Location: Kaui, Hawaii, USA
Our Kalalau Trail Adventure
One of the 10 most strenuous, dangerous and rewarding hikes is found on the Na Pali Coast of Kauai. What a way to celebrate our anniversary: we figured if we could hike this together - we would stay married another 21 years (at least).
We hiked with our friends: Leslie and Randol. We split the weight of our camping gear and food and heading out on a slightly cloudy Monday morning. When we started at the trailhead, it was a bit rainy - but soon cleared and we enjoyed an exhausting and satisfying day. Starting at Ke'e - we climbed 600 feet in less than a mile. Most people give up after this first mile and turn around. We thought fur sure we had traveled a mile when we approached the 1/2 mile marker. We simply couldn't believe we had only traveled 1/2 mile. Fortunately, we had each other to cheer us on. And there were still quite a few day hikers who were traveling on to Hanakapi'ai Beach.
At Hanakapi'ai Beach we had hiked only 2 miles, but we had climbed rocks, balanced on ledges and increased 600 feet above sea level and then returned to sea level. We were sweaty, hot and hungry. We enjoyed the water and lunch. Visited with a few other hikers, played with a few cats and then loaded our packs onto our backs and headed out.
The afternoon was spent drenched in sweat and feeling as if every mile were 2 miles. The switchback trail climbed 800 feet in 1 mile and then saw toothed: going up and down and up and down. When we finally reached Hanakoa we only had an hour before sunset. We quickly set up camp and bathed in the Hanakoa Stream which is fed by a waterfall and a spring.
Sleeping out in the middle of nowhere was incredible! You could hear every sound - even the crashing of the waves on the shore about 1/4 mile away. The stars were amazing and awesome - it was as if we had a direct line to God. Just amazing. Leslie headed back to town the morning of day two - she would be our ride when we returned.
Day two brought on a lot of challenges - my knee had given out on the last mile of day one. Not sure what happened or why - but ever step going down was more and more painful with each passing moment. My pain level went from a 3 to a 9 in about fifteen minutes. As we approached Crawlers Ledge at the 7.5 mile marker (a sheer sea cliff drop) it became clear that we could not risk my knee giving out while on the ledge. Randol kept going and Steven and I headed back to Hanakoa. It was slow going, but we made it back and enjoyed the afternoon. I soaked my knee, and my wounded ego in the stream for well over an hour.
That night the stars were even more amazing and breath taking.
Day three we started back tracking - again, an incredible journey. Steven guided my every step. My pack was a bit lighter because of the food we had eaten and Steven took some of my weight into his pack. We saw goats and lots of encouraging hikers who offered advice, advil, encouragement and cheering. I quickly learned how to "two step" on the trail. Placing very careful attention on my knee. Steven guided me and helped me and was my cheerleader.
Back at Hanakapi'ai we stopped for lunch and debated where to camp one more night or push on. Randol went ahead of us so that he could hitch hike back to where he'd get cell phone reception and call Leslie so she could pick us up at the trail head. When we made it back to the trailhead - we were laughing and smelly and sweaty and celebrating and joyous!!!
It was a 3 day adventure that certainly tested our endurance and commitment. We were thrilled when Leslie picked us up and we were also incredibly happy to get a warm shower back at the condo. We celebrated our victory AND started to plan our next adventure.
We LOVED hiking the Na Pali Coast and will do it again! Sleeping out under the stars is like nothing else in the world. Watching God's creation while 15 - 20 foot waves crashed on the shore was breath taking. Appreciating clean socks and a dry t-shirt became important. Being in the wilderness with nothing to focus on but the next step was life changing.
I am thankful for this life I was blessed with. I am thankful for Steven and his support and encouragement.
Sorry it has been so long since we have written - we have returned to Maui and are rehearsing The Wizard of Oz!!!!
Much love and aloha
Lexi (and Steven)
Location: Hawaii, USA
Happy Birthday to Lexi! May 6th was Alexis' 40th birthday. Lots and lots of fun and friends and celebrations. First I spent a week in South Tahoe with my brothers. We did some incredible hiking, sight seeing and game playing. We won't mention who won the domino tournament... but let's just say her initials are A.D.
Steven enjoyed a highly successful run of On Golden Pond, which he directed.
And we spent four glorious days on the island of Lana'i (population 3,000).
And now - Steven has just started rehearsals for The Producers. He is playing Max this summer!
Please keep in touch. We are looking forward to our trip back to New Hampshire / Maine this summer!
Wow! How time flies. Let's see - a little recapturing of the past 8 months:
In the fall - Steven directed Arsenic and Old Lace for Maui OnStage. Lexi took a three day weekend and hiked across the inside of Haleakala Crater. This was an experience of a lifetime! Lexi met Mike and Andy at Lake Tahoe for an Allen sibling retreat. We hiked and hiked and hiked and played dominoes and toasted to Jon's memory.
We also celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary
We produced A Christmas Carol at the theater and then visited with family and friends for Christmas and New Year's. The day after Christmas we got to meet our 2 month old grandson: Maxwell Steven! We also held our Camp CenterStage reunion!
In February - we got to sing selections from "I Do! I Do!" in a Valentine's Day special program. We also installed new flooring in our kitchen, living room and hallway!
In February and March - we had visits from Katie and Jim (Steven's sister and her husband), Andy and Stacy (Lexi's brother and his girlfriend), Lexi's Auntie Lynn and Uncle Paul and Lexi's brother: Mike! We also produced the most successful show in Maui OnStage's history: CATS!
Lexi attended the New England American Camp Association conference at the end of March while Steven stayed on Maui to close up CATS.
Most recently we had a visit from Carolin and her boyfriend, Phillip. Carolin lived with us during the school year in 1998 - she was an exchange student.
Last week we opened CHICAGO and we continue to work on restoring the Historic Iao Theater. Most recently - we worked on and received a $50,000 grant which will help us continue to improve the building. Our plans are to install new carpeting, work on the lighting system and begin a campaign to replace the old theater seats.
In a month - we will be celebrating our second year of Camp CenterStage with a FULL CAMP!!!! We are thankful to all those who have helped us see this dream come true.
Drop us a line when you can.
Alexis and Steven
Location: New England & Hawaii, USA
Oh, my! What an adventurous summer we've had. First - Camp CenterStage was a huge success! We had a fantastic time with our families and friends while in New England in August. Celebrating birthdays, coming births (yes, Steven is going to be a grandpa!), reunions and camps - we had a blast!!! We have photos of family and friends - we hope you enjoy them.
Our inaugural year for Camp CenterStage was wonderful and rewarding. It was everything we had hoped it would be. We couldn't have asked for better weather, staff, campers, and events.
Right before we left Maui, we finished a $75,000 project of purchasing and installing a new, state of the art sound system. We earned a grant and then raised additional funds to purchase the system and then install it. Steven worked hard to install the system and we used it with our production of The Wedding Singer. Now that we have returned to Maui - we have been using it and everyone notices the HUGE difference it makes!
Steven is now directing Arsenic and Old Lace while Lexi is working on taking on the task of being the director of RYLA Camp - a leadership program for 90 high school sophomores and juniors.
Last weekend - I hiked Haleakala Crater. Holy Cow!!!! What an experience. Enjoy the photos - they don't even come close to the actual experience. I went with two friends who are also fellow Rotarians. Randol and Leslie were great camping companions. We started on Friday afternoon around 1:30 and came out the other side of the crater on Sunday at about 3:00! It was an intense experience and one I recommend to anyone who loves a challenging hike. Enjoy the photos - I hope they inspire you!
We started at an elevation of about 8,000 feet and hiked down about 4 miles to an elevation of 6,600 feet. The next day we hiked across the crater about 6.5 miles to Paliku Cabin (elevation 6,400 feet). On our way we explored Na Piko Haua - a 150 foot long lava tube. Sunday was spent hiking Kaupo Gap - an 8 miles hike which brought us back to sea level. We had a fantastic time and saw some of God's most beautiful paradise in the world. Enjoy the photos.
Next we are working on the 5 annual Iao Theater Haunted House and our production of A Christmas Carol.
Come and visit us when you can!!!
Love and Aloha,
Lexi and Steven
Location: Hana, Maui, USA
After a successful opening of Godspell, we spent four glorious days in Hana last week and wanted to share the photos with all of you! The house we stayed in was wonderful and everything just slows down in Hana. We woke with the sun every day and listened to the hundreds of birds singing and chirping. At night we heard the wind blowing through all the trees and the guava constantly falling of the trees and through the layers of leaves outside!
The Venus Pool was beautiful and our day of hiking was rewarding and wonderful!
Enjoy the photos and send us a note when you can!
Love, Steven and Lexi
Location: Maui, USA
Wow, time certainly does fly! I can't believe it's been three months since my (our) last entry.
December was a month of visiting family and enjoying some New England cold weather. We left for NH on Christmas Day and enjoyed Christmas dinner at the Honolulu airport :) It was actually perfect - nice and quiet and we didn't have to wash any dishes.
We visited with the Allen and Dascoulias family and also attended Jon's interment and held a "celebration of life" party on January 1st! We got as much visiting into our week as we could - including a trip to New York City and a day of skiing for Steven.
When we returned to Maui, we were happy to be back in the warmth of the sun. Steven, unfortunately, got very sick with the shingles, his second bout - the first being 5 years ago. We was flat out for a week - a good day was making it from the bedroom to the living room and then back to the bedroom. He's much better now.
We started rehearsals for To Kill A Mockingbird and the show opened last night (March 5th). Caro (our set designer) and Steven build an absolutely beautiful set for the show - we will post some photos soon.
We held auditions for Godspell and are looking forward to starting rehearsals next week.
As I'm sure you've all heard - we did have a Tsunami advisory last week. It was while our dear friends, Ted and Francine, were visiting. What a day we had! We watched the news the night before and realized that there could be a tsunami warning the next day. At 6AM the emergency sirens went off. After making a pot of coffee and looking at the evacuation map, we decided to head into town to the theater, where we would be an additional mile away from the coast. We live on the boarder of the evacuation area - so we could have stayed at our condo, but decided we would be safer at the theater. In addition - we knew we would have plenty of water at the theater. So, we spent the morning there. We even went on the roof to check out the view of the harbor. Unfortunately, we couldn't really see anything.
Once we got the "all clear" signal - it was back to work as usual. Steven and I had a full day of tech work for To Kill A Mockingbird. Luckily, I was able to slip out and drive Ted and Francine up to the top of Haleakla to see the sunset for their final evening on Maui.
Other things we've been up to: Maui OnStage finally earned a long term 30 year lease with the county (for $1 a year)!!! This was a two year project of mine, which was one of the major goals I signed on for when I took this job. We continue to participate heavily in the revitalization of Wailuku and are now working on a capital campaign for a new sound system for the theater.
Please write when you can and let us know what you are up to.
Alexis & Steven & Gus-Gus
Location: Maui, USA
We have been going non-stop for the past couple of months! We had our Rocktober fest in October - which included First Friday events, an Obake Festival (Japanese and Hawaiian ghost stories), The Cask of Amontillado and the Iao Theater's annual Haunted House. Then we went full force into rehearsing Annie.
We were happy to have Brian and Ray visit us for five weeks. Ray convinced Lexi to cut and highlight her hair - you can see the results here. We had a lovely Thanksgiving - Steven cooked a wonderful meal of traditional turkey.
A week after Thanksgiving, Lexi's Aunt Gerry passed away after her seven year battle with cancer. Gerry was one of mom's best friends. I'm sure they are both up in heaven right now - shopping and looking for the best cup of coffee.
I was able to fly to Arizona late Thursday night, after auditions for To Kill A Mockingbird, and was able to attend Gerry's memorial service on Friday. A full day with my uncles and a couple of my cousins - it was great!
Another adventure this weekend was that Steven ended up going on in ANNIE! One of our cast members was unexpectedly and suddenly not able to be with us this weekend and so: Steven is playing multiple roles: dog catcher, servant, Judge Brandise, Hooverville singer, etc, etc. Steven is a real trooper.
We are looking forward to visiting NH in a few weeks. We are especially excited to attend Jon's "Celebration of Life" party on New Year's Day.
Hope to see you all soon.
Love and Aloha,
Steven, Lexi and Gus
Location: Maui, USA
Well, it's been quite a while since we've written or "blogged".... so much has been happening. Since returning to Maui we have: opened a show at the Iao, closed a show at the Iao, held auditions for another show, started to rehearse yet another show, had a successful comedy night, had a hugely attended Rocktober kickoff night, traveled to Waikiki for a conference, celebrated our anniversary, had visitors, and more!
We loved seeing family and friends in New Hampshire and Maine in August. Thank you all for your caring words of sympathy as we faced another milestone in the Allen family.
What's been going on here on Maui: (other than it being extremely hot?)?.... The Odd Couple at the Iao Theater went extremely well and was loved by audiences and critics. We started rehearsal for The Cask of Amontillado tonight. Some of you may have seen it when we performed it at The Player's Ring previously. Steven is playing Montresor this time and we have an outstanding cast! The voices are going to be incredible. We begin rehearsals for ANNIE tomorrow. We like to keep busy.
October has been renamed "Rocktober" by Maui OnStage at the Iao Theater: we started with The Rocky Horror Picture Show and will move on to Obake next weekend. Obake are Japanese ghost stories - it will be a night of spooky stories and ghost sightings. Then we will produce The Cask of Amontillado and then a weekend of our Haunted House.
We were excited to have Lori and Joel Benzel on the island for almost a week. We were able to spend lots of time together and catch up! We went snorkeling, hiking and dining :) Lots of good times. On Friday: Kathy and Greg will be joining us for a week or so!!!
Enjoy the photos and let us know what you're up to!!! We miss you and hope you all are enjoying the changing colors - we are missing the crisp, cool air and the beautiful colors.
Love and Aloha,
Lexi and Steven