A great day with a great new friend in Lahaina, Maui…A very scary event on the returning tender…

Yesterday, it was cloudy with a bit of drizzle as Helen and I wandered about Lahaina Maui, but the weather didn’t hamper the quality of the day.

While situated in the Diamond Lounge preparing yesterday’s post, new friend Helen popped in to say hello. We discussed the idea of heading to Lahaina on our own, leaving Tom behind.  

Craftspeople are often seen working with a variety of wood commonly found on the Hawaiian island.

Tom had no interest in shopping nor walking through Lahaina one more time after we’d visited the famous tourist town on five or more previous visits. I was thrilled at the prospect of leisurely strolling through the pretty village, perhaps doing a little shopping along the way.

It had been a long time since I’d gone shopping with a friend and was excited by the idea, especially when there was an “outlet mall” several blocks from the port. The ship was anchored in the bay, requiring tender boat rides to the shore.

Banyan trees in the local park in Lahaina.

Helen stopped by our cabin at 2:00 pm when I was ready to go with a shopping bag, camera, wallet and a few incidentals figuring we’d only be gone until 4:00 pm or so. The line for the tender moved quickly, and by 2:30 pm, we were ashore.

The famous tourist town was rife with cruise passengers shopping, dining, and reveling in the sights.

After browsing many shops looking for trinkets for the grandchildren, Helen and I decided to make the several block hike to the outlet mall, especially when we heard about the GAP store. I hadn’t shopped in a GAP store in almost five years. Tom and I both needed updates to our tee shirt inventory when many had become worn and tattered.

An old hotel in Lahaina.

It was a long walk to the outlet mall, which was very different from other outlet malls I’d visited years ago in Minnesota. But, many of the familiar stores were available, and after so long, it was fun to see them once again.

I purchased 12 items for a total of US $106, mainly tee shirts for each of us and three nightshirts for me. The three nightshirts I had remaining were practically threadbare after years of wear.

The last time we visited Lahaina in 2014, we also took photos of this art store.

As it started to sprinkle, we began the return walk to the port, hoping to get aboard a tender before a downpour. After we arrived at the port and a 20-minute wait, we were aboard the tender. 

Lahaina is often packed with tourists. This was our fifth visit to this Maui town since the onset of our travels four and a half years ago; twice by ship, three times by car when we lived in Maui for six weeks in 2014.

This particular ship uses its lifeboats as tenders to ferry passengers back and forth from the ship to the port of call when the port is inadequate for docking. In most cases, the ride from the ship to the land takes less than 20 minutes but boarding and disembarking can take anywhere from 10 to 20 additional minutes, at most.

It was apparent the seas were rough shortly before 5:00 pm on a cloudy, windy day. We bobbed side to side as the tender headed toward the ship at full throttle. 

An exciting piece of art in a local gallery.

At first, none of the passengers appeared worried or concerned during the rough seas until we reached the boarding and disembarking platform, a section of the ship that drops down to create a flat ramp that usually provides relatively easy access for most passengers.

Historic Hawaiian property under construction in Lahaina.

A few passengers were using canes and walkers, generally not precipitating a problem with staff available to assist. As the boat pulled up to the staging area, the driver was unable to steady the ship sufficiently to pull close enough to tie the boat’s mooring lines to the platform.

As the rough seas escalated, the boat rocked to and fro with such force; it was impossible to gain a firm enough hold with the thick lines to allow a single passenger to disembark. At that point, the conversation stopped as many passengers had worried and frightened looks on their faces.

We’d taken a photo of this tiny theater in Lahaina three years ago.

The boat banged against the metal platform with such force that some exterior lights and accouterments were smashed as we slammed harder and harder against the platform. Suddenly, a woman screamed who’d banged her head against the window, asking if she was bleeding. 

I was seated at the window and felt myself cringing and moving to the left each time the boat fiercely banged against the metal structure. As a boater for most of my adult life, I wasn’t frightened at all, nor was Helen. 

It was fun to go to a Gap outlet store for the first time in almost five years. I purchased several tee shirts for both of us.

Many passengers were terrified and anxious to get off the boat. It took no less than 30 minutes for the boat to become stabilized enough to allow one passenger at a time to disembark. One mentioned her fear of having a heart attack based on her level of sheer terror.

In all, it was about an hour from the time the tender reached the ship’s platform until we were all able to disembark. Throughout the remainder of the evening, several passengers chatted about the incident, shocked by the experience.

Of course, I’d hoped to make a video of the incident but it was impossible, based on where I was seated. I attempted to get the camera out of the shopping bag but could not hold on well enough to do a video or even take a single photo.

View of our ship from the sidewalk in Lahaina.

My paper GAP shopping bag had torn during the upheaval, and the new items began to spill to the floor. Helen and I hurried to gather the things which she placed into her backpack. 

By the time I entered the cabin, it was already close to 6:30 pm. Indeed Tom was at happy hour with our friends on the Promenade deck and waiting for me to arrive. I hurried to get myself changed and ready for the evening, able to get out the door by 6:45 pm.

Busy day in Lahaina.

The evening was pleasant as usual, with my dinner diligently attended to by Belik, the head waiter and my food restriction coordinator, who fusses over me more than any other such staff member on any of our past 17 cruises. 

We made a point of mentioning his exemplary and attentive service to Captain Rick and have already written a glowing review on a mid-cruise survey. When the cruise ends on May 15th, in six days, we’ll rave more about Belik on the online survey that follows each cruise, which Tom diligently prepares in every case.

A man caught a good-sized fish from the shore.

Today, we’re in Honolulu with no intention of getting off the ship.  After many prior visits and tours, we’re content to stay aboard and see the matinee movie in the Palace Theatre at 1:30 pm.

Tonight, we joining another lovely couple for a second “dinner date,” Leann and Chuck, for what indeed will prove to be yet another divine evening. We’re heading back out to sea at 6:00 for the final leg of our cruise to Seattle, Washington. 

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, May 9, 2016:

We miss the fantastic food prepared by two cooks named Ketut in Bali which included Blue Fin tuna made with a tomato, lemongrass sauce, spicy vegetables with a side of coleslaw. For more details, please click here.

Part 2…The road to Lahaina…Many photos from a great outing in the charming village….

These eight or nine feet exquisitely carved Giraffe we saw in an art gallery in Lahaina sent me to the moon!

Another beautiful day in paradise. Tom was out of bed before me and opened the two doors for a sweeping, cooling cross breeze. When I walked out of the bedroom I was almost swept away by the feel of the refreshing tunnel of cool air and the smell of the ocean. It took my breathe away. If only there were giraffes and warthogs in the yard, I could stay here forever.

Art galleries are commonly seen in the shopping areas of Maui including this one on Front Street in Lahaina.
This stretch of beach along Front Street was a perfect spot to stop and admire the sea.

Often when travelers visit to Maui for a week or two, they stay in the popular Kaanapali Beach, a mile long strip of exquisite beach that was developed in the 1960s. 

This side mall off of Front Street had a tattoo and hair braiding shop, clothing for surfers and more art galleries.
Here’s the restaurant we’ll soon visit, another location in Lahaina for the popular Cheeseburger in Paradise which we frequented in Waikiki on several occasions due to their great fresh food with options for me.

Our next outing will be to visit Kaanapali and it’s seeming endless row of hotels, shops and restaurants after which we’ll share many photos of the renowned area.

Glass is a popular tourist purchase in the islands.

In my life BT (before Tom) it is the only place I’d stayed in Maui on no less than 10 visits to the islands over a stretch of several years. In the 80s it was the place to visit when sun, sand and surf were on the menu.

More art shops.

No doubt, Kaanapali Beach has changed as had the village of Lahaina which we continue to highlight today after our recent visit. I didn’t recognize a thing as I’m sure will be the case in Kaanapali, so many years later.

A small shop sold only these and other wood carved sunglasses. Tom offered to buy me a pair but I graciously declined. I already have two near new pairs of fine sunglasses. Novelty items such as these, rarely appeal to me.

As we walked along Front Street, the main street of Lahaina, where most of the shops and restaurants are located, not a single popular establishment jogged my memory other than a few fish restaurants that may have remained from 25 years ago or more.

Putting the past behind, we wandered along the streets, occasionally staring out to the sea, embracing the charm and beauty of the area. Yes, the focal points centered around tourists spending money. But, doesn’t any tourist area do the same?

“Lahaina was once the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii. In the 19th century, Lahaina was the center of the global whaling industry with many sailing ships anchored in at its waterfront; today a score of pleasure craft makes their home there. Lahaina’s Front Street has been ranked one of the “Top Ten Greatest Streets” by the American Planning Association.” 

Please see this link for more details about Lahaina.

Ceramics and glass. Notice the Sea Turtles.

Housing in Lahaina is limited with many homes starting at $2 million. Rentals are high, starting at $300 a night for a studio. For long term stays it often makes sense to stay further away and rent a car visiting the village at one’s leisure.

Many of the shops cater to the themes of Hawaii which the tourists gobble up while here. Later at home, they may wonder why they purchased this bowl with Turtles climbing in and out. Cute dust catcher.

We investigated every restaurant we passed as we walked along the road planning to return for dinner sometime soon. We were pleased to see that the restaurant we’d frequented in Waikiki Beach, Cheeseburger in Paradise, was located on an oceanfront corner on Front Street. We should visit this restaurant since they had the best Cobb Salad on the planet.

The romantic nature of the Hawaiian Islands is tempting to travelers to purchase expensive jewelry.

We noticed beef and pork options on the menus of the popular seafood restaurants which would be suitable for Tom who won’t eat fish other than pan-fried walleye. Guess we won’t be finding any of that anytime soon.

This painting appealed to us as we walked by yet another art gallery. Tom reminded me, “We don’t have any walls.”  Good thing.

Today, we’re staying put to relish in this exquisite day, sitting outdoors, visiting the pool, walking along the beach. Tom will watch the Vikings game on the app he purchased from the NFL while I chop and dice for tonight’s dinner.

Tom spotted these Spam flavored macadamia nuts when we perused the Lahaina General Store which was loaded with interesting items.

Tonight, we’re cooking steak and lamb on one of the two convenient outdoor gas grills. Our biggest challenge of the day…can we find a lighter? I love that!

Photo from one year ago today, October 26, 2013:

Lion cubs lounging in the sun in the Maasai Mara as we shared a few of our remaining safari photos on this date a year ago. Please click here for details.

Part 1…The road to Lahaina…Many photos from a great outing in the charming village….

Quaint little shops in Lahaina, mostly pricey are filled with beautiful merchandise. However, we got a kick out of perusing the shops. This time, the temptation to make purchases was harder for me to resist than usual, especially the clothing. There’s no room in the luggage for a thing.

This morning with clouds steadily rolling in, we spent a little bit of time by the pool as we anticipated raindrops at any moment. The weather in the Hawaiian Islands seems to change quickly, typical for most tropical climates.

Hawaiian tradition is powerful in the islands.  t is with great reverence and respect that we attempt to learn a little about their culture.

Never feeling disappointed considering all the sunny days, we hardly complain instead, packing up our towels, smartphones, and camera to head back inside.

The Humpback Whales come to Hawaii in order to care for their young beginning in December. We’re looking forward to Whale watching once we get to the Big Island.

As much as we love going out and about, we are so at ease in this condo and its ocean views, we don’t mind being indoors in inclement weather. Over the past week, almost every day we’ve turned off the AC, opened both the front screened door and the sliding door to the lanai for a robust breeze that is both comfortable and refreshing.

This netting covers the dangerous rock and lava walls that line both sides of the highway in places where falling rocks had been an issue. This netting could be used in many other parts of the world with the same hazard.

The temperature seems to vary only a few degrees during daylight hours, from 82F to 89F degrees cooling down to the 70s at night. Sleeping without AC is the bedroom is no issue at all, although we anticipated it maybe when we first arrived.

The first tunnel we’ve entered since leaving Madeira, Portugal three months ago.

Feeling a bit sluggish from my falling back to sleep for an hour at 8 am this morning, my usual energy level is at bay and for a moment I considered not doing today’s post and saving the photos for tomorrow.

On Highway 30, we made our way to Lahaina from Maalaea Beach. a pleasant 40-minute drive including several stops for photos.

Honestly, posting has never been a chore or a burden for me. Plus, I don’t care to miss a day when I’ve been so diligent about posting every day in so long I can’t remember. Oh, I may have missed a travel day, a no WiFi day, or a “lights out” day here and there in the past year, not much more. I don’t keep track of those.

It wasn’t easy to find a parking spot. When we did, we parked in a strip mall, later to discover when we returned there was a 30 minute limit in the spot we’d chosen. Luckily, we didn’t get a ticket.  Next time, we’ll be more observant.

When we arrived in Maui nine days ago, I promised myself that I’d go back to revising the zillions of errors in our posts going all the way back to the beginning on March 15, 2012. This is quite the task with well over 800 posts since the onset. 

An authentic Chinese restaurant on Front St. in Lahaina.

In many locations, a poor WiFi signal caused number alignment and photo posting errors, some of which are impossible to revise even now with a good signal. My only choice has been to do the best I can on the revisions and save them, know that the only alternative would be to delete them and that, dear readers, I have no intention of doing.

We’ve been communicating by email with a new reader, lovely Staci from Texas, who started reading every post from the beginning rather than starting at this point. She’s written a few email messages that we’ve both treasure for her candor and support. 

There was a tiny theatre next door to the authentic Chinese restaurant but it was closed when we walked by. Apparently, they have videos of Chinese history in Hawaii.

It is for this reason that we’d never want to delete a post. Keeping the continuity of our travels for new readers or those choosing to go back to the beginning is vital to maintain the flow of the ongoing story.

Each day I revise 20 daily posts which usually takes me from two to three hours. So far, I’ve only completed up to and including April 17, 2013, with hundreds more to go. 

Many charming restaurants, most of which have ocean views, offered fresh fish and seafood selections. Since we had a nice dinner awaiting our return, we decided to return for dinner at our next outing.

Amidst the time and effort it takes to correct the WiFi errors and my own typos and other errors, I’ve found it interesting reading what we wrote so long ago. That’s not to say that what we’ve posted is so interesting.  Instead, it speaks to my own curiosity to see how we’ve changed over these past few years, how we’ve adapted, and how much more tolerant and less fearful we’ve become. 

From that perspective, I’m motivated to continue on at the 20 posts per day. If all goes well, I could be finished in the five remaining weeks we have in Maui. That would be a relief, having this project behind me. Between writing the new posts and correcting the 20 old posts each day, I’m spending no less than five hours a day, often much more when there are many photos to manipulate.

Breathtaking ocean scenery is at every turn.

Even yesterday, when we were gone most of the day, when we returned from Lahaina before dinner, I sat down at my computer and got to work on the corrections, completing them before we finally sat down for dinner which I’d prepped early in the morning.

The street in Lahaina was considerably less busy than when I’d visited this quaint village many years ago before I met Tom. Each time I’d visited Lahaina it was during the winter months when many more tourists visit the islands.

I suppose that a part of me never really wanted to retire.  In reality, with the business aspects we’ve included as part of our site, I do have a part-time job. Fortunately, perhaps even oddly, I enjoy it as much today as I did in the beginning. 

Houses and townhouses are not unlike those anywhere else in the US, are located in Lahaina, Maui.

I suppose never tiring of posting is comparable to our ongoing world travels; we enjoy it now as much now as we did in the beginning or, as comparable to us enjoying spending time together; as much as we did in the beginning. 

Good thing that hasn’t changed!

                                            Photo from one year ago today, October 25, 2013:

With candles and lanterns, we were prepared in Kenya for the power outage continuing after dark which proved to be for 17 hours. The water had been out the prior day. For details of that date, please click here.

Posting is late today…We had a amazing outing…

View from an overlook along the highway as we drove to Lahaina, Maui.

We just wanted to inform our readers that we’ll be posting later today than usual. I overslept! Actually, I awoke during the night from a disturbing dream about the state of affairs in the world, lying awake for hours.

This morning when I’m usually writing the day’s post, I went back to sleep and just awoke. The sun is out for only a short time and we’re heading to the pool since rain is expected later today.

We’ll be back later today with photos from our fun day in Lahaina with some excellent photos!

See you soon!