A Christmas Day #ROW80 Check-in


Jingle bells and ukeleles, everyone!

Merry Christmas! I wish worldwide joy and happiness on this and every day.

Only twenty-five rotations around the sun since I’ve been to Maui and I gotta say–it’s still warmer than my home and native land. Family holiday photos on the beach at sunset? Check. Waking up at 0200 to head up to Haleakalā Moon Crater for a sunrise? Cheeeck. Delicious exhaustion. Check, check, check, check, check.

Actually, let me edit that. There were moments–looooong moments–yesterday where I was certain my fingers and toes would remain up at Haleakalā National Park when we finally made the descent.

Picture this:


I hope you can read the blurry digits. The downfall of using an iPhone on this excursion was the removal of gloves to take any pictures. They literally felt like they were on fire.

We waited over an hour for Mr. Sunshine to make an appearance. Let’s just say 20°F was too much (or too little?) for this Celsius gal to handle.

If that weren’t high enough (from sea level) here’s what we did after the sun popped out:


It was more to a Canadian’s comfort level of cool, complete with a lightheaded buzz. No alcohol needed.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s dial it back some by providing a little context to this adventure.

Imagine getting up before the roosters to a breezy balmy pre-pre-dawn. Now, if you add lack of sleep to the mix, it’s sure to be a great opportunity for delirium.

Our wonderful tour guide, Ron, looks like this:


But he sounded more like this guy:


Now, who doesn’t love the smooth stylings of Bob Ross? The guy could’ve easily been a crooner has the painting gig fallen through. And aside from the Rossisms, he was creative and always a pleasure to watch. Check him out on the interwebs so you’ll get an idea and appreciation for what I’m talking about.

Is there anything wrong with this audio/visual combo? Not in a normal setting, but when snaking up a mountain in the dead of night, the last thing you want is the commentary to be as soothing and quiet as a lullaby.

Fortunately, there was the intermittent fear of driving off the edge of the road and down the mountain at each sharp, curvy turn to keep me awake. It helped to enjoy the night sky a little better. It’s always better to look up, anyway. 😉


Aside from journaling and blogging, there wasn’t much in the way of WIPs this past week. However, NaNo brought my writing projects to a positive close for the year with plenty to tackle in terms of revisions for my next stage of the writing journey in 2014.


In a lovely holiday coincidence, I began my NetGalley story three days before Christmas Eve, just as in the book itself. Unfortunately, things got so busy I didn’t finish it before now like I’d hoped. I aim to finish it by the weekend.


Still out of commish, sort of. But I love seeing holiday cheer across the globe.

I opened an Instagram–finally–and will get into it more when I return home and have access to a computer again. I love my iPad but there are some things that need more firepower.


Still progressing on the lingo front. I’m eager to get back to arm knitting and finishing those infinity scarves.

For now, my big takeaway from this trip is never to underestimate Mother Nature. Should I wish to return to heaven on earth, above the clouds, and greet the morning sun–I’m bringing full winter gear. My chattering bones fully agree.

I’ll have more to share about my trip and other things in the coming posts.

Until then, may your days be merry and bright.



5 thoughts on “A Christmas Day #ROW80 Check-in

  1. trip sounds great – even the weather! – after all in time to come it will make for good dinner talk and grist to your writing:) I’m tidying up after nano ready for great edit in new year – all the best for New year – see you back here next round I hope

    • Definitely, alberta, on all counts.

      I love finding writing fodder in the strangest of places–even at 10,000 feet above sea level! Sounds like we have similar plans for 2014. I’m excited for the next round.

      Happy New Year!

  2. I learned that cold weather lesson a while back too. But then, Nepal is a lot closer to the equator than we are (you, Canada; me, upstate NY), yet it’s a lot colder than I suspect either of us would want to deal with without some serious thermals.

    Bob Ross! Oh, I can just imagine… Though to go with his soft voice, there was some serious grief between him and William Alexander (the Bang, Bang guy) at one point. Walk softly and carry a big paintbrush?

    • I wish I could envelope myself in a big paintbrush that day. I think the bitter cold affected my fractured thumb which hasn’t fully healed yet. As of this writing, I have new shooting pains. It just feels like fire zapping through my bones, no biggie. :-/ Memo to self: keep the gloves on. Brrr.

      • Sounds a bit like my lesson of “don’t bend over to pick things up from a bowling lane” (ie. fractured wrist)… It’s been a year since the surgery, but I still get ouches her and there.

        We writers need to watch for things that will make getting the words down too challenging.


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