Wowed by Maui

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The boat that whisked us away to Maui

Molokai is a relatively small island with less than 8,000 people. It has a highway system that connects the various population centers together, but it is lightly used enough that there are no traffic signals on the island. Maui (especially in Lahaina) on the other hand has traffic, and parking issues. Molokai calls itself “the most Hawaiian of the islands”. What this means is that it is a low stress place to live and a great place to raise a family, but lacks a lot of the amenities that tourists expect. If you are looking for a tropical setting to relax in, Molokai is your place. If you are looking for lots of trendy restaurants and bars, and plenty of activities, Maui is more your speed.

Lahaina is an older town, most of the buildings date back to the early 1900’s. We stayed at the Pioneer Inn, built in 1903 and oozing with charm. It is in the thick of things,  with the harbor to one side, and bars, restaurants, and souvenir shops all around.
After 6 blissful weeks on Molokai, I was ready for some action. In fact, even though Lahaina is a small town, I was like some country bumpkin seeing the big city for the first time. I was like a kid in a candy shop. As we walked down Front Street for the first time, I was oohing and aching and pointing at everything. I could’t wait to try some of the really touristy stuff.

IMG_0722 Somehow, I talked Trog into going on the Submarine attraction, even though he had not quite recovered from the ferry ride from Molokai. It is an actual submarine, half a mile off-shore. It dives down to 130 feet below the surface. We got to see coral reefs, and lots of fish, and a submerged boat wreck. I found it fascinating and I think that Trog was not too traumatized by it.

Looking a little blue
Looking a little blue

That night we went to the Luau. It was a short easy walk from our lodgings, and set on a beach that, they say, was popular with the Hawaiian royal family, back in the day. They served a five course meal with an open bar. Each of the first four courses was representative of a different region (Hawaii, Aotearoa, Tahiti, and Samoa) and culture of Polynesia. These four courses were preceded by mai tais and some banana and sweet potato chips with a tropical salsa. All of this was followed by a dessert course, and each course contained three separate dishes. Lots of food (and drink). And each course was accompanied by a performance of the music and dance (and costuming) of that region. I am a sucker for any kind of folkloric dance performance, and had not gotten my fill of hula, so this was the perfect ending to my Hawaiian sojourn.

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Aloha.

Here Today… Gone to Maui: LUAU!!!

We did the “Feast at Lele” luau. Again, this wasn’t our first choice, but the slightly-higher-rated one was ALSO booked solid for the two days (if you count the day where we could still rush over with me being seasick – what fun THAT would have been) we were going to be on Maui.  It is slightly more-expensive than the higher-rated one, but it is also a different format than the other (who, interestingly-enough, STARTED at the same location and basically “spun-off” the “Feast at Lele” when they moved to their new location – in fact, they still own 50% of the “Feast at Lele” show), with the current show featuring a “tour” of the tropical islands whose people at least came to Hawaii, and might have eventually became part of what evolved as the “native” population (Hawaii appears to have started without people, having pretty much just sprung-up in the middle of the Pacific one eon from volcanic activity – what culture ACTUALLY was – or contributed largely to – what became the “native” population has not been clearly determined – one account suggests that the island had a humanoid population even before the arrival of the Polynesians, the culture widely-believed to be the contributors to what became the “native” population).

(You Can’t Know TOO Much Trivia: the legend of the “menehune,” probably best-explained as Hawaii’s version of leprechauns, are thought to be, along with legends of “dog people” who had long tails, to be indicators that Hawaii HAD a human or humanoid population predating the arrival of other cultures and were driven into extinction by them. There is no anthropological evidence to support either claim. Yet. 🙂 )  Continue reading “Here Today… Gone to Maui: LUAU!!!”