Saturday, June 18, 2011

Living the dream.

I plagiarized a phrase from a friend years ago when she declared "I live on five star mountain". We all do, right? Making the best life we can by our choice of friends, surroundings and daily experiences according to our own values and beliefs. For me this manifests by living in a place I love, working at a job I like and in my spare time doing what I want, with whom I want, which feels like unadulterated freedom. Nature, health and connection with my peeps are definitely key ingredients, with money and fancy schamcy falling pretty far down on my list of required components.

So given my usual happiness formula, post work on Friday parking my trusty 1993 Ranger (275,000 miles on the clock), for a two night stay at the Four Seasons Wailea was not exactly the norm. Yet thanks to the amazing generosity of my friend Cheyenne, I was finally using up his fantastic birthday gift and my giddy level rose as the decadence of the weekend unfolded.

My job is to send people on holiday all day and clients often start their vacation request with "I want to be on the beach with an ocean view". I'm now fully equipped to respond "I hate to disappoint, but clearly what you have in mind is room 697 at the Four Seasons Maui". Holy shit I almost pee'd my pants with excitement as I opened the door and BAM was hit simultaneously with the divine luxury of the room and the view above.

I called Cheyenne who was at the pool and from my lanai waved at him like a moron who'd never stayed at a hotel before. I'm normally the kid who's happy to play with a bunch of keys, but fucking hell that plastic card to my room and the joy it gave me made all my "money can't buy you happiness" thoughts run for cover under the 800 thread count sheets.

Day time.....

......night time!

We'd structured our weekend around the Maui Film Festival which is a wonderful annual event that can be as glitzy or down home as you'd like. With such a perfect base the next step was to add friends, cucumber martini's (shaken not stirred) and dinner at Spago. As we boarded the bus to the movies under the stars, the kindly staff handed out blankets and water and let me tell you, that was just one of the many little gestures that made me melt into a magical weekend.

Do you see these? These are poke cones and this is my friend Hanna who after Cheyenne, probably loves them the most of anyone I know.....proof positive because was her dinner. These spicy little buggers are a thing of legend and their recipe is a tightly kept secret.

As is Cheyenne's ability to make shit happen, as day two saw us in the kitchen at Spago learning how to make them!

Official testers of another Spago fave, chocolate lava cake made by Chef Ehrlich.

This pici cracks me up as we felt like stars having just had two wonderfully generous chefs take their precious time and share their talents, passion and creativity with us. Total score.

Let me tell you, I pull my weight in the world and don't grumble about much, but bloody hell, to put down my responsibilities for a weekend and be waited on hand and foot was shockingly marvelous! And remember, I'm the woman who has the blessed life and follows her nose and is free to do anything, but this weekend I felt like I had the magic lamp and all I had to do was rub that bugger and what ever I could imagine would manifest.

Well almost everything.....I couldn't conjure up a late check-out! But this was us four hours after we'd paid the bill.

Did I mention check-out was at noon? This is what 6:30pm looked like.

Today I had a 7:50am dental appointment and was back to living the dream......and at work not one client asked for a room on the beach with an ocean front view.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Weekend mini break.

I took a short 45 minute flight and was in another world on Kaua'i for a few days.

With three German's and two Brits, Team Kaua'i was not short on food, wit, laughs or beer....though sleep seemed lacking thanks to the stereophonic booming frogs that bombarded our night time airspace.

A word to the wise, if you ever get into a drinking contest with Frau Elan (pictured left), you will lose!

May I recommend getting some food in your stomach first and conveniently located behind the outdoor garden at The Dolphin restaurant, is Hanalei Fish Market which has the best sushi rolls any of us have ever tasted (even sans beer).

The taro fields spread for acres in the Hanalei valley and are a perfect habitat for some of the endangered native Hawaiian wildlife.

Such as the Hawaiian Moorhen, who along with the Coots and Stilts cutely populate this rich habitat.

Further down the coast the Kilauea Lighthouse is another fantastic viewing point for seabirds playing on the thermals.

While we're on the subject of wildlife, Ulli laying (seemingly) naked didn't phase the women in his life as they've both seen it all before!

Quick trip to the beach anyone?

The Pee-wee get-away vehicles.

Clearly a favored mode of north shore transport.

As the under 50's embarked on an epic overnight adventure along the Kalalau Trail and I quote Michelle "I am now scared of hiking"......(click on the link and view the third photo down to see why)!

......the over 50's celebrated Gertrude's 72nd birthday in style.

Even in an early morning mist there is a breathtaking beauty to Hanalei Bay. If you've not been, never disappoints.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Hana hou.

The waterfalls were flowing strongly as we gently made our way out to Hana. While Melanie and Michelle rode their bikes, Ulli, Gertrude (aka Ulli's Mum) and I drove, stopping periodically to smell the rain and take in the scenery.

Always breathtaking, never disappointing,

We timed our coffee and banana bread pit stop perfectly, ordering just before a tour bus of XXL's arrived, otherwise it would have been shave ice and information with Aloha for us. Melanie could have used a little of the local knowledge herself before discovering that upon lifting Aunty Sandy's trash can lid, it was home to a giant rat!

The original gated community.

Did I mention the water was in full flow?

As the afternoon rain came and went, we cozied up in our comfy pad and I looked on amazed as Michelle sat in a chair and read a book! It's an understatement to say it's not an activity you often catch her doing, but clearly the side effects of 42 miles up hill and down dale were finally kicking in.

We moseyed over to the Hotel for early evening drinkypoo's and music, but there was no music.....only the reverberating sound of my gasp as the $72 bill arrived for five cocktails! That's definitely taking the piss, but it all added to the humor of the day

Gertrude soaking up the rays on her Maui style throne.

We spent most of Sunday morning at Hamoa beach.......

....while Meesh just nonchalantly walked into the sea wearing the clothes on her back for a quick surf sesh. Who gives a monkeys if they are the 'good shorts' of the moment, a girl has to stash her wax somewhere. I have so much to learn about ease and flow from this young woman!