What follows here are just my thoughts and words. No fact checking, no spell checking, no promises of great insight or good grammar. Just me dumping the words in my head to words on the screen. Bear with me... sometimes it's a bumpy ride.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rain! Glorious Rain!

Real puddle-making rain.

An actual downpour, right here in Kihei!
I haven't seen rain like this since January!  And this is the most Michael's ever seen it rain (he was gone in January & missed that storm).

Stuff actually got really wet!

And, of course, when it rains in Maui, there's the inevitable rainbow.

Lest I mislead you, this was in no way, shape, or meteorological form a storm.  It was an all too brief squall.  But it was good and wet while it lasted.

I miss rain. 

Who Is That Masked Man?

No, Halloween has not come early to Sleepy Hollow.  No, he's not the latest recruit to the Cryps (I think they wear blue, right?)  And no, he's not considering a career change to old-timey bank robber.

This is Michael upon his return from the dermatology clinic on Tuesday, where he underwent a "PDT" session.  Essentially, under controlled circumstances, they gave him a 6000th degree sunburn all over his face.  He is now under strict instructions to stay inside and out of the sun for 2 days (and had to Burka-fy upon departure from the clinic).  Over the next week, his face will systematically, mottle, blister, scab, then peel off, all to reveal brand new, healthier (pre-cancerous free) skin.

24 hours after the treatment (which he said hurt like hell for the first 8 of the 20 minute session, after sitting for 3 hours with pre-treatment goop on his face), here's how he's looking:
He's all shiney from frequent applications of refrigerated Aloe gel (double extra cooling).

And no, this isn't a result of living in Maui and suddenly having sun damage to his skin.  This situation is the result of scads of years worth of unprotected face-in-the-sun coming home to roost.  Moral of the story:  Sunscreen Sunscreen Sunscreen!

Will share additional pics of the molting process as it progresses.  I'm thinking, based on how he looks in person, the nose & cheeks will be the first to go.  Stay tuned!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Zippity Do D'AUGHHHHH.....

You want me to ascend 30 feet into a tree and then jump off a platform dangling by a wire?  WHAT?  But wait, there's more.  I then have to fly through the treetops on this paperclip & ribbon I'm rigged to, hurtling  along the dental floss that is attached to a far away tree, with a postage stamp sized platform and get my feet there before I wrap myself around the tree George of the Jungle style, taking out the hapless zip guide in the process.  All the while looking oh so stylish in my red hard hat, and laced into my hard-core bustier of black loops and straps and silver buckles.  A pair of thigh high black boots and a studded collar, and I'm ready for a Village People video shoot.  And for this I paid money?

Pre-terror gear up.

This was our 9-line course - depicted in non-terrifying 2-D.  Nothing like the real thing.  I call that false advertising.

So they give you the crash course... oh wait, no.  Of course they don't call it that.  They give you a run down of what to expect, what to do, what not to do. "Land on your feet, not on your face" - yeah, funny.
Then you climb a few seemingly innocuous stairs, they hook your bobby pin onto the first piece of twine,  you walk across a only mildly terrifying bouncy suspension bridge, dragging your now-connected (and always through the rest of the course until your feet are back on terra firma) tether with you, and you gather tree hugger style around your first tree.

Then a typical Maui breeze blows through.... and the whole friggin' tree sways, with all of us whiplashing around like rag dolls.  Oh, all right, I might be exaggerating a smidge.  But the tree does sway & you feel the movement (on your now somewhat rubbery legs).

Then - one-by-one- they say "Zip on!".  You've all seen the pictures of skyjumpers getting pushed out of an airplane?  It's just like that, only without the parachute.
You can barely see the clothesline above Michael's hand that disappears into the  forest void  miles beyond.
And we repeat this process 9 times!  Some lines are just long enough that you can actually see the next tree with its miniscule landing platform.  Some are so long, you don't see it when you launch (talk about a leap of faith!), but it comes into view quickly enough.  A couple of lines are short but decidedly steep.  You come face to face (9 times) with the age old dilemma - a short, quick death, or a long slow tortuous one?
That spec in the middle, with the red hat is Michael.  His life is flashing before my eyes.

What's this?  He liked it?  No, no.  He LOVED it!!
The guides stationed at each platform were all young, barely out of diapers, kids.  Catching our flailing, hurtling bodies on one side and then flinging us back out to certain death on the other.  [Okay, moment of truth - every last one of them was wonderful.  Great sense of humor, always carefully checking gear, letting us (well, me) take the time we needed to step off into space, skillfully assisting with the not-always-so-smooth landings.  Even the poor guy who had to deal with me coming in full speed, backwards, screaming like a banshee.  Oops.]

There are several different zipline companies in various locales offering different & unique experiences  here on Maui.  This canopy tour was but one.  Can't wait till we do our next one!  Woooo Hoooo!!

Our flight crew, who happen to also be paddling buddies.