On Tuesday Lis and my mom and I arrived on Maui. Our friend Jane was supposed to be coming, too, but she had a bunch of stuff come up at the last minute and had to cancel. This made us all very sad, but it was still exciting to be headed to Hawai’i (Miss you, Jane!).

Mom was last in Hawai’i in 1972, and has been wanting to come back since then, so Lis and I are pleased to be taking her. She (Mom) is a little bit trepidatious (word?) about Maui, because when she was here before it was stormy and miserable, but it’s the island we’re most familiar with, so we thought it would be best to come here so we’d have a better idea of how things are laid out and which things might be more taxing, as Mom doesn’t get around as well as she used to. (Aside: she does have a walker, which I made her get and which she hates, and which we were going to make her bring so she’d have more options. But she sneakily refrained from reminding me about it when I picked her up, and I didn’t remember it until we were at the airport and it was too late, and she had a slight but unmistakably triumphant smile. So, Mom 1, Lis & Mary 0.)

The flight was pleasant, and soon enough we were on the ground in Maui. We were at the back of the plane, and as we were waiting to get off, Lis said “What’s that smell?” It was Maui – the doors were open and all the scents of all the flowers were wafting in. Gotta love it.

We are staying in a two bedroom condo in the Grand Champions in Wailea. It’s comfortable and well laid out, and includes all the local guides that you would expect, and also an English-Hawaiian dictionary, which is fun. Mom and I have been looking up all the Hawaiian place names. For instance – kama’ole means ‘childless’ or ‘barren’, and kaiwahine literally means ‘sea’ (kai) ‘woman’ (wahine) but idiomatically means a feminine or gentle sea. Gotta love that, too :)

Yesterday I got up early and came and sat on the lanai and listened to all the birds (which is what I’m doing right now, too), and also all the power mowers and leaf blowers from the adjacent tennis courts and golf course. But on the whole, the birds outnumber the grounds crew, so it is mostly great. Then we all got up and had some breakfast, and then Lis and I went snorkeling while Mom stayed in and caught up on the news.

We went to Ulua beach, which is my favorite. But the surf was up a little – nothing scary, but enough to stir up the sand and make for somewhat poor visibility. Still, it’s just so great to be in the water, and we did see lots of fish. I thought some of the coral looked white and wondered if it was sick, but when I Googled it back at the condo nothing came up, so I’ll hope that all is well.

We snorkeled for about an hour or so, and then decided to head back in. As we were heading back to shore, a huge male sea turtle came lazily by in the other direction. He swam directly under us, I’d say about 5 feet below. And, because of the limited visibility, we didn’t see him coming – it was normal, normal, then BOOM! sea turtle. So exciting! We followed him for a bit, then headed in. I’ve decided to think that having a sea turtle materialized before your very eyes on your first snorkel is a good sign.

Back at the condo, we got dressed and headed out for lunch. The previous evening, we had eaten at the Maui Coast Hotel’s Kama’ole Poolside Cafe and Bar. We chose this because Lis had called one of our favorite restaurants, Cafe O’Lai, and asked if they had a happy hour. They said no, but their sister restaurant at the hotel pool did. It was nice to be all tropical and poolside, plus the food was affordable and excellent – we definitely recommend it.

For lunch, we went to Maui Tacos in Kihei, which we read about in one of the condo guides. It was cheap but good, and in the same strip mall as Snorkel Bob’s, where I wanted to pick up some sun protection shorts if they had any (I forgot mine at home, dangit!), and as Hawaiian Moons Natural Foods, where we wanted to get some ezekial bread and almond butter. The natural foods store trip was a success, but I struck out at Snorkel Bob’s, so still on my quest for shorts.

Then we went off in search of Hawaiian Shave Ice. We had never tried this before, or even been tempted to, but our friend Louise (hey, Louise!) came back from a recent trip to Maui raving about it, so we decided we better try it. Lis’ research said the best shave ice was Ululani’s, so off we went. Lis and I each got a micro shave ice (which was still huge), with optional ice cream at the bottom – Lis chose coconut, I chose macadamia. Mom was dubious and just sampled ours. Lis LOVED her shave ice and can’t wait to go back. I liked mine, and Mom remained dubious.

Ululani’s is next to a bakery, which is next to an ABC store – trifecta! We got some banana bread at the bakery and some booze at the ABC store, and then, with our basic food groups covered, headed back to the condo, where Lis took a nap and Mom and I watched game 7. I was disappointed that KC couldn’t pull it out (sorry, Rosemary!), but it was fun watching a historic pitching performance.

For dinner we went to happy hour at Manoli’s Pizza in Wailea, which was also affordable and good. So far, we are doing very well with our cheap happy hours ways! We watched the end of the game there, which was fun, except for the one sad lady in the KC shirt, sitting right behind the cheering ladies in SF shirts. But soon after the game ended, they were all chatting and laughing together – so there was a happy ending after all.