Whee! It’s vacation photo time! Who doesn’t enjoy looking at the photos of random strangers and acquaintances?
My family and I went to Maui a couple of weeks back, sort of a short notice adventure. All of us were incredibly stressed out, so we put the bird and the dogs in boarding, threw some toothbrushes and swimsuits in backpacks, and headed for the airport.
These photos are in no particular order. Maybe that’ll spice things up. This one is of the western coast of Maui, shot from the top of Haleakala, more than 10,000 feet up. Note that we’re looking DOWN at clouds.
Looking into the crater at Haleakala. (Haleakala is a shield volcano.) One can hike the crater, four miles each way. We didn’t, though. The altitude and the cold were a bit much. “I sure am glad we walk three or four miles a day,” I told my husband in a congratulatory fashion as we huffed and puffed to the top of one peak. Just then, a younger couple came piling past us with no trouble, each carrying a child.
Jumping around a bit … Charles Lindbergh’s grave in Kipahulu, on the Hana coast.
The graveyard at Kipahulu. It seemed rude to photograph Lindbergh’s grave without acknowledging the others.
Driving on the south side of the island, edging around the base of Haleakala.
View of the coast from Kahanu Garden.
Suddenly we’re back on top of Haleakala, staring down into the crater. I’m sure others have said the same thing, but I’ll say it as well: it was otherworldly.
A bottlenose dolphin leaping gleefully into the air. At least, I assume it was jumping out of glee. Maybe it had a personal itch.
“Jesus Coming Soon”, signage on top of (presumably) a church in Lahaina. Very tasteful and subtle.
Just down the road from “Jesus Coming Soon” is the Jodo Mission, which purportedly has the “largest Buddha outside Japan.” Dunno; I haven’t gone around and weighed or measured all of them.
Seen on the Hana coast. There were a mind boggling number of waterfalls. It was almost literally the case that each time one would go around a jog in the road, there’d be an insanely gorgeous waterfall beside one’s car.
Whee! We’re back in Kahanu Garden, staring at a hut. Not sure what this one was meant for. My son used it as a place to shelter while picking grass from between his toes.
“Hoana – This grindstone was probably used to sharpen and polish adze blades.” Still in Kahanu Garden.
A fine view of the hills, a hale holding an outrigger canoe, and Pi’ilanihale Heiau, an ancient temple.
Back at the Jodo Mission.
Lily pond at our hotel. The place was truly hellish, with five pools and a couple of water slides.
While we were in Lahaina, a cruise ship docked. I nicknamed it “Princess Cruises: Scourge of the Sea.” Its passengers weren’t intentionally rude, I don’t think, but they were mindbogglingly oblivious. They gathered all over the place with their little blue cruise ship shopping bags, blocking sidewalks and restroom entrances, and seemed impervious to phrases like “excuse me”. On the positive side, many of them made me feel downright svelte.
The Thrifty/Dollar rent-a-chickens. Actually, the chickens weren’t for rent; they just liked to hang out around the rental car place. They turned out to be handy. When we went to turn our car back in, I told my husband “Just look for the place with the chickens.” Immediately thereafter, we heard a hearty “Bacawwww!”
“Best banana bread?” Maybe. Or maybe they mean “Best Banana Bread” as a sort of brand name, not a claim. I didn’t care for it. It had the texture of a dishwashing sponge and an odd flavor. Perhaps local tastes are different. Me, I like to saute the bananas in butter and brown sugar before adding them to batter.
We saw many humpback whales, including a calf, his mother, and her suitors. Heard them as well. Marvelous. The last time I’d heard humpback whale song was on an LP my folks used to play while they’d pound alcohol. I much prefer the whales in person and without drunk people around.
Gatecrasher at one of our picnics. No biggie. There are crumbs and fruit enough for everyone.
Waterfall on the Hana coast.
Yet another waterfall on the Hana coast. Truly a hellish place.
View of some coast or other from the air.
Lily pond at the hotel.
We visited a whaling museum – or, as I liked to call it, “The Killing Museum”. I didn’t take too many photos. Turns out, after you’ve seen and heard whales in person, seeing the tools for killing and dismembering them is rather upsetting.
“Anger!” Clearly a modified sign, but I like the concept of angry coconut trees. My husband privately sneered when the park guide told us “more people are killed here by falling coconuts than by sharks”. “We had coconut trees all over the place when I was a kid. Nobody ever got hit by a coconut!” I didn’t argue with him, although I did quietly wonder whether the umbrellas we’d been issued would deflect an angry coconut.
Leaves and more leaves.
A gecko at the hotel.
One afternoon as we were splashing in a pool, the trade winds came in and caused the palm trees to thrash around violently. Moments later, I saw something small moving in the water. My policy is to try to remove insects and creatures from water if they’re alive, so I scooped the thing up on my arm, then climbed out and approached the pool attendant. “Um. What kind of critter is this?” I gestured at the thing clinging to my arm. “That’s a gecko.” “Oh. Where do they belong?” “In the bushes.”
I bent over sideways and tried in vain to get the creature to climb on to a convenient bit of shrubbery. It refused, and in fact snuck across my back where I couldn’t reach it. “Do you need help getting it off?” the attendant asked, “It seems to like you.” “Well, I guess I was better than the alternative of drowning.” “It was sweet of you to save it,” he replied, in a tone of voice which implied just the opposite, a tone which implied that he frequently sees geckos and they’ve gotten on his nerves, maybe started haunting his dreams even, and it would be nice if all the damned things drowned in a swimming pool. Nevertheless, he pried the gecko off my back and put it in the bushes.
“That was good luck,” my husband informed me later, “saving a gecko is good luck.” He isn’t normally a superstitious person, but geckos are evidently a different matter. He lived in Oahu as a child; some local beliefs must have seeped in.
Later, while I was sitting outside by a lily pond, another gecko came tooling along the sidewalk and paused to study me. “Watch out,” I told the gecko, “People are coming. They may step on you.” The gecko moved away from the center of the sidewalk, then skittered toward me. “You have a nice face,” I informed it, then took the photo above. The gecko bounced up and down a couple of times, then ran into the bushes.
When I told my husband about this second incident, he exclaimed “Two geckos! Or maybe it was the gecko you saved from the pool! You’re going to have all kinds of good luck!”
I think I already got a good dose of luck when I married him.