If this is your first time checking out my blog my name is Wray and I am a workaholic. I spent a year applying myself to the art of having fun. It wasn’t always easy but I did it. I know… I know how can that be. I live on Maui, the perfect place for a “sandbox” mentality.
The following postings are proof that I did my best to have fun. One day a week for 52 weeks I took the time to discover the beauty of Maui. Some of the outings I’d do again. Some, once was enough. I’m glad I did it! Maui is amazing! Unfortunately I am still a workaholic.
I hope my postings will help you on your journey of discovering Maui too.
Can’t believe it’s already been four weeks since my last posting. Time flies…and thanks to my sister and brother-in-law, I’m still having fun
Some of you reading this may already be aware that my sister, Robin, and her husband, Ed, surprised me for my birthday. It was a quick trip; they arrived on a Wed (thank goodness the house was pretty clean), and they left the following Monday.
Robin & Ed
But during that time we PLAYED!
With only four full days on Maui, each day was packed.
Apparently while following my blog, Ed realized that he had a “bucket list” and that flying in a glider plane was number one on his list.
The next day Steven joined us and we went up to Piiholo Ranch, in Olinda, for a two-hour horseback ride. Now this is some kind of a record for me, horseback riding twice in one year. Steven says the last time he was on a horse was back in the 1970’s…he’s more into riding waves.
Look at the size of the horses that Ed & Steven rode. Mine looks like a toy :)
Our guide, Lori, was great. Told her that I wanted a small, slow, horse and that’s what I got; & I loved it!
Olinda had been having a lot of rain, so I was a bit concerned what the trails would be like, but the day that we went it was sunny, and there were only a few spots with mud. There are some great views from the trails, not so closed in as when I went riding at the Makawao Forest Reserve.
It was a really fun family day!
The third day we headed over to Wailea; checked out the artist’s displays, had lunch, and did some shopping.
On their last day we finally made it into the ocean. Well, at least Ed and I did. Robin has always been more of a horse kind of gal, than a water babe (unless she’s on a sailboat).
Ed & Wray – Baldwin/Baby Beach
And then the next day they left. As I said, it was a quick trip.
And in the blink of an eye, it was time for Steven and me to get back to work…but, as I’ve always said, Steven and I love what we do, and are grateful we can do it for a living.
Robin & Wray with their father, Cal. circa. a while back :)
A friend recently made me aware that you can tell a persons general age by whether or not their childhood pictures are in color or black-&-white.
Good thing I rather like black-&-white photos.
I still haven’t convinced Steven to do the home improvement blog, but I’m hopeful.
I’d like to thank Robin and Ed for the fun filled days. We really enjoyed the chance to share Maui with them.
Here’s a reminder of some of our adventures – It’s been fun!
Love the song on this video.
Click HERE if unable to view video. Please note that as of 9-14-9012, Paia has discontinued the once a month street fair.
Wray & Steven, Blue Moon Crater Hike
For those of you that have happened onto my blog via YouTube, I am a workaholic, living on Maui, and for the past year I have been learning how to have fun.
After 52 weeks, I have completed my journey, and on this posting is a video sharing many of my assorted adventures.
If you are planning a trip to Maui, or, if like Steven and me, you live here, and you are interested in seeing all there is to do on Maui, you may want to take a couple of minutes to watch the video; as well as check out the rest of the blog for more information.
Looking towards Haiku, Maui
Several people have encouraged me to keep going, to keep having fun every week. My response is that next, I’d like to do a blog on home repairs…but Steven adamantly refuses.
Windmill Farm, West Maui Mountains
But, he has agreed that since there are still things we’d like to do, such as going to Lanai, paragliding, whale watching, etc, we are going to continue having fun, once every four or five weeks. (What can I say, obviously we weren’t cured from being workaholics, and we love what we do.)
So, I guess this isn’t good-bye; we will see you next month.
Mahalo to everyone that joined us on our adventures this past year, as well as to everyone that took the time to view my postings. It meant a lot to me!
Driving up the crater we passed through a layer of clouds that were blanketing Kula, and into the sun, 10,000 feet above Maui.
Up top, the weather was perfect; the sky was clear, the colors from the setting sun were beautiful, and the rising full/blue moon was spectacular!
Happy to have experienced it!
We started our hike on the green dot and ended, it many hours later, on the red dot.
Over the years I have hiked at Haleakala Crater many times; done day hikes, as well as staying at the cabins.
One time I started the hike at Switchback, then crawled up Sliding Sands…I fiercely do not recommend hiking that direction! (I know, who uses the word fiercely, but I really want to make a point.)
Blue Moon Rising
And now, I have finally done my once in a blue moon nighttime hike
Kim, Steven, Wray, Tanya, Jamie, Noah – at the beginning of our journey.
Our trekking tribe consisted of Steven and me, Tanya and Jamie, Kim and Noah.
We started at 4:30 P.M.
About an hour later we bumped into Andy from Edmonton (unfortunately for him, he hadn’t read this blog and he was hiking up Sliding Sands);
Tanya, Jamie & Steven, starting down Sliding Sands
he’d run out of water 5+ miles earlier, and was grateful to learn that Tanya had 100oz of water with her and she was more than willing to give some away, versus carrying it through the crater.
Tanya, and Andy from Edmonton
Our hiking companions were the best! We had the perfect mixture of laughter (very necessary on a hike like this) & silence (also necessary).
Steven and had never seen so many Silverswords.
As you can see, the Silversword plants, found only in Hawai’i, were abundant.
We stopped at the bottom of Sliding Sands for a snack, then again at Holua cabin—where we connected with a group of hikers (they were staying the night at the cabin, hence the name cabin dwellers), and like Andy from Edmonton, they looked like they’d been dropped into the crater to do an ad for the Patagonia catalog; all very nice people, and all very beautiful. (Click the photo & see for yourself. Seriously, they were stunning; originating from Fiji, Australia, Delaware and Haiku.)
Click on the photos to enlarge.
Had dinner…time to head up Switch Back
By the time we reached the bottom of Switchback, it was going on 10:00 P.M., about our bedtime.
We watched as 15 year-old Noah (15 years-old, just wanted to stress that point in self-defense) practically jogged up the hill, with his mom, Kim, close behind; while the rest of us were ready to lie down on the trail and sleep, until the beautiful cabin dwellers came by to wake us on their climb out the next morning.
To bruise our tired egos a bit more, a couple that sounded British came bounding past us; they’d started hiking from Sliding Sands at 7:00 P.M. (if you recall, I posted that we started at 4:30 P.M.); oddly enough, they looked like models too—but I was too tired to take their photo.
Several hours later, Tanya, Jamie, Steven and your’s truly, dragged our bodies to the parking lot, where we found Kim and Noah, wrapped in blankets that we’d left in the truck, shivering, waiting for our arrival.
Noah & Kim tucked into the back of the truck.
Kim said she wasn’t even sure if it was Steven’s truck, but they didn’t care, it was the only one with blankets and they were cold.
Online the temp said the floor of the crater was 49 degrees, and up top, where Kim and Noah had to wait…forever…it was in the high 30’s.
The end of not only a long day, but of my yearlong journey of learning to have fun…and I did :)
Right now, in this moment, Steven and I do not feel we will be making a trek through the crater again.
Over the years, we have done it enough times, and there are other hikes, other places we’d like to experience. Time will tell.
But, if you are up for it, it’s a spectacular hike, and we highly recommend it.
It took us two days to recover from all the fun that we had. Now I can walk up and down our stairs without my calves rebelling.
So, this is it…the end of my yearlong journey. If I never have a day of fun again, at least I know that I’d taken the time to do almost everything on Maui that I’d been missing out on all of these years.
I want to thank Kim, Noah, Tanya, and Jamie for making our trek through the crater so enjoyable; it’s always nice to share the pain with people that are willing to laugh their way through it.
Next week there will be one more posting…just when you thought you were rid of me :)
When the Ocean Center originally opened back in 1998, we were invited to the grand opening. It was a lovely evening; dinner and a hula show, access to all of the sights. Over the years, we’ve been back a number of times, though, like a couple of other outtings we’ve been on this past year, I’m not so sure I’ll be chomping-at-the-bit to return anytime soon.
Jellyfish Tank – very meditative
For us the best part was the shark tank, and the jellyfish. That’s where we spent most of our time.
Was hoping to have seen more seahorses and octopus, they are always inspiring for Steven.
I really love the way Steven’s mind works.
Steve with 150 of his Fish Fantasticos
For those of you that are certified divers, three times a week the aquarium allows two pairs of divers to spend 40 mins swimming with the sharks, stingrays, etc, in the 750,000 gallon tank – I believe it cost about $200.- plus you need your own equipment.
Above video by Pacific Network – if unable to view, click HERE
Hammerhead shark eyeing a little girl through the glass
So our day wasn’t the big adventure we’d been planning, but it was still enjoyable.
Have to admit, I’m grateful we got a kama’ainas (locals) discount to the aquarium. If you are visiting on Maui and have children…and are tired of hanging out at the beach, it’s a fun diversion.
Just know it’s also rather pricey.
The aquarium is right next door to the miniature golf, so you can always combine the two activities.
Okay…if you’ve been following my blog, you know that next weeks adventure is #52, and the last of my weekly adventures in learning how to have fun. During this past year, Steven and I have realized it can be a lot of work having fun, and for us, a lot of fun working.
Yes! I finally made it to Red Sand Beach in Hana. Though in reality there is no sand, so I don’t understand why it’s not called Red Pebble Beach.
Michelle, Monika, & Wray at Honomanu Bay
On the drive we stopped at Honomanu Bay…of course I’d never been there. We didn’t stay long, wanted to get back on the road to Hana.
Steven & Robert, Honomanu Bay
Steve goes to Honomanu Bay, from time to time to surf, and our friend Peter suggested we hike from there, up the streambed to the waterfall. (Sorry Peter, I checked it out and it just didn’t look like it would be fun.)
But I loved Red Sand Beach!
We had a great time with our friends, Monika, Robert and Michelle. The hike down wasn’t bad at all.
After the hike to the Na’ili’ili-haele Waterfalls, I was anticipating climbing down a sheer cliff and swing from a rope.
There were a few slippery parts where you had to hold onto roots of trees and guide yourself down, but otherwise, even wearing beach walks it was very doable.
Red Sand Beach, Hana Maui
We were some of the first people to arrive; eventually there were maybe 16-20 people.
Lava rocks shelter the beach from the sea
The rock formations were dramatic. Didn’t expect it to be so beautiful, which is saying a lot, being that I live on Maui.
Afterwards we headed off to try the Café Romanticathat our friends, Rayne and Mark, have so highly recommended.
Nutcharee’s Authentic Thai Food – open for lunch only
It was EXCELLENT! The prices were great and the staff lovely (they serve lunch only). I highly recommend it if you are heading to Hana. It is located 5050 Uakea Rd, Hana, Hawaii 96713; you can Google it for directions.
Someday…can’t say when, but I assume during this lifetime, I will return to Red Sand Beach.
Robert & Monika
Can you believe it, two days of fun to go & my year will be up.
Due to a glitch with our Wifi, there has been a five-day delay in posting last week’s blog; the cable company showed up today, so here I am back online sharing, with any willing readers, about our recent outing.
The last time I was at the Tedeschi Winery, this was the tasting room.
Steven and I headed up to Ulupalakua and the Tedeschi Winery; located on the southern slope of Haleakala Crater, where our friend, artist Tim Garcia has been giving new life to the remains of a group of trees, known as the Hula Circle that reside in front of the wineries tasting room.
This past winter a storm passed through the area, transforming the majestic circle of trees and giving birth to their new incarnation.
Apparently, by a matter of just minutes, we missed an impromptu blessing of the land and project, preformed by Manu Lono, one of the original dancers at the Merrie Monarch Festival (named in honor of the Merrie Monarch, King Kalakaua).
Manu Lono and her friend had flown over from Oahu, along with singer/musician Gary Kalei Medeiros, from Seattle, to tour around the islands power spots. Would love to have been their to witness the blessing, but was moved by Tim’s words of awe and delight over his experience.
Wray with Tim Garcia & Gary Kalei Medeiros
Tim has been dedicating his time and passion in carving the remains of the fallen trees into sculptures, which are intended to represent their majestic past.
At one time, King Kalakaua would sit on the porch of what is now the Tedeschi Winery tasting room, and watch hula dancers perform within the circle of trees.
Photo includes sculptures of 2 of 3 dancers, 1 of 3 kahili staffs, 1of 3 Guardian’s
The sculptures which Tim is working on consist of three obelisk that represent the kahili (kah-HEE-lee) feather staffs of the Hawaiian royalty; three that represent the Guardians of the court; three that represent the Hula Dancers; one which is still in process that represents the male dancer, and the one he is working on in the video, which represents infinity.
If you stop by the winery, take a moment to feel the power within the forms, and what they represent of Hawaii’s past and present.
On the right of the photo you can see a picture of King Kalakaua
The winery is not only a place to sample our local wines, but a spot to absorb some of Maui’s history.
Off of the tasting room is a beautiful space dedicated to sharing the legacy of the land and its peoples.
Located across the road from the wineries tasting room, there is the Ranch Store & Grill, where you can enjoy lunch…though they didn’t appear to be vegetarian friendly, but then being that the winery is located on the Ulupalakua cattle ranch, that isn’t terribly surprising.
Ulupalakua Ranch Store & Grill
Ulupalakula has a magic all its own, and is well worth the drive. If you head up that way early in the day you can always stop at Grandma’s Coffee House, and take a walk on Thompson Road before driving to the winery. (For more on Thompson Road check out DAY 6 of my blog.)
One of KULA COUNTRY FARMS gardens – in the background you can see how dry how dry it is upcountry. Where Haiku has had non-stop rain, Kula has had none.
On the way home we stopped at Kula Country Farms, across from Rice Park on Kula Hwy, where you can pick up some great locally grown veggies.
Next week we’re off to Hana’s Red Sand Beach
Double click photos to enlarge
If you are on island September 2nd 2012, the Ulupalakua Ranch will he holding the Ulupalakua Cares celebration, which is a great time to enjoy the transformation of the Hula circle, along with music and more…
Playing in the Maui winds; a little windsurfing, kitesurfing & kite flying…more or less. (Okay, the kite flying was actually less than more.)
If unable to view above video, click HERE to access it on YouTube.
Monika, Robert & Michelle
Saturday our friends arrived from German, and Sunday we all went to Kanaha Beach.
Steven hadn’t windsurfed in 20+- years, where as, Robert windsurfs on his vacations to Maui every year, as well as back home on the lakes near his village in Bavaria. He obviously knows how to have fun. While here, he graciously offered to loan Steven his windsurfing gear.
Many moons ago, before I moved to Maui I took a windsurfing class, but once arriving to Maui I didn’t stick with it. Guess you may have already figured that out, or I’d have some kind of a tan.
Steven sailing – he got up on his first try…not bad after all of these years!
I wasn’t up for trying it today, though my rib is doing much better, so maybe I’ll give it a go before our friends leave town. It can’t be any harder than kite flying! (You know what I mean if you watched the video. I was rather pathetic at it.)
I mean really, who knew flying a kite could be so difficult.
Kitesails lined up on Kanaha Beach
With my first kite flying attempt at Kanaha, their wasn’t enough wind. Later in the day we tried to fly the kite near our house but the wind was too gusty; so we headed to Baldwin Beach, and had a little better luck.
It had to have been luck because I was definitely lacking in the skill department. But I’ll try it again sometime. It was fun…made us laugh, and that’s what counts.
That’s about as high as I got the kite to go. Oh well, I’ll do better next time.
Also, Steven said he wants to go windsurfing again…miracles do happen. Having fun seems to be growing on us.
Windsurfing at Kanaha Beach, Maui
If you’re on island and want to give windsurfing or kitesurfing a try, check out this site Maui Sports Unlimited
Today it’s raining here in Haiku. But considering that the rest of the island is having a drought, we are content to work in the rain.
If the sun comes out, maybe next we’ll head back to Hana, to Red Sands Beach.
Note: Remember you can double click on the photos to enlarge them.
Official Trailer for the movie Moonrise Kingdom via YouTube
Quirky movie with a great cast, but fell way short of our expectations.
Can you believe it, Day 47, five days/weeks of fun to go.
Smeltzer TWEAKED BEAK-EINSTEIN
You may be wondering why I’ve posted a movie clip instead of one of my own slideshows. Well, after bonding with that rock wall last week at the Na’ili’ili-haele Falls, one of my ribs has a hairline fracture, so needless to say, this week I needed to find something low key to do. Which pretty much put an end to our plans of biking down Haleakala Crater, and is why we headed off to a movie.
Our friends arrive from Germany this weekend, and I want to be healed up so I can climb down the cliff to Red Sands Beach with them. Plus at the end of this month we plan on doing a moonlight hike through the crater, which I want to be healthy and whole for.
So, onto Moonrise Kingdom, if you were planning on seeing it, I wouldn’t bother. Kathy, Steven, and I agreed that it wasn’t worth the time.
Smeltzer TWERPS — enough said.
After reading the great audience and critics reviews on the Rotten Tomatoeswebsite, I’ve come to the conclusion that there must be two version of this film; the one that is playing at the theaters on the mainland, and then the one playing here in Hawaii.
Have to admit that after all the glorious days of fun we’ve been having this past year, going to a so-so movie didn’t do much for us. We’re looking forward to our friend’s arrival…maybe Steven will go windsurfing with them. (Yep, of course, it’s been years since he’s done that.)
Until next week, Wray
P.S. Since I didn’t have any photos to post of us at the movies ( aren’t you glad about that), I posted the two photos of Steven’s latest creations. Yes, I can hear you thinking, what is going on in his mind??? I don’t know, I only take the pictures.
Overlooking the bamboo forest – the falls are down there somewhere.
About an hour after posting last week’s blog, the sun appeared, and it has been beautiful ever since. Summer has officially arrived to Haiku
Steven and I have been trying to hike to the four Na’ili’ili-haele Waterfalls for some time, but due to the rain we kept putting it off (62 inches since January). Even though it was a sunny day, as you could see in the video, parts of the trails were quite muddy.
We headed out early to avoid the crowds. When we arrived there were three other cars; when we left, passing by the second pool there was a small crowd of people and probably 30+ cars parked up on the highway.
Fortunately when we started, we got lost and were able to enjoy the reservoir and to see a fifth falls, which is not accessible.
Now this is what I call a waterfall! Falls #5 – not accessible – yippee for getting lost.
Even taking the picture of it was a bit precarious; Steven was holding my hand as I leaned over the cliff.
As you can see in the photo, of all the falls, it is the best one; though I was told there are possibly another 3 falls that are inaccessible.
Hikers we met from Vancouver. Yes, I know it’s hard to see them, but it’s the only photo I have of the four of them
Four other hikers, visiting from Vancouver, got lost with us, so from time to time, we ended up hiking together.
We connected mostly with Michelle; she was one of the most gung-ho trailblazers I’ve ever met. On the video, she is the one that jumped from 20feet+- into the water at the fourth falls.
Michelle (L) and Wray
OKAY, so everything I’ve read said the first two falls are fairly easy to access; which is true…as long as you don’t get lost. Though when you first start down the trail from Hana Hwy there are some steep, slippery areas.
Also I have read that what separates the novice hikers from the adventurers is the journey to the second two waterfalls. And that is also true. From the second falls you use a rope to guide yourself up the cliff. Unfortunately the rocks are very slippery and you have to return the same way. (Steven makes it look so easy.) If you watched the video you understand why I posted OOUCH at the beginning of this blog.
After you get up the cliff you hike through mud, over rocks, somewhere in there you climb up a ladder (thank you to whomever took the time to carry it all the way out there and fasten it to the rocks), and then you get in the water to swim to the third falls—by the way, you are so hot and muddy, the water feels great.
If you aren’t too tired yet, you climb up the rocks next to a small waterfall (no rope to help you here), then hike over more rocks, around a bend and you come to the fourth falls.
Fourth waterfall – YAHOO!
You cannot & should not scale the 35-foot rock face to get to the fifth falls.
And hopefully you’ll have the energy to retrace your steps back to the highway.
If you decided to do this hike make sure you start at the NO PARKING sign—which I can guarantee cars will be parked in front of—across from the Cook Island Pine trees & the 6 mile marker sign. We cut into the bamboo a ways beyond the sign and had an additional 20 minutes of walking before we finally found the right trail.
If you come across this wood plank, you know you are on the right trail. Good thing is that even all of the wrong trails should eventually lead you to a something worth seeing…this is only my assumption.
Believe it or not, we both loved this hike. So much so that Steven hopes to take his daughter when she comes to visit. Did you catch that…I said Steven is going to take his daughter. I’ll stay home. In spite of the fact that I enjoyed the challenge of the hike, right now I can’t muster the enthusiasm to do it again.
For us, it was fun as well as exhausting. Not to mention my ribs are still sore from bonding with that rock wall.
For more info about Na’ili’ili-haele Falls click HERE - the site includes a map. But there are lots of other postings about the hike to check out online.