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Maui

I spent last week in Maui, as a combination tenth-anniversary trip and Thanksgiving. Sorted through the photos, vaguely, but I’ve been too busy to get any words down on it.

Looking back, I guess I haven’t written about my previous visits there, but we went in 2013 and 2015. Pictures of the previous visits are on Flickr, but I’ve all but given up on these stupid travel updates.

The vitals: we stayed in Kapalua instead of Wailea this time, at the Ritz-Carlton. It’s a bit more isolated, which is nice, but it also meant we had to drive like an hour to get anywhere. We had a kitchen, which meant I could avoid the 5000-calorie buffet every morning and make my own breakfast.

I went zip-lining, which was a first and a lot of fun. Six zips across Pu’u Kukui and the West Maui Forest Preserve took a few hours, with a bus ride on a muddy dirt road, then an uphill ATV ride up an even muddier road. The rain held out until the last zip, and then it felt like I was being pelted with rock salt. Still, awesome stuff. If you’re ever out there, Kapalua Ziplines are the folks to use.

Went to the Maui aquarium again, but it was a bit more crowded with school-holiday traffic. Ate a lot at a few different places. Didn’t go to Target. Coincidentally ended up at a dead mall connected to a Safeway, which was a truly surreal experience. I didn’t do any swimming or try to kill myself paddle-boarding like last time. Lots and lots of walking and hiking, although no volcano this time.

Anyway, pictures posted on Flickr for you to ignore: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm9FoH6E. Dragged along the DSLR and a bunch of lenses, and ended up taking twice as many pictures with my phone. Go figure.

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big trip

I am excited – I finally planned and booked my “big trip” for the year, and it will be… Hawaii!. I didn’t get anywhere near enough time there in 2003, so I will be going back at the beginning of May. I’m going to Oahu again, flying into Honolulu and staying in a hotel in Waikiki. It’ll be a different place this time, the Ohana Maile Sky Court, in an oceanview room that purports to be a little larger than my micro-capsule of a room last time (but hey, I had my own deck!) I got the whole deal through Delta for maybe a hundred or two more than my ultra-stellar deal back in ’03, although this does include an extra night free, and most other deals I found cost twice as much. It’s not the cheapest time to fly, so I’m happy I locked in this rate. I’m also happy I will get another 10,000-odd frequent flier miles, which means a free trip later in the year.

I haven’t planned at all what I will do when I get there. I’m not sure if I will go flying again – it was fun, but it was also expensive and took up the better part of a day. I think I will climb Diamondhead again, although I’ll try to remember a flashlight and some suntan lotion this time. I’d like to find some more stuff like that to do, and bring a bit more money for shopping. I also didn’t try any good food while I was there last time, unless you consider the Spam at McDonald’s to be good. (It’s not horrible, but not worth the trip…)

I had Balti beef tonight, from the local Indian delivery place. I guess I’ve never tried it before, and when I googled around, I found several sites explaining the origins and virtues of this style of cooking that’s named after the Hindi word for “bucket”. It’s essentially a poor man’s stir fry, done up in a pot that’s brought out to the table, and then eaten with nan bread. It’s a northwestern/Pakistani style of spices, hot but different than the curries you’d get from Southern India. I like a good vindaloo, especially when it’s cold out and I’m trying to beat a head cold. But the Balti is a slightly different mix, and I really like it. Also there’s just this whole tactile difference, the novelty of having it all together, that somehow appeals to the gadget-head in me. Plus you get a shitload of food for not much. So that’s cool.

I really feel that I should be writing this book, but I really want to play Mercenaries. Which one do you think will win?