Make the world go round

[plain]A quick note…Some memories become inextricably linked. The Borderline Bar & Grill shooting is linked with the Camp Fire and it with the Woolsey fire – all tied together into a disaster so incomprehensible it defies understanding. Today I was reminded of the Camp Fire when I discovered a hackathon online while doing some research for work. That reminded me of Borderline, which reminded me I need to post, and today is Tuesday so it’s time for me to highlight acts of giving. Thanks for reading, J[/plain]

Here is your latest dose of Giving Tuesday.

Some Tuesdays, I will write a special post with the three-five coolest examples of giving back I’ve found (or done) that week. It might include stories, fundraisers, ways to get involved, ways to volunteer or more.

Renew Paradise – A series of hacks to resource the communities outside Paradise, CA and Butte County after the Camp Fire. This one touches my heart. Now that the disasters are over, the fires are 100% contained, and the news coverage is gone – I wonder what’s happening in the communities and how they’re rebuilding. Now I know that people are still out there actively working on making a difference.

End Gun Violence Together – TOMS is giving $5 million to organizations across the country committed to ending gun violence. Send a postcard to your representative in less than 30 seconds at http://TOMS.com  (all printing and postage paid for by TOMS). You can take action now by telling your representative to pass universal background checks, something more than 90% of Americans agree on.

The Ninth Annual James Garfield Miracle – My favorite blogger is Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess. For the ninth year running she organized, hosted and contributed to the James Garfield miracle. Jenny has eclectic tastes which include a love for taxidermy. Nine years ago she bought a boar head (named James Garfield) and her husband thought she was crazy so she sold homemade Xmas cards to make up money she paid for him. She made so much on the cards that she decided to give the money back to parents struggling to buy a toy for their kid. The money went quickly but as soon as she ran out of cash a ton of other people stepped up and asked if they could send toys to strangers and it grew into a weird but lovely tradition. This year marks the 9th year that this tradition has continued. She, and this, are amazing. It’s not too late to participate if you want to buy a gift for someone in need.

[info]Please give me feedback. How do you see people giving back? Which item above is your favorite? What do you want to see more or less of? Something else? Just comment below to let me know.[/info]

It takes us all to make the world go round, have a great week!

 

Here is your latest dose of Giving Tuesday.

Some Tuesdays, I will write a special post with the three-five coolest examples of giving back I’ve found (or done) that week. It might include stories, fundraisers, ways to get involved, ways to volunteer or more.

Free sifters – u/goodlyearth on Reddit posted “We saw these at Home Depot in Chico today. Free sifters for when people get to go back to their burned homes.” https://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/9y91rj/we_saw_these_at_home_depot_in_chico_today_free/

Firefighter donations – The Gourmet Pizza Shoppe in Redlands, CA collected donations to take to the firefighters. They were collecting: gallon zip-loc bags, eye drops, face wipes, energy drinks, water, snacks, sunscreen, Gold Bond powder, and lip balm.⁣⁣

#HatsforWyatt – From Ravelry – A friend of an internet friend recently lost one of her twin boys (age 21) to complications of Juvenile Huntington’s Disease. She is absolutely heart broken and faces many challenges ahead with her other son who also suffers from the disease. Her son loved to crochet. To raise money for research the group hopes to find a couple people who would like to donate crocheted or knitted hats to have a small charity sale event on Facebook. A private Facebook group #HatsforWyatt has been set up for more information.

[info]Please give me feedback. How do you see people giving back? Which item above is your favorite? What do you want to see more or less of? Something else? Just comment below to let me know.[/info]

It takes us all to make the world go round, have a great week!

In 2011 I started my blog, Make the World Go Round. It lasted for six months. In 2014 I started Coachable Heart. It lasted two years. In 2016, Gish (a.k.a. GISHWHES) changed my life.  This group unites each year for one week.  They commit random acts of kindness. They create amazing things. They challenge the status quo with statements like “Death to Normalcy.”  Now, in 2018, I’m inspired to combine the three and go back to work.

On Wednesday, November 7, 2018 a gunman killed 12 innocent people and himself and wounded more than 20. It was the fourth soft-target, shooting in two weeks. “Soft targets represent simple daily life. People come and go. They expect to be safe as they pick up a cup of coffee, deposit their paychecks, fill prescriptions or grab a bite to eat. Their guards are down.” (https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/08/us/soft-targets-thousand-oaks-bar-shooting/index.html).

The next night the Los Angeles Kings issued a statement to amplify the message that enough is enough. (more on this to come) It’s time to move beyond thoughts and prayers and do something to change the world we live in.


(Twitter // @LAKings)

I am not a political person. I am not going to make a difference by becoming an activist. Mahatma Gandhi tells us to “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” After the 2015 Paris bombings, Martin Luther King Jr.’s words resurfaced. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  People are being divided as they struggle to respond to this senseless act and to each other. The very next day saw eruptions of wildfire in both Northern and Southern California.

People are wishing ill will on other human beings because we no longer know how to respond.

This is counter-intuitive and has led to my own response to “be the light.” At times we like these we all need a safe place to go and reflect. To grieve. To heal. For me, those places tend to be the safety of my home, surrounded by loved ones, or somewhere outside in nature. There’s a Wildland Conservancy in our local mountains that always comes to mind when I need to escape and get away. It’s definitely one of my happy places.

With the internet and connectivity being what it is now, people often turn to social media for an escape. That’s okay. We’ve adapted to the times and it’s how we cope. So my hope is to create a digital escape for people, somewhere to feel like they are in the safety of their own home. Somewhere that people can go to get that escape. But also somewhere for people to learn how to engage and make a difference.

It will take us all to turn the tide. We need activists to dream up a new world. They start the political change that will bring our world back into balance. We also need people to follow the path to this new world. The rest will lead their families, their communities and their social groups to new options. We need to know what those options are.

Here’s what I hope to accomplish:

  • I plan to highlight some of these options. I’ll even try to remain unbiased.
  • I will find and share amazing things that allow people to see the beauty that still exists in this world.
  • I will provide information about things that I am creating – my own personal way to cope.
  • I will profile charities to show how people are making a difference.
  • I will share ways to cope. Show how to have a different response.
  • I may even encourage you to write to your elected officials.

Most of us will never start an organization, run for office, or stand in protest. Yet, none of the people that will do those things can do any of them without people like us. People who want to stay on the sidelines but have the heart to help and make a difference. We bring our skills to everything we do, and it takes them all to Make the World Go Round. Join me when you need a safe place to escape, or when you’re ready to get involved. Share with me so I can share with others. We’re all in this together. I’ve seen this going around on social media and it’s a great start, this is what it says.

(Facebook // The Hippies were Right)

I am starting today, I hope you’ll join me.

Stay tuned for more.

  • I’ll be bringing back a feature similar to #TimeoutThursday
  • Starting a new feature similar to Tim Ferris’ 5-Bullet Friday for Giving Tuesday where I’ll feature ways people are giving back.
  • Following along with the LA Kings and their charity   focuses on protection, prevention and recovery
  • Finding more ways to “be the light”

Who knows what else I’ll be inspired to start. Let me know if you have any ideas!

In June 2015 our family of three took a luxurious trip to Kauai, Hawaii. We spent nearly two weeks exploring as much of the island as we could. These reviews are all from that trip, so they may be dated. Take that into consideration as you plan your own trip and confirm before you go. We’ve been to Hawaii (2103), Maui (2013 & 2016) and Kauai (2015). We have plans to return to the Big Island in the summer of 2018. Since our trip, in the spring of 2018, parts of Kauai were devastated by tremendous rainfall. I’ve tried to indicate any changes that I’m aware of after that storm.

North Shore East Shore South Shore West Shore

Guide

  • Maui Revealed, the book and the app – the guide is written by Andrew Doughty and he has stayed on the island long-term to experience everything so he can write about it first hand. His reviews are typically spot on and offer a lot of options to appeal to both the tourist and the people who want to travel the road less traveled. The app is $8 and the book was $18.99. The app is great and is kept up to date, it’s searchable and will even let you search by location to find things near you.
  • https://www.hawaiirevealed.com/kauai-revealed/important-updates-changes/

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North Shore

Beaches

  • Ke’e Beach – This beach is all the way at the end of the road on the north shore. Parking is limited, and people were illegally parked all over the place. We found a spot after a long wait watching the parking enforcement ticket everyone illegally parked. We didn’t spend a lot of time at the beach, but we did walk out to see what it was like. With the popularity it must be good, but we didn’t see what the fuss was all about. We did explore the large wet cave, it was kind of cool, but it’s a very long drive for just that. If you’re doing this, go early, go to the beach first and do your sightseeing on the way back down.
    NOTE: This beach access is closed because of the April 2018 flooding, check before you go.

  • Tunnels Beach – One of my favorite beaches, but it was a long walk. We spent hours and hours here though so it was worth it. Parking is limited at this one too, plan to go really early to find somewhere, and hope you have a smaller car because the road to park on doesn’t leave a lot of room for turning once it’s filled with cars.  Again, it’s worth it though because the snorkeling here was the best on this island, in my opinion. There are reef after reef teeming with fish and turtles were common too. There was a lot that was really shallow, and even more that was deep if you like that. There was even a seal on the beach sunning itself, so this was a win all around.
    NOTE: This beach access is closed because of the April 2018 flooding, check before you go.

Kilauea

Shopping:

  • Anaina hou Farmer’s Market – two farmer’s market’s a week. Great place to find fresh fruit and other typical Farmer’s market fair. Also some unique souvenir’s. Another not so random act of kindness in the park above the grounds where the farmer’s market is.

Entertainment:

  • Kauai Miniature Golf & Botanical Garden – If you’re looking for something fun to do with the kids, this is a great little mini golf course, and the best part is that the grounds are a botanical garden, so you’ll have the opportunity to see and learn about a lot of native plants. They have a snack bar for lunch too.

  • Jurassic Kahili Ranch  – Jurassic Park filming location, you’ll drive by this on your way to Kilauea or Anahola. This isn’t open to the public, but just driving by is enough to give you a sense of being on set in one of the Jurassic films, and you’re certain that if you look close enough you’ll see a herd of dinosaurs off in the distance.
  • Moloa’a Beach

Princeville

  • You’ll find a little shopping complex with a variety of restaurants, souvenir shops, and a general store. Other than the ice cream (see below) there was nothing stand out here, but it was a nice place to visit and if you’re hungry, you’ll find something that should fit the bill.

Dining:

  • Lappert’s Hawaii Ice Cream & Coffee – They also have a shop in Po’ipu but we were closer to Princeville so we came here many times. Best ice cream on the Garden Isle. Hawaii does ice cream well, each island seems to have a different place that takes home the honor of being the best. The waffle cones here are fresh and the best we have ever found. The ice cream flavors have a tropical island flair, from Nene Tracks to Coconut Macademia Nut Fudge to traditional favorites like mint chip or peanut butter cup or Oreo crunch. It’s all good and you’ll want to visit here often.

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Hanalei

Shopping:

  • There are no standout shops, but you will find a variety of shops sprinkled throughout Hanalei.

Dining:

  • Kalypso Island Bar & Grill – we ate here a few times, Mai Tai’s are good here, and the food was tasty and fresh. Great for happy hour vibe.
  • Trucking Delicious – Grilled Cheese Food Truck, so many choices, so little time. We all got something different and they were all great, can’t imagine you could get something bad on this truck.
  • Neide’s  Salsa and Samba (Mexican) – this place is tucked back behind the main store front and has a surprisingly great view of the dozen or so waterfalls coming off the hills above Hanalei; a little bit quieter than the main strip, good for unwinding after a long day in the sun.
    • Edit: Restaurant is closed, but the location was fantastic so if you’re in Hanalei, scope out the area and see what’s taken it’s place. 5-5161 Kuhio Hwy, Ste 105, Hanalei, HI 96714, if you see the restaurant Bar Acuda, you know you’re in the right place.

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Entertainment:

  • Hanalei Valley Lookout – this is nothing more than a turn out, and not even a very safe one, but the view is worth it. Leave Princeville heading towards Hanalei and you can’t miss it. Take the corner slow even if you don’t plan to stop. The valley below is gorgeous, and if you’re lucky, you’ll catch a double rainbow like we did. All over Kauai you will find random signs of peace and love, random acts of kindness if you will. One of my favorite’s was in the turnout here. “Be your own medicine” is the message, and I think it’s a fantastic philosophy. One that is incredibly easy to practice while you’re on vacation in the Garden Isle.

  • KayakHanalei.com – We explored Hanalei River for several hours from kayaks one beautiful morning. Kayak Hanalei was fabulous, we didn’t need reservations and were able to just pull in, rent three kayaks and gear and get dropped in the water within thirty minutes. The river was calm and easy to maneuver, which is my preferred kind of kayak trip. We saw several other people out on our trip and went as far as we could go up river before stopping for a snack/picnic and heading back. We saw all kinds of birds, one of us saw a turtle, though we all heard their splashes, and we looked all over for Nene’s but we never saw them from the kayak’s. We’d definitely do this again.
    • Edit: with the limited parking at Hanalei Bay after the April 2018 storms, it might be worth parking here and renting kayaks to take down river to the bay to explore that way instead.

  • Hanalei Bay –  We came to Hanalei Bay numerous times. It’s the place to be for sunset photos, don’t be surprised to find brides and grooms in their finest with a photographer finding just the right spot. You can rent stand up paddle boards and kayaks just up the river (it’s walking distance, or you can drive up). The bay is protected so the waves were smaller and good for beginner’s, lots of wading and great swimming for kids. If you like to jump, the pier is open, and the local kids have made an art of jumping off the pier to the water below. It was great to spend an afternoon playing here and then finish with dinner up in town.
    • Edit: The bay area and access was badly damaged in the rainstorm of April, 2018. Parking is very limited now, but the beach and pier are open. Check before you go.

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East Shore

King Kong

  • This is just a fun landmark, you can’t miss it coming from Kapa’a towards the North. This angle doesn’t quite show it but as you drive around you’ll see the familiar silhouette of King Kong. It’ll let you know you’re getting close as you travel to your different activities.

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Kapa’a

Dining:

  • Mermaids Cafe – Healthy options that are tasty and still feel like you’re on vacation. They have vegan and vegetarian options available too, so that’s a bonus if you have special dietary needs. It’s essentially a street cafe, just a couple tables and a walk up window, but it’s worth a visit. On our visit this lovely rooster served as our host.

  • The Green Pig – This is a food truck in a field across the street from Kealia Beach, just north of Kapa’a. They have picnic tables and shade, and when we were there, several kittens and chickens were running around and kept us entertained. The food was served on real plates with real silverware. The menu is largely about pork, but they do have a grilled cheese, a veggie wrap,  burgers, chicken and even mac ‘n cheese. There’s not much else around, but if you’re going to the beach, it’s convenient and was very good. They’re closed Monday though so plan accordingly.

Entertainment:

  • Kealia Beach – This beach is north of Kapa’a. This is a nice long sandy beach. There were a lot of kids with their boogie boards on this beach. You can rent bicycles and ride along a bike path on this one too. I enjoyed just watching the surf here. For some reason, the waves come in from the sides and meet in the middle, shooting up like a fountain when they meet in the middle.

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Lihu’e

Entertainment:

  • Kalapaki Beach / Nawiliwili Bay – Great sandy beach, with easy access. There’s a nearby shopping complex with restaurants and shopping, as well as rentals. You can enjoy your time on the beach and finish with dinner here or in any of a few areas around here, the choices are endless. There’s a park with additional parking and shade trees. The convenience and ease of access to this beach make it a great choice. We rented from Ali’i Kayaks

Dining:

  • Duke’s Barefoot Bar – We discovered Duke’s on our last night in town. It was bittersweet for us, we couldn’t have asked for a better sendoff but we sure wish we had tried it earlier, the interior was beautiful, with a water feature adding the perfect island feel. The cocktails were amazing and dinner was fantastic. Make sure to visit this spot. They also have a dining room, it’s probably just as great, but the atmosphere in the bar was what we needed to end our stay.

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Wailua

Entertainment:

  • Keahua Arboretum – The rainbow eucalyptus are a site to see and worth the drive out to Keahua Arboretum. This is in the interior of the island and was a good place for a picnic. If it’s raining you may want to pass on this one, there’s a stream that crosses the road and it rises quickly if there’s water. You can park on either side of the stream, so if you go and it starts to rain, park on the side before you cross it to give yourself an out. There’s a lot of trails to hike and explore and the trees alone make the trip worth it.

  • Lydgate Beach Park – Hands down best fish experience on the island. We had someone tell us to feed the fish and so we followed their instructions and it gave us a great experience. Watch your fingers if you do this, those little lips are hiding some serious biting power. We got to swim with schools of these parrot fish, the curious puffer fish and even had a couple young barracuda swim with us. It was so much fun to interact with the fish and we spent hours here early one morning when it was still quiet. Definitely recommend if the pool is cleaned up.


NOTE: Recent reviews indicate that the beach is littered with driftwood and debris and that the man-made pools are also full of debris and that it’s no longer good for snorkeling. It sounds like they’ve started cleaning up, so it might be worth checking it out, especially since it’s easy to get to.

  • Wailua Falls/Wailua Heritage Trail – You have a couple options here, you can just drive up to the parking area and view the falls and look out over the river, or you can drive down to the Wailua River State Park and there you can find a place to rent a a kayak or paddle board to play in the river, or take a tour up to the Fern Grotto. We didn’t do this, we didn’t know about it and didn’t plan accordingly, but this looked like a lot of fun and we made a mental note to make this when we return.

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South Shore

Koloa

Entertainment:

  • Koloa Rum Tasting – This has a great little gift shop and the distillery which has a tasting room. They cater to tourists so they have lots of shipping options to get the rum home. The tasting’s are done every 30 minutes, sign up for a time, explore the grounds and the shop and it should be time for your tasting. The tasting room has a different menu every day, so check ahead if you have a preference and want to try something specific. The tour was informative and the rum was delicious, don’t miss this!
  • Kauai Plantation Railway – after the rum tasting, you can visit the railway for a tour and give yourself some time before getting back on the road. Plan ahead for this, the tours are only offered hourly from 10am – 2pm. You’ll get a nice tour of different fruit orchards and have the opportunity to feed pigs, donkeys and more. It’s a great low-key activity, affordable and great for families. There’s a restaurant, Gaylords, that I would consider fine dining and some lovely shops to explore while you’re here.

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Kalaheo

  • Kalaheo Music – We have a habit of buying an ukulele as our souvenir from each island trip.  My favorite trip to a music store on all the islands came when we visited this store. We met old style Kauai, where you welcome before anything. Our host Ron made us feel like Ohana and spent time with us to talk story before helping my husband find the perfect ukulele. Mahalo Kalaheo Music!

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Po’ipu

Dining:

  • Puka Dog – Many people told us we had to try this. It’s kind of like shaved ice, it’s an island staple and you have to try it at least once. What is a Puka dog? It’s a Hawaiian-style hot dog. The bun is a hollowed out roll, there are special sauces, tropical relishes and even a special mustard. This is probably great for kids and a fun easy option for a quick bite.
  • Papalani Gelato – another great ice cream shop with great local flair in the flavors. They have coffee, gelato, shakes, chocolate, and more. Worth a stop for a special treat!
  • Kalapaki Joe’s – We visited Kalapaki Joe’s in mid-afternoon when it was quiet and we sat on the outside patio with one other group. This is a sports bar, and looks like it could even have a dance floor if they cleared some tables. But when we were there, the grand, sweeping porches are incredibly inviting as the image below shares. There’s no rush or hurry here, and you can just relax and enjoy yourself, for as long as you want. When you get settled into Island time, you get used to that, but it’s quite a shift from our normal pace at home. The food is island style sports bar fare, pulled pork, shrimp tacos, salads, burgers and more. They’ve quite the variety so you can probably please anyone with something on their menu.

Entertaiment:

  • Eucalyptus Tree Tunnel – this is part of the drive to Po’ipu, there’s a story about the trees, and it’s fun to drive through the dark tunnel on your way.

  • Glass Beach, Melted Metal & Keyhole Cave at Swiss Cheese Shoreline – this is for sight seeing, not for swimming, lounging or snorkeling. That being said, it’s worth the trip. The beach is made of glass that has been ground and softened into smooth small sand and pebbles. The colors are beautiful and you can get some fun photographs. There is also melted, rusted metal on one end of the beach that is fun to explore. Past that you’ll find the blowhole, if the waves are running.

  • Kiahuna Beach – We walked around and explore the beaches in Po’ipu but we didn’t spend a lot of time here. This looked like it might be good for surfing and they had rentals available right on the beach.

  • Po’ipu Park Beach – next door to Kiahuna Beach, this has some tide pools to explore and both sand and rocks to walk on. Reports show this was voted as the #1 beach in America. This is more for sports activities it felt like, but they say the snorkeling is good too.

  • Shipwrecks Beach – this is best for beachcombing and catching the sunset. It’s notable because 6 Days and 7 Nights had a scene filmed here. It’s not great for beginning swimmers, but it’s beautiful so if you’re just wanting to wade or beach comb, this is a good place.

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West Shore

Waimea

Entertainment:

  • Polihale Dunes – we visited this beach just to see the dunes, and they did not disappoint. This isn’t a very inviting road or beach, but they say the sunset here is amazing. I can’t imagine making the drive out in dark though. There are no lifeguards and limited facilities. It was a fun, bumpy, off-road drive out and if you like exploring, it’s a good treasure at the end of the hunt.

  • Waimea Canyon – We had to make this trip twice, the first one it was raining and there was zero visibility in the canyon. Going back the second time was absolutely worth the long drive. There are hike’s here if you plan ahead for it. The views are breathtaking and easy to get to with short walks from parking areas and facilities. Don’t miss this, but definitely check the weather before you go.

  • Waimea Swinging Bridge – off the beaten path is a swinging bridge that was rebuilt after the hurricane in 1992. The Waimea river runs red and is beautiful against all the lush, green plant life. We were lucky enough to find a horse grazing along the river bank.

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Twilight has fallen. It is still light enough to see but everything is softer now. The lights on the flight line stand out against the falling darkness. The ground begins to vibrate as the engines rev. Your chest fills with the roar of the jet engine. From your vantage point, you watch the jet taxi, lining up for takeoff. Then, given clearance, your world is momentarily consumed as the engine reaches its fervent pitch and you watch lift off. Too quickly, the plane is banking and lost to the night sky, signaling the end of another air show.

On Thursday, June 2, 2016, two separate incidents led to the loss of two majestic planes. More importantly, one life was lost as the pilot reportedly navigated his plane to an empty field to avoid homes, but left him unable to eject from the plane himself. Fortunately, the second pilot was able to eject and he was uninjured.

Growing up as an Air Force brat, these stories are particularly poignant. But anyone who has ever seen either team perform knows how exciting the shows are. Nicholas Rodgers remembers the excitement, anticipation and intensity of the Blue Angels performance in 1995 when he was visiting his Uncle in St. Louis, MO. “We watched from the driveway. We had a barbecue and set up a bunch of lawn chairs on a hill so we had a 45-degree angle to watch. We weren’t so close that the sounds were extremely loud but we could feel it when they zoomed by.”

I didn’t know Capt. Kuss, but from what I’ve read about him, I believe that he would want the shows to go on. The military’s flight demonstration squadrons, the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, inspire the young and old at every show. Our nation needs the opportunity to experience the thrill and excitement of the jet engine roar filling their chest. Our nations’ youth needs the inspiration to set them on a course that will find them journeying a path of service. Quickly, we must find the new normal, resuming flight in order to continue to inspire and demonstrate how our flight teams excel. But today, we pause in honor of Navy Blue Angels Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss. With all due respect, may he rest in peace.

Please note: In my photo library, I don’t have any shots of the Blue Angels, no disrespect is meant by using images of the Thunderbirds.

Photo-Essay-Title Photo-Essay-Line7 Photo-Essay-Line4 Photo-Essay-Line1 Photo-Essay-Line2 Photo-Essay-Line3 Photo-Essay-Line5 Photo-Essay-Line6 Photo-Essay-Line8 Photo-Essay-Line9 Photo-Essay-line10 Photo-Essay-Line11 Photo-Essay-Line12 Photo-Essay-Line13

High Flight  By John Gillespie Magee, Jr.  (A sonnet written by John Gillespie Magee, an American pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War. He came to Britain, flew in a Spitfire squadron, and was killed at the age of nineteen on 11 December 1941 during a training flight from the airfield near Scopwick.)

__

AP journalism student Jennifer Hickok in Redlands, California, contributed to this blog.

In June 2014 our family of three took a luxurious trip to Maui, Hawaii. We spent 10 days exploring as much of the island as we could. These reviews are all from that trip, so they may be dated. Take that into consideration as you plan your own trip and confirm before you go. We’ve been to Hawaii (2103), Maui and Kauai (2015). We have plans to return to Maui in the summer of 2016.

South Maui West Maui Central Maui Hana Highway Southeast Maui

Guide

  • Maui Revealed, the book and the app – the guide is written by Andrew Doughty and he has stayed on the island long-term to experience everything so he can write about it first hand. His reviews are typically spot on and offer a lot of options to appeal to both the tourist and the people who want to travel the road less traveled. The app is $8 and the book was $18.99. The app is great and is kept up to date, it’s searchable and will even let you search by location to find things near you.

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South Maui

Haleakala

Dining:

  • Kula Sandalwoods – Breakfast on the way back down after the sunrise was a welcome sight, this place was empty, but we were starving and decided to try it. Traditional breakfast foods and also our personal favorite when in Hawaii, Portuguese sausage. Hawaiian food service is much slower than Californian food service. In Maui they do not deliver your check and rush you out the door. Instead they give you plenty of time to savor the experience. A lot of traveler’s consider this poor service, but it’s a different lifestyle and experience. When you travel, do what the local’s do. Slow down, savor and enjoy the ride.

Entertainment

  • Haleakala volcano crater for sunrise – If this is on your list, go on your first morning on the island that way your body is still on your home time and getting up early won’t feel as bad. The elevation is 10,000′ (for reference Big Bear in California is only 6700’) so it gets cold up there, really cold. We were there in June and it was about 35 degrees for the sunrise. The sunrise is beautiful and this is a highlight for many people. It will be very windy, there is no way to describe the wind, so be prepared for that. It’s very foggy, and the fog rolls across the crater and down the mountain, it’s a site to behold. We had hoped to see the green flash on the horizon, but it was cloudy so we didn’t get to witness that miracle. It was still beautiful, clouds have a way of doing that.
    • Parking fee $10
  • Ali’I Kula Lavender farms are on the way down – we didn’t stop, but the pictures of the place seem magnificent.

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Kihei

Shopping

  • Farmers Market in the Turtle Town shopping complex, which also hosts Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice, a small ABC store, bakery and gift shop – across the street is a small beach with canoes for the resort next door on it, scenic and a great place to enjoy your shaved ice.
  • Kalama Village – outdoor kiosks, shopping and dining for tourists with Maui-made and Hawaiian-made products; great t-shirt shop called the 808 Clothing Company; we didn’t try it but there is a shop called Tutu’s Pantry with tasty treats like lavender honey, gourmet hot sauces, jellies and more.

Dining

  • Coconut’s Fish Cafe in the Azeka Shopping Center – we dubbed this our favorite place on the island for food. We returned multiple times. This is in a shopping mall and there is no ocean view, and we kept going back anyway. The décor is perfect island style, surfboard tables and bench seating. Amazing calamari, a variety of fish, and of course chicken and burgers. They have salad and even pasta, so even if you don’t like seafood, you won’t starve here. It’s the best of fast food and island style. The owner is super friendly, the service was great, and the food is amazingly fresh and tasty. I have no doubt this will be our first meal when we return to the island.
  • Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice on the way into Kihei. We may have returned to Coconut’s Fish Cafe a few times, but we went to Ululani’s enough to earn a free shaved ice with their frequent buyer program. If you’ve never had a Hawaiian shaved ice do yourself a favor and try it here. You can add a scoop of ice cream (vanilla or macadamia nut) and the syrup flavors are amazing. You can also top it off with cream which is an interesting touch. Pick one, try it, and see if you get hooked like we did. They run big, so keep that in mind and order accordingly.
  • Life’s a Beach – sports bar, Mexican food, on the street, great for people watching, across from a park that turned into the beach, so great for sunset too.

Entertainment:

  • Surfing the Cove at Kalama Beach Park
    • The park was great with lots of picnic tables, grassy area and huge shade trees.
    • There were multiple places to rent surf boards just across the road, so you could run in, rent a board, walk across the street and hit the waves. Pick your sport: kayak, stand up paddle board, surfing, they probably rent it right here. By the hour, the half day or the full day, whatever you need.
    • We spent a morning here, and could have done this several times, it was just a great, relaxing experience. Even though there were a lot of people around it never felt crowded.
    • While my husband surfed, my daughter and I ended up hanging out with a local couple and the dog they were sitting. We learned a lot about the best places to visit and life on the islands, it was a win-win for us.
    • There are a couple restaurants and food stands, so if you’re needing a snack, you have some options.

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Ma’alaea

  • We stayed here in a condo, there is a small shopping complex with a market, restaurants and the Maui Ocean Center, there’s a harbor that has many of the tour’s that leave for the ocean adventures like snorkeling or whale watching.

Shopping:

  • A variety of different shops, your standard tourist fair. My research shows that this has changed in the years since we visited, so it might have more to offer now.
  • General store – good place to pick up a quick beverage or snack, not really a sundries shop, but they have a few of the basic amenities.

Dining:

  • Beach Bums BBQ & Grill – okay food, service was not that great, but it wasn’t atrocious. I imagine this place appeals to people who have finished a tour and are tired and just want to refuel. Convenience wins sometimes, and for that, this is definitely a winner. They have karaoke if I remember correctly.
  • Oceanside – this was part of the Maui Ocean Center, we ate here on our last day as we were leaving town. It was a nice way to have one more amazing meal with a great view of the harbor. It’s a nice sit down restaurant and priced accordingly, but it was worth it, the service was great

Entertainment

  • Four Winds II – Snorkel Trip to Molokini – we selected them based on the guide book and we were not disappointed
    • The snorkeling was lovely, the water was colder since the crater is further off shore. The tour provided spring suits for rent, it was affordable and worth it.
    • They also had cameras for rent to use during the snorkeling experience.
    • Many fish, but if you stay with everyone else you don’t see anything more spectacular than you would see snorkeling off shore. Some people who ventured further did have experiences with a turtle, a black tip reef shark and an octopus.
    • The crew took good care of us, the cameraman did a good job and got good photographs of the family.
    • There was a slide off the boat with an underwater viewing area so you could watch your loved ones slide in and also see fish without getting too wet.
    • They also fed us with amazing grilled chicken cooked fresh on the back of the boat.
  • We skipped the Maui Ocean Center – with the snorkeling experiences, it didn’t seem worth it, perhaps if you have children it’s a good adventure, we did it at the restaurant though, and that was nice.
  • Sugar Beach – great for a stroll along the beach, not crowded, turtles every evening bobbing in the water

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Makena

Entertainment

  • Lava flow La Perouse Bay beyond Makena
    • South of Kihei and Makena you can explore La Perouse Bay, there is supposed to be really good snorkeling here. The water was cloudy, due to a storm, the day we went so the conditions weren’t great. The lava flow is the last lava flow on Maui and is a good visual reminder of Mother Nature’s power. It’s worth the drive out just to experience it and see what the lava does to the land. If you get in some good snorkeling, all the better.
  • Big Beach – in South Maui, down by Makena.
    • This beach is the kind of beach that summer family post cards are made of. Sweeping sand, mild wave action and lots of room. It poured rain when we were here, so we mostly huddled under the lifeguard stand and enjoyed the warm (ish) summer rain. It looked like a great swim beach but we didn’t spend a lot of time in the ocean, just the rain. There is a great cliff for climbing, and if you climb up, you’ll find access to another beach. There’s a cove, it’s a smaller area and aptly named Little Beach. Be warned that this one is known as a nude beach.
  • Po’olenalena Beach –Wailua/Makena area
    • Beautiful sand beach with great shade trees. Be careful, the trees have thorns, and even with sandals on the thorns find a way to the bottom of your feet. The water here was amazing – this was the place where it felt like a thousand kisses on your skin. It was also great both in temperature (it felt warmer) and for the soft waves, not crashing. It was a quiet beach, not as crowded as many others.

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West Maui

Lahaina

Shopping:

  • This is the place for shopping – you name it, they have it. They have the traditional Hilo Hatties and ABC Store as well as many other name brand, and local’s only shops. There are multiple different shopping areas, so look around to make sure you find the items you’re after.

Dining:

  • Lahaina Fish Company – Cocktails, Maui Brewing Co. beer, and great fish, a wide variety of vegetarian options (also traditional surf and turf or chicken options here)
  • A huge variety of other options available, we were only here once so didn’t have the pleasure to try any others. If you want the traditional, they have Hard Rock and a Bubba Gump.
  • There’s another Ululani’s here, so you can get your shaved ice fix here as well
  • CJ’s Deli and Diner – Up closer to the main highway, not on the ocean, is CJ’s Deli and Diner, they have a nice offering here to make a picnic lunch for you to take when you do the Road to Hana (or anywhere else you want to go) it comes in a cooler, and includes a good selection of food, including a beverage. The sandwiches were good and their menu is huge, they’ll have something for everyone.

Entertainment:

  • La’ua Lahaina – we skipped it because we did one on Hawaii, but rumor has it this one is a good one.
  • Sunset – you and all your best friends will love the sunset here, it’s crowded, but beautiful.
  • Lots to explore on a walking tour, many native Hawaiian features, as well as remnants from the town’s time as a whaling village, including an old jail. One of the best trees (we’ve ever seen anywhere) is on the tour. It’s a huge Banyan tree and is reported to be at least 400 years old.
  • Ka’anapali Beach is here, with Black Rock, a favorite for people who love to jump. This is along the resort row so we found this to be the most populated beach on the whole island. It’s a good beach though, lots of people watching, super fun to watch the crazies jump off Black Rock. Lots of kids on this one, so if you don’t like children, this one isn’t recommended.
  • Atlantis Submarine tour – I didn’t know about this, but it seems pretty cool and a great way to explore under the water, safe and dry.

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Kapalua

Entertainment

  • Honolua Bay – is past Kapalua at mile marker 33. My husband declared this the best snorkeling on the island. The beach is a large smooth rock beach, not sand. Since it was private property, it was hosted, but we were welcomed, along with everyone else, the only request was no sunscreen when snorkeling. There were a lot of birds (ranging from chickens to robins) here to watch in addition to all the great fish.

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Wailuku

Entertainment:

  • Waikapu Plantation Ride, Horseback riding at Makani Olu Ranch
    • We took a private excursion led by a single paniolo and had a great experience. We wanted to do the ride where you get to take your horses on the beach, but when comparing it to what was offered with this one, we decided to go for the private experience. We got to ride up in the beautiful hills and had great views the entire time. We had a picnic lunch by an irrigation pond. The ride was about 1½ -2 hours. Long enough to be a good ride, but not long enough to make you sorry that your untrained legs were in stirrups. Our guide was very knowledgeable, and struck a good balance between telling stories and letting us be alone with our thoughts to enjoy the experience. The horses did not ride nose to tail, and the guide did a good job of understanding everyone’s comfort level and experience to pair them with a good horse.
  • Iao Needle in the Iao Valley State Park, just beyond Wailuku
    • This was our biggest regret from the trip. We saved this for the last day on our way to the airport. It wasn’t enough time.
    • If you are looking for lush greenery, water and hiking, this is the place to go.
    • Paved trails, water fall, creek, garden with all kinds of tropical plants, including taro, unpaved trails too.
    • Parking fee = $5

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Central Maui

Makawao

  • We drove through town, but didn’t spend any time here, it looks charming and is something we plan to investigate on our next trip.

Entertainment:

  • They have a town party on Friday nights – the party rotates every week, the third Friday is in Makawao. (For reference the nights are called Maui Fridays – Wailuku (1st), Lahaina (2nd), Makawao (3rd), Kihei (4th) and Lanai (5th) Friday of each month) – we didn’t go, but it seems like it’s similar to the Redlands Market Night done Hawaiian style.

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Hana Highway

Hana

Dining:

  • Nahiku Marketplace for Kalua pork BBQ (this is a must have, if you have Kalua pork one time on the island, make this that time) and as a bonus there’s a very nice gift shop here too. Stop at the 28 mile marker.
  • Red Sand Beach – this place is off the beaten path, you have to park and hike. It’s also a nude beach, so that keeps the crowds away. The colors are stunning. This private cove is an unbelievable find and worth the hike and scrambling down the trail to experience the majesty.

Entertainment:

  • Road to Hana
    • Get a CD that will give you a guided tour. It’s worth the cost to know where and when to stop and to hear the details about the sights and areas you’re passing through.
  • Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach – most scenic and beautiful, the black sand with the blue water and the lush green vegetation are striking. There’s lots to explore here including caves, walking trails, and of course the beach itself has a couple different areas with different access points
  • Bamboo Forest – we missed this, but won’t skip it next trip. This is hiking through, you guessed it, a bamboo forest.
  • ‘Ohe’o Gulch aka Seven Sacred Pools
    • If you’ve seen IQ with Meg Ryan then you know about this place. She describes the Seven Sacred Pools in Maui like a million kisses on your skin. I experienced that million kisses feeling at Po’lena’lena beach, not while we were here, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit, because it is an experience.
    • This is a tourist experience, and they cater to that, there’s a lot of parking, there’s a bathroom, and where possible, the walk ways are paved and easy to traverse. But, then you leave the trail, and the fun begins.
    • You are walking along the edge of the pond on a rock path. It gets wet, it’s slippery (like crazy), and it’s crowded all of a sudden because you have all the tourists trying to fit in the pools. Except they can’t get to all the pools because it’s far too much effort to reach the higher pools and the lower pools.
    • You can follow the pools all the way down to the ocean, or hike up and into the forest. You will find people rock diving here. You will have many water falls from one pond to the next.
    • You can approach this two ways.
      • Go to see it and say you’ve seen it, get your feet wet, take a picture and call it good.
      • Or make the time to really explore and hike up or down the ponds and see all there is to see. Unfortunately the drive to Hana is long, and this is another good bit beyond Hana. If you plan to spend a lot of time here, you’ll need to leave early and plan to skip some of the spots along the road to Hana. You will get wet and dirty, so plan a change of clothes, towel and sunscreen.
    • Parking fee = $10.

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Pa’ia

Shopping

  • All of the shops are fun to stop in and look around. This is probably the most laid back shopping experience on the island. The style is more boutique, lots of bohemian style. There are not very many name brand stores, if any.
  • Alice in Hulaland – This is a quaint gift shop with clothing, jewelry, accessories and gifts, including ukulele’s.

Dining:

  • There’s a place called Charley’s Restaurant & Saloon which is good for live music supposedly (we didn’t know about this last time). Willie Nelson and his son have both been known to play here.
  • Mama’s Fish House – This one isn’t in the town proper, it’s on the way into town and we missed this one last trip, but won’t miss it this time. If you have a special occassion on your trip, this would be a great place for a birthday or anniversary. (again, based on reviews)
  • Café Mambo – we tried breakfast here before we headed down to Hana. There is lots to choose from, we would go back for sure.

Entertainment:

  • Ho’okipa Beach – supposedly the turtles come up on the beach every night, we didn’t see any, but it was a great place to watch the colors change as the sun set, it was calm and peaceful – take a sweatshirt, it got chilly with the breeze. It’s also a popular surf spot, and wind surfing is fun to watch

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Southeast Maui

Entertainment:

  • Road from Hana
    • Depending on your car rental company you may not be able to do this, but when we left Hana, instead of following the road back, we continued down around the South-East end of the island. Some of the road is a dirt, gravel road, but it was never impassable or bad. We didn’t see many vehicles on this end and we saw some beautiful scenery.
    • Somewhere on this end of the island is Oprah’s land, but we didn’t find her. You can understand why she chose the area though.
    • It’s another long drive, but it’s a completely different experience than the tropical lush green side. There is much more lava rock, the climate is more desert like and it has its own beauty. We even stumbled across some wild goats in one of the vistas

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[plain]Disclaimer: These words are almost completely stolen from a recently retired cyclist, Thomas Dekker. His statement showed up in my Twitter feed and though I’ve never followed him, I was intrigued enough to click through to read his statement. His words were brief, yet powerful, and I saved them immediately. I challenged myself to rewrite his statement substituting my own situation where it made sense. This is the result of that challenge. I was surprised to see how much was relevant to my own situation and am grateful to have had the opportunity for this exercise.[/plain]


For months I’ve been thinking about it. I have pondered. I’ve weighed my thoughts carefully, I oversaw the options and considered them one by one. I’ve listened to my mind and to my heart. Now I have made up my mind.

I am putting me first.

I’ve experienced a lot as an adult. I’ve succeeded and failed, I fell and stood up again. I learned a lot – mostly about myself. I’ve seen all sides of the coin: the front and the back, but also the ragged edges on the sides.

As a young adult, I wanted one thing: to make a difference. And preferably as much as possible. I wanted to help at all costs. That was my strength, and at the same time it was the trap I fell into; it has taken me far and let me sink deep.

In recent years I have come to realize more and more that there is more to life than helping other people. I helped for the love of helping, not because I wanted to win favor and advance. And I have been open about my own past to warn others not to make the same mistakes I did.

My last months as a team member I gave it my all, during continued attacks on our team. I wanted to prove I can help correct things, and also I wanted to know whether I still want to be selfless. The answer now, a few weeks later, is clear to me.

My whole life up to now was dominated by selflessness – but I do not want to give myself, my energy, my resources to everyone else any longer. My career,  helping others was beautiful, ugly, intense and edifying.

I’m ready for a new step. For me.


My sincere thanks to Thomas Dekker for putting these words out there, please forgive me for stealing them.

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