Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Lana`i: Day Trip, Part 2

This is my favorite spot on Lana`i — the home of my friends, Larry and Darlene. This is actually Larry's childhood home which he inherited some years later — a circumstance that led Darlene (they were then living on Maui) to tell Larry, "I'm moving to Lana`i — you can stay here on Maui or come with me". And I am so happy that he agreed — Lana`i is a wonderful place to live. Very "small town" — as a resident, when you drive around Lana`i City your hand and arm gets tired from waving at all the people you know.

There is very little crime because there is no such thing as "unknown perpetrator" — everyone knows everyone. Kids are respectful and well-behaved for the same reason. Residents usually do not lock their doors and generally leave their keys in the car. Darlene told me about once she came home to find a watermelon on her kitchen table. A good friend had gone to Maui for a day of shopping and shared her produce purchase with them — since they were not home at the time, the friend just let herself in and dropped off the produce.

This home also is special because Larry's talent with Christmas decorations gave me the photo from my Christmas card this year. And thanks to Larry and Darlene, I have been privileged to see Lana`i through the eyes of local residents — a truly special gift from them.

I am also so grateful for their love and support that helped me get through the grieving process after Kona passed away. She and I had visited Lana`i the year she was ill. Larry and Darlene got to meet her and fell in love with her. The following year I came to Maui alone to spread her ashes in Napili Bay (her wishes, same as mine) then went over to Lana`i for a week of getting away from it all. Larry and Darlene offered the perfect combination of support plus time alone with my thoughts. Thanks guys!

Incidentally, Larry is a fine singer and musician. I have helped him create a website to promote his music. His latest album is really excellent. If you are interested, click here.

After our ride around Lana`i City, touring what was new or not, we went down to the golf pro shop and restaurant at the Challenge of Manele Bay, where we ate lunch. This is near the green where Bill Gates married his wife, Melinda.

You can understand why one of the world's wealthiest men chose this spot — just look at the view! If you would like to link to the larger version, click here.

After lunch, we drove down to the Manele Bay Hotel which has its own spectacular view of Manele Bay and Hulopo`e Beach. By the way, this is one of the world's great beaches — not just for swimming but for snorkeling and scuba diving.

On one occasion, I saw a school (if four fish can be called a school) of fish I have never seen anywhere else — live, in an aquarium, on TV, in books, nowhere. They resembled angelfish but had long streamers from their fins — streamers that were three times the length of their bodies. When they turned in unison, it took a while before their streamers made the turn too.

The bay is big enough that you often see dolphins here. Some accounts report that whales even approach the outer part of the bay. The tide pools also offer excellent opportunities to explore Mother Nature's creatures.

Even the man-made views here are enchanting. This is one side of the hotel from the beach path.

To me, the hotel looks rather Mediterranean in design but I do like it. Larry Ellison plans to give it a more Hawai`ian feel — the original interior design was more Asian in concept.

Note the area front right — it is an ancient Hawai`ian burial ground. It is, of course, off-limits to guests but was left pretty much intact. Hawai`i is generally very sensitive to the preservation of the ancient past — and this is one more example.

And I love their pool. Note the two smaller enclosures in the pool — those are the Jacuzzis. Love it!

Out of sight to the right is the poolside bar and snack bar. You can just relax by the pool in the sun, alternating between a swim, a drink, Jacuzzi, lunch — then repeat endlessly.

The landscaping is very well designed. It is so enjoyable to tour the grounds — whether that is your whole purpose or just the stroll between your hotel room and the pool.

As the day draws to a close, we head back to the Manele Boat Harbor.

Note the Trilogy catamaran docked here. If you want the experience of a lifetime, take the Trilogy cruise to Lana`i. I have shared images and text of that excursion before when my friends John and Patty from Texas joined me for a week on Maui — click here.

The Expeditions ferry arrived and people queued up for the trip back to Lahaina. It was another wonderful visit to Lana`i — not just to visit my friends (which is, of course, very special) — but also because a visit to Lana`i is akin to what a Hawai`ian vacation must have been like in the early 1900's. Now only Lana`i offers that return to yesteryear. Put it on your bucket list!

As we approached Lahaina, we were greeted by a wonderful rainbow. Maui no ka oi!

Life is good.

B. David

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