Friday, September 28, 2012

Traveling in Hawaii, Sept 26, 2012

In honor of the fact thatwe're traveling and this blog was originally created to chronicle our travels, I thought I'd post some of my journalings from our current Maui trip. I'll add pictures later since we don't have the connector to get them from our fancy new camera onto my iPad. We're in Hawaii!  Wailea, Maui. I had a tough night.  I didn't put on enough sunblock yesterday and managed to burn.  My right shoulder is the worst.  Then there's a bright red V down my chest.  There's some blotchy paler areas from where I did manage to put some sunblock on in the middle of my chest, but some areas are definitely red, hot, and burned. In honor of my weakened physical state, Kip and I opted to hang at the condo for most of the day.  It's a pretty posh place to hang.  It's got a direct view over the rest of the neighborhood to the ocean.  Sunsets are amazing from the lanai (what the rest of the world would call a balcony of course).
The interior is very modern/island/comfortable.  Everything is recently totally remodeled and in pretty  close to perfect shape.  The bathroom is a work of art.  In fact, there is so much art on the walls that Kip and I let ourselves wander into an art shop in Lahaina. We both fell in love with a giant poppies painting that would have cost us $7k for an artists edition. Funny. So hang out we did.  Kip made us mexican omlettes with the leftovers from our first night here (last Saturday). They were good.  We played a little Milles Bournes. I cheated so I could win handily.  Oops.  I didn't mean to. Kip made his special jalepeno poppers on the lanai grill. He dropped one down on our neighbors porch and they had a good laugh when he went down to clean it up.

We had to be in Makena at 3:45 to catch a boat for the sunset sail we had scheduled. The weather had High Surf alerts, which made seasickness a concern since motion sickness in our family isn't entirely limited to Becca.  But we gave it a go. The boat sails from a super fancy hotel and golf course.  There was supposed to be free parking somewhere, but we stumbled on the valet option first and went with that.  The friendly valet gave us directions to the launch site and took off with our red jeep. (Anytime you see a jeep in Hawaii you know it is a rental.) We walked through the hotel and manicured gardens down to the beach.  There we found a little hut selling drinks, renting snokle gear, and offering expeditions to swim with turtles or the like.  A super-friendly girl behind the counter told us we were in the right place.  

Watching her greet all the people, I realized something about people in the tourism business in Hawaii.  They are extroverts.  They greet everyone like they just met one of their best friends.  Well, actually I realized later that some of the people on this particular cruise really were tour-guide-Amy's best friends.  But either way, the general feeling we've gotten from people here is one of immediate friendship.  Take the girl who rented us our snorkel gear yesterday.  We learned all about her and her 4 kids and her honeymoon in Vegas (a real one, not the show).  And we told her all about us and our kids and this being our tenth anniversary trip.  She drove by on her way home while we were eating pizza next door and we smiled big and gave each other a friendly wave.  And we really meant it.  It wasn't just, oh, she saw me looking, I'd better wave.  It was, hey, she is my friend now.  I'm glad to see her again.

So, sunset sail hostess Amy totally fit the friendly persona I've come to expect here.  She stole all our shoes (it was a barefoot cruise, of course) and met us down on the beach when everyone had been checked in.  The boat pulled as close to the shore as possible and had two fold-down staircases for us to run up onto the deck.  The choppy waves from the high surf came crashing under the boat right at the foot of the stairs.  Amy stood there holding the railing and told us when to run for it between the big ones.  Kip and I got on pretty quick and didn't get too wet.  When we were all on, Amy and the friendly bartender guy from NY/Houston pulled up the stairs.  We had a little safety talk in the cabin and were let loose.
The boat was a rectangle with big pontoons on either side and a deck all around the outside. The deck surrounded the step-down cabin with seating and The Bar.  The free alcohol was quite the hit with most of the crowd.  There were probably 20-30 of us on board and it was very comfortable.  Not overcrowded.  The crew said it was less bumpy at the back of the boat, so when they set us loose, Kip and I got sprites (wahoo--free drinks Mormon style!) and went back there.  My drink went down OK and my stomach felt good, so we moved to the very front and sat on the deck (there weren't many seats outside of the cabin) with our feet in the nets between the pontoons and the stairs.  It was a bouncy ride, but we both enjoyed it.  Every now and then a wave would smash into the boat and splash us.  I was glad I wore my swim suit.

Eventually the crew put the sail up and appetizers were brought out.  We moved to seats against the cabin windows when everyone rushed the food and talked with the barman for a while.  Down in the cabin I snatched the last shrimp (sorry, Kip!) and made a plate full of veggies, fruits, and cheese and sat down to eat.  We got into a conversation with some of the passengers and learned how Amy really was already friends with them and that this was by far the best sunset sail in Maui and that some local music celebrity was singing at a nearby Irish pub that night.  Then, the seasickness hit me.  It must have been that last piece of cheese.  It was perr-jack and I was expecting something mild and creamy. I headed out to the back of the boat and thought about asking for some of the natural seasickness remedies the captain had mentioned during the safety breifing.  It was just coming into sunset time and the captain stopped the boat so the back right side, where I was holding in my stomach was facing the view.  
My quiet area was suddenly invaded by 20+ people in varying stages of sobriety carrying foul-smelling alcoholic beverages that make me nauseous on the best of days.  Things got pretty tense.  I wasn't sure I would make it.  Luckily, I did, but I have to say I have a new appreciation for Becca and her carsickness after tonight.  After the sunset event finished, we got our disembarkment instructions and headed for the shore.  Again, Amy held the railing and the waves crashed under the boat.  I ran down and broke the rule about not jumping off the bottom because I couldn't see the last step.  I didn't bonk my head and I was thrilled to feel solid ground under my feet. So now we're home.  Kip's asleep on the couch and I've spent far too long writing about this.  I think it's time for another layer of aloe vera on my flaming red sunburn and bed.

No comments: