Wordless Wednesday – Shelf Cloud

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 I recommend clicking on these images to see them larger!

(My post yesterday never showed up in the feed.  In case you missed it, check out Beautiful Kapalua!)

D
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Beautiful Kapalua

 In my previous post, I shared about our nice condo in Maui on our trip back in May, and one of the aspects that made this particular condo experience one of our nicest ones to date was beautiful Kapalua resort itself, where our condo was located.

Kapalua Logo Sign

Kapalua logo sign

Kapalua is the last resort area in the northwest corner of Maui, past the popular Kaanapali and Kahana resort areas.  While those last two areas are more densely populated, Kapalua is further out and away from most of the heavier traffic, and it also sits in one of the prettiest areas of any of the Hawaiian islands we’ve visited.  Various sites and places in Kapalua have won awards for quality, and we understand why now.  Kapalua is a special place of conservation and preservation, not just a tourist destination.  The Pu’u Kukui Preserve at Kapalua is one of the largest nature preserves in Hawaii, and unfortunately, we did not make it there on our trip.

Kapalua Resort Cook Pines

Beautiful Cook pine trees line the entrance at Kapalua resort with the Bay Course on the right

Kapalua Cook Pines

More Cook Pines

Kapalua Villas

Ridge Villas at Kapalua

Kapalua has so much to offer, including truly fabulous beaches, beautiful natural scenery and amazing landscaping, golf courses, two luxury hotels and condos/villas in two different locations – Kapalua Accommodations, good restaurants in varying price ranges in both the resort and the hotels, a nice store for groceries and souvenirs, concierge services, a free resort shuttle and a more upscale store for clothing and other items.  There are also a couple of small churches, including one that was quite picturesque on Mother’s Day morning.

Kapalua Church

Scenic church at Kapalua on Mother’s Day morning

While other resort areas on the island have activity until well after dark, Kapalua is more peaceful and quiet, since most everything shuts down early in the evening, except the nicer restaurants.  I should mention that the five-hour time difference from home, for us, was actually a great thing.  While we adapted a bit to the time change, we had no problem getting up early in the mornings, relatively speaking, which enabled us to have the entire day without feeling like we actually got up early.  Coming home?  Well, that was a different story as far as jet lag!

Beaches of Kapalua

We visited the three beaches in at Kapalua for the first time, D. T. Fleming Beach, Oneloa Bay and Kapalua Bay, and on a previous trip, we also went snorkeling at nearby Honolua Bay with friends.  Honolua Bay is just north of the resort area and is a little harder to access, but it is a gorgeous place.  Honolua Bay and Mokule‘ia Bay, both Hawaii State Marine Life Conservation Districts, are amazing places and with ancient lava formations, coral formations and great marine life.  It is a must see place, in my opinion, but on this trip, we opted to see new beaches and forego snorkeling.   We also visited Napili Beach on this most recent trip, which is not far from Kapalua Bay and is very nice.

We chose D. T. Fleming Beach for our one afternoon at the beach during our trip, and we had so much fun playing in the waves there.  It was nice to also have big shade trees, picnic tables and public restroom facilities nearby there.  If we return to Maui sometime, we will try to spend more time Kapalua Bay, if possible.  Oneloa Beach is a bit rough for swimming with no life guard on duty, but it is amazingly beautiful with its beautiful protected sand dunes.  We had a great view of Oneloa Bay from our condo, too.

All beaches in Hawaii are public beaches, even the beaches that front the nicest hotels, and we liked the beaches at Kapalua better than any other beaches we visited on our previous trips to Maui.

D. T. Fleming Beach

D. T. Fleming Beach, near the Ritz Carlton Hotel

D. T. Fleming Beach Park

Pretty public park at D. T. Fleming Beach

D. T. Fleming Beach

Scenic spot at D. T. Fleming Beach with beautiful pine trees

Oneloa Bay

Scenic Oneloa Bay

Oneloa Bay with Lanai in the distance

Oneloa Bay with Lanai in the distance. Note the beautiful sand dunes here.

Kapala Oneloa Beach

Natural Beauty at Oneloa Beach

Kapalua Bay

Kapalua Bay, America’s Best Beach in 1991 – the Montage Hotel is also nearby

Napili Beach

Napili Beach, next to Kapalua Bay and just outside the Kapalua resort

Kapalua Golf Courses

The two golf courses at Kapalua, the Bay Course and the Plantation Course, are amazingly beautiful, and the Plantation Course is a PGA course where the Hyundai Tournament of Champions is played.  But not only are these courses beautiful, they are both certified sanctuaries by Audubon International, “protecting 23 species of birds and helping preserve native plants and habitats,” according to Kapalua.com.  The tall Cook pine trees lined most all of the courses in both locations and are quite a sight to see.

Kapalua Bay Course at Pineapple Grill

Our view of the Bay Course at Pineapple Grill on Mother’s Day morning

Kapalua Bay Course

The Bay Course on Hubby’s golf day

Kapalua PGA Plantation Course

Our view of the PGA Plantation Course during dinner at the Plantation House one evening

Kapalua Plantation Course

Plantation Course

I’ve opted to share about the Kapalua Coastal Trail in a separate post soon, as it was a great hike along the ocean.  It is not your typical hike, and we truly enjoyed hiking the entire trail twice during our stay.

D
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Our Condo in Maui

Our flight arrived in Maui after dark, and we were greeted by Hawaiian music performers and hula dancers right in the airport in Kahului.  The baggage claim area was open-air, and finally feeling the slightly cool tropical air after our very long day of flying was such a treat for us once again.  We had no issues at baggage claim or at the car rental desk, and we were quickly on our way in our full-size car to the other side of the island and our accommodations for the week.  We opted for yet another new place to stay on this trip, and booking through Costco’s travel site enabled us to get a good rate with our rental car included in the package.  As we arrived in Lahaina, we made a very quick stop at a local grocery store to pick up just a few items before heading on to our condo.

We stayed at the Ridge Villas at Kapalua on this trip, and I highly recommend the villas to anyone looking for a nice condo for vacation in Maui.  On our two previous trips many years ago, we stayed in condos at Kaanapali and Kahana, but we liked our condo here and the entire Kapalua resort even more.  It is a little pricier than the other two places we stayed, even in present day dollars, but for this special belated anniversary trip, it was a real treat for us.

Kapalua Ridge Villas

Entrance to The Ridge Villas at Kapalua

Ridge Villa in Kapalua

Our Two-Story Condo

We stayed in a one-bedroom ocean view gold villa, and I am glad we opted for the gold unit and not a standard unit.  Gold units are upgraded a bit from the others, and after staying in a gold villa, we would likely not be satisfied in a condo with furnishings older than what our gold unit had.  Even in the gold unit, we found the sofa cushions were already past their life expectancy, as we would sink down too far in them when sitting.  The other chairs in the living room were better, and overall, it was fine for our needs, since we were seldom sitting in the living room anyway.  The rest of the condo was great, including the comfy king bed in the master suite upstairs.  I’ll just let the pictures tell most of this story.

Mahalo for Removing Your Shoes

Removing our shoes when entering the condo is a routine thing, no matter where we’ve stayed in the islands.

Living Room, Kapalua Ridge Villa

Living Room

Dining Area, Kapalua Ridge Villa

Dining area and nice upper windows to bring in more light

Kitchen, Kapalua Ridge Villa

Full kitchen with granite countertops

Living Room, Kapalua Ridge Villa

Opposite living room view with stairs to second floor

Kitchen View, Kapalua Ridge Villa

Another view of the kitchen

Kitchen Area, Kapalua Ridge Villa

Inside the kitchen

Pineapple, Kapalua Ridge Villa

Our welcome gift was waiting for us in the fridge, and it was so good!

Master Bedroom, Kapalua Ridge Villa

Master Suite

Master Suite, Kapalua Ridge Villa

Master Suite

Master Suite, Kapalua Ridge Villa

Master Suite

Master Bath, Kapalua Ridge Villa

Master Bath

Master Bath, Kapalua Ridge Villas

Master bath, one of two separate sink areas

Master Bath, Kapalua Ridge Villa

Master bath

Lanai, Kapalua Ridge Villa

Downstairs lanai where we ate breakfast every morning except one

Lanai, Kapalua Ridge Villa

Downstairs lanai

Upstairs Lanai, Kapalua Ridge Villa

The lanai just off the master suite had even better views of the nearby beaches.

Panorama, Kapalua Ridge Villa

Panorama view of the island of Lanai, as seen from our condo. What a great view at breakfast each morning! Click on the picture for a larger view.

 The villas also had a small pool nearby with a nice covered area with gas grills for cooking.  We enjoyed a quick dip in the pool on several occasions to take a little cool break from hiking or sightseeing.

Pool, Kapalua Ridge Villas

Pool in walking distance of our condo

We always prefer staying in condos in Hawaii, as we find that we are more comfortable, have more of the conveniences of home and save a little money on food vs. staying in the hotels, which are usually even more expensive than the condos we’ve stayed in.  On this stay, we also had a washer and dryer in a closet in the master suite, which allowed us to do a quick load of laundry each day.  We were able to pack fewer clothes from home with this convenience, and we also went home at the end of our week with most of our laundry already done.  Anytime we visit a beach, we always enjoy staying in a place where we can wash out our clothes and swimsuits each day, and this trip to Maui was no exception.

While this covers our nice condo for today, I will have more to share soon on the wonderful Kapalua resort and the Kapalua Coastal Trail, as we enjoyed pretty much enjoyed everything that Kapalua had to offer during our stay.  I also have much, much more to share about our week in Maui, too!

D
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Wordless Wednesday – His and Hers

DK:

Animal Wonder is up and running once again after a prolonged break! This is also one of my first photos with my new camera, too. ;-)

Originally posted on Animal Wonder:

Male and Female House Sparrows Male and Female House Sparrows

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Elbow Grease

Owning a home and an RV means ongoing maintenance for both, and this past weekend, we tackled several projects while we had a free weekend to devote to these needed tasks.  We made some good progress, and we are glad to have these chores completed, even though there are still even more projects on the list to come at some point.

Storms in May wreaked some havoc with our west fence, and Hubby finally got around to bracing it up a bit to hopefully survive any more spring/summer storms over the next few weeks.  We own all of the fences around our backyard, which means the posts are in our neighbors’ yards and in our alley.  Our sweet little elderly neighbor to the east has always been careful to take good care of the posts, but the series of neighbors that we’ve had to the west have not been so careful.  They continually whack the posts with their weed eaters, and now, all ten posts are pretty much ruined (again).  We have a bit of an issue in having to continually replace these posts because of this abuse, so at some point later this summer or in early fall, we are going to propose installing metal posts and offer to split the cost with the neighbor that now lives there.  We will just wait until the worst of storm season is past for this upgrade, too.

Also, thanks to the *twelve inches* of rain we received in May and subsequent sunshine and warmth last week, our yard looked like a little jungle after only a week from its previous mowing.  Grass definitely wasn’t the only thing growing in the yard, unfortunately, and I pulled milkweed while Hubby took care of other chores.  Our little garden area has completely grown up in grass, and we decided to just forego planting a garden this year, since we should have planted around the first week of May.  We didn’t have great luck with our tomatoes last year, so we will just visit the farmer’s market for our fresh tomatoes this year, since I will be purchasing some other fresh vegetables there anyway over the coming months.  In the fall, I think I will plant pansies and ornamental cabbage in this area to give us a bit of color in the yard this winter.  In the meantime, we are enjoying our beautiful cannas that are growing like we’ve never seen them until this year, thanks to the wonderful rain!  These are great flowering plants for this area, and while they don’t really require much water, they are definitely loving the water they received in May.  We are loving the sight of these gorgeous things that now line the entire backside of our home, and we are looking forward to our Red Rocket Crape Myrtles blooming soon, hopefully in two or three weeks.  All ten plants survived our rough winter, with only one plant still questionable right now.

Red Cannas

Our beautiful cannas after twelve inches of rain in May

On Sunday afternoon, we tackled several projects on the RV, and I was grateful to have the RV under a cool cover at the storage place to give us a break from the sun.  I worked on cleaning the windows inside and out while Hubby worked on replacing all of the 1″ wide channel trim on the outside of the rig.  We pulled the old stuff out a while back, as it had become quite brittle over the years, and the new trim really helps freshen the look of the exterior.  I helped to replace some of the trim in the lower areas around the wheel wells while Hubby also fixed a loose connection on our water pump, which only took a few minutes.  Lastly, we re-sanitized and rinsed the holding tank, just in case we opt to boondock somewhere this summer or fall.  Our next project, which we have already started in a small way, is to replace the 3/4″ trim all around the door and the basement compartments.

Now that a couple of area lakes have filled up once again, boondocking at those lakes for a weekend is a possibility for us, as well as traveling to a couple of areas in the cool mountains of New Mexico that only offer boondocking sites in the national forest.  The state parks in our area are much harder to get into on the weekends right now because so many of the state parks in north and central Texas are closed due to flooding or are recovering from flood damage.  For that reason, we will have to get creative if we want to get away for some quick weekend trips in July or August, and I am once again checking out available options in New Mexico, especially near Cloudcroft and Ruidoso.  Unfortunately, one lake in our area that we really like somehow missed out on all the rain in May, and we are still hoping that they receive much-needed rain sometime this summer.

Last week, I finally made some good progress on my spring house cleaning at last.  I need to get both refrigerators in the house cleaned out this week, as our new refrigerator should be arriving soon.  We are getting rid of two and just replacing with one, which will give me some needed storage space in our laundry room.  I’m excited to finally have a fridge with a bottom freezer, and it will be black to match the rest of our kitchen appliances.  We may also look at replacing our freezer in the garage with something a bit smaller at some point, too.  Our food storage needs are much less than we needed while raising a family, and I’m ready to make these adjustments.

Finally, on Monday afternoon, I think I actually closed out the estate income/expense report.  It will be final unless we happen to receive an unexpected check or bill from a yet unknown vendor.  I can’t even begin to say how good I feel about getting to this point, too.  I think I did a pretty good job as executor of minimizing estate expenses, and my family members only owe the estate (me) a total of $721 combined after I sold an old Rolex watch to Circa in NYC yesterday.  It needed almost $800 in repair, which was not an option for us at all.  The watch was the only piece of jewelry that I had to sell, and I’m glad we could hang on to the rest of the jewelry to keep it all in the family going forward.  I have an appointment this morning with the jeweler to inspect everything and clean it all up before I distribute it to family members in a few days, and I am also going to discuss having a custom ring made for me for the very first time.  That should be fun!

D
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Traveling to Maui

 Our journey to Maui took us on a slightly different flight path this time, as we intentionally opted to travel through San Francisco International Airport instead of Los Angeles International Airport.  The more I fly through SFO, the more I like it and appreciate what it has to offer.  It is such a great airport with awesome traveler comforts, like comfortable seating areas, great shops and restaurants and many electrical outlets to recharge a phone or laptop and easy gate connections, at least for what we’ve needed in the past.  If possible, we will likely connect through SFO on any future trips when possible, too.

Let me add how very difficult it is to stay on a low-carb eating plan while in San Francisco, the home of Boudin, even when at the airport there.  I love how so many airports these days really reflect the food culture of their area in a quality way, and SFO is a great example.  I took a one-week break during this special trip and made a vow to walk as much as I could while we were gone to help mitigate the effects of that decision, with good results.

Lunch at SFO

A great lunch at San Francisco International Airport

We did not see our bay area kids on this trip, which was the only sad part of the trip for me.  It was all the worse when our plane flew right over the area where they live, too.  I was just there a month earlier, though, so I really should not complain.

For me, the highlight of the flight to Maui was the most amazing golden hour over the Pacific Ocean.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such a magnificent display of transitional color from an airplane window, or anywhere else for that matter.  I literally watched the sky and ocean go from their normal hues to varying golden shades over the course of about thirty minutes, snapping pictures with my trusty camera phone.  Yes, I am that annoying person that routinely takes pictures from my window on the airplane, even though in this case, I doubt my photos can even begin to accurately convey what I saw.  Watching the Belt of Venus appear and then disappear was just fabulous.

Flying Into Golden Hour 1

Flying Into Golden Hour 2

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Flying Into Golden Hour 4

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I had no clue at the time that this was going to just be the first of many amazing times at sunset for us during our week in Maui.  We made a point to be in some great viewing spots each evening around sunset as much as possible, and what a memorable time we enjoyed every single evening.  Our sunset memories will definitely be one of my special memories from this trip, and I’m looking forward to sharing those experiences here soon!

D
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Marvelous Maui

What a wonderful time we had on our week-long trip to Maui back in mid-May!  It was a much-needed getaway for both of us, and Hawaii did not disappoint once again.  Even though Kauai has been our go-to destination in the islands in more recent years, we thoroughly enjoyed returning to Maui after a twenty-year absence.  We had no digital photos of Maui, so it was also a great opportunity to put my camera to work once again after putting it away for too long.

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I have so many photos and stories from the trip, and for that reason, I will share our Hawaiian escapades in a series of posts as time permits.  This was also the last time that I used my Canon Rebel XTi, so this project will also be a little tribute to the wonderful years I spent with my first good camera.  I learned a lot about photography with that trusty camera, often the hard way, and I hope to continue learning even more with my new camera and lenses.  We even took some pretty decent photos with our phone cameras when I didn’t have the good camera with me.  My goodness, how phone cameras have improved in recent years.  They still don’t do the great job that my good camera does, but it’s so nice to always have a camera with us.

Below are some of the places we saw and things we did during our week in Maui, along with some teaser photos.  Items denoted with * were new experiences for us, while others were repeats of favorite places and things to do.  Most of these topics will probably make an appearance in a later post, as most are fun, interesting, touching or beautiful in their own way.

Haleakala National Park and Crater*
(aka Driving from Sea Level  to 10,000 Feet in an Hour)
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The Epic Road to Hana – Indescribable Beauty*
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Hiking at Wai’anapanana State Park near Hana*
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Beautiful Kapalua Resort*
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Our Nice Condo*
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Hiking the Kapalua Coastal Trail*
(Not your typical hiking trail)
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World Famous Beaches of Kapalua*
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Quintessential Hawaii – Old Lahaina Town at Sunset 20150511_185324
The Historic Banyan Tree in Old Lahaina Town
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The Terrifying Forbidden Drive*
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My Spa Day – Relaxing and Refreshing*
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Epic Hawaiian Sunsets*
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Our Journey to Maui*
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Mother’s Day Sunset Dinner
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The Best Restaurant in the World, Seriously
(Happy Birthday to Me!)
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Plantation Dining* 20150513_184515
 Our Hawaiian Pizza Tradition* 20150511_173900
Breakfast with the Birds
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Flowers of Maui
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A Bittersweet Mother’s Day*
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An Unexpected Gift*
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Memories of Days Gone By in Maui
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We had no set plans for our time in Maui, with the exception of two necessary dinner reservations on Mother’s Day and our departure day for my birthday dinner, but despite our lack of planning, our week ended up being a great combination of leisurely mornings at the condo, followed by activities that we felt like doing each day.  In hindsight, our daily activities ended up being a great itinerary for anyone that would like to visit Maui, as we ended up doing and seeing more than either of us originally thought we would and never got tired doing it.  There is only one thing we did that I would not recommend at all.  You can likely guess what it was by the items I listed above.  Let’s just say that I will never solely rely on Garmin when driving in Hawaii in the future.

Stay tuned for all the fun in Marvelous Maui!  Also, after I’m done with Maui posts, I hope to share a series of posts on the canyon parks of the Texas Panhandle.  I’m long overdue to share on those beautiful parks here.

D
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