Published: September 1st 2010August 30th 2010
August 30, 2010 Bye, Bye, Big Island
Today we said Mahalo to the Big Island and Aloha to Maui. With our suitcases packed, we departed Noe's Nest and ventured back to Kona. Since we had been on every other major road on the island, we thought we would take the last unseen route of Highway 11, which runs along the south of the island. Well, if we had not taken this road, I don't think we would have missed much. Once we passed out of the green eastern side, the landscape turned into a sad version of the Yakima Valley. Dead trees, dead bushes, dead, dead, dead. I guess the nice thing was that there are few police and therefore no one to tell you to slow down as you pass through. Interestingly, instead of the "Deer X-ing" signs we're used to seeing, we saw "Nene X-ing" signs. Nene, pronounced nay-nay, is the state bird and something like a small Canadian goose.
Getting closer to Kona we finally started to see green again, though artificial from mass watering by farmers or wealthy people who can afford lawns. I think most who stay on the Kona side are in resorts;
this side of the island has most of the few swimming beaches, though there is little else to do in the area. After checking in our rental car, we got to the airport and boarded our flight to Maui. We only spent about half hour in the air, which was amazing. I wish the SEA-LAX flights were that short! After landing and collecting our rental Hyundai Accent (no power locks or windows, but with AC), we took off for our new home base in Kihei. New House
We are staying at Aikane Oceanfront Rentals, a private home with five rental units in it. Our accomodations are great, the place is very clean and private. One bedroom, but large space. And our lanai (fancy Hawaiian word for patio) meets the lawn, which stretches right down to the beach. My only disagreement is with the bathroom. It is in the bedroom, walled in with a door, but it has no ceiling. So if you want to do your business in peace you must ask your travel companion to exit into the living room. Mom thinks I am too picky, but really, she does not need to know about my business, and
Mom and Me at the Luau
Free (fake) tattoos at the luau
I do not need to know about hers! But we do not use the bathroom every second, and the other amenities make up for this one thing. Hawaii in Style
We were only checked in for an hour when it was time to leave for our luau at the Grand Wailea resort. Our hostess called us a taxi and we were on our way. Just so you know, luaus are pretty expensive, but they are a fun way to spend an evening with an above-average buffet. Arriving at the hotel, we collected our tickets from the concierge and wandered around the grounds until check in. The words "open bar" were lingering in the air as Mom and I filled up with mai tais and wine. The show was very good. Each scene told a story about Hawaiian culture or folklore, some of which we heard while visiting Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. The food was good too, with all sorts of salads and meats. And happily our server continued to bring us complimentary drinks. You can't pick your table.
Indeed, seating was assigned and we had an... interesting... group sharing our table. One couple was young,
but rather boastful. The other couple didn't want to keep up with the Jones', they wanted to beat the Jones' and take them for a ride. With three children with them, the wife was a plastic
who was more interested in keeping her lip gloss perfect than keeping track of her kids; I think the husband married her to be a party accessory. Whatever works. Unfortunately, the couples really got into the "I'm so great" conversation. Mom and I sat back and ordered another drink. But they kept us amused through the night. The plastic wife was convinced a professional football player was sitting one table away, prompting the young couple to take pictures of the back of his head. And the plastic wife, who was actually staying that the Grand Wailea, mentioned how Britney Spears was staying at the resort and the paparazzi were all over the beach. Mom and I figured that was probably the only reason the woman booked this hotel to begin with.
After the show, we called our cab to take up back to our rental in Kihei, and spent the rest of the night enjoying the fact that we do not have to compete with Britney Spear's paparazzi.
Update: Aikane Oceanfront Rentals was sold in October 2010 and at this time is no longer a condo rental.