I was up by 6:30AM, but instead of a run, I decided to get caught up on email and LJ, also so I could save foot-power for the day ahead.
There’s a shopping/dining enclave next to Lahaina shores, which is where we had the massages and where we ate breakfast at Hecocks. I had a very good cheese/mushroom omelet. I love that rice is a breakfast alternative to the potatoes here.
Our mission for today was to get to Paia, one of the “upcountry” towns before you get to Hana. This was sort of a test run for a longer motorcycle ride and to work out how not to get lost on the way to the Hana Highway, so naturally we missed the first important turn and had to back-track
We did eventually arrive at Paia, which reminded me a lot of Mendocino. Very hippy-dippy, artsy-fartsy. Lots of antique stores, galleries and a Darma Center. There’s a famous restaurant called Charley’s where we didn’t eat because I wasn’t hungry yet, but after a lot of walking around, hubby was getting over-heated and peckish, so we stopped in at Ono’s Ice Cream, where they make amazing gelato. I had a smoothie with ginseng, ginger tea and French vanilla gelato, which did me a world of good. He had three different flavors of gelato which had me somewhat aghast, with the richness.
We went back to the hotel and chilled out for the rest of the afternoon. The beach isn’t great here, but I did finally get into the ocean, wearing my Crocs because if you go into the ocean in front of the hotel barefoot, the coral will cut you to shreds. (I found this out the hard way last time.)
Somewhere along the way, I decided I needed a nosh and picked up (you may have guessed) a tuna sandwich from Angelina’s Café, another one of the goodies in the 505 Front complex. Really good. Capers. Yummy.
I worked on some fanfic as well as my Novel, and also did some reading in my lawn chair on the lovely green patch that compensates for the not so great beach.
I finished reading Very Bad Things by Spider Robinson.(I’d started reading it months ago.) I always love Spider’s plot and prose, but there were a lot of digressions that I’m sure a new novelist would never get away with as well as a little too much 60’s nostalgia. Peace, love & Joan Baez. At least he left out most of the sexual utopianism that’s driven me crazy in the last few Callahan’s books.
We had the snorkeling scheduled for the next day which meant a 6:00AM wakeup call, so we went to Ocean O’s for dinner. (Yes, it’s part of 505 Front Street as well.) Very gourmet. A fruit-based soup with fennel and some other stuff. Different but yummy. We kept it light and did starters. Ceviche, scallops and mussels. Again, not very cheap, but worth every penny and even some of the nickels.
Since we’ve discovered that our hotel has MSNBC, I fell asleep to the dulcet tones of Keith Olbermann along with the waves.
I woke up to discover something very interesting and somewhat painful.
Despite long sleeves, hats and sunblock applied so thickly I could appear in Kabuki, (and yes that is me in the hot tub wearing a t-shirt) I managed to get a sunburn.
You may remember my purchase of these:
Well guess what happened, either while I was on the bike or walking around Paia?
It’s not too bad and hopefully will not lead to the dreaded melanoma.
So we went snorkeling. We had tried to do this on the 2006 trip and basically got rained out. This time the weather was perfect and aside from being miffed that the Pacific Whale Foundation wanted me to wear their coral/fish friendly SPF 30, instead of my usual SPF 50, things got off to a good start.
We ended up sitting with Angie and her 5 grandkids with occasional visits from her daughter and son-in-law. None of the kids was too obnoxious. I did have the odd moment of seeing her take a hypodermic needle out of a small bag and jab herself in the leg, which led to a discussion of diabetes and a reminder that I need to do a better of managing the family tendency towards hypoglycemia.
The crew was informative and friendly. Breakfast was bagels and fruit. Since I’m not great on boats I tried to keep it very light. The water was choppy and I had a few queasy moments, but I figured I was doing ok.
I listened to the snorkeling 101 spiel, put on a wetsuit shirt, donned a mask and jumped in. (Ok, I had some flotation goodies as well.)
Considering that the last time I tried this was in Isla Mujueres on my Honeymoon From Hell nearly 17 years ago and I couldn’t see ANYTHING, this was a vast improvement. Beautiful coral formations and oh my god, the fishies. Beautiful, colorful fishies swimming right there next to me. It was like being in the reef exhibit from the aquarium only a million times better. This was Manele Bay off Lanai, by the way.
I did ok with the snorkel, but I managed to swallow a lot of sea-water as well.
It was a two-stop trip so eventually we had to get back on the boat while the took us to the 2nd stop and that’s where things went badly. Water got choppy. I got nauseated. As in bent over, trying not to move because if I move I’m going to be sick (British usage). But the crew all wanted me to go to the bottom level because if I was going to puke, they didn’t want to clean up after me. I was sure that moving was a bad idea, but they were pretty adamant. This led to Low Moment of Vacation #1-Me, leaning over the back railing, puking. Bye-bye bagel. Bye-bye fruit. OY. The only reason this moment wasn’t preserved for posterity is that hubby wasn’t feeling all that well himself, although he didn’t actually do the whole heave-ho-me-hearty thing.
Once we got to the next spot, off Maui, which is known for sea turtles, I went back in to prove I could. I didn’t see any turtles, although other people did. I didn’t see much there honestly and I was getting cold, so I came back on board and called it a day. They were serving lunch, but I decided against eating anything till we were back on solid land, at which point I got another sandwich at Angelina’s.
I would have loved a shower, but for some reason the hotel had no water for awhile.
Our entertainment for the night was ‘Ulalena, a very popular show here. It’s kind of a history of Hawaii with a music/dance/acrobatic troupe in the Cirque De Soleil style. A smidge on the froofy side for me, but some amazing performers, especially the featured acrobat, and the guy playing the Pig God. (You gotta admire a guy who can be sexy with a pig mask around his waist.)
We went to dinner at the Sea Food Co, which I’d been looking forward to, but was slightly disappointing. Might have been my fault for what I ordered, which was Ono (a mackerel) prepared local style. I thought a mackerel would have more of the oily dark part but this was more dry and white, which isn’t my favorite kind of fish.
But still a lovely evening and back to the hotel to get some sleep for another early wake up call. The next day's mission: Hana!