Turtles, Whales, and a Woozle

Near the dragon's teeth in Kapalua

Near the dragon’s teeth in Kapalua

At last the gauntlet of death eased its campaign and I got to enjoy some real vacation time, with varying degrees of success. Here is a smattering of highlights from our trip to Hawaii:

Trying to Not Get Kicked Off the Plane

Our flight was delayed an hour, so we parked ourselves in a restaurant table closest to the airport terminal for best people watching potential (I swear we saw a pair of professional “bearders” pass by). The boyfriend enjoyed some adult beverages under the auspices of “it’s vacation!” but really more because he is only slightly less afraid of flying than I am. I wasn’t able partake myself because of my sinus issues, unfortunately. When we got the news our flight was delayed another hour, he ordered a Bloody Mary. He let the server know that this, his third beverage, was really, really good, and she replied, “Yes, we make all our drinks as doubles!” Mierda.

The boyfriend was slightly woozly when we made our way to the gate. The check-in attendant asked for his last name. He stared back blankly then looked at his boarding pass: “Panza!” he declared.

The check-in attendant’s brow furrowed. I swear if my boyfriend had been any shade darker than milky white the TSA would have swept in to investigate us.

A funny aside to this story is the difference in our moods when we arrived at our destination. I was nearly euphoric, as I typically am after stepping off a plane, because I was on firm ground and hadn’t gone down in a ball of flames into the Pacific. My boyfriend was grumbling as we rolled our baggage through a nearly pitch-black parking lot looking for our rental car. I asked why he was so grumpy and he confessed: “I think I’m hungover.” It was 7 pm.

The Perfect View

I had managed, booking on short notice, to get an ocean-front condo, in a small complex during high season (whale season) in Maui, for less than the nightly rate of a hotel in downtown San Francisco. The hyper-colored blue strip of water, made dramatic with the islands of Molokai and Lanai in the background, was like an IV of Prozac every day.

View of Lanai Island

View of Lanai Island

An unexpected bonus was the daily life we saw out on the water. First, the whales: Between 5,000 and 10,000 whales are in the area for the season, and we were able to watch several groups popping up every morning while we were enjoying coffee on the patio. Second, there was a reef break just outside the condo, where about 5-15 surfers and paddle boarders were at any given time. One afternoon, the two worlds of human and Humpback collided, when a group of whales buzzed by right next to the reef break.

The whales grab everyone's attention

The whales grab everyone’s attention

The paddleboarders on a dangerballs mission to get closer to the whales

The paddleboarders on a dangerballs mission to get closer to the whales

Sea turtles also came up to the rocks next to the condo to feed, appearing, from my overhead view, like a group of green Pac-Man’s shuttling around ungracefully from rock to rock in the turquoise surf. When we were at a nearby beach we found one lonely turtle basking in the sun, eyes closed and oblivious to people like me who stopped to get a photo.

maui turtle

I meet a turtle!

A Case of Restlessness

I should have beached myself like the pale mainlander I am and enjoyed the sun and critters, but alas, I have a twitchy spirit and must assess my surroundings fully before I can settle down; Kind of like a cat that spins around about 20 times before they find their perfect sleep spot. Some of the sunniest, best weather days we spent driving around, checking out parks, shops and beach access points. Right when we had the lay of the land and were ready for a solidly beachy couple of days, the “Vog” moved in (volcanic smog), the weather cooled down, and the surf got rough.

Not that I’m complaining, but I feel like I have some unfinished business in Maui! The kind that involves sitting and doing nothing.

I’ll have to split this up into a two-parter. Next will be upcountry and our Hana adventure. For now, more pictures!

Small beach next to our condo where the surfers and paddleboarders accessed the break

Small beach next to our condo where the surfers and paddleboarders accessed the break

Shot of ocean at the small beach

Shot of ocean at the small beach

Rocks under condo, where the turtles came to have lunch

Rocks under the condo, where the turtles came to have lunch

Dragon's teeth

Dragon’s teeth in Kapalua

Also near dragon's teeth in Kapalua

Also near the dragon’s teeth

Cool tree on path to Honolua bay

Cool tree on path to Honolua bay

Honolua Bay path- chickens, cats and snorkelers run amok

Honolua Bay path- chickens, cats and snorkelers run amok

Dramatic sunset at the condo

Dramatic sunset at the condo

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  1. I would have done like you and gone out to check out the area. Beaches just don’t do it for me. I think they’re beautiful, but I want to get immersed in the culture. You have some beautiful pictures.
    Brett Minor (@brettminor) recently posted…Test Your Funny Bone #20 – Gansta Easta BunnyMy Profile

    • winopants says:

      Culture, in a part of the island covered in 1960s-style condos, was a dubious thing I discovered. We still had a lot of great experiences cruising around though

  2. Bloody Mary’s = round-the-clock enjoyment. That’s the beauty of them. Named after Mary, Queen of Scots. Slaughtered everyone who wouldn’t convert to Catholicism. It’s a fact!

    Did you add those big black arrows to indicate the island or are they sculpture?

    Are you certain the turtle was sleeping? It looks like it might have been knocked on the beach by a passing truck.

    Vog, schmog. It beats punching a clock. Why, oh WHY can’t this be the normal thing? Why does this have to be the once-in-a-while thing? So bloody unfair.

    • winopants says:

      I had myself a virgin mary. Tasty even without the booze.
      If any spiky black rocks appear they are of the volcanic variety. Wait till you see the Hana pics!
      The turtle finally opened his eyes and flapped around a little bit after about a half hour of people hanging around. It’s illegal for anyone to touch them so people kept their distance at least

  3. Cheryl P. says:

    Your pictures are gorgeous. Looks like paradise.
    Cheryl P. recently posted…Fortunes and FuturesMy Profile

  4. Excuse me while I just sit here and ogle these pictures longingly. You could make this a 10 part post for all I care. Very cool. My only bit of disappointment is that you aren’t riding that turtle, but you may have just left your saddle in the room, right?

    • winopants says:

      If I had enough stories for 10 posts I would, but I’m sure I can manage to milk the experience for a few more :P Turtles aren’t exactly the cuddliest of creatures, I was fine with hanging back

  5. bluzdude says:

    OMG, that sunset pic is unbelievable.
    bluzdude recently posted…Son of ObituaryMy Profile

  6. Misty says:

    Gorgous. Absolutely gorgous. And now I want to be on a beach somewhere, anywhere, instead of sitting in my office staring out at the gloom. Drats.

    And despite the lack of laziness, sounds like you had a groovy time.
    Misty recently posted…Haaaaaaaave ya met VAL?My Profile

  7. OMG, SO MUCH TO SAY!! We honeymooned on Maui in fall of 2011, and so reading this was like taking a second honeymoon – I remembered everything I loved about that trip! We didn’t see any whales, but I did get to swim with a turtle, which made the trip for me. And girl, you got some great pictures!
    I can’t wait to hear about Hana! That was my favorite part, including the off-roading in the dark with our rental car (why yes, we did violate the agreement). I also feel like there was too much to see, and did not get a sufficient amount of QT with the beach and a book. Do over trip in the future, perhaps? ;)
    Natalie the Singingfool recently posted…Not as Irish as I ThoughtMy Profile

    • winopants says:

      OOh, we didn’t technically violate our rental agreement, since we went with a local company, but we took the back way home from Hana too. But more on that later!
      What part of the island did you stay? We were in Kahana. I’d probably do south Maui next time for more relaxing beach time.

  8. RedShoes51 says:

    Holy Crap!!!

    Those photos are beautiful!!! And to think I’ve been wanting to get to the Bay area to do some whale watching… and you go to Hawaii!!!

    I am SO jealous!!!! :o (

    RedShoes51 recently posted…“Foot Prints…”My Profile

    • winopants says:

      I’ve always blown off whale watching because I thought it was difficult to actually achieve. I know people who have gone out on boats and not seen anything. In Maui, it was impossible to watch the ocean for five minutes without seeing whales. We did a boat tour and they came up within 30 feet of us, I even heard one growl!

  9. Andrew says:

    My family went to Hawaii a few years ago. They left me at home alone, though :/
    That’s when I started writing The House on the Corner for really reals, so I guess it was okay.
    Sort of.
    Andrew recently posted…Top Ten Movies and the TreeMy Profile

  10. Valerie says:

    I’m so jealous right now, that if I had ever been exposed to gamma radiation in the past, I would hulk out and destroy a city. Also, I’m happy you had an awesome time!! No, really. You deserve it.

    You simply must give me your travel booking secrets.


    Valerie recently posted…Total Slacker… But here are some smiles in a post!!!My Profile

    • winopants says:

      A lot of trip advisor research, plus little things like Google street view to check stuff out. I found too that the little condo communities in west Maui all know each other, so if you find one good that is booked, they will refer you to another. During their high season no one keeps their calenders current on vacation rental websites, so the referrals are helpful!
      The rates after april get way better too!

  11. Ah. the whales! Magnificent creatures when they’re not being kissed by humans. I hope you’re not going to participate in that kind of venture. You look very nice with the turtle, but don’t be mean with the sunblock. A sun hat might also be a good idea.
    Gorilla Bananas recently posted…Indonesian bike banMy Profile

    • winopants says:

      I’ll admit to being overly generous with sunblock. Tropical sun tends to still get through 50 spf when you are my color.

  12. Scarlett says:

    Oh this pace looks AMAZING! I can’t believe you could actually see the whale from the beach! I went whale watching once and I was in absolute awe! xxx
    Scarlett recently posted…Ten Things University Taught MeMy Profile

  13. Well this post is going to make the rest of my work day just fly by. :) Great pics!
    Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point recently posted…I’m Inadvertantly Stalking a HGTV House Hunters Couple, What Do I Do?My Profile

  14. Leslie says:

    I am right there with you on the exploring aspect. I am terrible at going on vacation and not allowing down time to just relax and absorb the surroundings. Gotta go, gotta see, gotta do. Can’t miss anything!
    Love the pics! Especially the one of the tree and the gorgeous sunset above the lit pool. Glad you had a great time!
    Leslie recently posted…Did Lucille Ball Ever Drive a U-Haul?My Profile

  15. Great pictures. That tree seems to come straight out of Jurassic Park.
    Yes, my cat does the exact same thing :) Takes her ten minutes to settle down.
    the blue grumpster recently posted…The Importance of… Acting Your Age and Fitting InMy Profile

  16. Your photos are amazing. Did you pet the turtle? Such a cute turtle! It looks almost big enough to be a teenager. And possibly a ninja.
    SarcasticNinja recently posted…It’s Raining MenMy Profile

    • winopants says:

      The turtle was way too lazy to be a TMNT :P Unless it just needed pizza. Damn, why didn’t I think of that!
      If I get arrested next time I’m in Hawaii for trying to feed the turtles it’s your fault!

  17. Oh my gosh, I almost cried at all of that beauty, especially the whales!
    Punky Coletta recently posted…The 13 Hour NapMy Profile

  18. I wanna meet a sea turtle! Those are really nice pictures, too.
    Carrie – Cannibalistic Nerd recently posted…Super Friends Season 2, Episode 11 – “Cheating”My Profile

  19. Beth says:

    Wow, that looks absolutely amazing. I’m a pale mainlander myself…on the East Coast. So as much as I would love to go to Hawaii, the plane fare alone is prohibitive.

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