Post-Hawaii Notes and Musings

June 8, 2015

We are back from the beautiful island of Maui, Readers! We are still shaking the sand out of our shoes (and boy, re-entry after almost two weeks away is suckage central) but I wanted to pop in briefly and let you know that we have accomplished the impossible!! The T. family has finally managed to go on vacation together without illness, airline/hotel assholery, dental emergency or serious bodily harm involved. We have broken the 13-year Curse of the Travel Gods!

Now, don’t get me wrong–mistakes were made and tears were shed and blood made a cameo appearance–but hey, compared to vacations past, this was BLISS. But before I get to the bliss and the braggin’ we’ll start here:

Mistakes Were Made

-my darling husband, two days before our vacation, assured me that it would be no problemo dropping the Mozz-man off at the doggy daycare before heading to the airport Saturday morning. “Are you sure?” I said. “We need to drop him off by 8:20, latest.” “No worries!” he said. “They keep the same hours on Saturday as they do during the week. It’s just Sunday that has different hours.” These words caused me to do something stupid: I believed him and didn’t double-check. We pulled up to doggy daycare at 8:20 am sharp, car overflowing with suitcases, excited dog in tow, only to see a big old CLOSED sign on the door. CLOSED sign on door = Dana turns into the Krakon. A hissing, spitting, eye-rolling, teeth-gnashing, vengeful Krakon.  I am incredibly high strung and nervous when I travel, and that’s when things go well. When mistakes totally avoidable fuckups happen, I am not myself  anything resembling human. I am one scary banshee. Luckily, the worker at doggy daycare arrived at 8:45am and was willing to take Mozz early so we could haul ass to the airport and manage to make our flight. Whew.

-On the way home from our time in Hawaii, we spent the night in San Francisco and flew home to Denver the following morning. A few days before our return, I asked my husband, “Umm, we are getting into San Francisco pretty late. The girls are going to need dinner. Is anything going to be open at that hour at the airport?” “No worries!” my husband said. “San Francisco has a huge airport and tons of international flights arriving at all hours. Stuff will definitely be open.” “Are you sure?” I said. “I can check into it.” “I’ll take care of it, babe,” he said. These words caused me to do something stupid: I believed him. When we landed in San Francisco at a little past 10:30pm, my husband fumbled for his phone, looked up “late night dining options at San Francisco airport” and got nada. Nothing was open at that hour on our concourse. The KRACKON! reared her head so swiftly and viciously that my kids, bug-eyed, assured me that they weren’t that hungry and could, in fact, survive without food for the rest of their natural lives. We ended up eating delivery pizza at the hotel at 1am.


-Miss M. was very excited to take her boogie board out on Kaanapaali Beach and test out the waves. Poor little thing is a landlubber, though, and doesn’t understand exactly how to “catch a wave” or how to “ride a wave.” Heck, she hardly knows what a wave is. As I watched her futz about and paddle, a nice dude from California offered to teach her the basics. She listened to her tutorial intently, nodded, and strode confidently into the water. Alas, she bobbled her first attempt and was immediately swept up by another (much bigger) wave right on its coattails, and it…umm…sorta ate her. WHAM! That big ol’ wave lifted her up and slammed her little body, face-first, onto the sandy beach. “Holy shit!” California dude hollered and we took off running. We dragged her, sobbing and sand-covered, to higher ground. Many, many tears and hysterics followed until we assured her that things like this guarantee you a large chocolate smoothie back at the hotel.

-One afternoon, a sudden storm kicked up and it began pouring rain while we were all at the pool. In our haste to bolt back to our room, we left behind a beach bag that had 3 most excellent and pricey swim cover-ups in it. One of them, which Miss D. was using, was my swim cover-up from our trip to Capri last year. Whenever I look at that thing, I immediately feel transported back to Italian shores and lemon-scented air and unbearable happiness. It’s my happy garment. The second one was a relic from our Maui honeymoon, 14 years ago. The third was brand-spanking new; a Mother’s day present, in anticipation of our summer vacation. Nobody turned in the missing bag. I called every day until we left and nobody returned it and yeah, I cried about it. I know it seems silly and childish to cry about possessions, but these were so infused with sentiment and memory that I couldn’t let it go easily.

-I got to Hawaii and realized that I’d forgotten to pack the camera. What kind of crap-addled moron forgets to pack her camera on vacation? Me, that’s who. And it’s not even the first time I’ve done that. Sure, we have phones, but it’s not the same. The tears that hit the ground this time were mad/disappointed tears, but tears don’t discriminate.


-One of our first days on Maui, we were playing with the girls in one of the swimming pools, throwing around one of those squishy pool-safe balls. Some little ass-weasel threw a very not pool-safe plastic shark at his brother and missed. This was one of those heavy toys meant for use in the bath; it is not meant to be hucked into the air at high speed in a crowded swimming pool. When the shark-missile missed its intended target, it imbedded itself in Miss D.’s face, dorsal fin first. It landed holyJesusthankyou 1/4 of an inch under her eye, and the sharp tip of the dorsal fin lacerated the skin. Just 1/4 of an inch higher and…Gaa, I can’t even let myself go there. She screamed in agony and immediately, blood started pouring out of that thing and I was so frantic that I never even paused to shake that stupid little fucker silly; we just retreated to the room and dealt with it there.

shark bite

Of course, the shark-slinger didn’t have a parent anywhere nearby and I am now furious that I didn’t beat his butt on the spot, but the good news is that Miss D. still has an eyeball and just the barest hint of a black eye to show for it. So grateful.


-A few hours spent poolside in the late evening, watching the girls play happily together (in an almost deserted pool) with just a small squish-ball and each other’s company. It made my soul sing and my throat a little lumpy to see them, and realize that even with a 4 year span between them, and the arrival of D.’s teenage years, they love each other, laugh with each other, look out for each other.

hawaii pool

-We decided to splurge and take the girls on both a helicopter ride and a submarine ride. The girls loved seeing where Jurassic Park was filmed (up high) and were excited to see two sharks, three moray eels and tons of colorful fish (down low).

-We took a morning canoe trip around Black Rock, and that involved serious paddling and hard work, but the girls didn’t complain and we were thrilled when our guide stood up and hollered, “Nai’a! Nai’a!” Two dolphin fins popped up next to our canoe, and then two more, and then more…until we had an entire pod (about 30-40) of spinner dolphins jumping and (yep) spinning and playing next to us. Spinner dolphins are a lot smaller than bottlenose dolphins. I’d never heard of them before but they’re cute and funny and they swam with us for about ten minutes and we all wet our pants, we were so excited.

-The Koi pond where we stayed was awesome, and there were even some baby Koi for us to admire. They came in all colors and patterns–we learned that patterns on Koi are kind of like fingerprints for humans. We enjoyed watching them (the girls named some of the more colorful customers) and feeding them, until BadBird came out and startled the crap out of us. BadBird has been at the resort a long time–I remembered him from a trip 5 years ago. He still hassles the fish and tries to eat their food and behaves like an aggressive little tramp.

-Teeny little lizards (skinks) come out and frolic on the sidewalks around 4pm every day. They aren’t any bigger than your finger. Cool stuff.

-Miss D. was able to live her dream and take a ukelele lesson from a real Hawaiian. That nerd. Miss M. went along for the ride; I’m not sure if she did this out of true interest or because she smelled a future blackmail/torture opportunity…

-We discovered The Fish Market Maui, which is a small market just minutes from our resort. They are open every day and have a restaurant counter, where you can order things like fish tacos and fish sandwiches or you can go the other route and pick up super-fresh fish to slap on the grill. But best of all, they have bins of ceviche and lobster salad and poke, which they will mix up fresh and season to your liking. All of this for a fraction of what you would pay in a restaurant. SCORE! I ate a ton of fish and poke and ceviche in Maui, but more on that later. Trust me though; if you are staying on the Kaanappaali side of Maui, don’t miss that fish market!


-Happy: lots of fun memories and a vacation jam-packed with activity.

-Sad: it’s over. And it was also jaw-droppingly expensive, so the T. family will be living like monks for quite a few months.

-Happy: we still have two months of summer vacation left.

-Sad: I have no idea what the fuck we’re going to do (on the cheap) for two months. Ideas? Anyone?

-Happy: we got to pick up our beloved Mozz-man, who we missed terribly, and get lots of kisses and cuddles.

-Sad: the morning we took Mozzy home, he began coughing and wheezing and throwing up a white, foamy, phlegm-y substance. I was up half the night with him because it came in these freaky, loud, gasping spurts…he was almost barking like a sea lion. I called the vet and turns out, our little dude has something called Kennel Cough. It’s sort of equivalent to a really nasty human cold. It’s common–as the name suggests–for dogs to catch it when they are in a kennel/close-quartered situation. We vaccinated him for it but turns out, there are a bunch of different strains so the vaccine doesn’t really work. He is not himself and clearly feels poorly, and that horrible cough is heartbreaking! It’s hard to see him like this and really hard to hear, but the vet says it should dissipate within (gulp) three weeks. Three weeks? Oh, this is sad stuff. Please send healing vibes to our little white stinker. I’ll keep you posted.

sick mozz


Thanks for being here and for listening to me blather about all things Hawaii, and hey, Happy Summer, Everyone! I’d love to hear what you’ve got planned. xoxo

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Biz June 8, 2015 at 1:51 pm

The travel gods were with you this time!! I would say that the good definitely outweighed the bad. I’ve heard that Hawaii is quite expensive, but it sounds like you made memories for a lifetime, and that’s priceless! Welcome home!


Tiffany June 10, 2015 at 5:55 am

That sounds like a marvelous vaca…minus the eye incident! I’m hoping Mozzman feels better soon!


Lisa @ The Meaning of Me June 11, 2015 at 7:27 pm

Poor Mozz! Yeah, kennel cough is not cool at all – for either dog or owner. Hope he’s better soon!


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