Author Archives: haleyiesh

A Look at the Last Year

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How does one begin to blog again after a year?  I guess I’ll try to sum it up with pictures:

Last year, around this time, Ross and I visited Hearst Castle located along the Pacific coast in the town of San Simeon, CA.  A gentlemen by the name of George Hearst purchased this 40,000 acre property back in 1865.  Inherited later in 1919, William Randolph Hearst transformed the land into the castle and National Landmark it is today.

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Neptune Pool ( made up of three pools) – The coolest pool I will ever see.  It’s so beautiful and Italian looking that I would be scared to swim in it.  I asked a guy who works there if the employees get to swim in it and he said they do.  There are two dates in which they get to choose from that they can swim in it.  He also said people get married at the castle.  There is an auction where you can bid for the chance to have a wedding at the castle.  Also, the colonnades that you see, no one was allowed to touch them due to preservation.  There were quite a few security people around the pool.  But of course, people still touched.

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This is the “front door”.

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Overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

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There were spectacular gardens filled with beautiful bright colored flowers.

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Hillsides full of hydrangeas.

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The Front Door.

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Another view of the Neptune pool.  It’s so big that I couldn’t fit the entire pool into one picture.

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This was the indoor Roman Pool.  Every inch of this room is covered in tiles the size of my thumb.  This includes the inside of the pool.  This pool is styled after an ancient Roman bath.

I highly recommend visiting Hearst Castle if you ever visit California.  Ross and I were only able to do 2 or 3 tours, but there were others to choose from.  We only saw a small percent of what this place has to offer.  I’m sure we will be back to it someday.

As summer started to roll around, Ross was still doing his thing at Rite Aid and I was still in limbo at Safeway between working as a Courtesy Clerk, Starbucks Barista, and a Floral Clerk.  By June, my Floral Manager had to go out on disability for old softball injuries.  She had me promoted to Floral Manager for the next six months.  I was so very happy and appreciative for the time I got to be manager.  I was ready for that kind of responsibility as opposed to bagging someones groceries.  Therefore, I was able to have a full 40 hour work week, have enough money to live my life, and I was allowed to create my own schedule.

When July rolled around, I scheduled myself off for the 4th of July.  Since Ross and I were training ourselves for Tough Mudder, Ross planned a 10 mile hike on Mt. Tallac in Lake Tahoe for July 4th.  So, on July 3rd, Ross calls me at work and asks if I want to go on this grand 10 mile hike for the 4th of July.  Of course I said yes, and he booked a one night stay at Harveys.

Ross said that we had to get up before the sun because it said on the internet that this was a good hike to watch the sun rise.  As we were trying to check out, the guy at the front desk was moving a little too slow.  Ross, mumbling under his breath, grew a little impatient which was out of character for him in my eyes but I didn’t think anything of it.

Still dark outside, we made it to the trail head.  Ross began to walk … Ross began to walk fast … Ross began to jog up this mountain and I was struggling to keep up.  I was thinking  ‘Gosh, he really wants to see that sunrise’.   He kept going off the beaten path to get a good view of Lake Tahoe and finally he found one.  We stood there and waited.  It didn’t take long until we were able to see a ray of golden sunshine.  Ross handed me his phone so I could perform my ritual of taking pictures.  After taking many of the same picture, I handed the phone back to Ross.  He packed his phone away, and we were off, or so I thought…  As I was starting out, he grabbed my hand and positioned me to look out at the lake, which I thought was weird.  That’s when he got down on his knee and proposed.  My first words were a tearful “No way!” because I was in disbelief but I quick had to change them because I didn’t want him thinking that was my answer.  With a joyous, yet, blubbery ‘yes’ I hugged him …  and that’s when the mosquitoes came to congratulate us.

 

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The “spot”.

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The mosquitoes were really bad.
20130704_072554No, that was not the top.

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The view from the top of Mt. Tallac.  This hike took us about 6 hours to complete.  We hiked a whopping 3,500 vertical  feet to the top which is at 9,735 ft above sea level.

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Another view from the Mt. Tallac hike.

 

Once we finished our hike, we rested our legs for the rest of the day.  Did I say day?  I meant week.  Our bodies were exhausted, but we had to mentally prepare ourselves for what was to come the following weekend.  Tough Mudder Tahoe at Northstar Ski Resort.

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This is my fabulous action shot.  This was the obstacle at the summit of Northstar.  I was doing the army crawl through electric hanging wires.  Suitably, this obstacle is named Electric Eel, and suitably, they were playing Motley Crues’ “Live Wire’.

The next month, August, Tough Mudder took us back home to run it with the gaggle of gooks seen below:

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Joe Henderson, Michael Oelig, Wayne Oelig, Matt Coder, Amir Benjamin, Ross Coder, Brooke Coder, Haley Esh  (all of us standing with our bottles of ‘Jack3d’ which they have discontinued due to deaths and heart attacks)

This was the “Pittsburgh” Tough Mudder, however, it took place at the Powerline Park in St. Clairsville, Ohio.  Ross and I flew home, Amir picked us up from the Philadelphia Airport, drove us home, gathered our team, and drove to Ohio where we spent the night.  At 8:00 a.m., we were the first wave of mudders through the course.

Amidst the running and slippery wet hills, Ross fell.  When we reached the next obstacle, we noticed Ross was bleeding.  When he fell, he must of hit a rock that created an open gash wound in his arm.  He and Amir took off and finished the race at a faster pace so as to reach the medic tent.  There, they cleaned his wound and sewed him up.

The next day, we had a backyard bbq at my mom’s house.  After everyone left, Ross got a shower.  We were going to relax the rest of the day because we had a plane to catch the next day.  Mom, Karly, and I were sitting on the couch watching TV when Ross came out to sit on the chair.  Looking pale and sweaty, I told him to hold up his wounded arm and let us see it.  With a big red streak leading up his arm, the three of us on the couch looked at each other and decided he needed to get it checked out immediately.

Ross and I got in my mom’s Vue and headed to Harrisburg.  We went to Urgent Care and they said to go to Holy Spirit Hospital.  Here, he was admitted to the hospital on the spot with an infection in his arm.  He would end up having to spend  2 nights in the hospital and cancelling our flight.

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After surviving this experience, we were able to fly back to California with his arm.
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Warrior Carry.  Amir carried Hendy.

Below Amir and Ross were doing the “Hold Your Wood” obstacle.

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The next month, in September, we had visitors.  John, Matt, Brooke, Donna, and Lee all came out for a visit.

 

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We visited San Francisco and Muir Woods.

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We traveled up to Oregon to check out Crater Lake.

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We drove south for a visit to Yosemite.  One can never visit Yosemite enough.  We stayed in heated tents where we forgot to turn on the heat.  The next day we checked out the Redwoods at Mariposa Grove.

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We rode the gondola at Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe.

20130916_190436And we just goofed around waiting for the sun to go down at Glacier Point in Yosemite.

I feel like this is a good start to get back into blogging.  There is more to come because I only made it to September.  Stay tuned for more!

 

Certainly Not Bored …

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So far, 2013 has not disappointed us one bit.  It has been filled with learning to ski / skiing, working in a floral shop, hosting guests, cooking,  jury duty, softball, and softball tournaments.

We begin this blog with our love of food, drink, and friendship.  While in California, Ross and I take many opportunities to relish the cuisine that is sushi.  Now, we have not gone out for sushi as of late, but below are pictures of when we went out last with my co-worker, Ben.  Ben introduced us to Sake Bombs.

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The idea here is to pound the table with your fists so that the warm sake vibrates and falls into the beer.  Not wanting to create attention towards us …20130119_193006

… we gently poured the sake into the beer, and proceeded to drink.

Moving on, I’m still learning to ski.  Below are pictures on our way to Boreal again.  After a rough start at Sierra at Tahoe, I needed to regain some confidence in myself.  So, we went back to the basics.20130127_082159

Starting our drive up the hill.20130127_082236

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Sun rising up from the East.20130127_084759

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Up on the mountain at Boreal.  This was the last day we were at Boreal.  I had so much fun this day because I was following Ross into the trees and going down dips and going across little jumps (granted, there was no air between me and the snow unless by accident).  Boreal had just gotten snow overnight so there was plenty of powder to play in.

After Boreal, we decided to try out Sugar Bowl, which is a few exits before Boreal, but has a lot more Blues.  I will try to dig up some pictures from that day, although, I’m not sure we took any because we were fiddling with Ross’s new toy – the Go Pro.  If we can remember how to post videos on YouTube, I will provide a link on my blog.  You don’t want to miss it, I demonstrate how one slides down a Black Diamond without using skis.

Moving on to work related events, Ross is still doing well at work.  No crazy stories as of late other than the usual incoherent happenings of the public.  As for me, I have been getting more hours in the Floral Department.  The month of  February was a doozy, especially the week of Valentine’s Day.  Three days before Valentine’s Day, I was scheduled to work from 3:00 a.m. -noon.  During the first three or four hours by myself, under the dim glow of a closed store, I made arrangements.  I was able to get twenty-four done by the time my help clocked in.  On Valentine’s Day, we were wiped out of my $32.99 arrangements and needed more so my manager and I worked overtime.  By the end of it all, I was left with nothing but coffee breath, rough fingers, and a headache.  Bring on Mother’s Day!

During the week of Valentine’s Day, I also helped a local florist who owns a small shop in Old Town.  My manager and I chipped in a few hours of our time because the owner was overwhelmed with orders via internet.  She had to shut it down and stop taking orders because she had so many arrangements to make.  In the end, she made it through the holiday, but wanted us to be on standby for Mother’s Day.

March has been fun so far.  Ross took off for a long week of skiing with Nick Ziegler and Chris Valintakonis.  They hit up NorthStar, Alpine Meadows, Heavenly, Kirkwood, and Squaw Valley.  Below are a few pictures Ross took:

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Looking out above the clouds.  (above is Nick)20130305_123352

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After skiing for the fifth day in a row, they took a break from it and went for a small hike.  (above is Chris)

I think they all had a pretty successful vacation.  The idea of skiing in Colorado was being tossed around for next year.

With wind burnt faces and sore bodies, we said so long to Nick and Chris.

Snap back to reality, there was first time Jury Duty to be done.  That’s right, I got to skip a day of work to drive down to Sacramento, sit in a room full of people for a half hour, swear in, sit for another half hour until finally the courtroom clerk tells us the Judge apologizes, but we would not be needed for the day.  Duty had been served.

Another little tid bit – I bought a small magazine of casserole recipes that I find to be super easy and will last us most of a week.  Just to name a few that I’ve made are Chicken’n Chillies Casserole, Chicken Tator Bake, and Texas Style Lasagna.  We will soon be rid of you yet Hamburger Helper and Pasta Roni!

So softball started two weeks ago and has consumed our lives ever since.  My women’s league won our first game as well as Ross and my co-ed team.  Immediately after winning our co-ed game, we headed out on a two hour drive through the Sierras for a co-ed softball tournament in Reno, NV.  We stayed at the WorldMark hotel across from the Sands casino.  We were invited by a guy we played against in our co-ed league in Auburn.  The tournament was called – The Dirty Dublin.  This tournament is unlike any other.  Reason being, here are some of the rules:

-Each team is allowed one defensive or offensive do-over “mulligan” per game.

-Wear an Irish hat after the 2nd out in the 1st inning and you are worth double.

-Each Strikeout or foul out awards opponent 1 run.

-Spin the Irish wheel and get an advantage.. or dis-advantage.

The Irish wheel really never worked out to our advantage.  A team we played had the best spin.  If our pitcher walked a guy, he took third base, if it was a girl, they picked up second.  Our pitcher wasn’t too hot when the wind really started to pick up.  I’m not blaming our pitcher by any means because no one on our team brought their “A” game for this tournament.  We lost our first two games, won our third, lost our fourth, and we were out.  Didn’t even make it to Sunday.

Nevertheless, we still had a lot of fun.  We were introduced to some great new people, an awesome area to play ball, and a SUPER awesome bar and grill in the middle of the softball complex.

It’s a two story bar and grill in the center of it all.  This was a really cool place for a ball field.  Pictures below show you the inside:

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20130316_182230  Some good’ol fashion Irish music could be heard all evening.20130316_202712

Beside Ross is Heath.  Heath was one of the guys we played with.  He was hilarious and much needed comic relief as most of us were uptight about losing.  We really wanted to make it into Sunday!20130316_202731

During the Dirty Dublin, I was introduced to Julie, who asked me to play in a women’s tournament the following Saturday.  My schedule worked out that I could play.  It was a women’s tournament in Sacramento.  We didn’t win a single game, but I met a lot of gals who were pretty cool.  They were all very welcoming and kept it chill when games became discouraging.  Below is the group of women I played with known as – Rockstars.

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I will be seeing this group on Thursdays for my women’s league.  Unfortunately, I will be playing against them.  The lady in red is Julie, who invited me to the tournament, and the gal to my left is Patty a.k.a. Pattio, both who Ross and I played with in the Dirty Dublin.  I see Pattio most with the women’s and co-ed leagues.  She too is hilarious and has so many great stories to tell.

Well, that sums up 2013 thus far.  Easter is this weekend, so I’ll definitely be busy at work.  I am in much need of a visit home and am in hopes that it will be in June.  We shall see.

Sierra at Tahoe

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After two ski trips to Boreal for lessons, Ross decided to take it up a notch and ski at a slightly bigger resort  –  Sierra at Tahoe.

20130116_152614This was an early two hour drive into the sun.

We pulled up into the parking lot before they opened and got ready.  I took pictures of the daunting mountain in front of me.  Looking at these mountains made Boreal seem like rolling hills.

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I looked at it and thought, “I have to go up there?!”

And I did.  Going up was easy.  Sometimes, I don’t want the lift ride to end because I know I’m going to some how have to survive the deathly trails back down.  Now of course, I am exaggerating, but this is what I think and feel when I go skiing.

Ross started me off on a 2 – 2.5 mile green ball.  Ok, I think I got this, this isn’t so bad.  Ross is in front of me, there’s a fork in the road, he goes right.  So … why am I going left??!!  I bring my legs to a stop just before going down (what I think) looks like a steep blue.  I think to myself, “Oh, sh!t, how am I going to get down?”  I wasn’t quite ready for a blue that early in the morning.  Luckily, Ross spotted me like a scared deer through the woods and glided his way over to me.  He starts telling me how to ski down and slowly I follow, then pick up speed, somehow I get turned backwards and fall.  Ross helps me put on my ski after about five minutes.  Again, he shows me how to simply glide my way down.  Ok, he makes it look easy, if I just put weight on the right foot, I think I might have this in the bag.  Down I go again.  Frustration has set in.  Ross keeps calm, I whine and complain, “I hate skiing!“.  After about three more falls, I’m ready to punch all the skiers zooming passed me.  On the verge of tears, I think to myself  ‘The only way you’re getting down this mountain is without tears in your eyes and a lump in your throat.  You’re going to need to stay focused, so clear your head we have a long day!’  I regain my composure, I listen to Ross, and with hair in my mouth, and snot up my nose, I finally slide down the mountain.

Thankfully Ross has the patience of a saint.  On the lift back up, we were able to joke and laugh about the whole thing, but next time, I’m going right when Ross goes right.

I regained my confidence by skiing a few different green balls.  While on a green, there was a short blue Ross wanted me to try since I didn’t do so hot with my blue morning opener.  I listened, watched, and did what Ross did going down the blue, and by golly I made it.  We came back up and I tried another blue and did it pretty well.  I got a lot of blue practice in this day.

At about 1:00 p.m., we headed into a restaurant at the top of the mountain for lunch  –  360 Smokehouse Barbque.  Here, we relaxed, warmed up, ate and took in the view of Lake Tahoe.

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CIMG6793It was really bright and windy.

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After lunch, we did a few more runs.  My legs were starting to burn out so after an hour or two, we called it a day.

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Snow looks a bit high don’t you think?

CIMG6803And so, we drive the two hours back.  We are either going to Boreal or Sierra at Tahoe this Saturday.  After this day, I have a lot more yet to learn …

Christmas and Skiing

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This year, I went ahead and bought a real BIG Christmas tree.  I was happy we did not have to scavenge for a tree, for Home Depot had fresh cut ones shipped in from Oregon!  Haha ugh … it’s strange to say all that coming from a state that has plenty of Christmas trees to go around.  Anyway, it was $64 for this 8′ beauty and believe it or not, she still stands in our living room.  (Look, I’m trying to get my money’s worth alright?)

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CIMG6767She’s also a bit of a leanzor.  (It’s leaning a bit.)

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Here is our friend and my co-worker Ben, sleeping on our couch.

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Ross’s boss, Charmaine, invited us over for dinner and some crafting!  Ross drew the scene above and I drew the creature below.  Can you tell we miss Hawaii?

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One day I was coming home for my hour lunch and found the centerpiece below outside in front of our door.  I brought it in and here it was from Lee and Donna!  It was so pretty!  I loved it, and we thank you both very much for the surprise.  It was very nice to look at during our meals.20121224_192701

Christmas Eve dinner consisted of salad, stuffed shells, and apple pie.  After we ate, we got on Skype, and opened gifts with my Mom, Grandma, and Sister.

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As you can see, we have a chair sitting there with the laptop on it.  One by one we opened each others’ gifts.  I think the biggest gift of all though, was and still is, learning how to ski…

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Ross took the picture above when he had a day by himself to go skiing at Alpine Meadows.  Lord knows, that is not me at the top of that hill.

Instead, Ross and I went to Boreal.  Boreal is an hour away from our place and is a resort basically for beginners.

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So we went up the hill on I-80 towards the Donner Pass.  When we left Auburn in the morning, it was about 32-34 degrees.  When we arrived at Boreal, it was 10 degrees.

I don’t have any pictures of us skiing, but some of the pictures below are of when we were taking a break.

When we got there, it was very awkward to put on and walk around in skis.  I got on the lift, immediately dropped my pole, then Ross snagged it right before we took off.  Lesson number 1, keep your poles up.  When we got off the lift, I fell.  Lesson number 2, don’t fall next time.

I had been doing pretty good going down the bunny hill, so we tried a different trail.  A green that led into a blue!!  I was scared and getting frustrated, but Ross persuaded me that when we get to the bottom, we can go inside for a break.  Somehow I made it down, and it was break time! 🙂

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To the right of the lift is the bunny hill that I had been practicing on all morning.  After our break, we went back out and attempted another green trail that happened to be my favorite for the rest of the day.  We skied for about 6 hours that day.  Each time we went up the lift, the less visible the mountains around us were becoming.  It was snowing on us and windy, and after one more good run, we decided it was time to go home.

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My Jeep starting to collect snow in the parking lot.

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Boreal buildings.  The lodge we hung out in is off to the far left in the background.

We were back on the road going down the hill on I-80.  The snow was really coming down and the roads were kind of bad.  Going down the highway, all the vehicles got into one line and followed a cop car down.  It was like a parade and the cop car was setting the pace.  Later he pulled off to the left and here there was an SUV flipped over on its side.  I-80 is crazy.  I think I went 40 mph or less driving home.

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Well, that was one successful day of learning how to ski, but there would be more to come…

We Came, We Saw, We Swam with Turtles – Day 6

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This was our last day.  We decided to take it easy and check out what we might have missed further down the beach.  Don’t let the cloudy sky and my jeans fool you, it was super hot (hence the water bottle).

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This is a picture of Whalers Village.  We had many yogurt ice cream nights, dinners, and shopping trips here.

Further on down the beach, there was a luxurious hotel called the Hyatt Regency.  This place practically had a zoo for a lobby.  That’s where we met these little guys:

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We could have touched them if we wanted to, but of course that was frowned upon.

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We walked further down and checked out some other resorts:

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IMG_3695Mai Tai’s in a pool cave anyone?

After walking off breakfast, we laid out by the beach one last time.  Ross, Brooke, and I took a walk up to Black Rock and checked out a hotel with a pool that was like a little river.   We witnessed the Butler Basketball team playing corn hole in the grass and later learned they were there for the Maui Invitational.  They ended up playing and loosing against the Fighting Illini.  There was a couple on the snorkeling trip who were in Maui for the invitational.  They were from Illinois.  I suppose their son was on the team.

Anyway, we took in our last vision of the ocean and headed back to the room for a shower before beginning the long hall back to the main land.

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Before leaving the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, they had a ceremony to those leaving that day.  They sang a farewell song and placed Kukui nut leis around our necks.  Each time we go back, they will put a white nut on the lei.  So, you have to remember to bring it back.

IMG_3668Here we all are together with the lady who bid us, “farewell” and a “see you next time”.

None of us were ready to leave, but it was time to pack up the rentals and head back to the airport.  We entertained ourselves by watching most of Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter and before we knew it, we were back in L.A.

Then we had to part ways with the family 😦  The four of them left before us, so Ross and I found some breakfast that cost an ungodly $30 for 2 breakfast sandwiches and 2 drinks.  You live and you learn right?

Finally, we were back in Sacramento at about 9:00a.m.  When we got home, we immediately went to bed.

Hawaii was a wonderful trip and we definitely want to return.  We highly recommend that in your lifetime you visit this place because it is quite the site to see.

We Came, We Saw, We Swam with Turtles – Day 5

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This was our last full day in Maui, HI.

Once again, we woke up bright and early, had our coffee, …

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… and of course, made our way to the beach to gather for a snorkeling trip!

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Here we are standing in line anxiously waiting to board the Teralani II.

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We set sail across the ocean a couple of miles.  In the mean time, we took in the scenery.

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CIMG6712Ginger’s should not be in the sun, so I took cover beneath Ross’s shadow while armored in black.

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The dolphins would come and swim right up beside our boat.

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We finally made it to our destination.  They tied the boat to the bottom and geared everyone up for some snorkeling.  Ross was the first one to jump in, Matt was second, Brooke and I were reluctantly third.  We had 15 feet below us and a wide radius to cover.  As soon as we were in, we all discovered three of those large turtles we saw back at Black Rock.  I saw some fish that looked like Nemo (clown fish), some urchins, and some great coral reef.

After about 15 minutes, Brooke and I headed back to the boat.  Ross and Matt were essentially the first ones off the boat and the last to get back on.  They told us about the family of about 8-12 turtles they came across.  I was jealous.  IMG_3596

Brooke and I sat in this very spot for a good portion of the day.  I was just being a goof in this photo.  From this spot, we could watch the sea turtles come up for air.  We hung out here for a while until they called us in for lunch.  They grilled hot dogs, burgers, they had chips, pasta salad, etc.  There were even free happy drinks.

Just as we all were finishing up our meal, we hear someone shout, “WHALES, WHALES!”  Everyone dropped what they were doing, and headed to the upper deck.

Brooke took some good shots:

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Seeing the whales was the highlight of my day.  It was a big bonus seeing them because it was not whale season.  These guys were a bit early, like a month to two months early.

The crew said that if we make a lot of noise, they’ll come up to the surface more often or get closer.  Brooke started hollering, then the rest chimed in, it was funny.  Then the crew said, they really show themselves if you make barn animal noises.  Some fell for it.

After the whales started to become less visible, we moved on.  The captain, Cpt. Eric, gave us all the opportunity to experience swimming in deep blue water.  I’m talking about swimming above 300 feet of water!  Once again, Ross was the first one in, then Matt, Brooke, and me.  I was super scared knowing the great abyss was just beneath me and all I had to do was put on some goggles to see it.

Once I had seen everyone else look down, I found some courage to do the same.  All I could see was deep blue/purple about 8-10 feet below me along with little flecks or particles floating around.  It was neat, but it was still scary, and we just got done seeing whales.  I wanted back on the boat.  I forgot to mention it was a windy day and the waves were not so helpful in my attempt to swim.  We all had to keep swimming away from the boat so it would not go over top of us.  I grabbed the stairs, was glad I did it, and was ready to dry off.

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This picture was taken after experiencing the deep blue sea.

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On the way back, the dolphins seemed particularly happy and ready to entertain.

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Hawaii dolphins are happy dolphins.  It was really cool to see them do that on their own.

I’m not sure what time of day it was, but after being dumped off on shore, we walked back to “our spot” on the beach.  We met back up with Lee and Donna and jumped back into the ocean.

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Since the weather was being all weird and windy, the waves were much larger than previous days.

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Ross, Lee, me, Matt

We were having a blast riding the big waves.

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I think in the sequence of pictures below, Ross and Matt were riding the wave as long as possible.

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To which Ross got his pants full of sand.

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Here we are with our boat, the Teralani II, behind us.

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Waiting for another big swell.

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Pure joy.

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Then we celebrated our last evening at our hotels’ Tiki Bar.

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I think this was Lee’s favorite place to visit.  He made all kinds of friends.

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I’m not sure if these were daiquiris number 2, 3, or maybe even 4, but all we knew was that it was our drink of choice.

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Ross and Matt enjoyed locally brewed beer from Maui Brewing Company.

Brooke had the idea to order in instead of going out, so we took our drinks over to our room and sat outside again.  Here, we ate our pizza and drank our delicious drinks while recapping the events from the week.

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We would be sad to leave the next day.  Until then though, we had at least one more day at the beach.

We Came, We Saw, We Swam with Turtles – Day 4

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This was the day we took the drive to Hana.  On this long drive, we ran into rain, waterfalls, peacocks, little huts selling “The World’s Best Banana Bread”, etc.  We were pretty much driving through the rainforest all day and it was fantastical.

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These shrubs look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book.  They look like green fingers coming out of the mountain side.

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The wet and rainy road to Hana.

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We stopped at a rest stop along the way where we ran into some beggars …

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Someone threw him some bologna, or maybe it was one of Donna’s chips.

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This was another stop along the way.  Just another place to watch the ocean crash up onto the rocks.

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We made another pit stop to check out the beach with the black sand.

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So we walked down to the waters’ edge for a closer look.

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Here we are checking out the wet, shiny black rock pebbles.

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The black sand.  The water almost had Donna, she ran away before it got her.

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We hiked up to a point where we could look back on the black sand we were just on.

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… wouldn’t want to fall down there …

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Checking out another blow hole.  You could hear the water beneath, but there was minimal action.

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The blowhole.

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Finally, we arrived in Hana.  It wasn’t really much of a sight to be seen, it’s more about the drive and the stops you make along the way.

But while we were in Hana, we got to see red sand too!

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Brooke found a very large hermit crab shell that I accidentally left behind in our RENTAL CAR!!! Grrrr!  It was so cool 😦

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A few more miles down the road we parked our cars and got out to do a big hike.  The first thing we saw was this spider … how comforting.

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We trekked up the mountain on the Pipiwai Trail.  Our destination was the Waimoku Falls.

Here are a few things we saw along the way:

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Here is another Banyan tree much like the one preserved in the town of Lahaina.

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And so began our journey through the bamboo.

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It could be high noon in the sky, but under the shade of the bamboo, it became dark and a little cooler.

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We were closing in on our destination to the waterfall.  We had to methodically cross a few streams first.

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Good communication is key in teamwork.

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One more step to success, and we all make it across unscathed.

After that stream, there was one more to cross before we could see the waterfall.

It was well worth the hike.

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Waimoku Falls.

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On the hike back down, we took a picture from afar on the bridge we were on before.

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All the waterfalls we saw on the hike, fell down what is known as the Seven Pools of Kipahulu, and into the Pacific Ocean.DSCN0426

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After a long day of driving and hiking, it was time to do more driving.  We decided we didn’t want to go back the way we came, so we drove around the rest of the island of Maui.

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We said so long to the bamboo trail, leaving that part of Maui behind us.

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These roads were crazy I tell you!  There were no guard rails.  When I was driving in the Jeep, I looked out my window and right there was the ocean.  It was freaky so I only looked down once and that was good enough for me.  It was a one lane road for two-way traffic.  We all ran into a few hiccups but we made it out.  Around corners like the one in the picture above, there was no way of knowing if a car was coming.

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This is what the drive looked like for the most part.  Parts of this land were farmland for grazing cattle.  I’m not so sure Happy Cows live in California when they get to graze beside the ocean everyday.

You can’t see it in this picture but off to the left was the Pacific ocean.  As the sun sank west, we drove closer to the hotel where we all just wanted to shower, sit, rest, and settle in for the evening.

Tomorrow, we would be waking up early for a full day of snorkeling off the Teralani II.