Monthly Archives: February 2005

I’m alergic to Los Angeles

Well, the sore throat I had turned into a full blown sinus infection.

Seems like every time I fly through Los Angeles I get a sinus infection. It’s happened the last 3 times we had a layover in LAX.

I’m thinking it’s the pollution … could be the quantity of pollution or just the type.

I won’t bother going to the doctor for this … he ends up giving me anti-biotic and something for the cough, but if I just rest and take OTC cold remedies, it goes away in just about the same amount of time.

I hope Ginny doesn’t catch it.

Hawaii Vacation — We’re Home

We arrived home today … had the redye from LAX to ORD. I hate red-eye flights. Even though I took a melatonin, I was unable to really sleep. Got a few naps, but nothing substantial.

Flight was uneventful and our luggage arrived in record time. The ground crew was probably making up for taking so much time in Maui.

I ordered our taxi and we went outside to wait for it … it was cold … yes, Chicago cold.

Home was just as we left it … all in good order. I turned up the heat and the hot water heater (not going to forget to do that again I think).

I tried to stay awake as long as possible … although I didn’t succeed. I stayed up to about 1pm, watching TV, then had to crawl into bed for a while. Back up at 4pm for more TV.

For some reason both Ginny and I are suffering from sore throats. I wonder if our brief layover in LA caused it. We are both pretty sensitive to bad air conditions. Actually, my throat was starting to feel dry the day before yesterday. Possibly ‘anticipatory Maui withdrawal’? Might have to do some medical research on that.

Hawaii Vacation — Day 15

< sigh > time to leave 🙁

Although I’ve enjoyed this vacation, I’m glad to be going home. Two weeks of sleeping in a bed that isn’t yours is kind of hard.

Although the hotel was generally nice, the toilet dripped incessantly and it drove Ginny kind of crazy. We called the hotel staff 5 times about it, but they never got it fixed. I mentioned this to the person checking us out and she gave us a $50 credit on our bill. That was reasonable I think.

Got the car packed up and headed to the airport. We stopped at the Boarders in Kahaluhi so Ginny could get some reading material for the flight, and then we went to the airport.

Checking in at the airport was uneventful, although we were asked to show our boarding pass 3 times in the space of 100 feet. A bit excessive, both Steve and I thought.

The flight was delayed because it was late leaving LAX (I assume that’s where it came from), but we’re on the way.

It’s now 8pm PST and we’re about an hour from our layover in LA (only an hour or so). We will arrive in Chicago around 5am.

Steve is going to try and meet up with a friend of his on our layover I think he’s being a bit too optimistic (considering we got a late start). Also, his friends’ daughter had a fairly major health issue crop up and she will probably be attending to that.

This vacation was nice, but not the nicest we’ve had. It was kind of awkward that Steve didn’t have anyone with him. I felt sorry for him because his girlfriend, Ruth, had to work. Since it was just the three of us, we only had one car. That kind of limited our ability to go and do things on our own. I think this ended up causing a bit of friction between us. Any rough feelings were very temporary, so no harm was done.

Now those people who are reading this blog might notice that the entries are back dated. This is primarily for security purposes. I didn’t hide the fact that we were on vacation, but I also didn’t advertise it. If I had posted the blog entries as they were written, it would have been obvious that we were away from home. Call me paranoid, but MAYBE someone would think that this would be a good opportunity to boost some computer equipment.

I’m not sure where our next vacation will be Ginny and I have talked about going back to the UK for a trip (maybe spending some of it with my folks) but that hasn’t been discussed in detail.

This vacation did show us how out of shape we are we REALLY need to hit the health club more often. I had been going fairly regularly before we left for this trip, but my back spasmed and I had to stop for two weeks before we departed.

Hawaii Vacation — Day 14

We decided that today was going to be a relaxing day. We have reservations for the Marriott’s Luau that night, and Steve ended up helping a customer very early in the morning, so Ginny and I were on our own.

We walked up and down the Wailea boardwalk, which is quite nice people and whale watching. Then we headed down to the pool area for lunch and to relax for a while. Lunch was good, but the pool water was quite cold, so I didn’t do much swimming.

After the pool we lazed around a bit I took the laptop down to the hotel’s high speed internet room (free if you purchased the resort pass) to try and upload some pictures. The up channel was pretty slow, so I didn’t get that much transferred.

Four thirty rolled around and we went down for the Luau. I wasn’t as impressed with this Luau as I have been with others. Didn’t seem even close to authentic (IMHO, of course). The performance was, however, upstaged in a major way when a pair of whales came in close. It was a mother and her child and the child was playing around a lot. Breaching, splashing, etc. That kind of stole the show for a while. I tried to get some pictures, but the flash card is still in my camera, so I don’t know how they came out yet.

After the Luau, Ginny and I went out to the car to get our toy bag so we can get it packed.

Hawaii Vacation — Day 13

Today we go back to ‘civilization’.

We had brought the fixings for macadamia nut pancakes for breakfast but I wanted to explore the grounds of the condo we were staying at a bit, and Steve wanted to explore in another direction. This got is going on breakfast a bit late. We asked one of the staff if it was ok for us to leave a bit late, and she said it was fine.

So we made breakfast (Ok, Ginny made breakfast) and we ate Around 11:10, as we were cleaning up, the owner of the property knocked on the door and asked us to leave soon. I asked him if 20 minutes was OK, and he said we were already 20 minutes late (check out was 11am). I wasn’t sure what time zone he was living in, but 10 minutes after 11, does not make you 20 minutes late for a 11am checkout. I told him we would try to be out in 10 minutes he groused a bit and left.

As a small peace offering to the owner, Steve helped him out with his Apple Airport base station.

Just before we hit the road, Ginny saw some kittens playing near the house next door… of course we had to stay and watch them a little.

We finally got back on the road around 11:45 we’re heading back to Lahina via the back way (not the way we came). This road is much less developed (dirt & gravel in many places, quite narrow most of the way). The car rental companies don’t like folks to take this road, but there’s really not much they can do about it. I’ve checked the rental agreements every time we’ve been to Maui and have never found a clause indicating that driving that road is forbidden.

The other thing about this road is that it’s very beautiful. Since it’s not traveled as often as the main road to Hana, there can be some very ‘interesting’ people along the way. There are also two geo caches that can be found, so we were on the hunt.

The first cache site was pretty easy to find it was hidden in the rock wall near a store in Kaupo. We bought some sodas at the store, and chatted with the clerk (she was kind of a flake). We also chatted with the operators of a little coffee stand who knew a bit about the cache. Mono and his girlfriend (didn’t get her name) were quite friendly and we talked a bit. Ginny got to play with there cat a bit, so she was happy. We bought some iced tea, logged our visit to the cache, dropped off the travel bug we picked up a few days ago, and got back on the road. .

We tried to find another cache along the way, but were not successful. It was hidden up on a rocky outcropping, and it was really windy. I was kind of nervous up there, so we decided to give it a pass.

One of the funny things about this route back is that the road is incredibly inconsistent. At one point we were on a very rough road that obviously hadn’t been maintained in quite some time, the next we’re on a nicely paved two lane road over a bridge and, quite literally 2 blocks later we’re back on the poorly maintained road again.

Ginny’s theory is that the bridge needed to be rebuilt and the federal program that would provide the funds requires any new bridges be two lane so there’s a brand new two lane bridge in the middle of a rough and rocky highway.

Finally back in civilization, we checked into our hotel (Marriott Wailea), we had to high tail it to see Warren and Annabelles show.

Hawaii Vacation — Day 11

We drove to Hana today.

We wanted to start out around 9am, but because we had to get the car packed, it took a bit longer than we anticipated.

The drive was easy we were not in a hurry, because we are going to be staying in Hana for a few nights.

For those who don’t know, the drive to Hana is along the Hana Highway (Route 360) it is famous for being twisty and turny and it’s 54 one lane bridges.

We made a few stops and tried to find a Geocache (without any luck).

We arrived in Hana, found the place we’re staying at and checked email (priorities, man, priorities).

For dinner were decided to go for a local ‘hole in the wall’ take out place. It closed, however, at 7pm.

We arrived and found it was exactly that a hole in the wall. Just a take out window.

Steve, Ginny, and I, ordered our food and waited. When it was ready, I realized I hadn’t ordered enough (just soup, as it turned out). So I got back in line to order something else. The woman running the place took one more order, then came outside and closed the shutters to close up. With two people standing in line!

Oh well, I guess Ginny and I will just share (that’s what married people do, I’m told).

We got back to the condo and started to eat and found the soup was unbelievably salty. Way too salty to eat. Steve’s soup was acceptable. I had to dilute it with hot water to make it eatable.

Hawaii Vacation — Day 10

Today we went on a Molokini snorkel cruise with Paragon cruises.

The water was pretty rough Steve and Ginny didn’t enjoy it as much as I did.

I finally mastered diving deep. I pinched my nose and blew out when going down. I can now go down as far as 15 feet without my ears hurting. I was kind of surprised when I did I dove down to take a picture, and turned around to go back up, and found I was about 14 under water. It was pretty cool.

After snorkeling at Molokini the Paragon cruise crew hoisted the sail and went back to Maalaea after we got out of the shadow of Haleakela the wind picked up a lot, and the boat picked up speed a lot. At one point we were going about 20 knots. The wind was also picking up a lot of spray, which Steve (who is much taller than I) ended up catching in the face.

After the cruise, we went back to our condos to relax for a while. We also had to pack up, as we are checking out tomorrow.

We had dinner at the Five Palms restaurant. The food was good, but the service was marginal. It was Valentines Day, so they were extraordinarily busy.

Hawaii Vacation — Day 9

We went into Lahina today Ginny wanted to go to church at Holy Innocents of Maui. Steve and I wandered around town a bit until she was done. We did some GeoCaching and found two virtual caches.

For lunch we wanted to find a place called Mala Tavern we knew the address, and figured it would be a 4 or 5 block walk from downtown Lahina. We started walking and couldn’t find it. We walked some more checking the street numbers, but it didn’t appear we were getting any closer.

After walking about a mile, I pulled out my GPS to see where Mala Warf was, and figured we still had another ¾ of a mile to go. Maybe we weren’t fated to eat there anyway.

We headed back to Lahina and ate at a placed called Kimo’s. Not bad, but nothing amazing.

That evening we went to a concert Ginny had seen an poster for, held at the Maui Cultural Center. The event was catered by Mala Tavern! I guess we were fated to eat there. The food was quite good too.

The concert was pretty good although it didn’t have the same atmosphere as the slack key guitar concert.

All three of us had decided to leave the cameras at the condo, because the concert was going to be filmed by one of the performers. Unfortunately there was this absolutely incredible sunset through the mountains that we all wanted to get pictures of. Steve was able to get a reasonable picture with his camera phone, but I doubt it will do justice to the scene.

Hawaii Vacation — Day 8

We went snorkeling at Olowalu today. It’s a nice area with a lot of coral heads and deep trenches between the heads.

We started out at a reasonable time, but because of a series of errors, we ended up getting a pretty late start.

We got out to the snorkeling spot and found a good place to get in. Then Steve realized he had forgotten the boots to his fins. Since he had done some of snorkeling already, he was just going to take a pass and relax on the beach.

Then Ginny realized that a piece had broken off of her mask. We kind of figured the day was blown at that point and were going to head back home (and probably buy Ginny a new mask). Then I took a look at her mask and realized I had seen the missing piece in the bathroom at the condo.

Steve and I decided to drive back to the condo so he could get his boots and I could find the mask piece.

It took a little longer than we had expected, but we finally got back with boots and fixed mask in hand.

The water was fairly clear and calm. We snorkeled for about an hour and a half. Steve and I tried to help a guy figure out how to use his snorkel (he had the snorkel attached to the loose end of his mask strap. The mask was far too big for his face.)