I don’t post a lot of travel pics here, but I know some of my readers do enjoy them. I also know there’s a lot of cat lovers out there, so this post is also for them. My wife and I just returned from a trip to Hawaii, where we enjoyed the sun and warmth while escaping the cold and snowy weather back at Happy Acres. Whenever we travel we try and stay at places that have kitchen facilities so we don’t have to eat out all the time. In Hawaii our typical breakfast is enjoyed outside on our lanai, where we can see and hear the ocean while we eat. We find local papayas and bananas at a farmer’s market, and add fruit to our Homemade Dry Toasted Muesli that we bring with us. A cup of good local coffee completes the meal for me. A brisk walk before breakfast also helps to whet the appetite.
One morning on Maui we had just finished breakfast when I heard an alarm going off inside. It was my wife’s phone, with the bottom message in the below photo displayed. The second message didn’t come for over 30 minutes later, leaving us to wonder if we would be around to finish our trip or not! Meanwhile we watched people scrambling off the beach, which was pretty full on a Saturday morning. We stayed put in our room, and I decided if indeed it was our day to check out then at least we were together in a place we both love. Fortunately it was a false alarm, but it sure made the rest of the trip a little sweeter.
The next day, we did our first race in over 5 years, a 5K that was part of the Maui Oceanfront Marathon. Last year I uncovered an old bucket list I had made back when I was doing some serious running. One of the items on the list was to ‘run a Maui marathon.’ I never want to say never, but I do believe my marathon days are behind me. But I knew I could easily do a 5K, and I found a race that took place while we were going to be on Maui and signed us both up. Lynda and I did a mix of walking and running, and finished upright and smiling, which is all I ever ask for. The t-shirts for the race were pretty cool too, and made of a nice breathable and moisture-wicking material. In keeping with custom, no wearing it before (or during) the race though!
A couple of days later, we made a day trip to the Lanai Cat Sanctuary. I’ve been a fan of Jorma Kaukonen since his days as lead guitarist for Jefferson Airplane and as one half of the spinoff group Hot Tuna (still going strong). That led me to start following his blog: Cracks In The Finish. In early 2017 he made a trip to Maui for a gig, and took his family along with him. Cat lovers they are, and they took a day trip to the island of Lanai and visited the sanctuary. I told Lynda about it, and we knew we would have to go ourselves.
The Lanai Cat Sanctuary is a non-profit group that rounds up feral cats on the island, spays and neuters them, then gives them shelter and medical care for the rest of their life. Their goal is to give the cats a quality life, as well as to protect native birds on the island from predation by the feral cats. The island of Lanai is remote, with a population of only around 3000 year-round residents. We took the passenger ferry to Lanai, which took about an hour to get from the Lahaina harbor on Maui to Manele Harbor on Lanai. From there, we took a shuttle van to the sanctuary, which is in a remote location on the island. They currently have almost 600 cats on the 3 acre site, and around 100 of them are tame and tolerant in varying degrees to human contact.
We spent about two hours at the sanctuary, and I have to say I have never been loved on by so many cats in such a short time. As soon as I sat down on one of the many benches scattered around the property, I had a kitty (or two or three) jumping up to join me.
Lynda had her share of lap kitties too. This one with the pink collar was a real sweetie.
Some of the cats just wanted to do what all cats like to do, take a nap.
There were plenty of places to do just that. An old tree stump works just fine.
And a shady spot on the grass works for some.
I would have liked to take one of my new friends home with me. A super-friendly male yellow tabby rubbed on me from my hand all the way down to my armpit.
Then he proceeded to rub down the front of me and on down to my lap and legs. Too bad we are already at our limit for cats here at Happy Acres!
The cats come in every size, shape and color as you can see in the below photo. There were plenty of places for them to hide, and to sleep.- They are available for adoption and can be taken back to the mainland. They also have a ‘virtual adoption’ program whereby individual cats can be sponsored.
The cat sanctuary is entirely dependent on donations to keep it going. Since it has been open, it has increased tourism to Lanai and is now the biggest tourist draw to the island.
If you’re ever on Maui I would highly recommend a day trip to Lanai to see the sanctuary as well as the wild parts of this mostly uninhabited island. We visited an area called Keahiakawelo that tourists have called the Garden of the Gods, since it sort of resembles the area in Colorado with that name. The windswept landscape there looks otherworldly for sure, and plants struggle to hang on.
Our trip ended too soon, and we were back home at Happy Acres where we were greeted by piles of ice and snow. They have since melted, but it was sure hard on the garden. More on that later.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of our travel pics, and I’ll be back soon with more adventures from Happy Acres.