Travel Logs 2 (Or, another long Maui review)

It occurs to me that Christmas passed and I once again managed to avoid really giving it much thought. No snow here in Hawaii, and I haven’t been watching enough TV to catch any Christmas specials, even in spite of the lack of TiVo. It is so odd to be back to channel surfing. I sit on the TV Guide channel to figure out what is on but its so slow moving it drives me crazy. Jessica and Shaina watch enough TV in a day for my week, so I have to keep trying to ignore bad Disney Channel movies and reality TV shows and such. Because I do so badly at avoiding constant annoying TV distractions, I find myself completely drawn in by the colorful picture box whenever it is on, and in a hotel room it is hard to get away from it. The same thing happens when I’m trying to talk to people and there is a TV on, I just can’t concentrate. Or when I’m at a gym with lots of TVs everywhere, I go nuts… So there’s something that Brandeis gym has going for it — no television.

So here is what I’ve seen that is memorable, meaning that I enjoyed it, at least slightly.

  • The West Wing
    I stopped watching it a little while back but this episode about Hoynes’ memoir thing got me sort of intrigued. Add that to the promos a few weeks ago (“and did we mention the ASTERIOD?”) and I might just have to catch up on that show, due to the sheer silliness of it.
  • Gilmore Girls
    I pictured it as something like the sisters from Charmed doing their own little Sex and the City, but it is nothing like that. I have no idea what, exactly, it is, but its enjoyable and cute, even if I am lacking all backstory. And the younger Gilmore is the kind of girl I wish I could have dated in high school… Wait, what was I saying? Oh, right. So a show that is certainly tolerable, although I doubt I’ll find myself going out trying to find back episodes. But you never know.
  • Men in Black
    Yeah, it’s a movie, but it was funny to watch again, and it got me to thinking — whatever happened to Dennis Rodman? Did he up and return to his home planet or something? And remember when Will Smith was “up and coming?”

And that’s the extent of my TV for the trip.

Shaina, Liz, and four Jessicas by the blow holeYesterday we took a car trip past some mile marker you aren’t supposed to pass, voided our car insurance or something, and walked a short but rocky ways down to something called the Blow Hole. It is a formation of lave such that waves pass underneath and water is funneled up through a rock opening to form a big ole geyser. I wanted to go find a waterfall, but this was a good substitute. We stood by it, took pictures, and I made sure to get thuroughly soaked before heading back. Much fun was had by all, although I did scrape my knee on some rocks and get blood on my shorts. Bye bye, shorts. Also got to walk on some lava and such.

Today we went in search of surfing equipment and spent the day on a beach attempting to surf on our own after our lesson of two days ago. The three beaches I’ve been to so far on this trip have been pretty shallow and rocky. This beach was still only about three feet deep even after we had gone a ways out, and there were lots of pointy rocks about. It was even more important to remember to fall flat on one’s back rather then attempting to step off or (worse) falling face first. If you were lucky, you’d fall smoothly in a normal patch, and get up before hitting anything, if you were unlucky you would smack into a rock or two. Best was to not fall at all.

The waves weren’t great but we all managed to score some, um, board time, if that’s the word. There were so many people, though, that it was difficult to get up without smashing in to someone which, I probably don’t have to say, is pretty bad form. Once or twice I rode a wave, stood up, and then the wave petered out to nothing, leaving me standing motionless on my board, trying to keep my balance (difficult!) and eventually falling over. By the end I had gotten some sun (cause we all know how much I love that), gotten some waves, and gotten all manner of bumps, bruises, rashes, cuts, and scrapes. For a non-sportsman like myself, it was pretty brutal. Reminded me why I like to stay away from contact sports. Also suggested to me that I need a lot more arm strength if I want to be good at this. All that paddling back out is very, very tiring, and my arms were quite sore by the end. Which is not to say that I am complaining, because I enjoyed it. I’m just pointing out some of the less appealing aspects of the whole thing and potential downsides. Buyer beware, and all that.

Not much more to report from Hawaii. Amazingly, every single meal we’ve had here has been good, probably a first for my family on a trip. I don’t remember all of the restaurants, but Cheeseburger in Paradise offered good cheeseburgers, even if they lacked barbacue sauce, Hula Grill had some yummy dinner, Aloha Mixed Plate was a filling (and cheap!) local haunt, Gazebo had some mean macadamian nut white chocolate chip banana pancakes (not on the menu, ask for them), Leilaini’s (owned by the same company as Hula Grill) had good nachos, and this place by the big tree was also tasty, plus they had blue rolls that have somthing called Poi in them. There was a general obsession with macadamian nuts and mahi mahi, but no spam to be found, which leads me to believe we never did find a truly local establishment…or we’re just on the wrong island. Everyone did seem to have Loco Moco on the menu, but I never tried it. And many places you would expect to find potatoes (like with your morning eggs) they would substitute rice instead.

Tomorrow we check out and hop a plane to Honolulu and then back to California. It’ll day pretty much a full day of travel. So I guess I’m signing off from Hawaii. See you on the other side of the Pacific!