Thursday, May 22, 2008
Today, Joseph had his second post ear surgery check-up. Basically, we found out that his hearing hasn't improved since Dr. Hill put in a top-of-the-line prosthetic incus two months ago. The current theory is that the footplate at the bottom of his stapes has been immobilized by numerous infections. After exploring our options, Joseph decided it was time to give up for the time being and get a hearing aid. He took the first step and had a mold made of his ear. After the mold is made, he will be able to try out different hearing aids for forty days before he has to make a decision about which one he will purchase. Our next stop was the University of Utah to order a copy of Joseph's transcripts. While we were in the neighborhood, we couldn't resist stopping at The Pie. After volunteering, Joseph spent a large chunk of his night teaching me about Photoshop and then we watched Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Posted by Maren
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Well, the long awaited Hawaii post is here. I will give a quick run down of what we did each day, and then you can look at our pile o' pictures on the web album.
May 3 - Saturday:
We flew out of Salt Lake, had a very quick layover in LA, and then landed in Maui in the evening. We had time to pick up some groceries, check-in to our hotel, eat food, and go to bed.
We went to church at the local ward, and then we took a trip around the coast of Northwest Maui. We saw lots of cool stuff such as the huge Banyan tree in Lahaina, the "Dragon Teeth" lava flows, a cool blow hole, and the Iao state park "needle". This of course was coupled with the overall scenery of the place. The drive took us on a very narrow one lane road and Maren decided that she wanted an island boy to work for her.
We got up early and went snorkeling by the hotel and actually had a very good time and saw lots of fish with decent visibility. We also set up some of the activities for Tuesday, tried the local shaved ice, and then went to the aquarium. It was very cool to see some of the fish we had just gotten acquainted with in the ocean and was nice to hear some explanations about what we had seen. We also tried to go the "Plantation" but didn't make the last tour. We did get free tickets to come back though. That evening we rested up for an early morning to follow.
We woke up early and got on a boat which took us out to Molokini. This crescent shaped island isn't far from Maui, and is a bird refuge. The boats tie up just off shore and while you don't actually go onto the island, there is some very good snorkeling around it which we greatly enjoyed. Visibility was excellent and it was amazing to look over 100' down and still be able to see the floor of the ocean. Their was lot to see, and the highlight was a moray eel that we saw swimming around. Then the boat took us to "turtle town" where turtles (big sea ones) are everywhere. They don't mind the visitors, so you can get right up next to them and it is quite impressive. After that we had some lunch and then went back to the plantation and saw lots of cool stuff you will see in the pictures. That night we went to a wonderful Luau at one of the resorts and enjoyed the excellent food and entertainment. The entire thing was good, but the Samoan fire dancer definitely took the show.
This was the "Road to Hana" day. You will have to look at the pictures again to see what all we saw, but it follows the north shore around the island towards the North East. It is all rain forest and waterfalls for most of the way and is gorgeous. A few highlights were the black sand beach (really they were pebbles, but either way it is one of the prettiest places we have ever seen), and the "seven sacred pools" along with the huge waterfalls in the national park just south of Hana. We really liked the bamboo forest that we hiked through as it was our first time to see bamboo in such quantity (it is really cool stuff). We finished off with a drive back in the dark which was not an easy experience for our driver as the road is very winding and narrow with lots of one lane bridges.
This was a very laid back day. We went snorkeling again down south by the most recent lava flow (about 200 years old), and then spent some time on "Big Beach" which is your classic sandy beach with waves. We also got to see some crabs on a side lava flow. Joseph had an assignment due so he spent most of the rest of the day working on Physics while others wandered around to various activities.
Our last day. We headed up the Volcano (Haleakala) and got to see some very windy and desolate terrain. Again, look at the pictures. We then went and watched wind surfers, kite boarders, and some traditional surfers too along the north shore. We also flew our Thomas the Tank engine kite which struggled with the very strong wind though it was helped when we added an old flip-flop to its ribbons as added support. We then went to the Eastern shore again to watch the sunset (the last pictures on the show) before running to the airport. We got home at 7:40 Utah time (Saturday morning) and were grateful for Joseph's parents for picking us up.