Maui, meditating, and an amazing Saturday

Oh man, I’ve been re-hee-hee-ealy bad at posting on my beloved blog. The truth is, I’m so busy blogging for the Empire that, by the time I think about posting on the Funk, I’m too wiped out. I should be better at mini updates though. Not every post has to be of BIG IMPORTANCE.

I also would like to think that, although my 2012 new years resolution was to blog more (I failed at that), I’m blogging less in 2013 because this new years resolution is to hang out with friends more. And, until I left for Maui this week, I have been doing exactly that.

I <3 when friends make me dinner. Especially when it's @thejessicamoss & @johngraney.

Yup, I’m in Maui again. Just bought a one-way ticket this time because I was having anxiety about picking the right return date. This way, I can return whenever I feel like it! I’m planning on spending about a month here… maybe more. Because a month in Maui feels like a week.

Yup, Lumeria hotel in Pa'ia can get it. This place is amazing.

As usual, I’ve been spending most of my days working. But yesterday was my day off and I took the rare occasion to actually get off the computer and enjoy it. As a result, I had an AMAZING day. I took one of my daily long walks/exercise time with my father. I met my friend Jana for a morning mediation session at Lumeria (a retreat in Paia). It was awesome — a huge infusion of positivity that left me feeling energized. I then had a nice lunch by myself at my favorite restaurant, Flatbread Pizza Co. Then I enjoyed the sunset with my parents as we watched the drag races at Maui Raceway until we got too cold/I started cramping. As I used a heating pad on my abdomen on the couch, my dad introduced me to the movie Galaxy Quest.

If you read over that last paragraph and you’re left thinking “meditation session — WAH!?” I don’t blame you. Before last week I had never meditated in my LIFE. But, it’s something my therapist recommended, so I gave it a whirl. At first I hated it, now I’m starting to dig it. And I’m hoping to go back to that session at Lumeria a couple times a week. We’ll see.

And now I must get back to work. I am again reminded why I hardly ever update.

Travels and aging ahead

Guys, I’m so stoked! I just booked a two week trip to Maui… for $430! It’s also the first trip I’ve ever booked just by myself. I may be met out there by Aaron and a few friends, but that’s not all confirmed just yet. But if you’d like to join me… Hawaiian Airlines is having a sale on flights from the West Coast right now.

Jump on that shit and join me?

I also just booked my birthday trip to Washington for next weekend. Interestingly, it looks like the Seattle trip is going to cost me more when all is said and done — airfare for me and Aaron, lodging, taxis, etc — than my trip to Maui for two weeks.

And yes, I did just drop the mention that birthday is coming up next weekend. I’ll be thirty-freaking-ONE. I’m STILL in shock that I’m thirty. How did this happen so fast? So, though I just dropped around $1200 on travel, I can write of one of the trips and I’ll look at the other trip as a gift to myself.


Finally, a beach day!

Had lunch at Ferraro’s at the Four Seasons yesterday. They have my FAVORITE meal of all time: a tofu and quinoa salad with big chunks of avocado and and a teriyaki sauce + a lahaina lemonade = my happy tummy.

We also spied whales going nuts as close to the shore as we’ve seen them yet. When she spotted them, my mom cried “I see a shark close to shore!” (She said shark, when she meant whale.) Our waitress was approaching as she said this and absolutely panicked! She got so frightened that she knocked over a glass of water into my dad’s lap. Poor thing. We explained that my mother meant whale when she said shark, we were sorry for frightening her. Of course we found out that she became jumpy because she had also been working at the Four Seasons when Aaron’s shark attack occurred. Poor thing. We totally unintentionally frightened her… TWICE now.

After a fantastic lunch, I decided to go to the beach anyway, even if it was a little too windy for a perfect beach day. And it was awesome. I drove the couple blocks to Charley Young beach and snagged the most perfect spot — on a little inlet separated from the main stretch of beach by large rocks, under a tree for shade, and angled myself for an amazing view of South Maui.

The view from my towel.

The sky and tree above.

The view behind me, almost as good as the view in front.

Me, finally relaxing on the beach.

I hung out in the spot for several hours, until it the sun started to set. Then I headed over to the park just down the street from my parent’s house, where I texted my mom to whip up her patented Lala Lemonades and meet me to watch the sun go down. While I waited for my parents to ride, I read Game of Thrones on my Kindle, nestled in my own makeshift throne of perfectly formed rocks — seat and backrest.

I sipped my blueberry vodka-spiked lemonade, watched people play with their dogs, watched a family of whales splash around on the horizon, and enjoyed the slowest sun set I’ve ever witnessed in my life. No pics of that because my phone died, and you know what, I didn’t care. :)

Lunch in Lahaina and whales

The weather’s been so iffy. Yesterday was bright and sunny, but definitely too cold to go to the beach/into the ocean. So, we decided to drive to Lahaina to have lunch at a restaurant my parents love called Mala. The view from our table was fabulous…

And the food was great too.

THen we thought, since we made the trek out there, we might as well just tourist it up and walk around Front Street.

My dad picked that hat out for me. Cute, huh?

And on the way home, we had to pull over because we spotted whales making big splashes in the distance. So we pulled over. I snapped this photo…

That black dot in the distance is a whale. I also grabbed this video where you can BARELY make out a big whale and a baby whale taking turns making splashes…

Today, it’s blustery and cold. But it’s still early. I’m hoping the weather gets hotter so we can hit the beach. I’m DYING to spend time on the sand. Now I must go walk off my non-beach day blues.

Flights, flowers & near fatalities: how I barely survived my first day of vacation

Day one of my (pseudo-forced) vacation started off rough — woke from a dead sleep at 3am remembering that something had not been done in preparation for Offbeat Bride that morning. Had to drag my ass out of bed and edit and schedule a post with my eye balls barely able to focus. But whatever, got it done! But then was unable to go back to sleep until 5am.

Woke up at 6:30 and started my usual pre-flight anxiety attack from leaving the house through arriving at my gate. Thankfully the security gods were with me yesterday and it was a breeze — no long and winding line, no bag re-check and no backscatter machine. Phew.

I also got a middle seat for my 5 and a half hour flight. Harrumph. But no worries — in true “flight to Maui style” I ended up making friends with the local guy I sat next to AND comforting the neighbor to my left, assuring him that the next 5+ hour flight, after his long trek from Norway to Los Angeles, would completely be worth the wait. He seemed to look relieved. In fact, by the middle of the flight, I was using the head phone jack in Norway’s seat, while Local Guy and I shared my headphones to watch the movie. :)

Obviously, things started to get better. My flight was a little late, so my parents were waiting for me at the bottom of the escalator with a fresh lei in hand. As I exited the airport and felt my first blast of fragrant island breeze I broke down in tears. I was happy, I was relieved, I was overwhelmed, I was in shock, I was home.

Sunshine in Pa'ia, me rockin' a lei.

Sunshine in Pa’ia, me rockin’ a lei.

My parents know how to welcome me back to Maui, they wasted no time in getting me to Flatbread Pizza Co. We chowed down on organic, all local-grown salads and pizza. And I downed two local beers, finally feeling “on vacation.”

We then took a drive down the coast. The wind was up and the waves were intense — kite boarders, and surfers were out in force, most of them just struggling to keep up with the force and the speed of the waves. But on land, we were flirting with danger just as much as the surfers. Read More

The Kalama Park whale got its feet wet

Last night, Coco, Aaron and I all stayed up late downing beers and watching the coverage of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan. Then I learned that it was expected to hit Hawaii as well! So I called my parents and gave them the news. They went to my cousin’s home, which is well out of the danger zone and stayed there for the night.

This morning I’m getting photo after photo from my mother of the changes in the landscape from the (compared to Japan) small tsunami that hit last night…

The water receding WAY back and exposing the shore bed.

The water came all the way up past S Kihei Rd. This is the street you turn on to get to the house.

But by far my favorite photo that put things in perspective was the Kalama Park whale statue that now looks like the Maui version of the La Brea tar pits!

Click on the photo to see it bigger.

Crazy, huh!?

The good thing is that Coco, Aaron and I got to discussing a plan of action should LA get hit with an emergency on this level. It entails rounding up all our Norton apartment building family: Aaron and me, Amy and Ari and Coco and Tristan plus four dogs and two cats, and all meeting up in the Pleasure Chest parking lot.

Now that’s even crazier.

Reason #387 why I love Maui

Perhaps I should explain how we got to do that awesome photo shoot that I just blogged about with one of the best wedding photographers on Maui…

David and Aaron "surfing" in Maui.

The biggest reason why I love Maui so much is that every time I go there I meet at least ONE incredible person who changes my life in one way or another. But this trip was unique because the person I met on Maui wasn’t on Maui yet when I met him…

It started on the plane ride out there. That was awful at the time and funny to me now. I sat down at my window seat (I like to have a window seat when I fly too Maui so that I can see the beautiful island as I ask it for permission to land) and then another woman sat in the aisle seat and no one was in the middle, so that was a blessing! I was pretty excited.

And then a family of four (two adults and two kids) sat down in the three seats behind me. Screwed. Immediately the kids started screaming, I mean top of their lungs just screaming to make noise. After the first five screams it became clear that the parents had NO intention of stopping their kids from behaving like that. Awesome.

And then the woman to my right starts doing this horrible deep cough that just gave me the wiggins. I hoped that it was a one time, something was stuck in her throat, kinda thing. But no — it happened over and over again. I’m telling you that sound is not even anything I can attempt to describe. Just know that it gave me chills and made me nauseous every time i heard it.

And then the children’s screaming turned into screaming AND kicking and that’s when I lost my shit. I thought there is NO WAY that I can put up with this for four more hours. So I packed up all of my shit and said excuse me to the hoarker sitting next to me and then made my way to the back of the plane cruising for an open seat.

That’s when I saw this guy who looked about my age, and like he probably lived on the islands, sitting in a window seat with the rest of his row available. I asked if I could sit in the aisle seat because I was about to beat the shit out of a little kid and he said, “Sure!” And let me tell you, first class wouldn’t have felt as luxurious as that little quiet aisle seat felt. I was immediately happy and de-stressed. I watched the movie with a blissed out smile on my face, happy all the way to Maui.

While in my little happy seat, I went about my business editing wedding photos and that’s when he leaned over and asked if I was a wedding photographer. I told him that I was and he told me that his wife was a wedding photographer on Maui! This opened up all kinds of conversations, I learned that his name was David, he’s a kick-ass graphic designer, and he and his wife Jana had just moved to Maui from Oahu, and that he had just spent the week in San Francisco, so we were in the bay area at the same time.

Anyway, because of that chance meeting on the plane to Maui, we made two new awesome friends (seriously, look how freaking cute they are) who let us do a fun photo shoot and then taught us to surf. We can’t wait to get back to Maui and hang with them some more, and the next time I *will* stand all the way up on that damn board!