June 3, 2008

Paradise found.

The facade...is real!

One of the really interesting things about being here is that everything (the birds, the palm trees, the thatched roofs over the restaurants, the huge palm trees and waxy leaves, the flamingos, the flowers...!) is real. It looks like some kind of Disney facade...but it's real! And it's a privilege to see!

We started today with breakfast at a concierge-recommended "mom and pop place that only recently started taking credit cards." Funny place. It was a literally a restaurant on the pool deck of a very small hotel. The food was good but the view (above) was amazing.

We then drove to Lahaina, once the royal capital of Hawaii--now an old whaler's village chock-full of shops. It was fun to see the old, plantation-style buildings in Lahaina. We also liked the Banyan tree...originally eight-feet tall when planted to mark the 50th anniversary of Lahaina's first Christian mission. The tree is now more than 50 feet tall, has 12 major trunks and covers 2/3 of an acre in courthouse square.

The highlight of our shopping trip there was helping Raegan pick out a piece of jewelry to remember her 13th birthday (Raegan's choice...she used her babysitting money). She picked a beautiful, tear-drop, silver pearl on a white-gold chain. Wouldn't you know, when we were finished with the purchase, the salesperson said, "Now, I will give you all a oyster." She brought out a bucket of oysters and told us to select the "ugliest and hairiest" oyster. We all selected one. "That is very ugly," she told me. What fun surprises awaited us in those oyster shells...two pearls in each. Raegan's oyster contained two silver pearls--they perfectly match her pendant! In fact, she had them made into earrings to match! Mine contained two brown pearls. Cara's contained two black pearls.

We finished our day in Lahaina with Hawaiian ice, which interestingly is called shaved ice in Hawaii, and watched a Koa carver work on tikis.

We swam a little and then had a fun dinner at the Barefoot Bar at the Hula Grill. The tables are on the sand and live band played while a hula dancer danced during dinner.

We marvel at the weather...rather, the non-weather. The days are warm, the but evenings are so mild and incredible.

Can we move here?

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