My Madli Loewe and the Pacific Ocean. Two equally potent beings.
And then… and then a big catamaran took us to the famous Na Pali coast. Think birthplace of King Kong, and you’re not far off. It is an explosion of fairytale land that rises from the ocean, and it smacks you on your head in furious inspiration…
Capt. Andy (no kidding – we have the t-shirts to prove it) proved to be a masterful skipper. We snorkled with supersized sea turtles…
We raced a bunch of crazy dolphins…
And, best of all, the biggest creatures of the seas put on a whale of a show…
A huge whale makes a pretty nice splash from a somersault, I’ll tell you. Not easy to get these puppies on camera, as they just pop out from the blue rough – but Madli has a stellar trigger finger and a seventh sense…
What a day da-dum-di-dum. However, it could have been awful, had we not been forewarned by an old leathery lady. Smug as bugs we had popped plenty of Dramamine to take the edge of the big – BIG – waves – see, the winter sea at Na Pali is completely outrageous, and most had not been so thoughtful. Pale shadows of people were puking left and right. Me, I was tipping back the brewskies and laughing all the way to harbour…
You know, the flight here was not all bad. Flight socks rocks, keep the melons away. And when the final hop from LAX to LIH was reasonably empty, we stretched out like corpses and slept the last 6 hours. Never been that fresh after a 25-hour flight before.
Oh, it was jungle dark when we arrived. The sweaty tropical rain fell on us. And the car we rented turned out to be a Pronto Cruiser… hilarious! Somehow, a car that is completely ridiculous everywhere else in the world, feels like the nose your face here.
The sound the waves make in the middle of the night… heartstopping. They are out to get you, loud and angry and and… mesmerizing. I go weak at my knees.
We reached our house. We did not find the key. Frustration set in. Holler and yell. No signal on cell phone. Strange noises from the jungle. After much ado, we found some keys behind another door. One of them fit. But the door did not open. It was blocked from behind.
My fearless girlfriend busted down the door with a drop kick. Kaplam! We were in. The door had been secured by a chair – someone was in the house.
Finally someone answered our “juuhuu, anybody home”. A small family had locked themselves into the bedroom in mortal fear of our violent entrance. It took awhile, but we managed to convince them that we were not serial killers. A slight mix-match of dates – we had arrived one day early, apparently, so the previous guests had not yet left. No problem. We slept in the other bedroom, and they left before we got up the next day.
Since then, we’ve been on the beach, one after the other one more beautiful than the last. And often, the more dangerous. Rip currents abound. You really have to choose where to swim, or chances are you’ll take your next nap with the fishes.
We even went hiking recently, in the insane Waimea Canyon – like Grand Canyon, but way cooler. I was going on ankle braces and the strongest Tylenol For Arthritis I could find in the shops, and powered on like an triple-chevy Mercruiser stuck on full shred. Woohoooo! The sights were so damn amazing, you have to be careful not to faint and tumble to your death. Nothing for those sensitive to vertigo, I must say. More hikes to come… when I have recovered from this one. Yow.
Man has always, throughout time, been on the search for the perfect beach. I am now happy to inform man that it has been found. Several of them, in fact. And they are all on Kauai.
Sweet Jesus, this island is Paradise. In the middle of the mightiest ocean, a hundred shades of green arise, framed by silky strips of sand, topped off by mountains and canyons of such violent structure they strike the fear of God into you. Awesome. Time after time, you stand in front of this nature with your jaw semi-dislocated, and the only thing you can utter is “awesome”. I have already adopted this American mantra. For once, it is not used in vain.
We’re staying in a big-big house not far off the beaches of the north shore, yet it’s like being in the jungle. We’re picking papaya off the trees, and eagerly waiting for the banana and avocado to ripen. Wild cocks march around in the garden.. heck, the whole island is full of cocks, wherever you go, you hear kuckelikuu! Would drive you mad, were you not overwhelmed by the lush beauty of everything else.
Well, armed with an internet connection and finally, a bit of time to blog, I’m pretty sure you’ll hear more about our adventures in the coming days. We’ve definitely had some already. For those who worried, the TSUNAMI danger is over, all’s well, we are more than alive; we’re having the times of our lives.
Ah, what a nasty city Barcelona is! And I say this despite having had a royal time in the Boulevard Culture Club – where me and my Swedish colleague obviously ended up shaking our asses on a stage… somehow, they put too much alcohol in the drinks in Spain. Never thought I’d complain about such a thing, but perhaps I’m getting old.
In any case, we also went to mega Camp Nou to catch Racing Santander trying to find the goal against the Ã¼bermighty FC Barcelona. Pssch. They didn’t stand a chance – but I least we got to see some goals. Must admit it is pretty cool when 80.000 fans yell out their passion for the game. Myself, I was a little bored, a little cold, a little shifting weight and shuffling feet. No matter how much I try to like football, it just doesn’t reach me in the same religious sense than the other 79.999 people at the venue.
But I was busy complaining about the city; well, here goes. Without Gaudi, they got nuttin. It is dark, dreary, and dirty. Forget about walking home at night without at least seven whores simultaneously reaching for your balls, trying to squeeze out whatever cash you have left in your pockets. Bloody disgusting, eventually also rather scary.
I didn’t even like the food. The chorizo was too hard, the patatas bravas too wet, and the tapas absolutely bland. The potato omelette was sad, and rest was just greasy. Ugh.
See you later, Catalunya. Of course, the French had to ruin the experience even further. Guess what; they were on strike. Strike. Now there is something the French do well. God, I long for Ronald Reagan.
Restricted airspace over France meant that it was going to be pretty darn hard to reach Finland from Spain. Fucking believe we spent the whole fucking evening at the airport. Managed to get to Copenhagen somehow, around two in the night. Slept two hours at a bad hotel, hopped on the morning plane to Helsinki. Yugh. I’m all dead – if not for the pain in my swollen useless excuses for feet keeping me awake.
And I have a 25 hour flight to look forward to in the early morning/night… which I’m absolutely sure will be delayed because we’re going to the armpit of the world, London Heathrow.
Flying is torture. But the beaches at Kauai beckons. Back 18th March. Aloha!
I just noticed we have slipped into February, which meant my absolute minimum requirement of one post per month – itself the lowest of low targets – got slandered, slain and slaughtered. But what is a man to do, when there is so much of “do”, and so little of “dodo?” I strongly suspect insomnia to be paradise.
Let me open the gullwings of my Delorean, and go for a ride to mid-December. Ah, I seem to recall a brilliant visit from Germany’s finest journalist, Dr Gonzo. What a sensational sin we endured in Helsinki for a couple of nights, a heady mix of rum and kebab and unduly, unruly behaviour.
Then it started snowing. It still has not stopped. This is the very finest, coldest and whitest winter since 1987 – just when you thought that your childhood winters were a thing of your past and you had accommodated your body to the common and prevailing belief that everything is melting and who will save the polar bears and Karis will be a seaside resort. Not that I would resort to analysis on basis of one winter, but the Climategate certainly proved that there are so many lies floating around that it is impossible to uncover the uncorrupted truth.
As usual very few knows what to believe in, and those who do, fool themselves.
And then it was Christmas, aka the best day of the year. This time, family old and young, emigrated out to the ever-beautiful archipelago, to mother’s. It was, in a word, magnificent! Even the snow angels outside begged to be let in.
Instead of celebrating the birth of Jesus, we worshipped at the altar of crass materialism. Particularly Scarlett, who found a little red guitar in one of the packages, and immediately ripped off a few chords worthy of Keef Richards.
For New Year’s we packed ourselves into the Fiat 500, and drove off to Tallinn. Since this is a family blog (really?!), I can only say the the party was particularly exuberant in every imaginable way, and lasted for several days. The Estonian jet-set are the kings and queens of Good Time. Mostly queens. Why, even better.
And with that, a new decade busted forth like the cork from Dom. Speaking of the old monk, when Scarlett turns 16, there is a vintage ’98 pink Dom PÃ©rignon waiting for her. It was a gift from one of our friends in Tallinn. Attached, the message: “Scarlett, the first champagne you taste should be the best.” Don’t you just love that?
Now what? Well, work’s great. I’ve just single-handedly snapped up one of Sealed Air’s biggest customers in Finland, which made Scandinavian director very happy indeed. He’s going to have to pay for this one, of course – I’m taking Madli to Haikko Kartano as a reward. A weekend of luxury spa, cold therapy, roasted dove, fine wine, should ensure that the batteries remain charged and charging.
I also just put the last touches to Scarlett’s new little room, pics later. It is quite the colorful little nest, will either drive her to nightmares or produce a great artists… hihi.
Finally, a sneak preview: February ought to end well. First, a little sales trip to Barcelona, might even catch a game at Camp Nou. The very next day I get back, we go off on a lovely vacation – Kauai, Hawaii, 2Â½ weeks. A friend of ours has a house there, so Madli and me and another Estonian girl will lap sun and beach and ocean.
And I will sing, “underneath the mango tree, my honey and me…”
Our retarded chant rang out over the unkept surface of lakes, “Kiiii-mi RÃ¤i-kkÃ¶-nen, KimiRÃ¤ikkÃ¶nen!” The engine sang back. Harder, we heard, ripping at its lungs, harder, we heard, revving and rioting in its cage. Hear. Hear. Where. Where. There!
And Kimi flew into sight, into corner, and out onto flight! He spat rocks at us, then disappeared almost before he had appeared, left us in a dusty haze. We loved it. This was not your ordinary F1 driver. From our amazing ant-riddled and mosquite-frequented inside apex vantage point, we had just come about ten centimeters away from being touched by the mirrortips of a driving god, and our response was animal alike; cackling like hens, grinning like hyenas, we butted heads like bison and went woo. Fucking WOO! “Did you see that!!?”
Rallye! Or ralli, as it is spelled in the land of the bravest. You gotta love it. Let the furiously posing poseurs choke on their crackers and champagne. Us ugly barbarians are not made of silicone. We’re steel-shitting people without manners. Unruly, epileptic, loud – give wide berth, display warning signs.
That was this summer. And now we hear that Kimi RÃ¤ikkÃ¶nen has fired lousy Ferrari, and moved onto cooler pastures. Open the gates, the iceman is coming to rallyetown! I’m so thrilled I want to butt heads again!
Now, I usually predict that Kimi will win every race of the season. For 2010 I predict he will not win a single race. But a wheelman is a wheelman is a wheelman, and I stick my dick out on the line and profess roundabout a fourth after the fearless frog, babyface Hirvonen and the Latvian gangsta. You may laugh now – but I nearly touched his mirrortips in a tight corner somewhere in the big forest up north. I know things. Fourth. Ok, fifth. As a best finish. After all, he up and ended on his ear in JyvÃ¤skylÃ¤… like so:
Parting words: Ralli is adventure. I’ve attended the Grand Prix in Monaco, sat on the balcony across the McLaren people, been hosted by loveliest Rykiel girl. It was nothing like this summer. Ah, I feel an anecdote coming:
We were somewhere around Barstow when, no, in fact, I picked up my lawyer Dr Gonzo at the airport. He had, in turn, on the airplane, managed to pick up a blonde girl with humongous honey melons. I nodded in kind approval, and the three of us drove straight from airport to JyvÃ¤skylÃ¤. Here, miss Unbelievable Boobs steps out of the car. You may think it was because she didn’t want to sleep with two strangers in a small car way out in the forest. Who knows? We missed her and her big bumpers already. Anyway, we pressed on, Gonzo and me, gps:ing our way out in the forest – until we got quite lost. It is late. Dark. We drive for what seems like miles along tiny gravel roads, half expecting some MÃ¤kinen to suddenly come over the bend at full tilt. In the middle of nowhere, we spot some signs that indicate that there might possible maybe perhaps be a rallye in the area. As my lawyer, he advises me to follow these signs. We do. For long awhile. Just before we think it is a prank and we’re being led to Russia, we find the stage and the adjacent camping/parking area. Admist much hurrah we park our chariot next to fellow anoraks. Some people are on the better side of intoxication, and play bad music in loud fashion. We brush our teeth in Beck’s, and fold the chairs back. I don’t know about Dr Gonzo in the passenger seat, but the quest for sleep in the driver’s seat is like being questioned by the CIA. Well, Gonzo already snoring. I feel like slapping him. Some goon outside decides to, uh, train for tomorrow’s race. Yes, he is wearing his hat like a farmer. You may also suspect he is a bit unstable on his legs. And you’d be right. He climbs into his frightfully battered red Sierra. The “car” has the biggest damn auspuff anyone can imagine. You could hide a horse in that exhaust. The sound it makes is naturally just what you’d expect from a diameter like that. He proceeds to do some donuts. Some other morons of same sordid tribe cheer him on. Soon he is racing back and forth in the field among tents and cars. I am completely petrified every time I see the Sierra headlights coming for our car. He manages to miss us. Many many many times. This goes on for hours. Did I already mention how impossibly easy it is to hear the car? Lawyer sleeps like a baby. My eyes have never been wider. At one point the donkey in the Sierra drives off. I praise the lord for finally answering my frantic prayers. But he’s back in five. Probably went home for more Kossu. The donuts continue. Around 6:45 the halfwit gets tired, and parks in a ditch. I fall asleep. We wake up at 7:00, when my alarm clock rings. Time to Rallye!
Forever tiny little Scarlett is not tiny little anymore. Just little – because she is about to turn one, yes, a whole year, on Sunday.
We’re celebrating in big style in Tallinn this weekend, but too-excited dad got too excited in advance, and got her the coolest birthday gift any little girl could ever want – a motorcycle! (Her mum thinks I treat her like a boy… pah! Nonsense!)
As you can clearly see, she was way over the moon about her little Suzuki. (Dad too, by the way…)
Then we made major bike-sounds together. The house was shaking!
And then she fell over, and learned her first lesson about bikes. They are dangerous. So we cry a little. And then she climbed back up. Lesson number two about bikes. They are irresistable.
Voom voom, little Suzuki, voom voom!