Friday morning, we got up and drove Gaylord down to Whaler’s Village, since we were unsure of how far away it was. (Turns out it was only 2 resorts away, easy walking distance, but whatever.) We checked out menus at the restaurants there, and chose Cane & Taro for brunch, mainly because it overlooked the beach.
The stores opened while we were eating, so we went to go shop. We bought sunglasses, a water shirt for Mr Sunburnt, and checked out many souvenir shops, including the obligatory stop at ABC Stores. We then went to have a mai tai at Hula Grill, because 1) it was a bar on the beach, and 2) it was after 11am. Barely. Also, the bartender was named Fish.
Post mai tai, we went to the hotel to swim.
The surf was much calmer than in Kauai, though occasionally a whirlpool would develop near shore and toss us onto the beach. It was especially clear, so we could easily see both Moloka’i and Lana’i, as well as the people cliff-diving from Black Rock up the beach.
Once our daily swim was taken care of, we cleaned up and hopped in the car to head to Iao Valley, north of Kahului.
It was raining a tiny bit in the valley, which meant we got to see a rainbow:
We hiked up the trail to the overlook, then down along the river. There were fallen guava all over the trail, and we could hear roosters crowing. Also, there were many people swimming in the river despite the warnings that they could be washed out to sea at any time. I assume the locals are probably aware of the likelihood of that happening, though.
The bottom portion of the trail loops through an area planted with local foods, all irrigated by the river. No matter how many times I see banana trees in the tropics, it’s always fascinating.
We stopped at Kepaniwai Park on the way out of Iao Valley, where they have a series of commemorative gardens representing the various ethnic groups that populated Hawaii.
The giant spiders represented nobody but themselves. Creepy!
We also got to witness Colleen’s dream: feral chickens and cats living together in harmony. Or so it seemed.
From Iao Valley, we headed through Kahului toward Paia, the beginning of the road to Hana. It’s a cute little surf town full of hippies, so we had no problem finding awesome food for dinner at a place called Cafe Mambo. Not to mention Coconut Porter, of course. Afterward, we went to see the beach at sunset.
We headed back to Lahaina. There was a cruise ship in port, which seemed really bizarre, even though we’ve spent plenty of time in cruise ports. It just seemed strange in Hawaii for some reason.
We stopped at the Mai Tai Lounge for a couple of drinks from the oldest bartender in Hawaii, then wandered down Front Street to do some shopping. Matt got to see the banyan tree, too! It’s the size of an entire city block!
We headed to Cheeseburger for dinner. (It’s like Senor Frogs… we had to go.) We had some pretty decent food there, and some really strong drinks, such as mai tais with a float of 151. There was a one-person cover band playing upstairs, and old people cheering. The restaurant closed down around 10 and they invited us to head upstairs, but we decided to go across the street to Moose McGillycuddy’s instead. We didn’t expect it to be good, but we figured we’d maybe at least get some cheap drinks.
On the way toward the stairs, we heard the band there playing a Sublime cover, so Matt decided it was meant to be. (The band was listed as ‘Arise, featuring the lead singer from Gomega’.) Shortly after we found a table, they played ‘Welcome to Jamrock’. The band was really entertaining, the drinks were indeed cheap, and the crowd was highly tolerable. Also, the mashup of ‘Single Ladies’ and the Macarena was amazing.
The most amazing part? We managed to stay there til midnight. That hadn’t really happened yet in Hawaii, so we’d at least adapted to one hour of the five-hour time change. I count that as a win.