Back in 2012, I wanted to go see Journey in concert at the Blaisdell Center in Honolulu. At that time, I was still in the recruit academy of my current job and didn’t have time to go see them because I was so busy with my studies. After five years, Journey came back to Hawaii and I made it a point to not miss them this time. As luck would have it, tickets to both of their shows in Honolulu were sold out, but I did manage to get tickets to their Maui show. So Maui it was. Cory, from Oahu, came with me to go see them. In addition to going to see Journey in concert, we spent four days on Maui exploring and taking pictures.
On a side note: The majority of the pictures in this entry were taken with the recently acquired Olympus Pen F. Pictures that were taken in or during the rain where shot the older E-M1.
I arrived at the airport in Kahului about 3 hours before Cory. I took the time before he arrived to pick up the rental car and the concert tickets at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center(MACC). Whenever I travel and need to rent a car, I always reserve the cheapest car available. While at the rental car counter, the agent informed me that I’d be getting a convertible. At that point, I was thinking that he was talking about a Ford Mustang or Chevy Camaro, but when I went outside to pick up the car, I realized it was a turquoise convertible Beetle. Now, I’m generally not too concerned with being perceived as masculine or feminine, but even I found myself wondering if they could possibly have given me a more effeminate vehicle.
After I got the car and picked up the tickets, I still had a bit of time to spare before picking up Cory, so I passed the time by taking a few pictures. Much of the first two days were overcast and/or raining. In some instances, the clouds were quite low to the ground. It reminded me of Iceland. The weather and the architecture give Hawaii and Iceland completely different characters, but the landscape is strikingly similar because their volcanic origins.
After I picked up Cory, we drove to Kihei to find the air bnb that he booked for us. Though we couldn’t check in till a later time, it was still good to know where it was. To help pass the time, we drove to Lahaina for a drink and pictures and we made some stops along the way. Maui is definitely a nice place. It’s not so rural that it’s boring, but it’s not so overcrowded that it’s unbearable. It’s a nice compromise between Oahu and the Big Island.
After returning to Kihei from Lahaina, we checked into our room. It was interesting. It was kind of like a campsite with indoor rooms. The room itself was nicer than some hotels I’ve stayed in.
Shortly after checking in, we started getting ready for the concert. Once at the concert venue, I realized they had a rule that forbade bringing cameras. That’s the first concert I’ve been to that had such a rule but Cory said that’s not uncommon. Whatever. It was a good show regardless. The new lead singer did a great job and I’d like to say that I would go see them again, but I think I was comparing him too much to Steve Perry. No pictures of the show because of their no-camera rule.
Since we were only on Maui for four days, I didn’t want to spend too much time sleeping in the room. We got up early and drove to Hana for the day. Maui is a reasonably small island. It’s the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands but it’s substantially smaller than the Big Island. The town of Hana is a remote town on the far eastern side of the island. It’s only about fifty miles from Kahului but it takes over two hours to get there because the only road is a small two-lane highway with many hairpin turns, one-lane bridges, and blind turns that are subject to rain, landslides and slow traffic. In comparison, the drive between Kona and Hilo on the Big Island is over 90 miles and it takes less time. Along the way to Hana, we made several stops to hike and take pictures. It’s a beautiful drive, but it does require some patience and careful driving to navigate.
About half way to Hana, traffic came to a complete stop for about twenty minutes due to a landslide that blocked the road. We had to wait for crews to clear it before continuing. It wasn’t too bad though. I was able to get out of the car and take a few pictures.
Hana is a cute little town, but I could never live there. It’s too small and too remote for me, but it’s a nice place to visit. I wasn’t too hungry when we arrived because I had a couple protein drinks along the way but once there, I accompanied Cory to lunch at the Hana Ranch Restaurant. It was a nice place. Cory got a burger and I got a drink. Though I ended up eating most of his fries.
One reason why I wanted to drive to Hana was because I wanted to go to the red sand beach in town. It’s the only red sand beach(that I know of) in Hawaii. To get to there, you have to park on the side of the road and then hike for about ten minutes around a cliff. It is similar to the green sand beach on the Big Island in that it’s a small, intimate beach in a remote location that requires a hike to access.
Driving back to Kihei from Hana was quicker because crews had completely cleared the road by the time we started driving back. I got us a large thin crust pizza from Pizza Hut in Kihei on the way back. I was tired by the time we got back to the room but we did go out at night in Kihei for a bit.
I wanted to get another early start to the day because time was limited. After two days of, at times, pouring rain, it was beautifully clear. We started out in the morning by driving out to Makena State Park….also known as Big Beach. There is a smaller beach in a more hidden section of the park called Little Beach. Little Beach is popular with nude sunbathers so I kept the camera hidden while there as I didn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. Though I, personally, did not get naked.
After Big Beach, we drove to Iao Valley but the park there was closed for repairs due to flooding. I tried getting an aerial shot of the area from the top level of the parking lot at the Queen Kaahumanu Center, a mall in Kahului, but that was not a worthwhile view. So instead, we drove to Makawao, a town even smaller than Hana on the slopes of Haleakala……a large volcano on Maui. As a late lunch/early dinner, we ate at Polli’s Mexican Restaurant. It was good. I got my usual crispy chicken tacos with beans and rice. I would go back again and would recommend it to anyone in that area. I limited myself to one frozen strawberry margarita as I was the one who was driving home.
At night, I’d made plans to see a movie with Cory and Alijah, a nice younger island local who I’d been communicating with for quite some time. Before the movie, I wanted to catch a shot of the sunset at Kalama Park in Kihei. Just as the sun was setting, it started pouring down rain. I got completely drenched but the pictures came out fantastic.
It was both mine and Cory’s last day on Maui. He had to meet with a family member before flying back to Oahu, so I had lunch at Genki Sushi at the Maui Mall with Alijah after dropping him off. I had my usual Shogun and California Tempura Roll. As he is more familiar with Maui than I am, Alijah took me around to some look out points after I dropped the rental car off. He took me to some nice areas. I’ll have to go back when it’s not so voggy.
Before dropping me off at the airport, he also took me to Tasaka Guri Guri for a nice treat. Guri Guri is a fruit flavored desert that would best be described as a cross between sherbet, a snow cone, and ice cream. It was delicious. I would definitely recommend it to anyone.
I had a great time on Maui. I finally got to see a group I’d been wanting to see for a long time. I got to spend the week with a great guy from Oahu, and I finally got to meet a nice person who’d I’d been talking to for a long time. It’s good to know that all of the islands are close to each other. Hopefully some of those friends I see when I travel will eventually visit me on the Big Island.