Sunday, December 21, 2008

Brave young men...mostly

There was quite a buzz along the south shore of Kauai one day: the waves were far bigger than normal for the beach. The number of surfers grew as word spread. Current was so strong that we watched a young man--13 years old or so--try and try to get far enough out to catch a wave. He wasn't strong enough to paddle his board through the waves. It was fun to watch the surfers try and catch the right wave.

Another interesting thing--my sister and I noticed at the same time that one of the surfers was female. From the distance, in their surf gear, we couldn't anyone's looks, but we could tell by the way she moved. Isn't that interesting. She was pretty good too. If you enlarge the picture, you can see the surfer who caught the tunnel.

Another day, when the wind was blowing, the kite surfers were out enjoying themselves. They had no trouble getting to and from the beach and some of them had great control. There were a couple who were coming out of the water a long way. It looked fun but lots of arm and shoulder work. Their boards had straps like snowboards--something we learn about in Utah.

We only saw the one female surfer, but there were plenty of females on the beaches enjoying the shows.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Nervous about too much water

One of the lovely things we did while in Kauai is rent 2-person kayaks for a leisurely paddle down the Hanalei River.  I say 'leisurely' because hubby did most of the paddling--he was good at it, me not so much.  There was sunshine, flowers on the water, and scenery galore. 

We were surprised to see a Bison in Hawaii.  This one had an interesting hitchhiker.  She came to the river for a drink, but her bird friend hopped off when we were too close.

As we traveled downstream toward the ocean, I got increasingly nervous.  I'm not a strong swimmer and I could just imagine us being swept out and dumped by the waves.  Hubby laughed at me and got closer to the river's mouth than I was happy with, but we were fine (other than my increased heart rate).  We saw quite a few people standing on and paddling surfboards.  They made it look pretty easy, but we were thinking that balancing on a board, while working a paddle was probably pretty darn good exercise.

You can see more detail in the pictures by enlarging them.  More water sports--not mine--to come.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Love that humidity.

My hair is naturally curly.  During my teenage years, when the styles were smooth and very controlled, it gave me great consternation.  I put relaxers on it (some of the first ones--very icky), I ironed it,  I used pop cans with both ends removed as rollers,  and I generally fought with it.  Thank goodness the style was not the very straight look that so many young girls have now; I don't know which would have survived--my hair or my attitude.  I generally chuckle when I hear someone talk about how teenagers do things to be unique.  To be comfortable together, conformity is what matters.  (How else do you explain the odd, sagging pants?)

But, I'm wandering.  In lovely, humid Hawaii, I was uncontrollably curly.

It did make mornings easier because there was nothing to be done with my hair.  It was going to do what it was going to do, and no matter how it looked as we left the house within an hour it was going its own way.

It got even more interesting in a little wind--like on our catamaran tour along the magnificent Na Pali coast.   In addition to the scenery, we got a glimpse of a whale or two, watched flying fish (and a bird try to catch one), and had a group of Spinner Dolphins swim with us for a long time.

The captain said they enjoy riding the bow wave--kind of like dolphin surfing.  

Who cares whether or not my hair was out of control, it was very cool! 

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Beautiful Kauai

This is the view from our rented house between Hanalei and Ha'ena on the north shore of Kauai.   Our trip was blessed with 6 days of fabulous weather before we experienced 2 days of steady rain--after all, it is the Garden Isle.  We were enchanted by the warmth and beauty of this island, and we enjoyed exploring.

The view was from this balcony/lanai.  This was my sister and I taking a long, last look before loading up to head for home.  The rain had stopped for a while and there was a good opportunity for breathing in the lovely, wet, green smell.

This was the view from hubby's apartment the morning we returned.  It had just begun to snow and the temperature was 50 degrees less that Hawaii's.  Whatever were we thinking?

I will admit that it was hard to remember that it was into December.  For us, Christmas means cold and snow, because it has always been that way.  But I would be willing to try very hard to adjust my attitude.  Be forewarned; as I get my 300 pictures organized, I'll share a few.  If the sight of beautiful sunshine and water activities in December is uncomfortable, maybe you should avoid me for a while.  Just saying.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hawaii, here we come.

At midday tomorrow, we leave for 8 beautiful, relaxing days in Hawaii. My sister and her husband are coming too, and we've rented a house on the north shore of Kauai.  It has been quite a few years since we've been to Kauai and we are very much looking forward to seeing it again.  Our last Hawaiian trip was business-linked, but we did enjoy wandering about in Honolulu, and stayed an extra couple of days so we could travel to the big island.  I was excited to see an active volcano.

This trip we have no agenda, no schedule, no plans except to enjoy a beautiful place.  We may be taking a computer because the house has an Internet connection, but if you don't see anything from me,  just assume I'm dozing in a lounge chair, dipping my toes in wet sand, or wandering about the island.  It's a tough job, but I'm doing what I can to stimulate the economy.  Aloha.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Creative Cons

I was reading about a new scam where someone calls you about a charge on your credit card. The article says they give their name, number, and lots of official-sounding information. They say they are suspicious of a charge put on your card and worry that it is not yours. What it all boils down to is they want the 3 or 4-digit extra code from your card.  The dishonest seem ever-inventive.

Then today, I got a call from a 708 area code.  Now I don't even know where that is, so I didn't answer.  They left a lovely message about how I had filled out a form to win a new Lincoln Navigator and they had good news.  I needed to call this toll-free number.  Well, I gave up filling out entries to win anything years ago; the fine print about dropping from the "Do Not Call List" put an end to any wishful thinking about prizes.  I don't know what they are trying to get from me, but it's not going to happen.  

About a year ago, not long after my father died, I untangled my mother from something she had unwittingly agreed to while paying a credit card bill.  They claimed she had accepted, she didn't think she'd done any such thing.  In the end, they were good about refunding her money, so they weren't as unscrupulous as many.

I used to get almost daily calls about how "they" could save me hundreds of dollars on my credit card bills.  I sometimes considered calling back and asking them to explain how they could do that when I didn't carry a balance.  Recently I've been hearing that my automobile warranty is about to expire and I need to call before it's too late.  I did answer once and when they wanted to know the years of my vehicles, I asked why they didn't know if they knew about my warranties.  They hung up on me.

It is too bad that we have to be so cautious and suspicious of motives, but crooks no longer just rob stores or steal cars.  Are there more thieves than there used to be, or are they too lazy now to leave their computers or telephones?  Occasionally I long for the simpler days of my youth.  The bad guys were easier to spot.

Monday, December 1, 2008

California Thanksgiving

Dinner was abundant and delicious.  Seeing the family again is something to be thankful for always.

California was rainy on Thursday, but cleared up beautifully on Friday.  The oldest, always active, grandson spent time doing jumps, tail whips, grinds, whatchmacalits (there are other, more correct terms, I know).  He's tall enough that a little basketball with grandpa left grandpa with a small cut under his eyebrow from a collision with a head and his sunglasses.
With grandma and grandpa added to the mix, poor younger brother had to sit in the middle of the back seat.  Trapped together, older brother had good teasing opportunities.  Plenty of silly noises and giggling too from both.
The back yard trampoline provides lots of entertainment.   Seven-year-old wanted a picture of her flips.  I caught a good one.
A couple of walks through the neighborhood helped to stretch our legs and we found lots of fascinating things to examine.
Our visit was over too soon, but they'll be coming our direction after Christmas.  We have a lot to be thankful for.