OUR FAREWELL TO MAUI

We moved out of the Rainbow Shower on Wed March 1.  For the last week on Maui, we moved into our new home away from home, a condo in the Kihei/Wailea area. Here are some shots of both…

First, my morning walk from our condo to the beach…

Our “final walkthrough” of the Rainbow shower taken midday…

And our late afternoon back at our Kamaole Sands beach.

UPDATE MAR 4, 2017

OUR FAREWELL TO MAUI – Part 4

Mar 4, 2017
We moved out of the Rainbow Shower on Wed March 1. For the last week on Maui, we moved into our new home away from home, a condo in the Kihei/Wailea area.
Here are some scenes from our morning walk along Kamaole Sands beach.

OUR FAREWELL TO MAUI – Part 5

Mar 5, 2017
On Saturday (Mar 4), we went on a whale watching sunset sailing cruise on the Gemini catamaran off the coast of Kaanapali. Alas, due to a technical glitch with my waterproof camera card reader, those pictures are still trapped on my camera memory card. I may have to wait to get to AZ to retrieve them.
On Sunday (Mar 5), Elizabeth made her final purchase at Kaahumanu Mall – a pair of Hawaiian earrings – which she asked me to record on camera. There was also a Hula show going on in the background.

And in the evening, we went to a lovely dinner party by our friend Rada Kovilic who has a condo in the same resort where we are now staying – Kamaole Sands. Her balcony provided a perfect vantage point for another beautiful Maui sunset.

OUR FAREWELL TO MAUI – Part 6

Mar 6, 2017
We moved out of the Rainbow Shower on Wed March 1. For the last week on Maui, we moved into our new home away from home, a condo in the Kihei/Wailea area.
Here are some scenes from outside our condo and from our morning walk along the Kamaole Park shore. We discovered here what is probably Kihei’s best surfing spot, right next to the small boat harbor. It looked like a smaller version of Ho’okipa Point in our old neighborhood on the north shore of Maui.

OUR FAREWELL TO MAUI – Part 7

Mar 4, 2017
We moved out of the Rainbow Shower on Wed March 1. For the last week on Maui, we moved into our new home away from home, a condo in the Kihei/Wailea area.
On Saturday, Mar 4, we went whale-watching aboard the catamaran “Gemini,” which we boarded on Kaanapali Beach in West Maui. Here are some pictures from that wonderful outing.

Elizabeth and I have gone sailing and whale watching many times before, but never, ever have we seen to many full breaches by these 20-ton (40,000-pound) giants as on Saturday afternoon. It felt as they the whales were waving their watery goodbyes to us.

Just to give you an idea of how bit the Humpback whales are, some of these guys you are seeing in the above pictures are as long as 7 African elephants standing next to each other.

OUR FAREWELL TO MAUI – Part 8

Mar 7, 2017
We moved out of the Rainbow Shower on Wed March 1. For the last week on Maui, we moved into our new home away from home, a condo in the Kihei/Wailea area.
On Tuesday, Mar 7, Elizabeth and I drove up to the 10,000-ft Haleakala (volcano) summit for our final goodbye to Maui. We fly back to Arizona tomorrow (Mar 8).
The weather was perfect all the way up and during an hour or so we spent at the summit. And then just as we headed down the mountain, the clouds and rain moved it. They stayed with us all the way down till we got to lower Kula. We might as well have been driving through a soup, the fog was so thick.
We kept thanking God all the way down for this miracle – of holding off the bad weather until we had a chance to say our high level goodbyes.
By the way, Haleakala is the Fire vortex of Mother Earth and thus a very powerful masculine energy center. On Saturday, however, our wonderful sailing to see the whales and Watery goodbyes we received from them provided the counter balance – the feminine energy farewell.
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UPDATE MAR 8, 2017

OUR FINAL MAUI BEACH SHOT

 
I don’t know how we managed to do this, because it has been raining most of the day over most of Maui today, but if you look at our final farewell shot taken around noon at Kamaole beach in Kihei/Wailea, you would get the impression that there is nothing but sunshine and surf on this magical island.
 
Goodbye Maui! We love you.
Last Maui beach shot 3-8-17

ALL HOME REPAIRS COMPLETED

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UPDATE FEB 26, 2017

ALL HOME REPAIRS COMPLETED AT 894 E KUIAHA RD

Dear Martha,

Here’s an email invoice I received from my contractors for the home repairs completed at 894 E Kuiaha Rd – per our Feb 21, 2017 J-1 General Inspection of Property Notice. You can also see a separate invoice from the plumber who replaced the old water pressure regulator with a new one.

You should note that the Items 5. and 10. in the above contractor’s invoice (left) were NOT required per our Feb 21, 2017 agreement. I did these repairs voluntarily as a favor to Greg and Sophia even though their home inspector had evidently missed these problems. I have also repaired an additional spot on the deck close to the spa that inspector had also missed (see the photos below).

PHOTOS OF COMPLETED REPAIRS (in order of appearance in the Feb 21, 2017 J-1 General Inspection of Property Notice).

  • New Master Bedroom sliding screen door installed (Home Depot box and spare frame stored in shed). Screen door lock also replaced.
  • Garage door repaired inside and out
  • Missing or damaged rooftop shingles replaced, 15 leftover new shingles left in garage for new owners
  • Gutters and downspout cleaned and flushed, leaky joints repaired
  • Minor dry rot on the deck repaired, additional areas touched up and painted
  • Exterior GFCI switch under kitchen window replaced
  • Masking tape removed from one of the wall switches in the office (“right bedroom” per the report).

EXPLANATIONThere is nothing wrong with this switch. I put this tape on many years ago because the switch turns on and off the wall outlets to which our computers are plugged it.  I was tired of turning them off accidentally when I came into this room at night and then having to reboot them.  I had completely forgotten about it until I saw the inspector’s report. 

  • Water pressure regulator replaced, pressure turned down to 50-60 PSI
  • Kitchen and vanity sinks “voids” sealed with foam spray
  • Bottom portions of the master bedroom door pressboard casings replaced and repainted on both sides

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ADDITIONAL REPAIRS DONE WHICH WERE NOT PART OF J-1 General Inspection of Property Notice

  • Chipped wall in garage wall filled in with plaster and repainted (this was something we inherited the original owners)
  • Two interior electrical switches replaced in the family room (below left)
  • Minor dry rot spot repaired at the end of the deck next to the spa (above right)

PERSONAL NOTE TO BUYERS

Dear Greg and Sophia,

Hope enjoy your new home! I am turning over the care-taking duties of the Rainbow Shower to you with love and blessings.

May the Santa Tierras (land spirits, the fairies) be as kind and helpful to you in this enviable job as they were to me. It has been my honor and privilege to serve them and work with them for the past 8 years.

Bob

* * *

Also see, RAINBOW SHOWER’S BEAUTIFUL OCEAN, MOUNTAIN VISTAS

https://www.facebook.com/rainbowshowersacred/

ELIZABETH’S FAREWELL TO MAUI

Ever since we moved to Maui in 2009, Elizabeth has been talking about how she would like to open up a B&B (bed and breakfast) at this spot in northeast Maui – Kahakuloa.

maui-rock-of-gibraltar

Well, that has not happened. But today we did return to Kahakuloa during Elizabeth’s farewell tour of West Maui (she leaves for Arizona in a few days).

For me, this spot resembles Maui’s Rock of Gibraltar.

“Only smaller,” Elizabeth added as we continued our drive up in El Jeepo and around the wild and beautiful northeast coast of Maui.

This may well be also our farewell drive in El Jeepo. I have just put it up for sale after he served us faithfully for seven years.

Our next stop was this pretty lonesome cove.

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We have been here before. Around Labor Day 2012, I think.

Only now, the beach seems to be rougher. The ocean had thrown up more debris on it. We have had quite a few storms this year. Which is probably why.

ne-maui-cove_panorama1

After that stop, we continued on to Kapalua and Lahaina, and returned home along the northwest coast of Maui.

A nice outing, we both agreed.

 * * *

MAUI’S FAREWELL TO ELIZABETH: ANOTHER FLASH FLOOD, OR THREE…

Foot bridge washed away for a second time in 8 years!

Elizabeth said her farewell to Maui on a beautiful weekend drive around West Maui (see http://wp.me/p3R16m-2W6). But Maui was not yet done with Elizabeth. Last night, a roar of the Rainbow Shower creek, clearly audible all the way up at our home, some 80 ft above the gulch, signaled that another flash flood was under way.
It was not until this morning, though, that I had a chance to go down and assess the damage. For a second time in eight years, the power of rushing water washed away my footbridge, even though this time it was anchored by four rebar rods.

Also for the first time ever, the flash flood had overflowed the big Giraffe Bridge, ripping out some of the wooden boards in the process, nails and all.

By this morning, the creek appeared meek and mild back in its riverbed.

“Who me? I didn’t do that,” I almost heard Goddess Namaka’s pleading voice emerge from the murmuring stream (Namaka is Hawaiian goddess of water and oceans). 🙂

Well, it must have been Maui then, the mythical God of Fire and Fishermen. It was his powerful farewell to Elizabeth who leaves for Arizona early tomorrow morning.

As for me, I will be staying to clean up and repair the damage once the rain finally stops. Which is does not look like it’s going to happen before the weekend.img_6606

NOTE: In Polynesian mythology, Maui was a powerful trickster god best known for creating the Pacific islands. A son of the god Tangaroa and a woman, he performed many deeds to improve the lives of humans, such as making the sky higher and the day longer. Endowed with magical powers, this small but exceedingly strong god and culture hero tried but did not succeed in achieving immortality.

Maui created the islands while out on a fishing trip with his brothers. First he fashioned a magic fishing hook from his grandmother’s jawbone. Then, as his brothers looked on, Maui cast the hook into the water and began to pull up from the ocean floor the islands on which the Polynesians now live.

Read more: http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Le-Me/Maui.html#ixzz4KAwH1N1c

UPDATE SEP 13, 2016 – 1:15 PM

DELUGES CONTINUES…

This is what the Rainbow Shower looks like at the moment, from the ground – my office window – and from high up – radar/satellite view.

Just now, 1:15 PM, I got an emergency alert from the National Weather Service, warning of another flash flood this afternoon.

Just like last night, when they sent us a similar message, they are closing the barn door after the horse is already gone.

“That’s a National CYA Service for us,” I joked with Elizabeth. “As if we can’t see this deluge with our own eyes.” 🙂

Flash flood of Sep 13, 2016 – Round 2 – PM

Here are the latest shots from Elizabeth’s send off “gift” from Maui.  Bottom line” (so far).  This has been the worst flood I have seen in years. Worse than any that even the recent hurricanes had brought to Maui.

My neighbors’ property (the brown terraced hill in the bottom right shot), which used to be mine until early 2016, is practically washing away into the creek. They are in a process of building an orchard but have cut the terraces to slope downhill, instead of into the hill (as I had suggested to them a couple of months ago). And so now they are suffering the consequences. By comparison, the damage at the Rainbow Shower is relatively minor.

ELIZABETH’S “FAREWELL TO MAUI” PICTURES

On our way back to the house from Elizabeth’s final tour of the Rainbow Shower, she asked me to take a picture of her on “her” bench.  I took two.

Why is this “Elizabeth’s bench?”

Because in early 2015, when I decided to put the 5-acre part of the Rainbow Shower on the market, Elizabeth asked me to move one of the two 250-benches to this spot. It’s about half way up from the bottom of the gulch (an 80-ft elevation difference). So she figured she could rest here and catch her breath, while enjoying  a lovely view across the gulch to the west. And also sunsets if she timed it right.

Double Bench Day 4-10-15

That was quite a project. Because it entailed moving two 250-pound benches down and up 50-foot hillsides half a mile apart. “Elizabeth’s bench” is the one on the right – the longer route. And there she is now.

She leaves for Arizona first thing tomorrow morning.

 * * *

 

FLASH FLOOD UPDATE SEP 14, 2016

HARD LABOR IN LULL BETWEEN THE STORMS: BRIDGES ARE BACK UP IN OPERATION

After taking Elizabeth to the airport, I used this morning’s lull between the two storms and three flash floods to clear the flood debris and repair the Giraffe bridge.  Look at the map to see how Spirit has been kind to us after all these floods. The Rainbow Shower, one of the wettest spots on Maui, has been the only dry one this morning.

During this calm between the storms, I was even able to retrieve, drag and reinstall the footbridge.

The latter was a Herculean task (for me, anyway) as it weighs probably over 200 pounds. I had to drag it up and down and across the two river banks and through ankle-deep mud to reach its original mooring spot. Then “cast it” across the creek to the other anchoring end.

ABRACADABRA: FOOT BRIDGE MAGIC

Now you see it, now you don’t…

Actually, it is the other way around in this case. Yesterday, it was gone. Now, it is back. 🙂

To give you an idea of the physical effort required for all this – I lost 5.5 pounds in 1.5 hrs doing it. 🙂

UPDATE SEP 17, 2016

RARE CLEAR SKY RAINBOW

 

Perhaps I should stop using the term “rare” in reference to clear sky rainbows here, at the Rainbow Shower. For nowadays, they seem to come several times a year, usually during or right after my morning prayers and invocations.

That’s what happened at 8:08 this morning. As usual, I finished the opening of the sacred space with these words:

“I now invoke the light of the Rainbow Ray to guard, balance and protect Elizabeth and me, and our families, and our extended families around the world (you) in all time frames and realms.”

I opened my eyes expecting to see nothing but blue sky. Instead, there it was… a beautiful clear sky rainbow in all its splendor, looking like a giant heavenly smile.

clear-sky-rainbow-9-17-16

But the Spirit realm were not done with me yet. When I walked out to the lanai some 40 minutes later (8:55), there was another rainbow of a smaller arc (2nd photo).

[FYI – rainbow arcs get smaller as the sun rises]

Have a blessed day! (or night, depending on where in the world you are right now).

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 * * *

LABOR DAY 2016: FROM MAUKA (mountain) TO MAKAI (beach) OF MAUI

Our Labor Day 2016 started in beautiful sunshine. The threat of twin hurricanes behind us, and with the trade breezes back to cool the air, the morning of September 5, 2016 was about as perfect as they come at our Yin home – the Rainbow Shower in Maui.  It didn’t get much better than later on, either.

So in early afternoon, at Elizabeth’s suggestion, we went out for a holiday drive – from Mauka (Hawaiian for mountain) to Makai (beach).

The outing was her idea. Which is unusual. And then I realized, this will possibly be our last Labor Day on Maui.  So she wanted us to play tourists on our own island and take some pictures to remember it by.

“I may also want to paint some of these scenes,” she later explained.

Our impromptu route took us from our Rainbow Shower home at elevation 900 ft, through Kula (elev 3,000 to 3,500 ft), to Maui’s only winery at Ulupalakua Ranch at about 2,000 ft above the ocean. And then all the way down to the ocean to the Baby Beach, where our Maui adventure started in 2009.

MAUKA – MAUI WINERY

The winery as well as the ranch general store were closed. But along the way to and fro,, we enjoyed some breathtaking views of West Maui, Lanai, Kahoolawe and Molokini (all Hawaiian island names). Like this panorama shot….

IMG_6561

Here are also some photos of the Ulupalakua Ranch winery and general store.

The ranch was founded in 1841 when King Kamehameha leased over 2,000 acres of pristine mountain pastures, along with a sugar mill, to L.L. Torbert for $800 per year on a 6-year contract. The current winery has been in business since 1974.

On our way back, Elizabeth wanted me to take this photo of an old shed as a possible painting idea. But I did more than that, including a panorama shot of the West Maui mountains behind it (pink frame). So now there are two competing ideas for a an old shed painting.

IMG_6562

MAKAI – BABY BEACH

On our way back down the mountain (“mauka”), Elizabeth showed her rare initiative again. She suggested we go to our Baby Beach, the northern end of of Maui’s most popular north shore “makai” – the Baldwin Beach. And so we did.

Here’s first a panorama shot of the West Maui Mountains (Puu Kukui), as seen from Baby Beach:IMG_6574

Here’s also a view of Baldwin Beach in the opposite direction – to the south:

Baldwin Beach panorama 9-05-16

And a picture of Elizabeth taking pictures of the lava rocks for her future paintings:

IMG_6575

And now, some closeups from the Baby Beach – Elizabeth taking pictures of the rocks she wants to paint, and of a Native Hawaiian fisherman crabbing.

Notice the red molten lava and how it engulfed the rocks as it cooled till they looked like cracked eggs? This brought back some old memories…

Baby Beach Memories

It has been years since Elizabeth and I were last at the Baby Beach part of the Baldwin Beach. And yet, that’s where our Maui adventure started in 2009. 

I was the first to arrive in March 2009.  Knowing that Elizabeth was not a strong swimmer, I looked for a smaller, shallower beach, protected by a coral wall from the high surf, where (I thought) we would enjoy our time on the beach in Maui. That’s how I found the Baby Beach. And I brought Elizabeth to it.

The day before, back home at the Rainbow Shower, we witnessed this magnificent pink sunset. I don’t remember seeing sunsets like that in the last few years.

As it turned out, Elizabeth and I never used the Baby Beach for swimming and frolicking on Maui in the last eight years. In fact, we hardly used any beaches. That’s how busy we have been creating our Garden of Eden, the Rainbow Shower in Maui, and taking care of it so that it stays that way. For, jungle has a way of reclaiming its territory. You give it an inch, it will take an arm.

And so now, on this Labor Day 2016, having been high and low, we return to our “pacarina” (place of emergence – in Quechua, the Inca language), from whence we had emerged.

 * * *

NIGHT OUT AT THE “PINK MARTINI” CONCERT

Elizabeth and I just got back from a “Pink Martini” concert at the Castle Theatre of the Maui Arts and Culture Center (MACC).

At dusk before the concert, the clouds, which always seem to obscure the Iao Valley and the Puu Kukui (volcano), had parted revealing Maui’s feminine volcano for all to see. At the same time, a crescent moon was about to set. It was an unusual and yet a beautiful setting.

So we used the opportunity to file enter these shots into our MACC memorial scrapbook.

Pink Martini concert – March 2010

This was not the first time we heard the “Pink Martini” band play. The first time was on March 4, 2010, also at the Castle Theater in Maui. And they opened tonight’s concert with the very song that remained in my musical memory since 6.5 years ago.

In fact, it came back to me again at Easter in 2014 and I recorded it myself at the time.
 
See Jamming with the “Pink Martini”

COCONUT DAY 2016: BIGGEST HARVEST EVER!

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Today was our annual coconut harvest day. For the third year in a row, we hired the same professional coconut man who uses a spikeless method to climb the tree and cut the fruit (for more on that, see… SPIKELESS COCONUT HARVESTING (2014)). The tree does not get damaged and we get more coconuts that we can dream of.

And what a harvest it was!

To say that our coconut crop this year was ABUNDANT would be an understatement. After our coconut man had loaded up his truck to the gills with fruit and hauled away probably more than a couple of hundred coconuts to resell them, we still had some 80 coconuts left over for our use and sharing as gifts.

So now I am in a process of  distributing them to friends and charities. And tomorrow I plan to “slaughter” some 10-15 of them for our own use.  Besides the coconut milk (juice), I love to eat the “meat” raw. As for the hardest ones, we cut them up into smaller pieces and make coconut “french fries” (actually roasted coconut strips). Which are delicious! (see above).

All this reminds me of some of the great harvest festivals in Europe, some of which I remember from my own childhood.

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And now, here are some still pictures from today’s coconut harvest at the Rainbow Shower. And for the first time ever, our second coconut palm, the one we fondly call our “baby palm,” has also produced abundant fruit and needed to be trimmed (middle shot below).

You can also compare them with the two previous harvests – on Aug 27, 2015 and on Aug 29, 2014. These photos also show the start and the finish of each of those harvests. You can see by how much our coconut palms have grown in the last three years.

VOLUNTEER COCONUT

To some of our neighbors, I have also given small a bunch of small coconuts, the ones you see strewn at the foot of the big coconut palm. I am not sure how much juice or “meat” they will have, but they might be good as seeds.

If you dig them into the ground a bit so that the top of the coconut is exposed, they might sprout roots and eventually grow into a tree. We have a small tree growing like that at the top of our driveway under a big Norfolk Pine that we did not plant. It is a “volunteer.” 😊 (meaning, it fell from the palm and planted itself). Here it is…

UPDATE AUG 26, 2016

COCONUT HARVEST: THE REST OF THE STORY – BUTCHERING

For those of you who do not live in Hawaii or the tropics elsewhere, and may think that coconuts grow in Safeway or Whole Foods stores, or magically appear as already processed toppings in birthday and wedding cakes or ice cream, here’s now the “rest of the story” of my coconut harvest 2015.

You think harvesting the coconuts was hard? And it was. Well, the “rest of the story” – butchering – is actually a lot of even harder work.

First you have to “decapitate” them with an ax at, just the right spot, so you don’t crack the shell open and spill the juice on the ground.  Then you drain the juice through a strainer into containers for further straining and processing in the kitchen.

Then you have to split the coconuts again, this time lengthwise into two halves. Then you carve out the white “meat” from inside the shell.

“This reminds me a lot of butchering a pig,” I said to Elizabeth today. Which I saw in my on a European farms in my childhood.

“First you have to kill the pig, then drain the blood, clean out the entrails and other unwanted stuff, then you split the carcass and rinse it out. And then you start butchering the meat.”

She laughed and agreed. The one big difference is – no animal gets killed and there is no blood. Only juices and oil – both of high medical not just culinary value.

In the final phase, I bring the “meat” and the “milk” (juice) to the kitchen for Elizabeth to start using her creative culinary skills.

She turns them into roasted chips, akin to french fries, but baked, not fried. Or grinds some up into a smoothie. Or makes coconut popsicles. Or smooshes them up into a paste like butter that we would enjoy for breakfast with a Lilikoi (passion fruit) topping. Which she also makes after I bring them up from the gulch where our Lilikoi thrive.

So this today, I did the first 10 of the 15 coconuts I set aside yesterday for our own use. It took me over three hours of HARD WORK just to get to the kitchen stage.

Why hard work?

Because the coconuts are as tough as any piece of wood I have ever hit with an ax. Worse, they are resilient. They give. They are wiry and flexible.

Sometimes the ax doesn’t even cut them. Even though you swing it as hard as you can, at times it just bounces off of them. So you have to keep hitting them over and over again until the finally yield and reveal their precious treasures inside.

Which, needless to say, can be exhausting, especially on a hot and humid day like today.

 * * *

UPDATE AUG 27, 2016

COCONUT HARVEST 2016: DELICIOUS COCONUT BREAD

Today, I finished the “butchering” phase of the 15 coconuts I had set aside for our own use.  At the same time, Elizabeth was being creative in the kitchen.

Today, she made three loaves of DELICIOUS coconut bread. Which actually tastes almost like a cake because of the high sugar content in the coconut.

“It’s so blonde,” Elizabeth remarked looking at the bread.

“Of course, it is,” I agreed. “All of its main ingredients are white.”

And the smell of freshly baked bread… out of this world! There’s nothing better than that and the smell of freshly roasted coffee. For me, anyway.
 
Sorry I can’t share that with you. You’ll have to be content with just the sight of the bread.

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===

Also see… COCONUT HARVEST DAY 2015 AND SPIKELESS COCONUT HARVEST IN 2014

 

RAINY DAY LUNCHEON AT GRAND WAILEA

UPDATE SEP 9, 2016

RAINY DAY LUNCHEON AT GRAND WAILEA

The rain in southwest Maui is about as rare as in Arizona or Sahara. Which is why we call this part of our island “Africa.”
Yet today, the day Elizabeth and I picked to cash in (for a third time) on a gift voucher I received for my June 3 birthday, it rained. Yet back home at the Rainbow Shower, where it rains on and off most days, it was sunny and warm.
wailea-panorama-9-09-16
Go figure… Which is why I also bring you below some photos of the Grand Wailea resort, one of Waldorf Astoria properties, on a “normal” (sunny) day for them.
After our delicious luncheon, we thought we would go to the nearby Makena beach for a quick splash. As it turned out, our outing was rained out. No kidding. A beach visit rained out!
By the time we got near Makena Beach, it was pouring rain.
“So what’s the point?” I said to Elizabeth before turning the car around and heading back to Haiku. “We can always get soaked like that at home.” 🙂

But not today. When we got back home it was still nice and sunny.

 * * *

ANOTHER GRAND LUNCHEON AT GRAND WAILEA

Who Says There Is No Free Lunch? 🙂

We had lunch today at Grand Wailea. We normally never eat lunch, especially not at such a fancy resort. And for a second time in a row, it was on the house!

Go figure… who says there is no free lunch? 🙂

Here’s what happened on July 14 when we had lunch at Grand Wailea for the first time:

Who Says There Is No Free Lunch? 🙂

“But the best part was yet to come.  I asked for the bill and handed the waitress my gift card. She returned a few minutes later, card in hand, and a big smile on her face.

“We are having some problems with our gift card machine,” she said, “so your luncheon is on the house.”

I was stunned. “I don’t understand,” I said. “There is $100 on that card.”

“I am sure there is. We don’t doubt your word. But don’t worry about it. Everything’s been taken care of. So just enjoy the rest of your day.”

Elizabeth and I looked at each other in disbelief.

“That’s what the resort management should have done by way of apology for the gift card hassles they put us through,” I said. “Guess now our spirit guides have remedied their sloppiness and indifference to customers.”

“So we’ll just have to come back again for an encore,” Elizabeth said. Indeed, the $100 should be still in our gift card (an excerpt from a Short Story “Grand Wailea” – http://wp.me/p3R16m-2PU).

All I can say about out today’s experience at Grand Wailea is – ditto, ditto. The exact same thing happened as on July 14 except with a different waitress and at a different table. The Waldorf Astoria resort keeps giving and giving… us free lunches.

Thank you, thank you, Grand Wailea!

Here are some pictures we took on our walk along the shore after the luncheon. It was quite windy and the surf was up (as much as it gets up on the west side of Maui). There were lots of people in the water, body-surfing the waves. Quite fun.

All around, it was a wonderful afternoon… playing tourists at home at a five-star resort – for free. Thank you, spirits!

 * * *

A Short Story

July 14, 2015

GRAND LUNCHEON AT GRAND WAILEA

Another Unexpected Magical Experience

When I did my morning meditations and incantations, I realized that today, July 14, 2016, was also an auspicious date. Not just because it is the Bastille Day, the 227th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, which marked the start of the French Revolution. 7-14-2016 is a septuple #3 day numerologically (i.e., #21, which is also a #3, the day of magic which brought me here to Maui eight years ago -see “Maui Calling…“, Dec 2008).

I just did not know what this would mean in our lives today. I found out this afternoon as we enjoyed a grand luncheon at the Grand Wailea resort on the southwest (touristy side of Maui. It was an unexpected magical experience.

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What were we doing on the touristy side of our island?

Well, my daughters sent us there. Figuratively. They gave me a Grand Wailea gift card for my birthday, which was June 3.  By the time we drove over there to collect it, it was the third week of June. What followed was a charade of incompetence by the staff and management at one of the fanciest resorts on Maui – owned and managed by the exclusive Waldorf Astoria chain of hotels. I will spare you the details. Suffice it say that even a Motel 8 would have delivered a better customer service.

So we did not expect much when we showed up today to cash in on my gift card. Considering how expensive everything is, we thought maybe we’d have a couple of soft drinks and desserts. And that’s about all the gift card would have covered.

Well, we were pleasantly surprised the reasonable prices at the resort’s terrace restaurant, offering beautiful beach and ocean views and a great light menu. So we decided to have a luncheon there. Except we don’t eat lunch. So call it a 3 PM dinner if you like.

The food was delicious. The views were great from the corner table which gave us complete privacy (see above).

But the best part was yet to come.  I asked for the bill and handed the waitress my gift card. She returned a few minutes later, card in hand, and a big smile on her face.

“We are having some problems with our gift card machine,” she said, “so your luncheon is on the house.”

I was stunned. “I don’t understand,” I said. “There is $100 on that card.”

“I am sure there is. We don’t doubt your word. But don’t worry about it. Everything’s been taken care of. So just enjoy the rest of your day.”

Elizabeth and I looked at each other in disbelief.

“That’s what the resort management should have done by way of apology for the gift card hassles they put us through,” I said. “Guess now our spirit guides have remedied their sloppiness and indifference to customers.”

“So we’ll just have to come back again for an encore,” Elizabeth said. Indeed, the $100 should be still in our gift card.

And then I also remembered. This was not the first time something like that had happened. When we visited the Rainbow Shower for the first time in December 2008, we stopped in Paia to get some smoothies. And after chatting with the owner while he was making it, I asked how much I owed him.

“Nothing. It’s on the house,” he replied.

“But why?” I wondered.

“Just because. I like you,” he replied.

Our real estate agent, who was with us at the time, was stunned. “I’ve never seen anything like it before,” she said after we left the shop.

“That’s a sign from the Spirit,” I replied. “We are welcome here on the north shore of Maui.”

Eight years later, it would appear we are now also welcome on the southwest shore of Maui. 🙂  And yes, I now understood how the septuple #3 day manifested itself through this unexpected magical experience. I raised my head to the heavens and thanked my Spirit guides silently.

COASTLINE WALK THEN AND NOW – IN 2008 and 2016

After the luncheon, we went out for a nice walk along the coastal path. That’s also what we did in December 2008 during our first stay in this area. Here are some shots from that little trip down the memory lane.

This evening, I was stunned to discover that I took the above left shot from almost the exact same spot during that walk on Dec 1, 2008. Except, being a winter season, it was close to sunset and the light was different. Take a look…

 * * *

An Evening at the Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku

“DARBY” THREATENS HAWAIIAN ISLANDS

“DARBY” THREATENS HAWAIIAN ISLANDS

Is Already Causing Flash Floods at Rainbow Shower
Flash flood 7-23-16 Panorama2

Just last night, after I completed my evening rounds of the Rainbow Shower, Elizabeth asked me, “how is it?”

“As perfect as can be,” I replied. “Wish I could freeze it like this.”

I had been working like a slave for three days this week to bring the four Rainbow Shower lawns into perfection, along with the shrubs, tree and other decorative plants on our property.

“But I know that’s wishful thinking,” I added.

We did not have to wait long to prove me right. As soon as I awoke this morning, hearing the roar of our creek, some 70 feet in elevation down in the gulch from our home, I knew we were experiencing another flash flood.

So I grabbed my umbrella (to protect the camera lens from rain), and walked down there. Butt naked. No sense in getting my clothes soaked. And not even birds are out and about in this kind of weather.

Here’s a 1.5 minute video clip I brought back:

FLASH FLOOD NUMBER…? [DARBY IS COMING]

 * * *

You will hear me conclude the broadcast by saying, “this is not the end.”

At the time, our internet was out. So I had no idea that this was not even a beginning. All this rain was just a forefront the tropical storm Darby is sending our way, I found out when the internet was restored. Packing winds of 50 to 65 mph, the eye of Darby is expected pass over the Big Island this afternoon, over Maui tonight, and exit the Hawaiian chain of islands over Kauai on Sunday night.

So “we ain’t seen nothing yet,” as my intuition suggested when I saw the flash flood down in the gulch this morning.

Here are some still pictures, too…

Here’s a weather report about Darby – for those of my FB friends who live in Hawaii:

TROPICAL STORM DARBY WILL CONTINUE TOWARD THE BIG ISLAND THIS MORNING. THE CENTER OF DARBY IS APPROACHING THE BIG ISLAND AND WILL PASS VERY NEAR… OR OVER… THE BIG ISLAND TODAY. A GRADUAL TURN TOWARD THE NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED LATER TODAY… WITH THE CENTER OF DARBY EXPECTED TO PASS VERY NEAR… OR OVER… MAUI COUNTY TONIGHT AND SUNDAY. THEN… THE CENTER OF DARBY OF EXPECTED TO PASS VERY NEAR… OR OVER… OAHU LATE ON SUNDAY AND PASS VERY NEAR KAUAI COUNTY SUNDAY NIGHT. RAIN AND WIND WILL INCREASE WELL AHEAD OF THE CENTER AS IT MOVES ACROSS HAWAII.

 * * *

DARBY STORM UPDATE 2

July 23, 2016 1:15PM

SO FAR, SO GOOD… THE BRIDGES ARE STILL STANDING

Just got back up to the house after revisiting the gulch. And I am pleased to report that both of our bridges are still standing.

The foot bridge tarp has been ripped by the power of water. But it’s nothing major. I even crossed the foot bridge onto the other side to inspect the irrigation and drainage work I did there back in the spring. And the water is flowing normally through that new ditch into the main creek.

So, so far so good. But the worst is yet to come, probably this evening and overnight when the eye of Darby is supposed to pass over or near Maui.

Stand by for that…

 * * *

DARBY STORM UPDATE 3

July 24, 2016 8:147 AM

SERENITY NEAR THE EYE OF THE STORM

 

What a difference 24 hours can make. Yesterday at this time, our creek in the Rainbow Shower gulch was raging and flooding over our bridges (see http://wp.me/p3R16m-2QQ). This morning by contrast is wonderfully calm and serene. Hardly any wind. Plenty of moisture in the air. But our creek is back in its normal riverbed, happily running down the slopes of Haleakala.

Who would suspect then that the eye of the tropical storm Darby that caused all this upheaval in the last few days is about AS CLOSE TO US AS IT WILL BE.  Take a look at the radar and satellite maps I have just updated.

Only 50 miles or so to the southwest of us, the Eye of Darby is churning its way across the Pacific in the northwesterly direction toward Kauai.

So how can things be so calm here at the Rainbow Shower?

It is all because of Haleakala. The giant 10,000-ft volcano on whose northern slopes our property lies is acting like a giant windshield between us and Darby. So Darby’s winds and rain and spinning from the south around Haleakala – toward Hana in the east and Kihei in the west. This is leaving us in a safe cocoon of Haleakala’s wind shadow at the normally windy northern coast of Maui.

Our usual trade winds come from the northeast. Which is why north is called the Windward coast in Hawaiian islands. But not today. Today, we are experiencing a sort of a “pole reversal.”  The normally dry (and touristy) south and west coasts are getting pelted with rain and buffeted by wind, while we are enjoying a peaceful and serene Sunday morning.