Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hawaii 09: Last Day in Paradise

Today was our last day in Maui. Tomorrow morning we're off at 8:30 to Tokyo by way of Honolulu. We've heard rumors that they're not allowing portable electronics to be used at all on flights coming into the US due to this fresh terror business. Hopefully that doesn't extend to outgoing international flights; otherwise it's going to be a loooooong 9 hour flight.

We got up around 8:00ish and spent the better part of the morning lounging around the pool. The neighborhood here has a really nice hot tub and a pool with an infinity edge that overlooks Wailea beach. It also has a little gym which, believe it or not, I used yesterday because my hips been giving me some grief with all the beach walking. I also decided to do some chest presses, for which I am currently paying for in additional pain.

The only real plan for today was lunch at Mama's Fish House in the town of Pa'ia. And boy what a plan. Mama's, allow me to mention, is not a cheap place to have lunch. The cocktails alone were 16 bucks a piece. Prices aside, Mama's is very famous, highly rated on Zagat, and very nice. It's an open layout, and every menu item not only describes exactly where the fish was caught, but the name of the fisherman who caught it. I had a ceviche appetizer with sashimi-grade mahi served with a coconut sauce in a half-coconut then for an entree I had the Lau-lau platter, a traditional luau mix of maui-maui, salmon, tuna, taro, sweet potato It was served with grilled banana and papaya. Tremendous.

After dinner we attempted to find the "Jaws" surfing competition, which was allegedly down a dirt road outside of Pa'ia. Apparently the dirt road we chose was not the correct one, for at the end there was no surfing competition. There was, however, a shear drop and an amazing view of the northern rocky shore of Maui. We took some pictures and decided to move on to the next stop in our journey. Phil's mother has been searching for Orchids for a few days, and we discovered via google maps an orchid farm that looked promising, so we..attempted to find that down another rough road. No dice. We did find a shanty shack and a really nice private beach. Hopefully Mrs. Katz will find her orchids eventually.

The next stop on our journey was the town of Lahaina, a small strip beach town with little shops, a craft fair, art galleries and the like. It reminded me of the Savannah waterfront, only instead of the Savannah River, it was a Pacific ocean vista. The best feature of the town is the unbelievable Banyan tree in the town center. It looks like a forest. It's one tree. I can't describe how awesome it is.

By far the highlight of the day though was an accident of travel and Elise Katz sharp eyes spotting a whale spout out on the ocean on the return trip from Lahaina.
This happened to coincide with the sunset. And wow, what a show. I took pictures, but I promise you, they do absolutely no justice to the spectacle of nature we witnessed with that sunset. It was profound. Plus, you know, there were some whales.

So that's it. We snacked on some lox and cream cheese on bagels for dinner. Our laundry is doneand our flight is in the morning. The Hawaii portion of the trip draws to a close.

I want to take the opportunity here to thank *profusely* the Katz family for their hospitality and generosity here in Maui. They've been terrific, sharing their home, Mr. Katz tremendous kitchen prowess, and the company of their family friends with me. I had a very memorable trip.

Now, on to Tokyo! Barring any unforeseen setbacks' we'll be meeting the rest of our entourage at Narita airport around 4 pm Tokyo time. Stay tuned!


  1. So glad you had such wonderful experiences in Maui! Please add my thanks as well to the Katz family for their generous hospitality.
    BTW, the Banyan tree in Lahaina was one of my favorite things as well! Got your text today from Tokyo. We'll communicate this way and by e-mail. Love you and stay safe. Mom

  2. Ryan neglected to mention that the coup de grace of the penultimate dinner in Maui was Grilled Tuna a la Ryan. The precise details will remain secret but let me say that this was the first time that I ever saw an iphone used to grill tuna. It was great to see you guys. Have a wonderful time
    Frank and Elise