Hello Friends and Family,

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Maui on my Mind, Part 3

Continuing my stroll through the one-time capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom, this sign caught my eye — Kimo's, one of my favorite dining spots on Maui, on Front Street, right in the heart of Lahaina. I had already eaten lunch but was a bit thirsty so I decided to stop in for a cool beverage. This sign is so familiar to me that I began wondering how old Kimo's is. I seem to recall it being here on my first trip to Maui so I had to do an online search to satisfy my curiosity. The founding year was 1977 which is about the time of my first trip to Maui. Seems to match my recollection.

I was seated at a table right next to the ocean, fortunately with an umbrella to protect me from the hot tropical sun. And the view! Looking straight out we can see the island of Lana‘i, formerly "the Pineapple Isle" and now "the Larry Ellison Isle" (that's a lame joke on my part — Ellison is the co-founder, executive chairman, and chief technology officer of Oracle Corporation as well as owning 97% of the island). Great view regardless of who owns the island.

Kimo's has two levels — the lower level hosts the bar and is used for lunch. The upper level is where dinner is served. Kimo's is one of the TS Restaurants chain and thus has Hula Pie on the menu. But I decided that I did not need the calories since I had already indulged at Leilani's on the Beach in Ka‘anapali. I just had a Coke with my beautiful view.

Speaking of the view, looking South along the shoreline, we can see this end of the Lahaina Harbor and, off in the distance, Kaho‘olawe. This island is relatively small and uninhabited — primarily because, for years, it was used by the military for bombing practice.

As you might expect, there were numerous protests by Native Hawaiians and environmentalists. Eventually the military capitulated and turned ownership of the island over to the state of Hawai‘i which has established the island as a Reserve.

Because of unexploded ordinance, people are generally not allowed on the island. Efforts are underway to locate, remove and dispose of the old munitions. In areas which have been cleared, only Native Hawaiians are allowed to visit for cultural, spiritual, and subsistence purposes.

As I was leaving Kimo's, I noticed this sign that really tickled my funny bone. Clearly, there is no room on the property for a swimming pool (unless you count the Pacific Ocean) and saunas. My guess is that behind the door are bathrooms, and perhaps a lounge, for employees. But I do love the sense of humor evidenced by whoever put up the sign.

Further down Front Street is the Baldwin Missionary Home Museum, the home dating back to 1834. A few years ago, I took the tour of the interior and shared photos in LAHP at that time. (If you are interested click here, here and here.)

At one time, the home was in total disrepair but the Lahaina Restoration Foundation, gutted the building then restored it to its current condition.

In addition to restoring the building, a trellis for grapevines was built in the spot where records showed the Baldwin family grew Isabella grapes. The missionaries were pro-temperance and thus probably did not make wine but instead used the grapes for eating and grape jelly.

With the influx of whaling ships and their crews, the town fathers decided that a facility was needed to house a meeting room for the captains and a reading room for the literate sailors. A site right next to the Baldwin House was selected and construction was completed in the 1830s, financed by both the seaman and the missionaries.

The Masters' Reading Room, like the Baldwin House itself, was restored by the Lahaina Restoration Foundation and is still in use today — the ground floor houses an art gallery and the second floor is used for meetings of the Foundation.

To the south is a children's park — something I have never noticed before. It is nice to have open space in a town increasingly overrun with commercialism.

Across the street is the Lahaina Public Library. The land that houses the library was cultivated in taro (think poi) from ancient times. Since the 1800's, it was known as "Apuakehau", the royal taro patch of King Kamehameha.

Next to where I was standing to take this photo is what looks like an old cultivated area — I'm guessing that is all that remains of the taro patch. Naturally, out of respect to Hawaiian antiquity, I did not walk into that spot.

The library (and nearby Pioneer Inn) sits on a small peninsula of land which provides a nice breakwater for the harbor but also a wonderful spot for a view of the length of Front Street in Lahaina. Note the island of Moloka‘i in the distance. Also, note that the photos of both Lana‘i and Moloka‘i show no clouds right at their summits. We had nice weather during my whole two-week trip, except for the first day (which drenched me but also provided that fantastic sunset which I shared earlier).

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

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