Jun 12, 2010

Maui: A Novel


I'm back and Katie's gone.

Sorry we've been out all week. I was off island and Katie was preparing to go off island, doing all the many tiresome things that are involved with that process, such as finding someone to take care of the rabbits (I thought those died a year ago... apparently not), packing, painting, cleaning and getting a drivers permit. Thus she did not have time to update the blog and I was computerless in Maui, meaning that I wasn't giving you a day-by-day update of what going on. You can thank my dad for sparing you the blow-by-blow account.

Anyway, now that I'm back I'll give you as brief a narritive as I can conjure of my trip. Prepare yourself, it might take a while. I won't be offended if you take a break in between paragraphs. For your convenience I've organized various events I feel the urge to tell you about into sections. You can skip and skim as  you like. There is a summary at the bottom if you really feel rushed.

The Totally Amazing Hotel We Stayed In That I Am Going To Own Someday Along With The Jin Mao Tower
My family and I stayed at the Grand Wailea (why-lay-uh). It is the nicest hotel I've ever stayed in and probably the nicest I ever will stay in.  We could stay there because my dad was going to a conference and so the university put him up and we just paid the difference. We relished it, knowing full well we were unlikely to be in such a position again.

You guys already know about my problem with adjectives, so I'll just show you pictures. Unfortunately we forgot to bring my little sister's camera along (something she apologized for profusely for the entire trip) so we're going to have to go off Internet pictures.

This is the Wailea.
Fountain at Grand Wailea

And this.
Inside Lobby of The Grand Wailea Resort

Oh! And this. Yeah. I swam here.

And this is inside the Jin Mao Tower. I'm going to own it one day. We'll talk about it some other time.
Jinmao Tower atrium

Our room was the farthest away from everything, but we had a view of the ocean, one of the chapel, and if you stepped off of our balcony/patio you could have gone wading in a little pond with the lilies, carp who sounded like they were kissing when they ate bits of vanilla wafers and one rather unsociable turtle.

Among it's other advantages our room had two queen sized beds, one of which I almost totally dominated since my little sister preferred sleeping on the little sofa thing. We had a TV which never had anything to watch, though there was one channel that never played anything but Law and Order. Why?

My favorite part of the hotel, though, was the bathroom. When I grow up, I'm going to have a big beautiful bathtub like, that with a glass shower right next to it, just for show because when you have a bathtub like that why would you use the shower? I told my dad and he told me he wanted one when he grew up too. There was also a little closet with a toilet in it. It had two rolls of toilet paper on the wall, just in case I guess. There was also a phone in there. Also just in case?

My Mother Meets the Maui Cliffs of Insanity
This section requires a bit of background information. First, you know my mother. Well, some of you know my mother. She is one of the most amazing people ever. She is afraid of heights. That's the only information you need for this story.

Secondly, you'll remember that both of my parents are professors. I like to think they're fairly dignified people. Yet, when we went out to rent a car the only midsize available was
jacqui_car.jpg image by pleasant_port

this. So that is what we ended up driving away with.

Cute, right? It handles really nicely too, apparently, which came in handy later. My family just looks funny driving it. And I get carsick in the back. And the trunk is tiny. But it really is the most adorable car. My mom wants one now.

Anyway, if you live in Hawaii you may have heard about the forest fire on Maui. Or not. One of our waitresses said that no one really gets excited about it anymore because it happens every year. In any case, my mother my sister and I went exploring the other side of the island and we passed this less than fragrant smoke on our way there. Later, when we were splitting a ten dollar sandwich we heard that the road had closed down because the blistering flame had worsened, though it was now 80% under control.

On Oahu that would be inconvenient, but Oahu is just a circle and so you could take the highway the other way. On Maui the other way was a one-way winding dirt road that was marked on our map next to "Drive at your own risk...."

We drove it only because we didn't want to have to pay for two hotel rooms in one night and the policeman assured us that they were only letting our side through. The policeman lied. Or at least he had no idea what he was talking about. It was a beautiful drive with great views of the sea, blocked occasionally by jutting chins or rock, deep curving fields and, once, a group of pensive cows crowning a hill.

We enjoyed the view and were hopeful about being back at five as we'd planned. Then we hit the cars. We didn't know it at the time, but there were cars coming from both directions and a flatbed truck had met with particular trouble trying to turn a corner. Actually, that flatbed had particular trouble at just about every corner. We know, because we were behind it. We were there for three and a half hours. Guys, the view just wasn't that pretty after a while.

Mom grit her teeth the whole time and said things like, "I hate this, ahh! Don't look. OK, this is OK--AH!" I didn't know how to handle it at the time, but I found out a few days later when we were coming down from the old Maui volcano. My dad was driving and my mom was worried that he would drive us off a cliff. My dad was very soothing. He said, "Breath, Cynthia, breath. In, out... You know, one time I heard of a family who's brakes failed on this mountain and they just went sailing into the clouds. In, out."

Food, Glorious Food
I don't even want to think about how much weight I gained on Maui. The food. Was. Amazing. It was breathtaking. It was sumptuous and sensational and the quantities we had were near lethal. Every night we got home and I felt my stomach a little bit rounder under the comforter.

We went to several really, really good restaurants, two just OK ones and once to Starbucks for breakfast. We were in dire circumstances. The two best restaurants were owned by the same person, along with one just OK one, and we got a discount for the sister restaurants every time we ate at one of them, so we bounced back and forth between them several times. I think that is a genius idea and when I grow up and have a sunk-in bathtub and own the Jin Mao tower, I'm going to own restaurants and do the same thing.

This is one of the sisterhood.
HM general store 001.JPG
It's deceptively simple looking, but contains fish curry that is made in heaven and sent down by the angels out of pity and love for mankind.

The highlights, for me, were the desserts, which we only ordered twice, because usually we were too full. The first one was Lilikoi Creme Brule (lilikoi is passion fruit). The other as a Lilikoi Guava Cheesecake. I want that to be the last thing I eat in life.

All in all it was a nice trip, but it's good to be home. I'm ready to sleep in my own bed, have creme brule ice cream for dessert instead of actual creme brule and I am really ready for my hair to stop smelling like bottled honey mango, though my dad took their shampoo bottles so that might take a while.


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