Friday, April 27, 2007

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Yes it was in beautiful Sebring Florida with my good friends. It all started when my good friend Mary came over to celebrate handing her taxes over to the accountant. A bottle of wine later found us at the computer booking a spontaneous vacation to her home in Florida that she co-owns with her sister Ann.

The love of my life has asked what is with the two of us, when wine and the computer equate to a trip somewhere! It just does and yes we do have a terrific time escaping the dreary Wisconsin weather for a steady 85 degrees and sunshine.

It was one of our famous chick trips where we just laugh and eat quiche! Mary makes a wild salsa and I managed to not burn the croutons or chicken on our Caesar night!

Cindy had promised to entertain us with her extreme gecko routine, but the little lizard wasn’t about to be cornered this time.

Alas, we had to golf, drink, swim, roll over, apply more suntan lotion and swim in the pool. Life is tough sometimes but look at the great lemon we purloined from the absent neighbors tree!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Waikiki Beach

It has been a week since I returned from Maui - - my true home. I have many people ask me if that is where I reside or do I own property there. The answer is no to both questions. It is a desire and love affair to be sure.

My husband and I took our first trip to Maui six years ago and I truly found paradise there.

It started in my youth when I first saw the movie Blue Hawaii and I knew in my heart that someday I must go there. When friends returned from the islands, I never heard any of them say that they hated it, only that they wanted to go back.

We found an affordable condo and flight and made our first trip and have returned several times. This is the most delightful place that has everything you could want in a vacation spot; mountains, oceans, rain forest, waterfalls, desert, and best of all, the “aloha” spirit.

This trip was different for me because it was planned with my sister and nephew. We visited O’ahu as well as Maui. While I am not a city person and shopping does not interest me in the least, Honolulu and Waikiki were fascinating. There is a figure of something akin to 80% of all the Hawaiian island population is centered in this area! I find that to be staggering but given the sheer volume of people, I do believe it.

I much prefer the small town feeling of Maui. On our last day there we went to my favorite place, Big Beach. This is a protected state park and the only concessions to modernization are the rest room facilities and a few picnic tables. The rest is natural. It is truly such a startling beauty to behold.

My 12 year-old nephew’s eyes grew wide with wonder and amazement when he first entered the beach area from the access trail. The water is a pure crystalline turquoise, with wild waves thundering onto the shore of beautiful soft sand. The backdrop is the spectacular red hill, which is a steam vent created from the last volcano. The colors are vibrant contrasts of black, red, brown, greens, and the many shades of blue water. Each color is more brilliant than the adjoining one.

This particular day fell to the full moon and the surf was up. While beautiful, it was not conducive to snorkeling. I failed to see one of my most favorite sea creatures, the majestic green sea turtle. Due to the time of year, we were rewarded with frolicking whales enjoying the last of their season in Maui, soon to begin their long journey back to Alaska. We were also rewarded with a visiting pod of porpoises from La Perouse point. I find their paired and undulating swim through the channel to be an exciting privilege to view. We were also privileged to see what appeared to be small deer traversing the hillside.

My heart yearns for this place and simply feels settled and at home when I am at Big Beach. It is unlikely that I will ever leave Wisconsin and settle in my dream place, but it is good to dream of paradise. This is where I have found it and will return at every opportunity.

Aloha and mahalo.