October 28, 2015

the journey home....

Our trip to Maui, that I chatted about on yesterday's post, was one of our all time favourite getaways. But from the moment we left our beautiful time in paradise, everything seemed to go sideways.
Our flight was scheduled to land in Bellingham. The flight attendant standing at the front of the plane announced that there may be issues with the weather on route to our destination, and the other flight attendant quickly grabbed the intercom from the back of the plane and said, "there won't be any issues." Now I don't know much about flight attendant training, but you'd think there'd be some notion of a united front.
The plane started to prepare for landing, and on the descent, we suddenly sped up and swooped back up into the air. The pilot got on the speaker system and announced, "that is what we call a failed landing." Ok. My nails instantly shot up into my mouth in preparation for serious gnawing.
He told us visibility was severely limited and there was low lying cloud cover on the runway.
But, here we go again. After the second failed landing, my hand shot across the aisle to my husband's and the passenger seated next to me started praying. I honestly thought, well, at least my last two weeks were some of the best I've had, if this is how we're going to go out.
The pilot said he would try the south end of the terminal to see if there was better visibility.
He said he had clearance and would try to land in about 5 minutes.
Thirty minutes later we were still circling. I leaned over to my husband and asked, like he had some super hearing linking him to the cockpit, just what in sam hill was going on. (Ok, maybe those weren't my exact words.) He said, well, now my worry is that we'll run out of fuel. Gad Zukes!!!

Soon the pilot announced that we wouldn't be able to land and were headed for Seattle.
As soon as he said this, a woman at the back of the plane started to scream at how the "effing airline is an effing joke and how she is never flying this effing airline again, and that they could just eff off." But, she spiced up the language a bit. Well, the guy in front of her said, "Hey, why don't you keep your swearing to yourself, no one wants to hear all of that right now." And she quickly said to her son, "some people just don't know when to mind their own effing business." And another guy across the aisle shouted, "when you talk that loudly, you make it all of our business." At which point her son, who  looked like his business card would read Hells Angel CEO stood up and stared them down.
I immediately patted myself on the back that for the first time in life, I hadn't stuck my nose in that situation because that was one stare I wouldn't want to be the recipient of.
As soon as the plane touched down in Seattle, a little after 1 a.m., everyone ran up to the airline counter demanding action. The airline rep promptly noted that since it was a weather issue, they would not be putting people up in hotels.
People started freaking out. They were shouting out ludicrous snippets of information. "I heard they won't be able to get us to Bellingham until 10 pm Saturday!! "I heard that there is no transportation that exists in the night!!" It's funny how stress affects people differently. When things calmed down, they started to form groups and planned to share rental cars to Bellingham. All I knew was that I had an exhausted toddler, who was crying, and the thought of renting a car in the middle of the night and driving was just not going to happen. When the crowd dispersed, I asked the airline rep if she could just suggest a hotel close by that I could stay in, and she leaned across the counter and whispered, "I know you are travelling with a little one, so I'll comp you a room." She was my polyester wearing fairy godmother. Because we would be flying out the next day with the same airline, they just said not to worry about our luggage. We waited outside shivering, in our flimsy Hawaiian clothes, waiting for the hotel shuttle. I'm so glad I decided to pack my carry on bag with toddler activity books instead of coats. I called the hotel to see why it was taking so long, and she said, he should be there any moment. We waited some more and then when I asked how much longer, she said, "oh, it looks like he hasn't left yet." What in sam hill was going on with this day?!? We promptly flagged down a cab, who tried to explain to me that there were free shuttles to the hotel. But I told him we had been waiting forever for those shuttles and were freezing, so he said, "okay, get in." Then, he drove around and told us he didn't actually know where it was. Thank god for GPS and our right for selective tipping.
By the time we got the hotel, we had roughly 5 hours before we had to be back at the airport. I had stupidly packed all of my toiletries in my suitcase (which was still at the airport), which meant I had no glasses and had to sleep in my contacts at the hotel. My right eyeball was a giant red infected bulge that required a visit to a doctor and subsequently to a specialist as soon as we got home.
So, as you can see, this trip had two very distinct parts.

Me, in Hawaii.                                And out of Hawaii.

October 27, 2015

Maui Love

Aloha Friends! I hope you've had a lovely few weeks! We had a much needed getaway in Maui. It's been over four years since we've had more than a weekend away together as a family, so we were over the moon to have 10 spectacular days together in paradise. Here's a few moments from our trip: 

 Kaanapali Beach - view from the Sheraton Hotel. I'd love to say this was our room, but it was just the first place we stopped when we arrived on the island - we were starving - surprisingly the complimentary airplane peanuts didn't go too far. 
 Kimo Restaurant in Lahaina  - Incredible seafood. My fish was crusted in coconut - we were fancy that day. 
 The magical backdrop of Banyan trees. (I actually packed a variety of shorts/tshirts/sundresses for my daughter for this trip, but she insisted on wearing this dress everytime we went out because it made her feel special. So although the photos make it look like we did everything in one day, it's really her repeated dress selection).

 Best fish tacos from our trip: Lahaina Luna Cafe. (And I thoroughly researched the fish tacos across Maui. Thoroughly.)
 Ululani's Hawaiian Shave Ice. It was absolutely delicious. It looks like a snow cone but it is creamier and more flavourful, like ice cream. I am still stumped as to why it isn't called Shaved Ice instead of Shave Ice....so delicious, yet oh so grammatically challenging at the same time......
 Our gorgeous morning walk along the Kaanapali waterfront. There are beautiful waterfront homes lining the boardwalk. My husband and I found that one of our new favourite bits from the trip was the word Lanai (a home's outdoor patio).  "Excuse me, were you just out on the Lanai? Did you see my fiance out there? I think my fiance was on the Lanai. Have you met my fiance?"
 We were lucky enough to see rainbows wherever we went, which made me feel like my mom was right there with us.
Sunset swim in Kihei. The sun drops right out of the sky at 6 pm, but it takes a beautiful final bow.

A gorgeous walk along the waterfront in Wailea. As you can tell from the warning sign below, we literally took our lives in our hands on this walk. Possibility of Crime!! Judging by the picture are old mobsters waiting in the hedges, ready to shove unsuspecting pedestrians off the cliffs? 

 Paia - a groovy little hippie town where celebs like Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson and Willie Nelson have homes.
  Sunset along Kamaole III beach in Kihei.  There aren't any lights lining the streets, so from 6 pm onwards, everything is pitch black. I think that's why everyone is up and outside by 7 am, to get the most from the daylight. I love how active the community is. I made sure I applauded them all as they ran by. 

The gorgeous Iao Valley State Park. It only takes about half an hour to walk around, and you want to get there early, because parking is limited and line-ups form quickly.
My favourite moment in Maui was snorkelling along Keawakapu beach. It is a lesser known beach, and quickly became one of our favourites - it wasn't as touristy as some of the other local beaches, and has gentle waves for our daughter and incredible snorkelling. I was all alone snorkelling over a beautiful coral reef, when all of a sudden two beautiful sea turtles swam around me. I slowly followed them, transfixed by their fluid movement. It was one of those times of life where I just felt like the luckiest person to be sharing their space.
The drive up to the Maui Winery is a stunner. My husband said it's the most fun he's ever had driving because of the way the road takes so many quick twists and turns. When this photo was taken on the lush winery grounds, the mist was rolling over the hills, giving it a real dreamlike feeling.

There are two very definitive parts to this trip. These photos encapsulate Part One- the trip itself - which we agreed was one of our favourites (second only to our African adventure) - we had mini adventures everyday, laughed our butts off, were off our phones the whole time, and started and ended each day with a swim. It was blissful togetherness.

Tomorrow I will bring to you Part II -The Journey Home:  24 hours of grossness


October 12, 2015


Thankful for falling asleep every night holding hands with my favourite person. Thankful for having this daughter who is my life's greatest gift - whose very presence elevated my heart off the ground this year, when I didn't think it was possible. Thankful for my legion of friends who are spectacular as individuals and unstoppable as a village of healers: every check in, every shared laugh, every delicious meal together, every new adventure was momentous. Thankful to my relatives who sat with us, day in, day out, in hospitals, in appointments, in hospice, in grief. They are the most beautiful collection of souls, and I am privileged to be part of this family. I am thankful for nature and its ability to transcend my spirits to dizzying heights. I am thankful for my health and for each day that I get to share with my loves. I am thankful that I measure my wealth in the quality of my relationships instead of my bank account, and that I will always be overwhelmingly rich because of the people I surround myself with. I am thankful for the staggering grief I feel because it reminds me every day of the depth of love I shared with my mom. I am thankful for every morning my daughter wakes me up with a stuffed animal to hug. I am thankful for every memory that visits me like an old friend. I am thankful for every brilliant book that I can't put down, for every song that motivates me to move, for every talented comedian who just gets it, for the first cup of coffee in the morning, for netflix. I am thankful for it all. The good, the bad and the ugly because all of it is life. And if it was always great, we wouldn't really appreciate it. Trust me, I've never been more thankful than I have this year because I've never been more motivated to seek out gratitude. Thank you to each person who takes a moment to read this blog - sincerely. You have no idea how much I appreciate it.
Thank you. xoxo

images from the week.....

I get just as excited to see her little friends as she does because I know we always have tremendous days together. xo

October 4, 2015

Top ten reasons to love October: #1 Pumpkin Patches

Throughout the month, I'll share with you my top ten reasons why I am in love with October.
My personal #1: the pumpkin patch. The patch is one of my favourite places to spend the afternoon, and one of the most vivid backdrops for photography: beautiful farmland, gorgeous animals to pet, the vibrant orange of pumpkins dotting the field, wagon rides, corn mazes - I honestly savour every moment of the experience. And when you toss in a crisp autumn sun, it's perfection.

October 1, 2015

you are my sunshine.....

They have been friends since they were babies. Their bond is undeniable. They are so different and special from one another as individuals and so harmonious and supportive as a trio. They don't have siblings but are bonded as sisters. I know our days are a lot brighter ever since our paths crossed with these incredible families. xoxo