Thursday, January 7, 2010

January 7, 2010

The morning of January 7th we woke up to a strange sound that we had not heard yet in Hawaii. The sound eventually stopped but there was plenty of evidence of where it was coming from based on the puddles and dripping eaves outside on our lanai (hotel deck). It had been raining! But it was done now – apparently from time to time they do get some rain on the West side of Maui (mostly up in the mountains). The rain was done but the sky was fairly overcast, this put a damper on our “pre-checkout” plans of soaking up two more hours of sun before we had to move on so instead we had some Kona coffee and breakfast tea and watched the beauty of the island from our dry and cozy hotel room. We later checked out and were on our way to our new place – a bed and breakfast inspired apartment called “Tradewinds” – for the final 2 nights of our trip. Tradewinds was half-way across the island, just past Central Maui, which was good because we had a few hours to kill getting there before we could check in. On our way, taking our time, we decided to walk down Front Street one last time as we passed Lahaina. The street itself gives a New Orleans like atmosphere with the numerous, colorful, eclectic shops right next to each other all the way down the street. On the other side of the street a few more shops finally give way to the sandy beach and rolling waves. This town was an old Whaler’s port where the fishermen would stop for a bite to eat and some supplies. I learned to surf just down the beach past the original shipping harbor and several of the shops claimed to have been in business since the whaling days. As we walked back down the street we found ourselves in front of the shop window that formerly displayed Meagan’s Black Pearl bracelet, except now it was no longer on the display rack with the others. We walked in and asked the shop owner where the bracelet was, she held up what was in her hand and asked, “you mean this one?” Apparently the bracelet was also coveted by another traveler passing by the night before except she had the idea to put it on hold, along with two others, incase she wanted to come back and buy it the next day. The shop owner tentatively offered us the bracelet mentioning that she didn’t believe that the woman who reserved it would mind since she had two others picked out too. We quickly purchased the bracelet before she could change her mind, we all seemed to think this was the best bracelet of the three and if the other woman was going to buy any of them it would have been this one. We got over the guilt of buying a “held” bracelet very quickly and decided to move on towards our destination.

Our next stop was at a place called the ‘Iao Valley Needle located in the Pu’u Kukui Crater in Central Maui. This large needle-like spire in the middle of a lush volcanic crater was used as an altar by ancient Hawaiians that was believed to have helped them win battles for territory – or something like that; the mythology of many of the tourist attractions on the island seemed to be made up to garner more interest in the very cool and unique geological formations. We were not very impressed by the needle, mostly because it was obscured by clouds and it looked like just another mountain wall. We took photos of it anyway and headed out for lunch.

Meagan picked up a Maui cookbook for 2 dollars at some store closing book sale, the cookbook was for a restaurant called Hali’imalie Restaurant and General Store located in the middle of nowhere in Central Maui. We decided to check the place out since Meagan had the entire menu in recipe form; then we’ll be able to cook any dish from the book in Michigan if we want to feel nostalgic. The place had the feeling of an old country store that had tables for eating instead of racks of knick-knacks and sundries – they did have one rack though, selling the exact same cookbook the Meagan had for $40 a book. Meagan ordered Bev’s “Secret” crab pizza, and I ordered Bev’s “Secret” BBQ ribs; the “Secret” meaning that the recipes were NOT in the cookbook. The crab pizza was crab-cheese on pizza crust – not too bad; and the ribs were good, but very similar to BBQ ribs that you can find almost anywhere, but we won’t spoil Bev’s secret (Costco crab cheese and Open Pit BBQ sauce). After our satisfying meal we ventured on to our B and B-type accommodations.

Tradewinds was the walkout basement apartment of a large house overlooking a lush valley just East of Central Maui. To avoid calling it a Duplex and the tax and city code issues that go along with it the owners moved the microwave oven and portable electric stove top just outside onto the patio, but the rest of the apartment was very nice, with a beautiful lush tropical garden sculpted into the hills surrounding the house. The accommodations were very cozy and we took our time and relaxed playing some “Bananagrams” and taking a dip in the outdoor hottub overlooking the valley. We went to bed early because we planned to drive the “Road to Hana” early the next morning.

Posted By Matt