Saturday, August 22, 2015

Mt. Alyeska Summer 2010

A thirty five or forty mile drive south of Anchorage is the town of Girdwood and the Alyeska Ski Resort. This is a very nice outing if the weather is nice, which it was! Six of us (Michael wasn't able to come) made the beautiful drive, one of the most beautiful in the world, well of the world I am aware of anyway.

There is a very nice hotel at the base of the mountain which operates a tram up into the heights.

Reine and Grandma
Reine and Mom

Just arriving.

We ate at the deli. Kinda expensive, not the greatest, but a tradition so there you are. This photo is grainy because the flash wasn't on for this shot and the next one wasn't nearly as good so I had to lighten it up and this is the result. The scenery out the window is washed out. Still good though.

There were a lot of small bugs flying around. It was quite annoying.

Hey! Where'd everybody go?

This is a view of Turnagain Arm. The road we drive on is about 30 miles along its coast. The arm is very shallow as inlet go. The tide is out shown here. That area is full of water when the tide is in.
Notice the para-sail in this picture?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


About a month ago Julie and I went a visiting.

A few photographs and a few videos were taken.
I do admit.

We had two primary goals.

We wanted to see Ryan and Ashley.
It had been quite a while.

We ate ice cream.
We ate a bunch of stuff.

We talked a lot.
About many things.

Ashley was feeling a bit under the weather.
If you know what I mean.

She wasn't up to much extra activity.

She had been quite involved lately.

A busy little furry mammal that builds aquatic structures.
As they say.

Ryan was able to spend time from work.

We were glad he could spend lots of time with us.
I don't think Ashley minded.

We went for walks.
Lindsay was able to spend a few days too.

She hadn't seen Ryan and Ashley for a while.

Fortunately, the weather was nice.
Quite comfortable actually.

Very sunny.
And warm.

And the second goal.

Of our visit.

Of course.
To see our beautiful new grandson.


Welcome to our family dear little one.
Here you will find much love.

You have most wonderful parents.

We will miss watching you grow.
Watching you come to experience your new world.
Coming to know your sweet personality.
Your bright eyes.
Your gurgling laugh.
We'll miss watching you learn.
To explore.

We'll miss holding your hand.
Your little arms around our necks.

Though we are far away.
We think of you.
Delight in you.

Pray for you.
Miss you.

Love you.
Grandma & Grandpa

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

No more excuses, and aloha!

It was Thanksgiving when we blogged last, unbelievable. Figured we just needed to jump back on the horse, so I'm going to do some writing. Brad can add some pictures. Of course, too much has happened to really catch up, but we'll just press on.

One big thing - after a couple years of planning, anticipating and dreaming, we finally made it back to Hawaii. Even trying to enjoy the anticipation and every minute there didn't keep it from flying by so so so fast. But we had a wonderful time. It was kind of a 30th wedding anniversary trip, even though we had that anniversary last year. (Brad's comments are in italics.)

Just landing at the Honolulu airport was soooooo nice! Our jet way emptied out into an open air passageway. Remarkable! What a welcome to the warm, humid air. We loved it!

After a delayed connection in Honolulu, we finally arrived on Maui at night, just before Krispie Cream closed. Whew! We grabbed a dozen delectables and drove to South Kihei. Our very first morning was Memorial Day. The beach was busy all day. We've learned that the beach here is becoming better known but it's normally not this crowded. Here are some pictures of the beach and the view from the lanai (balcony). My parent's condo is right on the beach, just the perfect location and heaven on earth.

It is my favorite thing to lay on a lawn chair and read, or just look around, hear the waves crashing, feeling the sun. When I get too hot, there's a choice between pool or ocean to cool off.

I love walking down the beach feeling the sand and the water swirling around my ankles. Well, enough of that, you get the picture. One slightly funny thing, only because true disaster was avoided.....Brad decided that it would be a good idea and maybe even fun, to run on the beach. After all, everyone else is doing it and it looks so easy! He almost had a repeat of his injury from a few years back when he ruptured his achilles tendon. This was the other leg and he knew it immediately when he did it. Pretty impressive swelling, huh. (Huh, no photo of that. Some people don't like to look at feet and it wasn't that bad [looking] anyway. Although the tendon is still tender to touch, I have begun walking without a limp just recently [August 23rd]) You know what they say about 50 something weekend warriors! He hobbled around the rest of the trip and it is only just now starting to quit hurting.

This shot is looking back at the condo from down the beach a little way.

Remember that dozen delectable donuts from Krispie Cream? Here is what is left after a day or two. We gave one to the guy who helped us up to the room with our luggage. I think Julie ate one... maybe two. The others simply disappeared somehow. Of this remainder Julie ate the one with sprinkles. Or maybe not.

I carried my kites along and was able to have some fun flying them a couple of times at a beach-side park in the afternoon winds.

We really like the "upcountry" part of the island, Paia, Makawao etc. One of our favorite restaurants is in Paia, a Mexican place called Polly's. There motto is on a sign out front, "come in and eat, or we'll both starve!" They have great, freshly made salsa. We went there twice.

Here a few more pictures of the beach at the condo. The afternoons would generally become quite windy before quieting down for the evening.

Paddle-boarding has become a popular "sport", apparently. Sometimes there would be quite a herd of paddlers out there. It didn't look like much fun. Maybe it's the kind of thing that most do at least once because a lot of other people are doing it, never to do again. Thankfully for the Hawaiian economy there is a never ending supply of suckers, I mean tourists.

The location is also a popular place for weddings. We've seen one each on our last two trips.

Makawao is the home of what I call the heavenly ward. When we've made the effort to go there for church, we are blown away by how friendly and welcoming everyone is. They don't get many visitors and we have always felt like we were long lost family members returning home in that ward. This time we were lazy though, and rather than drive to Makawao, we went to church in Kihei. They are overrun with visitors every Sunday. The chapel was full of the ward members, and the cultural hall in back was filled with visitors. I'm sure that is a pain for them in a lot of ways. After church, we went to the Iao Needle, which is a great place for a beautiful walk in the rainforest.

Look closely to see a bird in the maw of whatever that plant thing is.

We spent one afternoon in Lahaina and then attended the magic show Warren & Annabelle.

Gorgeous sunsets! These pictures were taken outside our condo front door.

Some highlights: We drove around the entire island this trip, really everywhere it's possible to go, except up Haleakala. This time when we drove to Hana, we stopped along the way and did the little hikes and jaunts that you read about and were recommended by Ryan and Ashley when they were there for their honeymoon. Of course, they were much more adventurous than we are, but we did a few things we wouldn't have done otherwise. We've started keeping track of things in a book for our family, things that are fun to do there, good places to eat etc. We didn't have the book when Michael and Lindsay went. Anyway, so here are some pictures of our drive to Hana, and also around the other side of the island, the West Maui mountains, which is also beautiful.

At the Seven Sacred Pools.

I think this waterfall was about the last one we saw before heading onto the south side of the east part of the island.

It was getting late by the time we got to the desolate part of the island (we stopped at many more places than we have before). We didn't get back into the populated areas in the valley until late, in the dark, and in the rain. The drive through the "desert" actually takes quite a while. That day's drive was a long one. We were bushed by the time we got home. Such an enjoyable day though.

A few days later we drove up to the east side of the valley to see it in daylight. I was entranced with the area and would seriously consider living there if we were to ever move to Maui. This photo looks down onto Kihei and south Kihei.

We took a day trip over to Lanai'i. Lanai'i is best known for being mostly a pineapple plantation, but now it's known for it's 5 star (or whatever is BEST) hotels. Read about Bill Gates' wedding there, if you want to get a feel for the place. There is only one usable beach there, and it is a beaut. It was a super fun day, starting with the catamaran ride out there. We came upon a school of spinner dolphins that followed the boat and put on a show jumping out of the water and playing around us. We had a couple hours to play at the beach and snorkel or whatever, then we went in a van with 6 other people to see the little town of Lanai'i city. And it is a little town! We then had a delicious barbeque chicken lunch before heading back. By afternoon the trade winds kick up and the ride back was much wilder and wetter. Like sitting in the Shamu splash zone. The crew put the sail up halfway back and that made such a pretty picture, the brilliant sail, blue water and ultimately the setting sun, before finally making it back to Lahaina.

One the way out we were reclining on one of the trampolines at the front of the catamaran. Julie's leg is the cute, tan one on the right.

Looking back at Maui you can see the dolphins in the upper right of the water. Below is a video of them. It was really cool. There were so many!

Gas price for a gallon on Lanai'i!

This is the sunset that welcomed us back to Lahaina.

After dinner in Kihei one evening we did a little jewelry shopping and witnessed this sweet sunset before heading home.

We have a tradition. Okay, it's my tradition, Julie is along for the fun! At least once each trip I like eating outside at Denny's. The birds are never far away, looking for an easy meal. I couldn't resist taking a picture of one patron enjoying his breakfast.

We also went to the Outback. Twice. We don't eat at the Outback much, if ever, at home. At our first visit Julie had lobster tail and prime rib. I had a delicious Mahi Mahi dish, Julie had a bite. As much as Julie liked her lob and rib, we had to go back again so that she could have the Mahi Mahi.


Other fun things - Warren and Annabelle's magic show - truly the best show on Maui. The aquarium. Flying kites in the park. Eating out. Just being together without daily life's responsibilities. It was great and I want to go back.