So, The Good Times Begin – Haleakala !!! … written by Big Virge 22/11/2014

Okay so, here we go folks, the good times begin !!!

Off to the famed crater, formed, from the volcano, that once was, the active Haleakala !

aka – The House of The Sun

If you want the details on this amazing natural phenomena, well, y’all know where Wikipedia is … !!!

Suffice to say, it is essentially, to the south east of Maui, and is situated about 10000 feet above everything else … Just incredible !!!

So, to ensure that I was to get a spot that availed a clear view of the sun rising, it was a sleep depriving, 2.45 a.m. pick up, from where I was staying ….

However, how many times in your life do you get to see the sun rise from the summit of what was once a fully active volcano … ?!?

Well, I ain’t expecting it to be too many more times, if at all, in this lifetime, so, jet lagged and whatever else I may have been, having barely unpacked and got a piece of Maui life, I was up and ready to go, like a state trooper, which, being the late sleeper i’ve become, was no fun !
However, once I got picked up by our rather witty driver, Mike, who then picked up his partner in crime for the day, Aaron, their rather dry and sometimes, very funny, humour, kept the 10 or so folks in the bus, awake and engaged, from varying questions about everything from the expansive sugar cane harvest, that Maui produces, to the dangers of this incredible road, that takes you up to the heavens, as it were.

Fortunately for me, the hotel staff were on point, and advised me to take a blanket because the morning air, up there, can be, SERIOUSLY COLD, and FUCK, were they right !!!!!

So, thankfully, I had a blanket as well as the, extra trousers and jacket provided by the tour. Some heads were vocally, seriously jealous, when they saw me wrapped up like a Siberian Christmas Gift !!! …. but hey, sometimes, my vibes create that level of love from people, so, I gotta give props to the Wailea Marriot staff, who, for the most part, have been, extremely cool with me, from the moment of my arrival.

Anyways, yup, we were one of the first groups to get to the summit, overlooking a very dark scene, with, chilling winds, and very little else to do, but wait and listen to little tit bits from our man Aaron, who was actually, pretty scathing of some of the other park rangers and advisors, who seem to be, a little less customer friendly !

So, it would seem that, I had once again, landed on my feet, in terms of the tour operator the hotel uses, as Mike and Aaron, were very cool, but, much like the elements up there, were slowly, warming up to our group, and to the task of keeping us, suitably entertained, before the sun actually decided to give a lil’, and I do mean, ” lil’ “, warmth up there !

So, I had Canadians, and I think, some heads from Cali’, running talk, and jokes, about this and that, while we waited.

I dared not unwrap myself to take a picture, as I could feel my nose beginning to run like the proverbial tap, so, was just trying to stop big drippy boogas, from coming out of my nose, for the most part !

This adventure provided clear proof to me that …..

Damnnnn …. !!!

White folks can take some cold though people !!!!!

Pictures were being taken, although the husband of one of the ladies who came up with us, was smart, and used my big frame as some kind of wind shield, from those, chilly, trade winds.

If those were trade winds, at that moment, i’d of traded them for a Bajan Beach, right about then !!!

However, as time passed, we approached the approximate, 6.30 eta, for the sun to rise … and let me make this clear people, this is not a hour long slow and steady, it really happens, seemingly, in the blink of an eye, so, as crowds and groups gathered, and entered the shelter of the visitor centre, up she came ….

Stunning, Beautiful, Orangey, Yellow hues in the distance, that shone upon us, and the dark brown, and black, volcanic rock that was formed from the cooling of the lava flow that once came form Haleakala.

It is rumoured that over the precipice that was formed, there were many warriors of ancient times, who threw themselves off the mountain, as a form of high order sacrifice, which is truly incredible to think could of been happening where people now come for a tourist attraction.

There was little time for photo ops, for us tourists, but again, due to Aaron’s experience, when I asked him to take one of me, he was quick to tell me to open up my fingers slightly, so I could hold the sun !

Now this may seem strange, but bwoy, did he take a great photo !!!

Due to my standing in front of the sunlight, i’m silhouetted, but, my fingers literally appear to be holding the sun as it rose !

It’s one of those shots to treasure, and I will always remember Aaron for that, and it will always be a memory i’ll now, not only have in digital form to treasure, but, one that my mind will hopefully, never lose, just because of the gravitas of the whole scenario !

First time to Maui, first real excursion undertaken, and the first time i’ve ever been, THAT F’ing cold, and standing outdoors, at that time of the morning !!!!

Golfers can carry dey’ ass, they don’t know about cold, unless they’re doing 18 holes in F’ing Antarctica !!!

So, as I said, it went from dark to light, in what seemed like seconds, but essentially, moments after we saw it rise out of the skyline, it was day.

Due to the precipitous & nebulous nature of Maui, again, all connected to the volcanoes, in no small degree, the cloud cover was almost as impressive as the sunrise, because there were just so many surrounding, that, a little rain was in the air, but, whilst we were up there, we thankfully, didn’t get wet.

However, as said, it was so cold, that I actually lost some of the skin right under my nostrils, from trying to stop them running, just to give you an idea of what the elements can do up there.

So, from there, having noticed the apparent, laser capable observatory, that was from Reagans’ days in office, to observing some of the differing species of plant life that reside up there, we headed half way down the hill, because yup, it was time to get on some bikes and enjoy the return journey, on two wheels !!!!!

How f’ing cool ???

VERY FUCKING COOL !!!

The bikes are a breed I have rarely seen before, with disc operated brakes, that have, ONE GEAR, which I guess is called, DOWNHILL, as that was the majority of the terrain we cycled on.

Aaron said they used to do these rides from the top, until a couple of people missed bends and yup, died from not paying attention, and going over the edges of some the turns !!!!!

Yes folks, that’s how steep, and twisty, the road to Haleakala can get, but, our journey, from more like 6000 feet or thereabouts, was still challenging, if you’re a lil’ squeamish, or not so fit, but, just blissful.

Countryside, hills, lush green vegetation on all sides, and some beautiful homes to observe, on the route, in fact, now it comes to me, I digress, but damn, we even had a couple from Lebanon, in our party !!!

However, within a few hundred feet of our ride down, the Lebanese Lady, had to get off and come down in the van with Mike. Aaron, meantime, was styling it out, with both feet on one side of his bike, leading the rest of us down, this incredible road, and what a fun part of the excursion that was !!!

If you were smart with your brakes, you basically could get down to the bottom, without peddling at all !!!

The bikes are so specific for such journeys, that, if you do pedal, you feel like the chain has snapped, because there is almost no resistance for you to pedal against.

We hit a local golf course for BREAKFAST, YES … BREAKFAST, and then headed back to our hotels, which was another 2 hour drive or thereabouts …..

I was of course, shattered, upon returning, but had a great time !!!!!

Upon returning to my hotel, was quickly poolside, found a comfy lounger, ordered some food, and chilled the fuck out, for the remainder of the day, and then took in an, equally beautiful sunset that evening !!!!!

….. and thus, my Maui trip had truly began, and I had seen enough to know that, this was gonna be one hell of a holiday ….

So, more to come people, believe me, this is just the beginning … !!!

Aloha … which is not just hello, but, is also an expression of …

Love and Peace ….

So, once again, all the way from my hotel in Maui ….

ALOHA people … !!!

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Hawaii (Pt II) … written by Big Virge 24/11/2014

Hawaii pt. II 

Well, as said American Airlines are an airline I’d only recommend to fukwits’, who have pissed me off, over the last few years !!!!

Says it all really !!!!!

The stewards, with all due respect, looked as bedraggled and rickety, as the aircraft, which was delayed, because of a seat problem, that needed maintenance, in 1st class … as if that should hold the rest of us passengers up …. !!!!!

Anyways, finally off to Miami to see what the next phase of my journey was gonna hold …. 

Well no surprises, missed my connecting flight, but bwoy, was I the only one ???

HELL NO … !!!

So, American Airlines put us up overnight, with vouchers for dinner and breakfast, at some Hilton wannabe, called the Doubletree.

Hmmm, well, it was better than I expected, but, the catch was arriving, sometime after 11.00 pm, due to waiting for a shuttle from the airport for a good 25 mins, and then being put on a connecting flight, with a check in time of 5.30 a.m., which meant that dinner was a late night burger, or, other fast food option, as the main restaurants were already CLOSED, at the hotel, and thus, the breakfast voucher was, unusable, due to our having to leave before breakfast was even started at the hotel the next morning !!!!!

However, being the thinker I am …. I was like, ” Fuck that !”, pay for the poor excuse of a dinner meal, and redeem the breakfast voucher for anything over the dinner vouchers value …. !!!

A very cute lil’ Latina worked worked with me and BOOM …. b4 I knew it … I was back at the airport, having had barely any sleep, and onto an overbooked American Airlines flight to take us from Miami to Dallas. Yup, long trip folks !!!

Another, 8 hour flight awaited me, to get to Maui, but, it was the plane I was originally due to be on, so, had caught up on lost time, even if it was quite the ordeal !!! 

So, after more F’ing shenanigans with rechecking my, already checked in luggage, I then, almost went through a security gate the wrong way !!!!

I finally got on, a yet again, very old, rickety 767 for the Maui trip, out of Dallas !!!!

Again, talk about cut corners, on an 8 hour flight, was there any food other than Turkey F’ing sandwiches and stale chips or crisps for my English heads !!?!! Fuck No !!!!

Somewhat shocking really, they did have some, Guardians of The Galaxy, entertainment, on screens smaller than my Macbook, but that was the best they now seem willing to offer so, it was no surprise there were plenty of empty spaces on this flight !!!! 

Well, have to say, the old girl was smooth and got us to Maui in very good time, so, all’s well that ends well right !!!

Pretty much, so finally, Maui YES … !!!

Only to see a woman, seemingly pushed under her car by security at the airport, who then, vociferously shouted a lot of, “YOU’RE AN ASSHOLE !!!”, as some, classically HUGE, donut looking, and presumably, eating cop, as if out of a movie, cruised over, and I do mean CRUISED !!!

Anyway, off she goes, cussing as she did, which showed me an essence of this beautiful islands vibe, as the policemen did very little, and let her mouth of and go.

My shuttle driver to the hotel was as talkative as they come, and had nothing but great things to say about Maui, which he moved to, due to a woman who he ended up divorcing !!!!

It really is CRAZY, why and how people move around sometimes !!!

As he drove, pointing out this and that, the first sunset of my trip was indeed a site to behold !!! The orangey, yellow colour was simply STUNNING !!! I’ve been a few places in this world now, but man, the landscape and nebulous skies, that overlook the hills, mountains, rain forests and now, inactive volcanoes of Maui, creates incredible sunsets here !!!!!

Anyway, there was some stuffy white guy who got dropped off at a nice enough looking Marriot, as the driver had me at a more plush competitor, just up the road !!!

Well Virgil, jackass that I am, had not checked my hotel info properly !!! So, after getting all excited, having seen this fuck off hotel entrance, and getting to the girls at the front desk, was then told …, “Errrr sir, where you came from is YOUR HOTEL !!!”

We all laughed and happily joked about it !!!

…. and they then, kindly, called my hotel, and arranged for a pick up, and soon enough he came, after I saw a plethora of very expensive cars being valet driven for people staying at this hotel, which my shuttle driver from the airport had said, was better than the other hotel …

MY ACTUAL HOTEL !!!! Lol 

Ahhh well …, such is life, but a classically, Hawaii styled greeting of a huge beeded necklace, being given to me upon arrival, made me feel that it was all good, and an immediate room, “bump up” from, ocean view to a premium ocean view, by the check in clerk, set me up for what I was hoping, would be a great time in this clearly,  beautiful island !!!! ….. To be continued ……,

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Hawaii (Pt I) written by Big Virge 18/11/2014

Hawaii

Okay so American Airlines officially suck ass … !!!!!

Delayed flight, which in turn, created a quite unnecessary debate with my clearly, money hungry taxi driver, about my being, apparently disrespectful, due to my not being, out at the front of my current residence, standing to attention, like a good lil’ bwoy, awaiting her arrival, at our, apparently, arranged time !!!

WHATEVER LOVE !!!!!

However, as I tried to explain to her, but failed, due to her unwillingness to acknowledge her part in this disconnect, a phone call would have made me realise she was waiting and that she had another job to get to !!!

Ahhhhh, but of course, she didn’t have my number !!!!

The one I called her on to book the taxi ??? which she conveniently, hmmmm … ??? did not have in her … NEW PHONE !!!!

Well, due to her, indignant rhetoric, it’s unlikely that i’ll be using her again !!!

Thus, hence begins the crazy day that was to start at the check out desk, due to my name not appearing on the, Robocop, check in units, which I am steadily growing to hate …. !!!!!

Now, as per usual, my appearance had the steward, seemingly, reluctant to help me, until she caught the good ol’ saviour, of my British Tones, bellow at her, as I began to realise there was a problem, one which was about to ground my wish to get away from Bim for a few, to see Hawaii for the first time !!!!!

Ohhhh Fuck !!!!!

Surely, not a booking mistake from the online booking vibe, again, f’ing Robocop style !!!!

When will we learn, that, all that is mechanised, is not necessarily beneficial for human needs ?

In this case, like ensuring that my f’ing ESTA … a.k.a. – A visa permit to travel through the U.S. Of …. Anal Retentive Fukry, had not expired !!!

Well of course it’s my fault that, having previously been told my initial application was valid for two years, that having been to Philly, barely 15 months before, I figured I was good to go, only to find at the check in line, that my visa was only valid for … YUP … A year !!!!!

Hence my technology grievance, as they seem to hold so many details about people online, i’m thinking that maybe, airlines should have a flag come up against any individual, when said persons’ name, comes up as not having a valid visa, for a particular country, books a flight to said country ???

Surely they collect enough taxation money from us to provide a service like that, for again, their countries security, thats seems to be, OH SO IMPORTANT, Right … ???

Must be me, and must be, too much for the money grabbers who deal in this type of online tech, to add to their programmes’ capabilities …. YEAH RIGHT !!!

Well, the catalogue of my days nonsensical events was about to get much worse !!!!

So, having been formally told off by, said stewardess, about my, NOT, checking the date of expiry on my original application, she advised me that I could do it online if I could get wifi in the airport, and had a laptop !!!!

Well here’s where my Bruce Willis, Boy Scout, action hero imitation, took to jigging … !!! 

…. but hold on, this is Grantley Adams airport, how good will the internet provision be … ?!?

Well, much like the help I received from the counter girl in the coffee shop, damn, was the speed SLOW !!!

However, Flight Delay … REMEMBER. !!!!

So, as excruciating as it was to get through the online form … I did it in what seemed to be, the nick of time…. So, back in line with reference number …. only to be immediately asked by the Steward, ” ESTA Expiry Date ? “, back to that old, ball sack again…. !!!!

Well as suggested, I was prepared for him !!! I had taken the reference number down on purpose because of my expecting some kind of red tape requirement to get on my plane !!!

So, no surprises there !!!

The steward had to verify an expiry date ??? As if that is what should be of relevance ?!?

Surely my validity to come into the states should be more important ?

…. but hey, we’re in what I deem to be, a backward age of … ” Regressive Progression “, in many ways, so, once he went through whatever system he needed, to verify my ESTA’s EXPIRY DATE, he checked me in after springing on me, that, ANY luggage being checked in now, on American Airlines, has a fee !!! And there it is ….
Money, Money …MONEY … !!!

The American Ethos, and daylight F’ing robbery, from the visa crap to the luggage crap, if Al Qaeda does bomb them, is it any wonder ??? They have probably been trying to charge them man, for the individual hairs of their beards !!!!!

Just kidding !!!

Guantanamo ain’t a place, American  Airlines needs to add to their list of destinations, just for me !!!!!!

So, finally all was well, and through I went ..,…. To be cont…..

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“Run Through My Mind” … written and performed by Big Virge

Yes Yes people … !!!

As per the young man, in the video below, there are a … Great Many Things … that run through my mind….

Especially, when it comes to words ….

Here are a few more of mine …..

So, I have…..

Mixed @ Shoestring Studios, Barbados

Recorded @ Hit Island Studios, Barbados

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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