What I Learned in Maui
As you may know, the wife and I went to Maui last week. The trip itself began October 28th and ended November 6th. We drove the road to Hana, explored waterfalls, snorkelled, sailed, watched the sunrise at Haleakala, rode horses in the crater, and relaxed. We had a wonderful time, and learned many things about ourselves and the world around us.
There is no end to the inane re-casting of a word to a vaguely similar-sounding, tourist-attracting, non-sensical equivalent:
- Just Maui’ed
- Here Today, Gone to Maui
- Eat, Drink, and be Maui
- Maui Wowie
I could not, in good conscience, patronize an establishment that made use of such schemes. Though, I must admit, Jodi and I did drive toward some lights just to see what was happening. We found nothing, and concluded that we were mindless moths just like all the other island visitors.
I will probably never go on a four hour horseback ride again, ever. The scenery was beautiful, the horses extremely well-trained, and our guide was decently amusing, but the knees and the nose just couldn’t take it. I’m allergic, and the benadryl helped, but I should have ridden side-saddle, or standing up, or something to save my poor, poor knees. Ouch. Regarding our amusing guide, he recounted several funny stories from past trips into the 3000′ crater. My favorite was the one where a Japanese rider witnessed the horse in front of him depositing road apples, and exclaimed, “oh, very authentic!”
Snorkelling is fun, but sailing is funner. We booked a trip with Paragon to go to Molokini, which is a sunken crater near Maui with excellent underwater visibility. The snorkelling was fantastic, but I would have paid the same money just to sail. Now that was fun! We broke 20 knots on the return trip, and the captain said his best is 31.4 knots. This meant nothing to me until I looked up some records. This is extremely fast for a sailing vessel.
There are some amazing animals in the water. The colors of the fish are incredible, the turtles are just cool, the moray eels and blowfish are polka-dotted, but the best thing we saw was the octopus. This guy would attach himself to the coral then change texture and color to match almost instantly. I’m not talking about some small change in color or changing from round to flat, I mean a full change in texture from smooth skin to spiny skin and from reddish-brown solid color to black and white polka-dotted/striped. We followed him around for quite a while.
I like the lush rainforest with its waterfalls more than the hot sunny side of the islands.
I’ve discovered body-surfing, which is basically a means to collect sand. I wish I had discovered this earlier in life and will have to try again at a nearby coast.
Native Hawaiians and locals have it pretty rough these days. If the islands simply hosted visitors, I think they would not be experiencing the economic troubles they have today. The problems stem from rich people building ten million dollar homes they visit one month out of the year. Property values skyrocket, and leave the locals out to dry. Several people said it is quite common to hold three jobs, even the restaurant servers who often make six-figure salaries. It’s the same story with California, and one day it will break. Hopefully.
We ended our trip with a Lu’au at sunset; a fitting, if potentially cheesy-touristy way to end the vacation. This one, it turns out, was quite well done, with excellent food, and quality production. I still can’t get over the band playing a serious cover of Brooks and Dunn’s “Neon Moon” on a traditional ukelele.