Monthly Archives: December 2015

Never, Never, NEVER

Publish a post after 2 martinis and wine without REALLY REALLY checking it over.

The video of the shoes was supposed to come under – naturally – The Shoe Blog title AND the credit was supposed to go to Kim Carabine for finding it and Bruce Carabine for sending it on to me. Please forgive my semi inebriated action. Now I will go to the hot tub and feel badly!

Sunshine, Sunshine, Sunshine

Christmas Day Sky

Christmas Day Sky

As I write this, it is the eve of New Year’s Eve. (Side note: I was looking at an online calendar the other day: “Dec. 31 – New Year’s Eve, Jan. 1 – New Year’s Day, Jan. 2 – Day After New Year’s Eve”. Huh? Now there’s someone with a firm grasp of the obvious – which is a comment I always wanted to put on some student’s report card.)

I have decided I really like to write – but let’s face it, day to day life in PoCo is not all that scintillating. Thus, I have been struggling with what to write about.  Our sporadic travels may provide some opportunity, but on an ongoing basis? I tried the social awareness, important issues of the day schtick, but that lasted about the lifespan of a gastrotich. I am not sure that in North America I can get away with my topics from Asia. There may very well be law suits involved. If you have any “write about this ideas” PLEASE send them to me – otherwise my ink may dry up.

So, at least for now, I fall back to the travel thing. If you have been reading my diatribes/senseless ramblings lately, you know that we are presently in Palm Springs. (Side note: Really it is Rancho Mirage. Can anyone give me any justification/ rationalization for all these cities? Why don’t they amalgamate and SAVE money? Just a few statistics for you.)

City Population
(2010 census)
Cathedral City 51,200
Coachella 40,704
Desert Hot Springs 25,938
Indian Wells 4,958
Indio 76,036
La Quinta 37,467
Palm Desert 48,445
Palm Springs 44,552
Rancho Mirage 17,218
Coachella Valley Cities Total 346,518
  • Estimated median household income in 2013: $44,978 (it was $35,659 in 2000)

Coachella Valley: $44,978
California: $60,190

Estimated per capita income in 2013: $17,519 (it was $14,193 in 2000)

Estimated median house or condo value in 2013: $183,341 (it was $104,700 in 2000)

Coachella Valley: $183,341
California: $373,100

Hispanic population approximates 80%

Today Terry and I climbed a mountain. Okay, we hiked a tall hill.We took the South Lykken Trail almost to the top. 7100 paces up and down, 24 switchback turns, 900 feet of elevation, 45 minutes up and 40 minutes down. Tonight we will hit the hot tub to soothe our aching muscles.

Ken's Car from 1/3 of the way up

Ken’s Car from 1/3 of the way up

Up, up and away we go!

Up, up and away we go!

This guy – oh this guy. As mentioned, we hiked up for 45 minutes. Just after we reached our top we see this gentleman. He has JOGGED – yes jogged – up, he goes past us about 50 yards and turns around starts down. Terry figures he was on his break from the Car Wash, since that was the shirt he was wearing.

I run because I can

I run because I can

Boxing Day morning at 8 am I was in Albertsons to get yogurt and granola. There were 6 staff restocking the wine shelves. These cartons are some of the remnants.

There was a second pile of broken down cartons similar to the one on the left, but they didn't want me taking any more photos.

There was a second pile of broken down cartons similar to the one on the left, but they didn’t want me taking any more photos.

Need your flu shot? Welcome to Albertsons.

Welcome.

Welcome.

Also played a little golf on Boxing Day. Windy?

Wind? What wind?

Wind? What wind?

 

I-5 – Driving Made Easy

Well here it is – evening one of our Winter Trip. We are safely ensconced in the Red Lion Inn in downtown Eugene, Oregon, having arrived at 7:41pm this evening. We left the Starbucks by our house at 8:30am this morning. Do the math dear readers – 11 hours and 11 minutes.

And the legend says...

And the legend says…

Now if the map legend was a little clearer you would see that, according to Google Maps, the trip should have taken us 6 hours and 49 minutes. Add an hour for a break, realise that Google maps calculates the time according to speed of 60 mph and you will see that somewhere or other we lost somewhere just shy of 3 hours. How you ask? Well…

We should have know something was wrong when we had less than a 10 minute wait to get through the border.

How in the name of all that is weather related could Bellingham, a sea level city, have snow on the highway today? C’mon ref! The traffic just south of the city was at a dead stop just north of the exit for Alger. Now I have often wondered what Alger was like and today I found out. Alger is entirely missable. We followed a semi trailer off the highway, taking Washington 99 down to just short of Burlington. It was our first 10 mile delay – but took really no time at all. We even marvelled at what a beautiful winter wonderland we got to see.

Then came Seattle. You know how bad the traffic through Seattle can be? Well not today. If it took 15 minutes to get from Northcenter to Southgate I would be surprised. However we did run into a little rain as we approached Tacoma. How little? Remember our flooded yard from a week or so? Well the rain that did that was a shower compared to what we experienced coming into Olympia, where we decided to have lunch and get gas. If you ever have the chance to go to El Sarape, don’t.

This was where we decided I should drive. Just after we got back on I-5 we saw a sign on the side “Traffic Congestion M96 to M86. Use caution” I have no idea why you needed to use caution. It took us 90 minutes to cover the 10 mile stretch. They are doing some construction and at mile 86 and the three lanes have to merge into 2. This is an indication of the amount of traffic that is on I-5. Then, just after we got through that, it REALLY started to rain. It amazes me that some people don’t make any effort to change their driving habits just because you can barely see the end of your car. Zipping in and out, cutting across lanes, driving down the shoulder – just amazing. By the time we got to the north side of Portland guess what – rush hour. Did you know that Portland has no HOV lanes going north to south? Well, they don’t. We decided to get off and have a drink and bathroom break. Did you know that Carls’ Jr. serves a pretty good hamburger but really cold fries even when they make your order fresh? Well they do.

Then it was back on the highway where we hit rush hour again and only took 70 minutes to go 10 miles. When we finally were able to pick up speed, we noticed the continual flow of traffic going north. I have no idea where they were coming from at 6:30 – 7pm. I mean the next major city is a long way away. Think Sacramento maybe. It was unreal.

Day 2’s drive was a piece of cake – if you ignore sitting in a line up for 90 minutes 22 miles north of Grant’s Pass while they attempted to extricate a car which managed to slide off the snowy highway but still managed to block both lanes while all the people who didn’t have snow tires chained up and your car keeps beeping at you for half an hour telling you that you are almost out of gas and you are worrying about running out until you find that out that in one mile you can get off the highway at Cow Creek station and get gas at an inflated price, a piece of cake. Once again, a drive that google map said should take 7 hours took 10 hours. The best part was that we found a fabulous Thai restaurant – Sawasdee Thai – in Sacramento. If you ever have the chance to go – GO!

Day 3 – easy peasy right – no rain, no snow, no construction. I mean it was Christmas Day – everyone was home with their families. We listened to a podcast of The Vinyl Cafe – the traditional “Dave Cooks A Turkey”. Some people are quite unbelievable. If you know or don’t know The Vinyl Cafe, it is a CBC production by Stewart MacLean. Each week he tells a 20 – 25 minute fictional humorous story and has musical guests. He has been doing this for over 20 years. The “Dave Cooks A Turkey” episode first aired 19 years ago. In it, Dave buys a grade B turkey which “looks like it escaped from a slaughterhouse” and “appeared to have been abused”. In the preamble to this year’s show he indicated that last year they received “hundreds” of complaints from people who believed that these two lines (and one other) were making light of animal abuse and the slaughtering of birds. He talked for about 20 minutes about how, as a host on the CBC, he felt a responsibility to all listeners to listen and act on people’s concerns. He then went on to say that when he talked about the protesters on the air he received “thousands” of emails supporting the episode and saying it should not be changed, that is was a classic. He spent 20 minutes discussing all of this and saying why he was not going to change the story. It was one of the most responsible pieces of talk radio I have ever heard. If you have never heard “Dave Cooks a Turkey”, I encourage you to do so. It is great fun.

Anyway, back to the easy peasy drive. Our 7 hour drive took 9. We wondered continually why all these people weren’t home with their families, opening gifts, fighting with relatives, having dinner, fighting with each other – all in the true spirit of Christmas. We came down 215 into San Bernardino – the traffic in both directions at about 4:30 was amazing.

4 lanes in each direction - all full.

4 lanes in each direction – all full.

And once we hit I 10, it got worse since Terry, driving at 70 – 75 mph was constantly being passed by drivers going 80 – 85 and zipping in and out. Quite unnerving.

Our very traditional Christmas dinner - Chicken Curry and Mongolian Beef at Wang's at the Desert.

Our very traditional Christmas dinner – Chicken Curry and Mongolian Beef at Wang’s at the Desert.

The Shoe Blog

I hope I find some more to use in future blogs while we are here. I took this photo of a lovely young woman at Macy’s yesterday.

Terry thinks I might want to branch out while we are in Palm Springs. Perhaps, instead of shoes, I should be chronicling the booty, since there are many many examples of it here. I think she is trying to get me arrested.

Terry thinks I might want to branch out while we are in Palm Springs. Perhaps, instead of shoes, I should be chronicling the “booty”, since there are many, many, many examples of it here. I think she is trying to get me arrested.

 

Full Moon

A brief pictorial post of the full moon last night. The first three were of it as it came up over the horizon. It was spectacular. The white “glow worm” is trying to capture it before we stopped. The streak of light on the second was a car going by as we sat on the the side of the road just outside Palm Springs. (Side Note: More on how we got here later – it was a wild three days of driving!) 

The last one is about three hours later. Sadly the photo doesn’t do it the justice nature deserved. The sky around the moon was a deep, dense black – with the clouds brilliant white. Amazing.

Just move the camera to match the bumps on the road to avoid this. LOL.

Just move the camera to match the bumps on the road to avoid this. LOL.

They have no idea what they were missing!

They have no idea what they were missing!

Just above the horizon.

Just above the horizon.

Absolutely spectacular sky

Absolutely spectacular sky

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas.

The Shoe Blog

“Boxing Day is a holiday traditionally celebrated the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmenwould receive gifts, known as a “Christmas box”, from their masters, employers or customers.”

It has devolved into the wearing of either running shoes to get the best deals or boots for stomping on others’ toes.

Run, run, run.

Run, run, run.

 

The Joy of Christmas – Thank Goodness It Is All Over!

Well, Christmas has come and gone and as much fun as we have on the day, it is always contented bliss when everyone has gone home. If this is confusing to you, it is because we had our Christmas yesterday. Since 2005 we have been away for Christmas and celebrate the day a couple of weeks early, normally finding it far less stressful. We had ours Saturday night and other than the entire turkey bursting into flames on the BBQ, leaving it charred AND undercooked, the overcooked vegetables, meatless beef and pork cabbage rolls, everyone drinking too much (Side note: Red wine, white wine, Edradour whiskey and more of those damn Candy Cane martinis – how could anyone over drink?) and being LOUD and disorderly, it was a great night!  Lots of laughs all the way around, with only about a 3 hour clean-up this morning! (Side note: One must feel sorry for Joe’s friend Kieran who met us for the first time – what an introduction.)

When we say charred, we mean charred!

When we say charred, we mean charred!

You know how the leftovers from Christmas dinner are always really good the next day? Well, when you see the entire bird on fire, it leads to not so good the next day! Time for recycling the leftovers.

Christmas Shoe Blog

Terry's Christmas Socks make their annual appearance

Terry’s Christmas Socks make their annual appearance

And now back to Hawaii…

I  have mentioned Todd, our hospitality and vacation ownership salesman. After we booked and paid for our snorkelling experience, the salesman asked if we would like to reduce the cost to $20. I said, “Where’s the timeshare?” We agreed to visit the resort in Kapalua – 8:00 Sunday morning “For no more that 90 minutes and likely less.” we are told. Hah!! We figured they would at least have a continental breakfast of coffee and muffins. No, they had coffee and either a granola bar or a small bag of potato chips. Some of Todd’s lines: “We don’t do high pressure here – we aren’t in Mexico”, “I am going to speak very quickly and you will be out of here in less than 90 minutes”, “If you say you just need to think about it, I hear ‘Give us more information’ ” “If you say you aren’t interested, I will say thanks for your time and we’ll go our separate ways”. After 2 hours – I think that that is more than 90 minutes, and after Terry said no three times, we finally got up to leave. “Could you please just spend 2 minutes with my boss answering a few questions on how the presentation was?” Half an hour later we got out. They were nice enough people but the concept of a. Time and b. No High Pressure were not ones they grasped.

From there it was back to Lahaina for a wonderful brunch at Koa. I thought we had returned to the 70s.

The juxtaposition of the hippie and the cell phone was, as they say, priceless.

The juxtaposition of the hippie and the cell phone was, as they say, priceless.

Who knew Pete was in Hawaii when we were.

Peter's Doppelgänger

Peter’s Doppelgänger (Side note: those of you who don’t know Pete, that is him on the right – not in the middle or left.)

This may look like rich rich soil, but it is actually the lava field which flowed from Haleakala. The fields are now a preserve where vegetation is noticeable and black goats are, apparently,  repopulating the area. We never saw one.

Lava field

Lava field

Looking up at Haleakala

Looking up at Haleakala

When we took our helicopter tour, the pilot pointed out where Aunt Julia’s famous banana bread could be bought. We spent Sunday afternoon winding our way to Aunt Julia’s. Even if it was very good banana bread, it was not a fun drive for Terry. The road was very narrow for most of the 20 mile way, frequently being single lane.

Just another bucolic Hawaiian valley

Just another bucolic Hawaiian valley

It certainly makes the road to Hana seem like a leisurely drive through Stanley Park.Check out the video right at the end. I think the minivan went over the edge.

And back to Port Coquitlam for a couple of weeks

A local sushi restaurant back to Chinglish/Janglish or whatever.

A local sushi restaurant takes me back to Chinglish/Janglish or whatever.

The Shoe Blog

And so it is Aloha Maui.  With a temperature of 82° at the airport, we spy this young lady. I hope she was going home to Alaska.

Ugg...

Ugg…

We are off for more travel adventures over the next six weeks – stay tuned.

Back to Paradise

Sunday, December 13. How fabulous is our weather?yard

Ok – maybe above was more like the weather one week ago in Maui and below is today.

I am sitting here trying to decide whether or not I should spend half an hour in the pouring rain digging a trench to drain the pool or stay inside and write a post. (Side note: I caved, but it only took 10 minutes to dig a draining ditch.)

So, back to Hawaii. We went up to Kapalua Golf Course to spend some money on clothing and my belief that there are nobs everywhere was reaffirmed. While we were there some guy comes in and tells the assistant pro that Troon has just taken over the management of his “golf and country club in southern Cal. Could I get a discounted green fee?” When the assistant informed him that this needs to be arranged by his course beforehand by calling Kapalua. “Well, here’s the number – just call them.” “No that isn’t how it works – we can’t be calling everyone’s club to check – we get hundreds of golfers through here.” Clearly the guy is used to bullying people to get his way – he was a very unhappy golfer who left the pro shop.

Someone who was there and liked us told us a couple of stories about Tiger.

  1. This person was acquainted with the plastic surgeon who did some work on Tiger. He indicated that the shot to Tiger’s Escalade was actually the second shot. The first was to his lip by Elin when he came out of the shower just after she read his phone. Remember how he disappeared for awhile after the incident?
  2. The last time Tiger was at Kapalua playing in the Tournament of Champions he refused to sign an autograph for someone’s grandson, backing his car up to drive around the boy. He was roundly booed and has not been back since.

Now, this may or not be true or accurate since it could be that he hasn’t been back because he hasn’t won a tournament. Also, according to our helicopter pilot, Kapalua is the second home to golfers Tiger Woods and Jack Nicholson. (Side note: Not a typo – he did say Nicholson.) So who knows.

After our visit to Kapalua we were off to Lahaina for a delightful lunch on the upstairs patio. Great food and drink at Koa. However, as Nancy was coming upstairs she had a minor trip on the stairs and skinned her hand and arm. The staff and management couldn’t do enough first aid for her, stopping just short of calling for an ambulance. Can you say “Please don’t sue us.” On the other hand, perhaps because she was so accommodating, there was no adjustment to the bill.

From there it was off to our helicopter tour of west Maui and Molokai. We had received a $165 discount  when we agreed to the timeshare presentation. (Side note: Story on time-share still to come!) It was interesting to see things from a couple of thousand feet. The population of Molokai is approximately 7500 and I think the pilot said that about 1/3 of them still live with no electricity thus a very traditional existence. He also pointed out the island where the remaining lepers live. When the last leper passes, the government plans to develop the island as a destination resort. Could be interesting.

Anyway, here’s a short video.

 

And from China – sort of.

One of Terry’s former students from China is at university in Nanaimo and  six weeks or so ago, his father bought him a used BMW. (Side note: He is 18 years old.) When he came over from the island to pick it up, we met him and took him to dinner (Side note: Actually he brought each of us a very nice bottle of wine and another one of our students who is in Nanaimo with him bought us dinner.) We chatted about his driving experience in China. He said that he had received his license in China shortly before he came here and that he had only ever driven on the highway (Side note: where there are  almost  no cars) both in lessons and when he took his test (Side note:  July or August 2015).  A couple weeks after that, Terry sent him an email suggesting that he might want to check with ICBC that his license was good here. He went in and was told that since he had a Chinese driving license, it was perfectly fine – he did not have to take a test, he did not have to have an L or an N. Quite unbelievable. This young man (Side note: FYI, I really like him) has almost no experience driving at all and yet no L or N. The mind boggles!!

The Shoe Blog

Shoes

This would be me – bored as heck with Maui shoes.

me

 

 

 

 

 

Our Christmas Letter to You

Here we are again, on the verge of a new year with all it may bring. We are looking forward  to 2016 with much interest and anticipation as we gradually settle back into life at home.

We look back to our year split between China – including the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore and home – including Calgary, Osoyoos, Penticton…Wait a minute.

I know I enjoy getting the annual Christmas letter from friends who have been there, done that, seen them etc etc. However, as many of you know, I am a highly unique person. With this in mind I thought rather than telling you all about us, why not look at world headlines for each month of 2015. So I did a google search. I came up with this site.

Global Issues – Social, Political, Economic and Environmental Issues That Affect Us All

If you happen to be in an emotionally stable place in your life, take a look. If you aren’t, or are prone to be a little on the depressed side, maybe stay away. Each month has anywhere from 7 to 15 pages, with 10 news articles per page. You can come away feeling overwhelmed at how much trouble the world is in, whether it is rampant child/women/sexual abuses, lack of water and/or food, climate change, human rights abuses or nuclear war, we have created a very unappealing world.

On the other hand, you could come away thinking that whether it is Trudeau or Harper, Clinton or ,yes, even Trump, we are VERY fortunate to have been born in North America. I have included some of the more positive articles, but trust me, they were few and far between. I am not saying we should ignore what is going on elsewhere – we can’t, just that we need to appreciate what we have and to enjoy the season of love and sharing. Merry Christmas to each and every one of you and those you hold dear in your heart.

January

Dying in Childbirth Still a National Trend in Zimbabwe
Teenage Girls in Argentina – Invisible Victims of Femicide
When Ignorance Is Deadly: Pacific Women Dying From Lack of Breast Cancer Awareness
Dumped, Abandoned, Abused: Women in India’s Mental Health Institutions

February

A New Forensic Weapon to Track Illegal Ivory Trade
Sometimes a Single Tree Is More Effective than a Government
Bamboo – An Answer to Deforestation or Not in Africa?
Gazan Fishermen Dying to Survive

March

Indonesian President Unyielding on Death Penalty
Israel Using Live Ammunition for Palestinian Crowd Control
Impunity Fuels Abuse in Immigrant Detention Centres in Spain
Nuclear Threat Escalating Beyond Political Rhetoric

April

Draconian Ban on Abortion in El Salvador Targeted by Global Campaign
In Nicaragua Marriage Is Only for ‘Him’ and ‘Her’
In Bangladesh, Gender Equality Comes on the Airwaves
Sexual Violence in Conflict ‘The Contemporary Moral Issue’ Says United Nations

May

Humanitarian Crisis in South Sudan Continues to Worsen
Relief Organisation Urges Mandatory Funding for Humanitarian Appeals
The Asia-Pacific Region Is ‘Growing’, but Millions Are Living in Poverty
Latin America Must Address Its Caregiving Crisis

June

Chinese Public Most Worried About Climate Change
China Hailed as Leader for New Climate Plan
Peru a Shining Example for South America’s Climate Action Plans
Despite Setbacks, Global Sanitation Makes Progress, Says Fund

July

RIP Cecil the Lion. What Will Be His Legacy? And Who Should Decide?
Goats Take the Bite Out of Climate Change in Zimbabwe
Opinion: Mandela Day – Where Do We Stand Today?
“Why Hire a Lawyer When You Can Buy a Judge?”

August

Stop Food Waste – Cook It and Eat It
Deliberate Targeting of Water Sources Worsens Misery for Millions of Syrians
Climate Change Shrinking Uganda’s Lakes and Fish
The Future Tastes Like Chocolate for Some Rural Salvadoran Women

September

Opinion: We Can Overcome Poverty and Hunger by 2030
Solar Power Slowly Making Inroads into Mideast and Africa
Opinion: Farming the Way Out of Poverty in Honduras
Opinion: Food Loss & Waste Has Got to Do a Lot with Sustainable Development

October

Southeast Asia: How to Make Good Business Out of Doing Good
Sri Lanka: A Ray of Hope for those Looking for War Missing
Terrace Farming – an Ancient Indigenous Model for Food Security
Argentine Wine, to Toast for a More Sustainable Planet

November

Climate Change Threatens Flavours of Argentine Wine
Nicaragua’s Interoceanic Canal, a Nightmare for Environmentalists
Opinion: Ending Child Marriage – What Difference Can a Summit Make?
Drought Threatens Water-Truck Lifeline in Parched Northeast Brazil

December

Vertical Farming – Agriculture of the Future
Blackmail Politics Is the Name of the Game in Brazil
Opinion: NGOs Still Leading the Global Debate on Climate

The Shoe Blog

A fitting variation on a theme. (Side note: I did not take any of these photos – they are all pulled from the internet.)

TOMS is a Canadian company which has a One For One Movement. If you buy a pair of shoes, they will donate a pair to a child or teen in need.

TOMS is a Canadian company (Toms.ca and prices are in CDN $) which has a One For One Movement. If you buy a pair of shoes, they will donate a pair to a child or teen in need. Their shoes are not cheap nor are they terribly expensive, but if you have enjoyed The Shoe Blog over the years, maybe your spouse, significant other, child, granny or? could use a new pair of slippers for Christmas. Just sayin’…

(Side note: FYI the next post will take us back to Hawaii)

How Could I? !!!!!

This post was originally entitled Jack Kerouac, Steve Hartman, Willie Nelson  and The Watts with the following question posed at the beginning: “What do these people have in common?” However, I suddenly realized I had left out of the last posting something critical, which had occurred on the road to Hana. How could I have done this? Being the honest journalist I am, I could not just throw it in as if it had occurred on the road after Hana and let it go. So with no other introduction necessary, here it is.

According to our hospitality and vacation ownership salesman, Todd,  (Side note: Time-share by any other name, but more on Todd in a later blog), during some typhoon or other at the turn of the century, all the chicken coops on Kauai were turned over and all the chickens got out. As a result, this is why all over Maui there are roosters and hens wandering around with impunity. (Huh?) Anyway they are ubiquitous and fearless. And now on to the post this was supposed to be about!

Jack Kerouac, Steve Hartman, Willie Nelson and The Watts

What do these people have in common?

After a great meal at Bruddah’s it was time to leave Hana. Now as mentioned previously, the road has something like 630 turns and 55 – 60 one lane bridges. To describe this road as harrowing, nerve-wracking and dangerous would be to greatly overstate it. It doesn’t even have great views. In order to give you just a little example –

Yes it is interesting in a twisted kind of way, but then, so is Kenny Gee.
The best thing about this road is when you come out of the forest/jungle to see the surf on the east side of the island. Between the blue water and the crashing waves it is spectacular. So spectacular they craved for a surfer dude. Sadly, since this isn’t an actual video and I’m no surfer dude, you have to make do with Terry’s amazing photos in a little Animoto production!

Monday brought us to the top of Haleakala Volcano for the sunrise. This meant getting up at 4:00 to be at the top for the 6:38 am sunrise. The top of the volcano is at 10,000 feet and we started out at sea level. Switchbacks, switchbacks and more switchbacks, in the dark, with no idea of how much of a drop off there was on our right. The saving grace, once you got to the park gate at 7000 feet, was that there were many, many taillights in front of you to guide you up the mountain. Now after much research, I have reached a number  of significant conclusions:
1 Many Asian drivers, not just Chinese, have severe difficulty parking cars;
2 Many young Asian male drivers with young Asian female companions, drive almost exclusively Mustang convertibles while on holiday;
3. Many Asian tourists, just as Chinese people in China, feel no guilt about forcing their way to the front in front of anyone else who may have been there first. (Side note: Like the woman who got there plenty early, set up her tripod and waited; only to have her view blocked by the young Asian couple who stood very precariously on the rock in front of her. Luckily, I didn’t take our tripod…)
4. Many Asian tourists feel it is okay to hold their selfie sticks up and take pictures of themselves, thus getting nice bright squares of light in the photos of people trying to get photos of the fantastic sunrise.

Despite all of this, the experience was wonderful, particularly since it was the first time in a couple of weeks that there had been a sunset. We were blessed.

(Side note: Chose this music just because it has always been a favourite of mine. Seemed partially fitting.)

Ever had lunch on the highway? All over Maui are food trucks which serve great meals. We passed some the first day we were travelling around – Geste Prawns. They were fantastic – 12 large prawns with rice and macaroni salad for $13.00. There were four choices – Maui Scampi, Lemon Pepper (Terry’s choice), Spicy Pineapple and Hot and Spicy (Geoff’s choice). If you ever find yourself on Kahalui Beach  Road do yourself a big favour and stop.

Lunch

Terry at the Cash Only desk.

Highway

When I say on the highway, I mean on the highway

Linen

I think this might define incongruity or irony or something – parked at Geste Shrimp to get lunch

After our delicious lunch, it was off to Costco.

And one last interesting comparison:

water

One 12 ounce bottle of water at Costco = 25 cents. Same size bottle of water in the Coke machine at Maui Airport = $2.75.

Finally, what do Kerouac, Hartman, Nelson and the Watts have in common? They are “all on the road” (Side Note: Remember, in the last post we had just left Hana…).

The Shoe Blog

Four questions:

  1. Would you wear these in Hawaii?
  2. Can you guess the ethnicity of the wearer?
  3. What kind of car was she a passenger in?
  4. Have you seen these feet before? If so, where?

Shoes

 

Maui – A Four Letter Word

Black Friday in Hawaii

(Side Note: I started writing this on Tuesday the 1st, when we really WERE just halfway through, but now it is Saturday the 5th and all we really have left is our date with the TimeShare people. More on that later.) Here we are half way through our winter vacation and there have already been some interesting times. On Friday we experienced our first official U.S. Black Friday. Even though we didn’t get to the mall until 11am, I was excited. I wanted to see, if not have the actual experience, people ripping things out of other people’s hands. I wanted to buy buy buy at incredibly, not to be beaten, low low low prices. I wanted to contribute big dollars to the faltering U.S. economy (Side Note: Plus the 30% exchange of course). We entered into Macy’s Women’s Wear Store to see – wait for it – no crowds, no fights and no great deals, just racks and racks and racks of Hawaiian print dresses. I think they must just save their left over stock from previous years and push it out onto the floor in the hopes it moves. There were sometimes 2 or even 3 women lined up at the cash registers! We wandered out of there and eventually found ourselves in Macy’s Everything Else Store i.e. men’s, children’s, housewares, bedding etc. etc. Here at least there must have been some very good deals since every checkout line had anywhere from 20 to 30 people patiently waiting their turn to buy a much needed (?) item.

It was very disappointing – until I came home and read Joanna’s post on Facebook and then sought out the Youtube video on fights in other American (mostly southern) states. I guess Hawaii is just too laid back. Sigh.

Our visit to Costco provided us with inexpensive, quality wine and the opportunity to see three foot tall Poinsettias for $28.07 Cdn.

Poinsetia

There was one highlight, however.

Santa1

It only APPEARS that Santa is gesturing at me – in reality, look closely, and you will see he is making the Shaka gesture.

girls

Please meet Charleigh and Rylie – 2 of Angie’s 3 daughters. We got the reindeer hats when we visited with Santa. Do you remember getting these?

Saturday morning we were off to the Swap Meet/Flea Market. Well, Terry, Rich, Nancy, Angie, Charleigh and Rylie were off to the Swap Meet/Flea Market. I was off to Starbucks for a very unique experience. As one of the results of my heart attack, I have been seen a litany of counsellors. I am really getting a lot from the one I now see in Burnaby, and so,  of course, she leaves for Edmonton in January. If you think it is hard to find a hair stylist, try getting a counsellor you can relate and relax with. Anyway, I like her so much, we set up a Skype session for Saturday morning.

Starbucks

Starbucks is good for a lot of everything. I sat in the circle.

No one appeared to listen to my wanderings, which was a little disappointing as my life is so fascinating. It is very interesting to sit outside and from 2700 miles away, discuss your perspectives on life!

It is also interesting to watch people wash parts of the sidewalk for some reason or other.

Washing

I wash so it is clean.What’s your problem?

The Road Through Hana

Sunday we took on the road to Hana. For those of you unfamiliar with this road, between Paia and Hana there are approximately 620 curves and 52 – 57 bridges, which we’ll describe later.

Road

Instead of going to Hana and back, we chose to do the more interesting sort of circumventing the island.

At various times on this adventure, we were reminded of Scotland, Cornwall, New Zealand, Cyprus, The Chuckanut Drive and BC. Although the drive from Haia to Paia is an amazing feat of construction (goes back to 1910), for my money, it was the stretch from Hana through Kaupo on the south coast which was the most breath-taking.

Our first stop though, was at the Sun Yat-Sen Garden. Who knew he spent so much of his youth in Hawaii? Who knew his once wealthy older brother’s family spent so much money funding 9 unsuccessful revolutions and one successful revolution against the Qing Dynasty that they died penniless?

Sun

Who knew Sun Yat-Sen Garden was at the exact place his family’s ranch had been in the late 1800s?

Tree

Who knew there would be huge poinsettia trees, absolutely covered with monarch butterflies?

Veg 2

Who knew there would be the most naturally shaped vegetation there?

Veg 1

Who knew there would be the most unnaturally shaped vegetation there?

From here it was off to the south coast. If you have travelled the highlands of Scotland or the coast of Cornwall or Cyprus, these places looked and sounded eerily familiar.

 

Next up – the road FROM Hana, Surfer Dude, the advantages of getting up in the middle of the night and much, much more!

The Shoe Blog

Remember Charleigh (L.) and Rylie (R.)?

Very very cool girls!

Very very cool girls!