Ever thought about living on the road? For me, some of the best years were those spent travelling the country in a 1969 VW Bug, a truck, and, the biggest adventure of all, on my Harley.
The events of the last few years have amplified the meaning of time and how precious it is. Every day wasted can never be recovered. So, if you have a dream and it’s strong enough, there is no better time than the present to start planning and working toward its implementation.
Living full time on the road is a pretty big decision which will require many important discussions between my wife Kathy and myself. But if we decide to move forward on this it will be sometime in early 2025.
I have been doing a great deal of research regarding equipment, logistics, and the many details, big and small, that need to be ironed out. This is all part of the fun and mystery.
After extensive research I have decided that a Jayco Pinnacle 32RLTS fifth wheel is the best choice since it offers all the comforts of home in a well thought out package. This, coupled to a Ram 3500 Heavy Dutytruck will provide the ideal combination for this very big adventure.
I would like to set a goal of touring 49 states in 48 months. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
I’ve been working at Maui Brewing Companyin Kihei now for almost a year. If you’ve checked it out online, or if you’ve ever been to the brewery, you know that there is also a wonderful restaurant at the site. Not only do I get to work with some amazing brewery employees, I also rub shoulders with the tireless restaurant folks on a daily basis.
One day one of the restaurant employees walked by our desks carrying a huge box filled with beautiful copper mugs. “Anyone want a copper mug?” I guess these were extras, or no longer used. Needless to say, looking at all the shiny copper, I piped up “Sure – over here!!!”
Which got me thinking about the cocktails I’ve had in the past in similar copper mugs – Moscow Mules.
A Moscow mule is a cocktail made with vodka, spicy ginger beer, and lime juice garnished with a slice or wedge of lime and mint leaves.
Moscow mules are typically served in copper mugs. Copper is an excellent conductor, meaning that cold or heat spreads rapidly through the material. While the copper material of your mug doesn’t actually make the drink colder, it makes it seem colder than it would if you were drinking it out of a regular glass or mug.
“Most cocktails require specific glassware for their drinks—the highball and the martini glass, for example—however, the copper mug for the Moscow Mule is a must. If the old stories about the genesis of the drink are correct (they are mostly unanimous with a few variations) then it goes like this. In the early 1940s, John Martin was the president of G.F. Heublein & Brothers, an East Coast food and spirits importer best known for introducing A-1 Steak Sauce to America. Sometime in the 1930s, Martin, in an effort to market the next cocktail craze, purchased a small vodka distillery called Smirnoff for $14,000.
Yes, that Smirnoff. Back then, very few people drank vodka because most had never heard of it, let alone tasted it.
One day, while Martin was visiting his friend Jack Morgan who owned the Cock ‘n Bull pub on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, he bemoaned the fact that he couldn’t sell his vodka. Morgan complained he couldn’t sell his ginger beer, a side passion of his that saw cases of it sitting in his restaurant’s basement. And a third person (never identified in any of the stories) lamented that she had copper mugs that she either didn’t want or need. Enter the brainstorm. Could all three benefit from combining their losses? The vodka and ginger beer were mixed with a dash of lime juice and served in copper mugs, imprinted with a kicking mule.”
It’s been about three months since we arrived back on Maui to begin our new life in our old home. The first week was hectic, to say the least. All we had was a mattress and box spring, so we pretty much camped out until our container of personal belongings arrived. Immediately upon arrival at Kahului airport on June 27th, we picked up our rental SUV and then went to the agricultural station to retrieve our dog Teddi before heading home.
Our cars arrived from Matson Navigation about a week early, so we returned our rental car sooner than expected. We registered our cars and got new Hawaii driver’s licenses that week. Then around July 22nd, our PODs container arrived, with most of our personal belongings. About a week later our second container arrived with additional stuff that had to go into storage.
Everything went about 95% according to plan. The one thing we didn’t anticipate was Teddi getting sick with bladder stones, which required expensive surgery that really set us back. But he’s doing well now, in fact more like a puppy than a ten-year-old dog. His vet was amazing, Tana Weeks, at Maui Lani Veterinary Hospital about 2 miles from our home. We are so very fortunate. He loves his new environment and has taken it upon himself to go strolling through the dog-filled neighborhood unsupervised. What a mayor! We had to put up doggie gates so that he stays in the house until we’re ready to take him out.
I got a job selling appliances at Lowe’s in Kahului and Kathy decided to take a few months off while she acclimates to the new environment (i.e., locating the best beaches and swimming pools). I previously lived on Maui for several years and everything was already pretty familiar to me. Kathy previously lived on Oahu, but Maui is very different, and required some getting used to. She has already made a lot of new friends, joined a local gym, and has taken a couple of great art classes. She anticipates looking for contract work soon.
Everything is pretty much humming along, and we are beginning to really settle down. We consider ourselves blessed to be able to achieve this dream, after many years of planning and hard work.
As we began to explore our new Maui neighborhoods, one of our most pleasant surprises was the Maui Ocean Center. Located in Ma`alaea Harbor, the Aquarium and Oceanography Center is the largest tropical reef aquarium in the Western Hemisphere. Opened in 1998, the 3-acre center includes exhibits of coral reef habitats, sea turtles, sharks, and humpback whales. They even have a 360-degree tank with glowing jellyfish.
The Center’s mission is to “foster understanding, wonder, and respect for Hawaii’s marine life.”
You will experience this wonder as you travel through the 750,000-gallon Open Ocean Exhibit that features a 54-ft walk-through tunnel where you can watch the huge sting rays, beautiful tropical fish, and graceful sharks swim overhead. Imagine experiencing Hawaii’s underwater world without even getting wet!
With spectacular views from Ma’alaea harbor to the outstanding exhibits, your journey includes a magical walk from the seashore to the bottom of the reef.
Rather then being a new discovery, this visit to Sedona is more of a rediscovery. It has been more than ten years since we visited the lovely Sedona/Oak Creekarea.
We are planning to do a series of crafts fairs starting in the fall and have been attending various fairs in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area so that we can get a feel for what other artists are doing. We thought that it would be interesting to get the flavor of some of these venues outside of the “big city.” The fair we attended was in Oak Creek just off Highway 179.
There were a few big name outlet stores in the shopping center hosting the fair but most stores seemed to be out of business which made this a great spot for a crafts fair. The feeling was real laid back but everything seemed to be well organized. It was a fraction of the size of most of the Scottsdale/Phoenix crafts fairs. There was a nice mix of hand crafted and mass produced items and we even made a few purchases of leather goods and eyewear.
The town of Sedonahas changed quite a bit since we were last here. The biggest changes are in the upgraded roads and traffic circles which make getting around easier. There is also some new lodging, built to accomodate the increased number of visitors. It is still a very beautiful place, especially in the spring.
We were with our dog Teddi and had to make the obligatory stop at McDonald’s. The architecture of this particular McD’s was right in keeping with the general look and feel of the town. Nice to see that new building is controlled and not haphazard.
We will be heading back to Sedona/Oak Creek in the fall with Kathy B’s watercolor creations and our line of Hawaii inspired t-shirts and accessories.
To all our friends and subscribers we wish you a very happy 2016. May the new year be filled with happiness and prosperity for you and yours based on your notion of the meaning.
For our first blog of the New Year we decided to re-post some of our favorite articles and postings from 2015. If you are a new subscriber you may be reading some of these postings for the first time. If you’ve been with us for awhile, thanks for giving them a second read.
Immediately after arriving at Kahului Airport we shuttled over to pick up our rental car/SUV. The reservation was made through a third party and not directly with the rental car company. The Ford Edge that we reserved was not available and I really had to pull some teeth to get one. Lesson learned! Make a reservation directly with the car rental company, even if it costs a little more.
Napili Kai Beach Resort
So, after leaving the rental lot we headed over to the West Side of Maui and checked into The Napili Kai Beach Resort. A little bit of heaven! This is where Kathy and I met all those years ago when I was a Hana tour guide. She was staying here and I picked her up early one morning in June to take her on tour with a van full of other guests. The rest is history and a story for another time.
May is not that busy on Maui and the front desk was gracious enough to upgrade our room to a beachfront suite and apply a discount to boot. Don’t ya just love the aloha spirit?
Although the weather for the first few days was pretty wet and windy it did not dampen our spirits. In fact, it enhanced the beauty and Hawaiian feeling of the place.
This is a great hideout from the major resort hotels. Highly recommended!
Kahekili Highway, Hawaii State Highway 340
Next morning we are up bright and early. To get immediately and fully immersed we decided to do the most challenging thing first. What’s that you ask? Driving the Kahekili Highway.
Some years back I took some friends who were visiting on this drive. They wanted to get out of my truck and walk until we cleared the cliffside. Personally, I don’t think it’s all that rough. It all depends on what you’re used to.
As our morning adventure progressed, out of nowhere, on a clean stretch of road, appears a beautiful old plantation house. It turns out to be The Kaukini Gallery.
We did most our our gift shopping here. The gallery was surprisingly busy as many of the other adventurous souls on this road saw this as a good place to stop before moving on.
Further on down, the road was closed for improvements and we had to wait about two hours for it to reopen. So, we pulled off into a little ranch subdivision and just hung out, listening to the quiet and taking in the beautiful views.
After completing this drive we ended up in Kahului and stopped at Bounty Music to pick up a guitar rental. We then headed back to our hotel for a relaxing afternoon.
We always wanted to go here but never really had the time. Since we were in the neighborhood we decided to go for it.
This restaurant was started by Mick Fleetwood and the merchandise in the store downstairs from the restaurant is filled with Fleetwood Mac memorabilia and a $40,000 custom Harley that you can buy on the spot. The view of Lahaina Harbor from the rooftop lounge is outstanding and the martini’s were pretty good too.
After a busy day we headed back to our hotel for some rest.
The Road To Hana And Beyond
Today is Tuesday and has been set aside for a drive to Hana.
I posted this trip in a previous blog so, I am not going to go too far into it. I have driven this road at least 300 times. The trip never gets old and there are still new things to be found.
We stopped for lunch at The Travaasa Maui Resortbefore heading around the backside of the island. Cell service was surprisingly good and we were able to send and receive a few business texts.
For the full story, click on the above links
Cafe O’lei Kihei
Today is Wednesday and most of the day will be spent house hunting, But before getting into it we met our friends Joe and Marie for lunch at Cafe O’lei in Kihei.
This has become a favorite of ours and many other local Kihei and Wailea residents.
A good part of the month of May was spent on Maui. Although this trip was primarily for business, we did manage to get some touring in and to check out some of the great restaurants, inns and resorts, some for the first time and some old favorites. We will be returning in October for what may turn out to be our last visit before making the final move.
Also in this month’s blog is a quick and easy recipe for broiled tilapia that is both healthy and tasty.