Monday, December 13, 2010

Ho Ho Ho Happy Cactus Monday

Ho Ho Ho!

Happy Cactus Monday everyone! Sorry I have been gone but have had a really bad cold. Yucky! You know you have a bad cold when you try and say banana and everyone laughs.

Oh well, It is good to be back again. I will be catching up with you all soon. This is looking out of my back sliding glass door. Succulents still looking good. Only had a couple days of hard freeze. Crossing my fingers. But I know that parts of the country are getting pounded with snow and cold. Just look at this picture and I hope you feel warmer! Everyone buckle up cause it's about 12 days till Christmas!

HCM!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Punch-hole cloud formation

Punch cloud by Chuck Edwards

Yesterday in Roseville, CA we had a very strange cloud formation. Quite a few of my friends saw this and my good friend Chuck Edwards took this great picture of it. It is called a Punch-hole cloud. I googled it and saw some other pictures and videos of them forming. Very interesting!

Thought you might enjoy taking a look! Have a great Friday!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy Cactus Monday and a pie!

I'm Here!

Notocactus Magnificus

Hope everybody had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! We had a terrific yummy time. We had about 9 at our table. Most of them were in their 20's. Alot of my kids friends families don't have a Thanksgiving dinner. Can you believe that. So our table is open to them all. It was great. After dinner Stan told some stories of our younger years that had ours kids and the others laughing there heads off. Then my 88 year old dad told them what he did after high school. He joined a couple of other people and sold stationary to businesses all over the country. This was in the early forties. They traveled from Minnesota across to California then down to L.A. What adventures he must have had. He went into business' and show'd them samples of the paper and print. They sold it in lots of 100. They were printed at another location and then sent to each individual or business. Dad said one way they got sales was to have someone at a office sign there name to the paper to see how nicely you could write on it. Then when they went to the next office they would see the signature and say, "Oh did so and so order some?", my Dad would say, "Yes she did!" And he would get a sale. Pretty sneaky. He was 19 years old.


I'm brighter...No! I'm brighter!

The three amigos!

So since there was going to be a lot of young people I decided to make a lot of pie! I made 2 pumpkin pies and two apples. They turned out so good I had to show you one!




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I use my Mom's recipes. She made the best pies. I used to use fresh pumpkin when I was younger but not anymore. It is still yummy!


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And I don't think I could ever make an apple pie if it wasn't for my apple peeler corer! Man I love this thing! The skin on this apple actually held together in one long piece. No one was around or I would have had someone take a picture of me with it. I used my favorite apples for these pies, Jonathan and Granny smith. Then I do something I don't know if anyone else does. Before I put on the top crust I ad a few red hot cinnamon candies. Since the pie is seasoned with cinnamon and sugar these are great. And they add a few red dots of yum in the pie. These two pies were the best I think I have ever made. Just to let you know all 4 pies were finished up tonight. Dang they went fast.

Happy Cactus Monday

Friday, November 26, 2010

Succulents are running for cover it's hibernation time!

If you live in Northern California then you better put on an extra pair of nickers! Last week was beautiful and sunny. We were walking around with sweaters on and all of a sudden 2 days ago the temperature dropped to the 20's at night. Thank goodness Stan had gotten the garage all set up for me to bring in my succulents.


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So he put up all the tables and made room. But I still did not think they would all fit. So all of a sudden a couple of days later Stan calls me from work and asked if I heard about the weather. Nope! He said it that there was a frost alert and that I needed to get all the plants in the garage. Oh and by the way.....I have to work late! Gulp! So I went outside and looked around!


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As you can see my gazebo top is gone. This year it started to rip and rot. Then the first wind made big holes in it so we took it down. Have to buy a new one now. This is only about half the plants. There are about another 4th behind me in rolling planters and to my left are another bunch along with most of my smaller cactus pots. So I ran inside and got my two boys out of bed and asked for there help. Thank goodness Parker did not have to work. Since my back is still bad the boys had to do all the work. You could tell the weather was already changing cause it was already getting cold.


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This is a view from my house looking inside my garage.


It's hibernation time!

Here's the same bunch looking outside in!


More hibernation!

Here is the other side of the jeep. I wish I could say that was it but no! A few more are in front of the jeep. And the rest I put close to the house and covered them with special cloth from Lowe's that protects from frost. Then I ran around after this was done and covered up my special planter areas in the ground. I ran out of frost cloth so I went running back to Lowe's. Of course everyone had the same idea and they were sold out. So the guy in the garden shop said I should get painters material drop cloths. Some sort of cheap tan material but it came in huge sizes. So I bought about 3 packs full. Ran home and cut, laid and anchored with rocks or empty metal tables. What a lot of work! So tonight is the 3rd night of freezing weather. I was hoping that it would be a mild winter. But my pink bower plants have already froze and turned brown. So you know I will lose some plants. Argggg!

Sure hope everyone is safe and warm! And I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

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Check out this great idea I saw in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Sorry the picture is not a lot better. Most of the time I just put my pots of succulents on the ground around small tables I have bought. But I thought this idea was really neat. Looks easy to do and won't cost an arm and a leg for something unusual.

I know the article is hard to read so I will type it out for you! It says:

Stack and Stick
Make end tables and planter pedestals by stacking containers and saucers in creative combination's.

Designing
Sketch out possible combination's, or play with pots you already have on hand, to find a design you like. Once you have the necessary pieces , assemble them without gluing to make sure the result is as you envisioned.

Gluing
Use craft adhesive (we used E6000) to attach pieces. Run a solid bead on each surface to be glued, assemble then let the assembly dry according to directions. A spray coat of clay pot sealer will help the terra-cotta resist weathering!

There you go! I may try this under my gazebo next spring!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy Cactus Monday....crazy last blooms!

The last hurrah!

This Trichocereus Pachonoi 'San Pedro' has bloomed on and off all summer. Then for over a month or so no blooms at all. All it had was fuzzy bumps where the blooms would be. Then before I knew it almost all the rest of the fuzzy bumps began to produce buds. Then on my birthday on September 26th they all bloomed. But of course I woke up pretty late and the blooms were already starting to droop. It is a night bloomer. Wish I had realized it was blooming or I would have been out with my flashlight! LOL

Happy Cactus Monday everyone! And by the way did you get a chance to peek at my previous post?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Have I shown you my front planter?

Fall in my Front Planter

When we bought our house about 15 years ago this planter was full of camellia bushes and ferns. Along with assorted cheap plants they use on new houses. Before we knew it all the plants had gotten way too big and old. By then I was already into my succulents and I had pretty much taken over the back yard. So last year my sweet husband Stan tore everything out of this large planter. Some of the camellia bushes had trunks on them like trees. It took a lot of digging to get all the roots out. In the meantime we collected river rock from lots of different places to use to outline the planter and help make my crooked path.
I decided to divide the planter in three parts. The large front part is full of echeveria's, stonecrop, sedum and pachyveria. The back corner area near the fence is full of kalanchoe's, aloe's, aeoniums and other succulents. Far to the right (you can't really see in this picture) has a large aloe, some barrel cactus a crazy prickly pear and a columnar cactus. I know there are a few more but I can't remember at the moment.

A view of the echeveria section

Here is another view of the front portion of the planter. I love how well the echeveria's look around the edge. They have grown so much. They were little bitty babies when I planted them.


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My Kalanchoe is getting so big I will have to trim it and start some new plants. The plant in the foreground is Sedum Corsican stonecrop sedum dasyphllum. To the right of this shot is the aeonium corner.


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I planted quite a few aeoniums in this corner! Some are doing much better than others as you can see. The big green one is the same as the one in the big blue pot in my other front planter. The aeonium that you can see right behind it is Aeonium Catlin hybrid called Bronze tea cup. I have a black Zwartzkof but it is not doing so well. Not sure why at this point. I am hoping that next spring I can fix this situation. I had another aeonium planted to the right but it died! Still working on it. The pale green low succulent in front of it is Sedum nussbaymerlanum.


Hey get off me!

This is echeveria agavoides with it's first leaf of Fall! I think it's saying, "Hey get off of me!"


Crassula 'Fallwood'

This is a really great succulent called Crassula 'Fallwood'. I can't wait for the first bloom spring! I will show you more of it another time! I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Silly stuff on Halloween

Happy Halloween

I just wanted to give you a peak at my son Parker dressed up for work. Yes I said work. His employer is The Nugget which is a high end supermarket in Northern California. Great place to shop and work. It is the 9th best employer in the nation. Wow! I was so happy when he got a job there. He has plans to make it a career because they have approached him about their interest in him. He has to get a business degree now instead of being a teacher like he planned. This company is growing leaps and bounds and he really likes working there. He could make a much better salary than teaching also. So we will see how that works out.
So they encourage there employees to dress up for Halloween and have a contest. Still don't know if he won yet but he made this outfit from scratch. They had no turtle outfits at the costume store so he and his friend went to a fabric store. They found these 2 plastic shields like a warrior would use. Covered them with yellow and green felt fabric. They used glue and duck tape. He bought a green sweat suit and the orange fabric for arms, legs and eyes. Then of course a brown sash for the waste and plastic nunchucks. He used green face paint and covered his face and hair! Tadaa! He worked Sat. and Sun. dressed like this!


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So I felt kind of in a silly mood on Halloween and so I got out my Tigger outfit and sat out front with the bowl of candy and met the trick or treaters. It was so much fun! The little kids were the most impressed. When I saw them coming I would get up and silently do this little dance. They loved it. Some actually came across the street to me instead of going down that side of the street just to meet Tigger. In my right mitt there is a little recorder that when you push it says cute Tigger things. Of course in his voice. So Fun!

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Cactus Monday It's Euphorbia's!

Euphorbia Ammak Variegata micro

Euphorbia Ammak Variegata

One of my favorite Euphorbia species! I love the variegated trunk. And it always puts out these tiny variegated leaves with the new growth. I was lucky enough last year to have this photo noticed by Arkive. They used this and another photo to show this succulent on there website. It is a site that saves film, photographs and other multimedia of endangered species. You should check it out. I believe that this plant is no longer endangered because I can no longer find it on the website. That is great, because it is really pretty! There are many other Euphorbia's that are listed though! Euphorbia's are one of those species of succulent that a lot of people think are cactus. They have sharp spines but they are not cactus.

Euphorbia Ammak Variegata

Full view of the same Succulent


Euphorbia mammillaris in Crassula muscosa

Euphorbia mammillaris in Crassula muscosa

I love the pink spines on this euphorbia. The body is a combination of light green and the pink! It is really pretty!

Flowers of Euphorbia mammillaris

The same succulent blooming! Aren't they tiny?


Euphorbia pugniformis f. cristata

Euphorbia pugniformis f. cristata

I found this Euphorbia a couple of years ago. It looks different at every season. Sometimes in the winter it looks really red color. I have only seen a couple of flowers on it and they are very tiny and yellow. Most of Euphorbia flowers are very small!


Euphorbia enopla

Euphorbia Enopla

The red spines against the green on this Euphorbia make it really striking!

Aliens

Macro of the top right before it bloomed.

Euphorbia hybrid suzanne

Euphorbia hybrid suzanne


Pencil Plant (Euphorbia tirucalli) with friends

Euphorbia tirucalli (pencil plant) with friends

Another of my favorite of all succulents. These plants grow really fast but they do not do well in cold weather. I lose a plant or two every winter. I think I will have to bring them inside this year! Something else you should know about Euphorbia's is that when they are cut or broken then release a sticky white sap. This is pretty poisonous and can really irritate the skin. So be very careful when handling and do not rub your eyes!!!

That's it for this Cactus Monday my friends. I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween weekend. Have a great week! HCM!!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A GOOSEBERRY?

Goosberry's ready for making jelly

These are Gooseberries! And yes they are as prickly as they look. My bff Lorna and her husband Dave have a beautiful cabin in the Sierras. It was built by her grandmother's brother and other relatives. It is a wonderful place surrounded by big beautiful pine trees. The smell of pine is all around you. And at night we all sit on the huge front porch and look up at the stars. They look so close you can grab them! The air is crisp and clear and it is so relaxing.


Mother gooseberry

Mother Gooseberry

The picture above is of the biggest Gooseberry Lorna had ever seen so we had to name it. It was about the size of a quarter which is really big. These bushes are here and there all over the lower elevations of the Sierras. The bears and other animals like to eat them. Though I don't know how. These nasty little berries makes the yummiest jelly you have ever tasted. It is like nothing I have had before. The problem is picking the berries, and making the jelly. Also if the year has been dry there will not be as many. In order to pick these berries you need to wear leather gloves and bring a bucket and heavy BBQ tongs. She basically scrapes them off the plant into the bucket because you can't pick them by hand even with the gloves.

These berries contain a lot of natural pectin so all that is needed is sugar and water to make the jelly. She cleans the berries as good as she can and puts them into a large pot. She then covers this with water and boils until the berries fall apart. I guess it takes about 1 1/2 hours. Then she pours it all into another pot using cheesecloth to catch the berries and impurities. She then adds sugar and puts in canning jars while hot to seal. We cherish these jars of wonderful jelly because you usually only get about 12 or so made a year. This is divided among 3 of her family members and then we get 1 or 2 small jars. But they are soooooooo good! I love this jam on crumpets in the morning! Yummy!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Succulents before the rain

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Happy Cactus Monday everybody! I haven't posted on Cactus Monday in a while. So I have missed you all. I wanted to show you a succulent mix today. I took these pictures before the rain started. We really haven't had much till today and it rained sideways! LOL I planted this pot at the end of last summer. This spring it just took off. The plant in the front is a type of fuzzy crassula and it's blooming like crazy. The bunch to the right is sedeveria blue mist. And to the left is echeveria perle von nuremburg (I think!)

Madagacar palm summer 2010

Another of my favorites. My madagascar palm. I have grown this from a little thing! Every winter it loses most of it's leaves. But summer comes and it recovers so beautifully!



Krazy Kalancho and friends!

Here are some potted plants against my sliding back door. My pot with Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi is going crazy. Next year I will have to put in a bigger pot or in my succulent bed in the front yard. All these pots of succulents are going wild! I love it.


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Last is my Sempervivum arachnoideum. Looks like spiders have been busy on it don't you think? Not! This is why it is called arachnoideum it makes it's own webs!!!

Have a great week and Happy Cactus Monday!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I have Essential Tremor

Sipping Skipper

Skipper having some yum on my Crassula -erusula "campfire".

First of all I want to apologize to everybody for being absent for so long. I have been having some pretty scary health problems. Essential Tremor is not scary but I will explain. For quite a while I have been having trouble with orthostatic hypotension. It is a condition where when you rise from a sitting or laying position your blood pressure drops. I've had this condition for a while but for some reason it started getting really bad to where I was almost fainting all the time and they were worried my organs could shut down from lack of blood. So I went to a heart Dr. who determined that a medication I was taking for my essential tremor called Inderal (a beta blocker) could be a main culprit. So he slowly took me off this medication and put me on another med to raise my blood pressure. The trade off is that my essential tremor is back almost full force. The medication's I was on was really working well to almost have no tremor at all!

Essential Tremor is a benign action tremor. Essential tremor is the most common movement disorder. It is a syndrome characterized by a slowly progressive postural and/or kinetic tremor, usually affecting both upper extremities. Action tremor means that the tremor only happens when you are in motion or trying to use your muscles in any way. So balance is effected. Whereas Parkinson's disease is a resting tremor. It occurs all the time even at rest. Some people just have it in there hands and arms (the majority). Some have just head movement and or voice (like Katherine Hepburn). Individuals usually present at age 65 and most of the time at age 70. So when you see older individuals with tremor it is usually essential tremor. Sometimes it starts at age 45 or earlier and sometimes in children. For some reason it runs in families. It runs in every generation of my family. My Grandfather had it and my Mother.

They don't really know the cause as of yet. But there is ongoing research. That are pretty sure that the problem comes from the brain stem and cerebellum. When mine was first diagnosed they had no treatment. But now mysoline and inderal are the best treatments available.
I always knew that my Mom had a tremor but never really thought much about it. So when I was about 25 years old something weird started happening. When I would go to drink something out of a cup or glass my right hand would shake really bad going up to my mouth. Pretty freaky and scared me. So I made an appointment with my Dr. and he examined me and ran some tests. I told him that my Mom had a tremor and her Dr. called it Parkinsons palsy. He asked if she would come in so he could examine her. She came in and went through the same tests as I did. He then told her what she actually had was Essential Tremor and that I had early onset Essential Tremor.

As the years have gone by my tremor increased and moved to include other parts of my body. Arms, legs, head and mostly hands shake. It can be quite embarrassing. People sometimes stare at you or ask if you are nervous. I just try to explain about the tremor. When my nieces and nephews were little they would ask, "Aunt Candy, why do you shake?" I would tell them that something in my brain is telling my muscles to move in the wrong way. That would be ok and they would go on their way.

Lots of things that you do everyday become difficult. Buttoning shirts, putting on jewelry, makeup and even writing can be extremely difficult. Eating can even be tuff. Sometimes when I am shaking really bad I have to eat with a spoon. When my shaking is like it is now I have to have others fill out forms for me. Kind of embarrassing to ask if you don't have a family member nearby. I used to make jewelry when the medicine was working but I think that is now over. I should still be able to do other crafting and work with my plants as long as it is nothing too intricate. When I am nervous or fatigued it makes it much worse. So I try not to do little things when I am in those situations.

So that is what has been going on with me. It is going to be a lot harder to take my photos than when I was on the inderal medication. I still take mysoline so my tremor is slightly under control. I went to the High Hand Nursery the other day and it looks like I am going to have to rely on using a tripod a lot more. It's been many, many years since I have shook this bad so I have a learning curve to go through again.

I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me because of this. I am doing this post partly to explain why I have been absent but mostly to educate more people about Essential Tremor. I belong to the International Essential Tremor Foundation. You can find more information about them if you click the name.

So it's good to be back and I will be visiting your blogs and catching up really soon!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy Cactus Monday on Tuesday!

A work of art!

Hey fellow gardners! Sorry I was missing last week but we had a couple of birthdays to celebrate and it kind of took up a bit of my time. My hubby turned 55 on Friday and I well.....younger on Sunday. LOL I thought I would show you a few of my container planters today. The one above is actually the cutest teacup planter but it is hard to see. Got it at Walmart for $10.00. I planted a donkey tail sedum, a couple different kind of crassula (the one in front is blooming). And in the middle is a echeveria perle von nurnberg. Can't believe how much it has grown since I planted it at the beginning of spring.


Target

I found this beautiful planter already done for me at Target. The plants were a lot smaller when I got it. I am so happy it is doing so well. I can't even count how many different succulents are in it. Below is the other side.


Bullseye

In this shot you can see the first planter underneath and some others. I love my gazebo or else everything would burn up in my backyard. It gets really hot in this part of the yard.


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At the beginning of spring I bought eight of these round hanging planters. Really easy all you have to do is add dirt plants and then I covered with tiny decorative rocks. I bought eight of these along with hanging hooks so I could plant 2 on each side of my gazebo. I only got 1 planted and then I hurt my back. Oh well, something fun to look forward to!

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Misc. Succulent Pics

Sun, sun, sun here she comes...

I loved this whiskey barrel in my back yard. I had it loaded with great succulents. This picture was taken before the freeze last winter. Sadly to say I lost the aeonium "sunburst". But the senecio chalk fingers is going strong. Next year when my back is better I am going to replant the whole thing.


Perfection

I love these echeveria glauca's! This one is just perfect. I will be sending some to Cindy at Bug Safari. I am so excited because I am waiting for a box to come from her right now with succulents and I am going to return some of mine to her! Yeah!


Under the sea

Lastly is a mish mash of succulents against my fence by my gazebo in the back yard. It has quite a few different succulents in there. Sedum blue spruce, echeveria, aeoniums, kalanchoe and agave! I threw some shells in there because I want it to kind of look like a seascape! Oh euphorbia firestick is in there too. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy Cactus Monday.....tiny cactus, tiny blooms

Tiny but dangerous

Mammillaria gracilis gragilis or thimble cactus


Thimble cactus bloom

This cactus is very tiny. Each piece is about the size of one section of your finger. You sure need your reading glasses to check out this baby. But as you can see it does have stickers that will get you. And if you thought the plant is small the flowers are ity bity. They are so tiny the best way to see them is with your camera or a magnifying glass. LOL Happy Cactus Monday everyone!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Candy's Maui Vacation day 1

Woke up at 5:15. OMG yippee goin to Maui. No make up throw on cloths. Bags already packed and by 5:45 we are in the car on the way to airport. Eta 6:15. Stan drove me and we are meeting my sister Cindy her girlfriend Dee and my Dad at the airport. My Dad is 87 and he is already nervous about what is going to happen. This is a man that retired a Lt. Colonol from the Air Force after 31 years. But it has been probably over 20 years since he has been on a air plane. Thank goodness that there was no line and we got his shoes off and through security in no time flat. Yeah! Went to a gift store and bought two of those neck pillows (1 for me and 1 for Dad). Sat down for about 10 minutes and they were calling our flight! Yeehaw!


Daddy and I in first class

Daddy and I in first class! Check out the leg room!

Kids first and then first class. If you remember my Dad paid for 1st class hoping that we would both be more comfortable. Me and my back and Dad and his stiff legs. Even before everyone got on board they brought us glasses of ice water. Yes real glass! But guess what the darn chairs in first class only reclined 4 inches. OMG! It was we took Alaskan Airlines and they use a Boeing 737 to go to Hawaii. It is a smaller airplane. So I took both the neck pillows and put them in the small of my back. I had to sit for 5 hours on my spine with 2 ruptured vertebrae. I was in hell except for the cool tv/movie player and yummy food. Oh and 1 darvocette and Lydocaine patches on my back helped too. Thank goodness for them!

First class breakfast menu

So right away we get menu's for breakfast and actually have choices! Wow! I ordered the quiche. Here is a pic of the breakfast fruit and scone that came first. I was watching "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" on the digi player. Ha ha! We actually had real silverware! No plastic. And you always got a orchid on your tray.


First class breakfast


Maui from the air

We are finally flying over Maui! Hallelujah! I was never so glad to see someplace in my whole life. We finally land and it is about 10:30 Maui time! We cannot check in till 3:00. Since my Dad and I are in first class we get off first! Awesome! Got my sister and our luggage in record time. My nephew's plane flew in a half hour later. Yeah this is going great. Time to get the cars and go to condo area. But.......had to wait in line to get on a bus to take us to rental car building. Wait in line and when we get there it takes 1 hour to get our cars. I had to stand outside and watch our bags. Finally we get on the way and I get to lay my seat back. Forty five minutes to the condos!

Wow it was so incredible. What a beautiful place. But the hills were a bit brown. And you could see that there had been quite a few fires along side the road and up in the hills. Not like I remembered. I found out later they were in a drought and hadn't had there usually rainfall. Who knew? They aren't going to tell you that because they don't want the tourist trade to drop off.

We finally arrived at Maui Kaanapali Villas. And it is just as beautiful as I remember. Thank goodness we got to check in to one condo a bit early. So I got to rest a bit before we had lunch. So wonderful to lay on the lanai and look out over this gorgeous scene!

Lani looking to right

This is the grounds from upper condo looking to the right. Only two stories on the building!


Lanai looking to middle

The ground looking straight out on the pool and see the ocean in the back!


Lanai looking to left

Looking to the left from upper condo! That building is a bar restaurant!

Couldn't believe that we were finally there. Awesome! Went to the little restaurant that is in that building you see in the back of the bottom pic. We had a great lunch outside looking at the ocean. Saw the biggest spider that scared the wits out of me. I was sitting in a plant right by it. But had to stay quiet about it because my Dad is soooooooo scared of spiders I didn't want him to have a heart attack on the first day at Maui. I would have taken a pic it was so weird but did not want him to see. Cindy thought this was all pretty funny.

So we go back to the condo and I lay on the grass on my back and take the next picture. So beautiful here. We were very tired. Went inside our condos unpacked and relaxed until the next days adventures! Yeah.....we made it!


Sway