“I CAN DO ANYTHING…”

In 2010, when Joy and I went to Maui, the only thing she wanted to do that we did not, was go on a zip line.  Now why she wanted to do that, I do not know.  We were raised in the same home, with the same parents, and I have sense enough to know that feet are designed to be on the floor or the ground.  I know, as well, that we were not meant to fly.  If we were so intended, we would have wings.  Furthermore, when you try to do something that the good Lord did not intend for you to do…things happen…and the results are not always pleasant.  Obviously, the lessons did not stick with her!

So, when we made our plans to return this year, and to bring our friend, Patty, along…she immediately hit Patty up to go zip lining with her.  I think it sounded something like this, “We’d love to invite you on our trip and all you have to do is agree to go on a little ride with me.”  To which Patty replied, “Well, that sounds like a good deal, if I ever heard one…so, I’m in!”  As soon as we got to Maui, I called the lady I like to work with there for tickets and such, and told her we needed 2 tickets for the best zip line on Maui.  She called me back a little later and said due to our other scheduled events, the only time that was available that they could go…was the next morning!  So, I took the tickets and relayed the good news.  Patty, upon hearing that she was going on not one, but three zip lines way high above Maui, turned a little green.  But, since Joy had already gone on the bus adventure to Pearl Harbor while we were on Oahu, Patty knew she was going zipping in the morning.  And, they did!  I, remembering the lessons of my childhood, knew that a day spent shopping in an outdoor mall next to the ocean beats dangling from a line high above the earth and flying through the air any old day!  And, so I did!  Joy said her prayers before they left.

They had their orientation, and learned all about what they were going to do, and how to be safe.  ( ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ZIP LINING IN 30 MINUTES  OR LESS just doesn’t seem like quite enough time to instill a  feeling of confidence…I’m just  saying…)  And, then they began getting all their gear on.  Packs front and back and a seat sling and helmets.  They were really cute…don’t ya think?

And, then it was time…time for the first line.  (By the way…waaaaaaaay down there is where they are going)

To be sure, they have beautiful scenery to look at while travelling!

Two trips down and then across the HUGE suspension bridge to get as high as possible for the last zip.

AND……THEY’RE OFF !!!

“WOW!  That was fun! ”

“I did it!  I did it!  I did it! ”

And, after removing all the gear, they boarded the truck and headed back to the hotel.  I was resting peacefully, after a glorious morning perusing all the boutiques in the Whaler’s Village.  When I heard such a racket…you can’t even imagine!  Banging on the door…yelling…laughing…more banging!  It was the two zippers back from their adventure!  Oh, they were pumped!  Neither one could stop talking.  Oh, how their children would have laughed to see them so excited.  And, they should be very proud of their sense of adventure!  I loved it when Joy said, “I feel like I can do anything!  There’s not anything I wouldn’t tackle!  I feel just that good!  I can do anything!”   Funny thing, though, she didn’t seem that excited when I asked her to prove it and carry the extra suitcase I had to buy !  🙂

And so, a wonderful Maui adventure, zipping through the air,  comes to a close.  This beautiful island is like a huge playground to those of us who love to spend precious hours and days here.  It continues to capture our hearts with each new experience.  We are blessed by the time we are able to spend within its shores.

More adventures coming up…..

A DAY OF ‘CULTURE’ IN HONOLULU

Well, that’s just a little play on words…actually  I’m speaking about our visit to The Polynesian Cultural Center.  The PCC is located on the North Shore of Oahu in the town of Laie, about 40 miles from Waikiki.  I developed an avid  interest in the history and culture of the Polynesian people after my first visit here when I was about 16.  I’m not unusually a history buff, but ancient Hawaii has held my interest for many years.  It was on my second visit to Hawaii while in college, that I first visited the Polynesian Cultural Center.

The Polynesian Cultural Center is a wonderful place to experience,  with about 1,300 employees representing the island people and nations of Hawaii, Samoa, Maori New Zealand (Aotearoa), Fiji, Tonga, Easter Island, Tahiti and the Marquesas (French Polynesia)—spread over approximately 12 million square miles of Pacific Ocean.  Note the map below.

 The  Polynesian Cultural Center, considered one of the world’s most successful cultural theme attractions,  opened on October 12, 1963, to help preserve and perpetuate the more ideal aspects of Polynesian culture, and to provide work opportunities for students at the adjoining Brigham Young University.

   Many of the students there are from the lesser known islands in the Pacific, and would never have the opportunity to attend a university without this program.  Since opening, over 33 million visitors have been introduced to the Polynesian people, their arts and customs, and nearly 15,000 BYU-Hawaii students have helped finance their educational objectives while working as the friendly guides, performers and other PCC employees serving people from all over the world.

We had a tour bus from the center pick us up at our hotel about 10:00. Upon arrival at the center, we were divided into groups and assigned a tour guide.  The PCC is divided into 8 separate areas depicting the island groups in Polynesia.  With our tour guide and the rest of our group of about 25, we began our trek around the center.  Each of the areas showed some of their culture, their dances, their food or their customs.  And, as much as possible, they tried to replicate the differences in  the type of housing or shelters they used. 

TheRainbows of Paradise canoe pageant, Hawaii’s only water-borne review, takes place near Samoa and Hawaii every afternoon at 2:30 p.m. Skilled dancers show how their respective islands brought the colors of the rainbow into their lives. The pageant provides excellent daylight photography and video opportunities.

We were able to participate in several activities…playing ancient games, learning to hula, getting ‘tattoed’, tasting foods,watching the students showing some of their skills., even doing a simple weaving project. We did pretty good on everything we tried…especially the hula…yeah, they were wanting to hire us for the show!  Ha!  This seemed to be the activity we did the best in…pineapple, orange, and mango sherbet.  On this HOT day…delicious!

This was an all day adventure.  So next we were treated to a wonderful luau.    Delicious food, fine entertainment, and a nice, cool place to sit and eat.

And, after we stuffed ourselves, we moved over to a huge theater to watch the main show. 

Hā: Breathof Life
The Polynesian Cultural Center’s world-famous evening show, Ha-Breath of Life, is the pinnacle of the entire experience. A cast of over 100 of the PCC’s finest young dancers and musicians reprise an afternoon in the villages in a powerful 90-minute display of grace, beauty, color, exceptional choreography and unforgettable excitement.
 
The Polynesian Cultural Center evening show has thrilled millions of people, year after year, for the past 40 years.

The show was an excellent adaptation of just how people came to these islands and how they learned to live here with what was available.  One of the best shows we saw anywhere on the trip.

After the show, they allowed about an hour for shopping, or exploring.  They had opened up small kiosks all around with native crafts.  We had too much time to wander around in all these shops…if you catch my drift.  We caught our bus and were back at our hotel around 10:00.  The bus was equipped with TVs spaced throughout, and they showed interesting documentry type programming.  Sorry to say…I snoozed through some of it.  It was a loooooong day!

If you ever take a trip to the island of Oahu, this would be at the top of my list of  ‘MUST DO’.  Top quality throughout.

AND NOW, BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED POSTS……..

WELL.  What with all the exciting’ baby coming early’ news and all…which I am not complaining about, you understand……. my posts about our trip got put aside.  And, rightly so.  I mean A NEW GRANDSON certainly trumps a TRIP TO HAWAII !  There are still some things about the trip to talk about, so I’ll pick it back up.  HOWEVER, Sweet Levi may break in at any time! 

Let’s go to Honolulu!  Honolulu and Waikiki are on the island of Oahu.  This is the most populated and most commercial of the islands. 

We went there mainly to see how it had changed since Joy and I were there in the early 70’s.  We also wanted to go back to the Polynesian Cultural Center.  We remembered it being so good back then.  And, Patty really wanted to go to Pearl Harbor.  We knew we had an ocean front room in Maui, so we took a city view room in Honolulu.  The hotel was right on Waikiki.  It is the oldest hotel on the beach, built in 1901.    Much renovation, though.  However they are now deemed a historic site and can make no more changes.  It is a beautiful place, for sure.

Someone has to have the yucky view rooms in hotels in Paradise…and we knew ours was going to be poor.  So, it was OK…we didn’t spend much time there anyway.  But, just a peak at how faaaaaaaar away from the beach it was…here are Joy and I practicing our synchronized waving on our balcony…

…then we made this photo of Patty…..way down there…

And, when we got a chance, this is the site we saw….Waikiki Beach.

Joy and Patty planned their next day to be a trip to Pearl Harbor.   To make it a real adventure, they took off early, caught the city bus, and found the Harbor.  They were able to spend as much time as they wanted there, and then they made there way home, again on the bus.  Here are some of their pictures from the day:

The Arizona Memorial…

This is the top of something that is on the Arizona.  I don’t mean to sound flip, but I really have no idea what it is.  I do know, however, that oil is still leaking out of it, even today.  You can see the oil on top of the water.

This is a plaque on the Memorial…sorry it is hard to read…

I love the composition of this picture.  Through the top of the Memorial, which floats on top of the Arizona, Old Glory still waves against the Creator’s blue sky. 

And, back in the park, a picture of Joy and Patty, with the Arizona in the background.

As for me, I did a little exploring of my own.  There were so many little, and BIG, shops around and in the hotel.  I did a little shopping, then went back to the room and rested, and read some, and watched a movie.  I needed an easy, restful day after the long trip the day before!  Then we ate at The Cheesecake Factory, of all places!  Joy and Patty were so tired, and it was in walking distance.  But, a strange thing happened there, that has never happened to us before.  We ate our meal…and NOBODY WANTED CHEESECAKE !!!!  I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true.  We didn’t even take any with us.  I don’t know…maybe it was the sun…or something.  I’m hoping it doesn’t carry over to the next time I visit one of their Factories.

STAY TUNED….MORE EXCITING ADVENTURES  OF *THE THREE WAHINES * TO COME…

DESPERATELY TRYING TO CATCH UP…….

SUNDAY…..4/3/11

Adam and Suzanne took Levi  home on Friday.  All was well, and their first night went smoothly.  On Saturday, Ian came home from Birmingham and went straight to Levi’s house to play!    But, Levi was just too sleepy and didn’t do much playing.  He looks so tiny in Ian’s big hands!

 Adam had a wedding to shoot on Saturday, but they all visited again when he got home.   So Ian got another chance to visit with Butterbean.  He’s just about the size of one, don’t ya think?

 And, the second night was going as smoothly as the first.  Until Suzanne began feeding him in the middle of the night.  He began to have much trouble breathing and seemed to be choking and causing his parents much distress.  They called the doctor and the nurse told them to take him to the nearest ER.  They did, and we got a call.  We went, and he seemed to have gotten better by the time we got there.  Blood work came back fine.  The ER doctor said it was probably just because he is still 4 weeks early and his lungs aren’t completely ready for our world just yet.  But, they will be.  So, back home and into bed around 4:00.  So, so thankful.  God is good!

THURSDAY…4/7/11

No, I haven’t skipped the country with my new grandson.  And, no, I haven’t flown back to Maui and bought a little cottage on the beach.  Would I like to do both?   Well, what do you think?  Anyway, this has been a very hard couple of weeks.  First, I have been in lots of pain this week.  I am having to rest and stay off my feet quite a bit.  I really haven’t even felt like reading or writing.  So, that’s the reason I haven’t been commenting…I haven’t been reading.  But, I’m not gone…just   trying to keep it between the lines!

Don is in Birmingham to be with Ian who had his tonsils out yesterday.  He did well until last night.  Started bleeding, but was able to get it stopped!  Thank you, God!  Don will stay with him a few days before heading home.  Things are a little different inside his mouth due to his early difficulties…so we are praying he will heal quickly and without incidence.

Levi went in for his one week check up this week.  Adam and Suze decided to use the pediatrician that Adam had used and the one who had found his cancer 32 years ago.  He said that Levi was a healthy strong little boy…great news for us all.  And, the doctors was so glad to see Adam again…one of his early success stories!

I am working with a friend to plan and decorate for a very special wedding coming up this month…with another friend coming to help out also.   It will be an honor to decorate and so sweet to be in attendance.  More about this in a few weeks. 

Wanted to share this pic with you.  I didn’t have it when I did the post on the tsunami.  We bought these shirts later in the day that it actually hit!  Someone got busy, didn’t they?    (Patty has one too)  And, by the time we left there, we saw 6 or 7 different styles!

I still have several posts to do on our trip to Maui….I’ll try to get them posted before Thanksgiving!  🙂

And, please forgive me for not keeping up with you, my friends who blog.  I will get around to it!  Promise!

SWIMMING LESSONS

O.K….let me be honest with you.  It will help you enjoy this story much better.  I do not like the ocean.    Well, I like to look at it.  I like to sit next to it.  I like to smell it.  I like to hear it.  I like the way it moves.  BUT….I do not like it to touch me……not even one little bit.  I don’t like to be in it because there are other things in there too and I do not know where they are or what they will do or if they like me and want to touch me or if they don’t like me and  don’t choose to ignore my presence.

If there is a time that I NEED to be in the ocean….I can do it.  I used to get in with my children when we would visit the beach for vacations.  One rule:  Mom’s head does NOT go under the water.!!!!!!  They did pretty good, and I went in with them enough to get good marks in the ‘mother of boys’ department.  But since they got to the age where it was akin to public humiliation to be seen with your mother…..no more time in the ocean for me.  Which suits me fine!

Now you know of my love for Maui…I’ve talked about it enough.  But, all the times I’ve been there I have never gotten in the ocean.  Which was causing me no grief  because I never wanted to.  It was enough to be near it and watch it.  Besides I had always heard that you could not trust the currents and tides and such. ..especially there.   Once, while visiting there, I went out to lay in the sun for a while.  I placed my towel and other stuff far enough away from the waves breaking on the shore.  I watched the water for a while and then lay down to soak up some rays.  That was when it was still considered OK to lay out in the sun.   After about 10 minutes, I was surrounded by a foot of ocean water all around me.  All my things were floating away.  Water was everywhere.  It wasn’t a wave…it was the tide.  And, it was coming in fast.  I gathered what I could and high-tailed it (literally) to higher ground.  I learned a quick lesson then….DO NOT TRUST THE OCEAN IN HAWAII!  And, by the time I was ready to drive away…it was about 3 feet deep!  Scary!  And no sign to say BEWARE!  YOU CAN DROWN ON THE SAND!!!!!

ANYWAY…Patty is a swimmer…and a very good swimmer.  And, she loves to be in the water.  So the first chance she got…she was IN the ocean.  I tried not to think about it.  Now Joy likes the water as well, and is a good swimmer.  So the next day, she went with Patty.  And, they got all sorts of pictures of each other in the Maui waters.  They flaunted them in my face.  Really, I was not jealous in the least.  Besides, I had not brought a swim suit. I had no intention of needing one.   No matter….they put in for me to get in the water so we could all have a picture of us in the ocean.    While at a local shopping mall, I was making a purchase, and   when I finished paying, Patty was waiting for me.  She went in several stores and finally found a suit…ON SALE.  I tried it on and it fit.  As well as it could, I suppose.  And, plans were made for me to get into the ocean…just for a picture.  And, being the good sport that I am, I agreed.

Oh, I got a cover up and I got a hat and sunglasses, and I got ready to go.  And, I went.  And therein lies the story. 

I learned long ago, that you should never allow yourself to be talked in to something you are not comfortable with.  Things will not go as planned……bad things will  happen……and happiness will not be the result.  Oh…and you will regret your decision.  But, I digress.

*****BTW*****I’m sure you will understand if this little post doesn’t include many pictures.  Another thing I learned a long time ago…some things are better left unseen !

Just so you will know this is a true story…..here’s evidence!  Yes, I do know it’s quite far away…do you blame me???

Patty and Joy are already on the beach, and they can hardly contain their enjoyment of seeing me in a very uncomfortable place.   They were jumping up and down and turning flips and whooping hollering like little children!   But, I said I was goint to get in and I was!  I placed all my things down and took off my cover up.  Why did I leave my hat on, you say?  Because I had no intention of any harm coming to it…nor of it getting wet.  Because, only the bottom half of me was going to be submerged.  Yeah right!

This picture is taken while I am only in water up to my ankles.  Notice I am still smiling! 

Patty and Joy are on the beach saying, “Go further out!”…  Patty was taking pics and Joy came down to the water.  Anyway, I went out a little ways more.  “Just a little more!” they said.  And, soon I was up to my tummy.  Oh, the water did feel good, too!  And, I was standing there, feeling all Hawaiian Beach Babe , loving on nature, and thinking how proud I was of me.    And, what a great friend and sister I was to indulge my friends this way!  What a delightful little fairy tale I stepped into for a moment.  But, the next place I stepped was not so pleasant!

The undertow was fierce and I could tell I was being pushed and pulled strongly by it.  “Time to put a ‘happily-ever-after’ to this fairy tale…and get on out of here,” I thought.  I knew I was pushing my luck.  So, I took a step toward the shore, and immediately got pushed backward.  I tried to regain my balance, but the ocean floor was not in the same place!  It dropped away…and I could not find a bottom to touch!  So, I started swimming toward shore.  At least it’s what I like to call swimming! :).  I have always known I could swim if I had to and nobody believed me…but they saw that day!

Where, Oh, where was this sign?

Notice that even through this turmoil, I managed to keep my hat on my head.  Patty is still making pictures!!!  I swam up to where I could stand up…but something went horribly wrong.  I just couldn’t stand up.  Joy tried to help me…however she was laughing mighty hard, so she probably wasn’t giving her best effort! 

 I managed to make it to my feet , but somehow I got knocked down by another wave.  And, even though I hate to admit it…this was in 2 feet of water!  Anyway, I ended up on the ocean floor. …completely lying in the surf.     And, the next thing I know…I was being rolled…ROLLED, PEOPLE…3…I tell you…THREE…TIMES!!!!! Everything I had was full of sand.  My mouth, and lungs, and head were full of water…not to mention my eyes and nose!     I was completely disoriented.  AND…I could not get up and out of that water.   And, my hat was gone, too.

I was begging Joy to help me…but, obviously she found this little unfortunate incidence to be a mite funnier than before!    And the only thing I saw of Patty was a camera where her face should be.  OH, yes.  I could tell she was laughing too, even as near to drowning as I was. 

Thankfully, there was a hero on the beach with his wife.  He had the good sense to tell that I was really in trouble and rushed to help me.  He helped me stand up and he walked me onto shore.  I thanked him and thanked him and thanked him again.   His wife and Patty were having themselves a good, old time at my expense.  His wife said to Patty, “I’m sorry to laughing at your friend, but that was the funniest thing I have ever seen!””  OH REALLY?  Then she said, “This should be sent in to Funniest Home Videos!  It would win!”   I started to take that little tanned , skinny girl in a bright white bikini and tell her a thing or two. 

 But, actually…I didn’t have any fight left in me.  I was winded.  I needed to sit down.  I needed to cry.  I needed someone to hug me and say, “Are you sure you are all right?  Is there anything I can get you?  I was so scared for you.  Are you sure you’re OK?”  But, all is heard was laughter…..on either side of me and behind me.  It was not a good day to be in the ocean in Maui…or on the beach, either! 

I learned many lessons that day.

Good friends can turn mean in a hurry!*****So can sisters!*****Never back into the ocean!*****Sometimes people with cameras in their hands don’t have many brains in their head!*****Sometimes people who get their scalp blistered on their first day in Hawaii get their brains blistered as well!*****Never go swimming anywhere that doesn’t have at least one hero close by.*****Don’t count on your family or good friends to be your hero!*****

And, now I post here the two bathing beauties who laughed when they should have been helping!

So, in case any of you are planning a trip to the beautiful islands of Maui, stay out of the ocean.  Especially if you have friends or family with you!!!

Now, all kidding aside.  I really was in trouble in the water.  The undertow was so strong, and the force of the wave churning, coupled with my weak legs could have been a bad situation.  Of course, I would never have been in the ocean alone.  But, it was so deceiving. I would never have thought I could not walk out of an ocean.   Please be careful when you swim.  I truly don’t know what would have happened if I had not had the help of the man on the beach.  Joy was trying to help, but she was not strong enough.  And, Patty would have been there in a second once she realized I was in trouble.  Hawaiian waters are notorious for changing tide patterns and undertows, and riptides and such.  I will enjoy it again….but only from a distance.  No matter what my companions say!

ONE MORE THING…..

Isn’t this the strangest drowning sign you have ever seen?  It was in use for only a short time before being discarded for obvious reasons. 

 Do you see it?  LOL …. is a head with 2 raised arms on either side!

I wonder if Joy and Patty had anything to do with that?