AndyO Blog

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Maui - Day 6: Kihei, Wailea - Wednesday

Today, Brenda looked up more beaches in the Maui Revealed book, trying to find something a little less busy than Ulua Beach. She found one called Palauea Beach in Wailea that was highly recommended.

So we went there.

Granted it was earlier than our Tuesday excursion to Ulua, but check out this beach, which we had almost completely to ourselves.

Palauea Beach

To the south there was amazing snorkeling just off the shore in the rocks. Several diving and snorkeling boats stopped by to let people dive in this location while we were here.

Palauea Beach

Brenda and I took turns snorkeling. When I went out, I finally started to feel comfortable with the snorkel, mask, and fins. I swam out a little over the rocks in about 15 or 20 feet of water, looking at the coral and fish -- all painted in bright colors.

As I continued swimming, I turned and saw a giant sea turtle cruising right at me, trailed by two other snorkelers (holding hands). The snorkelers turned and swam toward the shore, and I continued swimming with the turtle for a few minutes, watching him come up for air and then diving back down.

I'd seen sea turtles in shallow water in Hawaii, as well as on beaches; but seeing their grace and speed in deeper water was a totally different experience. There's something startling about seeing a giant turtle coming at you underwater, and you can almost feel the primal part of your brain kicking in to assess whether you're in any danger. Brenda also said she had this reaction after seeing a giant turtle at Black Rock.

Lunch in Kihei

After snorkeling for the morning, we drove in our damp and sandy swimming suits straight to a food court in Kihei. We'd been reading about Maui Tacos and wanted to give them a try.

Food court in Kihei

All I can say is the fish tacos were delicious, reminding me of some marlin tacos I had in Mazatlan once. Here's a picture:

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Maui Tacos also had one of the best salsa bars I've been to. If you're a salsa connoisseur like I am, you might enjoy a more detailed description:

  • Pineapple Paradise (medium) - This was a green salsa with pineapple, tomatillos, sweet onion, garlic, cilantro, jalapenos and lime juice. This was my favorite.
  • Maui Mex (medium to mild) - Another green "tomatillo" salsa that also had Chile de Arbol (Spanish for "tree chili"), onions, garlic, oregano, and cilantro. Another one of my favorites.
  • Habanero Avocado ("hot lava") - Included habaneros and avocados. I stayed away from this one, so I don't have a review.
  • Hola Aloha (mild) - A red salsa with jalapenos that's similar to what you find in Mexican restaurants in the States. Also very good.
  • Hula Heat (hot) - This is a red salsa cousin of Maui Mex. I didn't try this one.
  • Maui Firedancer (hot) - Another red salsa that includes the smoky and sweet combination of chipotle peppers and pineapple juice.

The salsa bar at Maui Tacos

Farmer's market in Kihei

Later in the day, Brenda wanted to go to the Farmer's Market near the ABC store in Kihei, so we drove over there right before it closed. The boys wanted to try coconut milk, as well as sugar cane.

Farmer's market in Kihei

I know it was about 20 minutes to closing time, but I was surprised at how irritated the woman was who helped prepare the coconut and sugar cane. Maybe she knew that the boys wouldn't like any of it (which they didn't).

Cameron contemplates whether he should try another sip of coconut milk

Sunset in Wailea

For our last activity of the day, we drove back to Wailea to walk along the beach path between all the resorts. To do this walk, you park in the Ulua Beach parking lot (now mostly empty) and then find the trail.

Walking along the trail between all the resorts, you see the Hawaii that most people probably envision: luxurious buildings nestled into perfectly manicured grounds that offer a front-row view of the ocean.

Picture of Wailea

Wailea

The last resort we visited, the Grand Wailea, had a summer camp for kids. Brenda thought that showing the kids the extensive waterpark would get them excited so we could go out to at least one meal without them. It definitely did the trick, as Cameron said, "This is torture. I want to go in!" after he saw all the waterslides and pools.

The Grand Wailea is owned by Waldorf Astoria, so it's not cheap to stay there. The rates (in 2011) start at $369/night and go up to $819/night for the Napua Club Room.

Picture of the Grand Wailea

The Grand Wailea

After walking the trail, we made it back to Ulua Beach to wait for sunset. Sunsets are a big deal in Hawaii. First, they look amazing, but I think there's something more primal. We've forgotten about night in the way our ancestors experienced it. The night sky with its constellations was once a nightly show -- as well as a way to navigate the seas -- that brought order to the chaos of night.

Now, in our lighted modern cities, the the darkness of night has has lost its meaning, the stars faded due to light pollution. In Hawaii, night is a real thing, where the stars still wheel brightly overhead, sometimes joined by the moon. And the blackness only ends when the sun rises.

Even if we can retire to our lighted houses (or condo), there's an instinct that comes alive in Hawaii that responds to the cycle of night and day. Just being immersed in the level of darkness you encounter in Hawaii is somehow familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. (While my photography skills aren't good enough to capture the sky at night in Hawaii, check out Mark Swatzall's photo that shows what I'm talking about.) 

Sunset at Ulua Beach

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posted by AndyO @ 11:29 PM   0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Maui - Day 5: Kihei, Wailea - Tuesday

We started off our day at Maui Dive Shop, where I got my missing snorkel mask. Brenda also got a new mask, as she was having problems with the old one. Of course, we picked up a bunch of other toys as well.

We asked the best place for snorkeling in the immediate area, and the folks at the dive shop pointed us to Ulua Beach Park (this was the second recommendation we received for this park, so we figured it should be OK).

We drove 10 minutes to Wailea and found the parking lot for Ulua beach, which, of course, was full. Fortunately, the parking gods were with us, as someone pulled out of the parking lot as we were about to park up the street.

Ulua Beach

Ulua Beach was busy with swimmers, snorkelers, scuba divers, boogie boarders, sandcastle builders, football players, and sunbathers. This wasn't unusual given that it was late in the morning, but this was busier than what we were looking for.

 Drew at Ulua Beach Park

I was finally able to do some snorkeling, but by the time I got the hang of it the water was too rough, and I was literally running into the crowd of people around the rocks. 

Drew decided that he wanted to build sandcastles. Cameron did some snorkeling and also helped Drew with his sandcastle. When I came back in, a girl had joined them in the sandcastle construction.

Cameron at Ulua Beach Park

Going shopping

After returning to the condo and relaxing, we finally made it to Safeway for a little island shopping. If you ever think food costs are high in your area, go to Hawaii. (A gallon of milk can cost $8.00 in some of the more remote places.)

Safeway in Kihei

One strange thing I noticed was how many shelves were literally empty in Safeway. Brenda wondered if this was coupon day.

Many shelves were empty at Safeway -- not sure why

By this point in the trip, we were starting to get our rhythm: Go out in the morning, come back to the condo, and then (sometimes) go back out again.

Traveling with children can sometimes be challenging, as it can take a lot of prodding and negotiating to get them out the door to do something. When one was interested in going out, oftentimes the other wasn't. We devised a point system (which could be paid out in cash at the end of the day) to try and make it easier -- and it seemed to work most of the time.

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posted by AndyO @ 11:29 PM   1 comments links to this post

Monday, July 11, 2011

Maui - Day 4: Kihei, Iao Valley, Lahaina - Monday

After hitting his head on Sunday, I checked on Drew a few times during the night. He came in our bedroom around 8:00, playing his new ukulele and telling me breakfast was ready. Now I knew he was OK. I had a feeling today would be a much better day than Sunday.

After breakfast, we headed north of Kihei through Wailuku to the Iao Valley. Our tour guide, Brenda, had found this destination in the Maui Revealed book, where it was listed as "not to be missed."

After paying for parking (who would have thought Diamond Parking was in Hawaii, too?), we headed into the valley on the paved trail.

Walking to the Iao Valley

The Battle of Kepaniwai

One of the bloodiest Hawaiian battles ever took place here in 1790, the "Battle of Kepaniwai."

The battle started when King Kamehameha's war fleet of about 1200 warriors landed on Maui and advanced on Kalanikupule, son of King Kahekili II -- who was away in Oahu. The armies fought for two days, with neither side gaining the upper hand.

On the third day, Kamehameha's army unleashed two cannons (with the help of two Royal Advisors) and annihilated the Maui warriors. Bodies damned up the stream. Hence, "Kepaniwai," means "the damming of the waters."

But some did escape the fighting. Women, children, and the elderly were sent up the mountainside, and many escaped after the battle, along with Kalanikupule, his brothers, and other Maui chiefs. They eventually sought refuge in Oahu and Molokai.

The view toward the entrace of the Iao Valley

Iao Needle and beyond

As I hiked up the lush valley, I found it hard to imagine such a terrible battle happening here -- and harder still to imagine people climbing up the steep valley walls.

We climbed up to the viewpoint of the Iao Needle, a spectacular finger of rock reaching into sky. There's a peacefulness here that I've only felt in a few other places in the world. I can see why the Hawaiians thought this was sacred ground.

Iao Needle

Finally we hiked down to the stream that had been dammed up with bodies all those years ago. I was surprised at all the flash flood warning signs, but torrential rain can happen quickly in Hawaii as I'd witnessed a few times.

Iao Valley stream

Lahaina

Next we drove to Lahaina, a quirky seaside town rich with Hawaiian history. Before this trip, I'd only heard of Lahaina from the Lilo and Stich soundtrack.

Lahaina was the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1820-1845. It was also the center of the global whaling industry in the 19th century. It's the second most visited location on Maui, and has nine buildings that were declared National Historic Landmarks in 1962.

I think this passage from MauiGuidebook.com gives a nice overview of the historical significance of Lahaina:

Lahaina has been central to key western-introduced industries such as whaling, pineapple and sugar. Lahaina has also been a place where immigrants landed; a place with ancient sacred grounds; a capital of a united Hawai'i; and a place where missionaries came to impose their ideals on a native people and visiting sailors with equal fervor. Lahaina has literally been everything from a place of battle, destruction and tragedy, to a place of royalty, celebration and pleasure.

As I walked the streets of Lahaina, I was reminded of the peculiar energy of New Orleans. History is everywhere on the waterfront: the old fort ruins, a giant banyan tree that spreads across an entire park, and the whaling artifacts in the Old Courthouse.

Banyan tree in Lahaina

Part of the old fort in Lahaina

Old whaling artifacts in the courthouse building

For lunch, we ate at Da Kitchen at the Wharf, a comfortable outdoor restaurant located in the middle of an open square. Even with the umbrella and canvas roof, I sweated through my meal (nothing new in Maui).

Cameron and Drew laughing it up at lunch

After lunch, we walked the streets, turning into a few shops here and there (I bought the boys more "Dirt Shirts"), and ending up at Ululani's Shave Ice -- our second shave ice experience. For me, the syrup was a bit too sweet, but Brenda raved about the mango, passion fruit, and coconut flavors.

Waiting to order shave ice at Ululani's

Atlantis Submarines tour

Earlier in the day, we'd booked the Atlantis Submarines tour, something Cameron and Drew really wanted to do. (I should point out that their interest began after recently watching The Hunt for Red October and reading chapters out of Blind Man's Bluff.) I also wanted to do it, but the thought of diving below the surface made me a bit nervous. I'd never been in a submarine before -- not even the one in Disneyland, 'cause that freaked me out when I was little.

After we baked in the sun at the Atlantis dock, we took a boat out to the submarine. When we arrived at the dive site, the submarine was still submerged. As corny as the "chatter" was between the surface and the sub, it was pretty impressive seeing the sub rise up from the blue waters.

Atlantis submarine in Maui

We boarded the submarine, and then held onto the rails as we rocked in the waves. The current passengers disembarked from two hatches, bow and stern, and loaded onto the boat that we'd just left. After that, it was our turn to go below.

I had imagined feeling claustrophobia in the submarine, but I was pleasantly surprised by the spacious Atlantis cabin. There were two rows of seats facing large portals, so you sit back-to-back with fellow passengers in the other row.

AndyO enjoying the Atlantis submarine cabin

Out the window all we could see was clear blue water and the hull of the support boat -- which I now saw was a catamaran. After we got the signal to dive (again, a bit corny), we dived to 100 feet until we saw the sandy ocean floor. The only sound in the cabin was the maneuvering thrusters -- no groans from the hull.

We soon learned that the ocean looked very different at 100 feet below the surface. The usual vibrant colors of fish, coral, and other sea life are muted. The guide (who sounded like Nicholas Cage over the PA) told us the light at this depth is in the ultraviolet part spectrum; in other words, the vibrant colors are all there, we just can't see them. He also showed us how this part of the spectrum changes the way your teeth look (pink for kids, orange for adults), as well as the color of your clothes. 

A school of fish sleeping at the bottom

After cruising around on the ocean floor for about 40 minutes, including stops at a deliberately sunken ship (the Carthaginian) and resting briefly on the sandy ocean floor at a max depth of 130 feet, we were given the green light to surface. 

The Carthaginian on the bottom of the ocean floor

Even though the dive was a bit too rehearsed at times (there's a script that the guide follows, including funny sound effects, music, and pop culture references to Titanic and Sponge Bob), there's nothing quite like diving below the surface. And while it might not look the way you imagined it would, the real novelty is being that far under the water in a real submarine.

Cameron's review: "Can I come back every day and do this?"

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Maui - Day 3: Kihei, Kaanapali - Sunday

"Black Sunday"

Brenda decided that the first place we should snorkel should be one of the best: Black Rock in Kaanapali. As we drove to Kaanapali, it became clear that many locals go surfing and play on the beach on the weekend. Even at 8:00 in the morning, there were tons of people surfing.

The beach at Kaanapali is located in the middle of a huge resort area, so finding parking is usually a big problem -- but not for us. Thanks to Brenda's research, we found one of the free spots next to the beach access path.

High Surf

Once we hiked to Black Rock, we realized the surf was really surging (we'd seen a high surf warning earlier on my phone when we checked my weather app). Also, because the beach had an extreme angle, the surf was crashing hard. I realize this picture doesn't do it justice, but the waves were approaching 4-5 feet at times (6 feet is when you get the high surf warnings).

IMG_0009

Brenda and Cameron went out snorkeling, and I stayed with Drew, jumping waves, building sandcastles, etc. When it came time for me to snorkel, I looked in my bag from Maui Dive Shop and found fins -- but no mask or snorkel. I tried using Brenda's mask and snorkel, but could never get the right fit. Eventually, I gave up and built more sandcastles with Drew.

Kaanapali - Black Rock

One thing that became apparent from the moment we got to the beach was how powerful the sun was. Even at 8:30 in the morning, you could feel the rays cooking your skin. The boys and I had on UV-protecting shirts and sunscreen, but we all got burned in the places missed (feet, calves, shins).

Bully at the beach

I decided to give Brenda's snorkel and mask another try. While Brenda and I were standing in the water adjusting the mask, a huge surge came in and a kid on a boogie board surfed in and rammed Brenda's shins -- but didn't say anything. I could tell how much pain she was in, but she said she was OK.

As we were standing there, we saw the same kid ram an older woman almost knocking her down into the water. Brenda's and my instinct were the same: We both walked over to the kid and asked if he could be more careful -- but as we started talking to him, a rabid forty-something guy in a baseball hat, long swim trunks, and a white shirt started yelling at Brenda and me: "That's bullshit! Those kids can't control where they're going!"

At first, I thought it was some local telling us about something we didn't understand about beach etiquette. (You never know.)

"But he ran into us -- and then ran into another woman," Brenda said.

"You guys are standing in the current, so you need to be looking out!"

"Hey, why do you just calm down?" I said.

"Because you're yelling at my kid!"

I noticed that other people were gathering around to see what the commotion was all about. It was about this time my brain started catching up to what was going on. This was the kind of guy who was looking for trouble. This was the kind of guy who thought his kids were more entitled to the beach than anyone else. This was the kind of guy who wanted to fight over something, no matter how big or small. He almost seemed jacked up on steroids, although he didn't look the type.

I knew we had to diffuse the situation. I think I kept telling him to calm down, and he seemed to stop yelling -- but he continued telling us how we were wrong.

Brenda finally said, "All you had to say is sorry."

I can't remember what he mumbled back, but he wasn't ever going to apologize. Brenda walked away. He walked away. I was standing there, thinking about going in the water again, but now I'd lost my interest.

I watched this guy for a while on the beach and noticed his body language: arms crossed, watching his kids like a hawk, a permanent frown on his face. He was like a bomb ready to go off at any moment.

image

After thinking about the incident for a while, I kept coming back to my first instinct: If your kid is running into people on the beach with a boogie board, you should talk to your kid -- and apologize to the people he ran into. The only reason Brenda and I went to talk him was because we didn't see any parent doing the job. And it's interesting that the father waited until we said something to his kid before yelling at us. He was obviously waiting for this to happen.

It just surprised me that someone wanted to start a fight over something like this, but I know people like this are out there. People are all fighting their own hard battles, and there's nothing you can really do about it except try to stay out of their way when possible. (Some day this guy will run into someone else who's more than willing to fight with him [I'm thinking a mixed martial arts type]).

Unfortunately, this kind of thing can start off your first visit to the beach on the wrong foot.

Drew bonks his head

Later, after we were back at the condo after visiting the ABC store (where we bought a ukulele), we were enjoying the sunset with the kids on the deck. As usual, Cameron and Drew were arguing -- this time about who got to use the ukulele and when. At some point, Drew was hanging on a chair -- and suddenly he fell over with the chair, and smacked his head on the cement wall. I could tell by the way he started crying that he hit really hard.

Brenda took him into the living room and tried to calm him down. She asked if he was bleeding, and I looked. That's when I saw the blood. A lot of blood.

We took him into the kitchen so he wasn't on the carpet, and tried to find out where the cut was. All I know was the blood kept coming. I know head wounds can bleed a lot, but seeing this on your six year old child brings out strange instincts.

As Drew kept bleeding, I finally said to Brenda, "I think you need to call 911." This was one of those Malcolm Gladwell "Blink" moments, where I made a split-second decision based on the following:

  • He hit his head and it was bleeding bad.
  • Head wounds can be tricky (I kept wondering if he cracked his skull), and I wasn't sure what moving him would do.
  • I had no idea where the hospital was.
  • I thought that if it was bad, the EMTs would have the right equipment to deal with it right there.

So Brenda called 911. They talked to her for a few minutes, asking us to find how big the wound was, but we couldn't find it through his hair -- and whenever we tried to look, the wound started bleeding more. Finally, they said they were sending the EMTs to us.

Brenda went downstairs to meet the EMTs. I sat there in the kitchen in a chair, with Drew standing there as I applied pressure to his head. The blood seemed to be slowing down.

Drew said, "Can we go home now?"

I said that he would be fine, we just needed to make sure he was OK.

Then Drew said, "Am I going to have brain damage?"

I almost laughed out loud but said, "No, I don't think so. Because you're talking to me, and I don't think you lost consciousness."

"Am I going to have to go to the hospital?"

"I don't know."

He thought for a moment and said, "Can I watch Spongebob?"

Right there I knew he was probably fine. I heard the ambulance wailing in the distance, and soon the EMTs walked in. They checked Drew out and found that the head wound was fairly small.

"Head wounds start out bleeding a lot, 'cause there's a lot of pressure there," one of the EMTs said.

"Well, I just didn't know," I said, feeling a little stupid for calling 911.

"Hey, I have kids, too," the EMT said. "You want to make sure they're OK."

After about 10 minutes, the EMTs left and we finally found Cameron hiding in his bedroom. The amount of stress in the condo was palpable, but now there was a collective sigh of relief as we all headed off to bed.

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Post script: For some reason, whenever we go to Hawaii, someone always ends up getting medical attention. On our first trip to Kaui, we went to the emergency room twice: once for Brenda and once for Drew. On our last trip to Kaui, my Mom ended up going to the emergency room for a kidney infection.

So, I guess it shouldn't be surprising.

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Saturday, July 09, 2011

Maui - Day 2: Kihei and Maalaea - Saturday

I slept horribly last night. Nightmares and other strange dreams. Woke up at 1:30 a.m. totally dehydrated, so I went out to the fridge to get something to drink. The curtains were open, and I walked up to look out at the sea. The stars took my breath away, as they have before in Hawaii. Something about being on an island makes the night sky seem alive. Then I went back to bed.

I woke up again at 6:30 a.m. (which would be 9:30 in Seattle -- so I guess I slept in a little). Unfortunately, Brenda, who usually wakes up early in Seattle, woke up at 4:30 or something like that.

Sunrise in Maui

Brenda had been working on the refrigerator, which still wasn't working right; she'd put all the perishables on ice in the fridge. (Later I called Linda, the property manager, and she gave us a "lifeboat" fridge in another room to transfer our food to.)

We wanted to go out to breakfast at the Kihei Cafe, but the kids were being difficult. Instead, Brenda made me an amazing shrimp omelet.

Brenda's amazing shrimp omelet

We finally set out to get our snorkel gear at Maui Dive Shop down the road from us. Of course, we couldn't just get dive gear. We bought new swimming suits, UV-protection shirts, toys, and all kinds of stuff.

We meant to go snorkeling, but we realized that we'd missed the window, as the fierce trade winds were now blasting Kihei. We went to Plan B, which was going to Maui Ocean Center.

Maui Ocean Center

This aquarium is located about 10 or 15 minutes away from Kihei in Maalaea (on the other side of the bay). I've been to a lot of aquariums, including Monterey Bay, New Orleans, and Seattle, and the Maui Ocean Center is up there with the best of them.

Outside the Maui Ocean Center. Check out those wind turbines!

The most impressive feature of the aquarium was "the Open Ocean," which includes a huge viewing wall and a 54-foot acrylic tunnel that runs through the tank. In this tank, we saw hammerhead sharks, rays, and other sharks cruising around looking for lunch. In the tunnel, they flew right over us.

The Open Ocean tunnel

Cameron and a hammerhead shark

Cameron watches a ray glide over him

Also impressive were:

  • The "Living Reef", which takes you from the rocky surge zone to the deep reef in 41 different exhibits.

Cameron checks out the fish at the Maui Ocean Center.

  • Sea Jelly Gallery, where jellyfish pulsated in a floor-to-ceiling cylinder.

Shave Ice in Kihei

After the aquarium, we drove back to Kihei and ate shave ice and hot dogs at Local Boys Shave Ice. The girls working there said they were glad to see us, since it had been slow all day. As we were standing there ordering our shave ice, a huge line started to form -- so they weren't slow anymore.

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After that, drove back to the condo, watched sunset -- and then Cameron and I played Angry Birds (now that's an addictive game!)

Sunset on Day 2

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posted by AndyO @ 11:00 PM   0 comments links to this post

Seattle to Maui - Day 1 - Friday

I started the day at 5:30 a.m., a completely alien time of the day for me. When I get up this early, I usually feel nauseas and disoriented -- but today I felt fine. Brenda and I roused Cameron and Drew at 5:45, and my brother Erik came to pick us up at 6:00.

When we met Erik at the door, he said, "Do you guys have any enemies in the neighborhood?" When we asked why, he showed us that someone had placed screws under our car's back right tire.  I thought it was probably some kids thinking they were funny. But the more I thought about someone doing this, the more I was perplexed (and concerned).

Not the way you want to start a trip to Hawaii.

 The mysterious screws under my tires

The Airport

The airport experience included the usual waiting in lines, getting body scanned, and eating crappy food. Both boys were pretty anxious about flying, so they were both fighting a lot. My favorite fight was when we got to the security checkpoint and Drew started yelling at Cameron.

Not the way you want to start your vacation to Hawaii.

And then Brenda got randomly selected for some kind of chemical test. It didn't take long, which was good.

By the time we were done with security, I was exhausted.

The Flight

I don't know what was going on, but Cameron and Drew decided to fight for at least half the flight. We rented two digEplayers, which helped for a while -- but then they didn't want to watch anything (Cam would only play Angry Birds on my Windows Phone). Most of the time, they complained about everything and asked when were going to get to Maui. When you're on a 5-1/2 hour flight, it can never be soon enough.

Here they are before the fighting started: Drew (left) and Cameron (right):

Drew and Cameron on the plane

Other highlights of the flight:

  • Spilling Sprite on my crotch
  • Buying Wi-Fi access only to learn it doesn't work over water. (Would have been nice to know before I bought it.)
  • Trying to watch the movie "Unknown" on the digEplayer while being interrupted by Cam and Drew every 2 minutes. Never got to finish it.
  • Brenda not feeling well for much of the flight (she sat across the aisle from me)
  • The rollercoaster ride as we started our final descent into Maui (why do people always scream when this happens?)

Arriving in Maui

After picking up the rental mini van, we headed to Costco to do some shopping. We're staying in Kihei for 10 days, so Costco made the most sense -- especially considering how much more expensive food is here.

Walking through the Maui airport

Now, I knew it would be hot in Maui, but I wasn't prepared for the blasting wind. It was blowing 30-40 miles per hour, which made it feel like we were living inside a hair dryer.

Because I was really hot inside our mini  van, while we were at a light I asked to have some of Cameron's Coke that he got at Costco. When I opened the bottle, it blew up in my hands -- and for the second time in a day I spilled soda on my crotch.

Driving to Kihei - a red dust cloud to the right

Getting to the condo

Brenda did a lot of research and found a great condo to rent in Kihei called Koa Lagoon. Check out the view:

The view out the window of the Koa Lagoon

After putting away all the food, we went swimming at the pool and then ate dinner. Around 7:00, we watched the sunset. Sunsets (and sunrises) are always spectacular in Hawaii. Here's what it looked like from our third floor deck:

Sunset on Maui from Kihei

Sunset on Maui from Kihei

Sunset on Maui from Kihei

In this picture, the sun almost seems to be setting the cloud on fire (you can also see a row of wind turbines along the upper spine of the mountain):

Sunset on Maui from Kihei - Wind turbines at the top of hill

We went to bed around 8:30, given that we're still three hours ahead -- and we wanted to get up early, since that's when the wind isn't blowing in Maui.

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