I encountered this long fellow on my first Maui run of the trip. Maui doesn’t have any native snakes, I guess they don’t need them; the colubrids might compete with these giant insects. This guy took up half the sidewalk! It is important to remember that everyone wants to be in paradise and that includes animals that were here before the often-entitled tourist types. If there is a gecko living behind your bathroom mirror, count yourself lucky, he’s keeping the bug population in your condo at bay. Come across a particularly large bug, you are on a tropical island people, thank goodness it has retained some of it’s native inhabitants. I noticed a very large mosquito bite throbbing on my calf this morning as I ran. It is all part and parcel to spending time in paradise. Luckily the cure is never far from nature either. A little aloe vera dries up those bites and stops the itch faster than any Cortisol Cream or Benadryl Blend.
Our original plan today, to drive up to Haleakala took a detour as we saw the volcano was shrouded by dark storm clouds, there would not have been much to see on that drive except Cumulonimbus. So we diverted to a brunch spot in Makawao, a town we somehow have managed to miss during our previous three trips to Maui. This sweet little town offered up cute boutiques, fresh food choices, and beautiful surrounding countryside. Being that it seemed to be getting cooler as we went upcountry and we were eager to escape the high temps coupled with humidity, we drove up into the hill to survey the nature preserve. A dense forest of trees provided shade and cooler breezes. The Eucalyptus bark that shed all over the road was crushed beneath the tires of our Jeep to perfume the air with a woodsy scent that further leant to our enjoyment of the beautiful surroundings.
As we cruised through Kihei, we felt a little snacky and stopped at the Surfing Monkey stand for some shave ice. A sweet young woman patiently prepared it for us and we ate our delicious mango, guava, passion fruit with vanilla ice cream delight under the eaves of her stand in the rain. The rain came down in earnest, but didn’t dampen our desire to polish off our icy snack.
We continued south to Wailea to meet up with our longtime friend Melissa Trinidad, who recently moved to the island for her job at the Grand Wailea. Grand is putting it mildly, Melissa gave us a tour of the grounds, I think she said 40 acres. (We didn’t walk all of it, thank goodness!) Every detail has been considered at this luxury resort from the high-end shops she manages, to the immaculate bathrooms, the friendly 'aloha!' woman who greets everyone warmly as they enter, to the beautifully manicured grounds. Melissa and her work friend, Megan, joined us for a dinner off property at Monkeypod, a fun casual spot with creative cocktails and a diverse menu. We had a nice visit and got the ladies back to the resort before making our way back to the Westside for some much needed sleep.
Today we ran many errands after an early morning walk to the beach park just north of our place. We needed to make sure we had all the big items in our condo before we became car-less. We procured swim fins, more groceries, items from the farmer’s market, some fresh fish for dinner, and a boogie board (just for fun). When we finally got our ride back to the condo from the car rental place, we were hungry and spent. A quick lunch of fried rice with those beautiful eggs we got in Wailuku, bok choy and mushrooms from the farmer’s market, and some garlic and ginger to impart a lovely flavor and we were sated and ready for…apparently our first real nap of this trip. The rest of the afternoon was spent watching turtles from the seawall and giggling (yes I couldn’t help it) each time they surfaced or poked their clunky posteriors out of the water to attempt to dive deeper for their dinner. Our dinner, Opakapaka from the fish market, leftover fried rice and ocean salad was taken on the lanai at sunset. I feel a huge relief in abandoning the car. No more need to be a tourist, to chase the larger wonders of the islands. On foot or at the mercy of island bus system, we will be forced to move slower, with more purpose, to notice the small things. Take time to notice that orange/pink/ salmon sunset getting devoured by the huge thunderhead moving across the horizon at dusk and wonder what weather that will bring us tomorrow. Take time to get out the guitar and sing some strange version of Lime in the Coconut. Pluck a single Plumeria from one of the many trees around our property and tuck it behind your ear. Engage in simple in-the-moment experiences that may seem trivial in light of visiting a volcano, a waterfall or any other great wonder and realize the everyday joys of being on the island. That is what I hope for the remainder of our trip.