Sunday, July 29, 2012

San Juan getaway part 1

American Camp by Southworth Sailor
American Camp, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

The trip began with an early wake up to join the commuters on the 6 am ferry in order to catch the 9am Anacortes ferry. Our van made the line in time, but Bjorn was three cars short; so he stayed to wait for the 12pm ferry, while the rest of us went ahead to Friday Harbor. After shopping and being joined by Bjorn for lunch we checked the recent whale activity at Lime Kiln before settling in the rental house at the golf course. We were surprised to find great accommodations including plenty of beds for everyone. Esther’s supper of Jambalaya was enjoyed while we waited for Markus ad Steph to arrive. Saturday morning we went to American Camp and Bjorn started Ada on her junior ranger badge with a scavenger hunt. After lunch we went to Lime Kiln Park and were fortunate to see the L pod come by. They were not as close as three years ago when we saw the super pod, but it was still exciting. We met Jeff and Peter Johnson at Roche Harbor who had a bucket full of crabs for us. Before leaving Roche Harbor, Bjorn convinced us to hike to the Mausoleum which was an unexpected surprise. Supper was hosted by Steph assisted by Markus. She prepared a Sri Lankan feast of chicken tikka massala, red lentil dahl, sambal and raita. We were invited to use our fingers to eat in Sri Lankan style. Ruby fit right in of course. The younger set finished the evening at a ball dance at English Camp while the grandparents and granddaughters settled in for the night.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Markus - a quarter century

We enjoyed the day Saturday with Markus and Calvin. After a morning key chasing adventure, Markus came over to Southworth. We played a foursome of tennis. The old folks had the youngsters scared with a 2-0 lead, but youth prevailed and the sons defeated the parents 6-4. We ended the day with a dinner at Bremerton Bar and Grill and Mississippi mud pie at home. Markus is still appreciating his job at Garden City Group law firm. The future is somewhat tenuous as contracts come and go, but his hard work has been noticed and he has a lead position. He is experiencing some of the challenges of being a supervisor over less than conscientious co-workers.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Small Boat Paradise - Puget Sound

good sailing by Southworth Sailor
good sailing, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

The afternoon sun and breeze was too much to pass by. I spent the afternoon sailing around Blake Island and skirting the shoreline of Yukon Harbor. It was great sailing. I was surprised at the lack of sailing and overall boating that I witnessed in Hawaii. The only boats that I saw on the water were commercial tour boats-- no fishermen, yachts or stink pots. I first attributed it to the strong winds that seem to develop every afternoon. I wouldn't enjoy being out on a small boat. Another factor may be the lack of mooring availability. But I would still expect to see some small trailerable boats out on the water. Paddle boards abounded, but I saw very few kayaks. What I thought would be a boater's paradise turned out to be a desert. The good thing is that it makes me appreciate the small boat paradise we do have on the Puget Sound. This afternoon I made it count.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hawaii day 11

Our final day in Hawaii. We got up at four to make our sunrise bush plane ride back to Honolulu via Molokai. We were once again treated to a spectacular flight along the world's highest sea cliffs. Arriving in Honolulu at 8:30 am and not leaving until 10 pm, we decided that we needed to do something. Fortunately, we could check in our bags and get a boarding pass. Then we hopped on the city bus to downtown and Waikiki. We spent the day browsing beach and boulevard. It was a fitting way to end our time in Hawaii. We caught an evening bus back to the airport and our overnight flight to San Francisco and then Seattle.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hawaii day 10

The last lava flows on Maui were in the 18th century, but when you drive and walk through Ahihi Kinau Reserve, it looks like yesterday. There is some beautiful scenery down near La Perousa Bay, and if Esther were feeling better, we would have liked to hike more. We also strolled on a much different path by the high end resorts in Wailea. By late afternoon, we were overheated and some shaved ice with ice cream and three different flavors from Loco Boys really hit the spot. Tonight we are preparing for our marathon trip home beginning at 4 am:)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Hawaii day 9

Lahaina sunset by Southworth Sailor
Lahaina sunset, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

Esther has not been able to shake off a cough and slight fever this whole week, so this morning we went to a doctor. He diagnosed it as bacterial bronchitis and gave her some antibiotics. She is feeling a little better, but still not up to par. It's so hard being sick on vacation! She found the strength to do a little window shopping in Pa'ai and Lahaina. She found a special necklace and we enjoyed the sunset.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Hawaii day 8

on the road to Hana by Southworth Sailor
on the road to Hana, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

Every serious visitor to Maui is expected to take the 'road to Hana.' It is a windy (and windy) fifty miles skirting cliffs on the very wet Northeastern shore of the island. Lot's of traffic with one lane bridges to share with oncoming vehicles. True to form, during the whole trip we experienced different forms of drizzle. We stopped at a few waterfalls but didn't take any serious hikes. The weather didn't make the pools too enticing to enter; and the National Park made sure that we didn't enter the ones that did look inviting. After the long trip back to the dry side, we enjoyed the poolside sun at the condo for a couple of hours before sunset. Dinner was at a Hawaiian take out that had high recommendations.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hawaii day 7

Haleakala rises 10,000 ft from the sea in the distance of a couple of miles. Looking at the cloud shrouded mountain from West Maui, it doesn't seem that tall. This morning we drove to the top. We opted out of the sunrise experience and the downhill bicycle adventure. The ring of clouds was quickly put below as the road switchbacked up the mountain. The volcanic landscape is very barren. The temperature drop to the low 60s and we put sweatshirts on. Many of the surrounding islands were blocked from view by the clouds, but we did get a glimpse of Hawaii. We took our time as we meandered down the 'upcountry' towns. Esther found a lavender farm to stop at, and we ate lunch in historic Makawao. We headed back to the condo and I ran 5 miles on the beach before enjoying homemade supper on our deck. Esther is still not feeling up to par, battling a cold and cough:(

Hawaii day 6

Getting an early start, we drove to Lahaina. The historic town is filled with shopping, galleries and restaurants. After a couple of hours, we headed north to drive the West Maui north shore. We stumbled on Honolua Bay and decided to get out the snorkeling gear. After a picnic lunch on the rocky beach, we put on the gear and headed for the snorkeling boats, since they probably know where the good spots are. We were a little disappointed in the amount of fish. (Maybe were were spoiled from our Florida experience) It was still enjoyable and a nice break from walking and driving. We continued on the highway as it became more remote and changed into a one lane road with no guard rails and some steep cliffs. The highlight was the village of Kahakuloa. The remote village seemed pretty much the same as it might have been fifty years ago. Once back at the condo, we took a walk on the beach before getting supper.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hawaii day 5

condo deck by Southworth Sailor
condo deck, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

Esther had a fit full night of sleep battling a fever; along with a headache this morning. We laid low this morning and enjoyed the condo. We enjoyed the deck, watching canoe races just beyond the crashing surf. We even got a little too much sun lounging on the front lawn. By afternoon, Esther was feeling a lot better, so we ventured out to explore the Kihei area and get some lunch at Fred's Mexican Cafe. Great food. BTW much to my Apple chagrin, we are using Android 'Places' app to find all the info we need for food and sites. In the late afternoon, we explored the I'ao Valley with it's luscious vegetation and steep cliffs. I ended the evening with a three mile barefoot beach run at dusk/dark-- a new experience which I enjoyed very much.

Hawaii day 4

Arizona Memorial by Southworth Sailor
Arizona Memorial, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

One of the reasons that we made sure that we spent some time on Ohau was so that we could go to Pearl Harbor. Hoping that the crowds waiting for USS Arizona tickets would be fewer on Monday morning, we waited until the last morning of our stay in Ohau. With an early start, we were fortunate and got tickets for a morning tour. We enjoyed the whole Pearl Harbor museum. With all goals for Ohau accomplished, we headed for the airport on the early side. We ended up waiting all afternoon for our island hopper. We knew we were in for an adventure when the ticketing agent was gone for plane detail. We had no idea when we booked the tickets, that Pacific Wings was basically a 'bush plane' We watched all afternoon while plane after plane of other travelers boarded big prop planes for Maui, while we waited for what we weren't too sure of. The departure time came and went with no sign of a plane. The nine passengers assembled at the gate started rolling their eyes. Finally, the pilot and copilot (aka baggage and flight crew) ushered us down the tarmac to a small well used single engine Cessna. We were each given specific seats based on our weight. Yes, we gave the ticket agent our body weight. The flight ended up being a real joy as the plane stopped at Molokai and then flew low along the cliffs to Maui. (Check out some of the pics on my flickr link above) We found 'our condo' easily and we are settling into it this evening, listening to the loud crashing of waves.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Hawaii day 3

Dukes with Ray by Southworth Sailor
Dukes with Ray, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

Today we got a good taste of Ray's world. We went to church with him at Unity Church of Hawaii. Needless to say, we were out of our comfort zone. We took some time to drive up in the mountains above Honolulu. It is amazing how fast the vegetation changes. Within a mile and we were in serious rain forest. There was a great overlook. We also toured the government area of Honolulu and caught some historic sights. We ended the day with a visit to Dukes on Sunday. Ray and his friends rock out each week at a beachside bar--a real change of pace from Southworth! We had dinner with Ray at a Uncle Bo's near his house. Excellent meal.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Hawaii day 2

Diamond Head by Southworth Sailor
Diamond Head, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

Today we pretty much stuck around Honolulu. We wanted to play tennis with Ray first thing in the morning but we kind of got rained out by a shower. We went to a farmers market which was packed with people finding their Saturday breakfast. Then after sweeping the courts dry, we played some tennis. After lunch at Ray's we hiked Diamond Head with thousands of other tourists. We managed to find a Goodwill where Esther found a bunch of summer clothes. Then we drove to the windward side on the Pali Highway and ate dinner at a tasty cafe. We ended the evening on the Waikiki strip where Ray showed us his hangouts.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Hawaii day 1

windward Ohau by Southworth Sailor
windward Ohau, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

Last night we landed in Honolulu just after dusk. The twilight and lights of the island as we landed gave an added touch of enchantment. After renting a car, we found Ray's house quite easily. He is a great host and it is a great house just blocks from Waikiki beach. Today Esther and I did the usual Bulthuis thing and tried to cram the whole island into one day. We pretty much drove the entire island and stopped at a few places. True to form, the windward side was cloudy with occasional rain and the leeward side was sunny. We had two meals with lots of local color and got in the water twice. We ended the day with a nice conversation with Ray.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

The Fourth in Paradise

lunch at Paradise by Southworth Sailor
lunch at Paradise, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

Today the weather finally broke free to celebrate the Fourth of July. We went with Calvin and Sassa to Paradise at Mt. Rainier. There was a lot of snow, so there weren't too many hiking opportunities. So we took the short hike to the Nisqually Glacier overlook. On our way home we couldn't find any good restaurants open, so we went home and Calvin and Sassa prepared a delicious Japanese curry dish. Tomorrow begins our Hawaii adventure!

Monday, July 02, 2012

A family weekend

This weekend we were able to connect with the family. We missed Steph who was connecting with her scattered family, But Markus, Bjorn, Jenny, Ada, Ruby, Calvin and his girlfriend, Sassa all came to Southworth. We hung around, showed Sassa around Port Orchard and ate several delicious meals,The girls really enjoyed Sassa; and though the time was short, it was sweet. Esther is still rapping up things at work, so it is pretty hectic trying to prepare for our upcoming trip to Hawaii.