If you want your daily rations of sights to see, sounds that are new to you to hear, island smells, the good feelings of locally consumed adult beverages and excellent cuisine tastes to keep your mind, body, and soul healthy then, don’t come to Hawaii or here – Lahaina, Maui. Go visit Key West or Cabo and enjoy more, and for way less $$$. First off, it wasn’t my idea to come visit with all these Covid restrictions still in place. I can now add the outrageously high prices.
But, now that we’re here. Here’s a little story just two weeks away from Christmas (2021) where the weather is a humid and comfortable eighties; and the adult tourists nearby are learning how to surf. It has also only rained on us at night.
After a long drive to the airport parking lot near LAX and processing we eventually boarded a plane. They even hand banded me just like Disneyland to prove that I was now Covid safe. I was also kept Covid masked up for the entire flight. This is after recently having had my Covid booster, flu shot and 48 hours old Covid test, that proved I was now negative. When our air plane arrived after a five hour flight we heard they recently had 100 mph winds and thunderstorms
I guess we dodged that one. After I was finally let out; I asked all around where my lei was but, in no uncertain terms was told to shut up and keep my mask on. And they also made a very big deal of filling out this agricultural form that resembled a tourist visa.
There wasn’t even “hand-woven grass mats” on the Hawaii flight to sit on, and I was never offered a “tall, refreshing Dole or Delmonte pineapple drink.” It would have been hard to sip on anyway, because of the mask and all. If you wanted a pineapple drink we could’ve just gone to Costa Rica she now says. What? You heard me, the largest producer of pineapples is Costa Rica. No use in now arguing as she has free WiFi. We’re flying at 20,000 feet and she can look up anything to prove or as often is the case – disprove my arguments.
Perhaps we can take in a Luau I asked Patti. She began to look around and inquire. Are they worth the time, money and effort? Are they too touristy?
Are they authentic you might ask? Well, let me answer it this way. I think you going to a luau is worth planning your entire Hawaiian vacation around. NOT! For around $175 US prices (each) today we could’ve enjoyed a tourist luau while also wearing our Covid masks. I’m sure the hula dancers all wearing coconut bras; on account of the nearby missionaries would’ve also been a hit.
I suddenly saw them while sitting on the park bench across from the street. Cases and cases of Maui Gold pineapples now guarded, off loaded and hand-carted to the Maui pineapple store. I sat on the park bench at the Baldwin Museum, that is at the corner of Dickersen and Front Street, Lahaina, Maui.
The house is the oldest house still standing on the island of Maui. The Baldwin house was built by Reverend Ephraim Spaulding between 1834-35 in what was then referred to as the “missionary compound.” At the time my view wouldn’t have been obstructed to the Lahaina landing where whaling ships once anchored.
I sat here by myself taking it all in. Wow I said. This missionary home faces the prevailing winds, has huge front windows and consists of 24-inch thick walls (constructed of coral, sand and lava rock with rough-hewn timber framing) and high ceilings, to keep the interior cool.
The islands Kings home was also nearby and still standing today. It’s made out of roughly hewn sticks and palm leaves roofing and no more but, then again, he also had the luau and all the hula dancers he wanted that at the time didn’t have to wear coconut bras; on account of the nearby missionaries, that practice has since changed. To me it now makes about as much sense as the high prices of pineapples.
Just to the left side and on the corner is my island favorite, the Dole Whip pineapple swirl and Shaved ice store. Earlier I consumed a European sized bowl of that Maui gold pineapple that goes for around $6-10 bucks. Patti prefers the nearby Gelato store and comes back with a kid sized serving of Kahula gelato for less than my pineapple swirl.
Yesterday morning when the heavily accented English Russian girl at the counter told me our breakfast burrito, juice, coffee and something else I now forget came to $37.79 cents, I gave out a slight gasp. What!
Then I said, oh, we’re not in Mexico are we? These outrageous island prices stopped fazing me at about our day three. They say everything is brought to the island- hence the high prices. But, the whole island is supposed to be covered in pineapples, isn’t it? Hawaii today remains the only state in the U.S. where pineapple is grown. She facts checked me and I’m right! Score one for the day.
Baldwin and his wife Charlotte traveled by sailing ship from New England and around South America’s Cape Horn to get here where we are at today; losing two kids to dysentery along the way. A voyage that took roughly six-months at sea before arriving to the island of Maui. Now that’s an adventure. We arrived in five hours and no one died or got Covid.
Now, where’s my Dole whip and Hawaiian lei?