Our friend Tammy came to town later the same day so she picked us up on Wednesday and we went downtown to have a scrumptious brunch at the Snow City Cafe before she dropped us at the airport. She'll be tending to School Board business in Anchorage for a few days.
The flight to Honolulu was uneventful, if a bit long (5 hours, 18 minutes). I was in the middle seat but we scored the exit row so it was not bad. Our seatmate was from Kodiak and knew some Unalaska people so of course there was lots of conversation about commonalities and life in Alaska. The sun was going down as we descended into Honolulu and Rich caught several photos out the window.
Once in HNL, we had to pick up our bags and go back through security to take an interisland flight to Maui. It's really quick--there's barely time to get settled in before the plane starts back down. My kind of flight! Then to the car rental place, where we got hooked up with some pimp looking full sized jeep thing--I believe that we always end up with the most embarrassing cars for some reason. We usually like Enterprise but got a better deal from Thrifty this time, though I was annoyed that they wanted to charge us extra for two drivers (Enterprise does not!) so Rich is going to have to chauffeur me everywhere. When we were finished with the car transaction, another woman stated that it was now "her turn" and offered us money off the car rental as well as discounts on other activities if we would attend a condo sales pitch. I immediatel told her that we'd done this before and what we thought would be a quick meeting turned into several hours requiring us to say "no" to numbers of people before we were allowed to escape. So, no, we were not interested. Sorry. I know she is just trying to make a living and I felt bad for her that she probably does not get too many takers (maybe I'm wrong?) but I just couldn't sit through one of those again!
We had about a 30 minute drive to Kihei, where we are staying in a condo owned by one of my coworkers. It was dark when we got here and we had trouble getting into the lockbox to get the key. I finally had to call him and it was pretty late in AK (kinda weird to me that HI is two hours even earlier!), bless his heart. While he was on the line, we finally figured it out and got in. Yes, there was some kind of code thing ON the door, but we were supposed to use the lockbox on the doorknob, which we had trouble seeing in the dark. I am sure he told me this at some point before we left, but we were tired and confused and have old people's eyes.
This was the view from our balcony late last night. Nice!
A note on the door last night advised us that the exterminators would be visiting our condos beginning at 8:30 this morning so we left early and headed out. First stop, a farmer's market down the road. It didn't look like much from the street but we pulled in anyway and were pleasantly surprised with all the fresh produce. We came away with a pineapple, apples, tangerines, avocados, lemons, bananas, peppers, homemade bread and banana bread, and I can't remember what else.
We were looking for a Whole Foods to add more to the pantry but must have passed it by and decided to keep going to the Iao Valley. According to history, Iao Valley is the site of one of the most famous battles that occurred in 1790 and changed Hawaii history forever when King Kamehameha I destroyed the Maui army in an effort to unite the Hawaiian Islands. We just drove through today but might go back and do some hiking or further looking around. On the way back, we stopped at the Kepaniwai Heritage Gardens. The website states, "Once a bloody battle site where Maui warrior corpses, victims of Kamehameha I, blocked the 'Iao Stream, the name means "damning of the waters". Now the realization of architect Richard Tongg's dream, this lovely garden features a variety of structures, including a New England Salt Box, Japanese Tea House, Hawaiian grass shack, Chinese Moon Gate, Portuguese outdoor oven, and beautiful landscaping." Of course, I loved this pole proclaiming "Let there be peace on Earth."
Part of the Portugese Garden
Rich took a bunch more photos which I will post later. After our stop at the Heritage Gardens, we found Whole Foods and stocked up on provisions for the condo. We've been lazy the rest of the day but it's only 5:35 PM here so the night is young!
It's beautiful, sunny and warm. I told Rich I think I am destined to live in a warm environment. I love Unalaska for many reasons but the weather is not one of them. And I was thinking about the fact that many say they like having four seasons, but frankly I would not care if I got to live where the temp is warm all the time. Who needs winter? Not me!