Hawaii (Part I)

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Granted, this is a really strange opening picture.  But then I’m a really strange kind of a guy.  After years of invites, we finally decided to go to Hawaii.  We would spend a week on Maui the week before Thanksgiving with Basketball Dan, who was there for his 21st consecutive Thanksgiving; and Thanksgiving week on the Big Island with our friend Roy, who moved there four years ago.  Still, that doesn’t explain the opening sentence.  It’s bad enough that this “Thanksgiving story” post-dates the “Christmas card” already posted.

Well, upon return home, I discovered all but the last day’s photos on Maui had “disappeared”?  Oy!  (OK, that wasn’t exactly the word I used). Professional help couldn’t find them either.  So I will try to piece together as best I can those first six days from photos the Super took with her tablet and those I posted on Facebook.  I’ll probably be doing some guessing regarding chronology.  So, I think this first photo is the first one the Super took as we’re lounging in MSP on Thursday, November 19, girding ourselves for the excruciating 8 1/2 hour flight to Honolulu.

And so this is Maui . . .

[We landed in Kahalui (after a 3-hour layover in Honolulu) and drove in the dark, in the rain, to Ka’anapali, arriving 21 1/2 hours after leaving Alexandria.  Not a trip for the faint of heart!]

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At the Super’s request I am now captioning ABOVE the photos . . .

[After being roused with smelling salts, we were greeted with leis (of course) . . . ]

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[Which way to our bags?]

Greeter: “You’re looking for a pupu platter? ‘Pupu’ means appetizer. If you want beef, that’s ‘pipi.’ So, if you want a beef appetizer, that’s ‘pipi pupu’ (pee pee poo poo)!” Tom: “Well, that sounds like my kind of dining!”

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[They’re under my eyes!!  (I’ve always wondered why, the world over, you find those “wet floor, piso mojado” cones, when wouldn’t it be just as easy to mop it up as to go get a cone?]

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[This was either from MSP to Honolulu or Honolulu to Maui.  I couldn’t tell because I was visually impaired . . . ]

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And now from off the top of my nearly empty head (and referring to the map above) I’m going to try to resurrect the five days on Maui from November 20 – 24.  It rained – a lot – and it was too hot (mid to upper 80’s) and humid for my tastes, but with day trips I think we saw everything there was to see on the island (?).   We were on the NE coast, and as I recall on our first day we drove up the NE coast as far as it was safe to take a rental car – Basketball Dan was staying in Kahana where we would catch up with him later – and to Lahaina (“our town”) where they play the Maui Basketball Classic every year (the draw for Basketball Dan) and where cruise ships tender passengers in for . . . shopping expeditions? Then we had day trips to Wailea (and south of there into the lava fields), to the top of Haleakala (misspelled on the map) where the weather did us in, the famous Road to Hana drive, and walking the beach – the Super wishes we would have spent more time just “beaching” it.

[We took a similar photo in Maui but it was “lost.”  We weren’t going to send it to the Echo anyway – our 15 minutes of fame has long since expired.]

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[Some early photos in and around our Ka’anapali Beach Hotel.  The Super made a friend the first night . . . ]

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[It’s only 8 miles from our beach to Lana’i in the background . . . ]

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[In our hotel and around the neighborhood.  It was while we were at the Hula Grill and Barefoot Bar that I saw my first thong bikini – obviously I made many subsequent visits . . . ]

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[Our trip up Haleakala offered some spectacular views along the way.  But the clouds were coming and going.  When we got to the top, visibility was about 50 feet – we waited and waited but it never cleared.  The caldera, in which Manhattan would fit, was invisible to us – the internet photos are what we missed.  Arrgghhhh!]

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[The Wailea trip was like going from Naples to Marco Island in Florida, i.e, hope you have a triple platinum American Express card!  The Wailea Grand Hotel was quite the place and these are the only photos that survived from that day (gee, must have Facebooked ’em).  The drive south of Wailea through the lava fields to the end of the road was terrific – too bad we lost those photos.]

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[The Road to Hana is only 65 miles long but with 600 turns and 50 narrow bridges it’s considered an all-day round trip.  It was a bit too long for me. They tell you to buy a box lunch before you start and eat it when you get to Hana.  Searching for a box lunch place we found a ginormous guitar and later the Super must have caught me at an overlook.  I engulfed a California roll when we got to Hana.]

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[Then it was time for our dates with Basketball Dan, at first dinner at Roy’s at the Ka’anapali Golf Club (in the last, our waiter said “grimace”), then the next morning he wanted to take us to the best place for macadamia nut pancakes.  Of course it was raining as he stood outside in line (black jacket over his head) – after about 15 minutes of not moving we bagged it.  We tried a couple of other places, getting wet again in the process, before settling on I believe the Sea Horse, which was quite acceptable.]

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[BTW, the dinner at Roy’s was a reprise of the one we did in Scottsdale in 2009 . . .  ]

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Well, that’s just about it for Maui.  We’ll try to do better next time.

People always ask me, “Were you funny as a child?”  Well, no, I was an accountant.  ~ Ellen DeGeneres

Up next:  Probably current holiday stuff.

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