I write a column for our local paper. My sandbox is local issues, but sometimes I meander into other things that are meaningful to me.
I recently wrote a column about the power and joy of travelling alone. Once published, that column spurred a steady flow of emails from readers, including several women wanting advice about solo travel.
So, here I am. Dusting off Carry On Traveller!
A few weeks ago, I delivered my youngest child to the Honolulu airport and watched him walk away – turning back once to give me another hug and tell me not to cry – then head off to board a plane that would carry him clear across the Pacific Ocean to New Zealand, where he will live for the next year, as he completes his studies.
I watched him walk away – thinking the inevitable parental thoughts of where did the time go and please let him get there safely – and then I wiped away a final tear, gathered up my carry on bags and walked over to the inter-island terminal and boarding a quick Hawaiian Air flight to Maui.
When people ask me which Hawaiian island is the best, I usually answer with a quick overview of the main islands. They are all wonderful, for different reasons.
Oahu is the TV Hawaii that we know and love. Hawaii 5-0. Waikiki Beach. North Shore Surfers. Shrimp Trucks and Shave Ice. It’s busy – almost 90% of the states population lives on Oahu – and it’s a magnet for international shoppers.
Kauai is the kick-back Hawaii. Same shirt, different day, Brah! It’s the garden isle for a reason – it’s lush and gorgeous, the kind of place you could disappear into.
The Big Island of Hawaii is the rustic Hawaii. Lava fields and lush jungles. Positively gorgeous.
And Maui is the home of the humpback whales. Well, that is what it is for me. There are other good things, too!
Some come in a glass.
Some come on a mixed plate.
Some come on land.
And some come by sea. Ah, Mother Earth. You are amazing.
Some practical tips: I booked a lovely little apartment on HomeAway.com, a perfect one bedroom condo, in a small, older complex, just north of Lahaina. I like smaller resorts, because they are easy to access – parking close to my door – and are often less expensive, without the fancy bells and whistles. Plus, I find that they are more private.
I rented a crappy little car from Payless and bought my breakfast groceries – local banana bread and fresh fruit – at a fabulous and funky health food store called the Farmer’s Market, just up the street. I grabbed a bottle of Old Lahaina Dark Rum (I do love my dark rums!) at the Safeway and settled in for a great week.
I ate my main meals at lunch and had gourmet takeaway on my lanai- overlooking the ocean – in the evening. Aloha, fish taco heaven! And yes, that’s an absolutely perfect banana cream pie.
Mahalo, Maui. Mahalo, Ocean.