Hello Friends and Family,

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Maui: Morning Walk, Part 2

Continuing my walk along Lower Honoapi‘ilani Road, I spot a scene that most folks would not spend even one second contemplating — but for me, it is special because it shows the juxtaposition of old Maui and new Maui. On the mauka (mountain or inland) side of the road are older local homes — chickens run about, the roosters crow (this is morning and that's what roosters do in the morning) and, on the side of the road, an old washer and dryer available for free. On the makai (ocean) side is Napili Kai Beach Resort — condos with lush tropical landscaping, an ocean view to die for and a very nice restaurant, the Sea House. The restaurant holds a fond personal memory because my friend Larry (from Lana‘i) used to perform here — and it was such a treat to stop by in the evening and listen while sipping on a cool tropical beverage. Ah, so many wonderful memories.

Just a bit further is the reception area and front desk for Napili Kai. Another landmark burned deep into my brain — especially since I have to take care to watch for oncoming traffic as I walk on the narrow path on the left side of the road.

On the other side of the road is the sign welcoming folks to the Kapalua Resort. Love the butterfly logo. Longtime readers will recall that I used to wonder why the butterfly logo — only to discover butterflies in profusion when they closed the Village Golf Course but retained the property as walking trails. And do note the pineapple cutout forming the body of the butterfly — ironic that the butterflies are back but the pineapples are gone.

Now time to turn left into the public parking lot for Kapalua Beach. Plenty of parking early — later you may have to park along the road or in the Tennis Garden parking lot across the street (yes, it is permitted — in fact, the sign at the entrance to this lot recommends it).

This is the beginning of the Kapalua Shoreline Trail — note the sign to the left, showing a map for newbies. These steps lead down to the short tunnel which opens up to...

...Kapalua Beach. It was named "Best Beach in the World" by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine, "America's Best Beach" on the first annual list of Stephen Leatherman's Top 10 Beaches in America, and the "Best Beach in America" by the Travel Channel, among other honors. I know that when I arrive at this spot, its sheer beauty takes my breath away — and it will be a minute or two before I can continue my walk.

And today's view of Moloka‘i just gets better and better.

[Confession: I used some tricks in Photoshop to suppress the atmospheric haze in an attempt to bring out the true color of the Moloka‘i Mountains. An interesting result which you may or may not like.]

Finally, I resume my walk on the sidewalk just above the beach.

At the halfway point, I look back at Merriman's Kapalua — my current favorite restaurant on Maui. They specialize in farm-to-table cuisine — meaning they try to give you the freshest produce and seafood available. In fact, they are now serving lobsters that are raised on the Big Island — now that is fresh.

I always plan to dine here on my last night on Maui. It is always very special — expensive but special.

Turning to look in the other direction — equally satisfying.

At the far end of Kapalua Beach, I pause to look back one more time. Here used to be a wonderful natural coconut grove with hundreds of coconut trees. They really framed Kapalua Beach perfectly.

Of course, the land became too valuable to leave vacant and eventually these condos were constructed. They took the name "Coconut Grove". I did a quick online search to discover just how opulent these units are.

"The Coconut Grove residences with their spacious lanais bring indoors the gentle splendor of the surrounding environment and captures the understated elegance of Kapalua. Only thirty-six residences on twelve acres fronted by coconut palms planted a hundred years ago grace this special cove called Kapalua Bay. This upstairs residence has a private ground floor entry featuring an interior stairway and elevator. There is a second entrance from the attached garage into the downstairs foyer. Residence finishings include granite kitchen counter tops, top of the line appliances, marble baths, and stone flooring. On-site amenities feature a tension-edged lap pool, whirlpool spa, exercise room, cabana with kitchen and barbecue facilities. Here you will reside in one of the loveliest places on earth."

And only $5,333,000 Fee Simple (meaning you own the land under your unit). I guess a slice of heaven on Earth does not come cheaply.

The Shoreline Trail continues along the Residences at Kapalua Bay but looking back provides a spectacular view. And even though it is sad to leave this spot, there is more to come.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

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