So what did I do on my Hawaiian vacation with a bunch of women I’d been conversing with online for nearly a decade but had just met in person? Everything! The day I arrived on Maui was pretty uneventful. We had lunch at Monkeypod Kitchen in Wailea (I highly recommend it) and then bought a whole lot of groceries at Costco. Can you believe that’s the first time I’d ever been inside a Costco? It was quite an eye-opener! We got food for several different meals to cook in the huge kitchen of the enormous beachside mansion where we were staying for the next week. (It was something like 15,000 square feet with 10 bedrooms and a swimming pool! I never wanted to leave!) The next morning eight of us decided to drive the Road to Hana, which is practically required for visitors. After about an hour we stopped at a winery to wait out some rain and some of the folks in our group had a change of heart. The winding road had caused three people to develop motion sickness so one of the two cars on our journey turned back. Luckily I was in the car that kept going. To avoid traffic we went the opposite direction on the Road to Hana than most tourists because we had a sturdy Jeep that could handle the rough, unpaved southern portion of the road (the part that rental car companies highly discourage their patrons from taking). It was a beautiful drive, but it took us nearly 12 hours! And it rained on us just about every time we got stopped, especially at Ohe’o Gulch (aka Seven Sacred Pools). We had a nice lunch there, but we got soaked when we tried to hike to the pools. It was a good time, though. That evening we played Cards Against Humanity with everyone in the house and it was a blast.
The next morning was a bit of a mess. A group of us decided to get up at 2 AM and drive up to the peak of Haleakala to see the sunrise. It’s a very popular activity. About 10 miles from the house as we were all yawning and missing our comfy beds we noticed a group of protestors next to the road. We all wondered what that was about, but none of us thought to look it up on our phones (while we still had cell service) and see what was up. About two hours later when we got to the gate of Haleakala National Park we figured out what was going on. The peak was closed for sunrise viewing that morning due to a truck convoy that was scheduled to deliver equipment to the solar observatory at the top of the mountain. The demonstration on the highway was protesting additional construction on the telescope due to desecration of sacred lands. Apparently there’s a case before the Hawaiian Supreme Court that hasn’t been settled yet. The funny thing is that the protest was actually successful in preventing the convoy from making it’s journey up to Haleakala that day. I’m not sure if we could have seen the sunrise that morning either way because we turned around and drove back to the house before finding out. The rest of my day was spent relaxing (reading by the pool), eating Hawaiian shave ice (passionfruit, mango, and coconut), and driving to Lahaina for a submarine tour with three of other housemates. It was a great day.
To be concluded in Part 3!