Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sunrise: Check. Sunset: Check. Ocean Sail: Check.

Tomorrow night we'll board a plane heading back to Seattle (via LA) where we apparently STILL don't have power! Our poor neighbors have been enduring both a freeze and a power outage since the day we arrived in Maui eight days ago! How strange it'll be to go from warm, sunny, glorious weather to freezing cold, dismal weather and no power! But it'll be great to see our pets... and yes, eight days of togetherness will be too much. I think I'm driving my very independent kids nuts!?

We got up at 4 AM this morning and drove from sea level to the 10,000 foot summit of the Haleakala volcano in a matter of an hour and a half. We'd heard that watching the sun rise from Haleakala can be a spiritual experience -- and if it weren't for the 200 other people awaiting said spiritual experience, it might have been. In any case, it was beautiful! And once the sun rose, we could see the baren landscape of a volcano's crater! Incredible!

Instead of heading back to the condo like sane tourists, we split in three different directions once we returned to sea level. Peter and Danelle rented scooters and explored West Maui. Elisabeth, Kat and Aleks headed for Big Beach (where we were rained out earlier in the week). Tom (who celebrates his 51st birthday today) and I went out to lunch at Bubba Gumps, walked around Lahaina (the banyan tree, which fills up one full city block, is amazing!), and thoroughly enjoyed an afternoon sail on the America's Cup II, which we wanted to do last time we were here, but it was cancelled. I grew up on sailboats in the San Francisco Bay, so this was definitely familiar territory! The best part of the excursion, though, was something I couldn't catch on "film" (no, I was able to document the captain's chiseled bod!): a whale, fully breeching out of the water in a magestic jump, very close to the sailboat!! And he happened to be right in that streak of soon-to-be-setting sunlight that lay across the water in front of our boat! Now THAT was a spiritual experience!

We then all met up in Lahaina, where I had some major holiday shopping to do, but got diverted by the second amazing sun event of the day -- sunset from Lahaina! I never got much shopping done, though, because others wanted to get back to the condo. Yup -- too much togetherness! But really, we're doing just fine... still laughing and enjoying ourselves, for the most part.

So now for the sad part -- packing for the trip home. We need to be out of the condo by 11 AM, but our flights (yes, Danelle is flying separately again, but she's on a straight shot to Seattle) don't take off till almost 12 hours later.

Thanks for "sharing" our trip with us, whoever you all are! I hope it hasn't been boring for you. I'll get back to those other boring posts soon... though first I might have some rather interesting storm and holiday posts!


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vailian said...

Wow, what amazing pictures. I think i must plan a Hawaiian holiday, I haven't visited my sister and her family in their new house yet. John was very impressed and envious of the pictures.

christina said...

Thanks for the gorgeous pictures. Looks like Seattle took a beating while you were gone, as did Vancouver. Hope the power's back on by the time you get home!

Heidi on Vashon said...

The "cabana boy" (sailing) is yummy. The definiton...mmm!

I miss seeing the Banyan trees in Hawaii. Glad to see things are going well, Carol! -hw

blackcrag said...

I've been reading your Hawaii adventures, although I haven't commented lately. I'm glad to hear you are all having such a good time.

As for overdosing on the quality time with the kids, it is a family vacation, right? That means you are supposed to spend time together,righ?

No one looks too crazed in the photos, so I think you are doing well in that regard.

I hope you came home to find everything all right with the house. My sister went through the same storms as you, but no damage happenned to the house. I hope you are as lucky.

Merry Christmas!

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