Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas to you!!

Happy Holidays!! I hope you are getting some good family time in! I am not freezing to death like I thought I would be! Yesterday it was 60 degrees and today it's in the 50's!! The links below are You Know You're Celebrating Christmas in Hawaii when... and a recipe for a Mango Cake.. Yummmm!! Enjoy and Mele Kalikimaka to you!

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Greetings from Maui! Hope you are as ready for Christmas as I am. Especially the part where I don't have to work. :) The long term sub for my co-teacher has worn out her welcome (actually she did that on Day 1) and it's time for her to go! Yesterday was my nephew, Gavin's, 4th bday. I was on speaker phone today to help sing Happy Birthday to him. I miss him!! I get in Thursday morning (an overnight flight- fun fun!). I'm trying to get up at 3 am on Wed. morning so I'll be able to sleep on the plane. I may have to have a few cocktails at the airport in Oahu. Oh darn.

Jack is catching on to my approaching departure. I pulled out my suitcases and he started acting strange. I tried to tell him that he'll be with Kurt and get to go to work with him, but he didn't listen! At least he doesn't have to endure an airplane ride any time soon! That would be horrible.

We had an 86 year old lady, Miss Tutu, for a substitute sub on Friday (Tutu is the Hawaiian word for Grandma). This woman was spunky and fun!! It was half way thru the day when I realized that she was the same woman that Kurt met at a bar one night! HA HA! Who says it has to be a bitch to get old?? I will request her next time I'm out for sure. The kids loved her!

Well, I'll sign off for now. I look forward to seeing friends and family really soon!! :) Aloha.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Mele Kalikimaka

It's almost Christmas! I'm at home sick (ughh) and kinda bored. I've had no energy for like 3 days now. Is it time to go to VA for the holidays yet? I am happy to have my condo back to myself (my roommate moved back to Canada last week). Not that I was glad to get rid of her, just to have my own space back.. I really have to find a place after the new year that is more affordable. If you know anyone with a condo in Maui, I'll be glad to housesit for free!!

Jill got a new puppy. She named her Luci!! She is soo cute. Here's a picture of her sweetness...

Finally.. I got the pics of Willie. Long story, but I didn't have my camera and this girl agreed to email some to me... and she finally did! My Aunt Sharon LOVES her some Willie, so I was glad to get them. (I'll have to come back and post the pics b/c I'm having troubles with it right now!!)

Back to work tomorrow.. I've been awake now for 5 consecutive hours without a nap, so I'm hoping my energy is back for good!! I wonder how things went in my classroom today. Or maybe I don't want to know!! I'm sure it was fine.

I'm going to try to go to the Billabong Pro Maui (just to watch of course!) whenever it happens( ). It's a womans' surf competition up in Kaanapali.. it was supposed to happen today but was postponed due to small waves. I haven't been to a competition here so I'm looking forward to it.

Anyway, I haven't been writing on here much so I wonder if anyone will even read this!! Cheers!

Sunday, December 04, 2005


It's been awhile since I've written. Things are going well here in Kihei. I'm getting things ready for the week.. Went to an acoustic show earlier that was pretty good. A girl from Green Bay playing the ukelele. Go figure. SHe played the Talking Head's "Psycho Killer" on the ukelele! ANyway, made it to the beach yesterday.. the waves were the biggest I've seen so far here. The undertow was pretty strong.. a little scary!

Sasha (the roomie from Canada) is going home for good next Friday. We have had some fun for sure. Looking forward to having my condo to myself for a few weeks! I'm heading to VA on 12/21.

The Hokies couldn't pull off a win last night. Mike said he'd take us to whichever bowl game VT made it to. Looks like it will be the Gator Bowl on Jan. 2. I have to change my flight back here now b/c I was planning to return on the 2nd. Looking forward to a much better game than they played last night!

Lisa and Scott are vacationing somewhere in the Dominican Republic. I'm sure Lisa is in heaven. Trying to get Christmas presents for everyone without going broke. I'm going to pack my suitcases with presents since I don't have warm clothes here to pack really anyway!

I got to talk to Maggie and Katie on the webcam earlier today. Katie is so big and such a sweetie! I can't wait to hold her! Gavin was napping so I didn't get to see him today. Planning to try again tomorrow.

Well I'm really tired so I'm gonna sign off. Keep in touch and take care!
Malama Pono!!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Just in from seeing Willy again!

I just got in from yet another Willie Nelson concert. He and his band played at his bar in Paia, Charley's. I can't wait to get the pics from a few people who had their cameras with them. Anyway, I'm super tired. Will write more soon.


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Willie is here!

Finally, a day of good live music. Hoping to see a great show at the MAC today featuring Willie Nelson and Jack Johnson. Thanks to Kurt for driving his work van!!

I have a tennis match here shortly. I am trying to wake up right now. My roommate, Sasha, and I went up to Kapalua yesterday snorkeling. It was one of the two best snorkeling trips I've been on since I've been here. We made the mistake of drinking a beer with lunch which pretty much knocked me out!

The dust of Kihei has just about taken over my condo. We have decided that we must get some help trying to tame the dirt. My landlord cleans houses, so she is coming tomorrow to do a top to bottom cleaning. I figure it will last about 2 days and will be a mess again. Oh well. Worth a try.

Talked to Billy and Ethan for a few yesterday. Of course Billy was the same old sweetheart!! That was the first time I talked to Ethan in a really long time. Sounds like he is dong well. Just in from sailing a boat to Fla. from NY.

Well, I suppose I'll make some breakfast. Haven't been writing here too much lately so I thought I'd do a quick catch up. I have off Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving. My goal is to not spend money for awhile. I really have been ripping through it.

Happy Turkey Day to you!! Ciao, Susie

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Halloween on Front Street, Ocean Kayaking...

I am way behind in my blogging. Guess it's a good sign that I've been too busy doing stuff to sit down and write about it! Go to
to see some shots of Halloween in Front Street if you haven't seen them already. These are Kurt's pics.. I ended up using a digital camera and haven't developed it yet. Contrary to what I look like in the photos, I had very little to drink that night. My eyes tell another story, but I swear I was so tired from the weekend that I barely indulged! There were so many awesome costumes... people really went all out. My fav group costume was "Studio 54" where a group of 10 or so dressed as different people at the bar.. bartender, bouncer, dancers, etc. and they had a disco ball hanging over them, a turn table, and a rope around the whole group. It was awesome! Don't ask about Kurt's friend "Clowny", as there is no logical explanation.

Fast forward to today, 11/12... I went ocean kayaking for the first time today! It was so sweet. A friend's landlord was at the same beach that we were today (Turtle Town) and had 2 kayaks that he let us use. I loved it! A sea turtle came up to see us while we were out in the middle of the ocean.

Tonight I'm heading to Willie Nelson's place, Charley's, up in a small hippie town called Paia with a bunch of girls. I am getting ready to take a nap and will probably drive separately b/c I have a singles match in the morning that I want to be ready for. Me, playing singles.. should be interesting.

I have decided I want to write a children's book with Hawaiian flare, and I've asked my friend Kimberly to draw the pictures. If it works out, I could retire by age 33!! For real, if we pull it off it could be quite profitable (sp?).

Anyway, I'm pau (done) for now. Gotta go catch some sleep. I miss my friends and family and can't wait to see everyone at Christmas!! Leave a spot for me on your social calendar for sure. Malama pono, Susie

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Masquerade Ball...

Here is a pic from the masquerade ball we went to last night! I'll write about it later!!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Halloween in Lahaina..

I am getting stoked about Halloween! My costume is coming together, we have our hotel room, and now we have solved the problem of sitting in traffic for 4 + hours! Kurt and I have reservations on a Pacific Whale Foundation catamaran to Lahaina from the Ma'alea Harbor (which is right near my condo)! It ain't cheap, but the cost includes two drinks and pupu's... and we don't have to sit on the road forever to get there. Apparently there were over 20,000 people there last year... I can't wait! I'm off on Tuesday so I can stay up there.

I am surviving my salsa dancing lessons! It is a trip! You rotate partners and meet lots of neat (and not so neat) people. I thought I was keeping up okay but last night they threw some pretty intense step at us and I'm not sure I'll ever get it! A group of people that I've met here are in the class also. Jen, a speech therapist at my school, talked me into joining even though I have three left feet. Watch out Jill when I get home, I'm gonna show you up (yeah, right)!

School is going well. I still only have 3 students (very manageable students at that). I keep knocking on wood that my class stays just the way it is. My co-teacher's maternity leave starts next week. The long term sub seems cool and will fit in nicely I'm sure.

Tennis is good. Sometimes I get frustrated with all of the changes I'm trying to make with my game, but overall I'm really enjoying it. My teammates are great and so is my coach.

I have a short term (2 months) roommate named Sasha. She is here for 2 months to study yoga. SHe owns a yoga studio in Canada and is only here until Christmas time. So far we are getting along great and have a lot in common. She loves Jack! He is getting more exercise than he knows what to do with between the two of us.

Well, I'll sign off for now.

Aloha, Susie

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Sunday Beach BBQ... Cove Park

Top: Sunday BBQ at Cove Park. Karen, Jen, Tina, Pandora, me, Kate, Darlene, Ashley, and Alyssa (front)
Bottom: Me in my "Brunette's Have More Fun" t-shirt!!

Tonight we had a get together at the beach.. Mostly chatted since it was all ladies, but we also attempted to play volleyball (poorly, I might add)! Talked to my dad and Maggie earlier on the web cam.. it was good to catch up with them. I got my halloween costume last night.. pictures to follow after Halloween! I'm going to be Martha Stewart in prison garb! Thanks to Jamie for the idea.. I love it! The blonde wig takes the cake. Jack wasn't too happy when I tried it on last night!

I met my teammate, Esther, for an early tennis match this morning, but we got rained out after 20 minutes. Bummer cause it rarely rains in Kihei. We attempted to go to the Wailuku Music Festival last night which was a bust due to rain. I am realizing that any festival that happens here is soo small and not a big deal compared to what I am used to. It was fun to look in the shops though. My favs were the music store and the shoe store.. surprise, surprise!

Well, hope all is well in your world. Have a super week! Aloha to you. Suz

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Tiger's New Yacht, Victoria's Secret and Boo Bees!!

Hope and Desire

I just got the new Susan Tedeschi cd, Hope and Desire, yesterday!! I am suffering a bit from live music withdrawal, so it is great to have a new disc to enjoy. My friend Kurt also just gave me the double live set from last year's Bonaroo that i wanted to go see (with my beloved Ben Harper on it of course). Kurt is in Michigan for 2 weeks so I'll miss my new beer drinking, music sharing buddy. We are going to see Willie Nelson and Jack Johnson next month at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center ( I'm so looking forward to it!!

I finally got my funding for my classroom yesterday so I'll be filling out purchase orders all weekend!! It'll be like Christmas!! The first two pics above are of me with some girls from work at a "Life's A Beach." The place is pretty cool- live music and all walks of life.

The picture above is the view from the pool at Kapalua Bay Resort( I took it when I visited Julie and Tyge Young last weekend up in Kaanapali. (Karen H., find out if this is where you are staying!! If you have a choice, here or the Grand Wailea would be best. I think the Grand Wailea is the very best and it is closer to me!!)

Playing lots of tennis. I'm on a PTPA ladies team called the Wailea Waves - our home courts are at the Wailea Tennis Center ( My coach, Barb, is awesome and she is helping me tremendously. My serve is improving... slowly but surely. If you come visit, don't forget your racquet!! Well, I'll sign off for now! Drop me a line when you can. Aloha!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Pakistan earthquake

I just got in from the movies (it's around 10 p.m.) and just found out about the massive earthquake that has hit India and Pakistan. I can't believe the magnitude of this disaster. May those who survived find peace, good health, and stability as soon as possible. Please donate to Unicef if you can. I was reading about their quick response to this tragedy and decided to donate a little to them. God bless.

Saturday, October 08, 2005


Aloha to you. Just a quickie.. car is running well (thankfully), jack is doing well, and it's been significantly cooler in the afternoons. :) i made the mistake of trying to take jack to the beach earlier.. i was just going to go for a few hours... it was SO not relaxing having him there. another dog would walk by and he'd get all bent out of shape. note to self: stick with the routine of taking him to the beach before I go to the beach for relaxation!!

Lisa told me some new Gavinisms earlier. First, he wanted to know if Lisa brought the umbrella with them b/c it was raining really hard on the way to my mom's house. She said yes, and he asked if it would deflect all of the rain drops. This from a three year old. When she asked him where he learned that word, he said "The Incredibles." Earlier the same day, it was pretty dark outside for it to be daytime and he wanted to know, "is it the crack of dawn, mommy?" I tell ya that kid is a trip.

Katie is crawling all around apparently. I can't wait to see her at Christmas. Of course it will be great to see everyone but I think I'll be most excited about her!!

Dad and Maggie now are set up with a webcam! It was so good to see them. I hadn't 'seen' my dad at all since I've been here. He is now working on getting my aunt, uncle, and Gramma on board with a webcam of their own!! It's kind of sinking in how far away I am, so it's so good to be able to communicate this way.

Happy early Birthday to Gramma V. Her big day is on Monday. Wish I could be there with ya to celebrate!

I have some pics to post from my visit with Julie and Tyge Young last night up in Kaanapali (Jamie J's sister). Will put them up soon! Susie

Friday, September 30, 2005

the latest..

Wes Daniels and his son, Clayton Kimberly Strunk and baby Olivia

I am behind in my updates! I have some pics on my camera that i need to download, but right now i'm too lazy for that. it was a loonnng day. a practice fire drill and a 2 1/2 hour IEP meeting didn't help any!! my car is now in working order- $1000 later. I'm considering having my honda shipped to me, but i'm not sure. i've named my miata wilma in hopes that she may feel more obligated to keep working if i give her a name. my parent's old VW station wagon was called wilma so i stole the name from them.

my roommate, karen, is moving out tomorrow. she's allergic to jack. debating on what to do to offset the cost of the rent here. if you have any extra money lying around, pls. send it to me ASAP! :)

my first USTA tennis match is in the morning (if the weather holds up). Somehow I'm playing in the #1 doubles match. as long as i play well, that's all i care about. my serve is really improving thanks to barb, my tennis c0ach.

i'm hoping to have a webcam session with the fam on sunday. it's been since before labor day since lisa's computer has been up and webcam ready. i'm going thru baby withdrawals!! I got some recent pics of my friend Kimberly's little girl Olivia. What a cutie patootie!! :)

Anyone who knows Wes Daniels.. he is getting married and has an 18 month old son, Clayton. I can't believe Wes, the player, is getting hitched before me. WHOA. I sure miss the days of riding on the back of his beach cruiser to the strip in VB. The Bayou, Chicho's pizza, a few drinks, card games with Paul.... etc! His recent email update had me and Christy Bfoot thinking back to the old days!!

well, i am gotta sign off for now. thanx to gina and her overactive social life i feel like i'm up on all the latest restaurants and gossip in the blues!! i love getting mail (even snail mail) so keep it coming!! Malama pona (take it easy), Susie

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Hokies take the sting out of the Yellowjackets!!

(This is a pic of me and Karen a few weeks ago at Lulu's- I've been meaning to post it..)

Got up early to make it to the bar by 9:30 for the VA Tech/GA Tech game this morning. My friend Kurt met me there.. his Michigan game didn't come on until noon. Called back in forth with my mom who was at the game.. 51-7.. whoaa!! VT could do no wrong. A couple from Richmond came into the bar - they were here for a conference and were so glad they found a place that had the game on. There was no VT banner hanging where we watched the game, so the woman is going to mail me one so I can have the bar hang it! :) Check out the highlights at :

Got a great haircut yesterday after work. :) I was in dire need. My friend Ashley who I used to work with a Stella Blues (I ended up quitting due to not making enough money) rode with me to the Kahumanu mall. After that I dropped her off, walked jack, and met some girls from work at a bar (Life's a Beach and then Lulu's) for beers. Had a great time and ended up running into this guy I met a few weeks ago at the same place. One of the girls was up dancing to country music and had us cracking up. Plan on staying in this evening due to lack of motivation!! It is humid (or human as Gavin would say) as hell here today. Really muggy and hot. I hope to make it to the beach tomorrow cause i need some color big time!!

Julie J0hnson (now Young) and her husband, Tyg, arrive Wednesday. They were coming for a visit to Maui before I knew I was going to be living here! I'll meet them at the airport and point them in the right direction when I can. I am hoping that Cory Steinberg will be here sometime soon also... I haven't seen him in over 10 years.. it'll be great to meet up with him on Maui!! He sounds like he hasn't changed one bit. :)

Hoping for a big webcam visit with the fam in the morning. My neice, Katie, is getting baptized tomorrow morning, and witholding any major technical difficulties, we will have a big video session. Lisa's in-laws are in VA and the whole family will be at Lisa's after the ceremony. I'm not sure how early I'll have to get up for this visit. I have a feeling it's gonna be early! Mahalo for keeping in touch and continuing to be interested in my experience here... I hope to hear from you soon!! Suz

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Jack's in Maui!!

Here is Jack less than thrilled to be wearing a lei. He is eating now and seems to like his new home. Just had to post this picture!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Much Aloha to Maggie!

Greetings from Kihei! My stepmom, Maggie, arrived on Monday (9/12) at Kahului Airport with my dog, Jack. Well, technically not with Jack. He didn't make it on the same flight with her from Honolulu. He did arrive about 40 minutes later though! Poor Maggie was sooo tired upon arrival. Here are a few pics of her... she is trying to pretend like she's happy to be getting her picture taken. My roommate took her to dinner while I waited for Jack. When the door swung open and they put Jack's crate on my cart, he looked so confused and out of it. I guess that's understandable since he spent around 18 hours in that small box. :( He is still not himself. He has only eaten about 1/4 a small bowl of food since Monday. I am hoping he comes around soon. His spirit seems okay, but he is just not eating (except treats and the occasional leftover). I keep telling myself that he won't starve himself. He is drinking lots of water thankfully.

Maggie adjusted to the time change better than I did after I first arrived! We have explored Wailea, Lahaina, Kula, Kahului, Wailuku, Makawao, and of course Kihei. Tomorrow we are going to Kaanapali and Napili. She rented a car because I ended up putting my car in the shop for an oil change, etc. We went to Costco last night and she was kind enough to buy me a membership!! I owe her about a million dollars between the Jack expenses getting here and that trip to Costco! I am now set for a year with many supplies. Many items are so much more reasonable than the grocery store (for example, a small bag of spinach salad at the grocery store is around $6, while yesterday a 2.5 lb bag of spinach salad was $3!!) I have really appreciated all of her help, generousity, and company while she has been here. Today she bought me a cool lamp from Pier One that looks really nice in my living room!!

This morning we headed "upcountry" to Kula to explore the Tedeschi Winery (also called the Maui Winery). It is up Haleakala.. an inactive volcano. While it was only 30 miles away, it took us much longer than you might expect to get there. The roads are windy and narrow. When we finally arrived, the winery was nice! We learned a lot, drank a little, and bought a few gifts. We took pics on the way up and back. (This trip disproved my theory that usually holds true: No matter where you wanna go, it's 20 minutes away from wherever you are on Maui.)

For lunch we went to a place in Makawao called Cassanova's. YUM. Carmela's YUM!! If you make it to Maui, you HAVE to eat at this place. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Caprese Salad and Chicken Marsala.. the best I've ever had. They had a pic on the wall of Taj Mahal when he was really young (see above)! I saw him two years ago at the Norva and he was much older and much heavier!! We drove back down Haleakala to pick up my car and head back home. If you've noticed, there are hurricanes heading right for the Big Island (Haw'aii). I hope they don't hit Maui!!

Maggie leaves Monday afternoon. I will be sure to write a few blogs to catch up on the adventures we had throughout the week later. Caio!! Suz

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Baby Blog!

Top: Jack at his baptism. This is my cousin Dawn, and her husband Jon's little boy.

Far left: Ryan playing at the beach. This is my cousin Todd and my friend Cindy's little boy. He will be 2 in January.

Above right pic: Baby Olivia. My friends Kimberly and Steve are her proud mama and papa. She is now almost 3 months old.

Sweet baby Katie!! This is my sister, Lisa's, little girl. She is now almost 7 months old!!

Last pic: This is my stepsister, Sarah's, little guy, Tyler. He's been a big guy from the start! His dad, Josh, doesn't mind cause he's ready for him to start playing football tomorrow!

Third pic: The Gavster!! This is Lisa and Scott's son who will be 4 in December. He is a trip and usually keeps you on your toes. Most recently he told Gramma he didn't want to go outside because it was too "human." I should start a notebook of all the funny things he says!! He told me before I left that he didn't want me to move to Hawaihee.

As you can see my friends and family have been busy having babies! I don't have a pic of Jack's sister, Carla on this computer, so somebody send me one!! All in all, there are 4 new babies in my life since February, so I had to post a brag blog! Ciao, Susie :)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Kapalua Bay

Aloha from Kihei! I am here to officially post a blog that is positive and nature!! I have nothing negative to report since last Saturday's incident when I had to go postal! It's Wed. afternoon and all is well. I don't have to work at Stella's the rest of the week, Jack and Maggie are arriving Monday afternoon, and life is good! The above pictures were taken on Monday (Labor Day). The first picture is of Karen, the next is of me standing on a scenic overlook in between Lahaina and Ma'alea pointing toward my condo in Kihei. The third picture is of the West Maui mountains in Lahaina. The fourth picture is of the beach at Kapalua Bay Resort (this is wear you'll be staying Julie!!), and the last picture is the view from my beach chair when I had my back to the ocean! It was a beautiful day and I got the relaxation that was much needed! Kapalua Bay is in Napili which is north of Kaanapali on the west coast of Maui.
School is going just fine. I LOVE my co-teacher! We really get along well and compliment each other. Our students are getting into the routine and we are figuring out what works best for our students. I am sooo glad to be in the room that I'm in. Everyone is so accepting and kind. I have one little girl who has Down Syndrome, one little boy with speech delays (he had a trach at birth and just got it out in Feb.), and another little boy who has survived a traumatic three years. He lived through a near drowning and a house fire. He is very moody and quiet, but who can blame him. The speech therapist (Jen) is incredible and the behavior specialist is really cool (Momi).
I am going to a dog training class tonight without my dog! It's just a registration class. Jack will start attending next Wednesday night. There is a great dog trainer named Kinee (female) who has given me tons of hope in regards to Jack's aggression towards dogs he doesn't know. I hope she can do what she says she can!
I look forward to Maggie's arrival with Jack. I plan to take her to a winery "upcountry" (in the mountains) called the Tedeschi Winery. No relation to Susan Tedeschi!! I'm sure that will be cool. Otherwise we are leaving our plans open and I'll show her around and let her pick what she wants to do.
I hope all is well in your world. Thanks for emailing and keeping me in touch while I'm so far away from the "real" world. FYI: the gas went up 30 cents yesterday and is now 3.54. Apparently the cap that they set for Hawaii on gas is an average of what the states on the Gulf coast are paying. I hope it doesn't continue to climb! Take care!! Susie :)

Saturday, September 03, 2005

I'm gonna write a book

Aloha to you. I have decided that I'm going to write a book. No kidding. This stuff is just too good to keep to myself. I thought that the icing on the cake of the incompetent, inefficient way things work around here was the driver's license saga. WRONG. Today I went to the post office to pick up a box that my mom mailed to me several weeks ago. I gave the lady my pick up card, and she proceded to hand me a huge, very light box. The box was EMPTY. That's right. My mom paid $35.00 plus insurance to send an empty box 5000 miles to me. Of course, I'm not sure when it became an empty box, but I'm sure some lame ass postal worker is enjoying carrying around the Kate Spade purse that was in the box. The one I bought in the Bahamas that I LOVE. I'm sure they are enjoying wiping their ass with my designer towels that were in the box. I'm not even sure what else was in the box since I packed about 30 million boxes between my classroom and home and the move. I swear to you that this is a true story. I am going to be reimbursed $100 b/c my mom erroneously insured the box. You see, she was on pain medicine for her back when she mailed it, and she meant to insure the envelope that she mailed with it containing some checks. She accidently insured this box, which turns out perfectly since I have already deposited the checks she mailed and now will at least get some cash for the stolen goods. Note to self: do not have ANYTHING mailed unless it has no value.

I'm going to go get a pedicure and forget that this happened. I didn't make it to the beach today and I'm working at the restaurant tomorrow am, but Monday I will be there all day! I refuse to get too discouraged, but if i learn anything here it will be patience. DAMN.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Rules.. By Karen Campau

The following was written by my roommate, Karen, who moved here from Michigan.

Here is what I have learned so far since getting to Maui. I will be adding to these rules as I go along, and giving more vocabulary as I learn my way around. My maui cruiser runs good and only has 50,000 miles on it, it is a '94 Tempo and hopefully will last me until I am done here, however long that may be. -k

(**Notes from Susie: My car may technically be a Maui Cruiser based on the odometer. I am in denial about this status, however, and prefer to consider my car a hotrod.)

Rule #1- You must wear antipersperant, you get really sweaty, it is also a good idea to carry around a napkin with you to wipe your face off so it doesn't run down your shirt, at least not in front.
Rule #2- You must drink lots of water, this makes you have to pee a lot, so you have to get used to running to the bathroom every five minutes, but it is a small price to pay so you don't get dehydrated because of all the sweating.

Rule # 3- Do not scream when you see a roach, yes they are huge but they don't bite(they can supposedly fly) , you can scream if you see a centipede, they do bite, and can get up to 12 inches long ( I have only seen one three inches long) You may also scream when you see a scorpion, although I haven't seen one of those yet.

Rule # 4- Do not worry about deadlines, they are not important, things will get done when they need to be done, before that point it is not worth working overtime and worrying about it. (I cannot follow this one, I like deadlines and thrive under stress)

Rule #5- Do not go to the beach between 3 and 4 it is too windy and you will be covered in sand.(**If you want to get a microderm abrasion treatment for free, this may be an option)

Rule #6- The sand here is different, it is much stickier, it is impossible to get off unless you rinse really really good, you can't just let it dry and it will fall off. This is also the reason you MUST NOT lay on a towel on the beach, the sand will not come out of the towel for months, instead it is a good idea to buy a bamboo mat from ABC stores for $1.50 and keep your towel for drying off with. It is also a good idea to take two towels to the beach, one for drying off ocean water, and one for drying off from the shower.

Rule #7- The ocean is too warm to be truely refreshing, I am a Lake Huron girl, and like the water I swim in to be brisk and induce goose bumps, this whole ocean thing isn't the greatest. Plus there a a lot of critters that live in it. (** I disagree with this statement wholeheartedly. The water is downright chilly but turns refreshing after the initial numbness wears off. Major difference in perspective from this VA girl!)

Rule #8- NEVER snorkel where you swim. You really don't want to know what is in there with you.

Rule # 9 Do not leave the main streets unless you know where you are going and have a good map with you, the streets are not laid out on a grid and an East-West street turns into a North-South street fairly often. ( I went to an address on S\. Wakea, but I had to turn onto East Wakea to find it) Also important note about driving, the addresses make no sense, you will find #35 across the street from #77, even/ odd it makes no difference things are numbered randomly. (**Those of you who know me know that I am so directionally challenged that I have no idea what this girl is talking about here..)

Rule #10 Learn how to say the street names, pronounce every letter say it to yourself a few times, if you are unsure ask a local how to say it, if you are asking for directions, ordering a cab, or driving around town it is important to know the difference between Pi'ilani and Pi'ikea, Ka'ahumanu and Kahmehameha, DO NOT just think to yourself (okay I turned right on the K street and left on the P street)

Rule #11- A Hawaii driver's license will get you discounts on all kind of things (**however, obtaining one may be a challenge..)

Rule #12- When you move so far from home you can never get too many emails from home, even if nothing has changed and you have nothing new to say I appreciate every note.

Vocabulary of Maui:

Maui Cruiser- a cheap car that may have a lot of miles, or just look like crap, but still runs and after all you are on a tiny island why do you need a fancy car to go two miles in? I drive a Maui Cruiser

Haole- that is me, a white girl, the locals do not want to rent out their Ohanas to a Haole, any good deal you may find in the paper are not necessarily available to Haoles.

Ohana- The Hawaiian word for family in the context of apartment rentals an ohana is an apartment in a house. Sometimes an ohana is a separate apartment within the house, in the back yard, in the garage, in the attic, there is no regulation on ohanas so they can be a very good deal or piece of crap, only the junky ones are available to Haoles.

No worries attitude tested...

I am here to tell ya that i have dealt with some major b.s. since I've been here. To make those of you who are envious of my living in paradise, here ya go...

My stepmom, Maggie, has been kind enough to agree to fly out with my dog- I originally thought it'd be cheaper this way, now I'm not so sure. Either way, she'll be my first visitor and I'd rather pay a little more to get her out here... Today I checked her flight to see what time it leaves Honolulu on the 19th of september so I could schedule the interisland leg of the flight... to discover that the flight was not leaving on the 19th. No. The flight was from the 12th to the 16th. 4 days. Maggie is supposed to fly across the U.S. on a 15 hour flight and return 4 days later. Not even enough time to be void of jet lag even. To make a long story interesting, well, never mind. No way to make it interesting. It just took me an hour and a half and two more phone calls to get it all straightened out and avoid the 100.00 charge for changing a flight. I think it's straight now. If not, maybe Maggie and jack can just hang out on Oahu for awhile (just kidding maggie!!)

This wouldn't be that big of a deal if my brand new, less than a month old, not cheap, Toshiba laptop hadn't CRASHED Sunday when I was burning a cd for a girl I hardly know! Many phone calls and a few Advil later I found a guy in Kihei to back up my data (i know, i should have thought of that earlier...) for 49.99. I called Best Buy who told me to call Toshiba who told me the closest authorized dealer who would be covered under warranty was in Hilo. That's on the Big Island. Not an option I wanted to explore. I took it to the Kihei guy and he made a comment about the 40 gigs of info. on my one month old computer. I had to download many cds to get me through while on Maui!! Anyway, I have it back now and he was able to fix it. Apparently some file on my dvd burner was corrupt and conflicting with XP. Damn technology.

I would have been able to deal with the computer glitch a little better had I not had to listen to "mommy coming back" in a whining, crying voice all day Friday and Monday from one of my darlings in my class. I also worked monday night at the restaurant and it was DEAD so I made very little in tips. And no famous people came in.

I still haven't made it to the DMV to get my Hawaii driver's license so that I can get my kamaina discount (local). My new social security card has arrived, but I haven't made it out of work on time yet and can't get there before it closes. ( i had to go to the social security office for a few hours 30 minutes away, wait a few hours, and then I was told it would take 10 days to come in the mail).

On the bright side... I have a new cool roommate, Karen. She moved here from Michigan to teach 5th grade at Kihei Elementary. She not only has cut my rent in half (now only 725/month), we end up hanging out at night here and there and have been on a few excursions together (see Rule 13 in next blog..). My dog is coming soon, we have Monday off, Julie and Tyg are coming at the end of the month, and I'm finally settled in with all I need at my apartment. I'm still waiting to meet my sugardaddy with a yacht, but I have faith he will appear soon.

Until next time.. Aloha! Susie :)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Phil Mickelson and the Brazilian Girls

I worked tonight at Stella Blues. Phil Mickelson (Pro golfer for those of you who don't know) came in for dinner! The Brazilian Girls band also came in to eat before their show at Hapa's later. Pretty cool!! Apparently Clint Eastwood comes in often and Mike Meyers was here all summer and was a frequent visitor too. Neat.

I went out last night with girls from school - to Lulu's and Life's a Beach... it was a low key but fun night. Today I went to the beach for a few hours with a girl from work and her daughter. It was pretty overcast where we went, so I'll be beaching it again in the morning. I need a little color! All of this work has kept me from getting sun.

Maggie has agreed to fly out with Jack on September 12th. She'll only stay for a week, but will be back out with my dad in November! It will be fun to show her around. Julie and Tig (Jamie's sister and bro-in-law) will be here late September and we plan to get together. Also hope to have a visit from an old friend, Cory Steinberg in mid-September. :)

I have a webcam now, so I'm planning to have a video session Mom, Lisa, and the kiddos tomorrow evening. It is almost as good as being there in person! I'm looking forward to it.

Well, I haven't eaten dinner, so I better go. Ciao!

Friday, August 26, 2005

From Newport to Stella Blues

This will be a quickie! I started my new hostessing job at a really cool restaurant called Stella Blues today( ). A girl named Emery trained me and she was great. The people are friendly, the food is good, and the atmosphere phenomenal. If you come to visit, we will be going to Stella's for dinner. I had CPR training earlier so I didn't work with kids today- the second day of school for them! I also have to be out at a reading training tomorrow all day. Nothing the Dept. of Ed. does here makes sense at all. I have a new roommate moving in over the weekend- a girl named Karen who moved here from Michigan. SHe teaches 5th grade at my school (Kihei- said KEY HEY). She is super nice and we never see each other at work so it should be good. I haven't had a roommate in a while so it'll be an adjustment. THe last roommate I had was Kevin, and he slept all day so it was just fine!! :) (love ya kev)

I'm planning for Jack to arrive on Sept. 9th. I am hoping that Maggie (my stepmom) will be able to fly with him. It will be cheaper, I'll feel better about him flying, and I'll get to show her around my new world!

Well I am totally exhausted so I'm off to crash out. Aloha to you!! Susie

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Keiki's Are Coming...

The 24th is the first day the Keiki's (said Kay-Kees) come to school. Judging by the emails I've been getting, I thought I better post a blog about what's going on with my new school environment! I've been going in for the past two and a half weeks for at least part of the day. My co-teacher, Rochelle, has been there along side me almost every day. She is a second year teacher who grew up here in Kihei. She attended our school growing up and is really sweet and flexible. Actually everyone I have met at work is incredibly friendly and personable! One of my boxes (a small one) theat I mailed to myself almost a month ago from VA arrived today. I was so excited! It was a good one to arrive first b/c it had materials for the beginning of the year in it along with my favorite large puppet. As far as my students, I have 5 on my roster right now but one of them is a monitor meaning she will attend a regular preschool and I will maintain her paperwork, etc. I have one little girl who has Down Syndrome, and three boys. One of the boys is non-verbal and has a diagnosis of Autism. He was a student in another pre-school classroom last year and his reputation precedes him. This is usually not good! I am off tomorrow because it is a holiday, Admissions Day, which has to do with being admitted into the U.S. or something. I should know more, but I don't! It works out well that I'm off b/c my furniture is coming sometime after noon!!!! I am very excited about that. It turns out that the furniture that my landlords were going to loan me isn't available, so I had to make alternative plans. I found a place in Lahaina (20 min. north of here) that sells and delivers used furniture, and that is where it is coming from. I will now officially not be making any more big purchases. I REALLY hope that I get most of the money I spent back when I go to sell it when I leave. All of the tables/stands are light colored bamboo. I am especially excited about the kitchen table. I'll post some pics later. MOST IMPORTANTLY, I will be sleeping on a bed tomorrow night for the first time since I've been here. The old air mattress has been good (and for future visitors, is really comfortable) but it IS an air mattress!!

I went to Lulu's last night- a neat bar/restaurant in the middle of town. It was karyoke night, so I was prepared to cover my ears. Boy was I pleasantly surprised! Those people could really sing! I am used to people who think they can sing but really just had a few too many!! Lisa, you will have to sing one of your Grease tunes if you make it to visit. Someone did the new country song "My Give A Damn Is Broken" last night. I hadn't heard that song, but it was great.

Anyway, I'm gonna try to catch up on individual emails now. Be sure to let me know what's going on in your world when you get a chance.

Aloha!! Susie

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Back from Oahu

I went to Honolulu this weekend to visit some VA friends. It was a fun trip!! I'll be posting pics probably tomorrow. It went by fast and I didn't sleep much!!! Today we went to the North Shore and got to see several sea turtles. You could feed them seaweed right out of your hand. It was awesome!! I'll write more tomorrow after my orientation for work. UGHH reality sets in! Aloha to you!

Finally back to add pics and details about my trip and catch this up to date! The first tw0 pics were taken at the North Shore at this place where sea turtles come right up to you in the water! They eat seaweed out of your hand- it's so cool. This turtle, we were told, was coming to shore just to rest. The next pic above is Missy, Andre, Yvonne with her Spanish man, O.C., who called her Mommi, and Dee. This was in "the bush" as the Jamaican Carlene's said. (two of the girls on the trip who are both named Carlene and both from Jamaica!) The next pic is the view where Nita (our hostess) works at an outside restaurant near the pool. She certainly has it rough!! She said she can make $1000 a week or more most of the time!!

This wraps up what I can share about the trip to Oahu. Little sleep, lots of drinks, and a whole lot of fun was had by all. I hope to make it back sometime to see more of the island.


Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Aloha to you! Here is a picture of my sweet dog, Jack! The other 2 (of the same picture!!) are of me on the first night me and Jamie were in Key West in June. I'm pretty sure that was the night that I had too much to drink...uhhhhgh. It was fun until I woke up the next morning!! Thankfully we got a ride home from some guy with a bike with a cart on the back.. I can't figure out how to delete one of these!!

Fast forward to NOW. Things are falling into place here. I seem to make a daily trip to Walmart for something. Is it bad when the cashiers call you by name??? I now have a small t.v. (however the cable we pay for in our rent that i just found out about doesn't work right now!), a printer, a webcam and microphone, a toaster oven... the list goes on. So much for not stockpiling while I am here! I got a flight to Honolulu today- I leave Friday afternoon and return Sunday evening. Some VA friends are going to be there (Yvonne and Missy) and I am looking forward to seeing them and Oahu!! I have to go to an orientation in Wailuku on Monday and at my school on Tuesday so it will be my last hurrah. I figured now was the time with the offer of the free place to stay and no dog to worry about yet. By the way, I MISS MY DOG!! I get frequent reports about him from my mom, but it's not the same. When I'm done eating, there's no one to give the leftovers too. When I go to sleep, there's no one to fight with for my side of the bed (maybe that's good considering I'm sleeping on an air mattress right now)! Oh well, he'll be here in a month. Then I'll have to deal with getting him to go to the bathroom while on a leash which he's never really done (on command anyway).

I had the pleasure of sitting in the Social Security Admin. building for over an hour today. I was granted this joy because I erroneously laminated my original SS card several years ago in an effort to be efficient. Apparently this makes it invalid. I need a valid SS card to get a HI driver's license. I need a HI driver's license to get the local discount. I don't know why she swallowed a fly, perhaps she'll die!

Monday night I played tennis with a Jamaican guy at these public courts. Let me rephrase that. I ran my butt off all night and lost! It was fun and he was nice- I met them there while I was there hitting on the practice wall. I also got the phone numbers of a guy and a girl who play USTA here. THey were so friendly and encouraged me to call this one lady to join a team for the fall. It's so cool, at these public courts you can just show up and pretty much know that you will find a match!! I love it!

Anyway, for friends and family, I have posted yet more pics in a new photo album called AAAAJune/July '05. ( ). They are from June and July.. better late than never. It is VERY hot here right now. I heard on the news last night something about record highs this week. WHeeww, whoever said there is no humidity here LIED!! I have the A/C running most of the time during the day.

WEll, I best go. Take care and keep in touch! Mahalo! Susie :)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Hana Highway!!

I am just in from a fantastic trip up the Hana Highway!!! I had the hardest time deciding which pics to put here. The first picture is of Honomanu Bay. As you can tell, the water was such a clear blue. The junker car is one of the many found on the island that have been abandoned and then decorated in some unique way. The next pic is of Lower Puohokamoa Falls. I had to hike a little trail (muddy and slippery) to get to it, but it was pretty easy and worth it! The last shot was taken at the Ke'anae Peninsula. The ocean continually pounds through jagged lava rocks and it is breathtaking! I got my feet wet here- burrrr- the water was Fraeezzzing! When I left this area, I stopped at this little hut and got the best homemade banana bread and pineapple/strawberry smoothie I have ever had! The bread was still warm and the smoothie was a much needed relief from the heat. I had the top down on the Miata for the whole ride. Great views but a little warm at times. In the shade it wasn't bad! I stopped at a place called Ching's Pool after the peninsula and went for a dip. I unfortunately don't have any digital pics of this b/c I only took my waterproof camera down there with me. The water was really cold but refreshing. It said "No swimming, domestic water," but there were locals in the water so I jumped right in! Next I turned off the highway into a small settlement called Wailua. There was supposed to be a view of a waterfall there according to my handy Maui book, but all I saw was a funny sign and an angry local! (See first picture about Ass Biting Dogs!!)

I stopped around the 22 mile post and headed home. I had to make it home for a webcam session with the family in Virginia. It was such an awesome trip already and I'll be returning to catch the things I missed later of course. I left home at about 8:15 this morning, and made it back around 2:15. The windy road was a bit nauseating on the way down since I wasn't stopping at all!! The cybervisit was awesome! It was so great to 'see' everyone. My nephew, Gavin, made me cry with his version of "You're a Grand 'Ole Flag!". I'm such a wimp! It was the next best thing to getting to be right there. Thank God for technology!! Be in touch!! Cheers, Susie :)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Baby Katie and pics of my new pad

Here are a few pics of my new apartment. It's starting to come together although I'm sleeping on an air mattress (thankfully it's pretty comfy) and sitting on my pier one beach chairs!! My landlords are off island as they say until the 12. They have some furniture they are going to let me use and will deliver it when they return. I am so stoked about that! Anyway, my extra bedroom is nice and empty, so let me know when you plan to visit! My first visitors don't come until the end of September. I am thinking about flying to Oahu on the 12th b/c some VA friends will be there and they invited me to stay with them. The cheapest flight I've found is around $150 and I've already spend a TON of cash, but I'm still thinking about it. It will be my last hurrah before school starts since I have orientation on the 15th. I'm meeting with a restaurant manager at a posh country club in wailea at 3:30 today, so it also depends on my server job too.

Anyway, I hope you and yours are well. I just had to add this cute picture of my niece Katie in her bikini b/c it is so sweet I can't stand it. Cheers!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

It's been 2 weeks...

Isn't that the start of a BNL song???

I can't believe I've been here for two weeks already! I'm glad that I came early because I can't imagine having to go thru what I had to go thru to find a place, try to get it livable, run a gazillion errands (ie.a/c fixed in the car, transfer registration..BORING stuff!) and get my classroom ready all at the same time. I actually just found out that I won't be able to get into my classroom until around the 18th. Not good. The kids come the 24th! No one seems stressed about anything around here so i'm trying to join them- I'm not sure if it's complete inner peace, an awareness that everything will work out in time, or a lack of concern!! It's so NOT like the mainland in that way! I have 3 students on my roster- two that seem easy going and one that DOESN't. How's "reduce biting behaviors" for an IEP goal sound??? I'll keep you posted on that one and make sure my shots are all up to date. That little boy will NOT bite me!

Now for the fun stuff! I finally ventured to a bar last night and it was great fun! It's called Hapa's and apparently the closest thing to a club in Kihei. The major reason that I went was b/c Willie K and his band were playing and I have heard so much about him since I've been here that I just had to go see. What an amazing musician he is! Slide, electric, and acoustic guitars- he was actually playing with his teeth on one of the last songs. Everything from Stevie Ray Vaughn to country to Hawaiian falsetto. Sounds crazy but it totally worked. After seeing all of the different kinds of people on the dance floor and the lack of rhythm that many of them possessed, I joined them! (if you know me at all you KNOW I can't dance) ANyway, it wasn't cheap- $10 cover and $5 a beer. That's Bud Light, not good beer! ANyway, I ran into this girl that I met when I was apartment hunting and we hung out most of the night. She's taking me to the east side of the island snorkeling tomorrow - my first time on the other side. I've rented some snorkeling gear for the week to determine if I think I need to buy or just rent equipment when I want to go. It's really cheap to rent b/c they expect you'll buy other trips, etc. while you're there. I saw a sea turtle Sunday when I went just south of here. I was't quick enough to snap his picture, but hopefully I'll have better luck tomorrow.

I bought a mountain bike at a thrift store today. I took if for a test ride about an hour ago. WHile the bike is great, it was HOLY HOTTER than HAITEEEEE!! I bought a lock for it since apparently stealing is more frequent than I'd like.

I've applied for a server position at several restaurants since I probably won't win the lottery anytime soon. I figured it'd be a good way to meet people also. I really hope that I am hired at this place called Capische. It overlooks the ocean, is all open air, and only open from 5-9 pm! (not to mention a few hotties work there!)

Well if you've made it this far you are probably as tired of reading as I am of writing. Keep writing me emails! I love it!! Mahalo!

Sunday, July 31, 2005

July 31

Aloha to you! I am settling in my new place after much shopping and cleaning. I am off today to get blinds for my windows, snorkeling gear, and to explore. I want to see a waterfall! Anyway, I have added new pics to the maui photo album on my yahoo photo site ( Check out the rainbow I caught on the side of the mountain on the way back from Lahaina Friday evening! There are several of Banyan Tree Park in Lahaina.. very cool. There was a strange odor of marijuana under that tree... ANyway! Very cool - it's all one big tree. I just stumbled upon it trying to take a shortcut to my car. Thanks for staying in touch. Since it's just me here, I look forward to a friendly email when I return from my daily excursions.

In reading the weekly Maui paper, I am discovering that there is quite a drug problem across the island. Methamphetamine apparrently. THis problem is creating other problems such as car theft and the like. I'm sure my new ride will be fine, but I do check my parking spot each morning to make sure it's still there!

For those of you who have never been to Maui, here are a few interesting tidbits of info for ya.
There are abandoned cars scattered along roadsides across the island. Not a bunch, but enough to be an issue. For some reason, they do not take the time to locate the owner of the car and require them to tow them away. Local artists have taken it upon themselves to decorate these pieces 'o junk with bright colors and messages such as "Save our Island!" Also, there are talks of developing a wind farm on the north west coast to generate a renewable source of energy. Very interesting...

I gotta get going. Have a great day. Bye for now!!! SUsie