Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday, September 27 -- Maui Report

I'll try to do this on a day-by-day basis. First of all, we were unable to get on the flights to LAX on Monday, September 14, as originally planned -- all the flights were sold out and NO non-revenue passengers were seated. Based on that information, Larry and golf thought their best chance was to get to the airport very early (do we HAVE to get up at 4:30 a.m.???) on Tuesday, September 15, and catch the first flight to LAX, if we could get on it. We were able to get on that early flight (and flying over Arizona, golf got this shot of the crater that is east of Flagstaff -- looks more like the moon than the good ole US of A . . . .) (as usual, click on any picture for a larger version of it)

but unfortunately, the one daily flight from LAX to Maui (OGG) didn't leave LAX until 5:15 p.m. in the afternoon. So we were able to get on the early flight to LAX, but then we had an eight-hour layover in LAX!!! Fortunately, we were able to "piggy-back" on the wireless internet from the Continental President's Club on Concourse 6, so at least golf and Larry had the internet to play with while they waited out the eight hours. But this makes for a really LOOOOOOONG day, by the time they got to Kahului, Maui, at roughly 5:10 p.m., Hawaii time, which made it 11:10 p.m. to golf and Larry's body time, and since they had been up since 4:30 a.m., well, they figured it was close to 21 hours without sleep by the time they got to their condo in Kihei and got settled in and ready to retire for this first night in Paradise. So here's the condo at the Kihei Bay Surf (the next morning) and me out on the railing of the porch there (not much of a view of the tennis courts, but there was a nice plumeria tree right there).

So . . . . bright and early Wednesday morning, September 16, golf and Larry went exploring south of where they were staying. First, they found the condo to which they would move on Thursday, Maui Hill (more pictures of the inside of this condo later).
Basically, we explored down the coast from Kihei down past Wailea and Makena all the way to the Ahihi-Kinau Reserve (underwater reserve for spinner dolphins, etc.), the land of which is mostly piles of lava rock.
You'll note golf got a picture of me sitting beside little rocks that tourists stack up and leave everywhere. This stacking of rocks, which you will see all over all of the Hawaiian Islands, is done by tourists because they think it means something. It doesn't.
Anyway, we were stopping at several of the beaches along this route to check out where to snorkel the next day -- stopped at Keawakapu, Mokapu, Ulua, Wailea, Polo, Makena, Big Beach, and Little Beach. By the way, golf didn't think to put on sunblock since they really weren't stopping and staying anywhere for any length of time, but the combination of all the stops and walks resulted in a bit of a "red neck" for golf, though not a bad burn. By about 3 p.m., they were already fading, so they stopped in Kihei and ate an early dinner at Oceans, then headed back to the little condo, had a margarita, went across the street from the condo to watch the sunset at Kalepolepo Beach, and then crashed for the evening.

Thursday, September 16: They couldn't check into the Maui Hill until 3 p.m., so they figured a good way to spend the time waiting was -- to go snorkeling!! After breakfast at Denny's, we headed for Ulua Beach first, as it is highly recommended for snorkeling.

Above, that's Larry on the beach at Ulua, and in the picture below, I'm waiting on the beach towels for them to return from their venture into the water at Ulua.

Now, below are pictures that we did not take (because Larry wouldn't let golf get the underwater adapter pack for her camera), but they were THRILLED to see a manta ray coming RIGHT AT THEM at Ulua Beach!! They later found out that it is pretty rare to see one of these, so golf searched the internet for pictures so you could see what they saw (well, sort of).

The one they saw coming right toward them was about five feet wide. They later saw another one that was further away, but it appeared smaller. So this turned out to be a rather unusual snorkel venture with a very special "sighting"!!

However, they were highly disappointed not to see any yellow tang, which previously had been so prolific they were almost boring. Where have they all gone?? They didn't see any Moorish Idols either. They found this very odd after their previous snorkeling on Maui and the Big Island. The rays made up for the lack of yellow tang spotting, but that same lack seemed to indicate something bad happening in the waters around Hawaii.

So after this snorkeling excursion, they headed back to the first condo, cleaned up, packed up, and headed to check in at the Maui Hill. There they discovered that the unit assigned to them had been, by mistake, given to someone else with a similar name, and they were assigned a different (and we think better) unit. It was certainly more conveniently located -- in just about the first building after the entrance, so it was very convenient for ingress and egress, plus it had a view toward the ocean (though you really couldn't see the ocean due to all the vegetation, but at least it wasn't facing the back of the complex, as the one they should have gotten was). Here I am sitting on the nose of the whale at the entrance sign (hey, this photo op was Larry's idea!!)
And here's our HUGE condo unit, #49, where they had free internet (but not wireless, they had to plug in the DSL cable, no big deal). The only slightly disappointing feature of this very large unit was the fact that it had only a queensize bed instead of a king bed. Pretty unusual, in their condo-swapping experience. Almost every good size condo has a king bed, if not one in each bedroom (e.g., the condo they have in Hilton Head has two king beds, one in each bedroom, and the two-bedroom condo where they stayed the first time on the Big Island, Mauna Loa, had a king bed in each bedroom; and where they stayed the second time on the Big Island in a one-bedroom had a king bed).

Okay, this is enough for tonight. golf is doing the typing for me and she's ready to stop for the evening since she has to get up early to go to work tomorrow :-( even though she went into the office for four hours today (Sunday) to get a head-start on what was waiting for her after nearly two weeks out of the office. I'll try to finish up more over the next few days. Stay tuned, folks!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday, September 13 -- Prepping for Maui

We are packing for Maui!!! We were scheduled to go out Monday, September 14, but remember golf and Larry are flying standby and all those annoying business travelers have already booked up (actually OVERbooked!) ALL the flights from ATL-LAX on Monday morning. So golf and Larry have decided to leave Tuesday instead, when available seats seem (at least right now) to be more attainable. In the meantime, they continue to pack their one-carryon-each and the golf bags. Here I am in Larry's bag -- however, do note that the fabric with the palm trees showing behind me is one of golf's dresses wrapped around her snorkel mask -- typical female, she ran out of room in her bag.
Here I am in golf's bag -- along with Virgie, whose curiosity was cat-typical about what was going on while golf was allowing me to crawl into the bag.

Here is golf's golf bag, all packed up. I think it is not a good idea to plan for this mode of transportation for myself.

Can I stow away here?

Or here?

Probably not . . . . I think I'll settle for being stashed in golf's tote bag.

Virgie! Will ya cut it out? golf is trying to get a picture of MOI!

Yes, it is her tote bag from St. Thomas . . . .
Okay, Virg, it's all yours . . . . You stay here and hog the camera. I'll go to Maui -- ha!