Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday, Snorkel Sunday

I get it.
Believe me.
I can't drink.

And I don't care, really. At least, not when I am at home or otherwise in control of my surroundings. It's the fact that Pete CAN drink that really sticks in my craw. I am, after all, doing this for the both of us.

On Sunday, we decided to take the morning for snorkeling. We had thought that we would not have time because it would take up an entire day. Usually, you book with a trip on a boat, they take you out to a location, dump you in the water, you snorkel until they sound the horn, then you get back on the boat. But a couple of wedding guests who live on Maui suggested a location south of us on a marine sanctuary where we could splash into the water on our own. We rented gear from Snorkel Bob's for eight bucks a piece in the morning and went off in search of the spot.

Ahihi Bay's landscape is compliments of the most recent lava flow from Haleakala volcano in 1790. If you drive just past the parking lot, the road takes you across the main part of the flow. It looks like an enormous backhoe came through and ripped up the land, but the large brownish black chunks are lava, which Pete could almost not believe. We drove across it a bit before turning around and getting our stuff together for snorkeling.

It's about a five minute walk across the lava flow to the beach. The rocky shoreline means that there is not a lot of sand being kicked up at the shore, so the visibility is quite good. There were a few people there, but the space is relatively small, so it looked more crowded than it was. I let Pete take care of spitting in my mask as that is grodey, and I can't do it. He says it keeps it from fogging, and it seems to work.

We don't have any pictures from this part of the day because you can't leave stuff in your car or on the beach unattended because it will be stolen; a nice bonus and a comment on the interesting sociology of resort areas. We bought a waterproof camera, but we have to take that in for developing like they did in the old days.

Suffice to say that the snorkeling in this bay is amazing. You see fish right away and almost as quickly are over beautiful coral beds sparkling with blues, reds, and yellows. I don't know how many different species of fish we saw because we did not have a waterproof guidebook to go along with our waterproof camera. They were not very skittish, either, with a few species coming rather close. Pete could dive down a number of feet, and he could hear the whales singing. I tried to dive as well but could not get my ears to clear and probably would not have been "allowed" to go down deep enough to hear them anyway. We swam about until we got cold and then got out to warm up. My teeth were actually chattering as I sat on the shore.

We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and chips and watched a mighty whale show in which a cow and a calf took turns breaching. I want to think it was a lesson, given to teach the value of fun to the young.

We went back in for a little while because we had to leave at around 2:30 so we could return to the condo and get ready for the buffet dinner at the Abroe's at 4:30.
It was quite the spread, but I think that Matt may have tired of having his picture taken.


Rebecca and Matt are Mauied!
It's official--the whole band is hooked up. One third of the band is in the parental way (the bass player and his wife welcomed a new daughter recently). The other third is knocked up (that would be the guitar player and his wife).

It was a gorgeous day. Basically, the weather on Maui cooperated the entire time. It gets a bit windy, but that can help to keep the heat down (and the hair flying).

Pete had breakfast with the groom in the morning, and then came back to the condo to clean up, then off again to Matt's folks' house to groom with the groomsmen.

I think he cleans up rather well.
He's certainly MY best man...
OK, enough of that.

Pete took a few snapshots of the men getting ready. I'll spare you Matt in the towel with the shades on. For now. I will substitute this equally sexy shot:
Weddings are a very solemn occasion, and I am glad to see that these young men were handling it as such.

While they were horsing around, I was back at the condo. This was my first time being the significant other of a participant in a wedding, and I have to say: not that much fun. This is also my first time being the pregnant significant other of a participant of a wedding, and I have to say: extra-depressing not that much fun.

I don't have much (or any) control over my emotional state right now, and I seem to be easily plunged into a blue-grey space of moody contemplation. It's not that there is anything really wrong, I am just sensitive. While Pete went through his "Wow, my whole life is going to be different" phase four months ago, I am going through it now, but it's "Wow, my whole life already is different, and this is just the beginning." It's not a phase.

Being out and about among the people brought it all into sharp focus. All my restrictions are right there, in my face, whereas at home, I can keep them away and at bay; my choices are limited to the stuff I can do and have. The other stuff is not around.

I got ready and headed up to the resort. The one thing I can say about being by myself is that I was on time, meaning half an hour early. I had the camera bag and Pete's guitar, Lily, with me, and I needed to find a place to stow her for the ceremony, which meant finding my husband. It was all so weird; I am used to being with him in unfamiliar places. Heck, I am just used to being with him--we arrive at events together. It's one of the many nice things about being married. At least, it's one of the many nice things about being married to someone you like.

Luckily, I found Pete right away in the expansive white marble lobby, and he walked with me down to the ceremony site. He was already a couple of Mai Tais into his day, and that put me a couple of Mai Tais into my already glum gloominess.

The ceremony was short and sweet. Rebecca's grandfather conducted part of it, and a Hawaiian minister took the rest. Matt got all teary when he saw his gorgeous bride coming down the hill, and it's always nice to see two people in love like that.

She did look great, and her mom made the dress.
At the reception, I ordered the Filet, medium rare, against all restrictions, but I was feeling like I wanted to cry, and I could not bear to add a well-done piece of meat onto that (the other two choices were fish). I was feeling so alienated from the situation and from the self I was used to being. Of course, I could not eat the whole thing, delicious as it was, because I felt guilty.

It's weird to realize that you are, in one way, not the person you were. As I have said before, I am not changed in essentials; my character remains the same, but this is a concrete marker. It's not necessarily bad, but it's not entirely good--it's something that I have to get used to. Marrying Pete did not change anything other than being able to call him my husband and having the psychological confirmation of a commitment and a future. This is a whole other animal.


And it's squirming around in my belly.

The festivities wrapped up at around 11 o'clock, and there were no mishaps aside from the groom spilling red wine all over his rented (white) vest and shirt. Earlier in the day, the wedding rings went missing for a short period of time, but they had been in the possession of the flower girl and were easily recovered. Pete did not get a chance to play the guitar, as it was not that kind of reception, but our wedding playlists on our iPod came in handy once again.

All in all, I do believe that the bride and groom were happy with the day, and that's what matters after all. They are certainly happy together.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


We usually have something to do and somewhere to be, and a lot of this vacation is on a time schedule, but it has not felt overly restrictive or painful, which is both amazing and good. I am going to ascribe that to the laid back attitude of the islands and my desire to emulate it.

Sometimes, it even works.
After we had coffee and breakfast, we trekked south to meet the wedding party at the Fairmont, which is a big, posh, rather obnoxious resort in Wailea. While it was open and lovely in the lobby area, with marble floors, wooden accents, and statuary, I felt a bit like I was in Vegas without the gambling. It does not help that I am genuinely uncomfortable outside of my social class, regardless of the myth of a classless America.
The wedding party is small, and the guest list is around 40, so it's a rather intimate group. There were a few extra people at the rehearsal, partners like me and a couple of relatives, and it went pretty quickly, even though the wedding planner has trouble getting details out in a lucid, succinct, and helpful manner. I'm glad that I did not have to hear any of it, though I also kind of wish that I would have because it probably would make for good material.
On the way down to the wedding site by the sea with Matt, Sandi (wedding planner), and an uncle, she reminded Matt that, as the groom, his only job was to show up and be quiet. That kind of crap makes me crazy as it's hand-in-hand with the "all about the bride" nonsense, which I absolutely despise and would not allow to be applied to my wedding, but this is not my wedding, so I held my tongue. Wisely. I mean, is there a bride without a groom? I don't think so...

After the rehearsal, Paul and Linda (bro-in-law and sister of the bride) met us at Maui Tacos for lunch, and then we went south to Big Beach and some time by the ocean. It was warm and partly cloudy, and the beach was peopled but not overly crowded. Pete had some fun in the surf, and we read and relaxed on the sand. I went in for a little while just as we were leaving; I was on the beach most of the time with the stuff because you can't leave things unattended.

We headed back to the condo and got ready for the rehearsal dinner. It was the first time that I had dolled myself up in months. I had my dress from the experience at "Hot Mama," and my new silver sandals. Pete thought I looked really good. I was feeling rather large.
The rehearsal dinner was at another hotel south of us, in a restaurant with a great location and decor by the sea. They were walking around with trays of Mai Tais, which looked really, really good. My restrictions were beginning to pop up. Indeed, they were being paraded about wherever I looked. When we ordered, I had to get stuff that I did not want because I could not have the prawns, I could not have the fish, I could not have the steak because I only eat it rare... I could not have the wine or the champagne. Pete could.

It's not going to get any less frustrating.

The salad was good, though.

We sat at the Kids' Table with the bride and groom, and it was a lively bunch, but by 9:00, I was starting to get tired. We made our goodbyes and our way home.

Tomorrow is wedding time.

I'm glad we are already married.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Signs, Fences, and Unstoppable Ignorance

It's 7:30, the birds are singing, and I am having coffee, Maui strawberries, and chocolate... I am also in Hawaii with my husband, who is also up.

Starting the day early like this makes for a nice long day of activity and helps to slow the vacation down, which is just what I want. Although, 4:00 a.m. yesterday was a little much. It put me to sleep at 8:45.

There are many scheduled activities associated with the wedding and many more impromptu group activities. Yesterday, we had a whale watch at 1:00, and I think about 30 people from the 42 person guest list showed up. It was a chance to meet and re-meet friends and family of Matt and Rebecca, which is a good way to ease me in. Plus, it was a big boat, and I was with Pete.

We had the morning to do whatever we liked. After breakfast and blogging, shower and sunscreen, there was not quite enough time to go to the beach, so we decided to drive up to the Iao State Monument and poke around in the mountains a little bit. By the time we got going and stopped at the natural food store, "a little bit" of time was about all we had, but it was a nice drive and a nice day and, again, see above, we are in Hawaii.

The Iao Needle, as it is known, is an "erosional remnant," which is the geologist's way of saying a "really pretty and rather spectacular natural oddity." The topography of Hawaii allows for so many different experiences, and the mountains with their sharply delineated valleys and cliffs covered with green foliage are beautiful and unlike anything I have ever seen.

I am bad in crowds, in general. People in groups tend to be stupid; I wind up feeling that we don't deserve to be ruling this planet and we are due for a well-deserved smackdown. I have decided that I need a uniform I can wear to state and federal sites which will imbue me with assumed authority. Then I can tell off idiots like the dumb f@#! wearing the Guinness shirt, stumbling around on the stones, outside the barrier in the botanical garden, wrecking a giant spiderweb, harassing a green gecko, and taking pictures with his little disposable camera. He did not deserve to be wearing a Guinness shirt. Pete said that I could even have a fake ticket book, and I could write people up, at which point I told him to stop it because he was turning me on. Had I such a uniform, it would be good for the general public, good for me, and good for Pete, later at home.

That's a different blog.

I would definitely need one of those ranger hats.

The hat can really make the outfit, sometimes.

I was watching that moron, stumbling around on the rocks when we were on the way back down from the needle. I was already in a foul mood from the dumbassity of humans, so I was wishing he would break his ankle, or that the spiders that were on him we poisonous, or that he would somehow meet with karmic peril that would not necessarily teach him a lesson but would warm the cockles of my black little heart, but no such thing happened. Up at the shelter near the needle, hundreds of people have left their lame little modern petroglyphs on the wood, scratching their I was betting that there was rarely a time to be alone in such a place when a couple of kids came up, and the boy started scratching something into one of the pillars. I say kids when they could well have been of voting age, which makes me think there should be a social responsibility test in order to vote. That flies in the face of democracy, I KNOW, but it would not necessarily fly in the face of better government.

The girl said "No, don't do that."

I breathed a sigh of relief.

"Don't use your nail. Use a coin or something."

Relief over, anger welling.

It's a small, simple thing, but why do people do this? I doubt they even spent a minute looking around at the scenery, opting instead for vandalizing a public space.

What set me off in the first place was that when we arrived at the shelter, a family consisting of three kids and a mom and dad were coming down a slope just behind the barrier and a signpost stating "don't go up here" and why. Who ARE these people? Is this a Dominion thing? Are they fundies who have bought so deeply into the whole "thou shalt have dominion over the earth" crap in The Bible that they really believe that such rules are unimportant in God's eyes, and they do not apply to them?

Again, I don't get it. And I know that if I said something, it would not be respected, and I would only be madder in the end.

We headed back to the docks at Maakena where we were to meet the whale watching group, and I braced myself for socializing. I picked up a few postcards--really cool vintagey ones that are printed on recycled paper with soy inks! This helped to appease some of the frustration of earlier. Pete had an espresso, and we saw a bird we have never seen before. I still have not managed to get a bird book, but I'll get one, even if it's on the way out, at the airport. It was a Brazilian red-capped cardinal, and it was really cool. I did not take this picture, but here it is:
We have also seen (and heard) Myna birds, zebra doves (there's one with a hurt foot who visits our porch in the mornings), cattle egrets, numerous as-yet unidentified water birds, little brown birds, and frickin' ubiquitous house sparrows.

No one did anything retarded on the boat, which was good because with two thirds of the passengers being wedding guests, there would have been a good chance that the perpetrator was someone I might have to talk to later.

The whale watch was run by the Pacific Whale Foundation, a nonprofit research group invested in conservation, which was a cool, refreshing tonic. The Abroes sported everyone on this excursion, which was generous beyond the call, and quite a treat. I have never been on a whale watch, and I went through a whale and dolphin phase as a young girl, so this was a treat. The captain of the boat, Captain Doug, talked like a morning radio d.j./game show host circa 1978, and I would have paid him to shut up, but he did not talk the whole time. Sandi the naturalist did most of the talking. We saw numerous cows and calves as well as a few males and observed logging, tail slapping, and breaching, and heard them singing. It was a two hour cruise, and it was quite relaxing.
Afterwards, we shopped a bit in the store, and everyone was trying to organize the rest of the day. I was done and felt that it was unnecessary, but I understand the gesture. The plan was to go back to the Abroe's house and then meet for dinner at 7:00. I might be able to do one of those, but there was no way I could do both. Also, it was around 4:00, we had been here since noon, and the time to eat was now. Right now.

Pete and I came back to the condo. Pete had a dip in the ocean, and then we walked across the street to an Indian restaurant by the sea. We had our standard veggie samosas, naan, daal makhni, chicken tikka masala, and saag paneer, and it was really, really, tremendously good. The experience was aided by the long, pleasant day in the sun and the cool breeze of the ocean under the lowering sun.

Does anyone else find anything about this funny?
Pete met everyone for dinner at 7:00. He did not get there until 7:30, he was the first, no one was hungry, the restaurant was packed, and I am glad I stayed home. Everyone seemed to understand that the pregnant lady was not up to it; they don't need to know the subtleties of my neuroses beyond that. I can blame the fetus.


I am in Hawaii, so I have only glancing contact with the news, but are they still talking about Obama's pastor?


Are there not more important things going on?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Baby Steps

First things first: find Hawaii public radio.

I drove down South Kihei Road to the classical strains of 90.7, picking up postcard stamps along the way. I drove through Kihei, through Wailea and Makena to Makena State Park and Big Beach.

Big Beach was refreshing, even though there were many people there. It's undeveloped, and there are no buildings in sight.

This part of Maui is not unlike South Florida in appearance, as far as the human habitation is concerned. The vegetation and topography differ in that, as far as I know, Florida does not have volcanoes. I also have yet to see a theme park here in Maui. I don't feel a sense of disappointment; I guess that I did not have many expectations about this trip, and how I feel is more important than how it looks. We'll get out of the more developed areas once we have the time.

Today, I had mainly to myself. I took off my shoes and walked on the soft sand on the edge of the surf, enjoying the sun and sounds. Just a few days ago, it was 14 degrees in Minnesota, and now, here I am: no coat, no socks. The water was blue and green, and the sand was a rich light brown that would be aptly described as "sandy" were it the name of a paint color or a flooring material (I may have remodeling in the back of my mind). I lingered there perhaps half an hour before making my way back through the parking lot. People were beginning to pour in. Mental note: best to get to the beach around 10:00.

I wound my way back up the coast through Wailea, which is the rich man's Kihei. Basically upgraded shops, hotels, and resorts, and the type of manicured green spaces that are abundant when wealth is present. There are acres on the island side of the road devoted to upscale golf courses, sprinklers a-blazing. I found the whole thing to be a bit cringe-worthy.

In Kihei, I stopped at the little natural foods store. I feel very at home in such places, and it soothes me. Bookstores do the same thing. I found local, organic vegetables and fruits, some locally baked bread, and a few other items to stock the condo, all the while realizing that I had not eaten yet aside from tea and seventeen macadamia nuts, and it was almost noon.

I decided to take my haul back to the condo and make some lunch. I relaxed to a show on the History Channel about the War of 1812, and I worked on my uncle Steve's drawing for his CD cover. At around 1:30, I left to head north and west to Lahaina to meet the boys, and I stopped at a farmers' market along the way. It was small, but I found worthy items including strawberries grown on the island, Maui limes and lemons, and some local orange-infused wild honey.

It's only about 17 miles to Lahaina, and the speed limits are relatively low here. Through Kihei, it's 20, sometimes 30 miles per hour, and most of the way to Lahaina, it was 45, though there was one small stretch of 55. I prefer the slower speeds. It's much more relaxing. Plus, it's easier to look around and easier to avoid hitting pedestrians. Maui is infested with wild mustangs, and by that, I mean the car. It seems to be the thing to do: come to Maui, rent a Mustang. They are everywhere, though once I decided to count the frequency of Mustangs in a mile of cars, I only saw one in 85. Once I stopped they were again swarming. I don't know how they knew...

The road hugs the coast, and the waters off to the south and west are practically lousy with humpback whales. I saw a big flipper and what looked like a calf breaching as I drove along. I decided to stop along the way home if there was time.

Lahaina is Provincetown, Massachusetts and Jackson, Wyoming in a tropical setting. There is not much to choose between them on the surface. The difference is in what kind of crap you can buy in the shops and what kind of history you can find crammed in amongst the souvenir stores and Wet Seal. I have found that I am not quite ready for society. The traffic was slow and voluminous, and the people were swarming. I found the needlework store, but it was sparse and unnecessary. If I have a needle emergency, I can go there. Otherwise, meh. By the time Pete called, I had practically had it with Lahaina and was ready to go back home. It was strange to be meeting Pete on our vacation, and it made me realize that we were indeed on vacation, but it was Matt's wedding, and Pete's first responsibility was to that. I was also becoming more acutely aware of how unused to socializing I am, and how uncomfortable I was feeling.

When I finally found a parking space and arrived at the pizza joint to meet the boys, I just wanted to leave. They had been diving, and now they were drinking beer: two things I am not allowed to do. It was coming into sharper relief for me: Pete can do whatever he wants, he has no restrictions. I cannot because I am pregnant. I am still carrying the community property and because of that, I can't do my own things. In that way, I am much better off by myself because I am not as readily reminded of the things I can't do. I eventually settled down, and I had my first NA beer in 13 years. It was not so bad, and it made me feel a bit more like a normal person, but they do have .5 % alcohol in them, so I won't make it a habit. I know that sounds a bit hysterical, but I am not planning on drinking even the odd beer here and there during this pregnancy. There are just too many arguments on both sides of that fence, and the risk is not worth it.

Pete and Matt had to go and get their tuxes nearby, and I decided to head back to Kihei.

I am not sure what that actually means, but it looks like it lights up, which is always nice.

I stopped at an overlook and watched the humpback whales spouting and surfacing for about twenty minutes. It was relaxing, and I started looking forward to the wedding whale watch that would be taking place the next day. I was feeling better, but it was because I was again by myself and removed from all the people and all the overload. I was in control of my time. I got back to the condo just before Pete, and we talked a bit about my social conundrum. He's very supportive and will do what he can to make me comfortable, which helps and means a lot, all by itself.

We just missed the sunrise last night, but we have a few more chances to catch one. By the time we had some food, Pete was feeling pretty wiped out. I putzed around a bit and watched some cable TV, finally falling asleep to John Stewart at about 10:15. Like a kid, I was trying to keep myself awake for the whole thing because we don't have John Stewart in our house, but I was unsuccessful.

Maybe some other time.

It was a good day.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pregnant Pause

I am eating honey roasted macadamia nuts, steeping some passionfruit tea, and having my prenatal vitamins (tropical flavored); it's 6:50 a.m., unfamiliar birds are making raucous noises in the morning mist, and it looks like it's going to be a lovely day in Kihei, Maui.

I just sent Pete off with Matt, the groom, for their bachelor SCUBA, and I have the morning and afternoon to myself. Just me, the silver Chevy Cobalt, the southeast coast, and McFetus.

We arrived last night for a week of mostly wedding-related events, celebrating the union of Matt and Rebecca, and I am glad that the travel day is over. I am not much for planes and the general hassle of traveling, and my prenatal mood of the past few days has not been stellar; I was not the choicest companion, but Pete was very kind and patient with me.

Our flight was not until 11:30 a.m., which was good, especially because I had been going through a packing conundrum. I don't like traveling with a lot of stuff, but because I was Event Packing, I had to bring Outfits and Shoes, which take up a lot of room. Add to that casual and hiking as well as beach apparel, and you are spilling out of a single suitcase. By the time I went to bed, after randomly puking up shepherd's pie and decaff Earl Grey earlier in the evening, I had decided upon two small-ish suitcases and a carry-on.

I was not pleased.

In the morning, I was even less pleased. I was getting mad and resentful that because Pete always has to bring a guitar wherever he goes, I wind up carrying community property like our camera bag and the laptop, which cuts into the purely personal things I can bring like knitting and drawing stuff. But instead of addressing the problem like an adult who understands that her husband is a caring and rational individual who only wants the best for her, I got quiet and sulky.

Always helpful. I repacked into one suitcase, taking out some knitting and a few articles of clothing, switched from my shoulder bag to my bigger backpack and was ready to go when Pete returned from the bank. Of course, when he found out what was upsetting me, he wanted to fix it, but I did not want to repack yet again (I mean, if there was a rational solution, then I could not pout, and where was the fun in that?), so we finally settled that he would carry the big backpack and his guitar, and I would have his backpack and the camera bag.

Pete's buddy and music partner, Chris, had offered to take us to the airport and spare us the $30 cab fee, which was nice, so getting to the airport was no hassle at all, and check-in and security was all fine. We had been concerned that we might have to go and get our own baggage in Vegas and recheck it because we were flying a different airline to Maui, but they checked it straight through, which was one worry gone.

The next thing was food, which is always yummy and nutritious at the airport. In our gate area, the choices were Subway, McDonald's, and Caribou. Subway's breakfasts are grotesque and Caribou mainly offers muffins and pastries, so we opted for McDonald's.

Did you know that at the Minneapolis airport, they stop serving breakfast at 10:00? Who takes their lunch break at 10:00? It was 10:20, and we were stuck with quarter pounders. Oh well, it's something we almost never do, so I am not going to worry about it, but next time, we are either making sure we eat at home or we are leaving enough time to head over to the French Meadow on the F Concourse for real food.

The last time we flew over an ocean, we stopped in Newark. This time, the midpoint was Las Vegas. Given the two, I think I would choose Newark. I find Las Vegas to be the opposite of glamorous, and at least Newark is not trying to pull any wool over my eyes as to its nature. The airport in Vegas is not as I remember it from almost ten years ago, but that's another sickening thing about that city: its unsustainable impermanence. When we arrived, we did not know where we had to be to catch our connecting flight on a different airline, and there were no directional signs or open information desks available to direct us. We were in the D terminal, and the departure listings told us that ATA was not a choice due to its complete absence on the board, so we headed toward signs marked "A, B, and C Teminals." I guess we had the naive assumption that we would be able to check in at an ATA gate and not redo the whole shoes-off security thing. When we arrived from the tram at its amorphous destination, we had no idea what we were supposed to do. Pete flagged down a TSA employee, and she took the time to find out where we needed to be and then did her best to direct us.

It turned out that we did have to go back out to main ticketing and then back through security. Looking back on it now, it was not so bad, but when I was in the middle of it, I was hating it. Airports make me nervous, and I can't relax or get excited about a vacation until all the details are worked out and we arrive at our final destination. Add to my normal weirdness the PMS-type hormones I have been experiencing lately, and you have one hot mess of a gal on your hands (sorry, Pete).

Have you ever flown ATA? It's like a Greyhound in the air. The state of the interior of the plane did not inspire confidence, but I do like that it's one-size-fits-all without the annoying first class cabin you have to walk through so you can be reminded that we do not live in a classless society and that some people are better than you. But the nice lady at the ticket counter had made sure we were seated next to each other, and I was by a window, which helps me quite a bit. We were also in the bulkhead row and by ourselves, so that made it even better.

For some reason, I was more nervous on the flight from Vegas than I was on the flight from Minneapolis. Probably because it was my second in one day. On the way to Vegas, I knitted and read, and I was just fine. On this flight, I could not knit, I could barely read, and all I seemed capable of was fidgeting, which is not an effective time-passer. Luckily, they showed "Ratatouille," and I had headphones, so I watched that and was able to sleep for awhile, which is very rare for me.

McFetus is starting to get in my way now, a nice little prelude for what is to come. It's easing me in. Sitting for nine hours was not its favorite thing, and I had trouble getting comfortable. Add to that the sciatica I have had for awhile in my left leg, and this probably accounts for my fidgeting.

When we arrived safely in Maui, I was quite relieved. Now, we just had to get our bags, the car, find the condo, and I was done for the day. I had envisioned a solitary evening and an early-to-bed. It was, after all, 11:30 p.m. our time, and I had been up since 5:00 a.m.

It was not to be.

Matt was there at the airport to meet us, bearing leis, which was so sweet, and he waited for our bags with us and then helped us carry crap around while we tried to figure out where to get our rental car. By the time we were on the shuttle, it was clear to me that we would not be spending the evening by ourselves. We agreed to meet Matt for dinner after we found the condo, which we did without trouble.

We took a drive south on South Kihei Road looking for somewhere to eat, and discovered that, just as my parents and the guidebook says, Kihei is basically a condo town with strip malls interspersed. We found a place called "Oceans," which was an open air sports bar, and got a table. As we were sitting down, the brother-in-law and father of the bride pulled up, entirely randomly, and my heart sank. It was not that they were bad people, they were just people, and I was tired and not feeling social. I had already been up for more hours and talked to more people than I had in four months in my sedentary and solitary pregnancy, and I was not being eased in to the social life.

Rebecca and Matt arrived soon after, and we had a group of six, five of whom had way more energy than I. Pete asked if I would be upset if he got a beer, and I said that he could, but that yeah, it was probably going to bother me. It's not that I really miss drinking all that much--pregnancy itself tends to put you off the things that are bad for you--but lately, I had been thinking that a nice, cold lager would be pleasant, and I was feeling a certain amount of resentment that because I am the holy vessel for Pete's Fetus, I have to sacrifice when it's his creature in there, too. There's nothing to be done about it, but being on vacation, in a tropical land, for a social event, is going to try my already thin-in-general patience and give me some good lessons in verbal control.

I know that Pete understands this and is trying to be sensitive, and while I need him to understand that this could be an issue, I also don't want to pee in his corn flakes. His buddy is getting married, after all, and we are in Maui.

And these are reasons why I must revel in today. Pete and Matt are off on their underwater adventure, and I am by myself for a few hours. I am going to finish my tea, get ready, and head out to the post office for post card stamps, the natural foods store for some supplies, maybe down to Big Beach to check it out, then back up to the Kihei Farmers' Market at 1:30, and up to Lahaina to meet the boys.

Oh, and in Lahaina, there's a...

Needlework shop.

Yeah. I will be stopping there first.

AND, I pooped twice today.
That's practically a miracle. Pregnancy does NOT make one regular, but that's another blog.