Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hau'oli lā hānau!

I couldn't ask for a better place to start my 29th year than on a deck in Lahaina, Maui, overlooking the ocean.I spent the morning relaxing, shopping, watching the cruise ship passengers through a telescope on my deck. Then David and I ate at the Plantation, and got snorkeling gear from a shop across the street. I'd heard about this beach north of us called Kapalua Beach, which is named as one of the Top 10 beaches in Maui. It's crescent shape, and still, smooth waters are perfect for swimming and snorkeling, which I soon found out for myself.

At first, the water felt cold, but our bodies adjusted quickly, and it was like being in a bathtub. I had no goosebumps, and marveled at the tropical fish, and pink coral that looked like brains. The heavy salt water held my body, and I felt myself rising and falling with the waves, one with the breath of the ocean. It was a relaxing, soothing experience. When we finished with our underwater sightseeing, we crawled back on the beach, tired but happy, and let the sun bake the salt into our skin.
The water dried quickly, the sun wasn't too hot, and palm trees swayed gently above, their long fronds like fingers carressing the breeze. I couldn't ask for a more relaxing place.

Then it was on to the Old Lahaina Luau that evening, which is rated as one of the best, most authentic luau's in Hawaii. We were greeted with a fresh lei and a mai tai, and led to our table with a perfect view of the stage.

The space was large, with palm trees, thatched huts, and the ocean just a few feet away.
Then it was time for dinner, and our server, a buff Hawaiian surfer wearing a yellow and orange sarang, led us to the buffet, where we had kalua pork, mahi mahi, teriyaki chicken, fresh mango and papaya, rice, bread, and all sorts of things I can't even describe. It was delicious, and the mahi mahi's flowed as the hula dancing presentation began!

This was a traditional luau that included the history of Hawaii. The men wore loincloths, and little else.

The dancing was incredible, with the women moving their hips so fast, and it time to the music. It was like belly dancing on crack. I don't know how they do it, but it was amazing to watch.
Then it was time for a couple's slow dance, with the sound of the waves, and a Hawaiian love song.
After the whole thing was through, I got a photo with the performers, a Hawaiian God and Goddess. Amazing dancers, these two!
It was the birthday of my dreams. How am I going to beat this when I turn 30 next year?


andrea said...

Omigosh! That's just dreamy. Your dress is so cute! You look great. Happy Birthday!

Paula said...

All I can say is......on a scale of 1 to 10 that looks like a 10. What amazing pictures. I love Hawaii and miss it! You looked beautiful - loved the dress and lei.

Robin Blind said...

I started my 29th year on the day I turned 28.