Saturday, October 31, 2009

Elmo's World...

Kainoa was Elmo, it was his world, his day here in Kona. BUT Mexico was all around me! Paco was ready for the fiesta too. There were a ton of mariachi's and even a band "Los Tigres" on stage. Oh boy... talk about getting me pshyched for Ironman Cozumel! Que Divertidooooooo! Forget candy, break out the salsa!

The place to be in Kona was none other than Ali'i Drive. The road closes from 2-midnight and all sorts of tricks, treats, and things you cannot image take place. Let me tell you, a few of the costumes were hilarious, and 2 of them I could never post on the rated "G" blog I try to keep! I saw all my students that were once 3rd graders now trick-or-treating like grown ups! My gosh time flies! Kainoa got his fair share of sugar and this momma carried the pumpkin. Let me take that back, my sister carried the pumpkin (she dressed her big pregnant belly as a pumpkin).

Even on a crazy Halloween evening Hawaii is beautiful! All the hibiscus and plumerias are sending this amazing smell more sweet than the candy filling the air! AND of course local food was making me hungry too...
Little Elmo is now snoring and I'm hoping we get a mad rush of trick-or-treaters as the night winds down so I can give all Elmo's candy away! (shhhhh, don't tell him I said that). Buenos Noches from Kona, with Mexico on my mind!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

¿Est├ís listooooooooo?

Plan A is in bloooooooom! Estoy MUY feliz! It took some text messages, like 5 a day for over a week to Coach Paul. They were random and at sporadic times of the day, hoping I would just catch him at a good time and he would say, "Si, Senorita". They went something like this:
Margaritas and senoritas for you, 140.6 miles for me.
Yo quiero Taco Bell.
I hear a mariachi band.
Hola entrenador, Que tengas un buen dia
Me gusta mi bici!
Que pasa?
Chihuahuas are cool
Got burritos?
uno, dos, tres
I want a sombrero, can I go get one?
He wasn't buying any of it. He ignored me for 10 days. Told me to relax after Kona. SO I hiked, camped, and rode down a volcano. He told me about Plan C (Clearwater and Costa Rica or Honolulu Marathon) he really wanted that one, he shoooooooved my plan B out the window (Florida, I LOVED that race & wanted to see my family). I was not giving up...
I rubbed my pregnant sisters belly for good luck almost everyday waiting for coach to respond. She LOVES the land of burritos, she learned to drive standard trucks there and worked with children. I slept in my land of burrito t-shirt almost every night having dreams of mariachi bands, riding with a sombrero on, and running next to chihuahua dogs all while sweating with 100% humidity.

THEN the new issue of surf magazine showed up at my house! The issue was ALL ABOUT the land of burritos! Wave after wave of sunny shiney beach paradise and island life... One final email to coach went like this:
Dear Coach, Como andas??? Por favooooooooor, what is my plan? If it is or isn't let me know, I need to start packing and planning. MUCHAS gracias!
His response was: "MEXICO".
I wasn't sure I read it correctly... M-E-X-I-C-O! Celebration soon went into action! I got in touch with Jim (I have Kainoa Thanksgiving this year) so it works WONDERFUL... we will go to Florida and visit with my family for a week or so, then I will hop over the Gulf Coast for the weekend for 140.6 Mexican miles, then hop back. Kainoa will get his DREAM weekend of major spoiling from Grandma and Grandpa, PERFECTO!
Next up was making sure the sponsors/supporters were on the burrito wagon...I got some GOOD responses! Mostly Guy at Blue Seventy, "Rip that Ironman up girl, your a gem". He made my day. I'm not really loca, I just love racing. Today I got a call from the race director too, HOLA AMIGOOOOOOOOOOOO! I will meet him in Mexico...woooohoooo. The only thing left to do is book some flights for Kainoa and I.
What a dream! Honestly a DREAM come true. Thank you coach... so much! Mexico here I come! AND thank you to my sponsors for supporting one more race of the season!
Oh, how could I forget... Travis, the MAN-ager, thank you too! This is Travis in Mexico last week, he texted me this foto bragging that he was there and I wasn't allowed to go. He was the brains behind the plan and worked the burrito magic on coach Paul...wooooohoooooo!
Time to pack my traje de banooooooooo (Splish)!!
MUCHOS abrazoooooos!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Adios Amigo!

Pablitoooooooo! Adios from your friends in Hawaii! Good luck with your studies & your crazy adventures! Everyone misses you already...see you in 2010! MUCHOS abrazos y sonrisas desde su amigos en Hawaii. Que Dios te bendiga!!!!!!!

Nos vemos pronto!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Riding The Volcano...

Hawaii...Hawaii...Paradise! Another adventurous day (or few days) captured my heart yet again. My amigo Pablo and his family have a home in Volcano, when I got the invitation to spend the weekend with them my bike and I could not say no! I adore the "other sides" of the island and I have about 8 things I want to tackle on my "Hawaiian must-do-in-this-life-list"...4 more to go! On the Friday ride over I called Hilo Mike to let him know we would be in his neighborhood and to get ready for Saturday...the boys had no idea they were going to help me check another thing off my Hawaiiana list...

Kilauea is our states most active volcano. The report for the day went like this:
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
To me that meant, safe. I asked the boys if we could PLEASE ride to the coast, the lava flow, the "beach". I have ALWAYS wanted to do this ride. It's kind of exciting to ride up and down an active volcano with lava slowly coming out at the bottom and steam vents causing you a bit of suffocation in certain areas of the ride. I'm not sure it was on their "must do" list but they had as much fun as me.
Eventually we got as far as the bikes could go, as close to the ocean as possible, and within touch of lava. My bike has never been hotter! Going down was cake. Going was like riding up a volcano, if you can imagine that.
Check out the lava running into the ocean and creating that steamy view in the right side of the above foto. Click it to make it bigger for your viewing pleasure... that was our "turn around here point".
The only surviving palms in the lower area...
2,000 feet more to climb...
Going up???
Vamos amigooooooooooo!

We had a little trouble rolling up our windows.... I did discover that if you lick your arm you can taste the sulfur and get A LOT of salt, no need for salt tabs on this ride! The passing cars looked at us like we were a bunch of fools riding without gas masks...
Phewwwwww.... back to the top...we escaped the lava.

What a fantastic weekend. Some riding, some hiking, a giant turkey dinner with amazing company, no computer and limited phone connection, my book, my journal, 2 cameras, and another weekend in paradise! Sunday is closing up...Monday is almost here, and another week awaits. I did get an email from Coach Paul too... it's a good one...cha cha cha!!
Ua ola loko i ke aloha-Love gives life...
LOTS of hugs,

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Back To The Valley...

My dream Big Island adventure was to hike up and over the valley's... I said after Ironman I would do it, and I did. Ironman is over... yesterday was as good of time as any to make my dream adventure happen. There are 7 major valleys that stand between Pololu'u and Waipio. The Pacific in this area is shark filled, holds some of the most incredible life taking currents and rips, and the valleys go in 2 directions, up & down. There is nothing easy about this adventure, especially with a camera in hand...
The foto above shows the valleys. So beautiful, so untouched, and only 2 ways to get in the middle of them-by land or by sea. By land we went. Going up with a bag made things a little more heavy, but nothing too challenging. Going down, let's just say I wanted to hurl my bag over the side and let it wait for me at the bottom. There are some ropes hanging by trees that make the drop into the valley's a million times easier, however, the side of the mountain was more of a slip-n-slide for me. Of course I managed to drag my journal with me on this camping trip:
Wednesday 10/21/09:
I'm not really sure where we are, some valley between Pololu'u and Waipio. It's gorgeous in every way. The sound of the ocean reminds me so much of Costa Rica and all the days on the beach at night, only the ocean and me. The day feels so calm, I'm able to catch my breath and let my mind clear the clutter of so many busy days. The sea spray is gently touching my face, reminding me to smile. I love it here. No phone, no TV, no computers, not even a roof over my head. Nothing stands between me and the stars tonight.
These moments in life are so good for me, they give me a chance to let my head and body catch up with my heart. There is a lot on my heart lately, Mostly Kainoa. I suppose when you love someone so much it's natural to want the very best in the world for them. Everyday I find myself just praying his little heart is happy, I still worry that one day the divorce will cause him to lose a few smiles in his life. I wish he could know how hard I tried to keep the family together, but it was killing me.
I've been thinking about how it's almost 2010 and I wanted to move us to Costa Rica. I know now that will never happen, Kainoa needs his dad within reach and I would never go without him. When I close my eyes I can smell Playa Hermosa, I can feel the dark sand and breathe in everything I once knew. It's crazy how some dreams just never fade, maybe because it was my first love and in life we sometimes want what we can't have.
The sky is now starting to turn all sorts of pinks and purples. It looks like heaven, I feel like I am in heaven on Earth. The other major thing on my heart lately is how much I have. I really truly have a blessed life, nothing fancy, it's simple, but it's all I need. I have known having the world at my feet and wondering where I would sleep at night. Both have helped me to appreciate where I am now and what I have now, each moment. Last night I tried to share that with Kainoa. We packed a giant box full of clothes, shoes, and other things to ship to families in the Philippines. At first it was so easy...I put in all the things I never wear or use. When it came time to put in the things I "sometimes" where I was challenged. My selfish side kept saying, "one day you might wear that again", and my giving side said, "people need that, they are naked". Kainoa told me to put it in the box, he then gave away almost all his clothes. It felt so good once the box was filled and the drawers and closet was now only our most worn clothes.
I keep taking breaks to look out at the ocean, then a new thought comes into mind. I'm still in awe at the power and beauty of the ocean even after having watched a million waves break in my life time. The ocean reflects my life, ever changing, always beautiful. God I love it. I have discovered that the only times I am truly unhappy in this life is when I want something I already have. For some silly reason the more I have the more I want and when I have all I need I am content beyond blessed.
The waves are coming in bigger now and the sky is growing dark. Tonight I am going to sleep somewhere between Pololu'u and Waipio. It doesn't exactly matter where I am, I just know it's beautiful and in between two Hawaiian valleys that I had to hike up and over and slide down a mountain to land in the middle of this crazy beautiful place in my life... time to sleep under a blanket of stars... good night.

In the middle of a my left and my right, mother nature at her best...from here it was back down the side and into the middle of another set of valley's.
A beach between
Sun coming up on another day of life...
Up and over this valley is the only way out...

Taking a breath and a view on the edge of the valley, half way up and over...
The trip was filled with mountain apples, lilikoi, guava, papaya, bread fruit, and ohelo berries. It was like aid stations during Ironman :)
A rinse off in the calm shores of The Pacific Ocean...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Shooting Stars...

There is something about rainbows and shooting stars... they always make moments in life simply perfect. It is almost the time of year (October 20-November 30) when stars will fall from the sky (you know, a meteor shower called Taurids), that just makes beach nights glow! Tomorrow is the 20th, but a handful of us were lucky enough to get a preview of shooting stars tonight!! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE making wishes on stars and tonight I got to make 2! Wednesday we are going camping, I am sure with the "Taurids meteor thingy" I will get to make a handful more!

Tonight was sand covered burrito's at the beach, a beautiful sunset, Kainoa running barefoot, dark water swimming, laughing with the girls about who knows what...something about singing at a wedding (I'm the one singing and I plan on sounding like Adam Sandler in the "Wedding Singer" when he sings, Love Stinks, not that I think it does, I just want to sound like him at the wedding). It was teasing Dave about his violin lessons, a visit with Cody and his brother, and hearing about Pablo's travel adventures. The night was almost perfect... it reminded me of that song, "What a Wonderful World". Not every night feels like that, but tonight did... BEACH nights amaze me...
In triathlon news... coach called to give me my answer on plan A, B, or C...but he didn't give me my answer, he said maybe tomorrow. I wanted & asked for plan A at the begining of the year & STILL want it, I would happily agree to plan B because I could make it a family thing but that plan is already out the window and we aren't talking about it anymore, and plan C just flat out makes me want to ride my bike into the ocean and not ride out of it till I am sure it's just a bad dream, but I would bite my tongue and do it anyways... Dear Coach, if you are reading this, Plan A, por favor!
The sand covered Kainoa is now showered and sleeping. This momma is ready for some sweet dreams too! There is a swell on the way, and SINCE I HAVE NO TRAINING PLAN YET, Coach Paul, I think I will take myself surfing tomorrow and call it swim practice.
Aloha Ahiahi :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Swim Practice, Kona Aquatics Style...

Coach Paul has yet to let me return to masters swim practice. Today I over ruled that and returned to my beloved Kona Aquatics Swim Team! Last season we were voted the "Most Social" masters swim team in the USA. I am sure we won the award again this season...and will continue to hold that honor for years to come! You see, having a coach like Coach Steve makes it all too easy to go to the pool, the ocean, or wherever he is holding practice. I beg, plead, and cry like a baby when Coach Paul doesn't work masters into my training plan. Today, no masters yet again...however...this momma & her son made it to the pier on time, for another Kona-style-practice with Coach Steve and the incredible masters swim team!

Today's workout was a pretty fun filled adventure!
Warm Up: Meet at 8:30, Aloha time, say good morning to almost the entire swim team, rub on a lot of sunscreen, look over board at all the playful dolphins, smile because the vog is gone and we have a perfect view of Hualalai, and of course, break out the bikini's!

Main Set: Laugh so hard it hurts, watch Kainoa over dose on donuts from Uncle Giovani, find fins that are too big but wear them snorkeling anyways, look at all the underwater creatures and play in the ocean till you taste like sea salt and turn into a prune, get on the boards and paddle out to sea!

Cool Down: A cannon ball, flip, or dive off the side of the boat, anything goes as long as the splash is really big and gets everyone wet! Sunday, I will log this workout to coach for sure! As for the other training...I have been working coach Paul on those "plan A, B, and C". His only response is, I will let you know. I still don't know... till then, MORE KONA AQUATICS PLEASE! Except I really miss my bike!
Aloha from Kona,