Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Exploring Hawaii....first stop - Maui

Wow – what a place – papayas, coconuts and longan, oh my! So far this has been a perfectly insightful and wonderful trip. I have had moments when I question a move as there are issues here (like everywhere). Yet, I leave Maui tomorrow feeling I am supposed to be somewhere on the islands.

My trip started at my dear, childhood friend Amy’s in San Francisco – it was so great to see her, John and Baxter. A perfect stopover – while short, it was fulfilling and fun!! The next morning I drove to the airport ready for my adventure.

My flight to Hawaii arrived 40 minutes early – super smooth and easy – now THAT is the way to start a trip!! I had to trek along a back road (with my luggage) to get to my Maui commuter flight. Once there, I had 2 hours to kill and met these wonderful ladies – also heading to Maui AND from Oregon…so, of course, we started chatting. ANDDDD, they were car sleepers, too!!! Told me all their secrets for both islands – yeehaw! One of the gals was contemplating a move – it was her 13th visit so clearly she has some commitment issues around this move – haha!

The Maui bound plane ride was stomach churning…and I found out later from the rental car agency that the airline I chose was notorious for ‘making people puke’ – his words, not mine…however, I get it! A little Cessna is always an adventure for me and my fear of heights – had to close my eyes a few times, breath deep and belt out a few ‘oh dear Lord’s. Not too bad, though. ;-)

Picked up my car and started perusing Kahului…didn’t realize they had a Whole Foods…you think they are Whole Paycheck in mainland??? Try Maui style! I like the general vibe of the town (people-wise) – while crazy busy and concrete-esk, it has everything anyone could ever want – 2 great natural food stores (in addition to Whole Foods) – which both had cheaper prepared raw foods than back in Oregon. I know I wouldn’t live in this town – yet it is nice to know that all the conveniences of mainland are only 20-30 minutes away from any town I would want to live in.

I was eager to sniff out some of the locations I was considering and dove right in!! I went to Kihei first. I was also looking for farm stands (duh!)…and voila, coconuts ALL over the side of the road! Screech! There was a lot of bustle in this stand – and a seat by this one with 3 coconuts in front of her. I decided to park it next to her and hang out for a bit...patiently waiting for the owner to cut me open a coconut. Of course, I started chatting with this gal (a local)…and we kept chatting…and chatting. About an hour later, she turns to me and says, ‘I have a proposition for you…I have a studio you can stay in – if you can help me clean the main home’. HELLO!?!?!! With no hesitation, I blurted, ‘yes, yes, yes!’ So, that was the start of my fabulous stay in Maui…Kalista has been such an incredible host and Nassa has been our daily coconut guy. I am so grateful to both of them….

Kalista’s home is amazing…here is the view from the Lanai – and then their orchard – so many yummy foods!

The last few days I have spent hanging with her – cleaning – eating/drinking coconuts (she swears by them for healing!) I am now a bit addicted to them (and the papayas)…having 3 a day!

I have been driving around a lot looking at spots I might want to live – and my preference is ‘upcountry’ – around 1000-2000 in elevation.

Most are very laid back communities – and feel spot on for me. Today I found my favorite one on Maui – a cute town called Haiku. It might be too small to start in…looking at all of my options.

I have also partaken in many of the required Maui activities…a Maui sunset –

Helluuuurrrr!!!! This morning I also took a 2 hour walk on the beach…it was really beautiful and refreshing!!

While I haven’t been to the Big Island yet, I feel I have a really good handle on ‘life on Maui’. I am looking forward to seeing how Hilo compares with Maui. Everyone on Maui swears by Maui (they have all lived on other islands.) We shall see!

While this is long, it is actually a really a brief summary!! In each town I have visited, I have had great moments of fun. I would say that Kihei, Makawao and Haiku are the front runners. Tomorrow opens up a whole new island, though, so one step in front of the other!


1 comment:

  1. so glad you are loving your scouting trip/vacation time. we went to a lot of the places/towns you mention 1o years ago on our honeymoon. yeh that plane ride is a bit scary, but it's short. xo