Saturday, February 24, 2018

2018 Maui

2018-1-25  through 2-22  Maui trip:

4 weeks in Maui!!!!  Longest we've ever vacationed in one spot.  I'm so anxious, I'm starting my blog a couple days early.  I'll get all the mundane stuff stuff out of the way:

Flights:  ATL-OGG
We're using award miles again.  This time we're using Alaska Airlines for our flights to OGG and AA for our flights back.  I booked the flights about 300 days out, knowing there would probably be changes before Jan. 25.  First one came while we were on vacation in S. Florida in May.  AA decided to eliminate our red eye flight out of OGG to LAX.  So they moved us up to a 2:30pm flight and changed our LAX - ATL flight to LAX - Charlotte (CLT) - ATL.  With an 8 hour layover in CLT!  I had to call twice before I got someone who could or would change the CLT flight to one with "just" a 1 1/2 hour layover.  Then in Nov.---while on an 11 night Caribbean cruise---our Alaska Airlines flight ATL - SEA got eliminated and we got an email telling us to call them.   So I called and they put us on a flight to SEA a day earlier and said they'll put us up in a hotel that night.  Then we would take our 10:30am SEA - OGG flight on the 25th.  So our really LONG travel day becomes 2 long travel days, but at least we don't have to get to the Atlanta airport by 4am!  As always, I kept checking our flights for better itineraries and/or seats.  On Jan. 20 AA put their non-stop LAX-ATL red eye on mile-saver award travel, so I was able to called and got us switched to that flight instead of LAX-CLT-ATL.  Now we'll get back into ATL about 7:30 am instead of noonish----just in time for the lovely Atlantic rush hour traffic!  As we're driving through the city to get to the north side I'll just keep reminding myself it's better then sitting in the Charlotte airport waiting for another flight!

Accommodations --- Kahana Villas Resort and Worldmark Kihei

Car rental --- Nissan Pathfinder

Cameras this trip:  My Canon 60D DSLR with a Tamron 17-300mm zoom lens and a Tamron 150-600zoom lens; and a TG-4 Olympus underwater camera. 

For our day to day fun, click on the links:

1-24-2018  Day -1 --- off to Seattle:

1-25-2-18  Day 2---SEA - OGG and settling in: 

1-26-2018  Day 3---snorkel Kahekili and Lahaina for sunset: 

1-27-2018  Day 4---snorkel Kapalua and Lahaina for sunset

1-28-2018  Day 5---Sea House breakfast, Napili bay, Kapalua snorkel, Kahana sunset, Lahaina 

1-29-2018  Day 6---the Fischers arrive!

1-30-2018  Day 7---trip up to the North/West side and the Super Blue Blood Moon:

1-31-2018  Day 8---snorkeling Kapalua with newbies

2-1-2018  Day 9---whale watching tour out of Lahaina 

2-2-2018  Day 10---move to the South side by way of Haleakala:  

2-3-2018  Day 11---checking out the high surf on the South side 

2-4-2018  Day 12---half the road to Hana

2-5-2018  Day 13---RAIN and Fischers leave

2-6-2018  Day 14---Oneuli whale watching and walking the Hoapili trail

2-7-2018  Day 15---a walk along the Wailea Walking Path 

2-8-2018  Day 16---snorkeling!  Kapalua and MM14

2-9-2018  Day 17---snorkeling Makena Landing 

2-10-2018 Day 18---snorkeling Ahihi and a walk along the path by Maluaka

2-11-2018 Day 19---snorkeling MM14 and sunset at Kam 1-2 

2-12-2018 Day 20---snorkeling Kam 3 and Po'olenalena

2-13-2018  Day 21---snorkeling Po'olenalena and The Dumps!

2-14-2018  Day 22---Valentine's Day Trilogy whale watching tour 

2-15-2018  Day 23---A rainy day, but a great sunset  

2-16-2018  Day 24---Kula Gardens, Hookipa turtles, Kam 1 sunset 

2-17-2018 Day 25---Snorkel Honolua!!!  and Kapalua, then off to Lahaina 

2-18-2018 Day 26---Water spout!  walking north of Kam 1 

2-19-2018 Day 27---Walk along the Kam beaches and disappearing ring

2-20-2018 Day 28---Snorkel Maluaka and Wailea

2-21-2018  Day 29---last day!!! So sad!

2-22 and 23-2018---heading home to ATL

Highlights and lowlights of this trip:  The biggest highlight was sharing vacation time with good friends for a week.  Biggest lowlight is apparently having my wedding ring stolen!  Another lowlight is my glasses disappearing in the ocean and having to get new ones made at LensCrafters.  Speaking of things disappearing---so did my hat!  Definitely too many lowlights!  Our trip ended with another highlight!---finding my assumed "stolen" ring! 

Friday, February 23, 2018

2018-2-22 and 23  time to go home  :( , but on a happy note! :)

OK, I'm feeling a bit stupid, but grateful!  My ring reappeared!  Yea!!!  Happened to be in my other carry on item (my c-pap machine bag)---which, by the way, we both had checked--multiple times!  Not like there are a bunch of compartments in it (like my camera bag has!)---it only has 2!!!  Still don't know how we both missed it; especially since there was nothing else in the bag!  But when I went to pack up the machine, there it was.  So I'll take stupid and happy any day under these circumstances!!!  But boy we could have avoided a lot of stress and aggravation if it had appeared sooner!  Although I did come out of it with another ring!!!  Maybe I should try this routine again?!

Anyway---even though I'm always sad to be leaving Hawaii, I was feeling pretty happy after packing up the c-pap machine!  So happy, that when my phone started acting up, it didn't even phase me---much.  I could make a call, and the phone would ring if someone called, but I couldn't hear anything through the inside speaker of the phone.  Searched the internet for suggestions of what I might have accidentally done to cause that, but didn't have any luck.  Even texted my daughter-in-law who owned the phone previously.  She couldn't diagnose it over texts, either.

But, alas, it was time to hit the road and make our way to Costco for our last tank of gas, then off to the airport.  Our flight was a 2:02 flight on American Airlines.  Used miles from our credit card to fly free again.  Originally we were suppose to fly out later in the evening, but they eliminated that flight and put us on the 2:02 flight to LAX, then to Charlotte, then something like an 8 hour layover!, then to ATL on a puddle jumper.  A few weeks before our flight,  LAX-ATL red eye came available for the OGG-ATL super savers award points which made it the same amount of points that I had originally used (20,000), so I switched us to that flight.  Now we would get into ATL about 7am on the 23rd instead of evening.  Gotta love flying and all the flight schedule changes!!!

On our way to the airport, Ken asked if my Bluetooth headphones were on.   Good question!!!  So I shut the Bluetooth off on my phone and presto, the phone worked right again.  I had charged my headphones the night before and must have inadvertently turned them on. With them close to the phone, sound was being sent to my headphones.  I've sure made this trip interesting!!!

Got to the airport about 11:15.  I dropped Ken off at the airport with the luggage and I went and returned the car for the past month--a Nissan Pathfinder SUV.  By the time I got back to the airport, Ken was already checked in.  Even paid to check our 3rd bag (2 of the 3 were actually carry on suitcases).  We got 2 free checked bags for being AA Citi card holders.  They wouldn't do a courtesy check at the ticket counter this time for the 3rd bag (like Alaska had done on the way out), so he paid the $35.  Of course, when we got to the gate, they were courtesy checking them. 

(Once we were home, AA sent an email link to a survey on how our travel went.  As I was filling it out, it said if we had any "problems", feel free to email customer service.  I figured, why not?  So I emailed and mentioned the fee for checking the one carry on bag then finding out it was free at the gate.  In a couple days, they sent a voucher for the $35 to be used within a year.  They didn't have to do that, but I'm glad they did.)

We were TSA PRE approved.  Got through security very quickly and to the gate with a couple hours to spare.  That's when I worked on the blog post for 2-21 and got it uploaded right as it was time to board.

It was a rainy day---It's so much nicer leaving on a dreary rainy day.  Or maybe it's just because I was still elated from finding my ring.  Also was nice that we had a row of 3 seats for the 2 of us.
 And we're off.  I was surprised how pretty the views were for take off with all the rain in the area. 
 we were on the right side of the plane so these are looking SE and taken with my phone.
 I'm assuming this area is around Paia.
 Hookipa to the right ?

 that's about it for land for awhile
 near sunset I remembered to look outside the window.
The rest of the time I enjoyed AA's free entertainment on this type of plane.  (Too bad the 2nd plane was older and didn't have the same entertainment system.)  Started to watch "Murder on the Orient Express", but couldn't get into it.  Did watch a very good movie, "All Saints", the true story of how a group of refugees from Burma helped to save an Episcopal church in Tennessee.  
 And watched another pretty sunset.
 watched it for about 30 minutes.
 about 4 hours and 45 minutes after leaving OGG, we were landing in LAX. Another thing I like about flying home from Hawaii is it's a couple hours faster then flying there thanks to the jet stream.
 Walking to our next terminal we passed a food truck---in the terminal!
 Had enough time between flights to find dinner.  Ended up at The Filling Station where we shared a chicken sandwich and salad for dinner, then it was almost time to board our 11:45 flight.

About 7am CST we were landing in ATL---right as the sun was coming up.  Took us a little over an hour to deplane, get our luggage, and make our way to the train to take us to the car rental center.  It's like Vegas---the car rental center is a distance away from the airport.  I was able to get a 1 way rental for $33 to pick a car up here and drop it off in Buford near where we live so our daughter didn't have to fight rush hour through the city to pick us up.  I was surprised that there was hardly anyone in the car rental building.  We were able to walk right up to the Enterprise counter and get our rental papers.  Then to the garage where we had our choice of full size cars.  We pretty much flew through Atlanta!  Since there were 2 of us, we rode in the HOV lane and hardly had to slow down at all.  Got to our apartment in a record time of about 50 minutes.
 Such a sad sight!!!!  All the snorkel gear (ours and our daughter and son-in-law's that we borrowed for our friends) cleaned and drying so they'll be ready to be packed away again!

It was a long tiring day of traveling, but it did go about as well as could be expected.  Would have been better if we had 3 seats for the 2 of us from LAX-ATL and the entertainment system, but at least the flights were on time.  I'm still surprised that everyone but me seems to be able to sleep on red eye flights!

 All in all, a pretty great ending to a pretty great vacation!  With a very unexpected twist!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

2018-2-21 Time to check out the pawn shops!

Woke up wanting to hit the beach again. gave South beaches another 8.  But I also wanted to do whatever I could to try and get my ring back.  So----off to a bunch of pawn shops!
First one was the pawn shop in Kihei.  Another 1st for me!  First time being in a pawn shop!  Rather interesting experience.  Lots of cool stuff in there---one of the reasons why I've never been in a pawn shop before!  Bet my nephew would love these paintings!
We immediately went to one of the employees and explained our plight.  He was very helpful and nice.  We learned the procedures for reporting a stolen item to them.  Nice to know that they are connected to the police site, too, so when they get stuff the police can check to see if it's there.  He had me email the picture and police report to their other 2 offices, too.  Then, of course, I looked around.
Boy, they have a lot of really nice stuff!  This was a fraction of the diamond rings.
Some of their other stuff.  Quite a variety.
Even some really nice NaHoku stuff! 
and a ton of ukuleles
Even Tiffany's
Took a fancy to this ring---a PWJ 14K anniversary ring.  Not my wedding ring, but I've always wanted an anniversary ring, too.  So we bartered with the guy and I think we got a good deal at $350 cash.  May get it appraised just to see if it is.
Then we headed to Market St. in Wailuku.  Should be called pawn shop alley!  But there were a couple other quirky shops.  Like this one selling Trump Twilight Zone items.
Ken about to enter the 3rd or 4th pawn shop on Market street.  Everyone was really nice and sympathetic, but hadn't seen the ring.  Emailed them all a picture of the ring and they made their own internal messages.
looking down the street
Another quirky little art store.  I love this style of painting!
There's also a really cool theatre among the shops
Reminded me of the old movie theater I use to go to as a kid---wonder if it has a balcony, too?
It was an interesting afternoon!  And not a total waste of time.  But hopefully I won't have to do that again---at least not to try and find a missing item.  May be back to do some more shopping!
From there we came back to the condo and started packing.  But I did stop about 5:30 and headed to the beach---just in case the sun made an appearance today.
Love these flowers lining the walkway
Looked like the sun was trying to peek out.
Then I saw this and had to go check it out.  The creator had already left.
Now that's a sand castle!!!!!
Someone else there said the creator had kids make the trees for him.  Bet that would have been neat to see!
They also said the creator was on vacation and does this for Sandal Resorts somewhere. 
He knew where to build it so the water would come into the river of it. 
The bridge was already starting to get washed away by the time I got here.
Then I walked to the S. end of Kam 1 to sit and watch the sunset.  Met an interesting young couple and chatted with them for quite awhile.
The sky started to clear a bit and I started to wonder if we'd get a pretty sunset
It even peeked out for a little while
and we did get a really pretty sunset!

looking north
It lasted for a good 35-40 minutes!

Didn't get to snorkel today, but still got to see an eel!  That must be good luck, isn't it?  The waves did come and wash him back out, so not to worry about this little guy.

Checking on the castle on my way back to the condo.  The waves were knocking it down.
Now it was 7:30.  Time for dinner.  Since we enjoyed Fat Daddy's so much last night, we decided to go there again for our last dinner on Maui 2018.
Ken elected to forego any sides and just have the meat---hot links. 
Oops I'm missing my dinner photo.  I had the meatloaf---excellent---along with more brussel sprouts, green beans and corn bread.  All excellent!!!  Can't wait to go back!
As we were leaving, this place caught Ken's eye, but I wouldn't let him go in.
Looked like a few interesting restaurants here.
especially this Irish place.
One last photo of the restaurant.
So true!

 Last full day here!  Hard to believe how fast the last 28 days flew by!

2018 Maui

2018-1-25  through 2-22  Maui trip: 4 weeks in Maui!!!!   Longest we've ever vacationed in one spot.  I'm so anxious, I'm star...