Sunday, January 24, 2010

01_24_10 One pair of mis-matched feet

Many have asked so I thought I'd post photos of how the hoof is looking. These photos were taken at exactly five weeks. I now have a pair of non-matching feet! The surgical foot is still stiff, a bit swollen and a different color. Still, in five weeks we are shocked at the great progress. I'm wearing my own tennis shoes (but can't fit into any other of my shoes yet). And walking, there is a small limp - a hardly noticeable one. Plus I can't walk as fast as I used to yet. I reach this conclusion because of the number of people who walk up on my heels and then huff clearly annoyed that I am apparently walking in a lolly-gagging sort of fashion.

I can't complain too much. It is the universe paying me back. I think in the past I've done the same to others I deem walking too slowly. What a jerk I've been. I've learned my lesson.

Foot two surgery is scheduled for March 15th. I dread it, but I also look forward to having all of the surgery done soon and knowing all that is left is healing. When summer comes, I can just be getting stronger and stronger!

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

01_06 to 17_10 Wallet draining in Maui

Dave here...So, you've already spent more money on your trip to Maui than any other vacation (at least for us). What do you do next? Spend more money by going on the classic helicopter tour of Maui and Molokai.

We talked about taking a helicopter ride for at least the first week of the trip before we finally committed to a chopper ride our second to last day.

We weren't disappointed. Plus, with the money hemorage, we were the lightest (in terms of weight) people on board ensuring premium front seat placements! Our views were unobstructed!

Callie had never been in a chopper and I'd been only once before so the two island tour was quite a treat. Weather and wind conditions were excellent so the flight was most enjoyable! In other words, nobody used the handy little white bags found on board. :)

On the ride, one gets to see many sights from that are only accessible via helicopters. We saw amazing valleys, enormous waterfalls, huge sea cliffs, breaching whales, giant manta rays, Iao Valley, sugar cane fields and kite boarders.

Although spendy, we thought the flight was really worth it and recommend it to anybody going to Maui.


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01_06 to 17_10 Haleakala Road Ride!

Dave here... Although Maui is a relatively small land mass, there are some great road rides to do that cover an incredible variety of terrain.

Perhaps the king of Maui road rides is the sea-to-summit ride up and down Haleakala. This is a 10,023 foot dormant volcano (though scientists say it'll blow again).

Starting from a very cool hippy/artist/surfer town called Pai'a, one rides steadily uphill for 38 miles to the summit. On the way, you are treated to fantastic views, changing climatic zones and very tired legs. The views along the way and from the summit are truly awesome. Then when it's time head downhill, it's 10,000+ feet of descending fun on great curves and very nice road surfaces.

One funny aspect of the ride was watching the downhill-only tour groups come down in waves with their shiny cruiser bikes and full-face motorcycle helmets as I sweated my way in the opposite direction.

About 7 hours after leaving the car, I arrived back in a somewhat less energetic state. But, I was pretty buzzed from having done the best single day ride ever. A couple of days before that, I did a very nice ride that essentially follows the shore on both wide and *very* narrow roads around West Maui. I finished the ride in Iao Valley (where Jurassic Park was filmed) where Callie was waiting for me.

I rented a bike to ride two days on the island. BEWARE that in my experience, West Maui Cycles has the lamest customer service of any bike shop I've been in. This on top of renting broken and dangerous bikes. Not a great combination. Instead, I do strongly recommend the Maui Cyclery in Pai'a. A much more professional shop with better equipment and employees who actually give a @#!@! about the customer.


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Thursday, January 21, 2010

01_06-17_10 Whale Soup in Maui

Okay, lots of whale body parts shown here. It is the Humpedback Whale migration time of year. The whales come to the shores of Maui to breed, give birth and feed young before heading back North (western coast of Alaska and Canada mostly).

There were whales everywhere! One boat captain referred to the waters as 'whale soup' which was pretty descriptive.

In the photos you can see the whales exhaling (we could hear them as well), pec fin slapping, showing their tails (for show or indicating a dive) as well as bringing the heads out of the water.

Though we didn't get any photos of it, whales were breaching - that is, jumping out of the water - all around. It was quite spectacular.

These photographs come from three excursions: whale watching, snorkeling at Molokini and a dinner cruise. Snorkeling here was so-so. Dave and I have both been places that are much more clear, with much more colorful color and fish. Still, it was a fun trip. We're glad we did it, but wouldn't do it again.

The dinner cruise was excellent. Beautiful evening, nice meal and an unbeatable setting.


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