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Laureen

    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

    Reading Wednesday

    Such a fun story. A quick and easy read, and for anyone who grew up in the sixties and the seventies rock and roll period, a must read. Here is my book review Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

    Reid creates a fictional tale (but loosely based on real characters) of the whirlwind rise of an iconic rock band, thier gorgeous, carefree and talented lead singer, and the “handlers” and promoters who make it all happen.

    Raucous and heedless Daisy Jones is young teen without parental supervision who, though underage, frequents the LA club scene fraught with drugs and alcohol and rock and roll in the early 1970’s. Eventually she will connect with the up and coming rock band known as The Six and they all will skyrocket to fame and success.

    But it all comes crashing down when success takes it toll, mixed with an abundance of drugs and alcohol leading to addiction. But underlying it all is a simmering love story and a sad fate for young kids thrust into a world out of their control.

    *****I really enjoyed Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Five Stars.

    Read last week’s review of The Island of Sea Women

    My current read Sold on a Monday

    See this week’s top performing pin here.

    The links below are affiliate links, meaning at no cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase I will receive a commission.

    Island Life

    Going To Hana Backwards

    Location: Maui Hawaii

    We weren’t going to do the road to Hana this time – we’ve done it before, more than once.  So it wasn’t on our list. But somehow we ended up driving it today – backwards. Let’s talk about Going to Hana Backwards.

    Well, not actually backwards, but the opposite way that most people do the road to Hana.  And now, I’ll never do it the other way again.

    The Road to Hana (Canva)

    We were just going to go to Oheo Gulch and do the four mile round trip hike to the waterfall.  This hike is also known as the Pipiwai Trail (formerly known as the Seven Sacred Pools, which are neither sacred nor seven).  So we thought we would go in the backdoor, up through Kula and along the roughest part of the Hana road which many people never see.  By the way, many people still think this road is impassable.  It is not.  And also many people think the rental car agencies say you can’t take your car there.  Most do not.  Read your agreement to be sure.  The road is perfectly drivable in the Hundai rental car we have.

    Driving that part of the road you get to have it mostly to yourself.  The views across to the Big Island are beautiful on a clear day, and even on a cloudy day the crashing waves on the jagged rocks below are magnificent.

    We planned to return to Kihei on this same stretch of road, but decided after our wonderful hike to go visit Black Sand Beach just North of Hana.  And then it seemed to just make sense to take the road all the way around.

    Black Sand Beach (Canva)

    When you head north from Hana back to Paia late in the afternoon you are moving with the majority of traffic, given that most people turn around at Hana and head back late in the afternoon.  This actually works in your favor because the caravan of cars going the same direction makes for easy access on the many one lane bridges you cross on the Road to Hana.  Very limited traffic heading south at that time of day makes the crosses easy.  You rarely need to stop for oncoming traffic.

    Combine that with the nearly deserted section of road we drove in the early part of the day, we made really good time doing the entire Hana Loop.  In addition we got to enjoy breakfast in Kula, beautiful vistas of Kihei, Makena and the Big Island.  Early birds at Oheo Gulch made the parking perfecto and because we were traveling in the opposite direction of most people, we were arriving at Black Sand Beach in the afternoon just as most people were leaving there to go to Oheo Gulch.

    Maui

    Oheo Gulch

    So Backwards is the new Forwards.

    Well, when it comes to going to Hana anyway.  Try it!

    Learn more about Maui Now – Open for Business  

    Learn more Hana options here.

    Hawaii has strict Covid-19 restrictions.  Know before you go.  Learn more here.

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    Inspire

    It’s the Little Things – Thirty Eight Years of Marriage

    Today my husband and I are celebrating our 38th wedding anniversary. It was a dark rainy day when we married in November 1982. But it was still a glorious and happy day.

    1980

    We were young and our wedding was nothing special, certainly nothing like the huge and expensive weddings that take place today. I was naive and thought it was great. And that is how our life has gone. We have lived simply, worked hard and made a lot from a little. It’s the little things – 38 years of marriage.

    Here’s our story;

    1975

    1975

    I am fifteen when I realize Arne exists, even though in hindsight I know we have met several times before. He is nearly seventeen. We meet on a ski trip. My life is changed. Even at a young age, there was something there.

    What is happening in 1975? Gerald Ford is President. The Vietnam War comes to an end. Captain and Tennille are singing Love Will Keep Us Together while we are standing in long lines to see the movie Jaws. Pet rocks, mood rings and Rubik’s Cubes are in our Christmas stockings.

    Arne and I date for nearly a year. He is my first date ever. But then we stop dating. I am crushed. Him not so much. Life goes on and we manage a nice friendship for many years; it’s the little things.

    1979

    1979

    Arne is away at college in Boston but the summer of ’79 we rekindle our relationship. My memories of that summer are of me dating different guys in my hometown, but then all of those guys seem to fall off my radar and there is Arne. It’s a summer of water skiing, drive in movies, concerts, taking the ferry to Seattle for dinner. It’s also the summer I am preparing to leave to go to Washington State University, after spending one year at the local community college. I am working three jobs. I have no idea how I’m going to pay for school. Until miraculously I receive a giant financial aid package.

    What is happening in 1979? Margaret Thatcher becomes the first woman Prime Minister in Britain. Hostages are taken at the US Embassy in Iran. The Hood Canal bridge sinks. ESPN is launched. We are loving Candies heels and wearing overalls and tube tops. If you are lucky a walkman is in your Christmas stocking.

    Arne returns to Boston for school and I head to WSU feeling like my life is beginning. We part knowing life is about to change. In the year ahead we both see other people, have some serious but short relationships but keep in touch.

    1981 & 1982

    1982

    Arne has graduated from MIT and taken a job with Boeing to be close to those he loves…me! I’m still in school but we live together in the summer of ’81 in Seattle, but I return to WSU to finish my senior year. We are engaged in June of ’82 and married in November.

    What is happening in 1981 and 82?. We are introduced to Aids. Anwar Sadat is assasinated. The Space Shuttle Columbia has its first flight. Post-it Notes are invented. Michael Jackson’s Thriller is released. Epcot opens. Hollywood is on a roll in ’82 with blockbuster films including E.T., Gandhi, Chariots of Fire and On Golden Pond. If you are lucky you might find a digital watch in your stocking this year. Pac Man is all the rage.

    Arne and I live in a tiny little rental house in West Seattle and begin our married life.

    1992

    1992

    Our first ten years of marriage has flown by. We built a house in Issaquah and added two beautiful sons to our family. Arne has now been at Boeing for twelve years. I have received my second degree, from the University of Washington, and began my career climb. I worked on a political campaign, then KIRO-TV, then the Issaquah Press and then become the Director of Salmon Days. But then we make a major decision to move to Virginia for Arne’s job and I become a stay at home mom with a five year old and a one year old.

    What is happening in 1992? The first George Bush is President and Bill Clinton becomes a candidate for the office. Mall of America opens. Los Angeles is riotin after the Rodney King verdict. The first McDonald’s opens in Beijing. Barney is on our television and A Few Good Men and Unforgiven are on the big screen. Kids are finding Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in their stockings.

    We will spend 18 months in Virginia absorbing the incredible history there and take our first cruise to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary.

    2002

    2002

    Ten years later life is flying by. Our children are now 16 and 12. We have built a beautiful home in Gig Harbor, lived there 8 years and then sold it to move to a run down old house on the water. This house will be our little project for seven years. Arne is still at Boeing, celebrating 22 years. After being a stay at home mom for four years I return to television and work at KSTW TV and then take the position as Tourism Marketing Director for Gig Harbor. This will be my final job of my career.

    What is happening in 2002? Americans are in shock from the 9-11 attacks. Terrorism is a constant word in our vocabulary. We are introduced to the No Child Left Behind Act. The winter Olympics are held in Salt Lake City Utah. Lord of the Rings is on the big screen and Eminem is everywhere. If you are lucky, there will be a flip phone in your Christmas stocking.

    This period in our life is stressful. We are both working full-time, managing typical teenagers and their endless needs and activities, and remodeling an old house inch by inch.

    2012

    2012

    We have now completed all the upgrades to our waterfront house and gotten our first son through college. Our second son is in his final year of Architecture school. Arne has now been at Boeing for 32 years. We spend a lot of time talking about retirement and how we would like that next phase of our life to look. We have done a lot of travel in the past decade, and know that we want travel to be a big part of our future. I am in my final year of work and will retire at a young 53 the following year.

    What is happening in 2012? Americans have weathered the recession and things are looking up. We are all introduced to Facebook when it goes public and life will never be the same. We learn about Gangnam Style. America’s first black President Barack Obama is running for his second term. The Sandy Hook shooting kills 26. Taylor Swift is everywhere and The Hunger Games has us obsessed. The iphone 5, E-Readers and gift cards are what we want to find in our Christmas Stockings.

    We celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary in this year and take stock of our blessings, and the little things. We are aware acutely of how short life is having said goodbye to many people too young and begin focus on what’s next.

    2020

    2020

    Pandemic. It has taken over our lives. It has changed everything that we believed we had control of. But we are safe and healthy. When the pandemic hits we have now been traveling the world for four years, nearly full time, returning to the USA each summer. We have sold the waterfront home and purchased a small villa. Our kids are employed and healthy and we are free to move about the world. Until we are not. So we return to the USA to wait it out and see what will happen next. We are still in the USA seven months later when we celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary on November 27th.

    What is happening in 2020? Donald Trump is President and he lacks the ability to deal with the Pandemic. On November 3rd America chooses Joe Biden to lead them. Wildfires plague many parts of the world including Australia and the USA due to the growing climate change crisis. Jeffrey Epstein, George Floyd and Kobe Bryant each in their own way create a shock factor in the news. IPad, Airpods, Bluetooth and anything to do with technology is on the Christmas list. Joke gifts in reference to quarantine are also popular such as toilet paper, flour, face masks and funny pandemic T-shirts.

    2020

    My husband and I celebrate our 38th Anniversary with a hopeful heart. Our married life has been a collection of little things that have combined to create a wonderful life together. We look to 2021 and our 39th year of marriage and hope to be healthy, travel, and see our sons successful. It’s not a lot to ask. Just the little things – 38 years of marriage.

    Thanks for joining me on this little walk down memory lane. It’s the little things – 38 years of marriage.

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    Photos in this blog from Canva.

    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review The Island of the Sea Women by Lisa See

    I loved this book. It was a page turner for me. Without planning to, I have read several books recently based in Korea or Japan. See my review of Fifty Words for Rain, and one of my favorite books this year Pachinko. The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See is also one of my favorite reads this year. Here is my book review of The Island of Sea Women.

    Lisa See is also the author of Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane (as well as others) a book I really enjoyed last year. In the Island of Sea Women, See takes us to Korea, and the tiny island of Jeju just off the south tip of the Korean Peninsula.

    Here we meet two young girls from very different backgrounds whose destinies will be entwined for all of their days; from Japanese colonialism, through WWII, the Korean War and into the modern era. These young girls, their ancestors and neighbors are the Sea Women, a remarkable group of women who dive the icy cold waters for food to sustain them, their families and thier futures.

    In a changing world, this ancient culture will face so many challenges in the modern era, many challenges that will break friendships and families and hearts. I hope you enjoyed my book review The Island of Sea Women. It’s one of my favorite reads in the past several months.

    Learn more about the women of Jeju here.

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Five stars for The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

    Read last week’s review of The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo

    My current read Daisy Jones and the Six

    See this week’s top performing pin here.

    The link below is an affiliate link, meaning, at no additional cost to you if you click and purchase this book I will receive a comission. Thank you.

    Island Life

    My Favorite Islands Around the World

    Just Call Me Island Girl

    Enjoying my time on Maui I’ve been thinking about all the island’s I have been blessed to visit. It’s a long list. My favorite islands around the world are usually remote and small. But I have also loved some larger, populated and sometimes touristy islands. We are doubtful we will travel international in 2021, but as soon as we can we will be heading to some of the world’s best islands. So many islands, so little time.

    Langkawi Malaysia
    Langkawi Malaysia

    Our sudden disruption to our 2020 Grand Adventure last spring due to the virus, eliminated our visit to many islands we have long desired to see; Malta, Guernsey, Jersey and the archipelogos of Finland. We spent seven unexpected weeks on the beautiful island of Cyprus, but in total lockdown and so nothing more than our tiny neighborhood in the village of Argaka. So each of these islands remain on our to visit list.

    Maui
    Maui

    Over the past five weeks we have been living on the island of Maui, and have just extended our stay another four weeks. So in 2020 we spent six weeks on Mauritius, seven weeks on Cyprus and will have a total of nine weeks on Maui. A total of 22 weeks on islands in 2020. It’s one of the few good things about 2020.

    Prince Edward Island Canada
    Prince Edward Island Canada

    So in today’s blog I thought I would share some of my favorite islands around the world, and a brief description of why they make my fav list. There are several other islands we have visited I don’t mention here…I had to narrow it down. But if you have ever considered traveling to any of these – here are my recommendations;

    Langkawi Malaysia

    • Visited in October 2019 for 26 days
    • Average Temperature 84 F
    • 25 miles long by 12 miles wide
    • Population 65,000
    • Best time to visit November -February
    • Where we stayed Airbnb
    • Quiet and super inexpensive. Beautiful, clean beaches, lots of restaurants and great sunsets. Grocery accessibility is average. Very friendly people.
    • Don’t miss sunset at Cenang Beach
    • Learn more
    Langkawi Malaysia
    Langkawi Malaysia

    Praslin Seychelles

    • Visited in May 2017 for 33 days
    • What we wrote
    • Average temperature 80 F
    • 15 miles long and 7 miles wide
    • Population 7500
    • Best time to visit April, May, October, November
    • Where we stayed Airbnb
    • Very quiet but also expensive. Beaches are nice but having a car at least part of the time is a must if you need to shop. Groceries are very expensive and produce is difficult to get. The people are quiet but nice and it is just beautiful. Boats available to visit other islands.
    • Don’t miss swimming at Gold Beach Anse Volbert-Côte D’Or,
    • Learn more
    Seychelle Islands
    Praslin Seychelles

    Antiparos Greece

    • Visited in October 2018 for 21 days
    • What we wrote
    • Average temperature 70 F
    • Size 23 mi diameter
    • Population 1190
    • Best time to visit April to October
    • Where we stayed Airbnb
    • In October Antiparos was really quiet as the season ends in September. But we had exceptional weather. Some restaurants and businesses in the tiny town were closed for the season but we found everything we needed at reasonable prices. Ferries available to surrounding islands.
    • Don’t miss hiking out to Panagia beach
    • Learn more
    Antiparos Greece
    Antiparos Greece

    Huraa Maldives

    • Visited in February 2018 for 21 days
    • What we wrote
    • Average Temperature 85 F
    • Size 1 mile by 0.5 mile
    • Population 550
    • Best time to visit November to April
    • Where we stayed Airbnb
    • By far the tiniest island we have been on, this very low lying Maldivian island is actually an atoll, made up of coral. The weather was incredible and we had the most relaxing three weeks of our life here. Best one day snorkeling of my life off of Huraa. Very little to do, and nearly no shopping. Note that there is no alcohol on this Muslim island!
    • Don’t miss snorkeling at Sand Island
    • Learn more
    Huraa Maldives
    Huraa Maldives

    South Island New Zealand

    • Visited in February 2017 for three weeks
    • What we wrote
    • Average Temperature 55 F
    • Size 150 X 500 miles (12th largest island in the world)
    • Population 1.3 million
    • Best time to visit December to May
    • Where we stayed – we rented a caravan and traveled around
    • New Zealand is downright amazing. We loved both the North and South Island and we would really love to go back and visit again. This is not a laying in the sun island. Rather it is an island for all things recreational: hiking, walking, cycling, bird watching and more. Absolutely stunning. And ridiculously expensive.
    • Don’t miss hiking the Abel Tasman Trail
    • Learn more
    South Island New Zealand
    South Island New Zealand

    Mackinac Island, Michigan USA

    • Visited twice in the late 1990’s
    • Average Temperature 60 F
    • Size 2 x 3 mile
    • Population 500
    • Best time to visit May through September
    • Where we stayed Hotel
    • It’s been a long time since I visited magical Mackinac and I sure would love to go again. It is so unique, especially in the USA, to find a place with no motor vehicles. Both times I was there in the summer with beautiful weather. Renting bikes and riding around the island is a highlight.
    • Don’t miss a romantic horse drawn carriage ride
    • Learn more
    Mackinac Island Michigan
    Mackinac Island Michigan USA (photo from Canva)

    Maui Hawaii USA

    • Visited more times than I can count, and currently spending nine weeks here
    • What we wrote
    • Average Temperature 80 F
    • Size 25 x 50 miles
    • Population 145,000
    • Best time to visit Year Around
    • Where we stayed Condo
    • I’m lucky to count myself as one who has visited every Hawaiian Island that isn’t privately owned, and hands down Maui is the best. It is expensive but beyond that everything about it is perfect – the weather, the water, the beach, the food, the activities and the fact for people who live on the west coast of the USA, it’s really easy to get to.
    • Don’t miss whale watching for humpback whales in the winter months
    • Learn more
    Maui Hawaii USA
    Maui Hawaii USA

    Lombok and Bali Indonesia

    • Visited in March and April 2018 – two weeks on Bali and one week on Lombok
    • What we wrote
    • Average Temperature 80 F
    • Size Bali 40 x 90 miles Lombok 50 x 50 miles
    • Population Bali 4.2 million Lombok 3.1 million
    • Best time to visit May through September
    • Where we stayed Airbnb
    • We loved our time on both of these beautiful islands. Bali is very popular with tourists for its beauty, beaches and vibe. Lombok on the other hand is a unique, tiny and non-touristy island where we spent six glorious days doing nothing but laying in a hammock.
    • Don’t miss an authentic Balinese Cultural performance in Ubud
    • Learn more
    Lombok Indonesia
    Lombok Indonesia

    Zanzibar Tanzania

    • Visited in September 2009 for five days
    • Average Temperature 90 F
    • Size 20 x 50 miles
    • Population 1.3 million
    • Best time to visit June through December
    • Where we stayed Lodge
    • I visited Zanzibar with my sister after spending a week on a safari in mainland Tanzania. It remains one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. It is also the second worst sunburn I have got. The white sand beaches are amazing. The people are quiet and kind. The seafood delicious.
    • Don’t miss a ride in an authentic Zanzibar Dhow Boat
    • Learn more
    Zanzibar Tanzania
    Zanzibar Tanzania

    Rapa Nui, Chile (Easter Island)

    • Visited in January 2015 for six days
    • What we wrote
    • Average Temperature 75 F
    • Size 7 x 15 miles
    • Population 5761
    • Best time to visit April to June or October to December
    • Where we stayed Lodge
    • Definitely one of the most interesting places I have ever been. This tiny island out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is difficult to get to and expensive but worth it. We loved our time here learning about the Moai and the history of Rapa Nui. I highly recommend.
    • Don’t miss touring with an authorized tour guide to understand the amazing statues and history of this island
    • Learn more
    Rapanui Easter Island Chile
    Rapa Nui (Easter Island) Chile

    Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka

    • Visited in January 2018 for three weeks
    • What we wrote
    • Average Temperature 81 F
    • Size 120 x 250 miles
    • Population 21.44 million
    • Best time to visit December to March
    • Where we stayed Airbnb
    • We did a five day tour with a guide around the major sites of Sri Lanka seeing some of the most amazing things including the astonishing Sigiriya ancient mountain fortress. Then we kicked back for more than two weeks in a tiny hut on the beach in Hikkadua, which ended up being “interesting” but super fun and the weather and the beach were perfect. The Sri Lankan people are some of the kindest on the planet.
    • Don’t miss Sigiriya Fortress one of the most incredible things I have ever seen
    • Learn more
    Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka Sri Lanka

    Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

    • Visited in May 2010 for one week
    • What we wrote
    • Average Temperature 75 F
    • Size 50 x 80 miles (Isla Isabela, the largest of the archipelago)
    • Population 25,000
    • Best time to visit January to June
    • Where we stayed – we were on a small 12 person cruise
    • My first dip into my bucket list was this trip to the Galapagos Islands to celebrate my 50th birthday. Living on a boat for five nights we saw many islands and the most amazing collection of wildlife and sea life. We loved every minute of it and although it’s expensive, we recommend it to anyone!
    • Don’t miss swimming with sea lions
    • Learn more
    Galapogos Islands
    Wildlife is abundant on the Galapagos Islands

    Singapore, Singapore

    • Visited in February 2018 for three days
    • What we wrote
    • Average Temperature 81 F
    • Size 721.5 km
    • Population 5.6 million
    • Best time to visit February through May
    • We only had a couple of days in Singapore, the teeny island city/state that is one of the most expensive places in the world. It is also one of the cleanest and most colorful, particularly at night. I hope to return.
    • Don’t miss the Singapore Gardens by the Bay at night and the amazing Singapore Botanic Garden
    • Learn more
    Singapore
    Singapore Singapore

    Nantucket Island, Massachusetts USA

    • Visited in April 2002
    • Average Temperature 55 F
    • Size 5 x 12 miles
    • Population 11,229
    • Best time to visit May through October
    • We only had a couple of day on Nantucket but we were traveling with our young children at the time and it was a great little place for a family vacation. We were there in spring before the hoard of tourists descend in the summer and it was peaceful and beautiful and historic.
    • Don’t miss a Clam Bake and riding bikes around the island
    • Learn more
    Nantucket Island
    Nantucket Island USA (Photo from Canva)

    Prince Edward Island, Canada

    • Visited in July 2007
    • Average Temperature 50 F
    • Size 30 x 100 miles
    • Population 157,000
    • Best time to visit July and August
    • We drove up to the Maritimes from Boston and enjoyed the drive as much as the islands. Prince Edward Island was still at that time very quiet and we enjoyed riding bikes, eating lobster and learning about history.
    • Don’t miss searching for sea glass at Souris Beaches
    • Learn more
    Prince Edward Island Canada
    Prince Edward Island Canada

    Honshu Japan

    • Visited in 1999 for five weeks
    • Average temperature – Honshu is a big island with multiple climates but Tokyo average summer high is 80 F
    • Size 150 x 500 miles
    • Population 104 million (2nd most populous island after Java Indonesia)
    • Best time to visit – March to May and September to November
    • We spent five weeks exploring the island of Honshu. Our kids were little and it was a magical time for us as a family. Japan is one of the most unique and beautiful places in the world. I hope to go back some day.
    • Don’t miss Tokyo, Hiroshima and Osaka
    • Learn more
    Japan
    Honshu Japan (photo from Canva)

    San Juan Island, Washington USA

    • I have visited these islands many times as they are in the backyard of where I grew up
    • Average Temperature 55 F
    • Size – there are nine islands in varying sizes. The two largest are Orcas and San Juan
    • Population 6900
    • Best time to visit – Summer months
    • We have traveled to nearly all of the islands over my lifetime growing up in the Pacific Northwest. The islands are a great place for family camping or romantic getaways. Hiking, cycling and kayaking are popular.
    • Don’t miss getting up close and personal with the famous J-Pod of Orca Whales on a whale watching tour.
    • Learn More
    San Juan Islands USA
    San Juan Islands Washington USA (photo from Canva)

    And that’s our list! We hope you have been inspired to find your own “island time” adventure. You might enjoy this article about The 26 Largest Islands Around the World.

    We thank you for reading and for sharing our blog! You might enjoy our post about our favorite things on each Hawaiian Island.

    Also check out our YouTube video about Take Out Food on Maui.

    See this week’s top performing pin here.

    Maldives
    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo

    Reading Wednesday

    Five generations of women bring this story to life in the olive orchards of northern California. But secrets and genetics come together in this beautifully told story of family ties and a life well lived. Here is my book review of The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo.

    Santo introduces us to the matriarch of the family, 112 year old great-grandmother who is a spry as anyone half her age. Four generations of women below her struggle with life in each her own way, as the story unfolds and we learn about love, longevity and the tricks our minds can play on us with memories.

    In an effort to be in the Guiness Book of World Records, the incredible genetic story of our matriarch opens a dark secret of the past, bringing to light what does it really mean to be family, and how does our genetic makeup define our health and happiness throughout our lives?

    I really enjoyed this story and hope to read more by Courtney Miller Santo.

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Four Stars for The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo.

    Read last week’s review of The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett

    My current read The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis.

    See this week’s top performing Pin here.

    The link below is an affiliate link, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a comission if you click through and make a purchase. Thank you.

    Island Life

    Maui Now – Open For Business

    Maui Musings

    Location: Maui USA

    Hawaii has strict Covid 19 regulations. Educate yourself before planning a trip. Learn more here.

    Since international travel is out of the question at the moment, we have been working on a plan to continue our Grand Adventure without leaving the USA. Hawaii of course was at the top of our list and when they began welcoming guests again on October 15th, we were on one of the first planes to land that day. Maui now – open for business.

    Maui
    View from my lanai

    To Travel or Not to Travel

    I can’t answer this question for anyone but myself. Nor should you judge me for my personal decisions. We, as highly skilled and practiced world travelers don’t take travel or the virus lightly. We have spent a lot of time considering what and how our future will look and how travel will continue to be a part of it.

    Maui
    Quiet beaches in Kapalua

    Maui, and other places like it, where you can spend 16 or more hours a day outdoors, and easily social distance even if dining in a restaurant, is the kind of destination we are looking for. And since we have been to Maui so many times, it was easy for us to plan and execute a five week visit to a place we know well.

    Maui Now – Open for Business

    It’s like someone flipped a switch. The lights are on and Maui is back in business.

    We arrived on October 15th to our 86 unit condo to find only two other units occupied. The first few days or even weeks it was so quiet. Beaches were empty, resorts were closed, very few stores and restaurants were open. Four weeks later, more than half of the 86 units are occupied. Nearly all the resorts are open. This week marked the opening of several major restaurants and attractions. In the coming weeks even more attractions will come back on line as Maui prepares for holiday crowds. Maui Now – Open for Business.

    Maui
    Shops at Wailea working to reopen

    Lahaina and other shopping areas are starting to reopen with more than half the stores restocking and welcoming visitors. All the stores are being very diligent about staff and visitors wearing masks – a mask law is in effect throughout Maui County.

    Maui
    Old Town Lahaina was hard it by the closure

    But not everything survived the seven month closure. Like many places around the USA, restaurants and shops have closed permanently. It was just too much.

    Social Distancing Easy

    Maui
    Hiking with my hubby

    Is it safe? For me, I probably wouldn’t choose to go to a luau, but I have felt very safe at the handful of restaurants (all locally owned) that we have visited and sat outside. I have felt very safe getting take-out too. Again, for me I probably would not choose to do a group snorkel tour, although they are in full-swing. But I feel safe golfing with my husband, hiking on nearly deserted trails, and running every morning in my neighborhood. I feel safe at the beach where it’s easy to distance. We actually have avoided the collective BBQ at our condo, only using it twice in a month, in an effort to not stand around with other people we don’t know. We usually have the pool to ourselves when we go there, as most people go to the beach instead.

    Maui
    One of the few restaurants we have been to, Sam Sato

    Gathering with Friends

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    Strolling in Lahaina with our friends Steve and Dori

    Completely unplanned but fun nonetheless, we happened to be here at the same time as several friends from back home. I have felt safe spending time with them in small groups. Each of them had to be tested before arriving, and each of them are practicing the same safe distancing and mask wearing rules we are. So we socialized with a hand full of dear friends and it made our visit all the more special.

    A Real Vacation and Taking a Break

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    Chilling

    Being here for a month (with one more week to go) has felt like a real vacation for me. More relaxing than many of the places we travel. Taking a social media break was a wonderful cleanse and I really needed that. I’m so glad I was able to plan and schedule many blogs and book reviews before leaving home – leaving me time to just be present here in Maui.

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    Little discoveries on my daily run

    We have spent a lot of time in the sun, although I have made a conscious effort to be more careful with my tanning (hard for me as my skin is a sun sponge). We have been just active enough and just lazy enough and just social enough and just the two of us enough to make it exactly right. Just enough as we head back to rain and dark and upcoming stress back home – where the Covid numbers are surging.

    Where Do We Go From Here

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    Blow hole at Kapalua

    We continue to work hard to stay healthy but of course who knows what the future holds. If Covid has taught me anything it’s that I am not in control. In fact I just read a line in a book that I loved – “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” That’s a quote from Anxious People by Fredrick Bachman. And ain’t that the truth. Making plans you have no idea if you can keep is the new way of life in the time of Covid.

    Maui
    Maui morning

    So we head home November 20th and prepare to be with our family for the holidays, deal with some medical issues and prepare the house and ourselves once again for a departure. Mid January we head to Palm Desert where we plan to spend two months, Arizona for another month and Utah for a few weeks after that before heading back to Washington State in May.

    These are our plans…hahahaha.

    The Grand Adventure, a bit of a kink in the road, but it goes on.

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    Read our post My Favorite Thing to do on Each Hawaiian Island

    Learn more about Covid rules for visiting Hawaii here.