What happens when kama’aina play tourist!

First off, you compare the place you’re visiting to home.  It happens.  I think it’s an automatic.  The tendency is to think things like, “It’s not like this at home,’ or “OMG, this is just like it is at home,” etc.  We flew off to Maui for the weekend because hubby’s daughter was getting married!  Hmmm… what to blog about?  Oh, um, wrong island for posts for Homespun Honolulu.  Wait!  I’ll pay attention to what’s different between the two!  There, problem solved. There should be a lot of similarities, but, what’s different?

Krispy Kreme signIt didn’t take long for things to pop up that were worth talking about or amusing to mention.  As soon as we got there and went to pick up our rental car at Dollar Rent a Car, the subject of Krispy Kreme became a topic of conversation between us and the rental agent — I can’t even remember how or why we started talking about it.

I was a little taken aback when the agent said,Liliha Bakery sign quite earnestly, “Yeah but you guys have Liliha Bakery.”

What???  That surprised me.  But, I couldn’t help but smile and nod my head at that comment.  Sorry!

We finally got to our hotel at about 9:00 that night.  Long story, don’t ask!  We had the best dinner at Spices Restaurant (just before they were about to stop serving) and we discovered a great wine. I will be sure to share that with you guys in a later post, as soon as I find a way to get some!

The next morning, on my way out to explore the area, I asked the front desk of the hotel about the closest convenience store. The conversation went something like this:

Items purchased at ABC Store“Is there a 7-11 close by?  Where are they?  Are there any 7-11’s on Maui?”  It sounded silly but since I hadn’t seen any since we landed I was beginning to wonder.
“There’s one in Kahului.”
“What?  That’s it??  One on the entire island???”
“Yeah, we’ve got choke ABC Stores.”
“The only place we have choke ABC Stores is in Waikiki.”

I walked away puzzled but I went to the closest ABC Store and was pleasantly surprised at how large it was and how relatively inexpensive some of the items were!  Yeah, I bought some silly things that I didn’t really need but, hey, I was being a tourist.

A trickle of very fine sand.

Of course with the hotel right across the street from the beach, the first free moment that I got, after shopping, was to get to the edge of some cool ocean water!   I did not expect the soft, clean sand that met my feet when I kicked off my sandals!  Holy cow! This is so NOT like home!  The sand was so soft and fine along the Kihei shore line!  Don’t get me wrong, the sand on O’ahu is great too — it’s just of a larger grain and “sandier” against the feet!  It was enough of a difference to flag me before I even got to the water!  This Maui sand felt more like powder.

Footprints barely make a dent in the wet Maui sand.

After wading in the water and heading back up the beach, I was struck by how hard the wet sand was.  There is no give to this sand once it’s wet.  I guess the fine sand packs together much tighter when it’s wet. Your footsteps barely dent the wet sand.  Another difference to be sure!  On O’ahu your footsteps do sink in the wet send, at least a little bit.  I wouldn’t want to fall on this hard sand!  Ouch!

Trying to rinse all of the fine sand away.

At this point I will comment that the sand takes a lot to rinse away!  I’m telling you, some of it is as fine as salt — you may think you’ve rinsed it away but it’s still there! This is not a complaint or anything. I mean it doesn’t hurt or create a problem of any kind; this is just an observation, and more support for just how fine that sand is!

After all of that talk about the sand, I have to make sure that I comment on the water!

Clear water is so inviting!

The ocean on Maui is not only clear and clean, it is oh so very calm — at least where we were (around Kihei).  O’ahu has cool, clean water too but nowhere near as calm as what we witnessed.  I can’t think of any open beach on O’ahu that has calm waters like this.  No waves means no surfers.  It was interesting to observe how the surfboards have another use.  There were paddle boarders everywhere!

Paddle boarding makes another use for the surfboard.

Where there’s surf there are surfers; where there is calm water, there are paddle boarders!  I know that this has caught on on O’ahu as well but I had not seen it until I was on Maui.  Apparently I don’t get to the shoreline enough.  Or, there’s just so much surf on O’ahu that I always see surfers.

Paddle boarders are everywhere!

Of course the beach was nowhere near as crowded as it usually is in Waikiki.  I did run into a local gentleman, originally from Waimanalo on O’ahu, and I asked him about the haze over the mountains. “Is it always like that or is that just vog?”  He said that he thought it might be from the amount of sugar cane that had just been burnt a day or two before.  Now that statement brings up some more interesting commentary!

I had to chuckle at myself, and at hubby’s son and daughter-in-law, because all three of us were apparently hit by the same thing — there’s sugar cane!  O’ahu is suddenly void of its acres and acres of sugar cane and, after all of the complaining I used to do about sugar cane over the years, I certainly never expected to get excited about seeing so much of it again!  I’m still trying to figure that one out!

Maui sugar cane

I think I took more pictures of sugar cane than anything else — it was everywhere!  However, in spite of the reassurance that the haze was from cane fires, I’m going to have to go with it being vog.  The haze stayed the whole time we were there, to varying degrees, which you will see in the pictures throughout this post.  Maui is, after all, significantly closer to the volcanic action of the Big Island than O’ahu.

Here’s something we’re all familiar with — chickens!

Chickens milling around in the Ace Hardware parking lot on MauiEveryone seems to know about Kauai’s great supply of chickens.  I found this out from other bloggers — I haven’t been there since I was around eight years old.  I can’t help but wonder if Kauai’s experience isn’t catching.   I found this interesting-looking group of egg-layers walking around a small shopping center before it opened on Sunday morning.

Rooster milling around at Nu’uanu Pali lookoutThis is not a difference, it’s just another observation.  O’ahu, of course, has its share of chickens, and in strange places. I found this very handsome rooster holding his own against another, larger rooster chasing a hen around a tree at Nu’uanu Pali lookout.  Isn’t he handsome?

Even early on that Sunday morning we could still see an obvious haze hanging around over Maui.

View of Maui coming down Haleakala

Can we talk about how much closer Maui is to the Big Island of Hawaii, and that volcano?  That close proximity makes poor Maui so much more susceptible to vog than O’ahu is.  I’m telling you, that haze was from something a lot larger than just burning sugar cane!

View of Waikiki and Diamond Head from Tantalus

On O’ahu, the view of Diamond Head and Waikiki from the road to Tantalus (one of the high points on O’ahu) is just a little bit clearer.  There was a bit too much foliage in the way but it’s still a pretty picture, I think.

The country look of Maui

I was really moved by the country look of some of the Maui roads.  It was a look that is oh so hard to find on O’ahu these days.  I love country things.  Sigh.  Riding on this road gave me a very homey feeling — like Leeward O’ahu used to be.

Cows and horses sharing a pasture together.

I was also impressed by the visual health of these pasture animals!  They were physically chunky and their coats were oh so shiny!  There was definitely some good animal husbandry going on here!  The only thin cows were the ones nursing their calves.  I was a little surprised to see the horses and the cattle sharing the same pasture together.  I don’t know that you see that very often on O’ahu.  Not that I remember anyway.

Yeah I know, these are off-the-wall observations to be sure.  We didn’t really accomplish much in the way of seeing the island like a good tourist should, but that is not why we were on the island.  We were there to witness the matrimonial events taking place for David and Laurie Homalon!

David and Laurie tied the knot and celebrate at their reception

I just wanted to be sure to point that out.  The reception was at the Pa’ia Community Center. Pa’ia is “Maui’s Historic Plantation Town.”  Sounds good to me!  There’s a great little video about driving through Pa’ia on YouTube.

Something else occurred to me while driving around Maui — where are the cemeteries? We found one in a rather odd place.  Right across from the Pa’ia Community Center there was this unexpected find — a seaside cemetery!  I don’t think O’ahu has any cemeteries by the ocean.


Regular readers know that I’m a bit peculiar about cemeteries.  The interesting thing to note is that most of the cemeteries that I know are hillside, not seaside.  There’s Punchbowl, Diamond Head, Mililani, Hawaiian Memorial, and my own personal favorite, O’ahu Cemetery — all of which are well outside the flood zone! And yes, many of the gravestones at O’ahu Cemetery are dated in the 1800’s.

O'ahu Cemetery on Nu'uanu

Being right next to the ocean is truly a beautiful place for a final resting place but I have to admit that it’s a bit unnerving to see those grave markers so close to the shore!  Maybe that works a lot more safely with Maui’s calm waters.

On our last day on Maui I was still on a discovery mission so I was out the door early for a morning run in the cool, clean air!  I was not going to be disappointed either.

Wetland restoration project.

Much like O’ahu, Maui is also into both cultural preservation and the restoration of our ecosystems.

Wetland eco project

I couldn’t pass up on taking pictures of this!  These little guys were swimming around here waiting to see if they were going to get a free handout.

Swimming ducks being nosey.

Anyone can recognize these two swimming birds as ducks but I’m just not sure about this next character.

Bird peeks through the grass.   The bird gets disgusted and walks away.

I saw this strange little guy peeking through the grass.  After a while he got disgusted, he got tired of me staring at him, and he decided to move on.  Quickly.  If someone can identify what type of bird this is for me, I would really appreciate it!

Like that bird, it wasn’t long before we had to move quickly too!  We had a plane to catch.  But, I can’t let the next accidental find go without mention.

Kahului 7-11

The one and only 7-11 on Maui!  Good luck trying to find it!  It was not even visible from the main drag going through Kahului.  This is a huge difference from O’ahu — 7-11 is always in plain view.  Driving around O’ahu, you can’t miss them.  Even if you want to!

Another item of interest might include the amount of police cars we saw on Maui — very few.

Maui police car

There are a lot of police cars on O’ahu, for sure!

Honolulu Police Department car

To be fair, where there is a higher percentage of people, there will always be a higher percentage of the criminal element as well.  On O’ahu, especially around 7-11 Stores, there are many!MinitStop

But then again, Maui has a lot of these Minit STOPs and we did see a couple of officers at one of those when we first got there.

I think the Island Kitchen on the sign to the right was for this location only but the Minit STOP is almost as prevalent on Maui as Honolulu’s 7-11 Stores are on O’ahu, almost.

I think that’s an exaggeration but you could see the Minit STOPs from the road!

On O’ahu you won’t find planes coming quite this close to the ground and so near the moving traffic — not that I’ve seen anyway.  We were driving and United Airlines was flying right over our heads.  When it’s close enough to make out the logo that easily, it’s a little too close for comfort.

United Airlines airplane about to land at Maui airport.

In Kapolei, on O’ahu, the planes do come closer to the ground, but not THAT close!

We didn’t make it t0 watch the sunrise on Haleakala like my friend Sheila tells people to do while on Maui when they GoVisitHawaii.  Sigh.  BUT, we made it to Ali’i Kula Lavender — about half way there!

Lavender bench at Ali’i Kula Lavender

I love that purple bench!  The view behind it was great too but the picture doesn’t begin to do it justice.  Vog.

Ali’i Kula Lavender sign

We had to at least get here!  Even if we did almost end up in the clouds to get there.  I love that idea, hubby was not quite so enchanted with that idea.

Kula Lodge offers country living

I would like to stay at Kula Lodge some time too, but they don’t have television in their rooms so that idea didn’t go over well either.

Maui’s rock fetish is apparent on the grounds of our hotel.

This is not to take anything away from the Maui Coast Hotel — it was wonderful.  It was clean, comfortable and not excessively fancy, stuffy, or sterile.  The people were friendly and helpful.  It was perfect!  These pictures of the Maui Coast grounds bring up another thing — Maui has rocks strategically placed all over the place.

Maui Coast Hotel loves its rocks!

Or, maybe not so strategically.  I know that on O’ahu we do put rocks here and there but not quite so randomly or extensively, I don’t think.  The Maui Coast Hotel made very good use of them!

Rocks at Kapaniwai Cultural Park

The hotel was not the only one!  The rocks above were at Kapaniwai Cultural Park and have more meaning than just decoration.  I’m not sure what these were exactly — I don’t think they were birthing stones but anyone is welcome to correct me on that.

An interesting rock formation.Kapaniwai Cultural Park had a lot of interesting rocks!   This one on the right looks like it came from the ocean but it’s a little far removed from that.  This one may have had a story too but I saw no plaque telling us about it.

Don’t get me wrong, the rocks look great!  It also keeps people from parking on the grass; O’ahu uses them a lot for that!  I’m just not sure if there isn’t more to it than that; maybe they are a form of The rocks continuefeng shui!

Rocks, rocks and more rocks!  Maybe I’m the only one who noticed this.  I’m weird.  What can I say?

Getting back down from Ali’i Kula Lavender, unloading the rental car and getting ourselves on our flight home didn’t work out exactly right.  We were late.  We had cows, horses, and the view to take pictures of.  Seriously!

We got where we needed to go and we accomplished the most important thing.

David and Laurie on the dance floor.

To witness the joining of two hearts!  An evening full of love!

Saying Aloha to Maui

Yeah, we were late to the airport. While it was a mad rush to catch the next flight after the one we just missed, we did it!  We said aloha to Maui as it disappeared out the airplane window, and we headed for home.

O’ahu seen through the airplane window as we returned from Maui

Then, in just a few minutes, she came into view — “Honolulu Baby!”  Sigh.  Blocks and blocks of concrete, I know, but it’s home!  Honolulu survived the weekend without me.  🙂

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13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Flo // Aug 15, 2010 at 6:45 am

    Oh, I LOVE Maui!!! It is by far my favorite island. I would love to live there some day…. The bird is a heron – a black crowned night heron to be specific. 🙂

  • 2 Evelyn // Aug 15, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Thank you, Flo! Good call! How did you know that? The article says that the ‘auku’u, as they are apparently called in Hawaiian, are diurnal in Hawai’i. They labeled the eye-color as red; I would have said orange but I like calling those eyes red. As small as they were, they were very intense.

    This little guy was very patient with me. I thought he would have taken off a lot sooner than he did. He was a lot cleaner than the ducks, which I found kind of amusing. You can’t tell from the picture but that white duck was quite a dirty bird! 🙂

    Thank you for the education, Flo. Maui is my mother’s favorite island as well!

  • 3 Aloha Tony // Aug 15, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    great post. i love Maui! love all the pics.

  • 4 This Carnival goes to the birds! // Aug 15, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    […] A Honolulu blog ← What happens when kama’aina play tourist! […]

  • 5 Evelyn // Aug 16, 2010 at 7:13 am

    Thank you, Tony, I’m glad you like the pictures! These things just grabbed me for one reason or another. I think that Maui’s beauty attracts us all. We didn’t make it to Lahaina or Ka’anapali but I’m sure we will next time. Goodness only knows what else I might have found! 🙂

  • 6 Laurie Homalon // Aug 16, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Wow Aunty! Beautiful…you are a natural writer!!! Photos are gorgeous too!

  • 7 Becky // Aug 16, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Evelyn, I enjoyed this blog so much. You are a natural when it comes to writing. I agree with Laurie 100%.

    I miss the islands so much. I will be back for a visit someday. I hope soon. And I hope I can bring Cheryl back with me too.

    Keep up the good work. Beautiful pics of the wedding too.

  • 8 Evelyn // Aug 16, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Hey, it’s the blushing bride! Thank you, sweetheart, but I think you’re a little bias. 🙂 So, does it feel any different to be married?

    The wedding was beautiful and you guys looked so happy! 🙂

  • 9 Evelyn // Aug 16, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Thank you, Becky, for those kind words! I was just thinking about you guys this morning and wondering when you would be coming back to visit us! 🙂

  • 10 Sheila // Aug 24, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I really enjoyed “visiting” Maui through your eyes.

    I always felt like each island has it’s own personality, but it sounds like there’s far more differences that just personalities.

    And, I’d hate to have to choose between Liliha Bakery and Krispy Kreme! That would be a tough decision.

    By the way, did you know that Krispy Kreme originated in North Carolina? Just a little trivia for ya from your biggest fan in NC. 🙂

  • 11 Evelyn // Aug 24, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    It’s okay, Sheila, even I was amazed that I could find so many quiet, low-key differences. I thought I would be grasping at straws but peculiarities kept popping up all over the place! 🙂

    I do believer you’re right though — each island does have its own personality. That’s for sure. Krispy Kreme originated in NC? Oh my goodness!

  • 12 Mike, BC // Oct 18, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    One of your best articles – love your gentle observations. By the way, there’s a very sociable Black-Crowned Night Heron that hangs out at HHV you can visit anytime – and he would probably appreciate the attention, what with the tourists all ogling the penguins and the turtles.

  • 13 Evelyn // Oct 19, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Hi Mike! Um, where is HHV? What is HHV? 🙂 Sorry, it’s probably something I know but the acronym has me stumped. Thank you for your kind comment.

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