Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Return-from-Maui Film Festival

Boy, remember the days when when you had to set up all kinds of projection equipment and then trick people into coming to your home before you could inflict your home movies on them? Now we can just blog 'em!

Seriously, we had a great time on the mauimoon and blast sharing our adventures with y'all. Here are three little films as a last look at the vacation. (Hmm, I wonder if LNTAM will ever review any of my stuff?)

Dancer: Here's a movie within a movie: what was happening on the beach as we made the sunset film.

Volcano: Who knew? Ka'anapali Beach Hotel has a fountain out front that, with the help of some colored lights, sort of turns into a volcano at night. It's not Vegas, that's for sure, but with a little added sound effects, it's kinda cute.

Last Swim: The first post on this blog included video of Coco's first swim of the trip, so it's only fitting that we close with a clip of her last swim of the trip. Of course, I dressed this one up a bit.

What a swell time it was. We're closing shop here, so see you all over on Walakanet and/or He is a Thark, both of which will be up and running soon.

Six, two, and even, over and out.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Aloha 'Oe

Farewell from Hawai'i. There will be another post on this blog, but not until after we have returned to the PNW. Tomorrow holds another sunrise breakfast, a last beach visit, and the long journey home. Aloha.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Shoe, kilt, and lids

I think I must have eaten a shoe; I imagine it to be similar to the one Charlie Chaplin ate in Gold Rush, but for the life of me I can't remember when or where I have have done so. At any rate, I was awakened at about four am with severe stomach cramps. Slept in until nine o'clock, felt fine, and all systems have been nominal all day. WTH? I didn't take my pre-dawn constitutional, but Coco and I walked a similar walk to check out lunch places at all the hotels along the beach promenade. It was kind of odd to see all those places in broad daylight. Anyway, one lunch and one dinner later I still feel fine, so I guess it was a transitory whatsis.


We've seen just a few men in sarongs or skirts around here, so I wasn't really expecting to run into someone wearing a full tartan kilt ensemble. But as we roamed around waiting to have our traditional Sunset Dinner™ at Kimo's (vide),

we ran into this fellow out behind one of the many shops on Lahaina's Front Street:


Yes, of course, he's not a real guy, but it's still a pretty cool outfit, especially for the tropics, where I guess it would actually be really hot. Here's his provenance:


So, shortly after we got here, I ran across this hat and picked it up; it's already been featured in some pics on this blog:

It is a great hat: well-made, comfortable, cool, and stylin'. I like the black, but wanted to find an unbleached straw version. We looked and looked every time we were near a store that had the remotest chance of carrying good hats. Once I thought I had found it at a Maui Clothing Co., but they only had it in two sizes: too big for me and way too big for me. I had about given up, but on the way back to the car after the Sunset Dinner™,  Coco suggested one more look in a shop on Front Street, and there in stack she laid her hands on it, in the correct size:

One more reason to love my sweetie, as if I didn't already have enough.

These hats are great: porkpie creases and snap brims, just the way I like them. Best. Souvenirs. Evar.

Oh, yeah: Coco bought her own hat, too: all SPF-ified and stuff. It's pretty stylin' as well:

Six, two, and even, over and out.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Surf and sun

Even though we're staying in Ka'anapoli this time around, our hearts are always drawn to the Napili area, so early today we headed north to have breakfast at the Gazebo restaurant and then spend the morning on the beach at Napili Bay.


We knew we would be frolicking in the surf, so we didn't bring any cameras or phones to leave unattended; instead, we walked up the the Napili General Store and got one of those single-use in-water tourist cameras. It took some surprisingly good shots:

 In this corner, wearing the blue trunks...

Come on, vogue, let your body go with the flow, you know you can do it

(cue ominous cello music)

 She rises!

Dive, dive, dive! Ah-ooga, ah-ooga!

Believe it or not, this is one of Coco's self-portraits

Nice pedi.

Meanwhile, back on shore...

(I did see some plastic sleeves that were supposed to allow you to take your iPhone or iPad into the water with you. You'd have to be a lot braver or richer than I to try that.)

Even out of the surf, we were underwater much of the time today. It was on-and-off showers all day, that kind of Hawai'ian weather when you still need sunglasses even though the raindrops are falling. And the humidity seemed the highest it's been all trip as well. We were rewarded for enduring all that water vapor in the air, however: vide this rainbow over Whaler's Village and a shot of where it "touches down" in the foothills:


I was just thinking that our blogging and twittering and such in the evenings after the sun has gone down is pretty much the 21st century equivalent of sitting down with a cup of coffee or a drink to write postcards home. Kinda nice, that.

Six, two, and even, over and out.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Traveled, tretis, and typed

Today was hit-the-road day. First, we passed through the high-end resort row of Wailea (think 1%) to visit the the beautiful beach at Makena State Park (open to the 99% as well) on the south end of the island. Then, since we were out, we trekked north. We stopped for lunch at  Paia, home of doobie-smokin', surf-chasin', hippie cowboys. The we went upcountry, to stop at a new-agey retreat in Makawao, before circling back to check in on Haiku, a cute town with a macrame-based economy and more vegan delis than bars. The route home took us past the organic grocery store in Kahalui, where we got some stuff for dinner. All we needed was a bootleg tape of a Grateful Dead/Enya concert to make the day complete.


Here's a big, wet, sunny hug from Coco:

I mentioned in the last post that I thought my brother-in-law Gene fit what might be called a certain type that I have seen in my travels to Hawai'i. There are some others that I have run across, as expected:

Mr. & Mrs. Cadillac: In good shape except for a pot belly, this retired executive has a lot of silver in his hair, a little too much gold around his neck, and a wad of cash in his pocket. She is as brown as berry with clothes perhaps just slightly too young for her and jewelry that cost more than your vacation.

Mr. & Mrs. Family Room: He's a big beefy guy in unfamiliar soft clothes, striding though the resort as if leisure was something to wrestle with and a vacation something that could be won. She is unassuming and more attractive than she thinks, especially since they left the kids home and she's starting to relax.

The Girls: They usually come in threes, bank tellers or insurance clerks or marketing assistants. One is dressed too fancy, one just wears her bikini everywhere, and one has a nice beach cover-up that her aunt gave her.

The Transplant: Thin, blonde, and athletic, she's from Colorado or Kansas but she lives here now and brought you your lunch. Capable and savvy, she knows all the best drinking spots and all the best surfing beaches, and if you try to hit on her she will shut you down.

The Runner: Skinny, sinewy, serious, and of either sex, these dedicated souls will get their miles in today, paradise or no.

Mr. & Mrs. Bro: He's all tank tops and tribal tats, sport sunglasses worn on top of his cap bill, facing backwards. She's got a top that's a little too tight, jewelry that's a little too gaudy, and hair to spare.

The Professional Whale Watcher: Retirees, usually, male and female, in gore-tex jackets and floppy hats, with binoculars and long, long lenses on their cameras. Look close and you can see the fluke pendant that they got twenty-five years ago in Kihei after they saw their first.

The Blogger: He comes to Hawai'i even though he does not surf, or snorkel, or sunbathe, or swim, to keep his sweetie company. Affecting an air of bemused detachment, he is tolerable only in small doses, and only because he manages to be mildly amusing on occasion.

Six, two, and even, over and out.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Surreal, mundane, and remembered

Iced Coffee Tumbler RePurposed for Pog & Vodka

So, I was down on the lawn with Coco, and I was readying my camera to take some video, and this butterfly flew into frame, and - well, you just gotta see this:


It has been a running gag since we got here that Coco has been wrong about everything she remembers about costs and benefits.
  • Hawaiian Airlines does not allow free check-in for one bag. 
  • The Tiki Terrace breakfast buffet is not ten bucks, it's $19.95, and we don't get a voucher.
  • The Ohana Breakfast does not include shrimp cocktail, lobster, and made-to-order omelettes, just the usual steam table line.
  • There's no wi-fi in the room.
  • There's no microwave in the room.
  • We don't get cookies on our bed when housekeeping does the room.
  • Returning guests don't get room upgrades, just coupons for eight-ounce bottles of water.
  • Telling the world you are honeymooners does not get you free upgrades to first class or a beachside room or a waiver of the daily parking charge, just a lei or a bottle of California champers.
I think some of these are just Coco's misremembering, and some are the result of a tightening economy and shrinking profit margins. In any case, good to know.


Besides the ghosts of remembered bargains, Coco and I have both felt some company on the trip this time.

Ed Putnam is here, of course. The Putnam family had a long history of visiting Maui, and the last family trip came in 2008, shortly before Ed passed. In 2009, Coco and her mother came here on a trip to spread some of Ed's ashes in the water at Black Rock, not a half mile from where we're staying. Ed's presence, never far from Coco's consciousness in the first place, is making itself known in different small ways as we move through the landscape and the visit; I think it is a welcome gift for her.

And Gene Feeley is here. We lost my brother-in-law more recently, just last October. I am not sure he ever visited this part of this island, although I know that he and my sister Linda had been to Hawai'i. Perhaps because I was bequested some of his aloha shirts by my sister and brought a couple along (I wore one to prom last night), every time I see a man of a certain age, a bit rough around the edges but obviously successful, I think of Gene. You see these men frequently in Hawai'i, as they have the wherewithal to make the trip and the time to enjoy themselves after long years of hard work. They usually display a certain kind of savvy and smarts, perhaps with indications of physical work in their past, before or as they (with help of a capable spouse) built companies or corporations or chains and moved from their working class backgrounds  to become men of means. These men were part of the engine of the American dream, such as it was, and I am not sure we will see their like again. Gene was one of them, and he is missed.

Whale watching today was awesome, and not in the Excellent! or Groovy! sort of way, but more in the whole evoking an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime kinda way. I am sure Coco took a few pictures and will let y'all know about it.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Legerdemain, disport, and prom night.

Coco and I sat in the front of the "Ohana Breakfast" today, and well, of course, this happened:


The day has few pictures, since we were swimmin' or at least splashin', and playin', and nappin', and readin' -- in short, we were relaxin'. For reals.


Tonight, thanks to the munificence of Ann & David, Coco and I dressed up to do the town - specifically Lahaina town and Pacific O's for dinner. It was swell: drinks at the bar at sunset, watching the whales breach, and then a fantastic meal outdoors on the waterfront deck -- all very honeymoony. A great wedding gift and wonderful evening - and not a bad looking couple, either!

Six, two, and even, over and out.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Punchlines, translations, and meals

Everyone knows Coco loves the arms-length self-portrait, of herself or of the two of us. It usually takes a few tries for her to successfully complete a shot, since she's essentially shooting blind; when I'm involved, it can last longer, since I often fail to display an appropriate countenance. This particular shot catches me in mid belly laugh, because as she was directing the scene and coaching me to an acceptable expression, Coco told me "Pretend you're relaxed."

I thought that was hilarious; it sounded like such an wifely thing to say, good-intentioned advice from someone who knows you well, including all your limitations. It's funny, too, because ataraxia is a constant goal for me; I value a relaxed and unstressed state of mind, and I think I generally respond pretty well to stressors without getting too wound up. Maybe I've been fooling myself.


Lunchtime found us at Lulu's in Lahaina; we dropped in because a website said that it was vegetarian-friendly. It was a sports-bar kind of place, but we had outdoor seating, a pleasant server, and good beer, and the kitchen was indeed veggie-cool. Behold:

That is a customized version of the loco moko - rice, an awesome mushroom gravy, Maui sweet onions, and fried eggs, but with a tofu steak instead of the usual hamburger patty. It was excellent, and I named it the Loco Mofo. Heh.


Near to Lulu's, in the Cannery Mall, we found this place:

Now, one of our favorite places to eat in Seattle is the Ballet Vietnamese restaurant on Cap Hill. We had often wondered, but never asked, about its name; I think I had presumed some sort of vague French influence. Seeing this place - Ba Le - made me wonder about that theory. Tonight I checked with Google Translate, and in Vietnamese ba is three and lĂȘ is pear. Three Pears sounds like a very restauranty name; I think this bears further research and investigation.

Or I could just pretend to relax.

Six, two, and even, over and out.

PS: We had Ba Le for dinner and it was good.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Maui-moon 2013

We're here! After the longest time away from Hawai'i since I've known her, Coco is back on Maui, and I'm with her. Only fitting, since this is officially a honeymoon.

As we began the vacation, there were some of the minor irritations that accompany travel in the modern age: things we thought were free had charges, things we had paid for in advance had additional charges, there was some discomfort on the flight (audial, physical, and psychic), and so forth. But you know what? It doesn't matter. Because we're in Maui.

Here's Coco just minutes after we checked in to the hotel:

My own greeting-of-the-ocean was a bit more sedate and needs only a still to capture its essence:

Now, time for some honeymooning.

Six, two, and even, over and out.