Just back from a month in Hawaii. Yes, an entire month. We made these arrangements a year ago under the assumption that the worldwide financial infrastructure wouldn’t collapse. Our bad.
We rented a condo in Wailea, Maui, above a golf course with a breathtaking view of the ocean and Wailea shopping mall. I figured, why stay at one of those fancy luxury hotels when we can just partake of the facilities of all of them? The RICHES go to Hawaii.
When our son Matt learned that our condo complex has no Jacuzzi he said, “What are we, farmers?”
But the unit was lovely. These complexes all have cute names like Ekolu Terrace. We stayed at the E-coli Village.
Do you like great pizza? Then go to Hawaii. Matteo’s on Maui. The reverse is not true. You can’t go to Italy for scrumptious poi.
Nowhere is the air as sweet, healing, and rejuvenating as it is in Hawaii.
You can whale watch from the Four Seasons but you must be a registered guest to see any of them.
Even in paradise there are people with deep-rooted psychological problems. Hence the “Therapy Sports Grille”. A few Mai Tai’s and Pac 10 basketball and Hawaiians are back on the road to mental wellness.
The Barack Obama/Abe Lincoln similarities continue. Both were raised in Hawaii. Both look good in shorts.
Went snorkeling. Found Nemo. Went to Roy’s. Ate Nemo.
This is not a big selling point to me: Alex Air –the only DOORS OFF helicopter tour company on Maui.
Tia Carrere is now singing at a Waikiki hotel. Not surprising. This is my favorite Tia Carrere quote: “I love to sing, so I just figured that I was going to sing or something.”
Scrabble in Hawaii: Humuhumunukunukuapua is a legit word. It’s the state fish and a common nickname.
Did not get to Hana. The only way in is through a treacherous road that zig-zags over 56 one-lane bridges and snakes around more than 617 hairpin turns. If God Himself greeted you at City Hall with a lei I wouldn’t make that drive.
Nor did I see the sunrise at Haleakala. But did get a report from someone who did. A bus picks you up 2:30 in the morning. You drive an hour and a half to the top of this massive shield volcano. By top I mean 10,023 feet. You get out in your shorts, flip flops, and aloha shirt -- it’s pitch black, and 22 degrees (literally). When the sun comes up (two hours later) it will rise to 37. Finally the dawn. It’s breathtaking, awesome, and your teeth are chattering like castanets. You don’t want to even think about the possibility that there’s a YouTube video of this. You get in the bus and go home.
For more fun you can bike down the outside of the volcano… like a rocket on a two-lane winding road that hugs a cliff that’s steeper than those in Road Runner cartoons. Bikers must also negotiate tour buses, vans, and tourists in unfamiliar rental cars. In 2007 there were three biker fatalities. Bike tours (when they’re not suspended) are $100 - $150 dollars. Bring a parachute.
But we did visit quaint Lahaina. Strolled among the charming Crazy-T-Shirt and souvenir soap stores. This bawdy whaling port has not changed in a hundred years. Lahaina also features one of the largest banyan trees in the United States. So a big attraction is shade. For all the hoopla of Lahaina, we found quite a few other smaller, lesser-known little towns that were far more charming and KFC-free. Paia for one (Paia of course is the birthplace of Abe Lincoln).
Another is Makawao. Up country it’s a little cowboy town, specializing in glass blowing – just like Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid used to do. I kept looking for the jail and saloon but alas they’ve given way to art galleries and a market that makes fresh donuts. But get there early. They go fast. There’s usually a shoot out in the town square for the last cruller.
There’s no longer a sheriff but Makawao does have two hypnotherapists and a certified colon specialist.
Overheard in a Paia gas station: A woman asking for cigarettes with “no preservatives.”
Every restaurant in Hawaii serves ribs. Even the vegan restaurants. I bet that colon specialist does a bang-up business.
Part 2 tomorrow. It was a long trip.