Friday, June 26, 2009

Aloha Is A Way Of Life

Oh, I love Hawaii! The people are so relaxed and everything just moves so slow! On one of our "bonus" vacation days, Weston and I took a little walk to a place called Big Beach. We enjoyed the walk more than the beach itself which was brutally hot with no breeze.

On our little jungle trek Weston found this cool place to take a picture.
What you can't see is that right under this log was a little friend we decided not to bring home with us. This is an Asian Spiny-Backed Spider. He was cool looking, but we didn't want to get too close!
With our extra time, Mr. Darling took the time to practice his creativity with the camera. Here is a shot of our hotel elevator.
Then, when the rain came, the Ritz Carlton had a professional artist come in and give complimentary oil painting classes for anyone interested. Weston and I each painted a scene from our vacation. It was SO fun! This may be something we do again in the future!
One of our bonus sunsets from Ka'anapali Beach...complete with serene looking sailboats and technicolor clouds!
And here we are saying goodbye to the Ritz. We LOVE staying there and are so grateful for the generosity that allows us to experience this type of comfort in such a fun place!
Hopefully, this isn't our last trip to Hawaii, but it will probably be a while before we can go again! I am going to try and incorporate a little of the "Aloha" style into my life. After all, "'aloha' is more than a word of greeting, farewell or is a way of life. Aloha means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no expectation of anything in return...Aloha is a gift to be shared."

And who wouldn't want to add that to their lives?

Aloha, Hawaii!!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

This World Of Water

I love snorkeling. Swimming in shallow water, near the shore and finding cool new-to-me life forms seems so comfortable. Inducted on to my list of favorite things to do last fall, now when I am somewhere I can snorkel, I need, want, have to go. Mr. D also enjoys swimming and looking for interesting sea life. My favorite animals in the ocean are turtles. I also love the colorful coral, beautifully decorated fish, and anything else interesting that I find. 

So on this trip, we bought a couple of underwater cameras to try and capture the magnificence of the water and variety of life that can be found right near the surface. Another snorkeler took this picture for us. Too bad I wasn't looking at the camera....And guess who came out to see us? We found this cool little rocky cove just a brief walk away from the always populated Napili Bay where there were nearly NO people and probably more than twenty turtles. It is so cool to watch them swim!
This turtle almost seems to be conversing with the little fish swimming around him..."So, little buddy, whadya say we show these people the spirit of aloha?"

Here is sweet husband-o-mine posing with a fairly small turtle...I bet it still weighs more than me though!
Here I am, but my turtle decided to take a breather rather than pose....
The guy with the yellow fin in the corner threw bread crumbs in the water and TONS of fish showed up. I am totally against feeding the fish since it messes with the ecosystem of the reef, but it was pretty cool seeing them swarm around like that. This was at Black Rock, which is like wal-mart for snorkelers as far as I can tell. TONS of people in the water and not much else.
Right near the shore, there was this huge school of dark fish. They were really fun to watch!
My darling husband is always adventurous, so here he is free diving to get a better view of the coral. The water can be so clear or so blurry....and it is hard to tell which from the shore! This day it was super clear!
We had a lot of fun snorkeling and just looking at everything we could find. Turtles are so fun, so cool, and so gentle that it makes me sad they are so endangered. One of the guides told us Hawaii is unique in how many turtles can be found. He said other islands such as Fiji and Tahiti allow the fishing and hunting of turtles for food and they are fairly scarce there. So we feel pretty lucky to have seen as many of them as we did!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Stranded At The Edge Of The World

Here on Maui, Island life is pretty slow. Weston and I enjoy the simple daily activities available and have fun without work, bills, and chores. Here are a few more pictures.

This one is Weston and I at Napili Beach in front of Moloka'i, a very small island off the coast of Maui that previously housed a leper colony.
Then, Friday night, we went to dinner with Weston's cousins, the Bradleys. They had spent the day scuba diving at Molokini. We have decided family reunions in Hawaii would be WAY fun....anyone else agree?
Then, Saturday morning, we went up to Makena and ate at the Makena Grill, a tiny roadside stand with a grouchy lady who is an EXCELLENT cook. The food was amazing and we wish we had taken a picture.

After lunch we went to the black sand beach and guess who was swimming around? There were four small turtles swimming right in the shallow water. We enjoyed watching them swim and play.
Then my darling husband tried the "Ride the Wave" with his boss' family. He was actually pretty good! Here is a good shot of him riding the wave!
Then, on what was supposed to be our final night here, we took a picture of us in front of the sunset. The island in the distance is Lanai, a remote uninhabited island you can see from the beaches on South Maui. The sunset was really pretty.
The next day, we were supposed to leave....BUT a brushfire closed the road between us and the airport and we ended up with two more days on Maui at the Ritz Carlton. So far, no one has had pity on us. I guess I wouldn't either. There are worse things than being stuck in Hawaii.

Friday, June 19, 2009

How Swiftly Flow The Days

I can't believe that there are only 3 days left in my Hawaiian vacation! We have had so much fun, but I can't fit all of our memories in a quick blog post, so here are some highlights.

One of the nearby hotels has an aviary with exotic parrots and tropical birds, flamingos, swans, and tropical penguins! They are so FREAKIN cute!!! They all hopped in the water and swam over to check us out. I would never have guessed they swim like ducks!
Then, after dinner at Tropica, we watched the sunset on Ka'anapali beach. Not amazing, but still fun. I mean, heck, we are on a beach in Hawaii! Can any sunset be bad?
The next day, Weston tried paddle boarding for the first time. He was really really good! He didn't fall or anything. I tried it too, but my balance isn't what it used to be!
Then it was the most amazing sunset so far, on Wailea beach. Weston really wants to go back and see this one again!
Yesterday, we took a boat ride to a little island called Molokini to snorkel. The visibility was amazing and the fish were HUGE! We had a really fun time and are glad we went! (I don't have snorkel pictures yet...)
Then, we ate at Kimo's with Weston's boss Geoff and watched the sunset in Lahaina from Front Street. The food was good, the company was amazing, and the scenery was simply divine!
We are having a ton of fun and enjoying ourselves, but we miss our little Muzzle Pup and I miss our bed. Today we are off to find turtles then we are heading to dinner with Weston's cousins. I hope it is another fantastic day!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fantasy Island

So, we have been on Maui for a full two days now and I forgot how the island atmosphere relaxes me. The people are calm and laid back, my agenda includes going to the beach at some point, going to the pool at some point, and eating during the breaks. I really enjoy the simplicity that being here allows.

Our first evening here, we ate at a place called the Sea House on Napili Bay. The food was amazing, the service was great, but best of all, here is the view from our table.
Weston woke up early (9 am Utah time, 5 am Hawaii time) to take this amazing picture of the sunrise. It is sooooo pretty I may even go with him tomorrow to see it myself!
We went on a quick hike to see the Nakalele Blowhole. When we were here last fall, it was raging up to 70 feet high. Now, you can look straight down. Just don't fall in!!!!
Then, today we met up with Ashley who is seriously the most adorable person and amazing and wonderful and I love her to pieces. We are now Maui friends!! Her cruise stopped by while we were here so we spent today hanging out, swimming in Wailea Bay, going down water slides, attempting to snorkel and enjoying the beaches! Weston thought he belonged in the middle of the girls!
And the highlight so far, meet Pepper the Parrot. He sat on my arm, danced, and tried to bite anyone who wanted to take him away from me. Playing with huge parrots in paradise is my kind of vacation!
Can this also count as my belly picture for 15 weeks pregnant? It is way better when people aren't looking at my tummy and staring at the giant parrot instead!