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  • June 2011
    M T W T F S S

Pair of Congratulations

Yes that’s right, we have a pair of congratulations to Alex and Mo!! Mo just received her Masters Degree in Education for the University of Washington Tacoma! This is a funny contrast of rival schools (can you say Apple Cup), as she got her Bachelors from Washington State University in Pullman! She worked very hard during which time she worked as a full-time teacher! This will no doubt secure her future in a State where the budget axe has fallen hard on education funding!

Alex just got a new job as an Emergency Management Coordinator at Pierce County Emergency Management. This is a much more desirable job for him than his last job at Milgard. It is not his absolute dream job, as he still strives to be a fire fighter and still serves as a volunteer, but it is a great position and is definitely a step in the right direction! We congratulate them both and are very proud!!!!


Our New Wheels

We have another set of wheels parked out front of the house. We have been pulling our camp trailer with our aging Mercedes ML320 for over a year now. While it is capable of this chore, it is getting up there in miles and we don’t want to wear the poor thing out. We have been truck shopping for a time and stumbled on this gem. It was a one owner 2003 Ford F350 Diesel Powerstroke truck with only 53,000 miles on it. It was a bit over what we had budgeted for, but it was in such great shape and had been taken care of so well, we just couldn’t pass it up. Now the Mercedes can stay in the garage and breath easier when we head out on our camping trips. This baby will have no problem towing anything we have now!!!


Another vacation in the books and the big adventure this time was a trip to Maui! We took the trip in May and it just so happened, it coincided with my birthday! What a place to be spending that!!! It was my first trip to any Hawaiian Island. Debbie has been to Hawaii before, but it was her first time on this island! The weather was nice and warm and sunny, just what we needed to offset the horribly cold and wet Spring we have endured this year! We rented a private condo at Hale Mahina Resort which was right on the beach and very nice and quiet! The setting was awesome, although the unit we stayed in could have been a bit cleaner and we could have done without the little mouse that scurried around from time to time. No big deal though, as it was time to start our adventures!

The first thing we did was to head over to a local dive shop and rented some snorkeling gear and headed up to Honolua Bay Reserve. It was absolutely beautiful and the snorkeling was spectacular. We spent most of the afternoon cruising the bay checking out the sea life. One minor glitch occurred when we were told at the beginning that we weren’t allowed to use sunscreen immediately before entering the waters at it harms the sea life. Therefore we experienced some bad ass sunburns on our lily-white Seattle skin! This made some poolside sun bathing difficult for a day or two. Next we rented a couple of moped/scooters for a screaming deal (you’ll find out why later). We had a blast on these little bikes and did some serious cruising. One drive we took them on was up to a Kahakuloa Village, just about as far as we could go on them and get back safely! This was like stepping back in time to old Hawaii, very remote and very beautiful. We were told to visit Lorraine’s Shaved Ice where Lorraine makes the best banana bread and shaved ice on the island. Boy were they right!!! She and her husband are very nice and gracious! Her store is in the basement of her home and you can sit in their backyard and enjoy your treats and socialize with her and other visitors who happen to be visiting. It was a very cool experience! This day also happened to be my birthday and we spent the late afternoon having some brews at Maui Brewing Company and then dinner at Roy’s …….yum!!! I couldn’t have had a better day!

Next day it was up early, and I mean very early 2am. We took the sunrise bike tour down the Haleakala Volcano. We were picked up at the condo and transported up with a group to the top of Haleakala to watch the sunrise from 10,000 feet! It was beautiful and cold! At 10,000 feet in elevation very early in the morning, you are up above the tropical weather in the valley and have to dress for it. We watched the sunrise and also looked around the area and crater. There is also an observatory and military installation up top which is not accessible to the public! Check out the sunrise pictures and all the photos of the trip in our gallery! After watching the sunrise, we biked down the mountain on specially braked bikes. You need great brakes on these bikes because you are going down the highway and it is a very steep grade for miles! On the way down we stopped for breakfast at a very strategically located market, can I say gold mine! It was an unforgettable experience and we were quite wiped out for the rest of the night! Another day of adventure took us on the road to Hana! On suggestions from friends and people we ran into here, we stopped at Charley’s Restaurant for breakfast on the way and were glad we did. The road to Hana is a long and winding road through beautiful and lush scenery, numerous waterfalls, glorious views of the rocky cliffs and sandy beaches. It is well-travelled and at times very narrow. At the end is the small and quaint town of Hana (Heaven). What a cool and laid back place to live! We slowly made our way back, stopping at waterfalls, scenic overlooks, and outdoor roadside markets. We also stopped at the Garden of Eden, a botanical garden and arboretum. It was full of beautiful fauna and great trails, but a little on the expensive side to be honest.

Other days were spent sunning at the pool or beach, we snorkeled right at our beach and saw numerous sea turtles. Some swam so close to you, you could almost touch them, which we didn’t because it is illegal. We explored Lahaina, Napili, Wailea, Makena, Kaanapali, and Kapalua. We loved Kapalua, very nice place and it looks spendy! We took in the Drums of the Pacific Luau at the Hyatt and did lots of shopping and eating at Whaler’s Village. We spent ten fabulous days in paradise, but wait, there’s more! I mentioned the deal we got on the scooters and also the luau was basically a two for one deal too! Why, you may ask! Did we get suckered into a timeshare presentation to enjoy these deals? Ummmmmmm yes! Ok ok now hold on before you jump to conclusions. We are not fans of the timeshare presentation as we have been to them before. The worst experience was in Cabo where we wasted three plus hours of our vacation trying to tell them we weren’t interested. We went to another one in Whistler which we might have bought had we not already decided on buying a boat! Well we went to another one and were cold and defiantly there just to bear it and enjoy our deals. This one was through Wyndham Resorts and our sales presenter, Timothy Gunn was a great guy that offered us no pressure what so ever! We didn’t have to sit through any sappy sales videos and sit in the boiler room of terminals, and high pressure sales reps that everybody else had to. We were immediately ushered into a private office after signing in and sat down with Tim. We told him how skeptical we were of the “timeshare thing” and he understood. He was a very good sales person, and after unravelling the timeshare mystery and showing us how it would work to our advantage, we were offered a deal that we absolutely could not refuse!!! We ended up buying and our base resort will be at the Kauai Beach Villas on the island of Kauai. Debbie is already learning the ropes of working the timeshare network. She took the responsibility herself! As a matter of fact, she has been the vacation travel agent for us quite awhile now and does a very good job! So expect many vacation adventures coming in the future from the Givens Estate! Now I must be off for a day’s worth of household chores and thanks for stopping by!

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