Hello Friends and Family,

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Ka`anapali, Part 3

The pool at the Hyatt Regency on a lazy Maui afternoon. I mentioned earlier that this was one of the first mega-pools — a huge irregularly-shaped pool that meanders all over the resort property with waterfalls and water slides. Looks inviting — but you must have a Hyatt room key to swim here — and they do check.

Near the water slide is a suspension bridge. It moves up & down and side to side when you walk over it. I have always wondered how many guests who might have had one cocktail too many found the bridge too unsteady to cross. And how many such guests found the water below.

You can see for yourself that the bridge does not look too daunting. However, when my mom saw it years ago, she refused to even step close — she was afraid of heights. She even admonished me for crossing. Of course I crossed and returned safely — but she insisted on another route into the hotel.

Near the beach, we find an interesting statue. I have to admit that it does not look like Asian art — more like Cirque de Soleil.

Alas, time to move on up the beach — just one last look back to take in the exquisite landscaping that beautifies the Hyatt Regency.

As the edge of the Hyatt property is a pair of camels. They are not particularly good sentries — one year I passed this way and a couple young guys were peddling pot at this point. Later, when I came this way again, they were gone — I assume the human security personnel were on the case.

There is a very pleasant path along Ka`anapali Beach which is also nicely landscaped — here in bougainvillea. Of course, I can never pass up the opportunity to photography Bougainvillea.

The path passes all the beach-stuff rental shacks, hotels, condos, shops and restaurants that line the beach. Even if you don't stop at any of these attractions, it is still a scenic stroll.

A few spots along the path reward you with shots like this — coconut palms with Moloka`i in the distance.

If all this strolling wears you out, there are even a few hammocks for you to relax and recharge your batteries.

Of course, some folks are quite content with just a blanket on the beach.

I apologize but I could not resist another shot of Moloka`i — one of my favorite places — and so very different than nearby Maui.

On the north end of Ka`anapali Beach is the Black Rock (Pu'u Keka'a) and the Sheraton Hotel. This is the spot on Maui where the ancient Hawai`ians believed that their spirits left this world to join their ancestors. I understand that each island has such a spot.

Each night at sundown, the Sheraton has a young man run through the resort lighting the tiki torches from a torch he carries — while the beat of drums urge him onward. Once all the torches are lit, he stands on the point of the Black Rock and jumps into the surf. Of course all the visitors stop to enjoy the spectacle.

Note that this is a very good spot for snorkeling and scuba diving because the Black Rock forms a reef wall. This spot also marks one of the last volcanic eruptions on Maui. North of the Black Rock, the beach is called Kahekili.

Phew, after all this walking and photography, it is time for an early dinner at Leilani's Island Fish and Steaks, located at Whaler's Village. There are many treats that I always enjoy here — some of them culinary, some of them visual. As you might expect of a beachside restaurant, the view of the ocean, the beach plus the neighboring islands of Lana`i and Moloka`i is wonderful.

Another visual treat is the fine collection of artwork by Pegge Hopper. The artist is from California and moved to Hawai`i in 1963 and a few years later established her own style — painting Hawai`ian women. I fell in love with her very distinctive style and therefore purchased a limited edition serigraph, Kui Lei, as a remembrance of the year that I lived on Maui. It hangs prominently above my fireplace in the living room.

Years later, I had the opportunity to meet Pegge over dinner. She revealed some special details about Kui Lei. First, it is part of a three-part painting (a triptych), as I recall the left-most panel. Also she said it was the last set of prints that she printed personally — all subsequent prints have been handled by print houses using her original paintings as the source. Thus I feel a special connection between the art on my wall and the artist who created it.

Back to dinner — I enjoyed a light repast so that I would have room for desert. I happen to know that Leilani's is a TS Restaurant and that most (if not all) of them offer one of the most incredible deserts in all the world — Hula Pie. The crust is formed from the wafer part of an Oreo cookie, crushed and formed in the pie plate. It is then filled with macadamia nut ice cream, topped with hot fudge, macadamia nuts and whipped cream. One slice can easily be shared — and I could only eat half of mine — such a shame to waste it. If you have never tried a slice of Hula Pie — I highly recommend it on your next visit to the islands — do dine with a friend, especially one not on a diet.

Life is good.

B. David

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