After what surely must have been the dreariest, coldest, darkest summer on record for the Bay Area, my husband and I have decamped for a week of belated summer in Maui. We are spending 6 nights at the Aston Kaanapali Shores, which is a bit north of Lahaina Town, in a condo on the beach. We’re on the fifth floor, so we have a lovely view of the complex’s garden, just above its waterfall, and we can see the ocean and the island of Molokai a bit off to the northwest. It is absolutely lovely.
All I wanted from this vacation was sunshine (check), sand (check), ocean (check) and a Mai Tai or two. Or twenty (check, check, check). It is blissful. Each morning I have awoken with the sunshine (!!!!) and been on the beach by 8:30 or earlier. It is the best time – very few idiots are there yet and no screamin’ kids. Every morning, I have brought down my Audieble book, my real book, my knitting and a maybe a postcard to write. And every morning I have done none of those things. I have just lain on my chair and listened to music and gazed out at the water. For hours. Hours of doing nothing. For those who know me, I know this is quite a shock. Here’s proof.
Terry and I have rented a car and on the first full day we were here, we got in and drove about 6 miles north, past Kapalua and on to the part of the island that is not well-traveled. Patricia gave us this great book, Maui Revealed, and we were after a two-tiered tidepool described in its pages (actually, we were after the Olivine Pools, but I opened to the wrong page and we ended up here. FANTASTIC mistake.).
According to the guidebook, you go to a certain mile marker, park and walk to a yellow gate. Apparently, someone does not want people coming to this tidepool. We ignored the sign (check out how they spelled “Revealed”) and after a couple of wrong turns, we ran into two other couples with a more recent edition of the book, and together we hiked down – an easy hike.
All I can say is WOW. We got there at high tide, so we could not go in the pools. But what a show the water put on. Crashing waves, white spray, blue-green foam. There was a kind of blowhole just south of the tidepools that kept us quite awed. It was a like a fireworks show.
After that – lunch and back for an afternoon of doing nothing very well on the beach. Happy Hour is 3:30 and we were SO THERE.
On Friday, we decided to go snorkeling (thank you for the equipment, Karen and Chris) at Honolua Bay. This is just short of the tidepools we visited the day before. This was quite interesting – you walk through this kind of primeval jungle to get to the bay, which has a rocky beach. All around you unseen birds are chirping. Everything is damp and there are salamanders on the rocks. All you hear are birds and surf. Great Tarzan vines hang from the trees. And then the road opens onto the beautiful blue water.
[I am having trouble upload pictures on the hotel's internet, so I can't add Honolua here. Trust me - gorgeous.]
We snorkeled here for a couple of hours. I saw so many fish that could have come right out of “Finding Nemo.” The neatest part, tho, is the sound. When you snorkel you hear all this crackle, crackle sound when your head is in the water. It’s the sound of the coral and the fish eating stuff off the coral. So cool. They say in season you can hear whales call to each other in the sound just beyond the bay. I’d like to hear that. We did not see any sea turtles here, tho.
Honolua is an interesting place. It was the site of a small fishing village until a tsunami wiped it out in 1946. All that’s left are the cement and coral steps of a church and some old Hawaiian graves. Very moving, really. Someone lives in a shack – and I mean shack – on the beach, but I’ve seen better homesteads in Haiti and the Domincan Republic. I don’t think this is this guy’s home away from home, if ya know what I mean. Third world squalor just a walk away from the Ritz-Carlton’s resort. What a country.
Yesterday, Terry woke up feeling sick. He has the beginnings of a cold. This is so not fair. No one should get a cold on vacation. But then, if you have to get a cold, there are worse places to get one. He felt the need for a day of doing nothing, so after a morning of lying on the beach, I got into the car and drove into Lahaina. I was in search of a yarn store. Actually, there is nothing on this island that could qualify for that name. But there is a needlework shop – and how interesting, it’s called The Needlework Shop – and I found by googling “yarn” and “Maui” that it carries hand-dyed yarn produced by someone who lives over near Hana. She sells on etsy under the store www.mauiyarns.etsy.com. I bought two skeins!
Then on into a Catholic Church built in 1858 which had stations of the cross made by locals that made it look as tho the passion of Christ took place on Hawaii. Very cool. Even cooler was the graveyard, which had all kinds of headstones from the 1800s and early 1900s. Here what I took away from that experience – lots of babies died. Lots. Very sad. I did not take pictures of these places out of respect, but you can see them at the links above.
In the center of town, there was a craft show going on under the massive banyan tree. Nothing here I wanted to couldn’t make myself. So I watched a group of young hula dancers performing. They were lovely.
I was back at the hotel for Happy Hour, which we had in the beachside bar with a couple of Mai Tais. We watched the end of Game 6 of the NCLS and saw the Giants win. YEAH!!!!!! Then we took a sunset stroll down Kaanapali Beach. As we came back, the moon – a full moon – was rising over the mountain behind the hotel. I love this place.
Terry is feeling much better today, I am happy to say, and we are going to Paia and then to Mama’s Fishhouse for dinner. YUM.