Thoughts on Hawaii

I may be the only tourist who ever went to Hawaii and was not head over heels in love with it. It was fun and I enjoyed it, but it is outrageously expensive. We never ate a lunch that was less than $50. I spoke with a woman one day and she said she and her husband went out to lunch: two cocktails, two appetizers and they split an entrée = $160 without tip. Even food in the grocery store was expensive as was gas at $4.53 a gallon.

  • One of the best things was the koi on both resorts. If you look at my artwork, http://SusanLStewartArt.com, you will find many koi paintings. I can’t wait to get home and back to the studio!
  • The people are extraordinarily friendly, even ones outside of the resort.
  • The Hawaiian language is impossible to read or speak. Normally when I blog, I like to include a pronunciation guide when I use foreign words but I just couldn’t get a handle on Hawaiian.
  • Pot is called Pakalolo or “crazy cigarette.”
  • There are no swear words in the Hawaiian language.
  • All of the pineapple and sugarcane is gone from Kauai. Our guide said it was cheaper to import it from other countries. At one time, the C&H Sugar Company farmed sugarcane on Kauai and shipped the product to California for processing. C&H stands for California and Hawaii.
  • We saw thousands of acres of sugarcane on Maui and along the roadside on our tour of the Hana coast; we saw a few very small pineapple trees. The pineapples are a pinkish red when they’re very young.

Overall, we had a great time. We enjoyed the activities and tours we did and the warm weather. Denver had a big snowstorm while we were lying around the pool or the beach. You can’t get better than that!

I’ll write the next time we travel. Until then, Aloha!

Susan L Stewart

Haleakala Crater Spectacular Experience

 

Today we drove to the Haleakala crater. It takes about two hours if you don’t stop, but believe me, you’re going to want to stop a lot. We got lost a couple of times but that just meant we saw some extra things.

The drive up to the crater is one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. We started at the base. It looked like just about everything else we’ve seen but that quickly changed. One of the things I have always wanted to try with my art is to paint fog. The thing is, we don’t get fog in the southwest suburb of Denver where we live. All of a sudden, we reached a place on the mountain

A beautiful brick church we saw when we got lost in Wailuku

A beautiful brick church we saw when we got lost in Wailuku

that was covered in beautiful, floating, fog.

We continued up the mountain, from sea level to over 10,000 feet, through switchback after switchback. Each one seemed to reveal something else to behold. I would say to Tom, “Pull over, pull over!!” and then the poor guy would try to find a safe place to pull over so we wouldn’t roll over the cliff.

At one point I looked to the right and realized we were above the clouds. I’ve seen that out of an airplane window but never out of a car window. We couldn’t find a place to pull over when the clouds were at their peak but I took many shortly after. Fluffy white clouds. And then I saw a cloud that looked like a space ship. That beautiful cloud stayed that way for a long time so I think it was created by the trade winds and held there.

Finally we reached the summit. From there we could see the back side of the crater. I didn’t know what to expect and I don’t think I could have guessed what it would look like. Basically, it looks like the craters on the moon to me. The darker blue in the background is not the ocean. We were high enough to see a change in the stratosphere. The little bit of white in the upper right side is a cloud. My camera caught the true color of the dirt. So barren but so beautiful.

It was a great excursion, especially because we could do it ourselves and stop whenever we wanted to. If you’re ever in Maui, I highly recommend it.

Until next time,

Susan L Stewart

Click on images to enlarge

 

 

Arriving in Maui

Maui Sunset

Maui Sunset

The plane ride to Maui was great. The plane probably held 150 people but it was so quiet. The other remarkable thing for those of us who live at the foot of the Rocky Mountains was the lack of turbulence. Not one bobble.

One of my flower photos

One of my flower photos

I had to laugh inside, though, when the flight attendant walked down the aisle with a Sunkist cardboard box that had been cut down, handing out small juice cups. Someone else poured coffee. It only took 40 minutes to land on Maui.

I sat on a stone bench talking with a lady who was going to the same resort we were. Our husbands were inside the Hertz office trying to rent a car. Since the plane had just landed it was swamped in there. She asked me about my fibromyalgia – she and her husband had gotten the impression that it was a respiratory disease from the commercials. As I began explaining about the pain component, a woman behind me let go of her small  suitcase and the handle ran into my left kidney. The pain was terrible, shooting through my back. The worst thing was that the lady never even said she was sorry. She tried to make it sound like I had done something wrong, like I shouldn’t have been sitting on the bench. She just said, “It was an accident.” and then she said, “the bench took the brunt of it.” I didn’t turn around.

We finally got to the resort- the Marriott Maui Beach Club. The grounds are spectacular! They have an amazing pool that winds through the center of the resort with waterfalls and slides, including one big enough for adults. There are lots of lounge chairs with huge umbrellas.

The beach comes up all the way to the pool area. The odd thing is that we’ve never seen anyone in the water – no swimmers and no surfers. The condo is a dream. One bedroom, two bathrooms, minimal kitchen. It’s beautifully decorated and very comfortable. We got here Sunday afternoon and decided to rest on Monday and just hang out at the resort.

Until next time,

Susan L Stewart

More flower photos – click to enlarge