Monday, July 29, 2013

T Minus 75: Overanxious

I woke nice and early with big plans for the day. It turns out that my plans weren't well thought out, but I still had plans.
The airbed my new landlord is letting
me use for a couple months

I enjoyed my morning tea, as usual, but I skipped breakfast as I was anxious to get everything moved to the new condo. I made 4 trips back and forth, but I got everything moved. I spent a while unpacking before I freshened up a bit.

Around 10:30, I decided I wanted lunch and headed to McD's. I wasn't happy to see the breakfast menu still on the boards when I walked in but they went ahead and took my order for a double cheeseburger and large fry. While I waited for my food, I filled my water bottle at the soda fountain. The water that splashed over my hand felt cold and refreshing. I ate lunch as I watch 4 keiki run around like howler monkeys.

After lunch, I realized I left all of the chargers for my electronics at the other apartment so I made one last trip over there to make sure I really had everything this time. Then, it was off to the new place to finish unpacking and relax.

We can add my new landlord to the list of people I've met in Maui who go out of their way to be nice. When I first opened the door to the new condo, I found that he had not only left me his airbed but that he had already inflated it for me as well. He also left me a set of sheets that fit the airbed and some dishes and silverware to use until my stuff gets here!
The sky and the ocean seemed
especially blue today

I put the sheets on the airbed and laid down to see if it might need more air. Apparently, it was fine as I fell asleep and took a nap for an hour or so.

I woke up to texts from The Hubby about his upcoming trip. It seems the dogs are driving him nuts today and, from the pics he sent, he apparently has the Jeep packed and ready to go. I admit I'm a bit jealous of his road trip. It sounds like fun. He says he's rather be here already than be going on a road trip. That would be nice, but we're still 75 days away from that being a reality.

I mentioned to him that I didn't know what to do for the rest of the day. He encouraged me to go take some pictures, so that's what I did. I wandered along the sea wall and found a great spot where I could stand and watch the waves crash below me, occasionally with enough force to splash up and get me wet. I smiled as the people walking past gasped and giggled as I just stood and enjoyed the sea spray. Tiring of that, I wandered a bit farther down where I watched some of the biggest crabs I've yet to see on the island dance on the rocks.
One of the visitors I had while
resting on a bench near the library.

I walked as far as the library - yep, there's a small library on Front St. I sat on a bench and watched the birds flit around by my feet looking for handouts. I finally decided I wanted a shave ice so I picked up a small pineapple and mango flavored shave ice that I enjoyed while sitting in the shade in front of the Baldwin house.
Pineapple/Mango shave ice,
SMALL size. Ha!

Knowing I have no pots, pans, or any other cookware beyond a tea kettle, I walked to Foodland to pick up some just-add-water food for diner. The Ramen Alfredo I selected proved to be lacking in, well, everything. OK, it sucked.

The Hubby pointed out that had I stayed at the other apartment I've paid for and can use for the month of August, not only would I still have cookware - and a toaster oven - but I would also have wi-fi, which I don't have at the new place (and won't have until The Hubby sends me the wireless modem). Seeing as I don't have wi-fi I was forced to email this story to The Hubby and ask him to post it for me.

Like I mentioned earlier, maybe my plans weren't so well thought out. Oh well.

So, I tried in vain to get the laptop working again. With a dead power brick, I didn't stand much chance. The tablet is wi-fi only. I guess there will be no TV tonight. I can only hope that I have a book already downloaded on the Kindle (also wi-fi only) so that I have something to at least read tonight.

Tomorrow, I work 3 hours at the Lahaina gallery. Hopefully, I get home before the rain.
From yesterday. This guy apparently
prefers the luggage rack on the bus over
the seats just a few feet away.

Tropical Storm Flossie is coming. I'm trying not to be worried. The Hubby tells me it is still weakening, so that sounds encouraging.

I should find some wi-fi tomorrow and download some books in case I get stuck in the condo by the storm. Tonight, I'll just have to read whatever might already be on the Kindle.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

T MInus 76: Pack it Up

I hate alarms. I spent the last ten years not needing to use an alarm. Yesterday and today, I set an alarm for 6:30am! Besides alarms, I also do not like early mornings. 6:30, pffft! Last night and the night before I woke up many times during the night and rolled over to check the clock, dreading the alarm sounding.
View of the golf course in Ka'anapali

I finally got up, texted a good morning to The Hubby and headed off to work. On the way to the bus stop, I crossed paths with this weird dalmatian-looking bird. He was huge!

Giant bird with spots
like a dalmatian
I went prepared today, with my $4 in hand to buy a day pass from the bus guy. A single ride is $2, so I bought the $4 day pass to give me a piece of ephemera to stash in my collection somewhere.

After the bus dropped me at Whalers Village, I had a nice stroll around the complex to the Hyatt. It is roughly ¾ of a mile from the bus stop to the Hyatt. I enjoyed the walk, finding a lot of landmarks I didn't know were in Ka'anapali. I snapped pics of a few of the landmark markers, and the gorgeous view of the golf course, and...a hot-dog-length centipede! GROSS! I was beginning to think the stories about the centipedes were just that - stories - until this morning.
My first Hawaiian
centipede - GROSS!

I reached the Hyatt and searched out the Starbucks to grab a pick me up. The Starbucks was packed with people, though, and I was short on time. I ended up with a can of Hawaiian Iced Coffee from the gift shop instead, which I think I might have enjoyed more than the iced chai I might have gotten at Starbucks.
Locally made iced cofee

While I was getting the gallery set up for opening, I spied a pair of earrings I really liked and decided to demo them for the day. While we are working in the store, we can wear any of the jewelry to demo it so long as we clean it and return it at the end of our shift. This pair of earrings, made by McKenna Hallett of Low Impact Jewelry, was made entirely of junkyard metals as are all of her items. Some day, I will buy those earrings.

My big sales from yesterday didn't close today but the lady who wanted the ring is supposedly coming in this evening. The artist is even sending over a ring from Paia in the size the lady wants so she will not have to go and have it resized. I think that sale will go through. Even though I didn't get to see the closing of either of the big sales from yesterday, I did sell a $400 painting off the wall, which I thought was exciting. I even called the artist to share the good new with her.
One of the historic markers I
found on my walk to work

Toward the end of my shift, my new landlord stopped by to drop off the key to the condo for me. I started mentally planning my move. I don't have much, but I also don't have a car. There would be many trips walking down the street between apartments. Luckily, they are only a couple blocks apart!
Earrings I demoed during
work today. I like them.

When the bus dropped me in Lahaina, I stopped by the P O Box and discovered that I had received a certified copy of my marriage license from the state of Ohio! Now, maybe, the - cue dark music - DMV will give me a drivers license and I can move one step closer to being local. I might have to wait a couple days before going over there, though. We are apparently about to get dumped on by Mother Nature.

Yep, I'm about to experience my first tropical storm, Flossie - who names these things? The Hubby told me yesterday it almost got upgraded to a hurricane before it hit some headwinds or something and it started to weaken. Still, I hear they are predicting 6-10 inches of rainfall over the next couple days and 18 foot waves on the east side of the island. I could already feel the effects of the storm today. It was a lot windier than usual. The Hubby tells me it will get a lot windier yet before it's over. He was on the island when the last big hurricane, Iniki, hit.
Advertising for Low Impact Jewelry.
Pretty cool, huh? Yes. Yes, it is.

Anxious to be moved into my new place, I changed clothes and started packing things up. While I did, I listened to the beautiful voice of Paula Fuga, a local Hawaiian musician I discovered recently. Here are a few of her songs on YouTube: LilikoiThought Of You, and Country Road - an awesome duet with Jack Johnson. It was hard to pick only one song to share!

Now that I'm all packed and ready to move down the street, I think I'll cook up some Ramen and wait for the sun to go down before I start hauling stuff down the street. Hopefully I get enough stuff moved I can sleep over there tonight, but I'm guessing I'll still be here for one more night. Hopefully this storm doesn't interrupt my moving the next few days!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

T Minus 77: Glitches

If you have been paying attention to the countdown, you may be wondering how the hell I went from T-minus 64 days to T-minus 77 in one night. Today's title says it all. Glitches. Today was full of glitches.
The wonderful shaded sidewalk
that gets me to my bus stop

The day started badly when I nearly didn't make it to work thanks to a misunderstanding with the bus. Yesterday, I purchased a monthly bus pass, and I used it to get to and from work easily enough. Today, my pass didn't work. The driver told me I had an August pass and that it wasn't any good until August. I didn't have any cash, though! I got off the bus and headed to the ATM. Of course, it gave me a $20, and the bus doesn't give change.

The bank was closed. The post office was closed. The parking lot attendant couldn't make change because he didn't have enough small bills at that hour of the morning - 7:30am. As I ran to the Foodland to get change, I saw the bus pull away from the stop. I guess the driver couldn't wait any longer. I was in a near panic. I didn't want to screw up my very first day working on my own!

I called Bonnie since I knew Maureen had family business today. Bonnie told me it was no big deal opening the store a few minutes late. If I didn't tell anyone, she wouldn't tell anyone. I sat baking in the morning sun, hot from running all over the parking lot, and feeling completely miserable. A few minutes later, Bonnie called back to ask where I was. She offered to come drive me to work.
A palm tree leaning over the
ocean along Front St in Lahaina

I texted The Hubby and told him I was an idiot. His response read "No, you're just inexperienced."

Bonnie got me to work early. I tried to give her part of my $20 for gas money but she refused. I definitely owe her one!

After getting to work, things went great. The store ran smoothly. I even sold over $400 worth of art today. The best part of the day came near the end of my shift. On 2 separate items, I needed to call the artist to get answers and more detail for customers. The customers asked me to hold those items, so I have 2 pending sales. So long as those sales close within the next 30 days I will get the credit for them, and the commissions for them! One of the sales is a $3,000 piece, and one is a $1,500 piece. I hope both go through. How cool would it be if I sold $5,000 worth of art on my very first day?

After checking the P O Box - The Hubby's business license he registered last week arrived but still no marriage license from Ohio and no 401(k) info from Caesars The Evil Empire - I headed back to the house for another dinner of chicken thighs. They're pretty tasty, actually, and it's a nice break from all Ramen all the time.
Another Maui Dog!

My excitement over my great day at work faded a bit as I talked to The Hubby tonight. In the end, I felt pretty disappointed. Plans we had made for the fall crumbled apart this evening and now, instead of getting to see the pups and The Hubby on September 28, I won't see them until October 12. I know it's only 12 days but it makes me sad, especially when I look at my countdown now. I was getting so close to 60 days. 60 looked so much more promising than 77.

I'm still living Aloha, I tell myself, still living Maika'i Ola, and the family will get here in October to make it better.
I'll have to wait until at least Monday to
celebrate with one of these. I'm waiting for
the funds from the sale of the Vegas house,
which we were supposed to have today but
won't get until at least Monday. Boo.

Tomorrow is another day flying solo at the gallery in the Hyatt. This time, I will have my $2 fare in hand and I will not have a frantic race around the parking lot at 7:30 in the morning. Maybe those 2 big sales will go through, too! Wish me luck on that.

Now, it's time to pack a lunch and watch some TV on my little 7" screen.


Friday, July 26, 2013

T Minus 64: Calm Before the Storm

I woke to find a bunch of emails from The Hubby. The realtor needed yet more paperwork signed, so I got up instead of laying around for a while. I skipped breakfast and tea, and headed to the UPS store. Hopefully that was my last trip there for a while.
The view from the bus
stop near my apartment

After the UPS store, I walked over to McD's to grab a breakfast sandwich and a frappe. The frappe must have been good. Third sip, BRAIN FREEZE! Ouch! I ate my breakfast sammie while walking over to Foodland to pick up a couple things. I decided to check out the P O Box as well.

The P O Box was empty. Again. I'm starting to think junk mail may be illegal here. Back in Vegas, I would get ads every day even if I didn't receive any real mail. I have yet to see a single piece of junk mail here. The mail from Vegas has been forwarded to Hawaii since Monday, too. I could get used to no junk mail!

I headed home, enjoying my walk. I love the early morning walks when the sun hasn't gotten too hot and the humidity is still low. Of course, I love the late evening walks as well, watching the sun set over the ocean while I stroll. Mid-afternoon is too sweaty. OK, I'll admit it. There is no bad time to walk when you live in Hawaii.
A Maui Dog taking a
stroll with its owner

On my walk, I saw a lady jogging with her dog. Earlier this morning, I passed a man walking a chocolate lab and, near Foodland, I saw a young pit bull happily rolling on his back for a belly rub. Even in Foodland, I saw a cute little dog riding in a lady's shopping cart. Dogs are everywhere on Maui. If I was quicker with the camera, I'd have a photo of a Maui Dog to post every day.

I got home and pulled out the schedules for the bus and trolley so I could plan my afternoon. Today would be my last day of training with Maureen. This weekend, I will fly solo. I like Maureen a lot. Today, she offered to spend the day with me outside work on Tuesday. We are going to go to Kahului, hit up the Savers Thrift Store for some shopping, grab lunch, and head over to the Maui Hands gallery in Paia. I'm interested in seeing the other gallery, but I'm more excited about heading to Savers - I need some queen size sheets and some clothes!
My new bus pass, smaller
than I thought it would be

I hopped on the bus after picking up a monthly bus pass. My ride reached Whalers Village giving me enough time to spare that I could grab a sandwich from Subway for lunch before going to work. I ate outside with the company of three little birds that hopped between the backs of the empty chairs at the table where I say. Occasionally, they even got bold enough to hop onto the table itself. It did them no good. There were no handouts today.

I stopped in a couple stores, hoping to find a lanyard with a clear pouch at the end like so many that we have thrown away over the years when The Hubby would get home from this technical conference or that seminar. I found a lot of lanyards, none with a pouch though. I fear I might lose my new bus pass. It is small, about half the size of a business card, and made of paper. Giving up on the lanyard search for the day - I will just have to be careful with the bus pass until I can find something suitable - I boarded the trolley for the ride to the Hyatt.

Most of my training today consisted of a tour. Maureen walked me around, showing me the front and back of the house at the Hyatt. We also stopped in a few of the other shops so she could introduce me to the people who worked there. We had hoped to maybe find someone with whom I could carpool when I start working the night shifts next week but we didn't get that lucky. I'm kind of nervous about getting home after those shifts.

The last bus leaves Whalers Village at 9:00. Whalers Village is 1 mile down the road from the Hyatt. Since I don't close the shop until 9:00, there is no way I can make it to the bus stop in time. The other day I mentioned trying to get comfortable riding my bike the 3 miles back to the apartment but I learned today that there is road construction on the highway and thus no bike lane for the time being. Not sure what I will do next weekend, but this weekend I work the morning shifts so I won't have any problems - except needing to leave earlier than I'd like because the trolley doesn't start running until 10am so I will have to walk the mile from Whalers Village to the Hyatt. Like I said earlier, though, the morning walks are comfortable so I don't really mind. I just hate waking up that early!
The penguins at the Hyatt,
lined up and ready to dive in

After I was done at the gallery, I stopped by the penguin exhibit at the Hyatt. I think I remember reading their penguins are African Black Footed penguins. While I visited, they all formed a conga line and dove into the water one by one for a swim.

Back in Lahaina, I walked over to check the P O Box again. I am actually expecting a small package, but still the box was empty. I should check to see what time they put the mail in the boxes each day.

I headed over to Foodland for the 2nd time today to try and find something to take to work with me for lunch the next couple days. There is no microwave, not even a mini fridge. If I leave the store, I have to completely shut everything up, which is actually a big deal with the TWO sets of very heavy doors. I needed something I could keep in the store with me and eat when there were no guests in the store.

I ended up with some of the freshest pineapple I've ever had - made The Hubby jealous again today - along with some cheese, crackers, and sliced turkey. I also grabbed a pack of fried chicken thighs that drew my attention thanks to the spicy looking sauce they were covered in. The fried chicken looked good enough that I skipped the Ramen and ate 2 pieces of the chicken for dinner. Everything else I split up into two lunches. I tossed a couple bottles of water into the freezer so they'd stay nice and cold on my trip to work as well.
One of the many super colorful
tour buses you can see on Maui

Thinking about the water made me think about the situation with the doors and the effort required to close up the shop. I hope I don't have to use the restroom during my shift!

Taking off my shoes, I noticed my Vans are taking a beating with all this walking. I might have to get a new pair of cute Crocs or Toms to replace them. It seems everyone here wears slippahs (as the article says, Hawaii does not wear flip flops), even to work, so I might just paint my toenails and get a nice pair of slippahs instead!
Another super colorful tour bus

Time for some TV and to think of a way to make myself fall asleep earlier than normal. Tomorrow morning will get here quick and I haven't invested in a travel mug for my tea yet! There is, however, a Starbucks in the Hyatt that gives discounts if you work on the property. Maybe an Iced Chai Tea would be a good way to wake up tomorrow.

Flying solo...should be fun!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

T Minus 65: Picking Up

I don't remember why I thought a 10:30 interview sounded like a good idea, but I agreed to it and now I needed to rush a bit to get ready. No breakfast, though I still had my tea while I was getting dressed. No lazy morning, texting with The Hubby. At least the interview was all I had planned for the morning. Of course, plans change...
Old guys talkin' story at a cafe

I didn't know what to expect from this interview, and went mostly because I was curious. If a job were offered and it had certain conditions, I'd take it. My interview ran very short, though, as I was out of the running before we ever started talking. Company policy requires that no employees have any visible body art. The uniforms, shorts and a hawaiian-style shirt, would never cover my body art. As I walked back home, I thought about how out of place their policy seems here on the island. It seems nearly everyone between the ages of 16 and 55 is inked up. This was the first anti-body-art policy I've run into on the island.

I stopped off at Foodland to pick up something for lunch. I found a variety of bento boxes, both hot and cold. I chose a box with a bit of katsu chicken, 2 small slices of portuguese sausage, half of a Redondo hot dog, and some scrambled eggs on top of sticky rice. Were I not wearing dressier clothes, I would have enjoyed my lunch outside at the same tables where I found the beach bum musicians last week. This week, instead of musicians, there was a group of older local men and a cute jack russell mix. They all smiled as I snapped their photo before heading home to eat.

After changing into some more casual clothes, I sat down to eat. The phone rang. I let it go to voicemail as I finished eating. The bento box was good - worth every penny of the $5 I paid for it. I texted The Hubby to ask why the hot dog was red, which made him remember eating Redondo hot dogs when he lived here and start craving one. Apparently, red hot dogs are as popular as spam here.
Yummy bento box. Nothing but proteins

After lunch, I listened to the voicemail. I hadn't really planned to do anything this afternoon but, plans change. Maureen asked if I could come in to the Hyatt location for some more training and then plan to work full shifts opening the store on Friday and Saturday. I changed back into dressier clothes and headed out to the bus stop.

I found a new bus stop today, right next to the bank. I had needed to go to the bank, so this was pretty convenient. This stop is no further from my apartment than any of the others, but I like it better. First, there is no hill to walk up. Second, the walk is shaded almost the entire way. Third, there is a sidewalk the entire way. This stop felt much safer and the walk was cooler being out of the sun. To get to that the other stop I was using required a walk up hill, in both direction, in the snow... :-)

I stopped in to the bank, where the teller went out of her way to help me. I think the banker in this branch might have said something to them about the customer service they fell short on with me in the beginning an now everyone here seems to go the extra mile when I show up. I left with a dozen freshly-printed temporary checks. Now, I would be able to set up my direct deposit with my job.

When I got to the bus stop, I started studying my bus schedule that I now take with me almost everywhere. A young girl, early 20s probably, asked if I had any questions about the bus schedule or if I needed any help. "How nice," I thought. I told her I was OK. We talked story for fifteen minutes or so until the bus arrived, mostly about not living without cars and how long we've lived on the island. She's been here 8 months.

Work was short. Maureen had a few things she wasted to teach me. We would have been done sooner but we could only go over things between guest visits. I met another of our artists, though. Christina Seefeldt from Pratima Designs stopped in with 2 new rings she had made. Very lovely work.
I was too early for the sunset but I
loved the near silhouette of the palms
against the evening sun

On the bus ride home, I hoped to be able to watch the sunset over the water as the bus would along the coast. We were too early, though. After reaching my stop, I realized I was too hungry to hang out and wait for a sunset too. I still took some decent pictures, just not of the sunset. I even grabbed a shot of a telephone pole I've walked by a couple dozen times but never really noticed. I liked the sticker from Maui Brewing Company showing the can of Big Swell IPA. I thought it was cool, for some reason. I also noticed something else that is kind of rare - white bougainvillea. Mixed in with the normal purple that seems to be everywhere, it was pretty.
Big Swell IPA from
Maui Brewing Company
The Hubby likes their beers

After a dinner of Ramen with broccoli - no spam since I had so much meat at lunch - I settled in to watch some TV. Thank you for the TV show suggestions yesterday! I appreciate it.

I'm mildly ashamed to admit what show I started watching. So I'm just going to say TV. I watched TV :-)


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

T Minus 66: The Artists

Guava Jam is good, but nowhere near as good as the pineapple preserves. At least I still have the Pineapple Waikiki Black tea to give me a pineapple fix during breakfast.
The sign for the Lahaina
art gallery where I work

Knowing I needed to be at work at noon, I took it easy during the morning. A lot of texting with The Hubby filled the morning and kept me from being bored. We mostly discussed things that need to go done with regard to bringing the dogs back to the island with us in October - paperwork and fees for the state of Hawaii, inspections and fees the day of arrival, flight arrangements and fees, rental car to get them from the airport to apartment when we return to the island. Bringing a dog to Hawaii is not a cheap endeavor.

While getting ready to leave the apartment, I received a call from a restaurant I had applied at. Officially "not hiring" the day I dropped off an application, apparently circumstances had changed and they wanted to see me for an interview. I called them back and scheduled an interview with them - just in case. I wouldn't want to miss a golden opportunity.
The store sign that drew my
interest the other day

I headed out a little early. Lunch, I decided, would be the the "local food" place I found the other day. It's only a half mile from the apartment, which could be good or bad - or both - depending on how today's lunch went. The first to arrive, I ordered a plate lunch with Shoyu Chicken. My eyes bugged out of my head when they presented my food. No way would I be able to eat that much food! After making The Hubby a bit envious with a picture of my lunch, I tackled it the best I could while I watched a line start forming at the counter - popular place. A keiki climbed up on the bench next to me like I was his Auntie or something - cute little guy - adding a little atmosphere to my lunch experience. I'll be eating here again - good food!
My overly large portion of
Shoyu Chicken for lunch

After lunch, I made my way to the gallery for my first day of training at the Lahaina location. Everything runs basically the same at this store, but there are a few differences. First, this location is a lot busier. Second, this location has an actual cash register. Also, this location apparently has artists dropping by frequently.

Today, I met Ian Haight as he set up a mobile studio in the front corner of the gallery and painted while people watched. A while later, I met Bruce Tapley, a silver and goldsmith who told me about the jewelry he makes. After hearing about a matching his & hers bamboo ring set, I instantly knew that was what I wanted for The Hubby and I to replace our wedding bands we don't wear. It was fun getting to meet some of the artists.
The seating arrangements at
"Local Food"

In between artist visits, I learned a few other things about the items we carry. At the end of my short day, I walked home with a study guide on Ni'ihau leis, jewelry, and culture. Ni'ihau is apparently one of the top sellers in the gallery. I also had a 2" thick 3-ring binder categorizing all of our artists by medium. There are jewelers, potters, photographers, painters, and many others. The binder is store property, but I was "invited" to study in my free time.

After work, I intended to go visit West Maui Animal Clinic to see about setting up the arrival day inspection for the pups. Instead, The Hubby derailed me with a request to go to the UPS store for more printing, signing, and faxing of paperwork related to selling the house. As I walked that way, I noticed again the humidity. Even the locals were talking about how extra humid it felt. With no trade winds to help cool you off, it made for a very warm day. I remember hearing that Kihei is the hottest spot on the island. I wondered how they were feeling today.

Between the walk to lunch, work, the UPS store, and back to the apartment, I covered almost 3 miles today. My legs and feet were sore and tired by the time I got home. Of course, with the humidity, I was drenched. I dashed off my normal "hds" text to The Hubby and hopped in the shower.
The Shaka is everywhere!

Last night I finished up season 1 of Orange is the New Black. I needed something new to watch. I started a movie called Jock the Hero Dog but didn't make it past the first 15 minutes. I found a movie called ParaNorman and watched it - cute. I don't know what I will watch tonight.

I'm still waiting for recommendations from you guys for TV shows and movies to check out! Please?


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

T Minus 67: Paperwork

This waking up at 8am is suiting me more. I'm blaming the 7a wakeups on the change in time zones. I made breakfast, noticing that I was correct yesterday. Today was, indeed, the last of the pineapple preserves. Tomorrow starts guava breakfasts.
Little pineapples growing on
the grounds of the Maui Hyatt

Just as I was finishing up breakfast, my phone rang. 513 area code. No way, I thought to myself. It couldn't be. I hesitantly answered the phone. Sure enough, it was the probate court in Ohio that I'd been trying to reach...and had completely given up hope on them calling me back. They were very helpful, and I should have my certified marriage license here some time next week. Then, it will be back to the - cue menacing music - DMV.

The Hubby and I researched bed frames. Having made the decision to replace out Tempurpedic with a mattress from Amerisleep, we would need a frame to put it on. We didn't make any buying decisions today, but we got a little closer.

Soon, it was time to go sign the lease for our new place. Almost as excited as a kid waking up to learn her parents are taking her to Disneyland, I almost skipped all the way down the road. I still can't believe I found a nice apartment where the owner is OK with both of my furbabies. I think, on this island, that is a very rare thing.

I met the landlord at the picnic area in the condo complex. We tried to talk for a minute or two but a maintenance guy started breaking up a sidewalk with a sledgehammer and we had to relocate. He drove us over to McDonald's where we could sit and talk with less noise, and some A/C. We talked story for a while, mostly about my situation. He even offered me the use of his air bed while I wait on my own bed to get delivered! I was dreading the thought of taking the bus to the Kahului Walmart and carrying an air bed back home. Now, I don't have to worry about it because everyone on the island is super nice!
I finally coaxed my little green
visitor back outside where he blongs

The landlord told me he had some painting touch up to get done on my unit. He also wanted to change out the garbage disposal and then have the clothes dryer fixed or replaced. He said if he finished before August 1, I could move in early. Whenever I move in, he said, I'd find his air bed in the closet waiting for me.

After we parted ways, I walked over to the post office. I had planned to check on my P O Box today, and McD's is very close to the post office. I was surprised to find 2 boxes waiting for me. Expecting only 1 box from The Hubby, I also had a box from mom-in-law. I tore open the box from her and checked out the basket liner she had sewn me for the pink cruiser. Stashing it in my tote bag, I turned my attention to the other box.

I hefted he larger box The Hubby had sent - not too heavy, but bulky and a little awkward for me to carry all the way back to the apartment. Taped to the top of the box was an envelope. I knew what was in there. That was the most important cargo I'd receive for a while - paperwork that needs to be submitted to the state of Hawaii in order to import the puppies.

I lugged the box back over to McD's and ordered a cheeseburger and small fry to go. I ate lunch at a picnic table in front of a closed eatery just down the walk. I needed my energy if I was going to carry this big ol' box 3 long blocks!
The Pink Cruiser with its
new temporary basket liner

As I was walking home, the air felt more humid than it had in the last few days. The sky didn't seem quite as bright either. Maybe a storm is coming, I thought, or maybe it's "the vog." I just learned about "the vog" yesterday - volcano pollution. Saying "the vog" makes it sound menacing like something from a cheesy B-Horror film. "The vog" - created when the volcano farts!

I finally got my box home and was considering a nap when a wrench got thrown into those plans. I apparently needed to sign more paperwork related to the sale of the house in Vegas. I rolled the pink cruiser out the door, with its new temporary basket liner - this one was sewn just to test the fit and so forth - and walked it across the grass while I considered which destination to ride to - Office Depot or the UPS store. Both meant I needed to cross the highway, which made me nervous, but this was important.

I settled on the UPS store, mostly because I had yet to visit that strip mall, or even that area of town, since arriving on the island. I rode to the highway, waited at the crosswalk before walking the pink cruiser across the 4-lane road - I found myself uncomfortable with riding across that much traffic - and then rode the short distance to the UPS store. I fired up my email, printed the document, signed it, and faxed it off to the realtor.

On my ride back to the apartment, I found two new places that drew my interest. The first was a place called Maui Tacos. The second place, with what looked like only a walk-up window and 2 picnic benches on a small concrete slab, had a sign that simply read "Local food." I made note to come back to both one day, especially the local food place - the little hole-in-the-wall joints always seem to have the best food! I also need to go back to grab pictures, something I didn't do today because I was riding and didn't stop.

By the time I got home, I was soaked. My legs were a bit angry, too, but they seemed slightly less achy than after my last ride. I grabbed the phone, typed "hds" and hit send. Yes, I do this same routine so often that I stored a shortcut in my phone. "hds" = "Home. Drenched. Shower. 10" I found I was sending that exact same message to The Hubby nearly every day to let him know I'd be unavailable for 10 minutes or so, so I shortened it to three letters to make it easier to send.

After my shower, I diced up some Spam, broccoli, and carrots to stir in with my Ramen. I've been experimenting with flavors each night, too. Did you know Louisiana Hot Sauce and Teriyaki sauce go well together? Now, you do. I never measure, so don't ask me how much of each. I just throw it together and enjoy!

I grabbed the tablet to watch some more Orange Is The New Black. I had been watching every night on my laptop but that's no longer possible. The power brick for the laptop fried itself. The battery holds a charge for an hour at most. When it's idle. And turned off. It's old, nearly 10 years old. It can't be upgraded any more, is held together with duct tape - white duct tape to make it less inconspicuous, but it is held together with duct tape. Closing the lid causes the bezel around the monitor to flex and nearly pop off. The letters on the keyboard are all but rubbed off. This this has issues, but it's been good for watching TV shows on every night.
By the way, if any of you have a MacBook power brick you're not using, or know of anyone who does, I'd be ever so grateful if you send it my way. It'd be worth a beer or two if you ever come visit Maui! 
My tiny 7" screen I get to
do everything on for 2 months
So, I watched Orange on my tiny 7" screen. I wish there was an Apple store nearby. I know I could take the power brick in, look at the tech and say "WTF," and walk out with a new one gratis. They really do have some kick-ass customer service at that place.

Tomorrow will be exciting. Tomorrow, I train at the gallery in Lahaina. It's slightly larger than the gallery in Ka'anapali. I'm looking forward to learning more about the artists we represent. It's fun, exciting, and...yay, money!


Monday, July 22, 2013

T Minus 68: Sound of Angels Singing

An RV? What the hell, I thought to myself as I realized it was only a dream. My brain imagined The Hubby, the dogs, and me living in a fifth wheel - somehow connected to the Jeep - down by the beach. While maybe a cool idea, it would be all but impossible. There are no RVs in Hawaii!
A large piece of coral I
found on Baby Beach

I made breakfast, the usual, with a different kind of english muffin this morning. These are thicker and bigger than the previous ones I tried. I used the same setting on the toaster oven, thinking I might need to crank it up next time since they were bigger. Wrong! The same setting nearly ruined my muffin, making it a bit more toastier than I like. As I spread my pineapple preserves on my not-quite-burnt muffins, I realized I only had enough of those left for one more breakfast. After that, it will be guava preserves every day.

While enjoying my breakfast, I saw a text come in from a friend back in Indiana. She wanted to let me know that she had received a call from the owner of a condo who was checking my references. Her text read, "I nailed it :)" I knew I felt good vibes from that guy, but I didn't want to get my hopes up just yet. After talking with her, though, they would have to see that we would be the best possible tenant they could ask for, right?

I dashed off a text message to The Hubby to let him know. As I was texting him about my weird RV dream, my phone started ringing. Area code 808. Sunday. Nobody calls to offer you a job on Sunday, right? I answered. This was it. The skies parted. Harps played. Angels sang. This was THE CALL! We got the apartment! I made arrangements to sign the lease tomorrow and then I let The Hubby know he could stop worrying about being homeless when he gets here in October.
I got him! The Ka'anapali Trolley

I texted my friend back east to thank her for the wonderful referral she must have given the landlord. I texted my mother-in-law to let her know the good news. I shared with everybody I could think of. Everything I came to Hawaii to accomplish, I have accomplished. Find a job. Check. Find a place for us to live. Check. 19 days. I feel good!

The Hubby and I started talking about beds. I suggested I just get an air mattress to sleep on for a while. He pooh-poohed that idea and told me we would just order an actual bed next week. Our 17-year old original Tempurpedic is gone and will have to be replaced. We spent a few hours researching mattresses, frames, texting our finds back and forth. I need to go measure the bedroom in the new apartment so I know what size we need next.

Suddenly, I realized I have nothing else left to do. It's a long time until October. Not wanting to think about what I'm going to do every day between now and then - hopefully work takes up a good chunk of my time - I focused instead on what I wanted to do this afternoon. I considered a nap, but finally opted for a walk over to Baby Beach to splash around in the water a bit. I found a ziplock to put my phone in and stuffed in my backpack along with a beach towel and a bottle of water.
The small swells at Baby Beach

Baby Beach was crowded. There were people everywhere and I couldn't find a place to settle in. I walked up and down the beach in knee-deep water, carrying my bag, enjoying the sun while I searched for a suitable place to put my things. I finally picked out a small area with some vegetation covering it that I thought was high enough up the beach to be out of reach of the tide. As I put my bag down, I saw a football-sized piece of coral lying nearby. Wedged in between its finger-like parts was a nice sized piece of sea glass. I left the coral there for others to be able to enjoy but I collected the sea glass. Tumbled sea glass is hard to find these days.

As I was putting away my find, I noticed a large group of people leaving from a prime area on the beach. I collected my things and relocated. I watched kids building and digging in the sand, while others ran in with the tide being chased by the small swells. Tiny crabs occasionally made an appearance only to quickly disappear back into the sand. Maika'i Ola.
Sea glass and a small piece
of black coral. Black coral
is the Hawaii state gem.

The realized the tide had creeped ever closer to my spot on the beach so I decided to head back to the apartment and get ready for work. Work - the word implies effort, but none is needed for this job. Sure, there's the occasional dusting, and maybe even a small bit of paperwork now and then, but it seems my biggest task is talking to guests.

At work, that was pretty much all I did tonight, too. We didn't do a lot of sales - maybe Sundays are slower - but I got to know the shop a bit more and learned some more about the more than 300 artists we represent. I have a long, long way to go!

Working at Ka'anapali until 9:00 will present some issues for me. Without a car, I need to take the bus. The last bus leaves Ka'anapali at 9:00. The store closes at 9:00. There is no way I can make it to catch that bus. It is 3 miles from the shop to the apartment - The Hubby would just walk, I'm sure - so I need to figure out a permanent solution for getting home. I could take the bus to work and ride the pink cruiser home. 3 miles is a long way on a bike for me right now though, especially at night, and it makes me more than a little nervous to think about riding on Honoapiilana Highway. There are no side streets for me to ride on so I would have to ride on the main highway - kind of scary. I would definitely torch off a ton of calories, though!
A frog/toad on the
Hyatt walkway

Tonight, though, Bonnie gave me a ride home. I thought it would be Maureen but Bonnie offered to do it when we were closing up the shop. Walking to the car, we saw a frog, or maybe a toad, and when I got home I found a giant grasshopper-like thing in the kitchen window blinds. I don't know what that thing is, but he is huge!
A grasshopper-like critter that
stopped by for a visit

Tomorrow, I sign a lease for my new apartment. Did I mention I found an apartment?!?


Sunday, July 21, 2013

T minus 69: Training Day 1

I enjoyed a lazy morning, doing little other than tea, breakfast, and catching up with the Hubby, for as long as I could today. At 1:00, I needed to check out a condo for rent. The unit sits only a couple blocks from where I currently stay so it would be an easy walk to get there. I killed a bit of time playing Candy Crush and the games that The Hubby and I used to play on our phones every morning. I miss that.
Bicycles are a popular mode
of transportation in Lahaina.
These are at the apartment
complex I looked at today.

When it got closer to 1:00, I wandered over to the condo complex. A little early, I killed some time checking out the pool. I sat down in the picnic area and waited. All of the windows on the unit I wanted to look at were open, and I could hear conversation drifting my way. I couldn't quite hear what they were saying, but I secretly wished that it was the landlord telling whomever was looking at the place that he had reserved it for me and was showing it to them out of courtesy.

At 1:00, I knocked on the open door. As I walked in, I saw a young girl filling out an application and a woman sitting in a chair across the room who seemed to be the young girl's mother. We greeted each other and I took a tour with the landlord while the young girl finished filling out her rental application.

I already knew from my impromptu tour of the complex the other day that I liked the area. After seeing the condo, I really liked it as well. I took my time filling out the application, dragging it out while waiting on the girl and her mother to leave. As I handed the landlord my app, I nearly begged him to lease it to me. I explained in great detail my situation. I used to believe my situation might be a bit unusual but after seeing how fast properties get snatched up - one pet-friendly listing had 35 people call the landlord within a half hour of it being posted on craigslist - I'm starting to think that perhaps the predicament I find myself in with finding a pet-friendly landlord is not so unusual.

Obviously, they need to check references and credit history - no problems there - but as I'm sure anyone who reads my stories knows, I feel very nervous about the housing situation. I just want to be done looking. I believe I was the very last person to get to look at the apartment. I hope that means they remember me most and let me rent it.

With an hour to kill before I needed to catch a bus to Ka'anapali, I texted with The Hubby about the condo I had just looked at. He seemed to think that since I was the last to look and apply that I had very slim chances of being the person who awarded the lease. He thinks that the first application they come across that qualifies will be the one to get the lease and they will stop looking at the remainder of the applications at that point. I fired up craigslist just in case.

Afternoon rainbow
When the time comes, I hop the bus and go to work. "Work" was super easy. I stayed only 3 hours but I enjoyed it. Maureen is a wonderfully nice lady - she talks story, believe me! She is so nice that she offered to drive me home tomorrow night because I will get off work after the buses stop running for the day.

I have another training shift with her tomorrow night. Next weekend, I believe I will be on my own. I wonder how the solo shifts will be. I have so much to learn! Today we covered the easy stuff - how the register works, what to do if new product comes in and how to process, tag, and shelve it. What I need to start working on is getting to know the artists. I need to educate myself on not just the pieces in the shop but the artists themselves. We sell only things from local artists - that's about the extent of my knowledge at this point.

One perk of this job is that I get 50% off anything in the store. Some day in the future, when I have paychecks flowing, I might check out a few things to give our apartment a tropical feel...if we get an apartment. Maybe a painting will look good propped in the corner of the tent on the beach that we will be living in when nobody rents me a place...

Flags blowing in the trade
winds at Whalers Village
Headed to the trolley after work, I listened to a voicemail from the landlord of the place I looked at today. I called him back to answer his questions. I felt some positive vibes from him so I am actually hopeful we will be the couple he selects to rent his condo - knock on wood. I'd knock on The Hubby's head if he were here!

I still failed to get a picture of the trolley today. The driver of the trolley is most definitely NOT on island time. He has somewhere to be, and he wants to get there now. The trolley is free but I've been tipping the guy a dollar every ride. Tonight, I tossed him an extra dollar though. He was supposed to be on his way to his dinner break and not going back to Whaler's Village for another hour but he nicely dropped me off there anyway on his way to eat.

I sat at the bus stop, just basking in the feeling that is Hawaii. The trade winds were blowing a soft breeze, setting the whalers flags out standing straight out from their poles, the sky was a gorgeous shade of blue that seems like it can only be found here on the islands, and a very vibrant rainbow arced its way to the ground in the distance. The bus arrived to break up my reverie and I hopped on for the ride home.

Sunset over Mala Ramp
Craving a tuna sandwich, something I'd been craving for days, and not particularly looking forward to another night of Ramen & Spam, I stopped off at the Safeway to grab the fixings I needed to satisfy my stomach. I picked up a couple single buns from the bakery section, a can of tuna, and I couldn't forget the salt & vinegar chips - perfect side dish for a tuna sandwich! Dinner tonight would be awesome. I eyeballed the beer selection again - pricey! The Hubby might actually have to start brewing his own like he has been threatening to do for years. I resisted the urge to pick up a beer. As soon as the closing happens for the house, though, I am buying a sixer to celebrate!

I glanced at my phone as I was putting the groceries away and making my dinner. The battery was almost dead. Again. I don't know if it is because I am constantly taking pictures or because I am texting more since everyone I know is 2,000 miles away, or if it's climate related, but the battery in my phone definitely doesn't last very long here. Maybe The Hubby will order me a juicebox thingy for it after we close on the house. For now, I guess I just have to plug it in more often.
Tuna on bun on Winnie
the Pooh Plate

Tomorrow, I will train from 6-9. I work with someone other than Maureen tomorrow but, like I said earlier, Maureen told me she would come by at 9 to drive me home since the buses will have stopped running by then. Super nice lady!

Tonight, I want to sleep. I feel tired but I have to wait. The gentleman who helps out around the apartment for my landlord called and said he had mail for me and would bring it by tonight. It's a little past when he said he would be here, but...island time. Nothing left to do but catch a few episodes of Orange Is the New Black while I wait.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

T Minus 70: Hakuna Matata

I grabbed my phone as soon as my eyes opened, searching my call history for the probate court back in Ohio. I got voicemail and left yet another message. I texted The Hubby. "I'd say start planning a wedding." I hold little hope of ever hearing back from the fine public servants in a country probate court.
Sitting on the seawall making
hats out of palm fronds

My next call was to my previous employer's benefits hotline. I need to roll my 401(k) over no later than August 9 or else they automatically put it into some weird account that I don't really have any control over. Of course, I long ago forgot my password and now I find out the only way to get a new password is for them to send one to me in the mail, in an envelope with a stamp on it even. I hope it gets here in time for me to do what I want to do.

Today, I intended to not think about apartments. I intended to go meet the gallery manager in Ka'anapali and do little else. I think island time is starting to slowly become the norm for my life. I like it.

I walked up to the Cannery Mall to catch a bus headed for Ka'anapali. Normally, I walk to the Wharf Cinema Center to catch a bus but I decided to walk the other way today for some reason. As I walked through the mall, glancing in various stores at some of the dresses I'd made note to buy when I had a job, I texted The Hubby to see if I might be able to buy a couple this weekend. He suggested, wisely, that I wait until the house closes so that we don't risk not having enough money for a deposit or whatever on an apartment should we get lucky this weekend.

Instead of window shopping, I found a shaded bench to sit on while I waited for the bus. Suddenly, from around the corner, a very big, happy - and WET - golden retriever came bounding towards me to say hello. I didn't get a chance to take his picture before his owner caught up to corral him. He reminded me how much I miss my own fur kids.
The skeleton of a sperm whale
in the center of Whalers Village

The bus arrived and we made our way to Ka'anapali. I hopped off at Whalers Village, a shopping center nestled among the many time shares and resorts that make up Ka'anapali Beach. My ultimate destination for the day lie in one of those resorts, the Hyatt. I dreaded the walk I thought I would have to take to get from Whalers Village over to the Hyatt, so I was a bit ecstatic to learn that there was a trolley I would be able to ride to reach the resort. First, though, I wanted lunch. I checked the trolley schedule, making note of the time I needed to catch a trolley, and headed into the shopping center to find something to eat.

On the ground floor, I found the food court that we had eaten at while visiting on vacation last year. Subway, Pizza, Mr Sub's, a couple other places but nothing that sounds really good. I finally settled on some nachos from Mr. Subs. Nachos sounded good, up until I stared at the plate after sitting down. I ate them - they were edible but very blah - while feeling bad that I didn't get the healthier Subway option.

After lunch, I reached the trolley station just before the driver was about to pull away. I discovered that the stop for the Hyatt isn't actually at the resort but the walk wasn't far. Once inside, I wandered around searching for the gallery.

Finding it, I walked in and asked for Maureen, the manager. She greeted me with a hug! Ohana spirit, indeed. We talked about the store and my situation, and she asked if I might come back tomorrow to start training. Trying to contain my excitement, I told her that of course I could be there tomorrow. She sent me off with another hug!

Tomorrow, I train with the intent being that I will work the Friday and Saturday evening shifts from 3-9. Yes, that's right, 6-hour shifts. I like the sound of that! Plus, next week I will train at the Lahaina location with Jeska. I. Am. So. Excited!
Pink flowers - maybe
an aechmea?

After my meeting, I headed along the walkway towards the trolley. Along the way, I found some gorgeous pink flowers, a cool statuary, and a great mountain view across the golf course. I remembered to snap pictures of all of them.

The trolley returned me to Whalers Village where I picked up the bus for the ride back to Lahaina.

After getting home and cooling off for a bit, I needed to get a few things done that The Hubby asked me to do during out texting while I rode the bus. First, I needed to call the apartment complex that had approved us earlier in the week and tell them we were no longer interested. The Hubby found their lease agreement less than ideal and refused to sign it. We lost our holding deposit, but we chalked that up to a learning experience. Hakuna Matata!

That done, I needed to ship a few things to The Hubby and I needed to make sure he would have it before he leaves Vegas. That meant a somewhat pricey FedEx bill, but USPS was no longer an option. All mail to our Vegas address gets forwarded here to Hawaii starting on Monday.
Statue on the grounds
of the Maui Hyatt
On the way home, I stopped in the market to grab a bottle of water. I wanted a beer. I came this --><-- close to buying some beer, but I stopped myself. Until we actually close on the house, I want to save money.

The closing on the house was causing me a few uneasy feelings. The closing was scheduled for Monday. This morning, the buyer's loan still hadn't received underwriting approval so there would be no closing on Monday. I'm sure we seem very rash and foolish to most people, me dashing off to Hawaii without the house actually being sold, The Hubby stashing everything in a storage unit and preparing to drive all over the country. Other people, I'm sure, would have waited to do all this until the closing of the sale. We are not other people. We've always done things our way, and we always make it work. Maika'i Ola (roughly, Life Is Good).
A view of Mauna Kahalawai
(West Maui Mountains) over
the golf course near the Maui Hyatt

Missing my family, I suggested to The Hubby that we fire up FaceTime once again. He held the phone at puppy level so I could get a good look at the little ones. Lexi, our blind dog, gets visibly confused when she hears my voice and dashes to and fro, unsure why she can't find me. Ricky, the boy dog, seems like he couldn't care less that I'm talking to him over the phone - he always has been The Hubby's boy. I like getting to see their faces, especially The Hubby's!

I finished up my day eating the fresh mango my friend gave me from her orchard while I watched a few more episodes of Orange Is the New Black. These TV shows keep my mind occupied on these lonely evenings.