They have a Costco here. And a Safeway. And, like everywhere else on the continental United States, a Starbucks.
We didn’t get our leis at the airport – we needed to have a package deal, which we didn’t have. We were pretty bummed out at that. Lots of “we wanted to get lei’ed” jokes tossed around. By this time, after a lot of “Go get lei’ed!” jokes at work, I am thoroughly sick of them.
The Kahului airport is open air at certain points, making it very nice to lounge but it fills the rest of the building with humidity – something us Phoenicians are not used to. The nice breezes made the afternoon arrival a great introduction to the week ahead.
Our condos (three of them for the 16 of us) are located in Kihei, about 20 minutes from the airport. Kihei is called “South Maui” although it is really located on the West coast of the island, but because Lahaina is known as West Maui, they call Kihei South Maui, as there is apparently nothing remarkable about the true South coast.
This part of Maui is a lot like Phoenix because it is not the lush tropical wonderland that covers the mountain areas. It gets less rain, and therefore had a dry look to it but as there was abundant humidity and sunshine, there were a lot MORE of the types of plants we see in Arizona. Lots of pods – mesquites and ironwoods and dry grasses, along with HUGE fields of sugarcane, which you don’t see in Phoenix! I read the guidebook to Maui on the plane, so I was full of knowledge about weather patterns and foliage of the island.
Kihei road follows the coastline, so we got to see the beaches that were our playground for the next week. The other side of the road was tourist traps and dive shops, with the ubiquitous Starbucks and fast food joints. As soon as we got to the condo, Shawn and I were so exhausted, we unpacked, had a quick dinner, and went to bed.
I woke up and dragged Shawn to the beach. First impression: beautiful! The water was much warmer than what we had experienced in San Diego 2 years ago, and there weren’t nasty clumps of seaweed swirling around and entangling you. We swam around for about an hour and half, and I absolutely fell in love with it.
Then we were off to Costco, as there were 16 people to feed for a full week. His family had rented 3 cars, and it was nearly as difficult to pack up the food at Costco as it was to pack all of us and our luggage the previous night at the airport. We snagged 3 pair of goggles as well, so we could see what we were missing underneath the gentle waves.
Afternoons, apparently, are a different story on the beach: the increasing heat of the day creates clouds, wind and waves so the next trip to the beach was more turbulent, but still pleasant if you stayed in the water. With the goggles on, I could see tiny fishes! The silver schools appeared and disappeared very quickly. Moving closer to the rockier side of the beach, closer inspection of the waters revealed bigger fish – yellow and black striped small fish, long fishies with barbels, some that I think were puffers (they didn’t puff, so I’m not sure) and those silver tiny fishies. I was thrilled. Shawn was trying to film the shoreline and all he got for his trouble was sandblasted by the winds.
I took 3 showers the first full day, as the saltwater tasted like sea-ass and the wastes of billions of sea creatures and the humidity made me feel like a wet mop. Good times.