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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Bound and Determined in Hawaii


  We finally made it to Kona--were given a big red SUV for the 2 of us as a rental, which came in handy Sat. night.  I heard from Jeff, oldest nephew who left pregnant wife Emily and 2-year old daughter Maddie home (color me so sad about that) that we were invited to a barbecue at the house  rented for himself and 2 sons plus 2 girlfriends. The younger men were playing golf in a wedding tournament all day and Brock and the 2 women were off hiking then shopping for food before moving into the house, 
 Matthew was hesitant to go at the time Jeff gave us in case no one was actually there at 5, so we waited and called. Sure enough Brock had just arrived, though maybe Jeff and Garret were there earlier. Their house was beautiful with a sunset view and nice pool, so it was fun to hang out there that evening. 
We brought enough wine and  beer for a large party, not knowing how many and being told to prepare for anywhere from 9-15 (there were 8 of us). Being with the family does teach us to go with the flow...or at least try. The best for us was that Steven, the groom and my youngest nephew of 27, showed up and spent most of the evening with us.

 Here's Maddie's wonderful dad with a son on the way. I'm so proud of him and how he interacts with her. Jeff's generation seems to have created a whole new way of parenting involvement and care that I love. 
 I know some of my former students and colleagues read my blog--remember the cute little 4 or 5 year old blond who used to be in my class after lunch?  He's quite the man now.

Middle nephew Garret is on the right of the picture below. He's the only one who still lives close, for which I'm very fortunate. He has a long distance relationship with the most adorable young lady Jennifer. I am so lucky these guys have finally brought women into this male-dominated family! And every one of them is beautiful, loving, smart, and wonderful in her own way.

 The wedding was Sat. at 5:30, so Matthew and I had the day on our own again. We mainly stayed by the pool relaxing
and catching up on sleep, went out for a bite to eat, then got dressed and headed to the wedding. I guess I should have had someone take a picture of us, but alas...I don't have one. I have a couple of him with the family and will hopefully get the group shot they took after the ceremony. Here are some I took of the boys (okay, men) waiting for Elise, then of the 2 during the ceremony, and a few of later. Their good friend Max officiated and seriously, he did the best job of anyone I've ever heard.
 The wedding was great and the after-party was so much fun. We ate and danced and danced, then that SUV came in handy because we managed to fit all 7 of us into it and drive Brock, et al back to their rental house.

Listening to many lovely toasts to the couple.  Jeff's was the most poignant because he compared Steven to his mother noting how much like her he is. But of course, Garret had his moment too...making me laugh at some very inside jokes, like how many thousands of chicken and broccoli dinners Steven endured after Marianne died (Brock's only go-to meal). Brock was thoughtful and also brought in Mar and family and how proud she'd be of Steven. So true. And she would love Elise...and Emily and Jennifer.

Saturday, July 30, 2016


  We were to leave for the airport around 8 am Thurs, July 28, for my youngest nephew’s wedding in Kona. Hawaiian Air--10:15 am-- from SFO to Maui, then to Kona…all in one day, which would get us there by 2:30 their time. Plenty of time to get to the condo and relax before joining the family and the other attendees at 5:30 for the welcome reception. 
 Too bad I didn’t hear the text that came in at 4 am….especially since I didn’t sleep most of the night. The text said our flight was delayed until 7pm due to maintenance on the plane and they had us booked tentatively at 9am IF we contacted them to confirm. By the time I read that, it was too late, seeing as we live 35 min from the airport, had reservations to leave our car at the Hilton and get a shuttle, another 20 min or so, and commute traffic at that time could put us 45-60 min from the airport. 
 Matthew called the airline after I read the email stating the same—flight leaving at 7pm—to see if anything else was available. No. We would get into Maui at 9:30pm with no flight guaranteed to Kona, but they would get us on the first available. I looked up those flights and guess what? There are no flights available after that time. That meant sleeping in Maui, but where? Certainly not in the airport. But we’ve seen many pictures on the news of just that, so he called back to see if they guarantee a hotel room. They were terrifically helpful…had no number for the agents in Maui, couldn’t give us specifics other than they’ll help us in Maui as soon as land, etc. 
 By the end of the day, we’d called Hawaiian Air 5 times about what to do and what to expect. 
 Finally, after still having no idea if they’d provide a hotel room, I called around and found one in Kihei, Matthew contacted Hawaiian one last time and booked a room for 7am to Kona.
 Somewhere during the day, I talked to my brother-in-law and realized everyone had plans all day Friday — all the young men were playing golf and nothing else was planned for the wedding party, so after pondering that, I suggested we leave Maui later so we could sleep in and have a leisurely breakfast at what looked like a lovely hotel on the water. 
 When we finally got to SFO, there was one long line at Hawaiian with no 1st class line and everyone there was on the delayed flight...with only 1 agent handling everyone. Another agent showed up 10-15 min later to help. We were given vouchers for $30 to use only at SFO for food with now barely time to eat. We were hungry after so long a wait and strange-in-limbo day, ordered food, and wolfed it down before zipping to the gate to board. Then we waited. No boarding. No explanation. Leaving time 7:10, still standing waiting at 7, 7:10....7:20. I think we boarded close to 7:45 or more, but sat on the tarmac for maybe 15 minutes at least before taking off. 
 When we got to Maui, it was 9:30 pm, 9:45 by the time we got our bags and found the agents who were supposed to help us with vouchers, etc. We told them I'd made reservations for the night in Kihei because no one could verify we'd have a place to sleep there since no flights were leaving that night for Kona. 
 They hadn't printed anything for us ahead of time saying they couldn't get SFO information before we left. Really? They had all day, and we'd called H Air 5 times trying to get in touch with Maui. We had to wait while they found a hotel for us, which they said had a lovely lanai where we could enjoy breakfast, cancelled the one I had (saying it’s 25 min. away—11miles?), and printed vouchers for hotel, breakfast, and taxi (too late for shuttle). We found a taxi after standing in the wrong place awhile, gave him our voucher and the name of the hotel, and finally left the airport.
 Once at the hotel, the desk clerk told us our vouchers were incorrect and shows that hotel, but the information about payment showed the Courtyard Marriott, so they couldn't accept it. While she tried calling H Air, I called the Marriott--no we weren't booked there either. We gave her our credit card and just accepted we would have to hassle HAir for reimbursement later. 
 Remember how I changed our booking because we were staying in a "lovely place?"
  First thing I noticed were the stains in the carpet, then the peeling and stained wall paper and dilapidated lamp shade....

 Didn't show the shutters...only 2 moved and they didn't come together, so there was 1-2" of space open.
The bathroom looked updated, but then why was the shade so poorly mounted?
 Of course the breakfast voucher did not go through, so we paid for breakfast, saved all the receipts and discussed this with the agent at the airport. Even the agent made a face when we told her where they'd had us stay saying they should have put us at the Courtyard which was much nicer...they have 3 places and this was the worst. Yeah, we noticed. No lanai, large room, but badly in need of remodeling, etc. 
 We now have to send everything to consumer affairs for reimbursement.  All this and first class too. A lot of good that did me.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Habitat Work

  A follow-up to last month's post about working and creating in Sonora. I brought several of my mother's old silk scarves for Nuno felting...which means adding fiber to felt onto an existing piece of silk to enhance it. The first two pictures are the front where I put the fiber only in the center of the purple scarf (the blue towel underneath it detracts from the pic) and the third one shows the other side which covers most of the silk.

Dried and finished pieces:

 I read about a technique that intrigued me, so I bought some new tools and tried it for this month's project in the warmth of Sonora. A frame is created with wire, then hammered. Then beads are added and wrapped along the sides. These are heavier than I personally wear, but they're not so heavy others wouldn't like them.  
 I'm back in the fog, but since these are another good "indoor sport," I've made two more frames to hammer and bead. I also wove a fiber and beaded bracelet that needs finishing. 

Love retirement!