Monday, September 20, 2010
There's No Place Like Home . . . Well, Maybe One or Two Other Places . . .
Well, it's home again after a jaunt into out of the way places which are daily wrapped in the balmy breezes of the Trade Winds. We arrived home from Maui late Saturday evening and believe me, Los Angeles International Airport didn't smell nearly as good as those warm breezes at Kahului.
I had to laugh at my daughter--we traveled with her and her hubby--as she went out on the "lanai" or balcony right before breakfast to breathe deeply and marvel at the richness of the landscape all around our time-share resort. When she came back in, she commented: "Just another crappy day in Paradise." We were also amused when one of the airport people asked us if we had a good time during our time in the Islands, and we asked him if anyone ever complained. He had to admit that he had never met anyone who had a negative comment about their time in Maui.
I have to admit that it was just different for me. In past years we had visited and stayed on Kauai and Oahu, for an extended time on one occasion. Both those islands just have their own pace of living and just a unique feeling. Kauai is very laid-back, and it rains for anywhere from 20-30 seconds throughout each day. The island is the wettest place on the planet with 500 inches of rain annually. Oahu is far busier--with three military bases, the famous Diamondhead, Waikiki beach and a larger population. They also have an island-wide bus service which means that we didn't have to rent a car while there. Not the case in Maui. The roads have been improved--even some four-lane roads in some places in Kahului and Lahaina. But it is different in that there are two volcanic mountains--Haleakela and Iao--so that getting anywhere means going around one mountain or the other.
The photo above is the Iao Needle--remnants of the extinct volcano and believed to be a holy site. The Needle was also used by warriors to scope out the approach of enemy invaders. This valley was the place where the king of Maui and his warriors met King Kamehameha for a terrible battle that eventually unified the islands under the one king.
This beautiful shot of Molokini is really a small volcanic crater that is now one of the most popular places for snorkeling. The waters are particularly clear out in the middle of this inlet. Our daughter and her hubby were hoping to do some snorkeling, but hubby broke his shoulder just a few weeks ago and so couldn't really handle the physical stress, even though the shoulder is healing well.
So we drove the Hana Highway--an eight hour trip with more hairpin curves than a beauty shop, and about half-way through the trip I thought: "I am SO ready for this to be over!!" Then the next day we ascended Haleakala volcano and viewed the crater -- nearly 10,000 feet elevation. It was cold and the air was thin. But the view was absolutely breathtaking.
So we return to the grind--going to the office, taking care of grandkids, reading, reading, and more reading, and now lots of reviews to write after being off the computer for a week. Thanks for those of you who stopped by -- hope you all have your "day in Paradise" somewhere in the South Pacific or other wonderful tropical places on our beautiful planet.
Bye, for now . . .