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Trip Report Being on Maui Time

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Time has now come and gone, and the idle lethargic indolence of Maui has worn itself to a bare reminder of a week that was. The places, the scenic views, the lazy afternoons on the Lanai looking out over the green landscape and cerulean pool, with glimpses of Kahoolawe in the distance, are themselves blurred backgrounds to another life.

Foggy memories of long drives along winding ocean vistas from south to north and, later in the day, making the return passage south again. Gazing once again across the waves of tall grass and rushes rustling in the gentle breeze, bowing as if in veneration toward the enigmatic wooden boardwalk that traverses the nearby landscape like a giant friendly snake rising out from the wetland.

In the morning, after packing the car with all the daily beach accoutrements, snacks, and bottled water, we pull out of the small parking space from “our” condo. I can still hear our young daughter’s cries of “Big Beach” or “Black Rock” while we wonder & debate, should we go north to the Olivine pools and Blow Hole with a late afternoon at Black Rock and Ka’anapali Beach? Or south to Big Beach, Little Beach, or some secluded beach whose name we don’t yet know. Here’s South Kihei Road …right or left? Better decide quickly! Would the blowhole be blowing? Would the Olivine Pools be limpid pools of …olivine, or washed-out and nowhere to be seen?

"Could we stop so I can bang on the bell rock dad? Huh, can we?"

"Hmmm, we’ll see, we’ll see."

Hiking down and up ravines, playing in the surf, and snorkeling with the fishes throughout the day, does cause one to work up an appetite. And, of course, we had used our Makai card at the local Foodland near Kalama Village the evening before so that we would have plenty of water and snacks for our day trips. But the occasional McDonald’s, Taco Bell, or Pizza Hut along the way can always be a welcome retreat for some quick sustenance as well. For more of a sit-down affair, we would rattle-off names such as Fred’s Mexican in Kihei, Buzz’s Wharf at Ma’alaea Harbor, or the Hula Grill at Whaler’s Village in Ka’anapali (with your feet in the sand and the music playing).

On our final day we checked-out and left “our” condo behind, but the afternoon remained for further languishing until the early-evening flight home. So, along the way we stopped at the Maui Ocean Center for a peak into the hidden recesses of ocean aquatics. Whether it is petting a Manta Ray, or watching sharks figuratively licking their chops while scrutinizing us through the mere plastic tubing separating them from an early dinner, the Center has interesting displays of many lesser seen things oceanic for the average tourist. We urge all to investigate the Maui Ocean Center, at least once, during a visit to Maui.

Then, of course, there is the repetition of returning the rental car and catching a shuttle back to the airport; the monotony of hanging-out waiting for your flight to be called, and the inevitable bump of leaving earth and flying back into reality. It seems there are two general ways of dealing with such a moment; to either crane one’s head toward the small portal to catch a final glimpse of the ocean blue and that which was, or to close the window blind and pretend the small island and its neighbors, somewhere out in the middle of the Pacific, simply no longer exist. But of course, there is no pretending their non-existence; there is no real escape, the yearn to return will always pull one back to Islands – one way, or another.

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