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Arriving on Maui

After a wonderful week on Moloka`i, I finally arrived on Maui. Of course, the transfer from one island to another is a real hassle. Think about it — get up early (at least earlier than you might get up otherwise), last minute packing, double-check that you did not leave anything, check out of your hotel or condo (or B&B in my case), cart your luggage to your rental car, drive to the rental car check-in area, check in the rental car, catch the shuttle bus to the terminal (or walk if you are departing Moloka`i), check in at the ticket counter, go through security, wait for your flight, boarding, a quick flight (unless you have to fly back to Honolulu and change planes to go to your destination neighbor island), wait for your luggage, catch the shuttle bus to the rental car lot, stand in line to rent the car (unless you have Hertz Gold service or the equivalent), drive to your hotel or condo, check in, unpack, quick trip to the grocery store (if you are staying in a condo) and finally, relax! Plus you have to pad those expected times in case of delays in any part of the process.

Even though I have done this many times, I still resent spending so much of my vacation time just with the logistics of changing islands. A further irritation, albeit minor, is that the condo unit here at Napili Shores where I normally stay was not immediately available due to maintenance work on the building. Since I really love that unit, I would make the switch a few days later.

The view above is from my substitute unit — not bad — looking toward the ocean with the lower pool sitting next to the Gazebo. By the way, on your next trip to Maui, be sure to have breakfast or lunch at the Gazebo. The food is very good and the atmosphere is fantastic.

In fact, I spoke to a couple also staying at Napili Shores who drove to Lahaina looking for a good breakfast spot. They asked someone there for a recommendation and the person told them to go to the Gazebo.

Just to the right of the Gazebo is Napili Bay. This spot has a very special significance to me — Kona's ashes were spread here in 1998 by her son and me — with help from the Lahaina Canoe Club.

As you can see, the weather was beautiful — and, in fact, the Maui weather was more spectacular than on any previous trip that I can remember. The was only one day in my two-and-a-half-week stay when we experienced a rain shower. Most days were as clear as in this photo — but also, you could see the tops of the West Maui Mountains — which is quite unusual because the mountains are generally enshrouded in clouds.

As you can see in both photos above, the sun was casting long shadows — so very little time for photography or any other activity. So I just wandered back up the path and returned to my condo to relax.

However, my relaxation time was interrupted by a spectacular sunset. Every night, weather permitting, the owners and guests at Napili Shores gather at the lower pool to relish Mother Nature's light show — and tonight's was one of the best I have ever seen.

I often have said to friends that I love Hawai`ian sunsets but that Arizona's take the gold medal. This night's sunset would give Arizona a run for its money.

I was so pleasant that I stayed until darkness fell and the fingernail moon became visible. Life doesn't get any better than this.

Later, after dinner, I decided to get out my tripod and take a night shot of the grounds from the lanai of the condo. This shot is the nighttime version of the first photo above.

I have become enamored of nighttime photography and so have been forcing myself to practice — on scenes that are just for fun. And this one certainly was.

Next, I gathered up my gear and took this shot at the pool with the Gazebo on the far side. Beyond the Gazebo are the lights from across Napili Bay — coming from the Napili Kai Beach Resort.

The Gazebo. You will notice that there are no diners or waitresses — they do not serve dinner — breakfast and lunch only.

Stepping past the Gazebo, I captured Napili Bay and night. Compare this one to the second shot above. Slightly different spots so that the foreground differs but that peninsula where Napili Kai sits is much the same in both.

I am finally in Napili on Maui — and that feels like Heaven to me.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com