Hawaii 1998 Journal

10/8/98:   We're on our way.  So far, everything's going smoothly -- including the flying conditions.  We're about 30 min. from LA (inbound).   Won't be back at the office until the 22nd -- how the hell was I able to pull this off?

Thursday 10/8/98:  Travel to Honolulu, got to hotel on Waikiki about midnight.

Friday 10/9/98:  Trouble sleeping, but rousted about 7:30, had breakfast and walked around beach area for a while before meeting Dar's friend, Carol and her son at 10:30.  They took us to Diamond Head where we walked to the top, then beyond Diamond Head to the East and North.  Along way had the best hot dogs on the Island at Costco.  Headed up the coast far enough to catch the new highway H-3 which we quickly took back to the Pearl Harbor area.  Didn't stop at Pearl but continued in a big loop back to Honolulu and downtown.  We stopped at Aloha Tower, went to the Maritime museum, saw a navy ship, and a cruise ship.  Then on to the Hyatt complex where we got good seats for a Hula Show and fireworks.   After the show on to Moose McGillicudy's for dinner and then home.  Very tired by end of day.

Saturday 10/10/98:  Up at about the same time, had an early breakfast.  At breakfast, the chef came out and asked us if we'd ever seen the sun, the moon, and a rainbow at the same time -- and, by god, there it was.   We walked all the way down Waikiki Beach and back, soaking up a little sun and watching interesting people all along the way.    Checked out of hotel, and headed for Pearl Harbor, with the intention of getting to airport early enough to get an earlier flight. 

Pearl Harbor was a high impact stop.   You get tickets to a 30 minute? film and a boat ride out to the memorial.  It's actually an active cemetery as they permit the survivors of the Arizona to be interred with their shipmates upon their deaths -- and some have already done so.  We did see oil leaking from the hull and there was actually a small oil slick that trails away in the current.  1177 men lost their lives in one moment in time as a Japanese armor piercing bomb went through the hull and hit a magazine below the forward part of the ship.  How long will it be before the salt and corrosion takes it's toll and the hull is eaten away by rust?  It's been 47 years.

Got to the airport about 3pm and found that we're on a Delta flight to Maui -- the only Delta flight to Maui each day -- a flight that continues on the LA.  (we had thought Delta might partner with Hawaiian or another local carrier with hourly trips to Maui -- hoping we could catch an earlier one)    So, we checked bags and waited.   Watched the Wisconsin game on TV and had to board before the end of the game.  Wisconsin was having some trouble with Purdue in a late night Midwest game.   No problem getting to Maui and found the Neumans in the baggage area -- they had just arrived and were waiting for their bags.  What impeccable timing.   Darlene lei'd them both right there at the airport.   We all got our bags and rented a car, bought a few groceries and a 'jug'  (get this, a 750ml bottle of The Glevlivet was only $27 -- I believe cheaper than Illinois),  and headed for the first night bed and breakfast near Paia. 

The B&B was about a mile outside of Paia on a dark, very hard-to-find road.  We missed it the first time, came back and missed it again, but saw it as we went by.  The third attempt was the charm and we turned onto this small dark cul-de-sac with only about 4 houses on it.  It wasn't obvious which was our destination, and weren't sure we wanted any of them.  They didn't look like B&B's, with cars parked all over the grass, dogs laying around, etc.  Chris walked up to one and was directed to house across the street surrounded by a wall, bushes, etc. and we walked through the hole in the wall (driveway) and up to this very nice looking house.  At first, no one seemed to be around, but the door was open.  After a few calls for someone, a woman named Jane appeared and welcomed us to her B&B.    She told us we were looking at and standing in our area or unit -- we thought it was her living room.  It was just as nice as you could imagine.   Jane (from Boston) and her husband Russell (Hawaiian) (Kuau Cove Plantation,  2 Wa'a Place,  Kuau, Maui, HI  96779  make a living from the B&B.    We were very happy with the accommodations.  In fact, we thought it might just be a bed and bath, but where quite surprised and happy to discover breakfast would be served.  We had a couple drinks, and went to bed.

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Sunday 10/11/98:  Slow, no-rush, morning -- walked down drainage ditch to beach and explored the north shore, and just took our time adjusting to the time zone change.  Then had a delightful breakfast of Costco muffins and other wonderful and even more delightful stuff.    After we got moving, went to Paia and then south to Macawao where our booking agent, Nija, has her office on the second floor across from a corner bar/restaurant.   A musical group of 3 guys and a woman were making big-time music just outside the place.  Didn't feel comfortable with the restaurants and went back to Paia for lunch,  then down to Makena to find the house where we're staying.   Dugal and Helen are the owners of the place called 'Hale Mehana', at 176 Makena Road, Kihei, HI  96753.  She works in advertising somewhere near the airport.  He's kind-of a bum... a little golf pro; handyman; man in middle-age crisis -- but well known around the area, especially by the locals.  They both seem very nice, and we seemed to hit it off right away (although we hardly saw them during the rest of our stay).  We spent the rest of the day unpacking, getting groceries, and making dinner.   Terriaki Chicken and pasta was dinner.  By the way, Tim is our appointed/anointed chef this week.

Monday 10/12/98:  Bummed around in AM.   Hit the Beach mid-day.  Went grocery shopping again and picked up snorkeling gear from guy named Harold at Snorkel Bob's.    Tim and I went for a late afternoon walk and got caught in rain before we got too far.  We ducked into the Prince -- under an umbrella around the pool to be exact -- and waited for it to stop.  When it subsided somewhat, headed off further south, along golf course and down past black sand beach, when it started to rain again -- this time harder.   Since we were already on our way home, and were totally soaked by this time anyway, just kept walking until we 'squished' up the stairs to our house and found two young ladies already enjoying cocktail hour.   Nice sunset, Dar thinks it's the best.   Dinner of beef stirfry and rice.

Tuesday 10/13/98:  Snorkeling in AM down at small beach near Makena Landing -- mostly to try out gear and check out our abilities.  Visibility in the water was not very good due to big rollers that were coming in from the Northwest and churning up the beach sand.    Every time we come back to house from beaching or snorkeling, we had to take a 'cold shower' at the house... and cold it was.     Cleaned up and looked for a hike to do in the PM.  The hiking route we took was on the northeast side of the western mountain in the "rain forest" zone.   It was near Waihee.  It was an old road built for the construction and maintenance of an irrigation water movement structure.    We walked up the valley and followed the irrigation water structure uphill, across two swinging bridges in very poor condition, and two other stream crossings jumping from rock to rock.  The entire path was marked closed and "no trespassing", but we saw others and were told by Jane at the B&B the first night that it was one of the best hikes on Maui and she never had a permit, so we pressed on.  At the second stream crossing, the group decided to retreat before the ultimate destination where (we read) a waterfall or two drop into a large pond that you can swim in.  It looked like rain and we didn't want to get caught up there in the rain.  When we arrived back at the car, the old man who I talked to prior to the hike came out of his house and came over to talk.  His name was Joacquim Santos (exact spelling may be off), and we now refer to him as the 85 year old man of the hills.   He stays busy by making Rosaries out of the seeds of a flower called Job's Tears.  In fact, when I first saw him, he was standing in front of his house with a handful of his productions, doing final inspection in the brighter light of mid-day.    He's been on the island and lived in that valley all his life.  He told us of what it was like when he was a kid and his dad had the job of controlling the water coming off the mountain for irrigation.   If it rained hard at night and he heard his dad talking to his mom, he knew the old man was drinking and he, the kid, would have to go up the mountain and adjust the controls for the water.  In the early fifties, he brought a California Redwood tree back from California and planted it at the top of ridge above his house.  Someone was recently up there and it is still just a few feet high -- hasn't hardly grown at all.   Figured it just be a matter of time.  His brother did plant some Norfolk Pines on the top of another ridge, and they're much larger -- could be seen from where we were talking.   (Later in the week we beat ourselves up pretty bad for not taking a picture of him and buying some of his Rosaries)    On the way home from hike, we picked up Jeep from National at the airport.   Back home for dinner of excellent leftovers.

Wednesday 10/14/98:  Hana day.  Tim and I spent some time learning how to take the sides off the Jeep, which we left at the house.  (If it rained too hard from one side or the other, someone was going to get wet)    Got to Paia about 9am, gassed up Jeep, and headed down the road.  A lot of on-and-off rain almost all day, but that's the way it is on the wet side of the mountain, where rainfall can exceed 400 inches annually .  Spectacular drive to Hana.  Many, many waterfalls -- literally a new one around every corner.  Near almost every waterfall, was a one-lane bridge.   We brought along a "tour on tape" narrative of the drive.  This tape was a problem for at least two reasons:  the background music was irritating as hell, and we were constantly trying to synchronize the tape to our location:  by rewinding/fast forwarding;   stopping on side of road to let tape catch up, or driving faster to catch the tape.  (this latter solution wasn't the favorite on the twisting narrow wet roads)   The woman narrator kept saying "I'm Pau" (or ?) which meant to turn the tape off until some point -- well, she's permanently "I'm Pau" now.      Near Hana, went into a state park along the coast and saw spectacular scenery with the waves crashing into the resistant black lava rock.  There was one of the best 'blow-holes' I've ever seen.  Stopped in Hana and had lunch at Tu-Tu's grill down by the bay.   Took the southern route back, keeping an eye on the clock so we wouldn't run out of daylight before we got onto good road again. .  The road (South Hana Road/ Piilani Hiway/ Route 31)  was dirt and rocks, and very narrow most of the way back.  Meeting oncoming cars was a challenge that usually involved stopping, waving, a false start, and more waving.    At one point, we went through a small canyon where the wind was dramatically stronger than normal.  There must have been some amplifying effect at that point.     About halfway back stopped at the little general store.   Apparently, the woman who ran the store lived there with her family too.   We were looking for ice cream and found an old ref/freezer with a few boxes of ice cream sandwiches.  We bought 4 of them and I think they were about as old as the ref/freezer they were hiding in for however many years it was.    Happily, didn't get sick.    The facilities were out back... way out back.   Inside the old outhouse, was a common flush toilet.  So far, so good.   But as soon as one starts using the facility from a standing position,  as soon as the 'water' starts to fall, --  this cloud of mosquitoes rises from their porcelain protection, obviously excited with  the opportunity for a meal.   As one who was in this position, there are many thoughts that run through your mind:  Do I stop and run?   If I decide to stop and run, am I sure I can stop?    What is the priority of protection of the exposed parts?   Isn't the concept of swatting a little dangerous in this case?   Can I swat and pee without soaking my shoe?  You get the idea.  Both Tim and I survived the experience without admitting to any bites.       The woman also sold Flax clothing, which generated some interest among the more fashion conscious members of our small group.   Tim kept driving into the sunset toward home with some impatient drivers (alright, idiots!  Or is it maniacs?) providing entertainment to help get our minds off our bruised butts.   Saw some of the most awesome rainbows too.   Some of us couldn't take enough pictures of rainbows.     Back about 6pm and very tired.   Dinner of Hula Chicken bought at deli counter of grocery store and baked potatoes.

Thursday 10/15/98:  Up early and chased after trash truck.  Didn't make it.  Just hung out.  Big Snorkel day -- Chris and I went from beach by the Maui Prince hotel to the reefs by our house and back.   Saw 4 turtles each.  A lot of time for reading and thinking.   Nice sunset, Dar thinks it's the best.   Dinner was Mahi Mahi, shrimp, on grill and pasta.

Friday 10/16/98:  Slow morning, hanging out and snorkeling.  Then headed off to LaHaina for afternoon.  One afternoon in La Haina was more than enough for me.   After some trouble finding a parking place, Chris and Dar went one way, and Tim and I another.    The guy's mission was relatively simple...   kill time.    On the way into town, we saw a Navy submarine -- it looked like a boomer.    But once we parked and got out to where you could see the beach again, it was gone?   Just vanished!  or so it seemed.  In fact it was parked close to shore a ways south of downtown -- just couldn't see it from where we had been looking.   Some locals said it was from Japan -- others said from Honolulu where there are a number of training subs.    With that mystery solved,  looked at hats and watches in some of the stores.    Eventually bought a hat apiece.   Tim's had the feature of being 'crushable' over and over again;  mine had the feature of being cheap, but crushable only one time.   We also stopped and bought a t-shirt at the Hard Rock Cafe, and then on to Bubba Gump's for a beer while watching the going's on in the water and killing more time.    Chris bought a print and Dar a small brass turtle sculpture.    

What  a tourist trap!  And hot.  Downtown was built right on top of the beach and the stores on the ocean side of Front street blocked what little ocean breeze there was.   Had dinner and did the Luau at the Hyatt Kaanapali.   Fire dancer survived this time, but you gotta wonder if there's more to the screaming than tradition.   Heard there's a high burn-out rate with fire dancers.   Kaanapali is the planed resort community built in the 60's and 70's.  Many of the most common hotel chains have places there... Marriott, Hyatt,  Etc.    At Luau,   stuffed myself beyond good sense.   Dar tripped over piece of beach and tumbled head over tea kettle on way to car after Luau. 

Saturday 10/17/98:    Got up at normal early hour -- observed a clear mountain, woke up the rest of the crew and we were off to the mountain and crater of Haliakula.  Great day on the mountain.   Clouds held off for the better part of the day and we had great views.  Even walked a ways down into the crater.  We wanted to hike to the top of a cinder cone on the floor of the crater which would have been a 1400 ft. elevation change.  About half way down, decided to soak in the view and head back up.  The walk down was relatively easy, and we knew the climb back up would be difficult, especially in the thin air at 10,000 ft elevation. But surprisingly, our excellent condition enabled us to make the climb up in about the same time as the walk down.  May have been pangs of hunger that drove us uphill.   Still, a great day.  On way down mountain stopped for a burger at the Upcountry Cafe in Pukalani.    Dinner when we got home was  Caesar Salad and leftover pasta.  Nice sunset, Dar thinks it's the best.

Sunday 10/18/98:  Up early,  before sunrise.  Finished novel "Nimitz Class" by Patrick Robinson.  Slow morning (I'm enjoying the slow mornings).   Today would be a beach day -- first went to black sand beach called Oneuli Beach -- over by the big cinder cone near the Maui Prince.  Was secluded, but didn't care for the lack of facilities and it seemed more for locals.  So, went over to our normal beach by the Prince -- Malu'aka Beach, which is only a short walk from our house.  While we were at the beach snorkeling, Tim went for a long walk and bought palm frond baskets for Chris and Darlene.  Due to the daily afternoon big black cloud and resulting lack of sunshine, went up to a different beach a little north of the house... Olua/Makapu Beach up by the Renaissance.  This was a very long beach and Tim and I walked north almost to Kehei.   Tim got dome burn.  Nice sunset, Dar thinks it's the best.  Dinner, cashew chicken stirfy with real rice cause we couldn't find minute rice.   I thought Chris really screwed up the rice....  lifting the cover off after only 10 minutes.   But the rice actually turned out better than usual... so maybe this is a new rice cooking technique.   And the volume, there was a lot of rice -- the story of the loaves and fishes came to mind:  we'd take big scoops of rice out of the pot, but the pot was still full!

Monday 10/19/98:   Up about 6am on our last full day here.  The water as calm as any day we've seen.  So, after a little wake-up coffee to get the juices flowing, I went out snorkeling right from our shoreline.  Wasn't too difficult with the calmer water.  On way out, saw a number of turtles.  Worked my way over to where a group of kayakers had circled and found the mother-lode:  there were 7 or 8 turtles of varying sizes gathered around a rock in about 20 or 30 feet of water.  What a site.  Soon, Chris joined me and eventually Dar.  We were able to swim with them and even touch them.  There was one, we thought it was 'Bob', that actually seemed to enjoy the attention.  He came up for air and just hung around us for 10 minutes or so... close enough most of the time that we could reach out and touch him whenever we wanted.   He looked closely at us and we at him/her.  We used up every picture on every underwater camera that we had and snorkeled till we could snorkel no more.   About mid-afternoon, Tim was exploring on the shoreline rocks near the house when a turtle, then 3 or 4 of them, came in to feed around the very rocks he was on.    It was great entertainment watching them fight the surf and turbulence of waves and tide,  hitting exposed and underwater rocks,  or actually getting hung-up sometimes.     This entire ordeal wasn't easy for turtles or Tim due to occasional high waves which crashed into the rocks with a blast and spray.    But through perseverance, he was able to touch them a number of times.  

Thom and Tim went to return snorkeling gear and found a shaved ice/ice cream place.   Also bought a box to ship some stuff back.   Dar and Chris  went to hatlady Judy and bought xmas wreaths.   She was the one Tim  bought the baskets from.   They also learned to make roses from palm fronds.
Finished last bottle of scotch and argued about what should be in this journal.  Nice sunset, Dar thinks it's the best.   Dinner of leftovers.

Tuesday 10/20/98:  Not a happy day.   After light breakfast and some packing, all 4 of us went down to Olua Beach near the Renaissance and walked the full length back and forth.  Ran into a neat older couple from Ellensberg, WA who were going for a morning ride in their ocean kayak.  The first attempt into the surf was not successful as a large wave knocked the canoe sideways and each of them scrambling to stay upright while maintaining some control over the boat.   Weather was wonderful, as usual.   Stopped at gallery on way back to Makena Road and decided "Old Santos" wasn't the old Santos we knew.    Finished packing, cleaned the place up a little, and said our good-byes.    We were off to the airport.  Our first Hawaiian vacation had come to a close.

Observations:   Eating in is better than eating out, especially when we have a setting like we did on the second floor of 176 Makena Road:  However, it's essential that someone knows something of the culinary arts.   For this trip, we're indebted to Tim for being willing to be the "director of dinner".

Ocean Kayaks.   Next time, let's do this.   What would it cost to rent one for a week?  They allow you to do in the ocean what a canoe does on a stream or lake.