Monday, March 11, 2013


We had an entirely different experience on Maui than we did on Kauai. I think it was because we stayed in a resort hotel rather than a private residence. We were tourists among throngs of fellow tourists. I learned a lot on Maui, and some of it is negative. I learned that I don’t really like life at a resort hotel and while I always appreciate good food I am not fond of eating all meals in high-priced restaurants.

The day we landed we had lunch at a seaside place called Mama’s Fish House that Jordan had found online. A beautiful experience—window table, ocean right in front of us, a sophisticated menu. I had lobster guacamole and oysters on the half shell, with a glass of wine. Loved it…and nearly fainted when they brought the bill.

We stayed at the Hyatt Regency at Ka’annapoli Beach, an inspiring place with a fully planted open atrium and the customary rooms around it. I was much relieved that our room was in another wing and I didn’t have to do those glass elevators and balcony walks to get there. Heights bother me, and I once had a miserable stay on the 11th floor of a Hyatt with three young children; the oldest, three, could have climbed that balcony wall in a flash.

Once settled in our room, we fell quickly into a pattern. Jordan got up early and went to the spa ever morning, while I dozed, watched the news, and drank my coffee. One breakfast in the hotel dining room was enough—we neither needed to eat that much nor spend that much. But it was a lovely experience—the restaurant was open to a pond with a waterfall and a swan that swam right up to our table. Sparrows flew all over the dining room, often landing to pick up snacks from discarded plates. After that, we breakfasted in our room.

Jordan had arranged to visit other hotels at lunchtime, so we dined at the Ritz Carlton one day and the Four Seasons the next—both magnificent, elegant places where I felt slightly under-dressed and out of place. But beach-front lunches were good…and always there was the ocean. At the Four Seasons, we had our best whale sighting ever when one jumped out and then dove back into the water right in front of us. These visits gave us a chance to drive both directions from our hotel and see a bit of the island which is, as you’d expect, beautiful. Much of it is “developed” and manicured but there’s still plenty in its natural state. We were particularly aware here of green ocean fronts and barren, brown hills.

Afternoons, Jordan sunned by the pool while I read and napped in our room, which had an ocean view if you sat on the balcony and looked just the right way. Or maybe I should say ocean glimpse. Although we had a car, Jordan didn’t want to drive at night so we dined at the hotel and quickly found our favorite spot: Japengo, a sushi/steakhouse. We claimed a table on the patio bar area with a wonderful ocean view—and more whale sightings.

One night we had the fun of visiting with William Nikkel, an author published by my publisher, Turquoise Morning Press, 6and his wife Karen; theylive on Maui. We sat at “our” table and shared a pupu platter, along with tales of writing mysteries. Jordan said when we talked about various guns and their capabilities and people who “needed killing” the lady at the next table was alarmed and kept watching us with caution.

We spent a long day waiting to fly home--lunch at a nice place on the coast and long hours in a bar at the airport where we watched a small drama. Fur men took forever to load a large dog crate into the cargo hold of a plane. They turned it sideways and ever which way and I worried about the dog, but we could see them talk to it and put their hands in to pet the animal. The finally got it loaded and upright. Five minutes later they came back, unloaded it, and drove away. Did they put it on the wrong plane? We'll never know. Finally our plane took off and we flew most of the night to get home. Glad to be back.

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