I love this shot. (by antigone78)

The first full day we were in Maui we made the Road to Hana trip. Well, we got about half way. And I survived!

I’d heard so much about this drive. When you do a search for ‘Maui attractions’ it’s included in just about every link you can find and I envisioned this four lane road with big flashing “Stop and try our pineapple here!” signs every 40 feet. Sure the pictures made it LOOK nice but pictures of Vegas are welcoming and encouraging and nowhere do they mention that if you stray so much as 10 feet off The Strip you are overwhelmed with the stench of sun baked urine and accosted by bums. And that they smell WORSE.

I was never in my life so happy to be SO WRONG. On the drive from the condo to Paia where we rented a cooler and bought a box lunch to take on the trip I was glued to the window. The day before it was dark by the time we drove by all this so I was seeing it for the first time. The sky was the kind of baby blue I’ve dreamed about but 20+ years of living in a city with the worst pollution in the COUNTRY had convinced me only existed there: in my dreams. Every color was that way. The sugar cane was the most vibrant green I had ever seen. The water was a perfect gradient of teal to a light then a deep dark blue that even the most experienced graphic designer could never replicate. I was in awe of EVERYTHING.

OMG PULL OVER!!  A WHALE!!! (by antigone78)

We had gotten up late and the attraction coordinator at the hotel assured us as we booked our glass bottom boat and Molokini/Lanai snorkeling trip later in the week that we were getting way to late a start for the Hana drive. And… we should consider taking a GUIDED tour to fully appreciate all that the road had to offer. To us this seemed kinda silly since we had a Shelby Stang to make the trip in and to her seemed perfectly logical because she’d get a higher commission. I’m glad we didn’t listen to her.

We arrived at the first stop, Twin Falls, probably sometime around 9:30AM. I had on flip flops but had thrown my tennis shoes in the trunk in case we did any serious hiking. Ben told me that we should bring shoes but the few other people I saw walking off to the trail all had sandals on too so I told him I’d be fine. He brought a backpack along with his shoes anyway and I just kinda giggled at my boy scout boyfriend, grabbed the Canon and we were off.

Walking to the falls (by antigone78)

The trail was MUDDY. And lush and beautiful and so very very green. And REALLY MUDDY. On the way there the self guided Road to Hana tour CD had told us that Hana averages 300 inches of rain a year and is a real rain forests. I guess for most clear thinking people that means “Don’t wear flipflops, moron.” heh I struggled and Ben laughed. So it was pretty much like any other walk we’d been on except that we were in Paradise. Anna means ‘graceful‘ ya know.

When we got to the falls we took pictures and watched two guys swim around the bottom and just sat and soaked in the serene beauty of it all. After about 15 minutes or so and almost killing myself on slippery rocks Ben said,

Ben: You should go in.
Me: What?
Ben: You should get in the water.
Me: I didn’t bring a towel and I don’t have a change of clothes in the car.
Ben: So when you tell this story to people do you want to tell them about how you walked to this beautiful waterfall… and then left. Or do you want to tell them how you walked to this beautiful waterfall then SWAM in it and how awesome that was?
Me: …
Ben: I’m gonna go take some more pictures.

Me behing the waterfall.. (by antigone78)

So I sat there for a minute or two and thought, “what the hell… I might as well get in. How many times will I get the chance to go swimming in a waterfall in a rain forest in Paradise, right?”

After swimming around a bit and climbing onto the rocks behind the waterfall I decided that we better get going since we had a long drive in front of us that day. Going through the bottom of the falls was tricky because the water was POUNDING down with enough force that I had to hold the wall with one hand and my bikini top uo with the other… with my eyes closed so I didn’t lose my contacts.

I managed to get off the rocks gracefully (SEE: slipped and fell flat on my ass then tried to slide down the rest of the way which gave me a wedgie so far up my bum it cleaned my sinuses out) and swam to where the rock shelf started at the edge of the pond in waste deep water with my eyes still closed. When I opened them I saw Ben looking at me with a sly grin on his face holding out a cell phone and saying, “Since you did that, you should marry me.” I’m sure I looked at him with the most puzzled look on my face because I was thinking to myself I must have hit my HEAD when I fell too because I was totally hearing things.

Me: What?
Ben: Will you marry me?

I realized when my contacts cleared and my eyes focused that it was an opened RING BOX he was holding, not a cell phone! In a single second my heart started racing about 4,000 MPH and I got this silly knot in my throat and felt like the world spun completely around me with every single beat of my heart. I put my head down for a second and closed my eyes. I wanted to convince myself that I wasn’t dreaming that the Man of My Dreams had just proposed to me at the edge of a waterfall the middle of a rain forest in Maui.

23/365 - Luau (by antigone78)

I opened my eyes and it was real. I yelled YES(!!) and climbed/waded to where he was (almost falling at least 6 times because again, GRACEFUL) and climbed on the rock next to my fiance and kissed him and put the ring on my finger. The next few moments are kinda blurry. I remember shaking but not feeling cold at all, and Ben yelping as I pressed my cold body to him when we kissed, and the couple that had been swimming before offered to take our picture and saying congrats. I was on such a high that I felt like we floated, not walked, back to the car to continue the drive to Hana.

On the walk he told me about picking out the diamond, and the setting and that he’d had the ring for a MONTH. And that EVERY SINGLE PERSON we know knew that he was going to propose. He’d told my mom and dad and all our friends and the girl that works at the front desk and nVidia. Everybody.

So, we’re engaged. Looking down at the ring still causes my heart to flutter at the thought that I’m going to marry the man who saved my life and makes me laugh every single day and who loved me through battles with depression and from 240 miles away and who reminds me daily that I’m special and cared about and for.

We don’t have a date set yet but the latest idea is to have the wedding around Spring of 2008. As details progress, of course, you will all be informed.

San Jose if very COLD.

We got home late last night and I’ve spent the last 24 or so hours sorting through pictures and trying to keep my toes from freezing and falling off. It’s damn cold here and my body is not happy. At all.

I got the first two days worth of pictures up. I have a huge, fantastic, detail filled, wonderful, picture whoring post in the works but I’m tired and my first day back to work in 10 days is tomorrow AND I’m still on Maui time. *deep breath* So I’m going to go to bed and hopefully I can finish up tomorrow.

I’ll leave you with a few of my favorites so far though:

We were in the car heading to Hana and I thought the baby blue sky against the green sugar cane was awsome. It was even MORE AWSOME in real life.

I love this shot.

We had a quiet moment on the road to Hana and I took a second to let Ben proposing to me sink in. I didn’t realize he had the camera out. This is one of my favorite picture from the trip.


Maui sunsets are breathtaking. So colorful and deep. This is a pic taken from the lanai (balcony) of our condo.

Maui Sunset


Funny story. We were leaving the condo to head to Lahaina for some last minute shopping and I told Ben I was tired of carrying the camera around for the last 7 days so I left it behind. Just as we walked out the door it started to drizzle and the most colorful, most vivid, most beautiful rainbow appeared in front of us. I ran back to the room to get the camera and our damn keycards suddenly wouldn’t work!!

Posted by ShoZu


Yay!!!! There is House in Maui! We just got back from a Luau with a fire dancer. It was awsome. Times 10. I got some really cool pics with a long exposure of the fire twirling. We had a generally lazy day of relaxing on the beach and snorkling. Not long after I sent that last blog Ben found an EEL(!!) He kept pointing to it and I couldn’t see it because it was so close in color to the reef and when I DID see it I saw LOTS AND LOTS of teeth and was pretty much done with the snorkeling for the day. HA!

Posted by ShoZu

snorkling wound

we bought snorkle gear for the beach at the hotel and it was BEAUTIFUL down there. I saw an octopus!!! I can’t wait for thursday and our snorkeling trip when the take us to ‘the most beautiful reef in Lanai’. I will be picking up an underwater camera for sure.

Posted by ShoZu


We spent today shoppping and exploring Lahaina. I love little beach shopping communities. And Ben WANTED to shop!!! We got some shirts and I got a cute cover up for the beach/pool. I got a henna tattoo also. Cuteness. After that we met Sil and Irina for a late lunch and spent the rest of the day drinking fruity drinks and laughing. Good fun. Tomorrow is being lazy on the beach then Luau for dinner. Wednesday is glass bottom boat and Thursday is snorkeling which I am REALLY looking forward to. We get to see dolphins and turtles and coral reefs and beautiful blue and green water oh my! I want to thank you all for the congrats and well wishes. Ben and I love you all very much and appreciate it more than you know.

Posted by ShoZu

I said yes.

As I climbed out of a waterfall on a beautiful day in the most beautiful place on earth was the most wonderful man waiting for me. With a ring and a question. And my answer was a very excited, very emotional, and very wet YES YES YES!!!

Posted by ShoZu


We made it! We got into Maui around 5:00 our time and to the condo at about 6:30 because the upgrade at Hertz had to be inspected before we could drive it off the lot. We were supposed to get a V6 convertible Stang but ended driving off in a Shelby Cobra. We’ve managed to piss off at least three women so far who had to listen to men tell us how lucky we are to have such a BAD ASS CAR. 😉 We will probably return it today for the vert though after the road to Hana drive. We both thought that drive would be more fun in a car with balls. After dinner we hung out with Sil and Irina for a bit who are here too then went for a late night walk on the beach. I wanted to feel sand on my toes and soak in the sound of the ocean. So far Maui has exceeded my expectation 1000. And now we are off to Hana!

Posted by ShoZu