gone readin'

I've gone missing again...This time thanks to the incredible book, My Sister's Keeper. As many in the blogsphere have said, it's an incredibly touching story. So moving and engaging that any spare moment I had, I read. Alas, I completed the book the other day and now it's in Emily's hands. Now however, I have homework piling up and more importantly, almost 100 Google Reader posts to peruse through. I have two big assignments due next Wednesday, so my reward will be blogging. In the meantime, if you haven't read My Sister's Keeper, you must! I'm looking forward to picking up another Jodi Picoult novel.

Hope y'all have a great week while I'm doing homework in my spare time (insert a sad and tired face).


think pink

I love pink! But even more, I love that a couple recent pink purchases benefits breast cancer research.

Here's to shopping with a cause! I can't feel guilty for that!

I hope these sneaks stay pretty for the 3-day Breast Cancer walk in November! I guess it depends on how much I use them...I'm breaking them in tomorrow morning at the MS Walk. I'm actually hoping to run the 5K. Wish me luck!


maui revealed, our last day

Monday, our last day in Maui, was nearly perfect, of course the airport experience would screw it up, right? After hearing about the Aloha Airlines debacle (thank you, Marie for the info), we checked-in online immediately, did some packing, and then went for our final hike at the Tree Growth Research Area near our cottage. This time though we brought the camera along to capture the beautiful greenery. Unlike the alleged dry greenery at the beach the other day, this greenery was fresh and vibrant.

This tree was a perfect balance beam for my Mary Lou Retton impersonation
Rob climbed in one hole and...
...came out another
Before we left our cozy nest for good, we wanted to take a few more pictures. If you're headed to Maui, you should definitely consider staying at this Maui Spa Retreat in Olinda. Ahh...I miss it tremendously already.

This is the entrance
This is the view from our room upstairs...spectacular!

After driving away with tears in my eyes (well, not really, but it left a hole in my heart), we headed to Lahaina for one last lunch with Jenny and Linda at Kimo's. Again, the food was delicious, but come on, anytime you dine right above the water, how bad could it be?

Linda invited us over to her place to share some old photographs with us. I saw photos of my parents when they were just 18 and totally in love. It's was great to see photographs that I've never seen before and while I see the resemblance of my brother and I in my mom and dad today, the resemblance was so incredibly obvious when they were young and free-spirited in the 70s. And boy did we hear some stories...

Maui wanted to grace us with one last memory...a rainbow! Literally, as we were getting ready to hop in the car and drive to the airport, it started to rain and an incredible rainbow appeared.

It was a beautiful way to say good-bye to great friends and a breathtaking city.

Our airport experience was terrible. I'll just leave it at that...

The fantastic news: Jenny and Victor are coming to San Diego in April for a wedding and they are going to stop by Long Beach. We can't wait to take them to Sushi Studio and Yogurtland!

maui revealed, day 6

Sunday, our last full day in Maui, was filled with church, food, friends, and even some beach action. Rob and I wanted to really bask in God's beautiful creation while we were in Maui, so we hit up Calvary Chapel Westside in Lahaina. They have a weekly service on a lawn overlooking the ocean. It was a wonderful service with great contemporary music and a meaningful message. Nothing beats listening to God's words while enjoying all He created.

Is this not the raddest Sunday School for kids? A little hut overlooking the ocean. So cool!

After church, we met up with Jenny and Victor and ate brunch at the Plantation House in Kapalua. We originally had dinner plans but we heard the views are more spectacular during the day. The food was great and the view was awesome. Definitely glad we dined during the day to really enjoy the views. We didn't have an opportunity to spend time with Victor on Friday during lunch since he was working, so it was great to catch up with him finally.

Before heading to the beach, Jenny and Victor took us to see the grounds at the newly renovated Ritz-Carlton. I guess they had to renovate because dead bodies were found buried underground. Kinda creepy. But if someone required me to stay at a luxury resort while in Maui, I guess this one would do...but actually, with the dead bodies and all, maybe not...

Finally, it was beach time. Still a little windy, but we weren't going to let that get in our way. Rob and I finally did some snorkeling too, thanks to Victor for hooking us up with some gear.

Jenny and I were kind of picture happy
And because we wanted to look like uber-tourists, we took this pic...
Linda joined us for dinner at Hula Grill, where we dipped our toes in sand while enjoying some incredibly delicious food. Again, the company was priceless.

I like to call these two Salt & Peppa

It was sad and exhausting driving back to our little cottage, knowing it was our last night in beautiful Maui...

maui revealed, day 5

Saturday was our 5th day on holiday. It was an open day with no solid plans. We woke up and went for a hike near our cottage rental and then we headed to the coastal town of Kihei. Rob has a work friend whose brother owns the new pizza joint, Pizza Madness, where we ate gobs of delicious pizza. We were hoping to go snorkeling after lunch, but I guess because of the high winds, it wasn't a good day for snorkeling. After talking with Kirk, the pizza owner, about our failed plans to snorkel, he hooked us up with a sunset cruise aboard the Alii Nui. A pretty good alternative if you ask me!

We had a couple of hours to kill before we had to board the sailboat, so we went to the Grand Wailea Resort and enjoyed a couple of $17 cocktails and a beautiful beach view. While at the resort, I felt very thankful that we did not do the whole resort route this vacation. I loved that we rented an incredible peaceful cottage in the middle of nowhere, tourist-free.

Obviously when we left that morning, we didn't plan to take a cruise at sunset, otherwise I wouldn't have worn a flowy sundress. I was just thankful I brought a jacket with me that morning. It was so windy, but the sunset was absolutely incredible!

Each time the captain blew the seashell, we would see a whale. It was spectacular, but we were too slow with the camera to capture the whale action.

These pictures definitely don't do the actual sunset justice...

It was another beautiful day in paradise...


back home

Boo...we're back! Our flight landed this morning at 4:45am, so I've just been sleeping and getting reacquainted with reality. Rob did some work today and I return to school tomorrow. As much as I love vacations, I really dislike the coming home part. Particularly, the laundry part.

This pre-school picture of little Corbin makes me smile so I just had to share it. How cute is that face?! Not even 5 and already a charmer.

More Maui to come...days 5-7...

maui revealed, day 4

Day 4 of our vacation was perhaps my favorite day! There is nothing better than reconnecting with old friends. To make a long story short, my family (the Palmers) and the Glombs have been friends since the 70s! As a child, they were like our extended family and a perfect match to our family of 4. The Glombs were even in my parent's wedding (well, Pooky, Linda, and Johnny. Jenny wasn't around yet). Pooky and my dad surfed together, Linda and my mom did mom stuff together, Johnny and my brother also surfed together, and Jenny and I loved Madonna together. Actually, my brother and Jenny also teased me together when I was younger (they are closer in age than Jenny and I). We shared holidays and vacations together and eventually became neighbors in Encinitas. Somewhere in the late 90s, the Glombs packed up and moved to Maui and that's when we lost touch. I always thought about them and often wondered how they were and what they were up to. As our trip to Maui approached, I Googled them with no luck. When we arrived I had the bright idea to check the yellow pages and wouldn't you know it, Pooky was listed! I eagerly called him and was thrilled when he answered! They all live in Lahaina, over an hour from where we were staying, so we weren't that close to one another. We arranged to meet on Friday (day 4) for lunch and then again on Sunday for a day of beach fun. Jenny and I talked for over an hour and were so happy to reconnect. I was so excited and wanted the time to fly by, yet since were on vacation I also wanted to the time move slowly. We met up at Aloha Mixed Plate, where Jenny's husband works. The food was delicious, but the company was priceless.
Pooky and I
Me, Jenny, and Linda

After lunch Jenny had a ballet class she was signed up for. Kind of ironic: when we used to hang out all the time back in the 90s, she didn't really understand my passion for ballet. The table has completely turned and now her dream is to open her own dance studio in Lahaina. Rob and I went to see where Jenny currently takes and teaches ballet and crazily, at the last minute, I decided to join her for class. I haven't taken a ballet class in about 2 years, and before that 8 years. Wow, was I like a heavy beached whale...but I guess the cocktail, giant lunch, and dessert wasn't a proper preparation for ballet class. I still loved it and am definitely inspired to find an adult beginning ballet class to start attending locally. I am so happy that Jenny has found her passion in dance.

We relaxed a bit and then headed to Feast at Lele, a Polynesian dinner show recommended by Gerric and Jolene. We ate a 4-course meal on the beach and watched some incredible dancers perform traditional dances from Hawaii, New Zealand, Tahiti, and Somoa. We have never been to a real Hawaiian Laua, but from what we heard from the locals, Feast at Lele is the way to go. It was awesome!

The fire after dessert was my favorite part!
Star struck by the man who lit himself on fire...
Our fourth day was absolutely the best! I'm still smiling from our lunch with the Glombs!

maui revealed, day 3

Day 3 of our Maui adventure consisted of lunch at Mama's Fish House and some beach action. Mama's Fish House was my favorite meal of the trip! From our fruity cocktails to the zesty shrimp appetizer to our mouth-watering main courses to the decadent dessert, the entire meal was absolutely perfect. Expensive, but delicious.

As we made our way down from Olinda, the city where our condo rental was located, we drove through the quaint town of Makawao and saw some playful horses that we had to stop and gaze at. They were so beautiful and content, with their view of sugar cane fields and the ocean. Rough life...

On our way to Mama's we literally took the road less traveled. According to our Google Maps directions, we had to spend over 3 miles on a bumpy dirt road. While on the dirt road, which by the way took us through beautiful views of sugar cane and the ocean, we saw randomly placed stop signs and the remains of Maui High School. I still giggle when I think of the few stop signs we saw on this road. We were literally the only car on this road, but thank goodness there were stop signs though just in case another car joined us on the wide dirt road.

While at Mama's we conversed with some other tourists traveling from the Chicago area. They were spending two weeks in Maui...ugh, heaven! A cool factoid that this restaurant shares on the menu the actual fisherman or fishing boat that caught the fish.

After lunch we headed to the beach to digest. The blue water was gorgeous, but the wind took a little of the Hawaiian beach dream away. We stayed for about an hour and then couldn't take it anymore. The water even felt chilly!

Obviously, we're not big on the whole tanning thing...

As we were reading and relaxing, a local surfer dude walked past us and suggested that we "water" the greenery because it's really dry. Then he proceeded to pee right in front of us...I guess when you're stoned, all inhibitions disappear.

When we arrived back to the condo, we made some dinner and watched Rendition. We both loved this movie! The night before we watched Dan in Real Life. We loved this movie too, and love Steve Carell, he's hysterical!