Golfing in Maui...Heavenly activity for many tourists...

Lovely drive into the Kahili Golf Course.
Playing golf in Hawaii is a favorite recreational activity for locals and visitors.  Although neither of us are golfers, we appreciate the beautifully sculpted courses, meticulously maintained and often challenging for the most adept or amateur golfers.

The greenery of Hawaiian vegetation is available year round, making Hawaii and ideal spot for golfers.
Unfortunately, neither of us fall into either category.  Firstly, neither of us found ourselves particularly adept at hitting that little ball nor have we had any interest in learning.

The view of both the mountains and the ocean is a highlight of many Maui golf courses.
Golf became especially less appealing after we'd both injured our right shoulders 10 years ago, playing aggressive and excessive amounts of Wii golf, Wii tennis and other Wii games.  We were extremely competitive to say the least
The drive through the roads of the Kahili Golf Course was a statement to the commitment to preserving the local vegetation.
Our doctor in Minnesota explained that many baby boomers suffered with "Wiinjuries" (Wii injuries) after beating ourselves to a pulp in playing Wii games.  I must say, we loved Wii golf although we never enjoyed the "real deal."

Although there was a road sign warning of "crossing by the Nene birds (Hawaiian geese), only these Cattle Egrets ran back and forth across the road.
Most likely our aversion to golf has been due to a lack of natural ability, if there is such a thing in golf as "natural ability."  You know how that goes.  Some people just pick it up more easily than others, after trying on multiple occasions.  Neither of us ever became competent enough to warrant further efforts

The lush lawns are similar to the type of grass at our condo.
Nor, did we cherish the idea of being bad at something and yet continuing to do it. It was more embarrassing than fun.  What do "they" say? "If you keep doing the same thing over and over again and its not working...stop doing the same thing."  We get that philosophy.

A gazebo and foot bridge on the course with the ocean at a distance.
In any case, we certainly like the idea of golf enough that recently we visited a local Maui golf course, Kahili Golf Course, located in Wailuku, Maui.  While driving through its appealing grounds, we frequently stopped for photos and as shown, occasional stopping for wildlife walking across the road

A manmade pond on the course created a pretty scene.
Although, when we noticed this sign for a buffet, it was tempting to give it a try, we've found that most buffets especially in Hawaii have few dishes that work for me with most items containing starch, grains or sugar, making the expenditure not worthwhile.
We were tempted to try either of these buffets offered at the Kahili Golf Course.  But, as usual, buffets in the US seem to offer less acceptable options for my way of eating.
We'd found a great buffet while in Honolulu and all Tom ate bothered to eat was the prime rib and mashed potatoes. I had no choice but to order off of the menu when nothing on the buffet worked for me, other than a lettuce salad.  Even the peel-and-eat shrimp had a starchy and sugary sauce.  We had some luck with buffets in Africa but not in the US thus far.

Another Cattle Egret on the lookout.
We took several photos as shown at the beautiful Kahili Golf Course.  Here's a list of all of the golf courses in Maui and their fees at this link.  It doesn't appear that prices are much higher than they were 26 years ago when I was last in Maui when 18 holes ran over $200 per person.

Note the pond and ocean in this scenic view.
It appears that one can golf for as little as $49.  The problem that enters the equation for the traveler is the additional cost for preferred tee times, golf cart rentals, equipment rentals, tips, taxes and fees which could, even at the lowest starting price s, be upwards of $400 per person.
This lush greenery outlined the entrance to the golf tunnel.  What a beautiful way to mask an otherwise less appealing entrance and exit!
For the avid golfer these expenses result in "chump change" and they don't flinch to pay it.  Then again, the avid golfer would have brought along their own golf clubs, paying excess baggage fees when flying to the islands.
As we ended our visit to the golf course, one more panoramic view was in order.
For us, we got a kick out of visiting the course, stopping to enjoy the scenery, birds and vegetation which for us is simply, "par for the course."

Have a happy Sunday.  Later today, Tom will watch football on the NFL Game Pass app on his computer.  Go Vikings!  Ha.  Green Bay. Ouch.

Photo from one year ago today, November 23, 2013:
As we wound down our time in Kenya, we assessed what leftover items we find necessary to discard or give away.  No photo was posted on that date.  Please click here for the story.

The beauty of Maui continues in our photos...Sea turtles...

A stop along the highway for a breathtaking view.
As we explore in Maui, we continue to be in awe of its natural beauty and how local businesses and points of interest incorporate their love of Hawaii's natural elements to become a part of the message they convey in their offerings.

This quaint coconut shop is an example of the simple pleasures in the Hawaiian Islands and love for vegetation.
Whether its a farm stand, a restaurant, a golf course or a tourist attraction, the influence of the islands is grasped as a devotion to the way of life, the exquisite vegetation, the  surrounding oceanic water and its treasures, its weather patterns, its volcanoes and its lava rock foundation.

Through the limited explorations we made driving throughout our area, we find ourselves drawn to these natural elements as opposed to the typical often crowded tourist attractions.

A worker at the coconut shop uses a machete type blade to open the coconut, selling them with a straw for drinking the milk and later enjoying the meat.
Our intent in Maui has been to relax from months of traveling while immersing ourselves in the local beauty surrounding us. Its been easy to do both.

Yesterday afternoon, we wandered along the shoreline in the afternoon to spot no less than a dozen sea turtles their flippers wildly flailing and noses popping above the water for a breath of air. 

An old vehicle we spotted at the coconut stand along the highway after our visit to the plantation.
Here's a link to surprising sea turtle facts including that sea turtles were land animals millions of years ago and have since adapted to  life in the sea.  The shell is called a carapace and the underside of a sea turtle is called the plastron.

Sea turtles don't suffer ill effects when diving deep into the ocean and depending on their species can stay underwater from one to five hours without coming up for a breath of fresh air.
Yesterday's sea turtle sighting, barely rising enough above the surface for a decent photo. For a video and more sea turtles photos, please see our link from November 6th here.
It was only a few days ago that we wondered how marine life survives drinking salt water only to find the above link that explains that seas turtles have "salt glands" close to their eyes that filter out the salt from their bodies. 

Each living plant and creature serves a purpose in our environment including every aspect of their structure.  Its especially fascinating to live in an area in which we can observe these some of these aspects in the natural habitat of Hawaii.

We've seen these red berries on several trees to discover they are Foxtail Palm Trees.
In our future travels we'll visit many other islands as in our upcoming extended stays in both Fiji and Bali where we'll find the natural environment equally interesting and fulfilling as we've found in Hawaii.

As our time winds down in Maui, we anticipate the Big Island not only for the glorious time we'll surely spend with our family but also, in the opportunity to share our love of nature with those we love.  We're all excited to see the lava flow...hopefully, not too close to where we'll be living.

This photo illustrates the Foxtail Palm Tree seeds when unripen green as shown on the left, later turning the ripe bright red.
We continue to share more of our new photos of Maui in our remaining time on this island.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Photo from one year ago today, November 22, 2013:
As we prepared to leave Diani Beach, Kenya, one year ago, we didn't post any photos on this date.  Please click here for the story.

High in the trees...Observing an unusual task...Life among the palms...

 Video #1, coconut tree trimming.
Video #2, coconut tree trimming.

Each of the three workers climbed the trees at different speeds.  At this point they were on the ocean side of the property.
Living in a tropical climate not only offers amazing weather, ocean views, unusual and exquisite vegetation and a smattering of wildlife, it has processes that are less familiar to those of us from more seasonal locations.

Nearing the top of a tree in parking lot.
Whether bananas and coconuts are growing in the yard, enormous sea turtles are swimming at the shore at high tides or whales are breaching out to sea, it's scenery that us travelers find interesting and somewhat unusual.

A few days ago, three muscular looking men appeared at the property after we'd received a notice attached to the door asking we move our car far from our assigned parking spot, away from the coconut trees to allow for coconut tree trimming.

Another view in the parking lot.
Apparently, some neighbors had complained that the coconut palms had grown too full and were blocking the views of the ocean.  With whale watching season fast approaching (some have been sighted) it wasn't hard to understand the frustration of those neighbors on the upper floors who's views may have been impeded to a degree.

As much as citizens and tourists of Hawaii appreciate the vegetation, their passion for dolphin and whale watching far exceeds their interest in large palm fronds.

They had special apparatus on their feet that were instrumental in climbing the trees.
Since our condo is on the first floor, we've had no such issue.  Also, of late, we've spent considerable time outdoors with camera and binoculars in hand ready for any sightings.  The three guys immediately got to work shimmying up the 100 foot tall coconut trees in the parking area, later moving to the ocean side of the property.

If unsuccessful in our quest to see whales in Maui, we'll certainly take it up again on the Big island when we arrive in a mere 10 days.  There's perfect spots on the lanai of each of the two house to peer out at the sea for hours.

Let me add something here...we are not condo dwellers by nature. We love quiet and privacy. In Hawaii, housing costs are so high, we had no alternative but to spend 11 nights in Honolulu, 45 nights in Maui and 120 nights in Kauai, living in condos, as opposed to single family homes. 

At the top of a very tall tree, this worker's equipment is more easily visible. They each carried a collapsible bucket for collecting the smaller pieces, letting the big branches fall to the ground.
Upcoming on the Big island, we've rented two single family houses to accommodate the space requirements for our family at a considerably higher cost than any of these other condos.  To rent single family homes in Hawaii is upwards of $400 a night and much more.  (We'll share our actual costs for the Big Island in later posts).

Anyway, back to the three guys shimmying up the 100 foot tall tree.  Running outside with the camera as they worked in the parking lot, I was amazed at the equipment and ease with which they maneuvered their way up the trees as well as the ease they exhibited when using their machetes to hack the heavy palm fronds to the ground.

The larger palms fell to the ground as they wacked at them with machetes.  In the lower portion of this photo, you can see the tops of the windmills atop a hill at a distance. I was standing perpendicular to the ocean when taking this photo.
Their caution and skill was evidenced in their quick and fluid movements and the confidence in which they made their way from tree to tree throughout the property.

In less than four hours, their task was completed, the pristine carpet-like grass was cleared of all debris and off they went to their next job, safe and unharmed, confident and proud of their good work.

Another close up view or a trimmer atop a coconut tree.
Of course, we couldn't resist taking photos and a few videos which we've included here today.  I apologize for the jittery nature on the longer video when a cluster of biting flies attacked me and the camera.  I had to swat them away making the camera move.

I've finally finished all of the revisions leaving a few that I was unable to edit due to the excess number of photos which always has an effect on editing.  In addition, posting during poor WiFi connections in various countries affected the quality of many of the posts. 

Apparently, removing the bulk of the brached doesn't prevent the tree from continuing to grow coconuts and more fronds.
Someday, if I feel ambitious, I may go back and entirely rewrite those posts.  But, for those new readers we wanted to leave them in place until such a time may arise. 

My latest project is cleaning up my thousands of emails still sitting in my inbox.  I always attend to new email messages as they arrive, deleting those I no longer need. 

It was fun to watch them palms falling to the ground, although we stood far enough away.
There are literally hundreds of email messages relative to future travel that need to be placed into appropriate folders, many of which I've yet to create.  This is a task I don't enjoy, as compared to redoing the old posts which made me smile during the five hours I spent each day for many weeks. 

Once this final task is completed, hopefully by the time we leave Maui, I'll feel organized enough to begin planning the grocery lists and meals for our upcoming family get together, in itself a daunting task.

These bananas are growing in the yard at waist level.
See, I'm not as organized as one may think.  My underwear drawer is messy.  My clothing suitcase is not packed in a tidy manner. My single handbag, used only on travel days, is a convoluted mess of this and that.  Then again, I set a lovely table, keep the refrigerator clean and pick up after myself regularly. 

Let's face it, we all have our "weirdnesses" (sic) and I'm certainly no exception.  Ask Tom.

Photo from one year ago today, November 21, 2013:
Gucci and Jessie (with the tongue sticking out) were Hans and Jeri's dogs in Kenya.  They visited us almost every day.  For a period of time, we happily looked after them when Hans and Jeri went away for several days.  We had one laugh after another and became quite attached.  As the time neared, again to depart on December 1st, we said our goodbyes to these sweet two dogs.  For details, please click here.

Contentment prevails in a simple life in Hawaii...Many more new photos...A glass bottle wall...

The beauty of the Maui we know and love.

Vine covered building at the Maui Tropical Plantation.

A colorful variety of Hibiscus.
We'd hoped to do more sightseeing while we're in Maui.  What can we say?  We haven't feel like it.  Plain and simple.  After being on the go non-stop from July 31st to October 5th, 77 days on the go, we've had our fill for awhile, spending blissfully relaxing time over this past month in Maalaea Beach.

We picked up this star shaped pod from the Autograph Tree ground. 

More star shaped pods from the Autograph Tree, clusia rosea seed pods.

Clusia rosea - Autograph Tree, Scotch Attorney, Copey, Pitch Apple, Florida Clusia, Signature Tree (brown flower)
The above seed pods from the Autograph Tree result in these flowers.  (Not our photo). 

No more long lines, traffic, pushing past anxious tourists walking tight along the sidewalk refusing to let this couple in tow pass by, we've had our fill.  For now, we're in heaven, grasping at every morsel in time that too quickly wafts through our days and nights, leaving us wanting more of this blissful quiet existence in this peaceful spot on the island of Maui.

Cordyline Indivisa leaf.

Hawaiian made items for sale in a shop on the grounds of the plantation.

Yet to bloom, Spathoglottis Flower Plicata.
We have no desire to jump into the rental car, begging to be used at $25 per day, that sits beaconing us to explore, for which we've yet to use a full tank of gas.  Contentment.  Enjoy it when its present.  That's how we feel.

Plumeria, often used in making leis.

We walked under this mass of vines creating a gorgeous arbor.
In but a few weeks, family will begin to arrive and surely we'll be on the go, exploring the Big Island with them, interacting with them, loving every precious moment with them.  And again, the time will quickly pass, too quickly.

Colorful plants lined the walkways.

Anthurium, also known as bleeding hearts.  This variety may be the Watermelon Obake Anthurium.

Jade plant, one of many varieties.
For now, we welcome the snail's pace when presently its consisting of peaceful days and lazy nights in gentle contemplation, of what is yet to come, in the coming month during which they will come and then, they will go.

A palm frond along the walkway.

Another pretty scene in the gardens.
What can I say?  Contentment prevails.  Contentment wraps its eloquent arms around our currently subdued state of mind, offering a respite from the otherwise complex nature of our unusual lives. 

The stone wall in this photo was actually made with glass bottles. See photos below.

Glass bottles protruding from the wall created an interesting scene.  Talk about recycling!

Photo of the opposite side of the bottle wall.
Bear with us, as we spend these next 11 days, leaving Maui on December 1st, while we continue to embrace this simple life.  In the interim, we've gathered and continue to gather, many more photos and stories of this uncomplicated existence, not unlike the life of those who actually live full time in Hawaii, who seldom, if ever sightsee, finding themselves at peace and content, at home in these islands, as we are now...

Photo from one year ago today, November 20, 2013:

It was a windy night in Kenya, when we dined out as the only guests in this quaint beachside restaurant.  Tom relaxed with a beer, his hair blowing in the wind as I wandered about taking photo of an upcoming moon, as soon as the cloud would pass.  For details from the date, please click here.