Enjoying life, off the hamster wheel
On Monday, Neil and Mel had a good part of the day off! Yipee!! Ingrid danced around the hotel room in a spazzmotic ritual happy dance. We all threw on our bathing suits, grabbed the keys to Phil’s rental car, and off we went! Ingrid was designated the official tour guide, as she had gone to Lahaina the day before with Taylor.
So, Lahaina for breakfast was our destination. We looked for the car, and what did we find? Phil had rented a Ford Mustang convertible! Yeeee-Hawww baby! We’re off!
Neil was the mid-life crisis Stud-muffin, à la Don Johnson, while Ingrid and Mel were his side-kick Babe-o-licious Babes. Ya! Mamma!
Stud-muffin Neil cruisin’ down the highway:
On the road to Lahaina, we stopped and mugged for the camera. Neil did his Burt Reynolds impersonation, avec clothes…
And Ingrid vamped it up:
We got serious for a minute though:
There were flowers to take pictures of,
and then we were off!
Coming into Lahaina, we spotted some locals among the tourists…
And took a few minutes while waiting for breakfast to look at pictures on our digital cameras,
and generally just relaxed…
After breakfast we headed over to the giant Banyan tree. It’s so interesting with its rambling branches, roots and trunks. We wandered around taking pictures.
Have you hugged a tree today?
Mel dwarfed by the banyan tree…
Someone wrote on the tree “Bubbles 4 Kisses”… a perfect place for kisses, then.
Oops, we noticed this after the fact.
Beside the court house, there’s remnants of a fort that had been build out of coral blocks. The fort once covered an acre and had 20 ft. high walls. It was built between 1831 to 1832 out of coral that was taken from the ocean where the Lahaina Harbour sits today. Cannons were placed along the waterfront as a show of strength. According to Frommer’s, Rev. William Richards convinced the Governor of Maui at the time, Governor Hoapili, to create a law which forbade the women of Lahaina from swimming out to greet the whaling ships. Consequently, some whalers fired a few cannonballs onto Lahaina in protest. The fort was then constructed, and was later used as a prison until it was torn down in the 1850’s where the stones were used for construction of the new prison.
Imagine, buildings built out of coral! Wow!
A close-up of a coral block:
There were plumeria flowers to take pictures of. They have such a lovely scent, come in many colours and grow everywhere…
There were hibiscus to take pictures of…
and light ones.
On our wanderings through the town, we spotted another local through the sea of tourists. He was a god fearing local who was playing his guitar and preaching from his Bible about the evils of the world and the U.S. and the saintliness of Ronald Regan. Whoa…
Then it was time to head off to buy fresh pineapple. Ingrid got to drive this time! Get ready baby…
… here we go!
The last time Mel was in Hawaii, she took surfing lessons, and absolutely loved it! We saw some people surfing, so we stopped and took some pictures. Looks like fun!
We stopped at a stand where they sold fresh, organic pineapples, coconuts, papaya, bananas and avocados.
Neil and Mel figuring out they’re under a coconuts sign. What a couple of nuts!
We bought a fresh coconut that the guy hacked away at the top until he broke through the hard shell and the juice came pouring out. It took less than a minute.
Then he got three straws and we drank the juice right out of the nut. It was delicious!
He then chopped the coconut in half and we ate the soft meat inside. This coconut was especially good because it was green and still very soft. Fresh coconuts aren’t as sweet as you think they’d be, but they’re really yummy.
Then, Neil went bananas…
So did Mel, only over the flowers…
This is the inside of the banana flower. It looks like a tongue. Weird.
…and then we bought some fresh pineapple, papaya and a huge avocado before we headed off to find a beach to go swimming and snorkeling.
We found a great beach that was protected from the wind and was right by the road. Perfect!
Or maybe not…
Well, what the hell, you only live once. We cautiously waded into the clear, warm water. It felt like bath water it was so warm. The sand gradually gave way to rocks, with large black lava pebbles worn smooth and round from tidal action. The water was teaming with life, with large mounds of coral, so we put on the snorkel and mask we had bought earlier, while Mel put on her swim goggles. We saw a lot of beautiful fish and a sea cucumber. It was amazing! There were huge beds of coral providing an oasis for incredibly coloured fish. We paddled around, always on the alert for sharks. Ingrid couldn’t get “Jaws” out of her head. Snorkeling was fun, but between being a bit nervous of the shark factor, bleeding from cutting our feet on coral and having to get back to work, we reluctantly went back to the beach promising ourselves we’d go snorkeling again tomorrow.
Neil looking out to sea, thinking about snorkeling and all the cool fish…
So Babe-o-licious babe, Mustang Mel, piloted a gagillion horsepowers of raw force, all the way back down the highway that has a maximum speed limit of 50 mph, to Wailea.
Ingrid pretended she was a dog with its head out the window; Neil caught it on camera…
And so, our intrepid technicians showered, shaved, shampooed and shined and headed off to work.
Another day in paradise.