December 29, 2013
Up again around 6:30 am. I'm not sure if it's just our natural alarms, but I don't mind it at all because it gives us more of the beautiful day. As usual, it's cloudy-ish this morning, mostly hanging around Molokai, covering most of the top of the island, and the tops of the mountains to the east of us. Again we saw a couple of breaches at a distance again but my goodness what a splash it makes! I can't even imagine how big those things are up close. I'm not sure if it's just one humpback doing all the jumping or if there are several.
This morning we went to church. I am not sure if we've ever gone to church on any of our trips, but I had heard about this traditional Hawaiian church service and wanted to try it. Neal was a trooper and came along. (with the promise of having him back in time for the Seahawk game.) The church was nice inside... you could tell it is an older church and very well kept. Stained glass windows, fans going, long wood pews with pads on them. Surprisngly, it was fairly full, and I think mostly visitors. Everyone was given a lei, and then they asked for new visitors, or if anyone was celebrating anything special. There were three other birthdays besides mine... two 18-year old twins and their grandma who refused to say a number but simply said "old enough." There were also two or three anniversaries. The we followed along in the bulletin they provided and sang songs - still Christmas because we are still in the advent season. Several Bible verses were read throughout the 1-hour long service. After the offering, the "choir" came up and sang in Tongan. It was amazing! All acapella, hand motions, one of the Hawaiian ladies holding her little girl, swaying while she sang. In one part, the two men hummed what the music would have been as the one tapped on his music stand, and the women harmonized. It was great! Then another Christmas song, a very short sermon on New Year's resolutions and making it just to enjoy life more. At the end of the service, everyone stood in a circle and held hands (there were so many people there was not enough room for everyone so a few of us stood just inside the circle) while two or three ladies played ukeleles and everyone sang a song in Hawaiian (printed in the bulletin but we didn't have ours so just listened}. I was so glad we went. It was a very nice authentic-type experience. And probably one of the less-expensive authentic experiences on Maui... just the cost of what you decide to put in the offering plate.
So - back to our room to change and then I dropped Neal off at Maui Brewing Co., just a few blocks away from our place. They were sure to have the Seahawk game on, and he promised me he would update me on the score.
I headed back to Lahaina to the Civic Center where they had a "Made in Maui" fair. I found a few little items to bring home for gifts but mostly just wandered around. I learned a lot about Baltic Jasper from an older lady selling jewelry - I wasn't interested in the jewelry but it was very interesting to learn about it anyhow - So I felt just that made it a worth-while trip!
I headed back to our room... I had planned on laying on the beach today and just relaxing. But as I drove by, I saw the food truck "Jawz" and had read good reviews on their fish tacos. I love fish tacos, so had to stop. There was a line of people so it was a bit of a wait. A chilly wait at that! The wind was blowing pretty good and it was in the shade. Finally got my order and sat in the one spot of sun available. I shared it with a mother and daughter from New York City and had a great conversation. I was disappointed with the tacos, though. I guess I expected something out of this world but they were just so-so. Not bad, but not praise-worthy anyhow. The good news was that is was one of the least expensive things I've eaten and I'm glad I tried it or I would have felt I missed out on something. But the best part of it was the conversation with the New Yorkers.
Got back to our condo and went out on the beach. Not a lot of chairs available but I did find one by this couple that looked to be about our age. They were cocoa brown like they probably lived on the island. We started up a conversation and come to find out they are from Mead, Washington, close to Spokane. They've been here three weeks. I told them how envious I was but then they told me why they had been here that long. Apparently his mother came with them and ended up in the hospital with a bleeding ulcer and heart rhythm issues. They're not ready to transfer her back to Washington. We chatted a while more and found out that she and I had a lot in common - she had also turned 50 this year, and three kids, 2 boys and a girl (all older), and is an RN. Her husband went back up to their room and we chatted a bit more. I think she just needed to vent a bit. She was tired of being here and really just wanted to go home. They've used up all of their sick leave and have racked up bills in hotel costs and food. They felt so ready to be done with the whole thing and just be home again. She thanked me for listening and I wondered... had she had been able to let off steam to anyone? All her family and friends are at home and she's stuck on this little island and will probably have a bad taste in her mouth for Maui forever. It just takes one little conversation like that to make me feel blessed all over again. I had always thought it would be cool to get a little unexpected days added days to my vacation, but this gave me a whole different perspective.
Neal caught up with me on the beach after the Seahawks amazing victory over St. Louis. We decided to head to the Sea House Restaurant in Kapalua north of where we are, as we hadn't gone that way yet. They have a great happy hour with $5 Pupus (appetizers) so we were able to basically get a pretty good meal for a pretty good price. We had coconut shrimp, nut crusted calamari, pan fried cheese ravioli, and garlic fries. A nice selection! It was all good and the portions were fair sized for the price. We got full anyhow. Afterwards we walked the beach path that goes along the Kapalua resort. The landscape on that side of the island is other-worldly. It's on the side with all the wind and rough waves and the lava cliff has so much erosion that it has almost a moon-like landscape. Pocky and rough and jagged and gray/black with little green. We walked as far as Fleming Beach and then returned, I think a 3.5 mile walk.
So... back to Leoda's to pick up that pie! We brought it back and had a piece - oh my. It was so good. (once again - probably not the healthiest thing to be eating.) It has a macadamia nut crust and it was just so yummy. Worth the trip to go get.
Sitting here on the veranda every evening doing my journaling has become a routine thing now. I love listening to the waves in the background and knowing that somewhere out there, a humpback whale is probably jumping out of the water. After all, whales don't sleep, right?