Thursday, January 13, 2011

Back to reality

When we boarded the plane in Maui to return home the temperature was 82 degrees and when we arrived home in Portland it was 28 degrees.  Reality sucks! MeMa and I had a wonderful time over the holiday, we missed the Little Terrorists and the dogs but it was glorious to be away from all the responsibilities of home and work.  All was not smooth though, but then paradise wouldn't be paradise if the transition was without hurdles.
For starters our flight from Portland was delayed two hours, so add that to the fact that we got to the airport two hours early made for a very leisurely breakfast once we got through security. As airports go, Portland's is very nice.  The flight was wrought with turbulence and half an hour into the flight the young gentleman behind us got quite ill all over the back of our seats and the blanket that I quickly threw over our heads.  The stewardess graciously took it from me and returned with a fresh one.  So we had the smell to deal with all the rest of the trip.
It was raining when we arrived on Maui, but at least it was a warm rain.  Our first stop after picking up the rental car was Costco, conveniently located across the road from the airport. They had my single malt Scotch for a very reasonable price, my shopping was done but willingly pushed the cart while MeMa purchased things like prepared salads, sun screen, orange juice.....such a practical woman.  Then it was off to Sugar Beach Resort were we had a lovely beach front condo on the third floor.
Living room with double doors onto the lanai, which we kept open day and night.

Third floor looking down on the pool area
The view from our lanai
Our second day MeMa had booked a tour to the "Road to Hana" which was done in a twelve passenger mini bus.  I recommend this tour over anything else.   I have double vision in my peripheral so MeMa would have been the driver had we not taken the tour.  Half hour into the narrow switchback roads with single lane bridges every few miles we would have had to turn around and not completed the trip.  Our driver and tour guide Tim was fantastic and reciting the history of every landmark and waterfall as though he lived during those ancient times.  The tour also included a catered breakfast and a very nice hot lunch at a flower farm.

Our first photo on the tour "Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees"

One of many waterfalls

Poinsettia tree

Ten of the cutest little piggies on Black Sand Beach

Half drowned but so much fun! We were the only two from the bus that made the hike down to the "Seven Pools"
Can you tell which one is real?
After arriving back to the resort we had a a relaxing meal and watched the sunset.

That night we had record rainfall, and when I stumbled out of bed to start the coffee I smelled dirt!

I looked out to see chocolate brown waves and I could no longer see the sand because of all the debris.  The rains had washed all the debris into the culverts which then drain into the ocean leaving it brown as far as you could see.  And that is the way our beach remained the rest of our stay.  The good thing was that it was just in our area so we could drive five minutes either direction and have clean beaches and blue water.

Regardless of the weather we started out with, Maui was wonderful and we plan on a return trip although probably not over Christmas. Here are some shots of how they decorate there.

Christmas tree with plumaria blossoms

My favorite....wood carving of a Humpback Whale

We also went on a sunset whale cruise, drinks and pupu's  provided.

Happy cruisers

Our first visitors turned out to be a mother, her calf and an escort.
When the humpbacks visit the Islands they don't feed, they are only there to breed and give birth.

"Spy Hop" using his head like a periscope to check us out
When we make a trip to the Islands I always plan on bringing home some new orchid to add to my collection so we planned a trip to "Fragrant Orchids of Maui".  MeMa says this was her favorite day which surprised the heck out of me because she usually rolls her eyes when it comes to my orchids.  The nursery was out in the middle of the rain forest on roads that probably confuse even a resident, but with a few turn backs we managed to get there.  As we stood at the gate one couldn't help but notice the complete lack of man made noise, all you could hear were the sounds of nature.  I then noticed growing in the trees next to the gate several orchids. Stepping forward to get a better look, I bumped the gate and out of nowhere arrived a band of barking dogs.  Being the dog people we are they didn't bark long before they all turned into a mass of wiggling overgrown puppies all vying for our attention.  The owner soon appeared down the garden path so I apologized for turning her guard dogs into puppies to which she said, "Oh no worries, they are just door bells."  We were then shown the way to the orchid house.

In truth I could have gone home with dozens of orchids but I have decided that since my collection is so large that I should limit myself to one new one every time we visit the Islands.....a good plan? I immediately found my orchid .......

Catlaya 'Burana Beauty'

But then the eye roller saw the orchid of her dreams......
Dendrobium 'spectabile' a very unusual species orchid native to Ghana
I would also like to point out that my orchid only cost $15.00 and Mema's cost $50.00.....excuse me while I roll my eyes.


  1. A beautiful place indeed, a true paradise....

  2. What a fabulous trip, Doc.

    Someday...I plan to try my hand at orchids. Are you guys getting the storms they are talking about on the TV? They look pretty bad.

  3. That looks like a wonderful vacation! Thanks for sharing!I bet you were in plant lovers heaven there,lol!

  4. Welcome back! Glad to hear you had such a great time. :-)
    Obviously you have won Mema over to the way of the orchid. ;-)
    Thanks for sharing all the wonderful photos!

  5. Grouch,
    You should try orchids, you do so well with roses you would be a natural. We had one day of ice but the real storm never happened and the temp today is going to hit 56 degrees, I turned the thermostat down in the greenhouse.

  6. Linda,
    Yep, don't think one orchid counts as "orchid fever" but its a start.

  7. Looks like you had a wonderful time. I am always amazed at how beautiful the poinsettia is in it natural state. In Encinitas CA, close to us they have the Paul Ekes poinsettia farm where much of what is sold at Christmas time comes from. I think I prefer the natural tree that you show in the picture. Thank you for stopping in at my blog today. We had such beautiful weather today, much different than last week.

  8. The orchids you came home with are breathtakingly beautiful...I would love to try and grow an orchid! Your trip sounds absolutely fabulous...the view from your condo...stunning! Thanks for sharing and for all the wonderful photos!

  9. Such a beautiful place to visit, and the flowers spectacular.
    Love the views from your condo, it surely refreshes your soul to take in those vista's.
    Yep, back to reality :)

  10. Carla,
    Thanks, yes we did have a wonderful time.

    Thanks for your comments and welcome. You should try an orchid they can be very rewarding.

    Thanks for stopping by. I love your blog, you have the ability to make the dreariest weather seem wonderful.