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Month: January 2007

Kauai, Part 3: On the Road

Kauai, Part 3: On the Road

Before we get into the little adventure story, I just wanted to share this nice picture of the mule we were driving behind when we left Waimea Canyon:


Doesn’t he look nice? We got a kick out of it.

But our real adventure centers on the only plan we had our whole trip: to get our rental car back to the lot by 5:00 on Monday. If we didn’t do that, we would be charged for an extra day and that just wouldn’t be cool. Our flight didn’t leave until 8:30, so we thought we would drop off the car, check our luggage in early and then grab a bite to eat nearby. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans . . . .

We gave ourselves plenty of time to get to the airport, but by 4:40 we were stuck in a traffic jam. Now, on Oahu if there is a traffic jam on the highway you can drive around the island the other way. Yeah, it might take a few hours, but if the road is going to be closed for a long time, it is probably worth the time. But Kauai does not have an alternate route. The road does not go all the way around the island. So if there is an accident, you may as well turn around and go back to where you came from and wait it out. In our case, though, we didn’t have anywhere to go back to. A tour bus had hit a rental car and the road was going to be closed for hours. So we watched as the time passed and our car was not back to the lot. And then we sat and waited. And waited. And waited. After a few hours they opened up a Cane Haul road (a dirt farm road they used to haul sugar cane on) in our direction and were letting 50 cars through at a time.


We thought we were home free when we by-passed the accident, but the traffic was nearly as bad on the other side. It was 8:00 by the time we dropped off our car and we were afraid we were going to miss our flight. But we certainly weren’t the only ones stuck in the traffic and we ended up sitting in a nearly empty plane for twenty minutes while we waited for the rest of the passengers to make it through the traffic.


So, we didn’t get our car back on time (but we didn’t get charged for an extra day, either). We didn’t get to have a leisurely dinner. Our only plan for the trip failed. But, at least we had chips and dip to eat as we watched the grass grow.

Kauai, Part 2: The Grand (Waimea) Canyon

Kauai, Part 2: The Grand (Waimea) Canyon

On Saturday we spent most of the day in Waimea Canyon. Mark Twain called it the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” and I will let those who have seen the real thing judge for themselves whether or not it is a fair comparison. I was pretty impressed, but I haven’t been to the Grand Canyon, so what do I know? Anyway, we hiked down to the Waimea River, not realizing when we started out what we were getting into. It was super steep and really hot and dry for most of it. There was one part where the trail was washed out and we nearly slid down the canyon. But when we got back to the top I felt pretty good about myself for having made it from top to bottom and back without giving us a reason to go to the ER. And we were at least a little bit prepared for a hike with our two quarts of water and two All-Bran bars, which, in retrospect, is nearly the best planning we did all trip. Oh, and we brought our camera, too, so we could show you all what we saw.

See, it’s pretty grand, eh? It was probably the least tropical looking place I’ve seen since we moved here.

And the river sure felt good on our feet after hiking 2.5 miles straight down.


We only brought one All-Bran bar each, but we were lucky enough to find some lilikoi (passion fruit) which turns out to be rather seedy and difficult to eat. Still, it was enough to get us back on the trail again.


This lovely mountain goat decided to cut us off on our way back up the trail, but was kind enough to stay still long enough for us to get a decent picture.

As a side note, for dinner that night we decided to get a frozen pizza from the local grocery store. We have a full kitchen, right? Wrong. We did not have an oven. Or even a toaster oven. So what did we do? A little Heiselt ingenuity was in order. We had a microwave, but figured that wouldn’t get the DiGiorno crust to rise like it was supposed to. The only other means we had of warming food was a hot plate–a free-standing stove burner. And a large skillet with a lid. It took a little bit longer than the 15 minutes an oven would take (okay, more than 3 times as long), but we did have a warm pizza for dinner after our strenuous hike.

Kauai, Part 1: Accommodation Progression

Kauai, Part 1: Accommodation Progression

We apologize for the lack of posts this past weekend. We were on Kauai. It was beautiful. The weather was perfect. We had a great time. And we have stories to tell. I have to tell you by way of disclaimer that this was the most poorly planned vacation we have been on. We bought tickets to Kauai in September when you could get inter-island flights for $20 each way, and then we didn’t really think about it much after that. We did have the foresight to reserve a rental car, and we did look into accommodations, but by the time we landed in Lihue, we weren’t certain if we would have a place to stay the night. And that is where our first adventure begins. Oh, except that when we got to the rental car lot, they were out of economy cars so they had to give us a free upgrade to a midsize. Darn. I hate it when that happens.

The next order of business was finding a place to stay. We were finally able to get through to the hostel I had been calling all day and they did indeed have a private room available for the next three days. When we got there, though, we kind of wished they didn’t. I hope they were in the middle of renovations, but part of me thinks it was just run down. The windows didn’t have screens. The curtains were held up by clothes pins. The ceilings and many of the walls weren’t finished. Some of the long-term tenants seemed to be on drugs. It was kind of scary. Here are some shots of our room and the hostel:




We just didn’t think it was worth $60 a night. So the next morning we called around some more and found a place for that night. It was a studio apartment with a kitchen, totally private, really nice, and only $50. As you can see, it was a bit of step up from Friday night’s room:



But that left Sunday night open. We went to church in the morning on the south side of the island where we were staying, but left after they wouldn’t serve us the sacrament because we were a few minutes late (I guess they are trying to get people to come on time . . . but I think it is kind of a steep price to pay) and drove up to the North Shore, where we found another church. There wasn’t another sacrament meeting we could catch, but there was, however, a nice man from Utah who asked us as soon as he saw us if we were looking for a place to stay. I think he was joking, but the funny thing is that he was right. He owned a condo on Hanalei Bay Resort and had some extra rooms, so if we couldn’t find anything else, we could give him a call. We looked around that afternoon and made some calls, but in the end, the resort condo was our only option. It was a really nice condo, with an incredible view of Hanalei Bay and it didn’t cost us a thing:



Funny how each night our accommodations got nicer and cheaper, eh? I’m certainly not complaining.

Edit: Here is the view we woke up to on our last morning in Kauai:

Navel Gazing: Ruminations of a Pregnant Lady

Navel Gazing: Ruminations of a Pregnant Lady

I now know what people who don’t have tvs, homework, or children (but are pregnant) do on slow evenings after dinner. They watch their bellies. At least that is what I do sometimes when Paco (as we like to call him) is especially active. It is kind of surreal to see my abdomen punching out in random places and to know that it isn’t my fault that it is happening. Sometimes we try to play around with the little guy and have found that he is especially responsive when we squeeze my belly button. Which brings me to another interesting thing about pregnancy: belly buttons. Mine has changed shape several times over the past few months–from vertical to horizontal to round to squashed. Still, it is a decided innie.

Of course, my belly button is the least of what is changing. Paco seems to be growing quite well. And it shows. The week we got back from Utah I really popped out and now people just can’t tell me enough how pregnant I look. Lovely. Some are kind enough to say that I am “Changing my look” or something like that. At first I thought they were referring to my miraculously clear skin or my chic haircut. But no. It’s the belly.


Besides getting used to everyone all of a sudden wanting to know when I’m due and if he is a boy or a girl, I’ve been trying to get used to sleeping on my left side, like they recommend (“they” know what they are talking about, I’m sure). The left side seems to be the position least comfortable for me–right up there next to sleeping while standing on my head. And if I roll onto my belly even a little bit, Paco is quick to let me know that I am encroaching on his space, which he seems to be quite possessive about. I’m hoping this is strictly part of his fetal phase.

And, of course, the pregnancy dreams just keep on coming. The other night he decided to come out through my belly button and before I knew it, there was a baby in my shirt and I was yelling for someone to call 911 because I was only 5 1/2 months along and my baby was probably going to die. But nobody wanted to help and by the time I got to my phone, the baby was fully grown and dressed in a nice pair of slacks and a buttoned shirt, sleeping on a nearby bench.

Fun with Light, Part II

Fun with Light, Part II

So, we have a new lamp that I just finished making last night. Our last stab at stylized lighting brought about a funny and colorful orb in our den/walk-in-closet. Unfortunately, gravity got the best of that one and by morning it was it was reduced to a shape less spherical and more bag-of-potatoes. I still would like to find a way to get that one working, but in the meantime I decided to take my lighting experimentation in a different direction.

The nice thing about working for a marketing department for a large company is that all sorts of vendors and such send us cookies, baskets full of goodies, gift certificates, etc. for the various holidays. Christmas is by far the best. We received a set of three baskets with lids from one of our printers. The baskets were different sizes and made from a metal frame with glittery stars all along the outside. Basically, they were really ugly. So, hating for perfectly ugly metal baskets to go to waste, I added some garden wire, masking tape, 4 foot bamboo poles, muslin, fabric backing, and lots and lots of hot glue into the mix and made a lamp for our living room.

I don’t have a before picture, but here is the finished product:


Tsunami?

Tsunami?

We were informed earlier this evening that there was an earthquake off the coast of Japan and that we are in the tsunami warning zone. The predicted tsunami, with waves “as high as three feet” (according to KHNL News), should hit us about mid-night.

Don’t worry. We’ve pulled our 72-hour kit out from under the bed are filling in any existing gaps. While we wait for the sirens, we are passing the time by listening to This American Life archives and twiddling our thumbs. If the island of Oahu is under water in the morning, know that we’ve probably taken refuge in the temple (a five minute walk from our house) and are doing well. If it is still above water, we’ll probably still be listening to This American Life.

All this brings me to the question: how do tsunamis work? Are we really supposed to be nervous about three foot waves? The waves are twenty feet on the North Shore at this time of year. We play in waves bigger than three feet.

Update: The warning has been cancelled. I guess that means we have to go to bed now, eh?

Clever Endeavor

Clever Endeavor

Last night as it was raining so loud outside that we could hardly hear each other talk in our apartment, we decided to bust out the “Clever Endeavor” game we picked up at Savers a few weeks ago. For those of you who, like me, are unfamiliar with Clever Endeavor, it is a guessing game. People from all over the country submitted clues about someone or something or someplace and they made a game out of it. Because normal people wrote the clues, there is a surprising degree of variation in difficulty. Micah and I were stumped quite a few times, but we learned a few things about people and places that we sure as heck didn’t know before. For example, did you know that Billy the Kid killed one man for each year he lived (which was 22 years)? Or that chili con carne was invented in San Antonio, Texas?

Here are a few we didn’t know:

1. “I can’t sing or dance. I just talk.”
When I was 5 years old, I published a gossip sheet for 2 cents a copy.
Lately I’ve taken to playing practical jokes.
I once hosted a country music show called Cactus Dick and the Santa Fe Riders.
I am best known for where I take my stand.
I am America’s “oldest living teen-ager.”

2. I was there.
My true identity remains a mystery.
I was probably popularized by a World War II soldier.
I am in American graffiti.
My name sounds like a threat, but it’s not.
I was here.

3. I’m real. I wasn’t just cooked up in someone’s imagination.
I’m located in Stockbridge, MA.
I can be bought for a song because my prices are Ar-lo.
I get rave reviews, but my film didn’t.
You can get anything you want at me.
I became popular after Woodstock.

If anybody knows these off the top of their heads, I am impressed. I’ll post the answers in a few days, until then give it a guess.

Call and Answer

Call and Answer

We were pleasantly surprised today when one of the Bishop’s counselors called us into his office to extend a calling. Because we were meeting together we figured we would be able to serve together, which we knew we would enjoy. When he told us what they would like to have us do, we were even more surprised. We had been told we’d probably be put in the Primary, but then Brother Howells mentioned Sunday School. The 18 year-olds, in fact. We are very happy with this. Not that we wouldn’t be happy with, say, the 12 year-olds, but we think that teaching the older people will be good for us. We’ve heard they are a good group of kids and we are looking forward to learning as much from them as they learn from our lessons.

New Year’s non-Resolutions

New Year’s non-Resolutions

2007 is only a few hours old (Utah time . . . not quite here yet Hawaii time), and it is already looking pretty . . . exciting? busy? adventurous? for us. We have the possibility of grad school, the pretty definite plan to move half way across an ocean and most of the way across a continent, the changing of the jobs (for Micah), and the little matter of welcoming a little person into our little family, which means we are going to be *gulp* parents. Because we have so many life-changing events built into our year already, I don’t feel a need to make any resolutions. And, honestly, I haven’t subscribed to the idea for a few years already.

Even so, there are a few things I would like to do this year. The first one is to learn about babies. This is a good idea and not at all impractical or impulsive because we are actually going to have a baby and I’m going to learn about them one way or another. I have spent some time learning about pregnancy, labor and delivery, but I hear that the fun really begins after all of that is over. I’m specifically interested in what babies can do and how I can turn my baby into a super-genius over night. It will save me a lot of frustration if he learns to talk by the time he is two months old, and I hope to have him potty trained soon after that. Any insights about how I might do this are appreciated.

The other learning experience I am seeking out this year has to do with beans. Mom Heiselt likes beans, we learned recently, and after getting her some bean cookbooks for Christmas my curiosity has been piqued. I’ve never really been a fan of beans and the extent of my “cooking” with beans is seven layer dip, but I’ve noticed that the dishes with beans I’ve had lately have been quite delicious. I admit this is slightly impulsive and more doomed to failure than the baby goal so I’m going to leave it to Mom Heiselt to be the Bean Queen. I’ll be satisfied if I learn how to make one tasty dish to add to our diet.

Best wishes to all of you in 2007. We’ll keep you posted on our year, baby, beans, and all.

New Year's non-Resolutions

New Year's non-Resolutions

2007 is only a few hours old (Utah time . . . not quite here yet Hawaii time), and it is already looking pretty . . . exciting? busy? adventurous? for us. We have the possibility of grad school, the pretty definite plan to move half way across an ocean and most of the way across a continent, the changing of the jobs (for Micah), and the little matter of welcoming a little person into our little family, which means we are going to be *gulp* parents. Because we have so many life-changing events built into our year already, I don’t feel a need to make any resolutions. And, honestly, I haven’t subscribed to the idea for a few years already.

Even so, there are a few things I would like to do this year. The first one is to learn about babies. This is a good idea and not at all impractical or impulsive because we are actually going to have a baby and I’m going to learn about them one way or another. I have spent some time learning about pregnancy, labor and delivery, but I hear that the fun really begins after all of that is over. I’m specifically interested in what babies can do and how I can turn my baby into a super-genius over night. It will save me a lot of frustration if he learns to talk by the time he is two months old, and I hope to have him potty trained soon after that. Any insights about how I might do this are appreciated.

The other learning experience I am seeking out this year has to do with beans. Mom Heiselt likes beans, we learned recently, and after getting her some bean cookbooks for Christmas my curiosity has been piqued. I’ve never really been a fan of beans and the extent of my “cooking” with beans is seven layer dip, but I’ve noticed that the dishes with beans I’ve had lately have been quite delicious. I admit this is slightly impulsive and more doomed to failure than the baby goal so I’m going to leave it to Mom Heiselt to be the Bean Queen. I’ll be satisfied if I learn how to make one tasty dish to add to our diet.

Best wishes to all of you in 2007. We’ll keep you posted on our year, baby, beans, and all.