Dropping Mangoes

We are always messed up after a flight, and this was no exception. We were way too hot to sleep, and it took a lot of midnight balancing of fans and windows to cool things down. Most of the condos don’t have air conditioning, and this is no exception. We finally figured it out and tried to sleep in. We made it to about 6 am.

Yulia and I got up eventually, and we took the early time to just walk and see the neighborhood. We are in Kahana, and it’s north of both Lahaina and Kaanapali’i. Its also not as rebuilt as many of the other areas, so as we walked the area still had a old island look as opposed to the tourist centric feel of the areas further south. There are a lot of locals living here, and most of the buildings are older, and maybe a bit worn down. But not in a bad way.

We found some beach access – our condo is just on a sea wall, and the wall is reinforced with giant sandbags the size of Volkswagens. It looks like the area here took some pretty serious storm damage at some point recently, so we need to walk a bit to get to a sandy beach. We have beaches on both sides of the condo, so it’s not a long walk, and the beaches are really in great shape. Along the way we found a few banana trees, and some mango trees already dropping mangoes. Fresh mangoes taste nothing like what you get in the store. We grabbed a few off the ground to take back.

We went back and drove over to the local market to stock up on some food, the big advantage to staying in a condo as opposed to a hotel is the Kitchen. We can always walk or drive over to a hotel to eat at a restaurant, but without a Kitchen we don’t have a choice. We stocked up to make a few breakfasts – that’s typically the meal we eat in every time. So eggs, Sausage, POG (Passion – Orange – Guava juice for the uneducated), Kona Coffee, and a few other thigs to start our day. I also took this opportunity to stock up on rum and mixer – and a few other things to finish our day. Nothing better than planning ahead.

Back at the room the smell of Coffee brewing got Sasha and Petru out of their room finally, and they welcomed the eggs and sausage. I took the opportunity over breakfast to see if we could schedule a few activities. Naturally, the answer was NO. Every damn thing on the island was booked sold for months. I’m actually stunned that nothing was available for what we wanted, which boiled down to a Luau and Ziplining. These were both completely full everywhere I called. I actually got us on the waiting list with the help of the Hyatt concierge (nice enough tot help even though we aren’t staying there. ) Apparently everything is running at half capacity due to Covid. It’s making things a real mess.

With that, we decided to drive into Lahaina an walk the waterfront. There are usually salesmen there for lots of activities so we could walk around and see if we got lucky. Most of the buildings on Front Street haven’t changed since the 70’s – some of them date back ov er 100 years, and walking down the waterfront most of it still looked the same. But we could see a lot more empty storefronts, including the old Lahaina Broiler (recently a Bubba Gump Shrimp Company) Covid took a hit here, but it’s old enough that I’m sure the flu of 1918 did too.

Sasha was actually looking for a decent pair of sandals – but not flip-flops. This is harder than it sounds, since no one seems to sell any kind of strap sandal. There were several hundred variations of flip-flops however. We were also talking to each of the activity kiosks to see what they had. All of them had a few tickets that we wanted – at a discount as well. All we had to do was spend a few hours at a presentation on….

No. Just fucking no.

I don’t care if the last ticket to what I want is in their grasp – our vacation time is way too precious to spend at anything that we don’t want. And it’s never an hour or two. Once you drive and park, and fid their location for whatever they want to show – it’s always a half day. We did this shit when we were young, but I’m an old bastard now. And no, my hourly rate is far to fucking high to tolerate this garbage. So we just stay on the waiting list I guess.

We ignored the rest of the sales droids and had some lunch at the Lahaina Fish Company. It was perfect. They had to check when we ordered that their fisherman arrived with the day’s ahi. It had literally just arrived, and it was the best ahi I have ever had. I also had a Mahi Mahi sandwich, and everyone had something that was fresh and from the sea. It’s a small thing sometimes, but you really can’t beat local and fresh when it comes to food.

We eventually found some sandals at the Adidas outlet at the end of the walk, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that Hilo Hatties was open again – the island’s finest seller of Hawaiian touristic crap. Their old building was closed, and they downsized a lot. But it was still tacky as ever and a pleasure to see. We didn’t get our traditional free shell necklace, but since I have a pile of these damn things at home from previous visits, I wasn’t worried about pressing the issue.

At this point we drove back to the condo and went for a swim. The pool is nice here, on a big patio right on the seawall of the ocean, but we don’t get easy beach access. After a bit in the pool we hiked over a few condos to the sandy beach area and swam in the ocean. The water temp was perfect, and we had just the right amount of wind to cool things off without making too much rough water. It was great swimming but after a bit I could feel how tired I was. On the way back a group of Sea Turtles came up to our sea wall to snack on the plants growing there. There had to be around 5 in the group. I could watch sea turtles for hours, but they had other plans and did the turtle equivalent of a dine and dash.

From there we just rested until picking up some takeout and making cocktails. There’s a lot of simple pleasure in waiting for the sunset. So we waited, enjoyed our time, and listened to screaming children in the pool below us.


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