Lava FlowsWhich is not as exciting as it might sound, given that we were back at the condo by 8:30pm. Still, it was pretty nightlife-y for us.

After our Molokini Snorkel excursion we had lunch at the Five Palms Beach Grill, which is right across the street from our condo complex and looks out on Keawakapu Beach. The food was fantastic and the view amazing – we had a nice leisurely lunch and then headed back to the condo. Since our lunch had been pretty big, we were thinking about doing pupus at the Four Seasons for dinner – they have a hulu show every evening at happy hour. But by 4:00 we were already quite hungry again. Lis thought Italian would be good, and decided on a restaurant called Matteo’s in Wailea that had soy cheese pizza, plus 50% off pizza and wine between 4-6pm – we headed there about 5pm.

Turned out they were out of soy cheese, but this turned out not to be an issue. The counter girl talked us in to ordering two 10″ pizzas rather than sharing one – she said they were very thin crusted and more like a personal pizza, and with the 50% off we were basically getting 2 for 1. I got the Hawaiian pizza, and Lis got pepperoni with artichokes and mushrooms but no cheese. Plus we each got a house salad. The food was very good, even the pizza sans cheese, and we each had more than half remaining to take home for next day’s lunch (we totally could have shared one).

If you’ve been reading along with us, you know that we discovered the (apparently incredibly common) fruity umbrella drink, the Lava Flow, early in the trip when we ate at Café O’Lei. Their version looked fabulous, but it was lunch and too early to drink. Since that first Lava Flow sighting, I’ve been on a mission to get one with an umbrella, with no luck. We had Lava Flows at Moose McGillycuddy’s – no umbrella. At the luau Lis ordered a Lava Flow, and it was a weird Slurpee kind of thing with some watery strawberry syrup on it – no umbrella plus highly disappointing in general.

So we decided that after dinner we would go back to Café O’Lei and get a Lava Flow. We sat at the bar and ordered our drinks, and watched the bartender make them. She blended and poured and put in the pineapple and then brought them over – no umbrella. I was very disappointed, but then realized that I had the power to alleviate the situation – “May I have an umbrella, please?” The bartender smiled and said “Of course; what’s a Lava Flow without an umbrella,” or some such nicety. She put umbrellas in both of our drinks, and I was finally happy.

The drink was very good – basically a smoothie with rum (really a Pina Colada with strawberry puree, but whatever) – just the kind of girlie drink I like. We sat at the bar, drinking our drinks, and grew slowly fascinated by the chef working the seafood bar. He was building these incredible things called seafood towers – three plates with shrimp and oysters and some kind of fish salsa thing and tempura and all sorts of stuff. Plus making more standard shrimp cocktails and oyster plates and such. We had a menu in front of us, so he would start making something and we would consult the menu, trying to figure out what it was. It was very entertaining – like watching the Food Network.

Eventually we attracted the notice of the manager and the chef himself. The manager came over to tell us about the seafood tower the chef was building at that moment, and then the chef came over about 15 minutes later, when he was done with all his orders, to ask us if we had any questions. I asked about the two different sizes of oysters I had seen, which prompted a fairly lengthy dissertation on the three types of oysters he uses. He went over to the seafood bar to get examples of all three, and at first I was afraid that he was going to give us samples (I abhor oysters), but he was just showing us the shells. He described the taste and texture of each oyster, where they’re from (two from California, one from Washington), and how he uses them. It was all very fun – we really, really like Café O’Lei – plus the prices are quite reasonable.

Soon we were done with our drinks, and took our leave. Because I am a lightweight, I thought it best that we maybe wait a bit before driving (I didn’t feel tipsy, but better safe than sorry). Lis was delighted because this meant she could finally get me to go with her to one of the many crap stores (I mean tourist gift shops) that she had been wanting to go to. We wandered all around, and did actually find a couple of 2010 calendars for 99 cents (one Maui scenes, the other Hawaiian flowers).

Lis: I love wandering around shops of any type and Mary hates it. It just so happened that the shop nearby was a tourist shop. I was quite happy. I am trying to figure out where to get her drunk next time where there might be some great soap and lotion shop.

Then back to the condo and another rousing game of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire (I won, but Lis is ahead in the series 2-1) and then in bed by 9:30. As I said, not all that exciting, but it works for usJ

Note from Lis: Since this is Mary’s travelogue and I just put my 2 cents in every once in a while, she has neglected to mention how I spent my afternoon, which was shopping for real estate. Every day at the entrance to our condo complex there are listings of which units have open houses, and I have been very curious to see other units. Yesterday afternoon there were two; Mary dropped me off at the first one on our way back from lunch. The first one was a fairly run-down one-bedroom with an ocean view. The price was in the 600k range, which I thought was low. I was expecting them to be in the millions. But what do I know? The second one was a very lovely one-bedroom overlooking the main pool for only $429,000. I spent a long time talking to the real estate agent there, partly because I was pretending I might buy a condo and partly because I was curious about how the whole vacation condo business works. I learned that they are sold completely furnished, that the monthly condo dues are in the $450 range and cover cable tv and maintenance and lots of things, but not electricity or internet, and that most owners hire a condo management company to rent them out and handle cleaning, maintenance issues, etc. In exchange for this service the condo management company gets approximately 22% of the revenues.

The real estate agent also showed me some photos of two-bedroom units on the internet and quizzed me about where I was from, what we had done so far, where we had eaten, and gave me suggestions. He was the person who told me about Matteo’s. It was all very interesting, but I was also standing in the humid condo dripping sweat and by the time I finally made my escape back to our air-conditioned unit, I thought I might pass out. However I quickly downloaded a mortgage calculator to my IPhone and ran the numbers to see if such an investment would pay off. The real estate agent had told me that the 429k unit had grossed $28,000 last year which sounds like quite a lot, but that would not cover the mortgage payment so, dear friends, we are not going to buy a condo in Maui. (not that we would have anyway)

The other thing Mary did not mention is that I was full after two slices of pizza at Matteo’s and didn’t want to go straight to Café O’Lei. I suggested walking along the Wailea beach path for the sunset and was met with incredulity. Something about parking the car and not knowing where to go and hot, hot, hot. We ended up driving to the Kihei boat ramp where our snorkel expedition had met that morning and walking a tiny bit in on a trail where we watched the sun go down behind a huge cloud and the waves break against the rocks. It felt a little bit Oregon Coasty to me. I took a nice little video which I would post to YouTube except I am way too far in to vacation to be able to remember my user name and password.