"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Sunday Salon -- Post Hawai'i

Memories of our Maui 2023 trip.

Weather: Currently it is sprinkling and the temperature is 40 degrees. It was supposed to snow here last night, or rather, the forecast was for lowland snow but it never materialized here. It did snow, just lightly, the Wednesday after we got home from Hawai'i. It was a contrast in weather.  As you can see from the photo above, it wasn't overly sunny during our week on Maui. We even had several days with some rain and one day where it rained all day. Other days it would be windy for a while and then sunny, followed by cloudy. a Mixed bag of weather. Temperatures were usually in the 70s. The day we left it was 80 degrees exactly.

When technology causes more headaches than it solves: I started out today hoping to make three or four Hawaiian photo collages of our fun trip. But the photos on my phone were saved in some funky mode and wouldn't communicate with my computer...maddening. Four hours of fiddling and fussing and I gave up and just made one collage and picked from available photos in the right format. Sigh. My stress level is very high right now.

Hawai'i highlights, lowlights, and oddities:

  • We met up with my sister and her husband for a wonderful week on Maui. We had to change hotels three times which was both good and bad. Good because we got to experience different beaches and settings, bad because, um, moving is a hassle.
  • Chickens and cats -- I had no idea until now that Maui has chickens and cats gone wild everywhere. The cats aren't really feral because they are so used to tourists and will come when you call "kitty kitty" but one dares not try to pick them up. (We saw one woman attempt it and it was quite a scene.) The chickens seem like just backyard chickens from home but they are everywhere, usually in smallish groups being bossed around by a rooster. When I say everywhere, I mean everywhere -- parking lots, public parks, by the side of the road in both remote and urban settings. We have no idea if anyone eats them, or collects the eggs.
  • A catamaran whale-watching trip for two hours kept us busy. It is humpback whale season off Maui right now. We saw lots of them, mostly far off. Sometimes we would see three spouts together-- momma whale, baby calf, and their male companion/protector.
  • The scenery is so gorgeous. I kept checking my sources to find out names of plants, flowers, trees. The orange flower above is from the African tulip tree, sometimes called the flame tree. It is gorgeous but apparently it is not natural to Hawai'i and is considered a pest... albeit a beautiful one.
  • I ate shrimp four times. I love shrimp so I was very happy with my choices. Don was much more creative than I and his choices had more variety, mostly fish and pork. So many delicious dinners! We saved money by eating cereal or toast for breakfast and had peanut butter sandwiches everyday for lunch. We also discovered dekopon, or sumo oranges. I know. They aren't special to Hawaii, but it is the first time I ate one and I marveled at how perfect it was. They are only available until April then will be gone again for a year. Look for the oranges with a top knot.
  • Haleakala Volcano National Park was one day's trip (center photo of collage). We drove from sea level up 10,000 ft to view the dormant volcano and the unique vegetation on the slopes. The Hawaiian State Bird, nēnē (Hawaiian goose), did not make an appearance but we thought the signage was pretty funny and unique. From the top of Haleakala we could see Moana Loa on the Big Hawaiian island. It was topped with snow. The temperature up at such a high elevation was quite cold (in the 30s and windy) but we dressed as warm as we could. It was a spectacular day. 
  • Turtles. Our third hotel/condo was attached to a tiny beach surrounded by rocks. It was a favorite place for sea turtles to nap. One day we counted 27 of them all scrunched together on the tiny spot. Sometimes they are so tired they fall asleep half in / half out of the water and didn't wake up until another turtle came along and attempted to crawl over him/her. The photos of the turtle swimming, with my husband smiling in the foreground, and the octopus were taken at the Maui aquarium. We spent the rainy Friday at the excellent aquarium, so did all the other tourists on the island. The place was packed. Nevertheless, we had a wonderful time and learned so much. Did you know that five of the seven types of turtles worldwide make their home in Hawaiian waters? The ones we saw were the most common in Hawaii, the green sea turtle or honu, in Hawaiian.
  •  Definitely the lowest point of the trip was getting an upper respiratory infection the second day we were there that gave me a sore throat and cough, but no fever or COVID. Each morning I'd have to dose myself with some combination of anti-inflammatory, anti-cough, decongestant, and Tylenol before I was ready for the day. Sigh.
  • 'Mahalo' for reading such a lengthy description of our trip.


A Thousand Steps into Night by Chee; The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Christie; The Goblin Market and Other Poems by Rossetti; and The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas.


So Lucky by Griffith; Hot Dog by Salati; The Marriage Portrait by O'Farrell; Poetry Remedy by Sieghart; When I Found You by Hyde; Citizen Vince by Walter; Infinite Country by Engel.

Visitors to our backyard this past week:   

  • A bunny rabbit. We have a fenced yard and have no idea how it got in.
  • A raccoon mommy and her kit. We caught her on our security camera.
  • A sharp-shinned hawk, known as a sharpie. This is the smallest hawk in North America. It is the first one I've ever seen and he visited our bird feeder! ((Looking for song birds to eat!)
  • Daily we have several squirrels who hang out in our yard or use our fence as their highway.

Jimmy Carter in hospice: I'm feeling sad and yet thankful.


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