Paradise Left

In a matter of a few hours, I’ve gone from this:

Maui coastline

To this:

Back home in AZ...where's the water??

So, I’ve spent the last week in what I would call paradise – Hawaii.  I have never wished I won the lottery more than right now – if I had money, I think I could handle living on Maui!  (It has water!)

Alas, I am not independently wealthy.  I must work for a living (although I have two more days to pretend that I don’t.)  I’m acclimating to the 20+ degree rise in temperature, and preparing for 100 degrees tomorrow.  Funny how quickly I got used to mid-seventies, cloud cover and misting rain 🙂

I was forewarned, but the shock of $15 hamburgers and $4 glasses of iced tea still stung (kind of like the 284 emails in my “In” box!)  The gas was over $1 a gallon higher than in Arizona.  And, as if the food costs weren’t bad enough, we had to be careful not to overspend on activities.  I marvel at how creatively they can extract money from tourists’ wallets.

Pictures.  This was a biggie.  There seemed to be someone around every corner willing to take your picture and sell you a copy (yes, one picture) for $20 or more.  Had I been a vain lottery winner, I’d have dozens of pictures of ME to show everyone 😉

Upgrades.  The snorkeling excursion we booked had one of the best sales pitches.  They offered digital camera rentals for $40 (and would buy our disposable underwater camera for $10), they also offered a video CD for an additional amount, as well as neoprene wet suit tops for $10.  The water was a bit cold for me, so they got the ten bucks for the shirt (but not the $100 for the deluxe video/picture combo DVD).

Multi-item discounts.  For the bargain-minded tourist, this would seem like a great deal.  The one that almost got me was the seven T-shirts for $20.  Bought individually, the shirts were $4 apiece, saving you eight dollars if you needed seven T-shirts.  Luckily, I stopped to think about it – I just needed two shirts – so really, I saved twelve dollars.

When I get more caught up, I’ll write about the different activities we did:  zip line, snorkeling, rain forest hike, luau, theater show, our travels on the road to Hana and just walking along the beach.  I may not be in paradise anymore, but I’ve got nearly 800 pictures to jog my memory!  (Surely some of them are good enough to share, right?)

For now, I’m off to read some of the great posts that I’ve missed over the last week.  I know I can’t read them all, but will do my best!

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33 thoughts on “Paradise Left

  1. J. P. Cabit April 20, 2012 / 2:45 PM

    Wow, you’ve gone quite snap-happy, haven’t you! 🙂

    That sounds like so much fun! What wouldn’t be a disappointment, after Hawaii? Well, at least you saved $12 on tee-shirts. 🙂 (That made me laugh…It does sound like a good deal!)

    • jannatwrites April 20, 2012 / 10:50 PM

      Yes, I have, Seph! Funny thing is, the other lady we traveled with bought a camera and is hooked on photographing plant life now. I’m sure her husband is thanking me right now 🙂

      The question is how long I will procrastinate before naming and backing up all the photos…

  2. suzicate April 20, 2012 / 3:06 PM

    Maui? Sounds divine, except for the cost to tourists! Who needs all those extra pics anyway when you have fabulous memories stored in your head and heart?

    • jannatwrites April 20, 2012 / 10:52 PM

      We traveled with another couple and she wanted to get her picture taken with some tropical birds. Her husband said, ‘no way’ so did it with her. It was hilarious – the one on my shoulder started nibbling on my hair! That’s the only photos she bought, and I hope to get one of the wallets.

  3. xoEvelynOrtizHasSpoken April 20, 2012 / 3:09 PM

    Wow your vacation sounds Awesome, I cant wait to see more picks! But yeah vacations where you actually spend money && still come home with some are priceless ! Lol. Enjoyyy!! Haha 🙂

    • jannatwrites April 20, 2012 / 10:56 PM

      It was great, Evelyn! We took a set amount of cash and did come home with a little bit left over (not that much, though!) As soon as I gather my thoughts and photos, I’ll start doing some posts with pictures 🙂

  4. Richard W Scott April 20, 2012 / 3:28 PM

    I’ve only been once, but I had incredible sunrise photos every morning (sleep was low on my list). I can understand being enthralled by the place, but be assured, that if you know where to go (away from the tourist traps), you can live there fairly well.

    • jannatwrites April 20, 2012 / 11:01 PM

      I have to admit, I didn’t catch a single sunrise. On the days we didn’t have early AM activities, I slept in. I tried to get the perfect over-water sunset but each night, the clouds moved in at the last minute. I got some decent sunsets, but not what I was looking for. Oh well.

      If we had decent jobs there, I’m sure we’d do okay, but I’d be more likely to find work in Honolulu than on Maui. We’re trying to think of business we can do there but so far, we have nothing!

    • nrhatch April 21, 2012 / 4:51 AM

      What about . . . taking photos of tourists??? 😀

      • jannatwrites April 22, 2012 / 1:00 AM

        Well, the market is pretty saturated in that area, Nancy. Maybe if I offered the photos for half of what others charge 🙂

  5. chlost April 20, 2012 / 3:49 PM

    Never been to Hawaii, but would like to some day. Sounds as though it was a great time! It is always a shock to return to real life. Sorry-

    • jannatwrites April 20, 2012 / 11:02 PM

      Maui was so beautiful. I hope you are able to go someday, Chlost.

      I was struck by all the green – and the lack of allergies I had there. The kids stayed at home, so we didn’t even have the added stress of trying to keep them entertained. Although, I would like to go back and take them with me. My older son would LOVE the zip line 🙂

  6. nrhatch April 20, 2012 / 4:16 PM

    Welcome Back!
    Sounds like you had a FUN filled time with lots of memory-making activities.

    Please share some of your favorite photos.
    I don’t need to see all 800. 😉

    How did the boys fare in your absence?
    Are they glad to have you home?
    Or have they been spoiled rotten?

    • jannatwrites April 20, 2012 / 11:10 PM

      Thanks, Nancy. I’m glad to be back (I think!)

      We were so busy we didn’t even check out the swimming pools or workout room. No worries- I will narrow down the photos some. How ’bout 400? Okay, I’ll do better…

      According to my MIL the boys “behaved perfectly” (not the case tonight, of course;))

      My younger son showed that he was glad to have me home – lots of hugs and wanting to sit on my lap (when I left, he ran down the driveway toward me crying which broke my heart.) I think my older son was glad to see me, but he wouldn’t admit it….here’s the conversation we had when I met him after school:

      Me: “Hi, honey. I missed you! You look like you got taller this week!” (as I embraced him in a hug)

      Him: “You look like you got fatter.” (I resisted the urge to squeeze harder….lots harder)

      Later in the evening he got mad and asked why we were “ruining his life” and said life was so much better when we were gone. Sooooo, I’m thinking he missed me lots 😆 Not sure if this is a case of spoiled rotten or just plain rotten.

    • nrhatch April 21, 2012 / 4:52 AM

      He’s mean! I just checked and his comment is on the short list of what NOT to say to mom right after a vacation in paradise. 😀

      • jannatwrites April 22, 2012 / 1:01 AM

        He says he’s teasing, but it is kinda mean. Sure, I have an extra ten pounds, but I still fit in my clothes (barely) 🙂

  7. clarbojahn April 20, 2012 / 7:05 PM

    So glad you had a blast! But welcome back. Am looking forward to shared posts. We went to Maui once and had a great time but couldn’t do the luau because i got sick. Regrets huh? 🙂

    • jannatwrites April 20, 2012 / 11:14 PM

      Aw, I’m sorry you got sick for the luau, Clar. It really was fun. I guess that means you’ll have to go back, right?

      I took video of several of the dances to show the kids, if they’ll stick around long enough to watch them!

  8. pattyabr April 20, 2012 / 8:03 PM

    DH and I went to Maui 4 years ago. We never made it all the way to Hana only half way. We went in January and it rained a lot more than we wished. We did take a helicopter ride and did buy the CD of the trip. We went to the top of Haleakala but we couldn’t go in because it snowed. Yeah we live in Colorado and we went all the way to Hawaii to see snow. LOL.

    • jannatwrites April 20, 2012 / 11:19 PM

      That would be a disappointment to catch snow on the trip, Patty. I bet the helicopter ride was fun (I’m too chicken to do that!)

      We ate at the restaurant in Hana and they had pretty good food. This time of year was nice – the temperature stayed in the mid-seventies and it sprinkled a little but no heavy rain. Haleakala was dry and was the warmest place we went to.

  9. pattisj April 20, 2012 / 10:40 PM

    I’m the same way when it comes to vacation–ready to move there permanently! I suppose that would wear off, eventually. Glad to have you back, and can’t wait to see pictures!

    • jannatwrites April 20, 2012 / 11:21 PM

      Thanks, Patti! I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets attached to my vacation destinations. I mean, I was readdy to start filling out job applications 😆

  10. Debbie April 21, 2012 / 8:07 AM

    Going to Hawaii is on my bucket list, Janna. I’m going to savor every one of your pictures and vicariously travel with you! Welcome home, friend, and don’t feel you have to catch up too fast — enjoy your weekend!

    • jannatwrites April 22, 2012 / 1:07 AM

      I hope you get to go, Debbie. I can’t wait to go back. We’re working to make a Washington DC trip happen in 2013. Maybe we can do Maui again in 2014 or 2015.

      I’m ready to go back now 🙂

  11. Sandra April 21, 2012 / 9:16 AM

    How wonderful, a vacation in Hawaii! I had a feeling you were gone as I haven’t seen you over at Trifecta lately. But I haven’t been around much either, because the prompts have been difficult for my non-working brain these days. But there are some wonderful and excellent entries for sure!! My thoughts exactly when I was in Hawaii the last time — I need to win the lottery so we can LIVE there!!

    • jannatwrites April 22, 2012 / 1:10 AM

      I read through the Trifecta challenges I missed and they did seem, well, challenging, Sandra. I’ll take a look at Monday’s challenge and if I’m inspired, I’ll jump back in.

      Here’s hoping you win the lottery so you can live in Maui. (If it’s not me, I could be happy for you :))

  12. cuhome April 21, 2012 / 10:49 AM

    I love Hawaii! I could live there . . I look forward to your photos, to bring back some amazing memories, and maybe just a little, to live vicariously through your photo-journal!

  13. jannatwrites April 22, 2012 / 1:14 AM

    Thanks, Janet! It’s hard to psych myself up for the beauty of home, because between May and October, I don’t care for it much. (In the winter, it’s easy to love the desert :))

  14. braintomahawk April 23, 2012 / 7:38 AM

    I live in a tourist city, so the $15 burger seems about right ;). Indeed, sometimes it seems that there is a vacuum right outside our wallets,
    This is why we balk at telling others about our great deal places!

    • jannatwrites April 23, 2012 / 8:33 PM

      Ah, so the locals hold out on the tourists? That’s not very nice, Braintomahawk! We have expensive parts of town, but they aren’t anywhere that I frequent. (If I don’t have a buy-one-get-one-free coupon, I can’t afford to go!)

      • braintomahawk April 24, 2012 / 5:54 AM

        Ok, well here’s some tips; avoid the ‘chains’ (an obvious one). Also if the place hasn’t been updated since 1960, it’s good. Hit up Chinatown, avoid Little Italy.

        • jannatwrites April 24, 2012 / 7:06 AM

          Little Italy and Little China make me think of San Francisco – it was expensive there. I’m glad that our search for a clean hole-in-the-wall place was right on track. We found a great place to get fish tacos for $3.99. I don’t even know the name of the place – the sign just said “Fish Market.”

          Thanks for sharing your tips – that was very nice of you, Braintomahawk 🙂

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