Sunday, September 27, 2009

Just Another Day In Paradise

Saturday started with breakfast at the Tiki Terrace. After breakfast we took the short walk down to Whaler's Village where the 13th annual Youth Ukulele Contest was going on. We stayed and listened to the group competition. After the contest Janet did some shopping at the Whaler's Village Mall, while I returned to the hotel and relaxed with a book by the pool. I took a little too much sun and got a slight burn, but nothing serious. After Janet returned we had a snack and a couple of tropical drinks. Saturday evening we went for a sunset sailing cruise on Trilogy's catamaran. We finished up our day with island fish and chips at the Hula Grill while listening to their nightly live entertainment. Sorry, we didn't bring the camera to the uke contest or on the sunset sail.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Maui Re-Re-Re-Re-Revisited

Thursday evening we arrived for our 6th visit to the valley isle. It was a long day of travel. We left home at 7am CDT and flew 4½ hours to LAX and after a 2 hour airport layover flew another 5½ hours to Kahului where we landed at about 9:30pm Chicago time. But we successfully upgraded our seats to 1st class on both flights, so I don't really have any complaint about the flight.

Our vacation package from United included an economy car rental, but on arrival we splurged for the extra amount to upgrade to a Mustang convertible. Cruisin' the island in style. We made it to the hotel in time to check in, grab a couple of MaiTais from the Tiki Bar, and sip them while enjoying the sunset from the lanai of our oceanfront room. After sunset we took the short walk along Ka'anapali beach to the Barefoot Bar at the Hula Grill where it has become almost a tradition to enjoy our first meal on Maui. We had island fish & chips and bbq pork along with a couple more MaiTais while enjoying the live Hawaiian music. We got back to the hotel in time to catch some of the nightly hula show in the Tiki courtyard, then headed back to the room to turn in at about 3am Chicago time.

Friday we relaxed around the hotel for a while, enjoying the Hawaiian singing and dancing in the lobby, and shopping some of the art and craft vendors set up there. Janet found some more jewelry she liked from Stephanie and from Gigi's. After sipping a couple more MaiTais from the Tiki Bar, we headed out to an early dinner at Mama's Fish House. Janet had 'discovered' this restaurant while reading online about area restaurants and it turned out to be an exceptional find. The restaurant is situated on the beach of a small cove on the north Maui coast, and offers breathtaking views of the huge surf crashing over the rocks. But the view isn't all this restaurant offers. The food was out of this world. Not long ago, I wouldn't eat fish, but I learned a couple of trips back that fish in Hawaii is excellent, and the fish at Mama's is as good as it gets. Not to mention their MaiTais (how many is that now?) and their desserts. The bill was a little pricy, but it was an unforgettable dining experience.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel where I caught 40 winks while Janet caught up on Facebook. Then we headed out to Kimo's in Lahaina where we had found out that Peter deAquino was playing. Peter is a talented singer and uke player that we first heard at the Napili Kai slack key concert a couple of trips back. We listened to Peter and had (you guessed it) some more MaiTais before calling it a night and heading back to the hotel around midnight.

Saturday brings a keiki ukulele contest at the Hula Grill and more tropical treats I'm sure.

(Check back to this post later. I hope to add some pictures if I can.)

Friday, September 25, 2009

NTL3 - Street View

click image for a larger view

Here you see the best known landmark of one of my favorite cities, in another of my favorite cities. The Paris Las Vegas 5/8ths scale replica of Paris France's Tour D'Eiffel was originally intended to be full size but had to be scaled back because of the proximity of the airport. We've experienced the view from the top of Las Vegas' Eiffel Tower as well as the original in France.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

NTL3 - Birdseye View

In an attempt to make it a little trickier, I rotated the satellite and airplane views with south to the top. (because there is no north and south in space, right Jen?) If yesterday's airplane view left any ambiguity, this picture should clear it up.

click image for a larger view

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

NTL3 - Airplane View

It's probably apparent where we are now, but which landmark?

click image for a larger view

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Name That Landmark III - Satellite View

I thought I'd do one more guess the landmark puzzle. Here's your satellite view. If you need to zoom out a little farther to get your bearings, then click here.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Name That Landmark II - Street View

Located on the Côte d'Azur in the tiny country of Monaco, the Monte Carlo Casino is probably the best known casino outside of Las Vegas. (There is a Monte Carlo Casino in Las Vegas, but it doesn't look anything like the original.) Like other cities along the Riviera, Monte Carlo is known for glamour, luxurious yachts, and sightings of famous people. It is also known for the annual Monaco Grand Prix, whose course runs right by the casino.

We visited the casino in May of 2006 on a day trip from Sanary that also included stops in St. Tropez, Cannes, and Nice. I lost a "few" Euro playing blackjack, but the experience was worth the price. One of my best memories of our Monte Carlo visit is the profiteroles we enjoyed at the outdoor cafe across from the casino.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Name That Landmark II - Birdseye View

If you've figured out the city, then you probably guessed this landmark building.

Click image for a larger view

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Name That Landmark II - Airplane View

Here's the airplane view. There's probably lots of similar harbors on this coast. Can you tell where we are yet?

Click image for a larger view

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Name That Landmark II

I was out of town on a cruise to Cabo San Lucas over the holiday weekend. It was a great trip with plenty of good weather, good food, good drinks, and good times with our friends the Binghams.
Consequently, I'm a little behind posting a new guess the landmark puzzle, but here it is. If you need help orienting yourself on the globe, click here for a higher view from space. We'll drop down to airplane height tomorrow.

Click the image for a larger view

Friday, September 4, 2009

Name That Landmark - Street View

The target landmark is the London Eye located on the south bank of the River Thames in London, England. We were there in October of 2005 on our way back from Anna Szot's wedding in Warsaw. We didn't have much time in London, but we took in quite a few major landmarks. Can you name the following pair of landmarks we photographed from our nighttime ride on the London Eye?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Name That Landmark - Birdseye View

It should be pretty obvious now.

click image for a larger view

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Name That Landmark - Airplane View

Here's a closer look at our destination. Have you got it yet?

click image for a larger view

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Satellite View Help

I think I cropped the satellite view too tightly to allow a reasonable chance at guessing the country and city. Click on the image below for an expanded satellite view.

Name That Landmark

It's amazing what views of the world are visible to us through satellite imaging technology available on Google maps and other such sites. You can start at a satellite view, and zoom down to an airplane view, then zoom even closer to a bird's eye view, and finally all the way down to a street level view, without ever leaving your computer chair.
So with that capability at our fingertips, I decided to take you on a tour of some well known landmarks I've visited. See if you can guess where we're going as we descend closer and closer from high above.

Here's your first satellite view. Obviously too high to choose the landmark yet, but see if you can identify the country or even city. Tomorrow we'll take a look from an airplane level, and bird's eye level on Thursday. If you haven't guessed it by then, the answer will be up with the street view on Friday. Have fun.