Saturday, April 26, 2008


This morning, Marcelo took AJ, Jess and I up the Hamakua Coast, approximately 17 miles from downtown Hilo. Even the car ride was amazing, taking us along the shoreline, past the Onomea hiking trails, and into a secluded windy road with beautiful flowers and trees. We hiked out on the rocks through the river for about 20 minutes until arriving at what we called paradise. With a 30-foot waterfall at the end of our trek, it was well worth it, and was one of the most beautiful trips I've ever taken. We even got a chance to cliff-dive beside the falls, and swim in the water. It reminded me so much of cottage-country in Ontario; cliff-diving and swimming in Georgian Bay. Here are the highlights of the day...

Without a doubt, Marcelo is the best tour guide in Hawaii. Kudos to him for sharing his knowledge and patience with us. He really is a gem.

Keep Dreaming,


Thursday, April 24, 2008

week 5 in Hawaii

The last couple of days in Hawaii have been awesome. There was a solid 6 days of quality 'Jess-Caro-Jenny' time at Jess' place. Beyond the obvious bonding, we've also done some wicked swim workouts, gone for some nice bike rides and runs, and shopped til we dropped! Not to mention having some much needed 'girl talk' - the one thing I've been lacking since coming here. Carolyn left for Victoria on Sunday afternoon. I miss her already, but I think she's already started to plan her next trip out.

AJ arrived at the Hilo airport on Tuesday morning. It's been a productive couple days... so far, we've hiked the Onomea Trails, been hiking at the ocean cliff's close to Jess' place, and we made it down to the hot ponds today for snorkeling/tanning. I'm really looking forward to what my last week in Hawaii is going to bring.

Besides adding a couple extra shades of brown to my skin tone, I also did the 'be cool' loop this morning. I kept a steady pace, and surprisingly the time just flew by. I've been feeling quite good the last few days.. I'm hoping it's a trend.

Keep Dreaming,


Saturday, April 19, 2008


Yesterday, Marcelo's dad, Ivo, took Jess, Carolyn, Marcelo and I, out sailing into the Pacific. We were on the water for a few hours on a boat named "Cheers". Ivo was definitely in his element, teaching us all the basics of sailing; the names of the different pieces, how and when to use them, etc.. Going sailing with the Hanza's was one of the highlights of my trip to Hawaii. Even though I've been here for a little over 4 weeks, it seems as though I'm unable to grasp the idea of actually being in Hawaii. I find myself narrating my own actions in my head, "You're sailing in the Pacific ocean, off the coast of Hawaii right now!" and "You are riding your bike up a Volcano", etc.. I wonder if it will ever fully sink in. This is such a beautiful place, I am trying really hard to absorb it all and appreciate how blessed I am to be here!

Today, The girls and I hit up the Pahoa pool for a swim workout in the morning. Pahoa is a neighboring town to Hilo, and resembles the characteristics of a developing country. A town that is 'off the beaten path', but I love it all the same. The pool is a fabulous facility and I still can't comprehend how they make them free. They are definitely a step ahead of Canada in this department. Here's a picture of me goofing off after the workout:

This afternoon, We drove to the top of the Volcano. When we were there, Carolyn and I went for a little jaunt, and ended up on a trail that ran 2 feet from the edge of the Volcano crater. It was a phenomenal site to say the least! We kept stopping every 5 minutes to take a peek off the edge, which for half of it, was NOT guarded by railings. Afterwards, we all met up and went to the Lava tubes. I think I might have found Greg's place.

All in all, the last couple days have been fabulous, especially with the news of Paulie recovering so well.... Pound it, Paulie!

Tomorrow, Carolyn flies back home to Victoria, which I hear got hit by 6cm of snow this morning.

Ending today with a glass of wine, I can't think of a better way to celebrate a fantastic trip.

Keep Dreaming,


Friday, April 18, 2008

Dedicated to Lindsay

With the training camp wrapped up late last week, I had an AMAZING weekend in Kona with Lindsay. What started out as a nightmare, ended with a hell of a story and some of my favourite memories. We stayed at Patey's Place, a hostel in the centre of town and also about a 5 minute walk away from the local pool. Lindsay and I would head there for our swim workout in the morning, and then have the rest of the day to play and explore. Most days consisted of hitting up the beach, walking along the strip, and shopping. Here are a few of my favourite pictures:

Lindsay and I sitting in the hammock at the hostel..

Lindsay and I at Bubba Gump's for dinner..

Us on the FREE bus...

What a bad ass!!...

A cool shot of a boogie-boader at the beach..

Lindsay petting her new pet sea turtle...

The view on the way to Lavajava (which we hit up everyday!)...

Lindsay and I on the Kailua pier..

Magic Sands beach..

The waterfront strip in Kona..

I love you L-Dubb!

Keep Dreaming,


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Epic Proportions

Since I've been in Hawaii, I've been climbing on the bike more than I ever have! This past weekend, I competed in the Lavaman triathlon - the longest triathlon I've ever raced! It was amazing. I had my best swim, and I felt great through the bike, too. My goals were to go strong on the swim and bike, and dealing with my knee injury, my run could go to shit - as long as the rest was a good effort - and it was! I was so happy with my race... not to mention all my friends had amazing races, too. Good day, all around.

Lindsay and I, pre-race, setting up in the transition..

Group shot during awards ceremonies...

And some post race relaxation at the pool!!....

Today was the first day of the Lavacamp. We started out doing the epic ride up Koloko. The climb was so steep I had to weave back and forth along the road to make it up. From previous years of the camp, some riders have even fallen off their bikes because you can't climb in a straight line. With 4.5 hours of riding, this makes the longest ride I've ever done. Needless to say, I was spent at the end of it. Here are some of the highlights of the day..

And my favourite picture of the day...

Special thanks to Jess for the company... I'm looking forward to the next days of the training camp....

Keep Dreaming,


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Gordie Howe Hatrick

Hawaii has been absolutely amazing... gorgeous weather, phenominal riding, FREE pools and great company! It's hard to think that I've been away for two weeks already... it doesn't seem like I've been away that long... the homesickness is starting to fade away as I start to develop my new routine here. Lindsay arrived in Hilo yesterday, and it was SOOO nice to see her again, which seemed like forever (I guess it has been forever when you're used to seeing someone every day!). We picked her up from the bus stop, and then went down to the hot ponds for a dip, some sun tanning, and a little run.

For the last week or so, I've been feeling a lack of energy and really sluggish - I think due to the lack of sugar in my system. Yesterday, after a very stressful and mentally tiring day, I nearly had a meltdown. Dan, Jamie and Lindsay knew exactly what to do.... take me to MCD's for some ice milk. I outdid Dan's previous record, with a hatrick... Gordie Howe style; a McFluerry, a sundae, AND an ice cream cone... and ended with knocking myself out! Not only after that did I start feeling like myself again. Now that I have my binge out of my way, I think I've learned my lesson - everything in moderation... I mean, that's why I am in this crazy sport!

This morning, Janet Lindsay and I dropped Dan off at the airport, said our goodbyes and wished him a safe flight back to Victoria. Then, we hit the Hilo pool. An extremely cold pool, but a good workout none-the-less. On the way home, we also happened to hit up the Mauna Loa Chocolate factory for some samples and a factory tour. It was magical.

This afternoon, we're going to go for a bike ride and then drive to the lavafields to see the lava flowing into the ocean. The eruption of Kilauea has been continuous since January of 1983, and the cooled lava has added 600 acres (and counting) of land mass to the big island. On an exploration ride last week, I stumbled upon the lavafields, after riding approximately 3 kilometres in, I decided to turn around due to the rough road conditions. It's about 4 -5 kilometres to the ocean from the closest parking lot.... so I'm excited to be making it down to the ocean side.

Tomorrow, Janet, Lindsay and I head to Kona. The Lavaman is coming up quickly and I'm having some mixed feelings about racing. I'm really looking forward to the race, but I'll be happy when this weekend is over!

And yet another picture of a gecko. I just love these guys. There are two kinds here: the aligator type - all brown and creepy looking (but still cool!), or the geiko type, pictured above, that will save you loads on car insurance.

Dan and Jamie left this morning, and I miss them already! I never thought I'd see the day that I miss their hating on everyone and everything.... not to mention, the Square of Power has been demolished. It's a sad day.

Now that the rain has cleared and the sun is coming out, it's off for our bike ride! Compliments to Mauna Loa for supplying me the energy for a good ride!

Keep Dreaming,