The day after the tsunami, we wondered if we’d be attending our first Luau… obviously, we made it! The Luau we chose is called “Old Lahaina Luau” and claims to be the most authentic on Maui. It’s located literally ocean-side in Lahaina. We’d heard that there were spots in Lahaina where the tsunami waves actually came up over the road and we were pretty sure that damage could easily have occurred at the Luau site – so I phoned in the early afternoon to find out. Luckily, the only damage was a bit of debris here and there and yes, the show would go on! I was SO happy! Not sure if John really gave a rip, one way or the other, but in the end we both thoroughly enjoyed the food, the company, and the show. Here we are, lei-adorned. 🙂 We were seated at a table for eight and had a nice visit with our tablemates across the way who were from South Dakota. They were as excited as we were to enjoy some glorious Hawaiian sunshine at the end of winter. Next is a snapshot of my plate of food from the luau. I named all the different foods on the plate…. hopefully you can read it, but if not, click on the photo and it should be better visible. The food at the luau was a buffet – all you can eat, and honestly- everything was delicious!! Prior to the meal, we were invited to the ceremony where they lift the pig out of the pit where he (I have decided to assume it was indeed a he) cooked in the ground for apparently many hours. Here’s a photo of the lifting of the piggy! If you look closely, you actually CAN see that it is indeed a swine. I must say, he was QUITE tasty. Of course no luau would be complete without the wonderful hula dancing. Here’s a snap of some great hula dancing! The luau was a big hit with both of us. I definitely recommend attending at least ONE luau when in Hawaii. It’s a must!
The next day we did a kayak trip off Olawalu which is a few miles south of Lahaina. If I could put this trip into words, (which will be difficult) it would be something like “insanely wonderful”. We loved the kayaking — which is a very good thing, since we bought two kayaks last September and plan to use them this spring/summer on our upcoming motorhome trips. This kayak trip took us well out into the ocean and as luck would have it, we were the only ones on the trip, besides the guide. He was full of tidibits of info regarding the Humpback whales that we were seeing in the distance. After we were out there for about an hour, we noticed that the pod of 6 male whales (according to the guide) had shifted direction and were now heading right for us!! “Griff” our guide assured us that the whales were not at all interested in eating… and certainly not eating humans! Their goal while spending the winter off the coast of Maui is simply twofold: fight (other males) and fornicate. Okay. So they weren’t going to eat us… this was a good thing. Once they got within 100 yards of us, Griff told us to take our paddles out of the water. OH, IF I ONLY HAD A WATERPROOF CAMERA HANDY!! But alas, I didn’t. So the memory of this crazy pod of Humpback whales spouting, breaching, and tail fins flapping will have to be ingrained into memory only -without photographic documentation. As they approached, John asked Griff the guide, “do they see us?” and Griff reassured us that they did. About that time, the lead male-whale lifted his head and got a glimpse of the humans ahead of him. At that, he dove and all his buddies followed him and under us they went…. resurfacing at least 100 yards on the other side of us. This was one of the most amazing moments I have ever experienced in the wild. INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After that we kayaked to an area where Griff dropped the anchor, tied the kayaks together, and we snorkeled in an area that was replete with Green Sea turtles. Since earning the name “Snorkel Sue” back in 1998, I have always been flabbergasted by the life that lies just slightly beneath the ocean. Just put your face into the water and there is literally another WORLD. Amazing and wonderful! Genesis 1:20 ” And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures……” What an experience it all was. That kayak trip was worth the long flight to Maui all by itself!! I’m SO thankful to have had that awe-inspiring whale encounter with my best friend 🙂
What could top that? Well let’s be honest, nothing. At least not this trip. We didn’t have time to do SO many things that we wanted to do. Drive the road to Hana. Go to the top of Haleakala. Guess that will all have to wait till the next time. We did however take a walk the evening of the kayak trip along the sand, not far from our condo, to Dukes – an open air, on-the-beach restaurant. Again, we had a delightful and healthy dinner. And again, here are a couple of pictures to prove it.
Before we new it, it was time to think about that long flight home. Honestly, we hated to say goodbye to Hawaii so soon. I hope we can go back again someday… we left a lot UNdone on the island of Maui. On the day of our overnight flight, we drove around part of the north of the island and stopped at Kapalua Golf Club for a late lunch. The restaurant there was called the Pineapple Grill and okay, I’ll admit it, we stopped because I had a “buy one entree, get one free” coupon. I’d also read on TripAdvisor.com that this was a nice restaurant with good food and great views of the golf course. Golf courses make my significant other a very happy man, so what the hey, why not stop? We DID indeed have a great lunch and while reading those reviews on TripAdvisor, people kept mentioning the signature dessert at the Pineapple Grill … the Maui Gold Pineapple Upsidedown Cake. This was our one real indulgence of the trip …. it was to-die-for-delicious!!!!
Pineapple upsidedown cake with caramel-rum sauce and a scoop of coconut-macadamia nut ice cream on top. We shared this and still didn’t finish it.
So ends the sweet trip to the island of Maui. Can’t wait to return… hey, I’ve got quite a few more snorkel sites we’ve yet to conquer! 🙂