29 December 2010

Dog Days are Over

I really don't have anything profound to report, however I feel like it has been a while since I just rambled on about a bunch of nothingness so here goes! I have been doing much more running lately, and all of it has been in my VFF's! I must have the most delicate feet in the world because although they are comfortable shoes I ended up with a couple of blisters and the bottoms of my feet were really tender for the first few runs. I am still wearing them without socks and think I will keep it that way.

So far the longest run I have done is 60 minutes while wearing them. I have also done a few 30-40 minute runs and it just keeps getting easier and easier. I do notice some soreness in my calves and the back of my heels that I don't get with normal running shoes but the best part is that my knees haven't felt achy whatsoever- and I have not worn my braces at all! I have been taking the heavy bag boxing class about twice a week and also have started going to an advanced circuit class Friday mornings. And playing soccer of course!

So, about soccer...I have put a lot of thought into this and as far as I can tell I have two options for soccer during my marathon training. Either I quit playing for 18 weeks or I play goalie. Yes, you read that correctly, I am seriously considering playing goalie for my indoor coed league! There is just no way I can continue playing Friday night games and then doing my long training runs Saturday morning if I want to be successful in my marathon. But I figure as goalie I am not doing all the running and stop/go motions that increase injury rates. Our current session has 3 games left and the last one just happens to be the Friday before my training will begin (January 31st).  So I have a bit of time to decide and hopefully try playing goalie to see how I like it.

I also realized that my running playlist was actually starting to annoy me! I was getting tired of hearing the same songs over and over so I spent some time making a new one the other night. I still need to come up with some more good running tunes so if anyone has a great song let me know!

Our family enjoyed a really nice Christmas this year.  We spent some time with my mom and my brother and his family on Christmas Eve.  She cooked homemade lasagna (my favorite) and it was a really nice evening.  Chrismas day we were able to spend at home.  We had about 16 people over and I made brunch for everyone.  We played games and the kids were able to enjoy all of their new presents.  Dinner that night was mellow and we were able to spend it with Will's brother before he headed back to Boise to live.  It was perfect.

However, I am looking forward to starting a new year. I gave up on weighing myself and checking my body fat for now. I just really don't want to know and figure I will start fresh on January 1st. Why torture myself right??? So I have been avoiding the scale at the gym but promise to get back to business next week. I am currently working on my New Year's resolutions and will have a list for you this weekend. If anyone out there is looking for some ideas here is one for you- join me at the North Olympic Discovery Marathon on June 5th, 2011!!! There is a race distance for everyone- a 5k, 10k, half marathon and full. Check it out, it is a beautiful area and what a great resolution- running!!!! http://www.nodm.com/

I will leave you with my current song obsession, enjoy!

19 December 2010

Chasing Santa!

After the race, feeling pretty good!
When I woke up yesterday morning I just knew it would be raining.  How did I know that?  Well, because I was signed up to run a race- and that means it will rain that day!  Cynthia and I, along with a couple of other friends (Ray and Eric) were all heading downtown Tacoma to run the Santa Runs Tacoma 5k race.  I was really excited since this was my first race since September 26th when I ran the You Go Girl half marathon (yep, rained then too!).

I got all decked out in my fancy costume and waited for Cynthia to arrive at my house.  And magically by the time she arrived the rain had stopped!  We got really lucky because the weather held out and the sun even made an appearance towards the end of the run!  We made our costumes last week and I think they turned out pretty cute- we were snowflake girls!  We had a ton of comments on them, and I also got plenty about my shoes since I wore my Vibram's.

Cynthia, Ray and I post race
I knew I wanted to set a PR on this course- it was the same as the very first race I ever did last March for the St. Patty's Day run.  I decided to skip the ipod and just tune into my body and push myself as hard as I could.  We started off strong and Cynthia, Eric and I all stayed together for the first couple of miles.  I kept pushing the pace a bit faster as we got closer to the end and Eric fell back a bit.  Cynthia and I stayed together and were able to hold hands as we crossed the finish line.  This will probably be the last race we do together for a while.  Of course we had to pass our token runner at the very end- this time a fellow snowflake girl!

I felt great during the whole run, my feet didn't fatigue in my VFF's like they had the previous week so that made me happy.  And the best part?  My time was AWESOME!  Overall this was one of the most fun races I have done yet!

My Stats:
Total Time- 27:52
Pace- 8:59
Female (my age group)- 16/91
Female (overall)- 90/619
Overall- 230/934

Ready to head out the door!

14 December 2010

Runner Girl is Back!

So I have officially ended my break from running.  I have just missed it too much to wait any longer so I will try to run somewhere between 15-20 miles each week leading up to January 31st.  At that point I will begin my 18 week training plan to prepare for my very first marathon!  I decided to run the North Olympic Discovery Marathon on June 5th 2011.  This particular race makes the most sense to me for a variety of reasons.

I think the part I like best is running the same race from my New Year's resolution last year- only doubling it!  I also love the location, it is very pretty and peaceful up in the Sequim/Port Angeles area.  The weather is guaranteed to be mild, the race is well organized with tons of awesome volunteers.  And I have at least two friends who will be running the half version with me, so that is an added bonus.  I am going to attempt to recruit a few more, so we will see what happens.   If you are even slightly interested in joining me (running or cheering me on!) here is the website- www.nodm.com

I have decided to follow the Hal Higdon training plan for my marathon.  Right now I am reading his book Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide and it is very interesting and informative.  He is in his 80's and still running marathons- that is amazing!  It is an 18 week program so that means it will officially start on January 31st for me.  I am so excited, I cannot wait to be back on a training plan.  I know, what is wrong with me right?  I am just one of those people who need a PLAN!  Tell me what to do, then I will go do it- it makes my life so much easier.  And there is just something so satisfying about saying "I'm training for a marathon" to people!

I ran for 40 minutes in my VFF's today on my treadmill.  I ran slowly on purpose, I just don't want to do too much too fast and end up in the same boat as before (injured).  But I still expected it to be somewhat difficult to run for that long- that maybe I would feel out of breathe or something like when I very first started running.  But nope, it was like I had never stopped, I didn't even break out in a sweat from the pace I made myself keep (10:30 or so).  I should know myself better than that, I sprint up and down the soccer field every Friday and feel good doing that.  It is so true what they say about it being a mental game! 

I attached my Nike+ sensor to the top of the shoe with a velcro strap I bought and it seemed to work great at picking up my pace.  I decided to continue with the Nike+ for now since it is my only option but also because I want to complete my first full year of running with it so I can have all of my data in one spot.  January 14th, 2011 will mark my one year anniversary of running, and what an amazing year it has been!  Life changing- I have seriously become a different person.  Running long distances has taught me things about myself I never knew I was capable of.  I am so excited for the next leg of my journey to begin!  Runner Girl is BACK!!!!

10 December 2010


Warning:  I am about to do a bit of venting!  I apologize in advance if anyone is offended.

So a couple of nights ago I was sitting with some friends/acquaintances chatting.  We got on the subject of exercising and how often we all go to the gym.  All of a sudden one of the men (who I actually don't know that well) says "so the three skinniest people here are the ones who never go to the gym!" and everyone kind of looked around and agreed it was true.  And almost joked about it like it was funny or cool.  Ok, now out of the six of us sitting there not one of us is what I would consider to be overweight.  Three of them just happen to be naturally skinny.  But that isn't the part that really bothered me. 

What bothered me was the insinuation that being skinny is the same as being healthy.  Like it is somehow ok to not exercise and eat junky food because you won't gain any weight.  I know for a fact that the three "skinny" people at that table have terrible eating (and drinking) habits and they are only skinny because they were lucky enough to have good genetics.  Not one of them ever sets foot into a gym and probably think running a mile is an impossible task.  That is not my idea of a healthy person.  Just because somebody is thin does not automatically mean they take care of their body!

It is just frustrating that as much effort as I apply to eating right and exercising it didn't seem to matter at that moment.  Because I am not "skinny".  Well, I have news for you people- I don't want to be skinny!  I just want to be healthy, toned and fit.  I would much rather have an average sized, athletic looking body than be skinny.  So there.  And now I am done with my ranting and raving.

Yesterday morning I headed off to the gym wearing my VFF's (of course).  I think I was feeling a tad guilty for taking a rest day the day before so I started off doing 15 minutes on the stairclimber, then did my 60 minute boxing class...then set off outside to do a 2 mile run!!!  The run was amazing, it was the first time I had really ran in my Vibram's and it felt really good. 

My gym doesn't have a track so I ran around the building (each lap is almost 1/4 mile) 9 times.  I ran slowly and focused on my form- no ipod, no tracking device- just me and my mind.  Boy have I missed running!!!  I was in heaven just running those silly laps, getting all muddy because parts are not paved and it had been pouring rain all morning.  I can't wait to get back to those longer runs- where it is just ME.  My thoughts, my body, my breathing.  To me, that is a little piece of heaven.



06 December 2010

Cold Feet

So my intention for the last week has been to go outside and run completely barefoot in an attempt to strengthen my feet.  I have been doing some research on how to ease into minimalistic running and that was a suggestion that made sense to me.  Run only as far as your bare feet can tolerate so you don't overdo it.  I just couldn't quite get myself to get out the door though, especially when I remembered my walk from last week!   

I went for a 2 mile walk in my VFF's last Thursday afternoon around Wright Park- it was a beautiful, crisp day and I took advantage of a free hour before work.  As I wandered through the park, talking to squirrels and people watching I realized that my toes were pretty cold.  Then they became painfully cold...then numb and I couldn't feel them anymore.  They were like little frozen sticks.  I am not a fan of being cold! 

I didn't buy socks to wear with my Vibram's because they felt too "bunchy" when I tried them on.  I might be willing to get past that if it means I can retain sensation in my toes when I am outside!  It also might make a difference when I am actually running too- I wasn't exactly generating any extra body heat just walking.  I guess I will find out soon enough.

So I compromised with myself and did my barefoot run on my treadmill this morning.  I did a 10 minute walking warm-up, a 10 minute run then a 5 minute cool down.  All while just wearing some socks!  It was such a cool sensation to run barefoot.  You can feel every time you break form or step down heavy and correct it with the next step you take.  I think I am going to enjoy this new way of running a lot.  I will be adding 5 minutes to each run this week, then next week I will switch to the VFF's and should be able to start doing longer distances.

I have officially put a race on my calendar.  I will be running the 2010 Santa Runs Tacoma- Frosty's 5K on December 18th.  It will be my first race in my VFF's so that is exciting!  Cynthia is running with me and we are going to be dressing up.  We haven't picked our costume yet but we have a few ideas.  I can't wait!  This is the longest I have gone between races since June! 

The holidays are in full swing at our house!  We put our tree up a couple of weekends ago and decorated our gingerbread house.  I somehow managed to get Christmas cards addressed and in the mail today.  I haven't started my shopping yet- I probably need to get on that!  I love driving around and seeing all the pretty lights and listening to the kids ooohhs and aaaahhs over them.  I also love watching old holiday movies and listening to Christmas music.  The holidays are a hectic time, just remember to actually take time to enjoy them!     

I will leave you with a picture of a lego vehicle my daughter built the other day.  I especially like the 4 heads on the back with a walkie talkie in the middle.  She explained to me that they were "extras".  Oh good, you never know when you might need an extra head!  And don't forget the 4 extra bodies too.   Just in case.

01 December 2010

King Of Anything

So today was technically my next 4 week check-in day for my weight loss/body fat analysis. I decided to give myself a break and wait 2 more weeks. So I will be doing a 6 week check in on December 15th instead.  I have been enjoying this song right now so thought you might want to have a listen.  I love Sara Bareilles.  And this song is awesome.  Happy December!!!! 

30 November 2010

Some Random Musings

So over the weekend I started realizing that my patience level was much lower than usual.  I just didn't really feel like my cheerful self and couldn't quite put my finger on what was wrong with me.  I was edgy and bored yet had no motivation to really do anything.  Except cook apparently- suddenly I found myself cooking a turkey, fresh cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes (I didn't cook on Thanksgiving this year).  Then I started a huge crock pot of soup for Sunday dinner!   

Finally it dawned on me what my problem was- I hadn't worked out properly for 3 weeks!  No wonder I was grumpy, exercise makes me feel so much better in so many ways.  Luckily we had a drop in soccer clinic to go to Saturday night and I knew that Monday I would get back into my workout routine.  So that made me feel a little better. 

And today I feel tons better- soccer on Saturday night was really fun.  It was just a drop in session (coed indoor) but it was nice to kick the ball around- and my team won 3 games in a row!  Yesterday I hit the gym (in my Vibram's) and did my 20 minutes on the stair climber and then kind of went crazy and did a huge strength workout.  I made sure I included lots of stretching and abs too.  Today I went to beat boxing class, which is always a really good workout.  It is amazing how much core work is involved when you punch a bag for an hour.  So I am back in the swing of things and couldn't be happier! 

I will also incorporate some running this week in a strange way- I have been reading up on some ways to strengthen my feet before really running long distances in my VFF's.  Check back in a few days and I will let you know how it goes!  It involves carrying my shoes rather than wearing them.  I hope nobody tries to have me committed!

I also wanted to share something off of a postcard I bought in Maui that made me smile when I read it:

Maui Rules
1. Never judge a day by the weather
2.  The best things in life aren't things
3.  Tell the truth- there's less to remember
4.  Speak softly and wear a loud shirt
5.  Goals are deceptive- the unaimed arrow never misses
6.  He who dies with the most toys- still dies
7.  Age is relative- when you're over the hill, you pick up speed
8.  There are 2 ways to be rich- make more or desire less
9.  Beauty is internal- looks mean nothing
10.  No rain- no rainbows

And last but not least I have several birthdays that I missed throughout the month.  I didn't forget, just have been a little bit busy!  If you wonder why I bother doing this it is because I want the people in my life to know why they are there!  People these days forget to tell their loved ones how important they are to them.  And who doesn't want to be appreciated???  So here goes, hopefully I don't miss anyone!

Happy Birthday to Niko (October 28th).  My favorite things about him
1.  He has the best smile, and even better hugs
2.  He has the ability to figure out any video game without any explanation
3.  He is very particular.  About everything.  And stubborn- he knows exactly what he wants
4.  He is not shy and will have an elaborate conversation with anyone
5.  He is very athletic and coordinated.  And oddly strong for a 5 year old

Happy Birthday to my dad (November 1st).  My favorite things about him
1.  He is very caring, easy going and loving
2.  He can fix nearly anything
3.  He does not know how to work a computer- nor does he have any desire to
4.  He loves camping and every summer when I was a kid that was our vacation- 2 weeks of camping
5.  He has a great laugh and a good sense of humor

Happy Birthday to my friend Meredith (November 8th).  My favorite things about her
1.  She is an amazing teacher and does so much for her students
2.  She is fun to work with- Sunday mornings aren't the same without her!  And our customers love her.
3.  She is easy to talk to and willing to lend a hand or ear anytime I need it
4.  She is going to be a fantastic mom in a few months
5.  She loves animals, and was a huge help when I brought Casey home from the Humane Society

Happy Birthday to my brother-in-law Gene (November 16th).  My favorite things about him
1.  He has served our country for 21 years in the military
2.  He has a great sense of humor
3.  He is a neat freak and always keeps everything very tidy
4.  He is very smart and always taking classes to improve himself
5.  He keeps a well stocked bar and has a deep love for Coors Light and BBQ's.  And he makes the best chicken ever.

Happy Birthday to my friend Scott (November 30th).  My favorite things about him
1.  He is one of my oldest friends.  We met somewhere around 1st grade.  His mom was our recess duty.
2.  He is a great dad
3.  He is very funny and just a bit sarcastic
4.  He has a cool job and gets to travel to Japan for 5 months
5.  He married his high school sweetheart Sarah and they have been married for 10 years

Whew!  I think I am all caught up.  Don't forget to tell the people in your life that you are glad they are there!  Life is pretty lonely without friends and family in it. 

26 November 2010

Hey Runner Girl, Are You Ever Going to RUN????

Ok, back to reality in Tiffanyland.  Today is Friday so you know what that means...weigh in day.  But first, lets analyze my last 3 weeks.  Number of times I have been to the gym- 0.  Days I was out of state on vacation, drinking too many mai tai's- 11.  And to top it off, yesterday was Thanksgiving- and dinner was delicious (and so was my favorite part, the pumpkin pie)!!!  I was really nervous to step on that scale.  What if all my previous hard work was for nothing??? 

Friday, November 26th
Total weight (on home scale)- 151.7
***Last weigh in (at the gym)- 152 (11/3)***

Folks, what we have here is a freaking miracle!  I guess I have a pretty good grasp on calorie counting, that is all I can say.  So there you have it- proof you can go on vacation and not gain weight!  Sweet.

I have also started getting questions about my running from people.  When is my next race?  How was running in Hawaii?  Did you run that race while you were there?  So here is the deal.  I have taken a break from running.  The last time I ran was actually October 17th.  I did an 8 mile run and it put me over 500 miles since I started running last January.  My cardio was great the entire run, however my knee was killing me.  And not my usual knee either, but my left knee of all things.  And my right achilles also seemed to keep hurting with every run and soccer game.  I was falling apart!  So I just quietly stopped running and waited for my body to heal. 

So to answer all of those questions, I did not run in Hawaii.  I swam and hiked a lot though.  And I do not have any races on my schedule officially.  I will probably do a Christmas fun run and some other small races that pop up in the next few months.  The sad news is that I am losing my racing partner Cynthia.  At some point in the next month or two she is moving back to Boise (Gene accepted a job there) so I am currently in the market for a new racing buddy.  I am trying not to think about that too much though, it makes me really sad that they are moving.

Cynthia and I about to run our first race together
Here is my main agenda.  I am going to run the North Olympic Discovery Marathon on June 5th, 2011.  I will start my 6 month training program on December 6th and I am going to do all of it in my Vibram Five Fingers.  So the other good part about taking such a big break from running is that I feel like I can start fresh with a new way of running- minimalistic.  Running in VFF's is supposed to decrease injuries and allow for better form.  This week I will wear them around while I exercise and probably around the house just to get my feet used to them.  I am excited to see how this transforms my running.

I have not yet decided on what training program to follow.  I have always used Nike plus, however I am considering getting a Garmin to track my progress instead.  If anyone has some suggestions about a great training program or tracking device let me know!  Tomorrow I am going to play soccer, then Monday back to the gym!  All the crazy snow we had last week threw my workout plans right out the window!!!

25 November 2010

That's a Wrap!

November 19th, 2010
Day 11

Today is our last day in Maui.  As I sit on the balcony and eat my final breakfast while staring at the sun coming up over the ocean I find myself to be happy and sad at the same time.  Such a beautiful and peaceful place this has been, the perfect spot for a family vacation.  We finished the last of our packing (no small chore!) and loaded up the car and we were off.  We checked out around 9am and our flight was at 4:20pm so we had a bit of time to kill.  And of course I had a small list of activities to do!

First on my list was a quick stop at Maui Grown Coffee- I just had to have one more cup of their coffee before we left, specifically the Maui Mokka.  I was not let down, the guy working cheerfully brewed me a fresh pot and I really enjoyed it.  Next on my list was a stop at a viewpoint off of the highway where there is a lot of whale sightings.  We were about 3 weeks early for that, but I thought it would be worth a shot to stop anyways.  Plus it has a pretty view of the only portion of the island we never made it to- Kihei and the south beaches!  It was a bit windy there and the whales were nowhere to be found but it was a great spot to stop and check out the views.

We hopped back in the car and headed towards one of our favorite little towns.  I could not stop thinking about one of the best meals I had on the island and I wanted it one more time before we left- a raw veggie wrap from Mana Foods in Pa'ia!  It might not sound that great but I could honestly eat this every single day, it was that good.  And for $4.75 it was a total bargain, plus it was super healthy.  Even the kids loved this deli- they made themselves a salad from the salad bar, got a pack of sushi to share and split a fruit smoothie (yes, my kids really ARE that weird) and of course Will was in vegetarian heaven there so we were all happy.  I was also able to get my new favorite beverage- I have become somewhat addicted to coconut water while I was here- I will have to find out where I can buy it back home.   http://www.manafoodsmaui.com/

We decided to head a few miles away to one little town we had yet to make it to- Makawao.  As we drove down the road we stopped at a pretty little church with a shrine to Father Damien next to it.  We wandered around and peeked into the church.  There was a local man there who called us over to his truck.  He had buckets of seashells in the back and he gave each of the kids one to take with them.

When we arrived in Makawao I was not overly impressed.  It is in the area considered "upcountry" and coined a cowboy town.  Formerly it was well know for its art galleries and was once considered in the top 25 arts destinations in the United States.  We wandered up and down the main road for a little while and shopped a bit in some of the stores.  My handy dandy guide book told me there was a wonderful bakery to look for so we found that and got a couple of donuts plus some malasadas to take with us on the plane.  Then we hopped back in the car and headed towards the airport.  It was time to say goodbye to Maui and head home.

We dropped off our rental car and hauled all of our stuff to the airport.  Wow, airport security in Kahului is WAY less stressful than Seattle!!!  We got to our boarding gate with plenty of time to spare.  We layered up and changed into more appropriate clothing to arrive at home at 11:30pm.  The kids had magically decided they loved each other at some point during the day so they insisted on sitting together on the plane.  We had them seated in front of us and they did really great.  I let them order their own food and drinks and the flight attendants thought they were adorable.  One of them asked Niko if he wanted some coffee.  He replied "No thank you, I don't drink caffeine!"  That kid kills me, and the attendant got a kick out of it as well.

Jaime picked us up at the airport which was awesome of her considering the time and all, and we finally arrived home around 1am.  It was really nice to be home where everything is familiar and cozy.  Although it was mighty cold!!!  A couple of days after we got home this is what is looked like outside!!!  We went from 82 degrees to 22 degrees- talk about body shock! 

23 November 2010

The Rainbow House

November 18th, 2010
Day 10

Today we had two options for our last full day- go out and explore Kihei and check out the beaches down south, or just hang out around Lahaina and be mellow. I was pushing for Kihei but it was clear that Will was not in the mood to venture very far so I gave in and we found a few things to do in the area. We had not yet visited the MauiGrown Coffee, Inc. or the Ka'anapali Estate Coffee Plantation so that was the first thing on our list.

When we arrived the coffee shop was really nice and the lady working there immediately served us up 4 coffee tastings. We tasted the Peaberry, Lahaina Beach, Lava Flow and French Kiss.  I really enjoyed the coffee -my favorite was the Lava Flow which they also use in their espresso beverages.  We bought a couple different coffees to take home and we headed out to drive through the plantation, which is beautiful. It is nice to support a local farm where all of the beans are grown, harvested, roasted and brewed on site.  http://www.mauigrowncoffee.com/

They are building houses throughout the plantation and we stopped to check out the model home. I would LOVE to live there, it was one of the most amazing houses I have ever seen- in a setting that was so serene it almost seemed to good to be true. Here is a link to it- apparently they call it the Rainbow House!
I honestly would move there without hesitation. If I had a spare 4.5 million dollars in my pocket. Oh well, I can dream right???  I could work for the coffee growers and do all my training runs on the plantation.  Then I could sit in the backyard and hop in the pool when I got warm.  Not that I put too much thought into this little fantasy of mine!

We headed back down to Front Street for some lunch at Cheeseburger in Paradise right down on the water.  We poked around in the old Courthouse and did some people watching on our walk down. Lunch was good and the view was great- I have definitely had better cheeseburgers and mai tai’s though! Our waitress was a kick in the pants- if anyone could sell ice to an Eskimo it would be her.  She was an upselling maniac! 

When we had walked past the Banyan Tree on our way to lunch there had been a young man weaving baskets out of bamboo leaves. We had come across many vendors creating these and I actually really liked them. Devan had her heart set on getting one of the roses they create with them so we stopped back by to find out what his prices were. He said the flowers were free, then handed Niko a fishing pole with a fish on the end made out of bamboo leaves and set about making Devan a flower. He insisted on making me one as well and I also had him make me a small bowl. We chatted with him a bit while he worked and it was obvious he had been doing this his whole life- his dad had taught him. It was a really cool experience.
After that we headed down the street to the old prison that was built in the early 1800’s. The walls were built out of coral and lava rocks and they have signs posted that list the crimes people committed. There were such things as profanity, adultery, furious riding, fornication (the second most popular crime!) and lewd conversation. Places like this fascinate me- just thinking about the events that took place on this very site 150 years ago is so interesting.

We headed back to the condo and hopped in the pool for a bit to cool off. Then reality sunk in- it was time to start getting packed up to head home tomorrow! The weather forecast at home has been crazy- there was a wind storm a few days ago that shut off the power in many places and next week there is the possibility for snow!!! Yikes! Regardless of the weather, I am ready to head home. I miss my family, my friends…and THE GYM!!!

22 November 2010

Another Day in Paradise!

November 17th, 2010
Day 9

This morning we headed down to one of the local beaches for a swim after breakfast. We hung out for about an hour and a half. Niko refuses to go in the ocean- he just plops down and completely entertains himself the entire time by playing in the sand. Devan had an incident 2 days ago where the wave crashed on her and she went under for a second. She got disoriented and it scared her so now she is really afraid to go back in the water. But she got brave and went out in the water with us a few times today. Luckily my sunburn seems to have gone away- still loving my surf shirt!

We headed back to the condo, got cleaned up and headed downtown Lahaina to front street for some lunch at Bubba Gumps. If anyone loves shrimp as much as my daughter does I would be surprised! Lunch was really good and we had a killer view of the ocean as well. After lunch Devan and I went shopping along Front Street and the boys headed back to jump in the pool and do boy things. I wanted to check out Hilo Hatties specifically. What a great store! We wandered up and down the storefronts and enjoyed some girl time. We each got a pearl out of an oyster- mine is gold, Devan’s is much bigger and pink.

The boys came and got us after a few hours and we headed back to the condo. I did a bit of laundry and Devan and I hopped in the pool. I did my 30 minutes of lap swimming again. So to recap, today alone I went in the ocean, washed my hair, went in the pool and then washed my hair again. I guess this is crazy to me because at home I usually go a couple of days between washings (my hair tends to be dry and non greasy). It is getting a lot of attention!  And I haven't touched a hair dryer once since we arrived.

I am starting to get a little bit homesick. Until today I wanted to stay here forever and ever. I think the kids are starting to feel the same way, and they miss our dog. I dare not mention his name in front of Devan for fear she may burst into tears. Tomorrow is our last day here, and it will be a mellow one. Hard to believe it is coming to an end, but I think we will all be ready to get back to reality.  But it sure is beautiful here.

21 November 2010

The Road to Hana

November 16th 2010
Day 8

Much to Will’s dismay I was still determined to head down the road to Hana. I thought it would be a good idea to get out of the sun for a day (for the sake of my skin) and I really wanted to see for myself if the Hana Highway was the “paradise” I keep reading about. He was a good sport and didn’t argue with me- too much anyways. So I didn’t put a rush on the morning, just let everyone get up and mosey about, eat some breakfast and get packed up for the day. Ideally we should have hit the road around 7:30am but I wasn’t going to push my luck. So I think we headed out the door closer to 9:30am-oh well, better late than never right???

We stopped to gas up the car at a Shell station- to the tune of $3.85 per gallon!!! And that was on the lower end of what we had seen other places. Then off we went on our adventure, starting back in Pa’ia. We wandered through a few gift shops then headed to the Hana Picnic Lunch Company for a sack lunch to eat along the way. You need not worry about starving along the road to Hana however- there are little food stands around every turn! We each got a sandwich, fresh cut pineapple, a bag of chips and a cookie. When we got back to the car I reached for my trusty Maui Revealed guidebook- and it wasn’t in the car. It was on the table back at the condo. Uh oh. Now what?

I am one of those people who plan things, research them and follow all directions so I don’t mess up or miss out on anything. I had reread the section on Hana last night, but there was no way I could remember all the secret spots we were supposed to go find!!! Well, there was only one option at that point so we pulled into the local gas station and grabbed the available tourist books there (the free ones) and I decided we would just wing it. Deep down I was totally pissed off at myself but I didn’t want to ruin the day. This would be fun- what an adventure!!!

We stopped at one of the lookouts a couple of miles in and ended up getting some great advice from the girl working there. After I told her I had left my guidebook at home she gave us a map and circled several key things for us to see, told us what to skip and gave us a great tip. If you see something you like, just stop and check it out! There aren’t really any rules on the road to Hana, except to drive slowly and enjoy the views! So that is what we did, we stopped when he saw something interesting. We saw plenty of waterfalls- Will and Devan hopped in a few times. We bought banana bread at 2 local stands that have the “best” in the world and compared them. Both were good- Devan liked the first one best at Aunty Sandy’s and Will and I liked the one from Halfway to Hana.

We saw beautiful landscapes, lush mountainsides and a black sand beach. We took our time and explored- we got in and out of the car about a million times. We ate local apple-bananas and fresh cut coconut. We almost got demolished by a psycho school bus driver around one of the corners. The locals drive so fast down that road it is scary! I really enjoyed the trip and I think Will and the kids did too. Where else can you see such scenery??? It was very surreal and peaceful.

The black sand beach

The beach in Hana
We arrived in Hana right around 5pm, and just like it says- Hana is not the destination, there really isn’t anything there. It's about the journey!  That is a true statement!!! We stayed for a few minutes on the beach there, then headed back down the highway for home. A 5 ½ hour drive there was only 1 ½ hours back! We arrived in Pa’ia hungry so we decided to try The Fish Market restaurant which has great reviews (and we were not let down). Dinner was amazing, we all had fish tacos and they even had our Maui Brewing Co. beers available so it was perfect. We walked across the street for some Ono Gelato and wandered around town a bit more. We got back to the condo around 9:30pm- our trip to Hana had taken us twelve hours!

Oh, and since we had lots of time to chat while we were in the car I decided to check Niko’s understanding of extinction and dinosaurs. Here’s how it went. Me “hey Niko, do dinosaurs eat people?” Niko “yes” (not untrue). Me “so where do dinosaurs live?” Niko- completely serious, “the zoo”. Awesome. Guess I need to go back over that one!

And to top it all off?  Will told me this was one of his favorite days and that he was glad we went on the trip to Hana.  Whew!  It really was a beautiful drive as long as you take time to stop and enjoy all the wonderful things that you find on your way to Hana! 

On the beach in Hana.  Proof that he still loves me!