Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Relaxing Night

I'm sitting on the deck, having one of the two smokes I'm allowing myself every day, drinking my Martini and Rossi Spanish style, and enjoying the evening. Dan is happy because I hooked him up with a Scrabble partner that is actually competition for him! Her name is Luchia and she is a buddy from high school. I got tried of her beating me so I figured they deserved eachother cuz he keeps beating me too, although this game I am beating him. The bean soup I made this weekend is warming up and Dan just put away the CSA veggies while I fed the dogs and did the dishes. I have 3 watermelons, a bunch of peaches and pears, green chilis, tomatoes, eggplant, yellow beans, carrots, zucchini, cukecumber, radishes, 6 ears of corn, and baby lettuce. Since we started this in May, I've lost 6 pounds! We got monsters vs. ailens in the DVD player and our comfies on. Looks like it's going to be a relaxing night!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

For Deb

I love you because you are
A survivor
A good listener
You're creative with ideas
A dreamer
You have raised 3 productive, smart, kind, creative members of society
You try to better yourself
A hard worker
Open to different opinions
Proud (in a good way)
A good friend
Open to possibilities

The Unmentionabels

Dan and I just had a fantastic night at Vines with the Unmentionables. Half of them are young and both of them are in love. Their young love rekindled the young love in Dan and I. I'm going to miss them!

Riding The Current

Up at 4am with the now familiar feeling of anxiety. This week has been interesting. I haven't been smoking except when I get home from work and after we eat dinner. I have been living in that space of in between. That space of wanting a cigarette and not having one. Riding the current of my nervous energy. I say it has been interesting because I am learning a lot. I am continually fascinated by how much, not matter what age we are, there is to learn. Normally, when I feel that nervous energy, I smoke. Bam! Nervous energy gone, I don't have to think about it, feel it, acknowledge that it is even there. It is erased, a minor blip on my radar. Now, I have to feel that nervous energy. It was really difficult the first time, being totally uncomfortable and doing nothing to make myself fell better. But since that first time, it has diminished considerably. Sometimes, when I feel it, its kind of fun. I literally feel like I am riding a current and it's exciting. All this energy coursing through me as I ask myself what is going on? I am learning, on a really subtle level, how my body reacts to stress. To actually witness the mental and physical process I go through, the things I tell myself, the stories I live by. It's freeing in a way. I feel stronger, because I have survived the uncomfortable energy surge. Because I am getting to know myself better. My instincts are growing stronger and I am learning to trust them. I am learning to not worry so much. It's a conundrum though. On the flip side, I wake at 4 with the familiar feeling of anxiety. My throat actually hurts from the blood coursing through it, there is a ball of fear in my chest, radiating from my shoulders across my chest, around my back, like a perfect circle, my upper body is enclosed in anxiety, it feels like indigestion and I wonder if this is a sign of having a heart attack. My heart is thumping and feel nauseous. I tell myself that it's a process. I can't go from being checked out and distracted to plugged in and focused without some sort of mental detox. I am trying to teach myself healthy ways to calm down. So, I come downstairs, do 90 minutes of Yin Yoga and listen to Pema before making my favorite jasmine green tea, putting on some music to write by and writing. Today, Pema talks about remaining like a log. There are 3 ways to experience something and on a subconscious level we always label our experiences as pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. Remaining like a log is not about being dead, cold, closed off. It's about being calm. Alive and present in your experiences, not overwhelmed and unconscious. For example, if I experience something pleasant, instead of getting caught up in it and loosing myself, I simply say to myself, pleasant. Now I can experience the actual event with out it being clouded buy my stories of how it should be, how I should react to it and what it means. Its definitely a process, in the immortal words of my all time favorite singer Freddy Mercury "I'm havin a hard time, I'm walkin a fine line between hope and despair, you may think that I don't care. But I've travelled a long road to get a hold of my sorrow. Tried to catch a dream, but nothings what it seems. Love is saying baby it's all right when deep inside you're really petrified..."

All this talking about my nervous energy has aroused it! I was great after the yoga. Dan is getting coffee at Starbuck's on his way back from the hardware store. I have been craving coffee and a cigarette all week. We are getting together with friends (unmentionables) tonight and drinking wine. Dan is still smoking. I think I'll be on the smoking side of that edge today!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hard Dates

Closing 10/15/09
Resignation 10/16/09
Last Day at Starz 1/5/10
Hawaii Bound 1/11/10

P.S. They buyer wants to buy some of our furniture as well!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


The dreary days of winter have already set in. Just like that, it seems fall never came. The leaves on the trees, still green, haven't given us their beautiful color show. Instead, it's snowing and cold. The bleak day doesn't comfort us in the face of our inspection at 2pm today. Dan and I are nervous. We already feel like we are taking a loss selling our home at 250. That is what Karen feels it will appraise at. We decided that it's either 250 or wait another 7 years or so for things to not only bounce back but actually get better. Currently, they take foreclosures and short sales into consideration when appraising a home. For us, that means things are selling for $130.00 a square foot. The appraiser doesn't take into consideration the 8 grand in Brazilian cherry hardwood floors, a 10 thousand dollar fixed awning, the $3400 we just put into carpet, backing to open space. The scary thing is, we could appraise low, lower than what the house is really worth. If the inspector finds something "major", that'll be enough, we'll pull the plug. Wait until the economy picks back up. I mean, there is only so much we are willing to take a hit on! We are selling a great product and nothing is wrong with it. Someone is getting a great deal and it is not us! We are worried they'll say something like the foundation is trashed, it's going to cost 14 thousand dollars to fix it. Of course it isn't, but you know, we're just being paranoid. We'll see, I'm sure it'll be fine.

The pre qualification for the buyers loan expires in mid October so it sounds like a sweet deal may be in our future! Yesterday, we decided we'd stay until mid January. Get through the holidays and dad and mom's 80th birthdays. We thought we'd stay at their house from November until we left, saving a years worth of rent. The good news? The buyer wants to close in mid October, let us stay the rest of October for free, and charge us $300.00 a month until January, when she is ready to come out! How sweet is that?!

So far today, I have not used the patch and not had a smoke. Dan is full on smoking. It makes it really tricky. Today, I feel tired, kinda spacey. Maybe, well...probably, I'll have one tonight when we get home with a drink. Tonight is CSA night, so we have to pick up our goodies, I'm so tired I almost want to eat fast food!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Beginning of the End

I knocked over a hurdle, got hooked, had a smoke. Well, more than one! Our house is now under contract! We settled for $15,000.00 less than we had listed so 250, but, we'll be lucky if it appraises over 245. We'll still be able to go to Kauai, debt free with a good chunk of change. It's really depressing what the "leaders" of our country (way before Barack came along) have done to the housing market.

So, onto packing and selling and waitin and seein if the deal goes through. Tomorrow is a new day! It'll be smoke free!

Blue Monday

It's dark out. I'm cozy, warm in my bed, the covers pulled up to my chin. The only sound is Lucy snoring. I glance at the clock, 4:30am. Thinking it's too early to get up, I hunker down, burrowing into my blankets. My mind is wide awake. It emphatically tells me that right now would be a great time to do yoga and listen to Pema. I can't argue, it is. I banished Dan to the guest room last night because I didn't fall asleep before his snoring began. He's good like that, just gets up from a dead sleep and trundles over to the other bed. Even if I get out all quiet like and he's snoring away as soon as my body weight is no longer solidly on the bed, he wakes up. He always goes to the other bed. He says its because the dogs sleep with me and there is more room in our bed than the guest bed. I get the dogs in a stay and pad over to the guest room and quietly close the door. Today is our last day off before the work week begins so there is laundry to do and lots of food to cook. Yesterday's lunch and dinner need to be made and frozen. I change the bed sheets and gather the laundry and go down stairs. The clothes separated, waiting for Dan to wake. I lay out my yoga mat, turn on the gas fireplace, open the blinds to let the sunrise in, get my meditation clock ready and put on my head phones. I'm doing Paul Grilley's Yin Yoga routine from his book. I love Yin Yoga because if forces me to slow down and pay attention to what is going on with me. The poses, held for 5 minutes, slowly open my legs, hips and back. When I'm in this still place I am very open and calm, steady in my knowledge that everything is going to be ok. Pema is talking about addiction. She names quite a few; smoking, alcohol, drugs, gossip, anger, jealousy, food. There will always be triggers so she talks about getting hooked. That moment when you know you are turning yourself over to your vice. Blindly letting it take control of you. Even though you know how it will turn out, that moving forward with this deeply embedded pattern will leave you feeling worse, not comforted. She is funny, self deprecating, sharing her tendency towards gossip. She is compassionate and kind, suggesting that we be compassionate and kind to our selves when we can not get unhooked. She offers an example of overcoming our vices, slowly, with patience and grace. When you are on the edge, trying hard not to get seduced by your addiction, breathe deep and stay with the feeling. Stay with the uncomfortable, yucky feeling. Breathe through it, think of someone who is calm or something, like a beloved cat. She says that helps cut right through it. The more you do it, the easier it becomes because you are not fueling the fire. I decide that I am going to try doing that today. Making breakfast, there were several times when I felt that old familiar feeling, luring me into rationalizations of how I could have one puff (they're sitting on the deck), one smoke, just to get me through that one moment. When that happened, I stopped what I was doing. I felt the uncomfortable butterflies going crazy in the pit of my stomach. I felt the overwhelming urge to jump out of my skin. Blood rushing through my carotid artery. Nervous energy coursing wildly through my body. Ants in my pants times 2000! I took a deep breath... And continued on with what I was doing. Humph, maybe this will work. I'm afraid to get excited yet, I mean, I have been trying to quit for 5 years! After my yoga I meditate and say my mantra, set my intention for the day and request that no one come to look at the house today unless they are going to buy it. Dan and I could use some down time! I use up the last of the chili's making a sauce for huevos rancheros and we sit down to the Daily Show while we eat. Back in the kitchen, I get the ratatoullie simmering, I'm also roasting some carrots for a dinner salad tomorrow and brazing some cabbage for a lunch later on. All burners are in use, the kitchen smells fantastic, I feel great. Dan, being an excellent partner in the kitchen is busy washing dishes when his phone rings. He groans, it's the realtor. She says between 10 and noon, he looks at me, at the food cooking, at the clock reading 9:30. I say, YES! Cold, we are sitting outside our house, watching the snow come down on this last day of summer, waiting for them to come and go. Karen called to say we may get a contract on the house today, she wanted to know when we wanted to close, Dan says the end of October. I'm excited, is this proof that the secret works?! I don't know. This means we will be leaving sooner than later. I'm so happy, I'm dancing around. Dan, on the other hand is "nervous". He has been irritated by having to vacate the house twice a day every day this weekend. I keep telling him, that is the way it is right now, we are selling our house. He says he knows and gets tweaked about it anyway. I ask him why he is nervous, he says he just is. That if they sign the contract today then we'll have to start getting ready to move, selling all our stuff and everything. I say yea, isn't that the plan? Are you sure you want to do this? He says yes, he's just nervous. It's a reminder to me of how people choose different ways to handle things. For me, this is a happy time!

It's almost 3, no patch, no ciggie, I feel good! I can do this!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Apple Love!

Dog Days of Summer

We thought today would be relaxing, but, we forget that our home is up for sale! It started out innocuous enough. We woke at around 7 and laid around petting the dogs. I made migas for breakfast while Dan got our wireless headphones working. My plan for the day was to watch some of my shows while breakfast digested and then do some yoga while listening to Pema on my new headphones. I also had a lot of cooking ahead of me, our CSA is providing us with a lot of produce! At 9:30, just as we finished breakfast, and were playing with our new headphones, I got a call from our realtor, someone was coming by between 10 and noon. Ok, quickly clean the house, I can't believe how much stuff gets on these floors after one day! Get dressed, and what do we do for 2 hours? Well, we need to make a grocery run and we could take the dogs to the dog park. I'm lovin the dog park! It's got green grass and loads of dogs. Baxter and Dan played fetch and Baxter got all tuckered out while Lucy hung back and got all lathered up, she doesn't handle heat well. We got back at noon and one of the packets that our realtor left for people who are considering buying was gone. We started with 4 now we have 3. We were still full from breakfast so we skipped lunch. I thought well, I'll chill watch a couple of shows, do some yoga, make the lunch and put it in the freezer and start dinner. About an hour into my lazy slumber, Dan came down (at around 2) and said someone was coming by between 3 and 4. Mmm, to late for yoga, I'll just lay around more. I was watching Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations show on Montana. I found myself relating to the folks down there. They are all there because of the beauty, doing a lot of odd jobs to make ends meet. No buying two MacBook's or wireless headsets. Just doing what it takes to live there, just to be there. He ended the show with the line "This is a place where people can hear their inner voice, and live by what they hear". That is exactly what Kauai represents to me. I see myself doing all kinds off odd jobs to make ends meet. Cooking, writing, yoga, maybe scuba. So I can live in a beautiful place, hear my inner voice loud and clear, and act on it! Then I watched some Tyler Florence shows. I had no lunch and it was 2, he was making spaghetti and meatballs, Chicken Parmesan, garlic bread and it all looked so good. So, when it was time to go I asked Dan how he felt about having some Italian. Always in a I could eat state of mind, he was game! So off to Johnny Carino's we went. We tried a local Italian joint first but they were closed because they were doing a catering gig. We got some organic wine - I think I'm feeling the effects of all the chemicals in regular wines - (Bonterra Syrah from Mendocino County California) that we really liked (bonus, they let you take what you don't finish, if you order a bottle) and we both got Veal Parmesan. Full and buzzed we ripped off our nicotine patches and headed to the closest gas station. Gack! I haven't had one smoke free day yet! I guess moving inconveniences us more than I thought. Can't stop smoking, eating bad, jeez will we ever be able to do it? BTW, another packet was gone when we got home!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Sign of the Thymes

Dinner tonight. Dan is using his laptop to make baby artichokes braised in olive oil with thyme and garlic, mine is fired up to make a ceaser salad. Baxter is looking for some tasty tidbit that may have fallen! Is that an empty wine glass in the fore ground?

Here is the after pic, yum! Can you say garlic breath? Maybe ice cream will help!

Getting Organized

Dan got a call today that someone wanted to see the house between 2 and 3pm. I gotta say, so far the worst thing about moving is always having to have the floors swept, dishes and things put away, basically, keeping the house in tip top shape. We went to Costco because I want a new super duper blender that will make my gazpacho as smooth as velvet! Luckily, they didn't have one. They cost $700.00 dolla! But...I also have a grain mill so I can make my own whole wheat flour (I've had a 5 gallon bucket filled with wheat berries for at least 10 years now) when ever I want to make my rosemary whole wheat focaccia, all I have to do is grind up some fresh flour, insuring all the vitamins and minerals and healthy fats are intact. The blender does that, so you see, I'd be downsizing! While we were there Dan got another call that someone wanted to come by between 4 and 5! So, after getting the nifty backpack that you see here for carrying my new MacBook around, we headed for the Apple store. We wanted a protective cover but those are expensive, think we'll be getting gelaskins for 20 dollars less. I'll be getting this one. Instead, we ended up getting Sony bluetooth headsets. See, I was listening to a fantastic book this morning while walking the dogs and then I took a bath and kept listening, I was concerned about the headphone cables, so when Dan just brought it up, it seemed like I needed them!

The book is intended to help me quit smoking. I think it will work once we get the darn things out of the house! Let me back up a bit. Thursday, I got the post for my dental implant. I will not write the gory details for future recollection. That day is basically forgotten and I'd like to keep it that way. The surgery went well and they provided great drugs that kept me in a haze, laid out on my couch all day. The dentist said that if I kept smoking, the implant wouldn't stick. So, why would I want to spend all that money and go through all that pain for nothing? I wouldn't! Needless to say, not smoking on Thursday was a breeze! Friday, I felt a lot better. I only took 1 vicadin, in the morning. But, I was still pretty out of it, maybe the lack of nicotine had something to do with it. So, here is where the hurdle comes in that I was unable to jump. Dan wasn't planning on quitting until Saturday. People were coming by between 1 and 3 to look at the house so, I went grocery shopping (usually a Saturday thing). Not a good idea, cold turkey, on day 2! By the time Dan got home from work, I puffed one down, gleefully! Today, it only got worse. Dan was fine as long as he was upstairs happily doing computer things (he has 3 up there now) as was I listening to my book, but once we had to leave, extreme irritation set in. Dan "forgot" to destroy and throw away the smokes, which upon reflection, probably saved us 5 bucks, so there we were cruising to Costco smokin. We bought some patches. Normally, (we're experts at quitting) we hole up in the house for 3 days, we stay in separate corners and detox alone, no additional stressors. I don't think we are going to be able to do it that way with the house being for sale and everything else. So, tonight we'll finish the pack (can't be wasteful) and it's the patch tomorrow!

Oh yea, couldn't get John's badge to work. Oh well, he created it, he should be the only one using it!

Monday, September 14, 2009


Chard, caramelized onion and Gruyere Panad from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook.

-- Posted from my iPhone

How Was Your Summer?

I wanted to get an end of summer shot of the flowers on our deck. I can't help but think, in Kauai, these are babies! Here, they're plentiful!

This weekend went by really fast. Too much going on. We left the house Saturday morning at 8am. Stopped at Starbucks for coffee and Einsteins for breakfast. Dan figures we haven't grilled a piece of cow since last summer so we stopped at Whole Foods to get some beef tenderloins. I saw some chanterelle mushrooms so I grabbed them figuring they'd go great with the cow. We headed over to DiVino for some wine, but it was only 10am and they weren't open yet. On the way to the hair dressers, I downloaded 2 songs. One from Against Me! that I mentioned last week, and Ignition, from TobyMac. Can I tell you again how much I love my iPhone! Tess and I had a hard time deciding what to do with my hair. It's so thick and curly and I was trying to get it cut for Hawaii. We decided to thin it out and I would worry about my Hawaii hair when I am there. Dan and I have been talking about getting laptops for when we move so we headed over to the Apple store. We both got a 15" MacBook Pro! This is my first post from it. I can't believe we are a Mac house now, but I have to say I'm lovin it! I have to take back everything bad I have said about them, they are too cool! I'm just having a hard time remembering command c for copy instead of control. We quickly stopped by Vitamin Cottage for some groceries and met Deb back at the house for lunch, plus, she had to give us the house keys back and I wanted to give her the presents we brought back for her. Finally, at about 4, I got to relax.

Sunday morning I made some roasted potatoes, zucchini, and onions covered in a Gruyere cheese sauce. While Dan got us another Starbucks and some things we forgot at the store. While he was upstairs setting up our new Macs I made a snack cake and was straightening up. Our realtor was bringing over one of her clients (who is looking for a house) to check out our place. We left some cake for them to enjoy and went to the dog park. We have never been there but Deb goes there all the time and it's right by our house! Dan was having networking issues and we thought it may be because our router was about 6 years old, so we stopped at Best Buy to get one. I stayed out in the car with the dogs, and played on my IPhone. He came bouncing out all happy because he won a sweet Airport router worth $180.00! After driving around for 30 minutes trying to find the dog park we figured they'd be done looking at the house so we headed home. It looked like they hadn't been there so Dan called and learned they were on their way. So, out the back door and onto the Cherry Creek Bike path. While we were walking the dogs, Karen (our realtor) called and said her client was not interested because the house is too far out. We relaxed for a few hours before Dan grilled up the cow and I made sauteed onions and corn on the cob, both from the CSA for dinner.

Monday morning I wake up late and rush to my dentist appointment. Her question "How was your summer?" instantly slows me down. I have to stop and think. I say, "I went to Hawaii twice". It reminded me of how much has happened in such a short time. But the reprieve didn't last long. I had a facial appointment at 10:30 and I needed to pick up my prescriptions for Thursdays mouth surgery (I'm finally getting the implant process started). I dropped it off on Saturday and of course they're not filled! I hurried over to the vet to get some supplies and made it to Goldie's just in time. She has had a horrible time since I saw her last. She had to put her 17 year old dog, Max, down and her husband was in the hospital because he had a heart attack on Saturday. I came home and Dan had lunch started (tomato sauce from the CSA tomatoes and a few from our garden) and had all the laundry basically done! Yeah, time to blog since the season premieres of Dr. Phil and Oprah are not being shown because of a tennis game! Dinner, a Chard, caramelized onion and Gruyere "bread pudding" is bubbling away in the oven, smelling delicious, and Dan is happy because our ITunes library is in his computer.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Note to My Husband

Hey baby,
I'm worried about you. We both know the house can't sell soon enough. We each have our seperate reasons.

I see you on the weekends so light and happy. Plugged in, conversational, upbeat. I really appreciate all the things you do around the house. Laying tile, painting, yard work, picking up dog poop, keeping the cars clean and maintained, posting things on the Internet for us to sell, doing bills, taking out the trash, fixing things, doing laundry, fixing my computer, installing new programs, helping me figure something out (you have the patience for that) helping make dinner, washing dishes (wash/dry/put), taking the dogs to get groomed or to the vet, and countless other things. I don't have to ask, you never complain. All of these things I see as tokens of love. On the weekends you are a happy man. It takes you a good couple of hours to relax into it, but once you are there, you are patient, kind, gentle, and loving to me and the dogs. You are funny and fun to be around. You have a smile on your face when you talk. Singing silly songs while we walk, you jut your elbow out wanting me to hook my wagon to yours.

Then Tuesday morning rolls around. You are irratable, short with me and the dogs. Quick to find fault. Impatient, grumpy. As the day wears on you complain about everything. The smallest thing will annoy you and you will vent about it until the next irratation comes along. It only gets worse as the week wears on. I take no offence. I know where this is coming from. I know it's not personal. Still, it's no fun to be around. I know you feel underappreciated, and you are. You are brilliant at whatever you do but editing brings your A game out. You know that box as well as you know me. You are creative and capable of understanding technical specs better than I or most editors ever could. It's in your DNA. That's why you are in more demand than any other editor there. That and because the status quo just won't do for you, you have to put your "signature" on everything you edit. Even if that means trying something new, learning, pushing yourself. You love to figure things out. Challenge yourself. Everyone knows this, even management. They take advantage of it instead of encouraging it. You are a natural leader, they won't let you lead. They want to have the knowledge that you spend hours researching but don't want to reward you for it. You are under pressure working on originals and marketing. Both demand a lot of approvals from various levels of management and as a result loads of revisions. You remember which graphic is current and where to find it, do you use a copyright or registration mark? The producer doesn't know but you do. You've asked for a break, you can do one or the other but not both, it's too much. They hear you but only offer more of the same. You have no power but everyone, including management, seeks out your expertise. The producers have come to rely on you. Dropping their work off, they know you'll get it done and get it done right with that Dan Lane signature they all clamour for. I know it's wearing you out, I see it crush your spirit every day that you are there.

It's time for us to go, try something new. Get to know eachother even better, fall in love a little more. I hope it happens sooner than later, for your sake, for my sake, for our sake.

I love you sweetheart...

-- Posted from my iPhone

Sunrise in Colorado

Except for the glow of my iPhone, it's pretty much pitch black. Its 5:35am. I'm alone, outside, on the deck, smoking one of my last cigarettes. I'm quitting on Thursday. The only sound is an occasional car and the trickle of our little Buddah water fountain. My breath comes out like little clouds, fall is here in 8 days and I can feel it in the crisp air. Last night I was excited because I could sleep in this morning. This week wore me out. Clenching my teeth takes more out of me than I realized. My neck gets ramrod tight and constantly hurts, it goes up into my head down to my shoulders and across my chest. I wrote in my blog the other day that I didn't understand why I was so stressed. Tiffany, a thoughtful, sweet young lady, reminded me yesterday that I have a lot going on. That I'm trying to balance letting life play out with the unknown. Of course she's right, our stressors (and character flaws) are so obvious to the other while we spin around in circles wondering what is wrong. After all, I am leaving behind a 25 year career, a life time in this state and a lot of friends and family. As a matter of fact, that's why I'm up so early on a Saturday morning. I was sound asleep, cozy and warm in our king sized bed. Lucy along side me, softly snoring, Baxter is on the floor and Dan sound asleep. Mentally, I slam foreward, almost sitting upright. I'm having a conversation with my boss, telling him I am leaving. He asks my why and I can't answer him!

Well, the day is here. I will miss these beautiful sunrises and my beautiful state. But onward to other beautiful sunrises in another beautiful state!

-- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Guitars, Cars and Itunes

I just got an email from Gail and even though she reads the blog, she had a lot of questions. So, I thought answer them because they are definitely not in here. Under no circumstances will we be leaving unless the house sells. This is a dream we are fulfilling and we can afford to be patient. We want to set ourselves up for success. To us, that means having money saved to make the transition a lot more comfortable. The money we make from selling our home and most of our stuff is going to help us start a new life. Dan sold his guitar and amp to Bill Wednesday, that money is going into our Hawaii account. Not the one in Hawaii, we have one here. All the proceeds from any sales go into that. Except the car. When the car is sold we will pay off Dan's jeep, that way we can go to Kauai debt free!!! Last weekend a guy looked at the Grand Prix GXP for his mom. She is the one I was talking about when we were in Hawaii and Dan was talking to her on the phone. He told his mom it was a fantastic car. She is waiting for funding but her banker's wife (she lives in a small town) had a heart attack. She might come down Saturday, if she gets the funding, we are waiting to hear.

I have to say I love, love, love my Iphone. When we live in Kauai, if nothing else, I will make sure that thing is working. It is an indispensable part of my life that I just cannot live without. My latest favorite things are 2 new apps. Blog Press and Free RSS Feed. John Freeman is the blog master. He told me about Blog Press so I could blog from my phone. Didn't think I'd use it...key in Maui. I was able to record everything immediately after it happened, with vivid detail, for later recollection. If I had to wait until the day was over I would have left out so much. Instead, when I had pockets of time I was able to add to it as the day went on. Now there is Free RSS Feed, so I can follow blogs on my Iphone, brilliant!

Tamara booked me this afternoon for an hour. She is doing a sales video and is in the process of picking out music for it. Music is critical to the success of a sales tape hence the 7 people from marketing, in my edit bay, listening to the songs cranked up and avidly taking notes. No pun intended! She played one song by Against Me! called New Wave. The driving beat had my heart pounding in no time and the singer was singing my song! "Is there anybody on the receiving end? Reaching out for some kind of connection...Come on and wash these shores away...I am looking for the crest of a new wave...Are you ready to brave new directions?"! The song is about making new music but, you know how you can make any song your own, so it's a "going to Kauai" song for me! I was like "YHEA" (say it in your head with a demonic sound to it) like you are invincible! YHEA!!

Possible Job Links for Marta

Hoku Foods


Papaya's Natural Foods

Healthy Hut

Hanalei Natural Foods

Happy Cow

Kauai Organic Farms

Blair Estate Coffee

Personal Chef Kevin Boyette

Personal Chef A.J. Deraspe

Kauai Farmer's Coop

Kauai Argiculture

Yoga Kauai

Favorite Food Websites

101 Cookbooks


Cooks Illustrated

King Arthur

Kauai Health Guide

Slow Food Kauai

Blogging Banana Joe's

Edible Hawaiian Islands

Serious Eats

Real Baking with Rose

The Wednesday Chef

Chocolate and Zucchini


Donna Hay

Martha Stewart

Better Baking

EGullet 2008 best recipes

EGullet 2009 best recipes

Jamie Oliver

Fine Cooking


Joanne Weir


Useful Websites

We have been doing some searching on craighslist for places to stay. This one looks really good. It's small but I think I could live with it. It has laundry right there, a nice yard, a cute kitchen.

This web site is for Kauai news and community events involving sustainability

The newspaper

Google search for CSA's on Kauai.

craigslist for Kauai

Houses for rent

State of Hawaii

Kauai Chamber of Commerce

Honolulu Advertiser

Koa Books

Kauai Farmers Markets

County of Kauai

Kauai Vacation Guide

Hawaiian Film Office

Love from Gail for Later Support

From: Gail Reisenauer
Sent: Wednesday, September 09, 2009 8:24 PM
To: Marta Lane
Subject: Hey

So I just caught myself up on your blog and have you ever considered writing as another job field? You have a way with words, I think you are very creative. Ideally it would be to write for a food magazine about the local fare for tourists. Maybe you could start one if one has not been started. Or even an e-zine. I have ideas if you are interested.

I have not seen you since you got back. How was the trip? Hopefully we can catch up on Friday. I'm getting excited for you. You mentioned it in one blog about how your attitude has changed since the decision has been made. I was the same way with Menards when I made the decision to leave, job or no job. Nothing bothered me anymore. It was a like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.

Anyway I also wanted to offer up any help if you need it. I have moved 6 different times I am a pretty good little packer already or anything else for that matter. In Oct. I will have Saturdays free so I could help then for sure.
Well, hope you are doing well and all things are coming together for you. I am still bummed about you leaving, because I know it is going to happen, but I am happy for you too. I can't be selfish. :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tropical Drinks

Dan just had a great idea! Since he is the master mixer (mojitos Dyanne?) he can mix up Hawaiian drinks for my clients. If they have kids he can make a kid friendly version also! Love it!

-- Posted from my iPhone

Fresh Hawaiian

That's the working title for my personal chef service. I'm thinking of specializing in Mediterranean with a Hawaiian twist. For example I'll take my Aunt Anita's pallea recipe and add pineapple and local fish, Hawaiian pallea! Pesto made with macadamia nuts, local fruit (have to research which one) wrapped in Italian ham. Can't seem to spell it. Prouchuttio? Loads of ideas! Have business cards and/or flyers with a femenine look at the check in desk (for time shares) so while the guy is checking in, and the woman is standing around it'll catch her eye. After it's mostly a woman's job to think about what's for dinner, right?

Have to post this weeks CSA rainfall!

-- Posted from my iPhone

Ideas for Work

I really appreciate all of the support some friends are giving us at work. Bill, Dyanne, and Mark are just about as excited as we are! Deb too, but she's not working here anymore :( Every time they see us they ask for the latest, listen attentively, and provide lots of positivity and support. It makes it even more exciting to be around people who are excited! I'm so excited!! Today I have received a plethora of ideas from them. Private movie location tours with gourmet lunches, Mark found me a list of movie locations in Kauai, wedding videos, concierge, pet watching, grocery shopping, personal chef for time shares, web design, giving property managers flyers, making business cards for each venture, private boat tours. Plus, there's Dan and my ideas. Ultimately, we'd love to buy a boat and give small scuba tours to people who know how to scuba. No newbie, tourist, I'm afraid something bad is going to happen folks. Seasoned adults who like to experience life and eat well. While Dan is out on the boat, I could be on a nicely shaded beach grilling up some just caught fish. I'd serve that with freshly baked bread and some really good olive oil to dip into, a fresh salad, tropical fruit and custard parfait or tart for dessert, tropical drinks (with fresh fruit juice). I'll have a table that seats up to 8 (with the comfiest seats I can find), dressed with a nice table cloth. Some meats, cheese and crackers set atop. Maybe some votives for ambiance. Music or ocean for setting the audio mood? Something nice like jazz or native Hawaiian music? I'm going to have to go native Hawaiian. Relaxed, comfortable, delicious, abundant, healthy(ish). Dan has considered doing landscaping for the city (full time work with benefits), tile work (mosaic specifically), working on a boat, wood carving and Hawaiian art internet sales. Dyanne even suggested that Dan design my personal chef web site for practice and as a demo. I am considering becoming certified in yoga and teaching classes. Hit up the resorts and give classes to guests on the beach in the morning or evenings. I could be a personal chef for some of those clients or for the tour boats. I'm accepting ideas for naming the personal chef company. So far I like Fresh Hawaiian (I like Hawaiian Fresh even better but Hawaiian Fresh is a marketing and distribution company for fresh Hawaiian agricultural produce and seafoods). I could work as a waitress at a high end restaurant that serves fresh, local, organic food, and snorkel in the mornings. I would even work on a farm or nursery/greenhouse and/or work on a boat. We have thought about personal hiking tours. Of course, we'll bring our resumes and demo reels (something I want to work on this weekend) and try to get some work in video...maybe...

Monday, September 7, 2009


I've had a migraine for the last 2 days. Normally, when we go on vacation I get one when I start back to work. It's taken me years to connect the dots. The first time it happened I thought I had a bad tooth. Last winter my neck and shoulder pain was so bad, I went to a chiropractor. He's the one who told me clenching my jaw when I'm stressed (which I do) causes migraines, neck pain and shoulder pain. I've worked really hard to be aware of it and constantly remind myself to stop clenching. I don't do it on vacation. Now, it started a day after I got back. What is it about my life that I find so stressful?

-- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Back to Normal

Sitting out in the cool, Colorado air having a smoke, an apertief, and playing with our iPhones while dinner sizzles on the stove. I'm pretty excited to cook and cook healthy at that, again. Tonight, leftover pasta that Deb left in the fridge with some tomatoes, zucchini, basil, garlic and spinach thrown in and pears for dessert. We didn't eat our first meal today until 1:30. After filling mom and dad in on the situation, we came home. Dan took the car to get washed because we had a potential buyer coming to look at it. I unpacked, started some laundry, and looked at what was left of the most recent CSA delivery. As I was emptying out the fridge to get a good count, a couple came over and bought the elliptical trainer, yeay! After a lunch of PB&J sammies, Maui chips and leftover cookies from the Maui cookie company, Dan went upstairs, me down and we slept the afternoon away!

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, September 4, 2009


We are waiting out the last couple of hours before we have to head out to the airport at Stella Blues. Newspapers in hand, (The Maui News, Maui Time, Maui Weekly) looking for rentals, having a final island drink. We gave found some websites to check out when we are back home, some places allow pets. One, a 1000SF ohana, w/d, a/c, private parking for $1000.00 a month. We are both cranky, maybe it's the intense heat in Kihei, maybe it's all the running around in the heat, maybe it's Maui itself. We really like Kauai. Helen says Maui is the most expensive island because it's the most desired island. The drinks sure aren't as good or as cheap as Kauai! It's kinda crazy but every time we have an island drink here, our tummies get upset. It stinks in Kihei, like Vail, something has got to be up with the sewage system. There seems to be someting disconcerting going on with the races here. Natives have for the most part (there was a really great young lady at Beach Bums this morning who was clearly a native) have been subtley hostile. There are a lot of white tourists (tourist season is winding down) and the locals (if a person of color) seem to be having a hard go of it. The cheese counter lady, from France, is a manager, and got her job from craigslist. She told us how the locals work 3 jobs and are falling asleep in the breakroom. Helen was giving us a tour and frustratedly told us yhea, there are kama'aina deals but it's still really expensive here. But our waitress this morning and our waiter yesterday afternoon, both white, are totally happy to be here. Dan says it's missing the aloha spirit. I said imagine you are a local, working 3 jobs to pay your rent. You see these tourists coming in, by the butt load, spending all kinds of money and you're not getting a piece of it, how much aloha spirit are you going to have? We think its probably a great place to vacation. Dan concludes; "Maui is a sad downtrodden island that has this beautiful fascade masking its unpleasent nature. Using it's reputation as a tropical paradise to hide it's tendancy to over charge and under deliver. There are the occasional nice moments, nice places, nice people but the majority of the people and the places seem artificial and pretentious. Kind of like Vail or Aspen where the attitued is we hate you but we need you. We need your tourism dollars now go away, you're not one of us." He has decided that if the choice were to move to Maui or stay in Parker, he chooses Parker. I have to agree.
Looks like it's Kauai or bust!

-- Post From My iPhone

Paradise Gardens Apartments

Most expensive place is $995.00 2 bdrm, 2 bath. For sure no dogs over 35lbs.
-- Post From My iPhone

Piilani Gardens Apartments

This is a maybe. Lucy is ok but Baxter is too big. Helen Joswick was fantastic. We were there for about an hour. She showed us around we liked the "b" sized apartment.

Coming in at 900 SF, this 2 bedroom, 2 bath with "backyard" is some place we could live. $1200.00 a month (first month + security deposit - 1350). Water is paid for, utilities run between $40.00 and $250.00 a month, depending on a/c useage. She is going to talk to the owner, maybe she'll let bigger dogs in. The concern is their bark, I tell her we'd be the perfect couple to experiment on cuz our dogs don't bark. Monthly:

$ 1200.00 Rent
100. Electric
500. Food
100. Car/renters insurance
300. Health insurance
100. Fuel for Jeep
20. Internet
145. Phone

$2365 total. $10.00 hr. Full time job will cover it. Off to Paradise Gardens Apartments. Their limit for dogs is 35lbs but Lisa says we should go by anyway. Kinda nervous, Helen said they were gross!
-- Post From My iPhone

Hawaiian Moons Natural Foods

Hawaii's (Kehei) answer to Vitamin Cottage

Avacados 2.59lb
Maui onions 1.99lb
Pineapple 1.99ea
Big island tomatoes 5.39lb
Macadamias 22.09lb
Tofu 10oz 2.89
Canteloupe 1.19lb
Limes 1.99 lb
Romaine 2.99lb
Mixed greens earthbound 7.99 1lb
Chard 2.99 ea
Kale 2.99 ea
Spectrum olive oil 25.4 oz ev 22.09
Shady maple farms syrup 12.7 oz 19.89
Agave amber 11.7oz 4.79
Maranatha peanut butter 16oz 7.59
Rusts Colorado cracked wheat 6.19
Island eggs 9.49
Maui beef ground 4.94lb
Organic valley 2% milk 5.79 1/2 gallon
Fage 0% fat Greek yogurt 6oz 3.29
Eggology 12.49lb
Organic valley egg whites 9.39lb
Perrier 2.69
Quorn "tofu" crumbles 12oz 6.29
Abla SPF 16 12oz 15.29
Omega 3 liquid 1tsp 1725, 8oz 27.69
Get clean tea 11.69
Alba coconut cream lip balm 3.69
Bionature spaghetti 4.29
Muir glen fire roasted 14.5 oz 3.19

-- Post From My iPhone

Keonek Ai Villages

Privately owned, young lady in parking lot says check craigs list or

-- Post From My iPhone

Bank of Hawaii

We've made our first Hawaiian commitment. We opened a checking account. That way when we sell the house the money can be transferred there. Plus, we have an address now, when we move we won't. The "Consumer Banking Representative" Ani, was great. Half Mexican half Spanish he was passionately in love with Maui. He told us about the Kehei Canoe Club. How every Tuesday and Thursday they offer free classes. He told us about canoeing with whales and hitting a huge sea turtle with his boat. He told us about his condo, across the street from the ocean. $1200.00 a month for a 2 bedroom, pets allowed. We are on our way to check em out!

-- Post From My iPhone

Already Acting Like a Local

Coffee (and a smoke) makes everything better! We went back to Beach Bums for breakfast.

Last night I got the current issue of Maui Times, it's like a Westword. They wrote an article about all the resturant specials now that tourist season is over. Turns out Beach Bums has buy 1 breakfast get 1 free 24/7! So crab cakes benedict are on the way! It seems to me that the folks in Lahaina are rich and having a hard time keeping up their lifestyle now that there are less tourists and less of those tourists are buying things they don't need. Dan is sitting right across from me having an animated phone conversation with a lady who wants to buy our car. Her questions are: does it sound good? Why yes, it sounds awesome! What kind of stereo does it have? Looks like we may be able to sell it when we get home! Our waitress, a happy, married, mother of 4, says it's great here. She only took this job because her husband, a big game hunter, wants to retire in Montana and the money she makes goes straight to that. Although, now her husbands work is slowing down and more of her money is going into checking instead of savings. When I ask her about a lot of people leaving, she shrugs and says people are always leaving the island. They get island fever. No worries she says, see you in October!

-- Post From My iPhone

Morning Thoughts

It's 6:30, and I'm josteled awake.
I guess the people in the next room are leaving and have decided everyone else should be awake with them. Thoughts and voices from this week meld and twist around my head. "You have to have something special here if your gonna make it." I guess it's like anywhere around the world, times are tough right now. "I hope you know what you are getting into, its expensive here, I've been here 10 years and my monthly outgoing is 7 grand." "Everything will work out." Maybe I could personal chef, Hawaiian style. I'd need a chefs coat. "It'll be ok once you get here everything will work out, Maui's a great place to live." "Yes, times are tough but I'm comitted to make it work here." "I got lucky, things just lined up for me, this job just fell in my lap." "I moved out here without selling my house first" The way I see it is we have 3 choices. One, go left, and know that things will work out and everything will be fine. Two, go straight, keep doing what we're doing and forget (or postpone) Hawaii. Three, turn right, freak out, focus on the fact that times are tough and we'll never make it out here. For now I'm good with going straight. Deb says the house has only shown once since we've been gone. The cars time on eBay is up and Dan has heard nothing. Things aren't lining up just yet. It's rime for some breakfast and a coffee.

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Evening Stroll

We are sitting in our customary smoking spot, there is no smoking within 20 feet of a building on all the islands. Kicked back in lawn lounge chairs, under the palm trees, facing the ocean. We are getting ready to walk the beach. I'm reminded of my morning post which didn't make it onto the blog for some reason. It went something like this:

We slept in! Our days have been so sun drenched and wind blown that we fall into bed and sleep fast all night. We had breakfast at Stella Blue again. Dan; eggs, bacon, and potatoes. Me; tofu scramble with broccoli, mushrooms and tahani sauce. Folks have been snorkeling outside our room all week so we give it a go. The water is cool and refreshing and we are instantly awake. Underneath, the water is cloudy, I can see maybe 10 feet in front of me. I guess all the wind Kehei gets stirs the sand up. We see loads of small fish, 2 to 3 inches long. Some yellow with black racing stripes, some black with a white spot about the size of a dime on either side. I see 2 long fish, about 2 to 3 feet long, I think are eels. Dan says they are either Trumpet fish or Coronet fish. He pops out of the water elated, he was swimming in a school of 1000 small fish. Strolling down the beach we talk for about the 5th time this week about whether we should live here or Kauai. Maui is more expensive but has more job opportunites. Kauai has nicer people and a small town feel. Maybe a job at a nice resturant, where we can play in the water before heading into work. We see a young lady walking her dogs. One is a Pom, about the size of Lucy and the other is a Pit about the size of Baxter. She tells us of the horror that her Pom went through being quarenteened, the Pit she got here. Says Frontline keeps ticks and fleas off. She has been here for 3 years and is thinking she may have to move back in about 6 months. We have heard that a lot today, about how a lot of people are leaving. She has worked in 3 resturants that have gone out of business, the last because the owner died. As we walk back, we reconsider the resturant business, maybe we become certified in scuba and take tourists out. Tiffany and a lady who works in the gift shop at the Pacific Whale Foundation (she moved out here from Grand Junction before her house sold, almost going into forclousure) say they always need people to work the boats. We spy a crab, flat as a pancake in the black lava rocks. Crouching over it I wonder aloud if it is dead. Dan scares it, immediately it becomes vertical, as tall as it was flat and skitters off on it's tiptoes, taking our thoughts with it until the ocean swallows it up.

-- Post From My iPhone

Pizza Shaka

-- Post From My iPhone

Bad mana

I'm not into Lahaina. It's all about shopping. It's picturesque allright.

It's the richest part of the island with shop after shop selling Maui style goods. After going to the grocery store to check out prices, we went to Front street to get some ice cream. It reminded Dan of Vail. Hard to find parking and one central place to pee. As we are eating our ice cream, I accidentally inhale some. Ice cream going down the wrong pipe is the worst. I could barely breathe for a good 5 minutes. Dan was checking out the ukulele shop, hand made from koa, and the tiki shop. He wants to do wood carving here. The whole time I just wanted to leave. Dan later said he had a headache the whole time we were there. We drove through Kanapali, another rich town. Shortly there after we were driving down narrow mountain passages, sometimes desert like, other times lush tropical wildness. Through huge mountain valleys, cliffs covered in green really, and around narrow one lane roads with sheer drop offs to the ocean below.

See that line halfway through the mountain, yhea, that's the road!

-- Post From My iPhone

Lahaina Farms Market

Apples 1.99 lb
Portabellos 9.99 lb
Poblanos 4.99 lb
Butternut squash 1.99 lb
Yellow onions 2.19 lb
Yukon gold 1.79 lb
Russet 1.29 lb
Not organic tofu 1.99 14oz
Tomatoes 2.49
Huge mangos 2.59 ea
Whole wheat bread 6.99
Organic valley eggs 8.59 dozen!
Hawaiian maid eggs 3.99
Maui island free range eggs 8.99
Bionature spaghetti 4.29
Bionature diced tomatoes 4.19 28.2 oz
Dry red kidney beans 3.89 lb
Pineapple .99
Olive oil spectrum ev 22.79 25.4 oz
Brown rice 8.69 5lbs
Organic valley butter 10.59
Organic valley chedder 8.29 8 oz
Applegate farms turkey breast organic 6.59
Kashi cinnamon harvest 7.99
Puffins 5.59
Woodstock organic frozen corn 3.89 10 oz
Morning star tofu crumbles 5.89 12 oz
Haagen dazs vanilla ice cream 5.49
Maui coffee co 100% kona ground 14.45 lb
Alba SPF 16 lotion 29.19 32 oz
Crest cavity protection 4.49 6.4 oz
Newmans own chix and brown rice dog food 3.59
Ecover dish soap 5.19 32oz
7th generation white flower 2x 12.49 50oz
Fish section does not smell fishy opah 17.99 lb
Ono 16.99 lb
Mahimahi 14.99 lb
Ahi 20.99
Organic valley 1% milk 7.49 1/2 gallon
Surfing goat dairy goat cheese (local) 12.99 4.4 oz
Parma 18.49 lb
The lady in the cheese dept just suggested looking on craigs list for jobs and rentals, so did our waiter at lunch.
Gunness 11.00 6 pack bottles
Cazadores reposado 35.99 750ml
Gascon malbec 2008 16.99
Costal range organic chix 5.29lb
Prosciutto di Parma 29.99lb
Jamon serrano 28.99lb

-- Post From My iPhone


Lahaina is a really nice town. As we walk through the quaint shopping area our eye catches Maui to Go Arts and Crafts. We stop in and check out some amazing photographs that a local couple, Monica and Michale Sweet, take.

We talk with the owner Monique. She is a super sweet lady who moved here from France 20 years ago. After Dan tells her of our plans to move here she tells us how dismal it has been for her and her husband, also named Dan. He is a video photographer and after many years of bountiful work on all the islands, he has had none this year. He comes casually strolling in, in his lose t-shirt and shorts and talks with Dan. After buying one of the pictures, she gives us a cupon for half off lunch and her business card. They tell us to look them up once we move here. We leave thinking maybe this isn't the right time, maybe in the spring. Lahaina is active; a lot of boats, beach goers, surfers. Our cupon is for a place called Pacific 'O. Nice! We sit out on the lanai overlooking the beach.

Our waiter moved here 3 months ago and is totally happy to live in paradise, he says yes, times are tough, people are leaving, rents are going down because of that, but he is comitted to make it work. As he gives Dan his fish and chips, he gives us tips and tricks the locals use to save money. Show them your ID, tell the you are a kama'aina (local) and you get a 15 to 25% discount. I get an organic salad whose produce was grown on their farm, oofarm (! The tomatoes are golden and the best I've had in Hawaii. There are strips of carrot type things white, yellow and red and white swirled, I guess jimica, carrot and radish. Wrong, they're all beets! I get some grilled mahimahi to go with it, again, the best mahimahi I've had on the islands (a little salty) moist, decicate, tastey. The waiter tells me they don't go through a company, two local guys go out and fish every morning and bring them what they caught! How cool, this is everything I embody about food, I want to work here! I go to the bathroom and glance at a newspaper article about their award winning farm to table practices. On the back of the stall door is a laminated flyer describing the farm/tour lunch activity that you can do. It's over, I'm going to work here. The farm is in Kula, maybe Kula is very Kula!
-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Return from Hana

We finally get into Hana and stop for an overpriced lunch.

Dan gets a kulua pulled pork sandwich and I get a mahimahi sandwich with mango mojitos all around. We decide to make the loop instead of heading back the way we came and we are rewarded. The road is cut into the rocky cliffs and there is a sheer drop off to the ocean.

The smooth, paved highway turns into a rutted highway and the terrain is rolling green hills against the cliff like mountains.

We check out the other mountain town Kula, but decide we wouldn't want to live there because the drive is out of the way to get to the beach. Dan says it's not so Kula! Sunset greets us when we get back home and Dan is itching to get his feet wet. As we walk along the beach, the sun setting, we see turtles in the ocean coming up for air. After a shower, we decide to have sushi up the street. It is a great meal for a decent price (it's more expensive in Maui than Kauai) and I'm stoaked because it's my first meal using chopsticks! Dan has the spicey pork and I the spicey squid.

Day 3, The Road to Hana

Stella Blues Eggs Benidect

Another breakfast at Stella Blues. Dan decides on the breakfast burrito while I have the banana pancakes with toasted macadamia nuts and coconut syrup, yum! Since we might meet with the doctor tomorrow, we decide to do the 8 hour loop on the road to Hana. Dan has read that it is one of the top 5 most beautiful drives in the US. We leave Stella Blues at around 8:30. On our way we drive "upcountry" through Makawao. It so beautiful and cool, about 15 degrees cooler. As our waiter said it can get Africa hot in Kehei where we are staying. If you were to combine the lush vegetation of the south with the cool air and mountain charm of Breckenridge you'd have Makawao. From there we get on the Hana highway and it does not dissapoint. Hugging the rocky coast line, the lush, tropical rainforest creates a canopy of sun dappled highway, every now and then, around the bend, is a view of the vast, clear, deep blue Pacific ocean. Black lava cliffs contrasting against the blue of the ocean and the white of the waves crashing against them.

Horses or cattle grazing in a green meadow in the foreground. Giant trees and tangles of roots clinging to the rocky road side a sheer 20 feet up, leaves and branches whipping into my open window while Dan makes frequent stops at the narrow 1 way bridges that congest the 2 lane highway.

We see an inviting sign for a botanical garden called The Garden of Eden. We've been in the car for about 3 hours so we pay $19.00 to get in. It's costs 20 but that's all we have and the guy who says he's working in paradise let's us in anyway.

It's about a 2 mile loop filled with beautiful views and unique flowers. We see a 100 year old mango tree

Bamboo trees, and a waterfall. Back on the road to Hana we see a turn off for a lava tube. We can't resist! Luckly, they take credit cards, we pay the $22.00 and we're in. There is a stand where a young lady passionately explains that the lava tube was formed 960 years ago when mount Haleakala was formed. Behind her is the "owners" house. This tube runs through his property. We walk about 20 feet and descend into the tube.

There is plenty of room to walk, averaging a 20 foot tube. The tube is pitch black but we are supplied with flashlights. As we walk on 960 year old, unchanged lava, water drips down on us. It is one of the coolest things I've ever done. About an 1/8th of a mile in there is a vent hole

The tube runs down the mountain and when the lava was flowing a boulder trapped the flow, the pressure shot it straight up and blew a hole from the tube. Some parts of the tube look like chocolate ran through it instead of lava.

-- Post From My iPhone