Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Bus, the bus, the B-U-S

In our attempt to experience Maui, especially our West Maui neighborhood, from a more local point of view, we opted to only get a rental car for the first week.  We knew we would want to cruise around the island, stock up on groceries and get some running around out of our system the first week.  Now that we are car-less, we’ve enjoyed short walks to the farmer’s market and local restaurants.  Everything we need is in less than a mile radius of the condo.  But this afternoon we wanted to seek out some entertainment for the evening.  I had managed my morning run and despite some rather large surf our daily snorkeling was already under our belt.  We could have opted for a quiet evening at home but I convinced Greg that a trip to Lahaina was in order. 

So we decided to try the bus system. A bus stop just a 1- minute walk from our front door would take us to Whaler’s village where a half hour later a bus would come to take us to Lahaina.  Sounded easy enough.  In fact it was, though the bus was a few minutes late in arriving it actually got us to Whaler’s Village where the transfer bus (also behind schedule) was waiting, so no bus layover was necessary.  We arrived in Lahaina 3-hours before the concert we wanted to attend but not to worry, there is plenty to do and see in Lahaina.

Our bus stop was the Wharf Cinema, none of the films playing struck our fancy but we enjoyed looking at the shops in the center.  Among the businesses nearby, was one called Dan’s Greenhouse.  At first I walked past it, I had seen the sign, but couldn’t find an entrance.  As we backtracked, we found a funky staircase that led to a musty shop with a dozen or so birds on perches, bonsai trees and one teeny tiny adorable pig in the corner.  It was a very strange store, but entertaining!  Back down stairs we walked past the Banyan tree, more shops, and several restaurants advertising happy hour.  We decide to try one called Sugar Cane because their upstairs balcony looked right out at Lahaina harbor which was producing some pretty nice sized waves and the surfers were having tons of fun with them.  I had a coconut passion fruit margarita and Greg had the Lahaina Tea we shared a platter of pupus and watch the surfers shred.  After dinner we grabbed some gelato, macadamia coffee crunch, and walked a half-mile to a neighborhood near the cemetery.  Here we found the Jodo Mission, a Buddhist Temple, which was the venue for another free concert. 

The Guitar Extravaganza at the college that we had gone to see last week, had another concert in their series. Another great chance to hear guitar and ukulele!  We took off our shoes and shuffled into the tiny temple, sitting in the pews, fans spinning, humid air forcing all occupants of the small room to sweat furiously.  Though we were very damp, we enjoyed the music.  The temple was also very beautiful, with a Koa wood and golden altar at the front and a wood paneled ceiling with botanicals hand painted on each frame.

After the concert, we took a short 5-minute walk to the Lahaina Cannery Mall.  We browsed some more shops and then headed to the bus stop for the last bus of the evening back to Whaler’s Village.  The bus doesn’t run back to our neighborhood at night, we knew this in advance, so after exploring Whaler’s Village for a bit, we started out on the beach path toward home.  It was a nice walk in the evening, comfortable air temperature, not at all crowded, with excellent stargazing.  Greg and I had a nice chance to chat, as we walked but close to two miles in, he was eager for a little break.  We found some lounge chairs outside of Duke’s Restaurant and sat for a few minutes looking at the stars and cooling our heals.  Soon we were back in our neighborhood. Walking back from Whaler’s had taken us 75 minutes, which struck me as odd because I had run there in 30.  No matter, we made it and found that we have options when it comes to traveling beyond our little neighborhood. 

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