Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Maui day 1: Finding our bearings

Getting to Maui was as easy as can be. In 5 hours and 15 minutes Alaska Airlines had whisked us from Sacramento, CA to Kahului where the island’s main airport is located.

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The landing was quite bumpy—a bit like riding on a roller coaster that needs adjusting. Fortunately, I was distracted trying to take photos out the window. The colors of the ocean just off the shore were quite beautiful, especially contrasted with the yellow-green of the sugarcane fields.

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Our condo is located in Wailea in what the locals call South Maui although is on the southwestern side of the island. This part of the island is arid; the average rainfall is 10 inches a year. At times, the drive from the airport reminded me more of Africa than Hawaii. However, areas that are irrigated show the lushness you expect from the tropics.

The next set of photos was taken right outside our condo. I was thrilled to see so many traveler’s palms (Ravenala madagascariensis). These aren’t true palms but members of the bird-of-paradise family (Strelitziaceae). They’re native to Madagascar but clearly thrive here as well. I also saw them all over Kihei, the next larger town just north of here.

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I expected to see plenty of plumeria (Plumeria sp.), and I did. All I had to was step off our patio, and within 30 seconds I had picked up this beautiful flower that had fallen off a nearby tree.

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Yes, tree is right. Some plumerias are 8 to 10 ft. tall. I had to think of Alan Lorence of It’s Not Work, It’s Gardening who has been trying so hard to grow plumeria in Saint Louis, Missouri. Here they thrive with next to no care!

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After dinner at a place called Vietnamese Restaurant (seriously, that was its name) we walked down to the water. Instead of trying to find parking at one of the popular beaches, we simply parked in a residential area of Kihei and followed a shore access sign. There was no real beach  in this particular spot but it was enough to get our feet in the water—the temperature was perfect. I can’t wait for some real beach time tomorrow!

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Hawaii is three hours behind Pacific Time, and I’m definitely feeling the jet lag. The clock says it’s 9:10pm, but my body says it’s past midnight!

16 comments:

  1. Looks spectacular already, what a dream of place! Looking forward to seeing your pics, will keep an eye on them especially as it might give us ideas...

    Have a fantastic time!

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  2. Those travelers palms are spectacular!! looking forward to see more plants!!! have a great time in that incredible place!

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    1. There are many plants I don't recognize (yet) but I will continue to include lots of plant photos.

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  3. I was thinking "what's so special about the traveler's palms?" then I scrolled down a bit. Wow, those are strange and cool! I can't wait to see what other wonders you'll show us.

    BTW, aren't you supposed to have electronic devices powered off during landing?

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    1. I don't think photos fall in the "electronic devices" category. At least I've never been told to turn off a camera :-).

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  4. Oh Gerhard, your pictures of Hawaii make me want to cry with longing. I hope you are having (actually I know you are having) a great time there!

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  5. Beautiful...I knew I'd feel like I was right there with you looking at your photos and I do!

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    1. Glad you're along for the ride! Makes the hardship of being here easier to bear :-).

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  6. Glad to see you arrived safely. Looking forward to reading the rest of the adventure.

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  7. Super photos! You are going to have so much fun!

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  8. Wailea was the best vacation I've ever had. Most relaxing, beautiful vacation ever! Enjoy and aloha!

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    1. I think Wailea is an excellent homebase for exploring Maui.

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