hawaii

Hawaii

Hi my friends! Oh my goodness, I have been neglecting my blog but for good reason...Summer has begun and we've been busy with a new schedule and some travel too! Let's catch up a bit... In early June, we had the amazing opportunity to travel to Hawaii and stay at the Four Seasons in Kona. I had to pinch myself!

the gorgeous view from our room!

hibiscus

It was through Chris' work and while he was busy in meetings, I got to play around the pool and beach with the other wives. Let's just say Mai-tai's at the swim up bar before lunch became a daily ritual! I know that is a tad early...but really they are mostly juice...and rum. Ah. Forget it. Anyways...

beach 3

pool

Oh, did I mention that we left the kiddos at home with my parents? Yeah. It was kinda awesome. I missed the girls, of course but to have time away at such a dreamy place was sublime.

flowers

beach

plumeria

turtle

I have to share this little adventure with you -

We had the first couple of days to ourselves so Chris thought it would be fun to rent a canoe and paddle around the ocean. I agreed - imagining myself reclined and sunning while he did the rowing! :) Well...let me tell you...I was in for a surprise!

We unknowingly rented a Hawaiian racing canoe! Think super long, skinny boat with two tiny seats, and outrigger on one side. Looks like it will tip over and dump you into the ocean if you look at it the wrong way. We must have looked confused because a burly Hawaiian guy approached us and inquired about our reservation. We gave him our last name. He nods, introduces himself and then proceeds to explain the training he is going to put us through before we can take the canoe out alone.

Training?! What the ----?? Ok. Let's do this - I told myself, trying to muster up my courage. It was when, in his long speech about operating the canoe, that he said "simulate a flip" that my heart start to beat.

"Wait...simulate a flip?" I asked, trying not to sound terrified.

"Yeah...it's no biggie. We will get you out to about 150 ft. depth and then we will lean to one side and flip the canoe over." He shrugged.

I stared at him. No biggie? I hadn't even planned on getting wet during this "relaxing" canoe trip. Plus, I couldn't even remember the last time I actually swam. Wading into the shallow end during a kid pool party probably doesn't count.

"Yeah...he continued, and then I'm gonna have you pull yourself up on the capsized canoe and pull it over so it's right side up again. It's easy!" says the guy who is all muscle, complete with a sinuous dragon tattoo meandering the slopes of his bulging arms.

I continued to stare. I'm pretty sure my mouth was open.

Chris laughed a little and squeezed my hand.

I chose to watch from the safety of the beach as the trainer and Chris went out first. They made it look easy...of course. The canoe sliced through the water as they timed their rowing.

As they hauled the canoe back to the beach, I could feel myself mentally sliding backward. I didn't HAVE to do this. I could say no but then somehow, I managed to push past my fear and cheerfully grabbed an oar. I was gonna do this!

I gotta admit, once on the canoe, and adjusting to the rowing, I found myself enjoying it! The water was beautiful. Infinite shades of sapphire, turquoise and teal. One or two sea turtles swam just beneath the surface, their sweet faces popping up out of the water as we glided by. As the ocean got darker and darker, I could feel my hands start to shake. I knew we were closer to the dreaded "flip"!

Finally, our kind instructor announced, "Okay, Ivette time to flip this thing over!"

My body tensed up as I gazed into the seemingly endless blue depths. I decided this was not a good time to ask about sharks...

"Just lean to opposite side of the outrigger and we will flip over. Then swim back up to the boat, pull your upper body on the canoe and reach with your hand to pull it over. You can do it!"

"Okay...."

Boom. Within a millisecond of leaning we were in the drink. I came up, sea water up my nose. Mascara running down my face. I must have been a sight. Somehow, my brain told my legs to kick and my swimming skills returned. Not sure if I was terrified or super annoyed, I swam back to that damn canoe, hauled myself up on it and flipped it right over! Yeah! It felt good!

Now, I just had to get back on the stupid thing. Kicking like a maniac (I probably looked like a dying sea mammal - basically a shark magnet) I finally pulled my lanky self back into the seat. The trainer glanced back at me to get a read on my mental state. I managed a smile and we headed back.

Chris and I took the canoe out together and enjoyed a "paddle". We did quite well, till I turned back to him and asked "Hey do I still have mascara all over my...."

I had turned around the WRONG way and dumped us both in the sea. Damn it!

At the end of our little adventure, I was proud of conquering my fear and trying something VERY outside my comfort zone. Would I do it again? Probably wouldn't be on my top 10 but I'm glad we did it. I found I was stronger, braver and more determined that I thought I was. Discovering that made it all worth it.

beach 2

Have you ever done something out of your comfort zone only to discover something about yourself? Would love to hear about it!

xo,

Ivy

P.S. I have also been working on some new art pieces...more on that later this week. :)

Oh Maui...how I love thee.

On April 26th, we set off on a long overdue honeymoon to Maui. It would be a six-day, five night trip that would leave us wanting more pineapple, sea air and warm breezes. In short, it was unforgettable, romantic and blissful.

I, as usual, had my handy-dandy camera linked to my wrist at all times and took far too many pictures. I won't try to share them all with you in one post...but rather draw it out into a long series of Hawaiian tales...(bear with me)

Chapter One: Arrive in Paradise

After a quick, smooth and easy  five-hour direct flight from Portland on Hawaiian airlines, I couldn't believe we were already approached Maui.  The gorgeous colors from the plane were dazzling...sapphire blue, emerald green and turquoise. I couldn't wait to land!

I surprised Chris with a lei arrival. Nice touch eh? They smelled amazing.

After retrieving our luggage, we headed over to Alamo, where we picked up our very cute ride - a white soft top Jeep! It was a fun car to have on the island, although I must say, I've had shopping carts with a smoother ride! It was bit bumpy to say the least! Next time we are getting the convertible Mustang for sure.

I promised myself I would have a tropical drink an hour after landing and voila...I did. (It was more like two hours after landing but who's counting?) These Mai Tai's were amazing. We sat there, at our resort, sipping these babies and counting our lucky stars that we were actually in Maui. It took a while to sink in.

Our first meal in Maui was mahi mahi fish tacos...so DELICIOUS! I ate so much mahi mahi it was just plain ridiculous. Between that and the ahi tuna I'm surprised I didn't grow some gills. So fresh! I got all my Omega 3's for sure!

After getting our fill, we retired to our beautiful condo for a little rest before dinner.

As usual, we got our condo through VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner). We absolutely loved the place we stayed. The owner, Chris was so helpful and welcoming, plus we got all the luxuries of the Honua Kai resort without all the $$$. The resort is in a great location with easy proximity to Lahaina, with all the night life and shopping plus access to some beautiful beaches. For our first trip it was perfect. We didn't bring Grace on this vacation but after seeing how family friendly Maui is we will be definitely taking her along on the next trip.

We concluded our first night at the Lahaina Grill. It was seriously the best seafood I've had in a very long time. I had seared ahi tuna, of course, and it was sublime. The service, ambiance, food and wine were all first class. It was a spendy meal but so worth it. It's a special place that should not be missed!

A Maui sunset set the sky ablaze. A beautiful sight to end a beautiful day. Couldn't wait to wake up and greet the ocean the next morning.

Stay tuned for Chapter 2...

xo,

Ivy