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Tropix Update

Posting from beautiful Maui! Our flight from LAX was uneventful and we landed in Kahului Airport Sunday, sometime after noon. The hardest part of Hawaii trips, for me, is the claustrophobia of sitting in the same spot, knees jammed into my gut, surrounded by fidgety kids and sniffling strangers, for five-plus hours. Man, I need to breathe! My Mom shipped her belongings, Mustang and dog, Keiki. The poor dog shivered and panted in her crate until she disappeared on the conveyor. Nevertheless, she arrived unharmed and as antsy as ever. Spaz out, pup!

The first few days were about getting my Mom situated. We found the apartment — it’s about a ten minute walk to the beach — and we went about cleaning and organizing the two bed, two bath, to her liking. Stocking her apartment was high on Grandma’s list, so we headed to Walmart, where she proceeded to spend $200 on odds, ends, and accessories. We almost needed two carts — it was embarrassing! Shopping with Lisa is bad enough, and now with Mom in tow, I’ll need a week’s worth of tranquilizers to cope.  Got the internet hooked up. Then it was off to the docks to pick up her car and after that, the DMV. Even here in Hawaii, it’s a sore reminder of why big government should be averted. Long lines, red tape and slow workers are not unique to California. Anyway, we got her new tags on and it was official. Grandma D was loose in the Aloha State.

It’s funny how people migrate to exotic locations, wanting just enough, but not too much of, the familiar. We yearn for something unique, something different… as long as there’s a 7-11 and a clean restroom nearby. Perhaps that’s why the biggest tourist attraction here has been Costco. On our trip, the parking lot was full, cars backed up into the street. The store was packed with an odd mixture of scruffy locals and snow birds in well-ironed attire, apparently stocking up on goods for their winter vacation. Don’t ask me where we fit in.

Since then, we’ve had some time for play. The Waihe’e Valley Trail was our first destination, a moderate 4-mile hike into a rain forest highlighted by two suspension bridges of rusty cables and creaking timber. Hey, grandma was a trooper. But after both women refused to cross the bridge, the hike instantly became a moderate 2-mile hike. Later, it was down into South Kehei to shop, eat noodles, and look for sarongs (yawn). Lisa and I found a day to visit Makena Beach, a brilliant white sand southern beach. (Lisa was so busy texting I’m not sure she actually saw the beach.) We ate pineapple, swordfish tacos, and drank papaya smoothies at a roadside stand with locals. That night, the three of us drove around to Lahaina (about a 30 minute drive from Kihei), where we (you guessed it) shopped, perused ritzy art galleries, and capped the evening at Cheeseburgers in Paradise. Yeah, it’s been like that.

The first day, I found a dead, dried gecko on our bedroom sill, and feared it was an omen. Until later one evening, as we walked to the beach, I noticed flattened toads lining the street — oval frisbee-sized husks with curled toes. The dead gecko paled in comparison to this carnage. Anyway, I’ve been writing at a local Starbucks — not my first choice, but it’ll do — from 5 – 7 AM. I think I’ve got more words written in the last four or five days than I have in the last month.

So there’s a brief update. I’ve posted a few pics at Duran Clan under Grandma D’s Maui Move and will be adding some throughout the trip as I find the time. Later, brah!

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Nicole February 13, 2009, 9:55 AM

    I’m with the ladies regarding the bridge. NO thanks if it’s high or over deep water.

    I certainly see the resemblance between you and your mom, especially in profile.

    Loved that she brought her Pony.

    I can imagine the shopping might be getting borrrinnnggg.

    Thanks for the update so we can live vicariously through your words and pics.

  • Melody February 15, 2009, 10:58 PM

    Relax buddy, have a good time.

  • Ame March 14, 2009, 12:55 AM

    my brother has lived in hawaii for almost 20 years. he’s full of himself, but he knows the local, off-the-beaten-path, behind-the-tourist-scenes places to go … and he’s a phenominal cook! next time you go, i’ll give you his info if you’re interested.

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