We might be getting this right yet.
We took a day to sleep in, then went exploring the area North of us. We drove all the way up to the Nakalele Blow hole. It’s an easy, but slow drive. It sits at the end of the main paved highway, so it’s not hard to get to, but it’s windy and real slow. Past here was the country road that goes the rest of the way around that we were pointed to as an alternate route. This would have been a rolling panic attack at night, but in the day, it’s really beautiful. We went about halfway down to the blowhole, the views were amazing, but it was raining and pretty slick on the rocks, so we didn’t want to fall just for a closer picture. You could hear the water churn and explode out of the hole, then burst into the air. It was really impressive just to watch. We stood in the rain watching until we were thoroughly soaked, then got back in the car and went back.
The rain was warm, so we dried quickly, and stopped where a big group of cars were parked. We didn’t know what was there, but Lots of people were going in and out, so we had to take a look. This turned out to be Honolua Bay, a prime snorkeling beach. It is pure rocks with no sand, but very calm, and filled with fish. There was a short jungle hike in from the road, with trees covered in vines, and an inordinately large number of chickens running around. It appeared that someone had a house right near the bay, and the chickens came down to snack on picnic food from the tourists. You could stand on the edge of the water and see fish swimming in the rocks. I think we need to come back here.
From there we drove a bit further and stopped at Fleming Beach. I remember this beach as a kid. We went there with my Grandfather, and at the time this beach was way out of the way. It had a dirt road leading down, and a dirt lot. We all swam out together, and he had buried the keys in the sand so no one would find them. Unfortunately, that worked a bit too well, and even with all of us digging, he couldn’t find them. He ended up hiking down the road to find a phone to call the rental company for an extra set of keys. After a bit he found a payphone at a little shop, but naturally had no change either.
He still talks about this story. He’s 96. I have spent my entire life paranoid about losing my keys.
Today, the beach itself is the same, but the hillside above is the Ritz Carlton. so the road is paved, there are lifeguards, and there’s a burger shack right above the beach. It’s not cheap, as it’s part of the Ritz, but the food is fantastic. We sat and grabbed a big lunch and watched the waves. I loved it. We sat for a bit, then I called my grandfather. His machine picked up, so I left him a message that I was at Fleming beach looking for his keys. I should pick up a sandy set of Oldsmobile keys and mail them to him. Along with some dimes for the pay phone.
We spent the rest of the evening at the Condo. It turns out that we have a couple of giant sea turtles (about 3 feet across the shell) that live right out front. We swam, snorkeled a bit right out front (there are lots of fish right here, including a few Humuhumunukunukuapua’a). The turtles fed on the rocks, and would swim right up to us. We got some pictures and tried to leave them some space. They were absolutely amazing to watch.
The next day, we went back to Kihei.
One of Sasha’s friends, Amaya, moved out to Maui a couple of years ago, and we drove her down to spend the night with her and catch up on things. It turns out that Amaya lives in Kihei, right next to were we were hanging out while the fire was going on. (that would have been good to know before, bummer) She and her dad live in a little bungalow on the beach. Her dad telecommutes via skype for his work, with the ocean behind his desk. Not a bad deal if you can get it.
Sasha was thrilled to get some teenage time, and the girls waved us off right away. Yulia and I headed back to Lahaina. The black scorch marks along the hillside from the fire were impossible to miss. It was a pretty stark reminder as to how bad the fires were. It was only a day before. There were still fire trucks around putting out small hot spots that would flare up.
We headed back to Lahaina. It was the 4th of July, and there were events around Lahaina, with fireworks this evening. We thought we would just spend the day in town, listen to some of the live music in the park, and find a good spot for the show. When we got to town, it was hot. The clouds that had been drifting past for the last few days had burned off, and it was seriously hot. We checked out Banyan Tree park, a small stage and craft tables were setup under the tree. It was cute, but we got hungry quick. We grabbed lunch at Kimo’s on the water. Cocktails helped cool us down. We wandered the shops for a bit, but finally the heat got to us. There was no way we were going to make it until the evening. We headed back to the car, and back to the condo.
As soon as we were back, we went right back in the water to cool down. The turtles were back, and we all floated together in the waves. This was perfect. Right up until one of “those” families showed up. Dad paddles out with a boogie board and a can of Coors. That one was finished quick, thrown over to the sand, and a fresh can took its place. Mom was pushing the daughter on a board, and stomping through the surf towards the Sea Turtle. She was trying to put her daughter onto the turtle when multiple people shouted “DO NOT TOUCH THE TURTLE!”
Offended, she handed the daughter over to dad, ran to get her iPhone, and began to wade after the turtle to get a photo. She was slipping and bouncing off the rocks, while the dad was yelling “Don’t drop the iPhone!” Meanwhile, his empties were were washing away in the surf. They waived their son over close to try to get him in a picture with the turtle, surrounding it near the rocks. They were getting close enough again such that there were more shouts of “DO NOT TOUCH THE TURTLE!” to which they replied “WE KNOW!” At this point, they could see that there were some seriously angry people, they retreated. They swam away, leaving the turtle to keep eating on it’s own. They left the beach shortly, leaving their cans for someone else to clean up.
Even that wasn’t enough to really put us off. We just hung by the beach for the evening. We grilled up some steaks, and watched the sundown again. One of the locals who was swimming with us told us to stick at he beach after sundown. That was apparently turtle nap time. Sure enough, after sundown one of the turtles crawled out of the surf and just napped there. A second one followed, prompting the first to head back. We never bothered going out for fireworks. You want to celebrate freedom? Watch a napping sea turtle in the dark. Trust me on this.
God Bless America.