Friday, November 6, 2009

Giving Thanks: November

30 Nov. Mon - Dale (Hyatt's famous omelet chef) had breakfast with us at the IHOP! Imagine: he has always wanted to eat at that chain. He liked it! Dale and Ron spent an enjoyable day touring the island; a highlight of the tour was the Bishop's Palace. He is a most delightful fellow. Mahalo Dale! Smooch Smooch worked planning the next trip.

29 Nov. Sun - We slept and slept and slept some more.Well! The condo was cold at four AM. The Smooch Smooch calls this the perfect Gold-digger repellent. Actually this is what St. Nicholas looks like on his day off.

Mending my own business!

28 Nov: Pearl Harbor Visit was memorable; the girls were mighty somber. No time for lunch - they hit the beach. We had a yucky dinner at the Wailea Cafe. Double yuk! The girls departed for Texas A&M by seven PM. We crashed.

27 Nov.- Exhausted Ron! Woke up at 12: 30 and began edits. We had a short flight to Waikiki Beach; the girls didn't skip a beat before they donned bikinis and hit the beach. Paul G. joined us at Duke's on Waikiki for lunch. They make a great ice cream pie. Alas and Alack, poor I - could not eat a bite; but the girls ate the whole pie. Smooch Smooch and Paul G. were not to be outdone: they scarfed down one of those monsters too. CAN YOU IMAGINE ANYONE EATING THAT MUCH ICE CREAM??? In the evening we enjoyed a luau at the Hilton with the Rockin' Hulas and a later dinner at Bali By the Sea. Not to be outdone - they serve a smoking volcano made out of rich dark chocolate.

26 Nov. Thurs: Happy Thanksgiving! Thank God for Smooch Smooch; Thank God for whatever still works; Thank God Thank God! The girls enjoyed the beach, watching the dolphins and eating a LOT of desserts. The joy of the day was diminished upon learning of the death of Dr. Peter Stebbins Craig - an invaluable friend and mentor. Thanks God for Peter Craig! Dinner at the Hilton Waikoloa was a feast indeed. We celebrated Christmas, too, with early an early Christmas gift of a red shirt and bathing suit. Mahalo, girls and Jon.

25 Nov: Wed: Breakfast at Bongo Ben's in Kona was a delight followed by stops at Safeway, Wal-Mart to buy fleurs, leis, stuffs and several cycle rental shops to price a bike. By 12:30 we were at the Kona Airport to welcome Smooch Smooch's son, granddaughter and great niece. The girls (sophomores at (TX A&M) hit the sand as soon as they shed their clothes for bikinis. In the evening we had dinner at the Kamuela Provision Company on the Lanai to watch the sunset and the native Hawaiian light the torches at the sound of the horn. Lauren ate a twenty ounce steak... only a 19 year olds metabolism could handle a twenty ounce steak...! We had a very good time!

24 Nov: Tues: The early morning drive up the north Kohala Coast held spectacular views of the Pacific sprawling on to forever to take our breath away. But the road nto Puaku was proved fruitless in the search for a recommended restaurant - albeit the small village of charming houses dotting the roadside with huge flowering shrubs was mighty nice. Driving further inland the rolling landscape inland is brown in comparison to black lava rock further south near the Hilton Waikoloa Village and King's Land. We turned eastward towards Waimea and the vibrant green of the agricultural area was a surprise; this is the home of large ranches like the famous Parker Ranch; in Waimea we did indeed discover the "Hawaiian Style Cafe" and enjoyed the humoungous portions described: pancakes and omelets the size of a dinner plate. The people from Minnesota sitting at a nearby table left mounds of bacon, pancakes and eggs half eaten. Our two hour walk following breakfast included grocery shopping and the Keck Observatory. Fascinating to learn about "newborn" stars like the LKHA - 101. And oh... how we did work today. The indexing is almost finished! ohboy ohboy ohboy! Tomorrow Smooch Smooch's son, granddaughter and great niece arrive for Thanksgiving.

23 Nov. Mon. We agreed to work following the Hilton Waikoloa Village brunch but found ourselves on the highways and by-ways late afternoon because we learned about a condo vacation rental with a very inexpensive rate and a panoramic view of the ocean. The owner works for the postal system - and travels to the mainland to visit family every summer and holiday season - at one third the cost of the resorts. Jane's recommendation of the Kona Inn was indeed a good one. We especially enjoyed Herbert, our very friendly waiter, and a cute little fella about 7 months old who wailed loudly to inform everyone of his distress: he wanted to leave and right now!

22 Nov. Sun: Gorgeous sunrise - heavenly sunset. In the meantime and in-between time the day was spent scrounging for food. We drove to the Fairmont Orchid for Sunday brunch and enjoyed lounging on the beach for awhile before returning to the hotel to take a nap because one of us got up at three-thirty AM to work. At one PM we met with two sales personnel (Johnson and Nicholas) re: the timeshare to ask questions about protocol for getting the units we wanted at the points we wanted to pay. It turned into a sales pitch to get us to buy an EVENT week without really giving us the information we needed... but it was helpful: we know we do not want to buy additional timeshares or weeks or listen to sales pitches. Just too complicated for our commitment to a flexible lifestyle. How do we know where we want to be nine months out? But we did get some idea of what to do for now: phone and do not try to do this online.

When we walked into the lobby we were delighted to see Wendy - the charming admissions desk clerk at the Hilton who smiled brightly when she spotted us. She gave us a great deal on nightly stays. Lunch at Merriman's Cafe was not nearly as good as their evening meals. And we were in bed sleeping right after sunset.

21 Nov. Sat: Hilton "Kings Land" at Waikoloa, a timeshare resort on the Kohala Coast, had not yet been constructed at the time of our purchase -we got a good price - for prime season occupancy. Prime time is now here - the resort is built with a good view of the golf course and great accomodations - except for the heat in the room last night. At two AM we awoke and phoned the front desk to complain because the auto set thermostat was on 68 with a room temp of 72-75. Groggy and out of sorts we complained; this morning they moved us without hesitation to a new unit immediately. Now to complete projects we started at two AM. She finished writing her Christmas and Class newsletters. He is editing - looking like a silly goof in a stocking cap with a jacket around his neck. The last two books have been ordered with hopes of having the submissions very very soon on this very very quiet day.

20 Nov. Fri: Here we go again... at nine-thirty AM we were on the shuttle to the airport for the flight to the Big Island. Security was hectic but the flight was good. After picking up the rental car we drove to Wal-Mart, Safeway and stopped for for lunch at Don the Beachcomber's (don't: bad service and food). We made up for the bad food with a great dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse (eating fish!).

19 Nov. Thurs: Waikiki Beach following breakfast at the Hyatt. The Doubletree's breakfast is not on our diets. We had lunch on the beach with Paul G. , a skilled stock market analyst, picking his brains about investing - and decided against dinner out. The sunset was pretty wonderful.

18 Nov. Wed. The Aloha greeting from Dale, our favorite omelet chef, was worth the flight to Hawaii. He greeted us royally with open arms following a five AM walk to the Hyatt for breakfast. We strolled the beach and then met Paul G. for lunch at Duke's again. Fabulous salad bar!

,17 Nov. Tues: Zooma Zooma! Great flight to Honolulu - Business First for TEN DOLLARS apiece... thanks to Continental Airlines One Pass Rewards. Twelve out of the first fourteen nights are free thanks to Hilton Honors Points and Priority Club Points. We are staying at the Doubletree Waikiki - which is not a fabulous hotel but heck... it is free! And how fun to have dinner at Duke's on the beach with longtime friend Paul G. from days of working at SUI Edwardsville.

Sunset on Waikiki

10 Nov. Tues: Denton, Texas - at the home of 93 year old cousin Dorothy Bertine - one of Texas' leading watercolorists... who fed us fine food and filled our hearts and minds with art and lively conversation.

7 Nov. Sat: The trailer is loaded and we are departing Marathon after a lovely visit with Kate and Clyde - owners of Eve's Garden, a PaperCrete B and B that is simply marvelous. See photos below:

Ron Crossing a Creek that Feeds into the Rio Grande

6 Nov. Fri: Rio Grande - Mexico on the left and the US on the right. We hiked the canyon after wading across the river at muddy points.

Big Bend and Smooch Smooch

5 Nov. Thurs: The bike was unloaded for a lovely drive to Alpine and onto Marfa. We stopped at the Marfa Bookstore and climbed the endless staircase to the tower of the courthouse to enjoy the views. Tomorrow we will head to Big Bend to tour. View of Marfa From Courthouse Tower

4 Nov. Wed: The drive to Marathon, Tx was uneventful except for seeing a large jet in the middle of a field as soon as we turned south towards the McDonald Observatory on 118. Now what was that jet doing in the middle of a field on a narrow dirt road? After a quick stop at the observatory we arrived in Alpine, Texas in search of food and found La Trattoria - a nice Italian restaurant. Six very large deer were on the road from Alpine to Marathon. We are stayiing at Eve's Garden a unique papercrete B and B. Pictures to follow. Glorious sunsets.

3 Nov. Tues: Las Cruces, NM - We were disappointed to learn that former boss Chief Justice H. Vern Payne of the Supreme Court of New Mexico is in ABQ and not here. But a phone call to his law office was fruitful - and we enjoyed a very long conversation. Justice Payne is a very remarkable man.

We hustled off after lunch to Benson, AZ and dropped the trailer at the Holiday Inn Express (a super nice hotel...) and rushed down to Hereford, AZ for a two hour visit with Cousin Jim and wife Diane. Jim, Kay and Ron were born the same year... Rambo cousins who enjoyed lots of summer play time at Grandma's house.

2 Nov. Mon: Breakfast with Cousin Kay at the Hilton Point in Tyme was so delightful it did not end until lunch time when she had to rush off to a crochet class - a crochet class for an investment broker!!!

1 Nov. Sun: Set out from Sedona for Scottsdale and another lovely visit with cousins Jewel and Kenneth (95 and 96 young uns).


Amos said...

There are some really beautiful pictures on here! Ron here is the link to Half Brew's website contact information. Have fun in Big Bend!!!


Amos said...

There are some really beautiful pictures on here!Ron here is the link to Half Brew's website contact information. Have fun in Big Bend!