Thursday, November 24, 2016

No Reservations!

You would think that after 5 years 'on the road', I would know better than to wait until the last minute to make camping reservations over a holiday weekend!  But in my defense, in the past 5 years, we've never camped over the Thanksgiving holiday, so it just didn't hit me...then to top it all off, to go to a big tourist town like San Diego without reservations, was really pushing it! 

So when I started making the calls on Wednesday and found "every" place in the San Diego area FULL, I started to panic.  This had never happened before!  We had always found someplace!   Finally, down to the outskirts, we found a "cancellation" in Oceanside.  Phew!  Saved by my guardian angel once again.  Lesson learned. 

Why, pray tell, were we traveling on the busiest travel day of the year in the first place one asks?  Well, that's called "service set-backs".  You see, we actually planned on being in San Diego over a week ago, but the Service Dept. handling the work on our Rig delayed in finding the parts needed to complete the job they were doing for us.  With it only half done, we were stuck in Washington an extra week while they finally got the part and finished.  Had we foreseen the delay, we would have put off the work entirely until later.  Unfortunately, we've found that most people think you "live here" and have all the time in the world, so what's another week or two?  To bad they couldn't have joined us on our 7 hour crawl from Bakersfield to Oceanside on Wednesday! 

Now on to making reservations for December...I just remembered that the Christmas holiday is in there too!  Oops! 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 



...kicking back in Oceanside Ca,  Marie

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Kaua'i Bound!

No matter how kind or gentle or thoughtful all the doctors, nurses, EMTs and police personnel were surrounding the accident there is no medicine like the smiles and hugs that greeted us when we arrived in Kaua'i.  Seeing our wonderful friends Sherrie and Ken was the best relief from all the tragedy that we had gone through on our last day in Maui.  We knew we would still have to deal with numerous insurance and police calls, but having our friends with us for the week would make it all so much easier.  They brought the sunshine to our vacation once again!  Yea! 

With hugs all around, a quick trip to the store for supplies and a lovely trip to our condo to check in and relax!  Wow, we were located right on the beach!  What a view!  We could sit out on our patio and watch the ocean waves...ahhh...this was going to be nice! 


Our first outing was a drive to go see Kilauea Point Lighthouse (c1913).  A lovely drive that took us by the Hanakap'ai Falls (300'), way, way in the distance...


A lovely old church, Wai'oli Hui'ia Church (1834)...


And a stop at Ha'ena Beach Park, where the dry caves are...


...And finally to the breathtaking lighthouse! 


One of the things that Sherrie had on her "wish list" was to go see the Fern Grotto...so we booked a boat trip to go see it!  What a fun little trip!  They take you on a barge down the Wailua River telling you stories and playing music, singing and doing the hula en route to the Grotto.  We passed a few Kayakers along the way that seem to be enjoying the journey as well.  Once at the grotto, we were disembarked, and walked a small distance.  At one time people could actually get up close and touch, get married, etc against the ferns themselves, but to much damage was being caused, so now they have built a wooden deck that is about 30' from them now.  It's still easy to view them, and they sure are lovely!  They had a woman sing the Hawaiian Wedding song (just to add to the moment!) while you are enjoying the view too.  ;-)  Then a nice walk back through the woods, and to the boat again! 


That evening I was able to check off a big item on my bucket list...one I had been wanting to do for many years...to go to a luau!  When Jack had asked me what I wanted for my 70th Birthday (back in April) I told him I wanted to go to an "authentic luau"...well, as much as one can find these days, anyway, when we get to Hawaii.  So, we researched all of them and found that Smith's Tropical Paradise in Kaua'i' to fit what I was looking for!  We weren't disappointed.  From the very beginning being greeted with shell leis, taking a tour of their beautiful gardens, taken to the Imu where the pig was buried, the fabulous dinner and music, to the evening's entertainment and show.  It was everything I had hoped for...a wish come true!  


There was only one "must see" left to do now...and that was Waimea Canyon.  I had seen it once, about 23 years ago (on a bus trip), but Jack had never been to Kaua'i, so I was anxious to show him this beautiful canyon, so off we went!  It was even prettier than I remembered.  Being in a car helped too, because we could stop and let me take pictures!  The first stop was a big surprise...this little waterfall along this deep red dirt, just outside the park...beautiful! 

Then, off into the canyon we went!


Our week was coming to a close...two last waterfalls, a last drive through the Tunnel of Trees and then it would be hugs goodbye to our friends (for now)... None of us wanted to leave the beautiful sunshine, the daily crowing of the roosters, the lovely birds we tossed crumbs to, or the smell of the ocean waves...but life was waiting for each of us back on the "main land", so back we must go.  Calgary and Tacoma were waiting on each of us with their cool arms, out with the shorts and in with the sweaters for awhile! 


Thank you Hawaii, we'll be back! 


...kicking back in Tacoma,  Marie

If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/74905158@N04/

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Vacation!

Even full-time RVer's have to have a "vacation" from time to time!  For us, this year, it was flying to the islands of Maui for a week, then to Kaua'i for the another week.  Ah, the joys of being retired...

We parked our baby at my nephew's side yard in Tacoma for the two weeks and flew off to sunny Hawaii!  Our timeshare hosts greeted us with packages of wonderful goodies and promises of a good time while we were on the island!  We planned on taking them up on it too.  Jack and I hadn't been on this island in over 25 years, and for me, I had only been for a couple of days, so hadn't seen much when I was here!  So much to see and do, I hardly could sleep!

Our first day trip was to Lahaina.  Both of us wanted to see how much it had changed over the years.  It used to be the "heart" of Maui...a small, quaint town, always full of fun.  Well, like everything else of course...it's grown!  Still fun and lively.  We were able to spend some lovely time just wandering around, enjoying the various sights, like the beautiful old banyan tree that was originally planted back in 1873 by William Owen Smith and has spread out to cover several acres now.  They have created a whole park around them!  Simply beautiful...


A wonderful surprise was a sand dune Japanese cemetery, Puupiha Cemetery, that was across the street from the Namu Amida Butsu, Jodo Mission.  I've visited a lot of interesting cemeteries in my travels, but never one built in sand before!  The Japanese never cease to amaze me.


It was such a clear day, we even got a wonderful view of Moloka'l from town!


And what's a shot of the beach/ocean without seeing surfers?


A trip to Maui isn't "complete" without taking the drive to Hana!  So, off we went (complete with "app" in hand).  What fun!  Jack loves driving all those twists and turns, and the traffic wasn't all that bad, and lucky us, it was a nice clear day too.  Of course, we had to stop a hundred and one times so that I could jump out and take a picture (or three) of every waterfall, weeping wall, flower, tree, and 'special scenes' we saw!  Me and everyone else too!  ha ha 

There were "extra special" highlights along the way tho...  I absolutely fell in love with the Ke'anae Peninsula.  The black lava rock jutting out from the deep blue of the ocean with the green plants alongside, was just so beautiful.  Then, add a 150 year old church and small cemetery to the scene, and you have a photographer's dream!  I could have stayed there all day...


Another special stop was at the black sand beach, Honokalani, where I could get my feet wet and gather up some of it to take back with me!  


Jack had only one wish for the day, and that was to visit the grave site of Charles Lindbergh who was buried in Kipahulu in 1974.  Lindberg loved Maui and it was his wish to live out his days here & be buried here.  It's quite off the beaten path, which I'm sure was also his wish, after all the hounding he suffered while he was alive.  There is also a sweet church here, built in 1857 along with a small cemetery.  When we arrived, we were greeted with a couple of horses peeing through a banyan tree!  No one else was around.



The rental car (and phone app) people tell you to turn around here and go back the same way, but our local host told us as long as it wasn't raining, and we kept our eyes out for "cows", the locals just continue on around the island, and we could too!  She shared that the scenery really changes, and it would be a shame to miss it, and to just repeat the same long road back (we agreed), so on we went!

We were so glad we did too!  We came across such wonderful surprises and beautiful scenery!  

The first was a beautiful rainbow came out to greet us.  We never saw any rain, but what a glorious rainbow, it just filled the sky everywhere you looked!  Once, when we turned a corner, we came upon a lovely old church and when I got out to take it's picture, the rainbow followed me...I think I captured the most perfect picture...don't you?

And some of the wonderful scenes we would have missed...


..and of course those cows! 

All to soon our visit to Maui was coming to an end.  It was our last day, and our last trip back to the condo, and BANG!  We were hit!  Jack saw blue and red lights coming at him, a car coming AT him, he said "holy shit!" and swerved (just in time!!) and was able to save our lives by only colliding our headlight into his taillight.  I had been looking down until I heard him, when I looked up, all I saw was a silver car flying into the air and crashing down and another coming at us (the one that hit us) and then BOOM, the air bags going off.  Minutes later a policeman rapped on the side window and asked if we were "okay?"  We assured him we were, to go to the others.  We were the only ones that survived.  We were sent to the hospital for ex rays, etc. and came away with deep tissue bruises, cuts and scratches, but the whole ordeal was very sad.  It had been a police chase, and the young man (29) had crossed the meridian into on coming traffic, hitting a young woman (33) head on, sending her into us.  If Jack hadn't seen it all in time and reacted as fast as he had, we would also had been hit head on.  A heck of a way to end our stay.


We were glad to be moving on to Kaua'i and joining our friends for another week!

...on our way to Kaua'i,  Marie

If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/74905158@N04/