Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hawaii 09: Mid-way through Day 2

We arrived in Maui at 9:00 in the evening. It was basically impossible to see the island until we landed, as we approached from the north of Kahului. When we did land, we were greeted with a sudden rainstorm, which apparently dumped rain for 5 minutes onto the airport, enough to wet some bags on the way through baggage claim, and then gave up. Frank, one of my travel companions father, picked us up from the Maui Kahului airport (OGG) and thus my first memory of Hawaii was born -- the Kahului Safeway. We purchased some breakfast-y stuff -- Cereal, 2% milk from a local dairy, and some fresh strawberries. Oh and of course some 100% Kona coffee. Then we drove down to the house Phil's parents own, midway between Kehei and Wahilea-Makena. It's about half a mile walk down to the beach from their house, but Day 0 was "crash night" and we basically immediately zonked out when we got in.

Day 1 started early, of course, as both us and Phil's parents were on Mountain Time, which is 3 hours later than Hawaii Standard. We were up by 7:00, early enough to, if indirectly, watch as the morning illuminated the western shore of Maui and the smaller and older of Maui's two volcanoes, Mauna Kahalawai. We had breakfast and then took a walk down the west beach, which even early in the morning was beginning to gather a crowd of tourists. The beach and subsequent boardwalk make a path down the shore that encompasses all of the large resort hotels in the area -- the two nicest being the Four Seasons, and the Grand Wailea Resort. We walked around a swanky open mall, enjoyed the large stylized sculptures of Polynesians at the Wailea and saw both an exhibit of glass sculpture and an artist carving an ornate Mermaid out of a very large piece of wood with a dremel tool.

Later we traveled by car out into the town of Kehei for lunch. I had some really good Mahi-mahi soft tacos at the appropriately named Jawz Fish Tacos. After some shopping around we returned to the house, where I crashed for 2 hours of unscheduled exhaustion. (I guess you don't realize how much stress keeps you going until it's blissfully and utterly absent.)

At 5:30 we headed out to a nice beachfront restaurant called Sorento's by the Sea, where Phil's parents treated us to a very nice dinner. I had a gazpacho with fresh crab and avocado and a terrific Snapper dish made with sausage and clams with a fried polenta cake.

Day 2, today, was spent with a very long walk back down the western shore and grocery shopping in Kahului for ingredients for a dinner party Phil's parents are hosting this evening. The most exciting of which is a 5 lb block of ruby red ahi tuna, which I will attempt to steal a chunk of sashimi from before the whole thing gets grilled.

So far the Hawaii portion of this trip has been exactly what I had hoped it would be -- a stress-free, agenda-free lazy preface to the mad rush to see Tokyo and Kyoto in a limited span of time.

1 comment:

  1. Huzzah, Ryan in island paradise! Post more things about large blocks of fresh fish... you're getting me all excited in my special place.