Maui Musings

The Wahine Writes

South Shore’s Sand and Salt

Written By: Jueli - Jun• 30•11

We spent the first two weeks on Maui unplugged from our mainland lives. We vacationed on the south shore, which is lined with one breathtaking white sand beach after another. We spent a little extra cash on our condo so that we would have a view of the Pacific, complete with a foreground of silhouetted palm trees. Just before sunset, we’d cook up dinner, pour a pitcher of ice water, and race to nature’s nightly dinner show, complimentary seating on the building’s 7th floor. The 180-degree light extravaganza began shortly after we arrived: For more than an hour, the falling ball of luminosity would play hide-and-seek behind watercolor-painted clouds that shifted from cotton ball white to cerulean blue, pale orange, a color wheel of pink, shades of saffron and cream. Four outrigger canoes on a schedule feathered through the ocean’s glass surface, their ancient Hawaiian call-and-response carried to our yearning ears on the same breeze that affectionately ruffled my children’s salted hair.

Days were filled with sand and salt, books and magazines, colored pencils and protractors. We stayed satiated and hydrated with mangos, papayas and lime, lychee, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, salt and pepper pistachio nuts, and at least one-hundred liters of drinking water. We learned early that people under six years old will consume mass amounts of H20 from a Camelback, as they bite open the plastic mouthpiece and suck the water down.

When we weren’t drinking water, we were playing, laughing, bobbing, snorkeling, floating, or surfing in it. The children are more comfortable in the ocean than they ever have been in a pool. Something about that makes me smile. They made friends with other vacationing kids, instantly calling one another “best friends” and talking as if they’d spent the entirety of their young lives as neighbors.

We strung purple orchid leis, twirled practice fire poi (sans flames), and danced hula. We ate shaved ice with ice cream and mochi and red azuki beans (yum!). On an adult dinner cruise (read: no children), there was time to be quiet while bobbing with turtles in the surf beside the West Maui mountains.

On our last day of “vacation”, we woke up at dawn to play in the placid early morning sea. We ate our final pb&j sandwiches, named our favorite parts of Maui’s south shore, and walked back to our vehicle, which stored suitcases and boxes filled everything we owned on Island.

At this point, most families would be taking their salty water-logged bodies to the airport after a nearly perfect vacation. Perhaps not exactly rested and rejuvenated (!), but filled with fun, laughter, and brilliancy.

For us, we drove 40 minutes to Maui’s North Shore. We were going home to Paia Town. The kids were starting summer camp on Monday. Full inboxes and exciting professional projects were waiting for us.

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