Day 3: More of Paradise

A little bit of a “lay in” (as the Brits would say) and cinnamon rolls from Makawao’s bakery out on our balcony overlooking Lahaina’s harbor began this marvelous day. We ate to the gentle sounds of the surf; reflected on the beauty of the morning; and watched as a couple did over an hour of yoga moves on the sand below us. Somehow their exhuberance didn’t exactly rub off on us. We continued to watch the surf and eat our rolls, content with ourselves; the world; and this particular moment in this particular place. (The cinnamon rolls were excellent, by the way).

Before the sun rose to its heights, I wanted to walk down Front Street without the crowds and without the heat that the afternoon brings. I took only my little purse and my phone camera and set out. I managed to walk the first mile in good time, and then the shops started opening about 9:30, drawing people out onto the streets. I walked on and went past the shopping district in search of a tiny beach I could see in the distance. I never actually found it, as all the drives toward it had posted signs declaring “Dead End.” Afraid that it might be a private beach, I gave up and turned around to go back toward the hotel through the shopping district.

I must admit, I did stop and do some shopping. I didn’t think my travel partner would mind. He was happily reading and drinking his coffee on the balcony and not at all enticed by the thought of exercise or shopping. As I went into shop after shop, I conversed with the shopkeepers and learned some very interesting things. First, there are no private beaches in Hawaii! What a novel idea. One person told me that little beach I had sighted was named “Baby Beach” and I just needed to keep walking until one of those dead end streets also had a sign for “Beach Access.” So, that will be on the agenda tomorrow.

At another shop I found the desk for making reservations for whale watching cruises and talked at length with the clerk there. She convinced me that a whale watching trip was a “must see” for Maui, especially this time of year. I must admit, she didn’t have to work very hard! I called my travel partner to confirm he would like to go with me and then bought tickets for tomorrow morning at sunrise. This woman assured me it would be the most spectacular time of day to see the whales as the whales are particularly active and the waters particularly calm at that time. I can’t wait until tomorrow.

As I returned to the hotel I began to scope out places for lunch as I knew my travel partner would be ready for a hot lunch after my over three hours of walking and shopping. So I stopped along the way and read menus and checked out who was eating what. As I passed the Piai’s Fishmarket on Front Street, I noticed a crowd of happy diners sitting at picnic tables in the shade enjoying their food. I read the menu and decided it would be just the place to take my travel partner. Part of our explorations must always include new and different things to try and places to see. This seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

Indeed, I was correct that lunch was the next item on the day’s activity list. And Piai’s Firshmarket was entirely agreeable with my travel partner. We ordered and went outside to claim the only empty seats available – one end of a picnic table. When our Cajun blackened Ahai and chicken Caesar salad came we were delighted with the quality and the preparation. It turned out to be a great pick and we enjoyed it immensely.

From Piai’s we walked across the street to Lahaina Harbor to track down the slip where we will be leaving from at 6:30 tomorrow morning. Easily found, we went into the old courthouse, located right on the harbor, and visited the museum there. It was filled with Maui and Hawaiian history and we learned some bits of historical information we did not know about the area.

Passing through the Banyan Tree Park we marveled at the tree that filled the entire park – and is only one organism. A banyan tree sends out air shoots from its limbs and sends them down to the ground to create new trees – still entirely connected to the original tree in the center of the grounds. It is most unusual, but very impressive. The tree was planted in 1873 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of missionaries coming to Hawaii and has continued to grow and expand ever since.

Arriving back at the hotel about 3:30, that ice cream we bought yesterday and forgot about seemed like it was just meant for this moment. We replenished our liquids and were refreshed by some ice cream before closing up our room and putting on some AC for the hottest part of the day. Rest is good, too. Everyone needs some moments of rest.

Dinner consisted of left-over pizza from last night – which was still delightfully delicious. We caught up on some national news before stepping out for an evening walk in the cooler hours of the evening. Since it was already dark, it was a quiet walk in the sand and surf under the stars. The only sounds were the lapping waves until the nightly drums and fire dancing from a luau taking place at an establishment down the beach started up. We slowly walked back along the beach to our gate access and tucked in for an early bedtime. We have to be at the boat at 5:45 tomorrow morning..