Sunday, June 20

Our Own Personal Fish Monger

Yesterday I talked about Tim, the spearfisherman that got stung by a jellyfish, but what I failed to mention was that he tried to sell us some of his fresh speared fish from his high tech set-up…..a cooler on wheels.

He succeeded.

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droid 1 031We had no idea what we were getting or if we were getting a good deal, it was, as one wise observant woman pointed out……just because we COULD. We wanted a couple of the big ones, and then he threw in a couple more……just because. {When they do that I figure they’re overcharging to begin with, but I was happy to learn today that we indeed got a good deal (for Hawaii standards)).

We paid thirty dollars for all our fish and at the local grocery store, Tamura’s, they want thirty dollars just for the one blueish one in the center. We got three times that.

We baked the first three in a stuffing mixture that Tim recommended, only substituting it for items we actually had, and they were ehh…so, so. We saved the big one for last, eating it the next day after baking in garlic butter and it was by far the best tasting fish we have ever had. From now on we will only be buying fish from Tim, where he can be found every other day strolling Farrington Hwy in front of Makaha Beach. We all agreed he has a pretty rough life, too. Spearfishing everyday (except Sunday) and hanging out on the beach a few mornings a week. (Heineken  was not for sale, that was Fish’s breakfast)

droid 1 035This was the one fish that scared me a little bit…look at it’s teeth……THEY’RE HUMAN!!

I’m still waiting for the day that we go to the beach and don’t learn or see something new or exciting.

Saturday, June 19

Catch with a Crustacean

This morning while the kids slept, the adults big kids, went for another early walk along the beach, and I’m happy to report no jellyfish this time. Speaking of jellyfish…..we met a lot of local folks that didn’t even know about the monthly jellyfish invasion which resulted in about a hundred people island wide getting stung. With thirty of them happening on Makaha Beach alone! We met one of them the other morning while talking story with Joey’s friend Fish, while at the beach. This local named, Tim, had been spear fishing that morning when he got stung on the only part of himself that wasn’t protected, his face. He said he had to swim over half an hour to get to the nearest house and then for whatever reason, they shooed him away! They wouldn’t help him. Luckily he had a lifeguard friend that lived nearby so he went to his place and he poured boiling hot water on his face to stop the stinging, and Tim said it helped. He also said he was really struggling to swim, as he was in such intense pain and felt like his muscles were trying to paralyze. It took him this whole week to recover, but we could still see the scar. I don’t think he’ll ever go out without a face cover again!

Anyway, this morning was much more playful. After resting our burning calves while sitting along the shore, little crabs started coming out of their holes. As soon as they’d see us they’d hurry back down, except this one. He just sat on top of his hole staring at us, so eventually I threw a little stone his way to see what he’d do, and to my surprise he chased after it like a puppy dog! He quickly got on top of that thing and hugged it as tight as he could. Thinking that was just a freak thing he did, we tried another pebble….and he immediately abandoned the first stone in favor of the new one. Then he did it again, and again, and again.

cell phone (6)After a while we felt we teased the poor thing long enough so we continued on, only to find another brave crab farther down the beach. What are the odds to run into two crazy crabs in one day? Normally they’re gone before you can even spot them, and here we have another one just staring us down. This one was bigger and wasn’t interested in stones though, he was looking for a fight.

Joey slowly lowered his keys above him and he tried with all his might to get them. After a few failed attempts he’d run away from Joey backwards. But a crab running backwards results in him doing backwards somersaults. So he’d run, and then flip, then prance up real high on his tippy claws and run again, and flip backwards again. But he always came back to Joey for more. He could have easily ran back in his hole, but I guess he was probably having a little fun with us, too. (I just wish I would have had video on my phone, so you could see these silly crabs in action, too.)

Eventually the crab won, and Joey walked away in defeat.

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**PS** No crustaceans were harmed in the making of this blog post

Thursday, June 17

Maunawili Falls

Maunawili Falls is listed as being an easy hike, so I thought it sounded like a great hike for the whole family. A leisurely stroll out to a small waterfall with deep, cool pools. Who could resist that? Well, the boys could, but I have to remind them there are other things in life besides video games. It’s a tough sell these days. Maunawili hike 109

The trail starts off walking through mostly coffee and mountain apple trees, but I honestly don’t know what’s what. Just many shades of green, in even more shapes and sizes, and when we’d finally bust through a grove we’d have these great views of the cloud topped Ko'olaus Mountains.Maunawili hike 110

The path was well worn, and mostly followed the creek up towards the falls.Maunawili hike 113

Then we’d have to cross the creek which is always fun, but deciding which path to take once we got to the other side was never an easy decision. The trail is mostly unmarked so we just hoped we made the right choices.Maunawili hike 118

Then more thick jungleMaunawili hike 125 followed by another stream to cross. We’re like Frogger crossing these boulders, only instead of watching for cars we had to watch for slippery rocks.Maunawili hike 126

Or in Jewel’s case, someone to guard her goggles and sticks for her. Maunawili hike 130

Jewel had no choice but to swing on her first natural tree swing.

She was made for this.Maunawili hike 131Joey’s Field of DreamsMaunawili hike 134

Oh look!….Another creek to cross! Maunawili hike 136

but then the whole trail got a little twisted

Maunawili hike 137


Maunawili hike 145 Those stairs seemed to go on forever. Just when we thought we were done, around the bend would be another set of “stairs”. But we did finally make it to the top, and Jewel took a much deserved “breather”Maunawili hike 146 What gorgeous views we had walking across the ridge!

Maunawili hike 148 The waterfall is somewhere down inside this valley, right around in the middle of the picture is my best guess

Maunawili hike 149

At this point Jacob had taken off ahead and left the rest of us behind, including Jonas, who was struggling. It’s also at this point that we determine that this should be a breeze for a ten year old boy so the fact that he was having a hard time is worrying Joey and I a little. A few months ago he would have kept up with Jacob. Maunawili hike 157 After making it all the way up, we were surprised to have to now go back down. I wasn’t even sure we were going in the right direction, and not having Jacob with us starts making me pretty nervous. Who knows which way he went?! Is he on the right trail even? Not liking that! Then at the bottom we hit yet another creek and another trail, both leading in opposite directions. We decide to stay awhile for someone else to come along and hope they knew which way to go. I wasn’t happy to see it was straight up the creek, over the boulders. A little ways in though we found a trail, and we could hear kids laughing in the distance.

Maunawili hike 162Then we saw all the kids, and Jake there waiting for us. Such a relief. But THIS is the waterfall?? Maunawili hike 164

I wasn’t expecting to be in this closed in little valley with one hundred foot rock walls on either side of us. I also wasn’t expecting so many kids!                                                                                                             Maunawili hike 165 Naturally, I wanted to jump but as you can see from this picture, it felt a little too much like Mystery Science Theatre to me. I wasn’t getting up there and having all the critics in the front row making fun, or the paparazzi snapping photos.                                                                                                                          Maunawili hike 166

Here’s Jake patiently sitting and waiting his turn while the bigger kids jump off the walls from both sides. Most of the kids on the waterfall are just hanging out, or just jumping from there. You can’t see the ones that climb way up, until they’re plunging in the water. THAT was pretty cool to see.2010-06-10 12.10.37

Here’s a short little clip of Jonas from his jump off the walls, and his reaction afterwards.

We swam in the pool and watched everyone jump for about an hour then slowly started making our way backMaunawili hike 170We tried to stop and eat but the mosquitoes quickly started attacking us so we had to eat on the move Maunawili hike 177

I knew to bring bug spray, but completely forgot. We all paid for that.

Maunawili hike 178

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Going down is much easier, and it seems Jonas had caught his second wind. Or else tree branch jungle gyms are just too exciting to pass up no matter how exhausted you are.Maunawili hike 193

On the way back I finally figured out it was easier to walk barefoot and simply walk through the creeks instead of trying to balance myself on the boulders with camera in one hand and Jewel’s collections in the other. Maunawili hike 202

Occasionally we got a reprieve from the brown and green and saw some other colors, too

Maunawili hike 219 Maunawili hike 210 Maunawili hike 198

Overall, this was a great hike, one that I definitely want to do again, only the next time I will be sure to go while school is in session.

Wednesday, June 9

Hope You Find What You’re Looking For

It was thirteen years ago when we first “hit the road in a motorhome”. We didn’t really know what we were in search of then, we just knew there had to be a better place to raise our baby, than stuck in this daily grind, in this large city of Metropolitan Phoenix. We kind of figured we’d just hit the road in search of that perfect place to settle down…..maybe. There was a lot of fear on my part going into it, we had never heard of or known anyone to do something like this before, and the internet wasn’t like it is now where you can find hundreds of families “living on the road”. Honestly, I was just going along with Joey’s crazy idea. That was until our first night in our new home on wheels, parked beside a lake… under the stars. This was an awakening….a whole new way of life for us. A world I never knew existed.

This vagabond life has worked well for us all these years. We’ve had big dreams for our family, like traveling Australia by RV for six months, backpacking Europe, and even moving to Hawaii. We can check off moving to Hawaii now. But one far off dream that we’ve always had was living on a sailboat and cruising the World. We used to talk about how great our life was going to be once all the kids could swim. That would mean to us that they’re at an age where they’re not babies anymore, and are a little more independent,  and well, what the heck….if they fall off a boat their chances of surviving are are a little better.

We completely put that dream aside though, and I, yes, I admit it, I begrudgingly moved to Hawaii to live in a stick and mortar home. I did it because I knew if I had to live in a house, at least it was on an island. It was what Joey felt he needed to do for our family….. and I knew it would be a good thing, too. I remember when we first moved here someone left a comment saying “hope you find what you’re looking for” and it’s stuck with me. I’ve never felt like I was looking for something. I feel like I’ve always gone with the flow, but now I think that comment plays over in my head because we were searching. I knew it wasn’t a house we needed, it was just to be near the water. It’s to be in the sun, the sand, and the surf…….. That’s all we’ve ever needed. We just didn’t know how to go about making it happen.

Then last month we were walking around the harbor in Waikiki and a dream was reborn.

slr 101  I think we’ve found our next RV parkslr 118

We brought up the idea of buying a sailboat instead of land to the kids and they were one hundred percent on board. Didn’t even have to pry them away from the XBox to go boat shopping! Of course the boat they want is this huge ship they’ve dubbed The Pirate Ship.                                                                                         slr 114 We’re looking at something a little more affordable practical. We came sooo close to sealing a deal on this sailboat below, but ultimately decided against it. We were initially just thinking cheap and quick, but the more we learn, and keep finding out, about sailboats and cruising, the more decisions we have to make. I’m proud of us for not jumping on this, like we normally would have.                                                            sailboats 020

We may not know anything about sailing, but we know a lot about living in a motorhome, and a liveaboard boat is just a motorhome on water, so we’ve already won the first challenge.

And as far as what we’re searching for……I don’t think it’s anything, yet it’s everything. We simply can’t be content with just one thing…….. when there’s a huge world out there with so much to offer. It’s just every now and then a traveller needs to stop for a minute and regroup, and I see now that’s all we were doing every time we thought we needed to settle down. Life is forever evolving, and our goals and plans should be, too…..and that’s all those breaks were about, we just didn’t know it at the time. We just needed to keep evolving ourselves, but that’s hard to do when old voices in your head tell you you’re supposed to have a house, get a job with a company with benefits and stay until you retire, and THEN you get to go live your life. If we hit a hiccup in the road, that old recorder plays over and over, but I think we mayhave finally broken that record player now! ……….So bring on our next adventure!!


 Gypsy ………..defined as "persons of nomadic habit of life, whatever their race or origin, but does not include members of an organised group of travelling showmen, or persons engaged in travelling circuses, travelling together as such."

Sunday, June 6

Just your everyday walk on the beach

Instead of our usual morning walk up to the water tower this morning, we chose to drive down the hill to Makaha Beach and walk in the sand instead. What an adventure that turned out to be….. with some new knowledge, to boot. (insert plug for unschooling here)

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Those are not our footprints in the sand.

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They were dozens……if not hundreds….of potentially deadly, Hawaiian box jellyfish. And we almost stepped on the!…….repeatedly…… They left a trail along the high tide line almost half the shoreline long.

walk on the beach Droid 015Then the next quarter of the shoreline  was dotted with large holes with large piles next to them. Some of the holes were almost as big as my foot! Normally , during the day, we see only the small crab holes… so I guess you have to get up pretty early to see the big boys.

Continuing south the sand is almost completely washed away, exposing rock that had been covered all winter.

walk on the beach Droid 023 You can see where the sand level was along the right side ridge

It also exposed some tide poolswalk on the beach Droid 017

Back to the north end of the beach, and back to the jellyfish. walk on the beach Droid 034

I noticed that the milkier ones would occasionally bubble up, like it was gasping for air, but the clear ones never moved. These two had the tentacles entwined. Like two lovers that couldn’t bear to separate.

When we got back home we told the kids about them, and first, Jewel was sad we went without her, but then we were all interested to figure out why this happened. (enter unschooling activity plug here). With a quick search of the amazing, ingenious World Wide Web, we quickly learned, of all things…….the spawning habits of box jellyfish. Apparently this is a monthly thing, just most common on the windward and southern shores. About nine to ten days after a full moon thousands of jellyfish come near the shoreline to spawn, and it usually lasts three to four days. I checked the spawning calendar on and sure enough, we are smack dab in the middle of their egg laying.

It made me sad to see all these helpless jellyfish just laying there, but then we watched crabs start to come out of their holes and check out the jelly’s. We hoped they would eat them, so it was nice to learn later that the jellyfish did not die in vain, and will in fact be scavenged up by the sand crabs.

And we thought we were just going for a walk.

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