed that all buildings had to be of brick, stone, steel.   Thus the Weatherford Hotel was built and is the standing point of many of our photos.
John Weatherfor bedded many famous people.  Zane Gray wrote "The Call of the Canyon" while staying at the Weatherford Hotel.
A third story Ball room was added.
Today you can rent a room but it maintains some of it frontier features....no television and no telephone.

On Sunday, we took a trip to Walnut Canyon National Park.
Neither of us walked the entire trail to the bottom of the Canyon but Ken did go further down than I did. 

The Walnut Canyon is a beautiful history lesson.  We saw the dwellings of the Sinagua people who lived in the region before 1250.
Sadly, in the 1880's pothunters removed many Sinagua possessions.   They also dynamited some of the cliff-dwelling walls to allow in more light for their search.

There is evidence that the Rimtops were flat areas with soil for farmland.  They would have lived on prickly pear cactus, wild grapes, elderberry and yucca.  There is evidence they had black walnuts.  They also hunted for deer, big-horn sheep and other smaller animals.

It is believed that the women built the homes made from shallow caves eroded out of the limestone cliffs. 

Walnut Canyon National Park

Downtown Flagstaff

Landmark of Old Town Flagstaff -- Lumber and trains