Friday, August 1, 2014

Spur of the moment

Up with the rooster to run two miles.  Next was breakfast since the ocean looked questionable, we decided to wait and see. Good thing, big waves off our shore today! Watched the waves from poolside while doing a little reading.  Had some midmorning eggs and toast and a dunk in the pool.  Pretty routine, right? 

As we started thinking about dinner, we remembered that there was some free music in Lahaina tonight.  We thought about having dinner in Lahaina but then remembered there was a happy hour at Merriman’s (fine dining) just a 20-minute bus ride north in Kapulua. Caught the bus, just as it was pulling up to our stop.  It was running early tonight!  Merriman’s is a really nice restaurant, with 180 degrees of jaw dropping views of the ocean.  Dinner is extremely expensive, even for Maui.  But during happy hour you can sit at the bar and get the same view and enjoy relatively cheap drinks and excellent grub.  We had the Kalua pork quesadilla with mango water and house made kimchi, panko crusted fish and eggplant chips with a sweet corn tartar sauce and pickled vegetables.  We so enjoyed the food that we tried their malasadas for desert, heavenly fried dough bites with a caramel bourbon sauce of deliciousness!  Kick ass food, folks! The Mai Tai’s were potent and flavorful also!  We had a few minutes before the return bus would be at the stop, so we walked down to the beach and found a fairly sheltered bay that might be good for snorkeling, just a short bus ride away from our home base. 

Back on the bus, we debated.  Go home or keep heading into Lahaina for music.  We ended up deciding, we’re already on the bus, may as well go.  So glad we did.  Initially we were going to attend a concert of traditional music, kind of a concert in the park type deal.  But then we found out that Howard Ahia, a local musician that we’ve met in Maui on two occasions, was playing at a restaurant in the Cannery Mall.  We didn’t know if we would have another chance to hear Howard play on this trip, so we headed for LuLu’s Lahaina Surf Club and Grill.  Early on we caught Howard’s eye and saw a glimmer of friendly recognition.  Greg talked with him at the break and Howard recalled how Greg had given him a break last time we saw him.  Howard had come and sat at the table with me while Greg played a few songs.  Howard was playing with two other musicians tonight but he still asked Greg to come join them on stage.  Greg rocked some STP, Pearl Jam and Tom Petty. 

Sitting just to my left was Howard’s family.  Apparently, it was his dad, Sam’s 75th birthday.  Sam Ahia is also a well known local guitarist and he played a song for his wife, who he’s known since he was nineteen.  We felt truly embraced in the Aloha spirit with this group, who were so welcoming and treated us like old friends.  At the end of the night, Howard wanted to thank us for staying all night, so he gave us his catch of the day dinner.  He said he was full from eating birthday cake.  Certainly a-shirt off-his- back kind of a guy!  We had missed the last bus back to the condo, but knew we could always get a taxi.  The bass player said he lived in our neighborhood and would be happy to drop us off.  Greg whispered to me, “Are we really going to take a ride from a stranger?”  “He’s not a stranger anymore,” I said, “You just rocked out with him!”

As our new friend Allen drove us to Honokowai, we talked about travel and life on Maui.  Greg was asking about other local music and he realized we were going to drive right past a place where his friend was just finishing a set.  If we wanted to stop in, he would introduce us.  Turns out this place is about a 10-minute walk from our condo.  As we arrived, his friend finished the last song of the night and Allen introduced us to his friend and another fellow musician who happened to be there.  After a short visit, Allen dropped us off at our condo with the offer of giving us a ride again, if we should ever miss the bus.  He gave us his card so we could call him.  His name is Allen Jackson!  Are you kidding me!?!  Greg laughed and said, “ Hi Allen Jackson, I’m Greg Jackson.”  Allen suggested that we are probably family and we said our thank-yous and farewells.  Sometimes it is super fun to do things spur of the moment, you never know what adventures you will have or who you might meet! 

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