If you are wondering why I haven't published a blog post in 12 days, here's why:
Every single member of our family has been struck down with the flu. Since this thing lasts two whole days, and since we politely took turns getting sick so Mom and Dad wouldn't be sick at the same time as the kids, the flu has held us captive for two weeks.
This was a huge concern, not only because the flu sucks, but also because we were supposed to go on our long-planned vacation to Maui.
Alas, we did get on the airplane, with one member of our family still somewhat feverish (sorry, dear fellow passengers).
But we made it. We're here in paradise.
None of us is feeling 100 percent, and poor Steve - the last one to fall - was sick in bed for two days. We are coughing our way through various beaches and Banyan tree groves, but we are mending, and we are having fun, in between fits.
I've seen whales every single day so far, spouting off in the distance, tails slapping, massive bodies breaching in an explosion of spray.
Sea turtles can often be spotted in the waves, especially when jumping fish are present, because they want to get away from the turtles instead of being their dinner.
For two days, Maui got hit by an extreme windstorm, and what do I do, of course, but walk on the beach with the wind knocking me sideways. My airy Gemini nature loves windy weather. As I gusted along the sand, I saw this fellow:
I've never seen a sea turtle up close in the sand before, and although I am known as an animal whisperer at home, I had absolutely no clue what to do about this turtle. I knew not to touch it and to give it space, but it was missing its back flipper and a part of the shell, and I wondered if a shark had taken a bite out of it.
I made some phone calls right there at the beach, frantically scribbling phone numbers into the sand, and finally got connected with the turtle rescue people.
I think it's unusual for turtles to be on the beach by themselves in the middle of the day, but after I texted them pictures, they recognized this dude and assured me that's just what he does.
I'm glad he seems to be okay, because he did look half dead.
Despite the blustery weather, we find pockets of sun and waves and are loving our beach time.
And the plants! The plants!!! I can't name a single one of them - they are all exotic and marvelous to me, lush, show-offy, dramatic, beautiful.
Today we went for a walk where signs warned about falling coconuts. Since it was windy, I felt nervous about walking along and being kicked in the noggin by a falling coconut.
It's humbling to be in a place where I know nothing. That prehistoric thing that got swept up on the beach? The stranded or maybe not-stranded turtle? Will I get a horrible rash if I use the plant on the side of the path as emergency toilet paper?
Anyway... I hope you are not feeling too jealous about us being in Maui. Or do I say ON Maui, since it's an island?
We've been working so, so hard, and we got five free airplane tickets, so we planned this trip and dangled it in front of our noses for months while we busted our butts.
So let me show you some pictures to let you live vicariously through us, and I hope you are not too cold and miserable at home.