Sunday, October 30, 2011

Better run, better run

There's a song that's been playing on the radio lately, and Molly can't stop singing it:

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, outrun my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet

I'm going to adopt that as my theme song, only I'm changing the lyrics: All the backyard critters that are eatin' my stuff, you'd better run, better run...

Yes, he's back, the king of the backyard. And now he's gone too far.

We got a gift--a big basket of chrysanthemums--and put them out on the deck where we could see them from the sunroom. And that arrogant b*st*rd toddled right on over and started chomping.

Enough is enough.

Okay, I'm not really gonna get a gun, but between the effin' great blue heron eating all our baby koi (see pics below) and Mr. Woody eating the flowers, I've had it.

I'm mad now. Wildlife, beware!

Great blue heron underneath the pond net, eating our fish

Scary great blue heron flies away

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Guest haiku

On Wednesday we took a catamaran tour to the Na Pali coast to see the cliffs. It is some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.

It was very rough, though. Betsy slipped as she walked along the catwalk from the front of the boat and came within inches of going over the edge. Scary!

But everyone forgot about it once the lady started puking over the side.

And that inspired:

Boat Ride
by Betsy & Molly

Sailing out to sea
Lots of bumpy bumpy waves
Oops, pineapple chunks

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Did I mention chickens?

I must have. They're everywhere here on Kauai. Even at Wal-Mart.

I was going to submit this photo to peopleof-, but it's a bit blurry. So only my friends get the benefit of seeing it.

And of reading this:

A Wal-Mart Haiku
by Buster Rooster

Is there corn on sale?
I think I need condoms, too.
Cock-a-doodle doo!

Monday, October 17, 2011

From sea level to 4,000 feet

On Sunday we drove along the southern part of Kauai, and then up to the top of Waimea Canyon, which has to rival the Grand Canyon in depth and beauty. Amazing doesn't even begin to describe it.

The view from Kalalau Lookout, the highest spot you can go on the island, was truly the most beautiful landscape I've ever seen in my life. We were up level with the clouds, looking down at the cliffs and the ocean. I'll let the pictures speak for me, though they don't really do it justice.

1. The canyon from near sea level, looking up.

2. The Grand Canyon of the Pacific: Waimea Canyon Lookout, looking down.

3. We are here: map at Kokee Lodge and museum, where we ate lunch.

4. Up in the clouds: Kalalau Lookout, looking north at the ocean. Down below on the right side is where we were yesterday, right on the coast.

5. Enjoying the view: Deb's pic of our happy family.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Incredible diversity

What an amazing island! The diversity of the landscape is just incredible.

Today we drove north from our central location just outside Lihue. We saw the Kilauea lighthouse and Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, home to wedge-tailed shearwaters nesting in tunnels right along the path. Molly was great at spotting the babies hidden in the undergrowth, and below is her picture.

Other birds at the refuge were red-footed boobies nesting along the cliffs, and great frigatebirds soaring overhead, hovering in the wind as if posing just for us. And of course no matter where or when, we found the ubiquitous chickens.

After a really yum- yummy lunch at a Mediterranean restaurant in Hanalei, we drove to the end of the road and visited both the Wet Cave and the Dry Cave. At the beaches along the northern coast waves crashed, and some beaches were closed due to dangerous undertows.

And all along the sea, a simple turn inland gave us the mountain vistas, clouds sitting atop jagged peaks. From volcanic cliffs to rainforests to fertile valleys to sand beaches, Kauai's variety of landscape and climates is stunning.

And we've barely begun!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pigging out

You're looking at the "before" picture. There are no after pictures, except of the Hawaiian dancers and fire twirler guys.

Tonight we went to a luau. Roast pig and lots of other interesting foods, even poi, which had no taste at all to me. You'd have to be really hungry to eat that.

It was a good day, supposed to be a rest and recovery day after our arduous trip. So we got all dressed and dragged ourselves to our rental van.

First stop: Opaekaa Falls, nice and close to our condos. One of the many falls on Kauai.

Then lunch at a local bar, don't forget the local beer, then the grocery store. Then back to the resort and the swimming pool. You'll find no pictures of us in our bathing attire.

Then an hour to shower and change, and off to the luau. Home about 9 p.m.

Some day of rest, huh?

Friday, October 14, 2011

History Repeats

I can't believe it. It almost happened again.

The last time our family left for a major vacation, our Mediterranean cruise, we had big problems getting to the airport. It wasn't our fault, but still, we were panicked, fearful we'd miss our flight.

This time, leaving for a week in Hawaii, it might have been our fault. Who bothers to listen to a traffic report at 6 a.m.? I-95, the primary way to get to the Philly airport, was closed. And we were already on it.

Lucky for us we'd allowed an extra half hour to get there. We sat still for about fifteen minutes, but then were able to crawl our way to the next exit. Of course when we got off the lights were backed up and backed up. Everyone was trying to get to the airport.

Also lucky for us, Molly was driving. And one more lucky for us, she was driving my old piece-of-shit Camry. After whipping through a gas station and bulling our way into traffic, we finally made it through the last lights. We got through security and arrived at our gate just as they were starting to board.

But that's not the end of the story. It gets better... or worse, if you're us.

We got onto the plane and taxied out onto the runway, and then stopped. And the engines went off.

"Well, folks," the pilot's voice came over the intercom, "we've got a 55-minute delay due to the weather in Chicago." And we only had an hour layover to make our connection.

We sat... and sat... and finally, almost an hour later, took off.

Here's where we finally got lucky. As we approached Chicago, the cabin staff read off the connecting gates and gave detailed instructions on how to take the shuttle from one terminal to another. Oh, great, we thought, there's no chance we're going to make our next flight. Then there was the good news: we were arriving at Gate C-59. Our next flight was leaving from Gate C-56.

They were already boarding when we got there, but we made it! Whew!

It was smooth sailing, er, I mean flying, after that, and we arrived in Lihue eighteen hours after that I-95 closure, exhausted but happy.

Next time I promise I'll listen to the traffic report. :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Is it really worth it?

I think I'm going insane.

Yeah, I know, all my friends will testify I've been crazy for a long time. But this is serious.

I'm going on vacation in less than a week. To Hawaii, no less. And I don't wanna go.

Insane, right?

But there's just so much to do before I go that I might kill myself getting it done. And then where would I be?

There are a lot of good things about working part-time at a church. The people are all so nice. They love me and appreciate what I do.

On the other hand, nobody else can do my job. The ones that could all work fulltime and have families and don't have time. The older folks who have the time are all, to a person, computer illiterate. If my plane crashes, God forbid, my church will get by, but a lot of things would change.

For now it's all on me.

So in order to take a week's vacation, I have to do two weeks of work before I go. It's driving me insane. Especially now, one of the busiest times of the year for me, with annual meetings and a plethora of upcoming events.

I'll get it done. And I can rest on the all-day, multiple-plane trip to Hawaii, right? Yeah, right.

But until I actually get there, I'll be a crazy woman.

Bring on the straitjacket.