Shopping in Lahaina, Hawaii

I was eager to wake up early again to perhaps catch a glimpse of more whales. The sky was grey and it began to pour as I approached the bow. As quickly as it began, the rain stopped. We decided to take it easy since today was a tender (a tender is when they use the ships lifeboats to shuttle people to and from the ship to shore) port which have the tendency to get quite busy. I prefer to wait until the keeners get off so I don’t have to wait in a long line of impatient people. It turns out there will be many tender ports on this trip.

We sat up top on the lido deck and I munched on some customized eggs benny. I am not having bread so I replaced that with an artichoke bottom, then added spinach, mushrooms and crab. It was delicious. Michael took a work phone call while I peered through the binoculars on whale duty. I spotted quite a few in the distance and some were putting on quite the splashy show. The were breaching and tail flapping like nobodies business. No matter how many I see, it just doesn’t get old. I think whales are the excitement equivalent of fireworks and shooting stars for me.

I met a couple from Stony Plain who struck up a conversation when they saw my Edmonton tee-shirt. There are so many Canadians on board that 2 out of 3 people we chat with happen to come from my homeland. I guess it goes without saying when the winters get as cold and treacherous as they do in the Great White North.

Finally we decided the lines would have gone down so we made our way down to the bottom deck. The ocean was quite rough so it was quite dangerous to make the step from the platform to the tender boat. The staff were extremely cautious and assistive, especially with the more elderly folk. Which means everyone but us.

I decided to FaceTime with Mom and Dad so they could see where we were. I can’t tell you how awesome it is to have Mom and Dad on the iPad. Hearing their voice is great but seeing them, sometimes brings tears to my eyes. It’s so special to be able to whip the camera around and show them the island and the waves. As I swept the view of the entire tender with the camera, a bunch of the folks waved jovially at my mom and dad.

We decided to make Maui a shopping day, so we jumped on the Hilo Hattie shuttle. It really wasn’t necessary since it was just at the end of the shopping street, a 20-minute walk. But we decided we would walk back and forth a few times, put some steps on the pedometer. We looked a tons of sarongs, jewelry, and some stunning pieces of art all along Front Street. Everything seemed pretty expensive so we reigned in our need to spend. We did find a few great deals, like a bunch of Maui muscle shirts for $3 and the perfect pink hat with Maui embroidered across it. I was so touched when Bob, a fellow shipmate, saw me coveting the hat and gave it to me. He said it was only a going to be a donation so it didn’t matter which hat he bought, so I traded him the other less-cool hat I was going to settle for. It’s really amazing how such little things can make me so happy.

We pigged out on the poke again, getting more than two pounds at the local FoodLand. It was a very odd shopping experience and we didn’t really like the energy. The only cool part was the guy in the seafood sections who insisted we taste every single kind of poke. How could we argue? My favorite was the wasabi poke and I would have cleaned them out had it not been for the lady behind us. She begged us to leave a little for her son. He had sent her especially for that exact item and if she came home empty-handed, he would be crushed. We laughed and obliged, choosing a few other kinds to make up the two pounds that would qualify us for the poke sale.

Michael found himself a manly sarong and I got a couple pairs of stunning glass earrings. I could see the sunset and sunset in them…and unlike many of the other earrings I have tried to wear, they were virtually weightless. Since plumerias are my favorite flower in the world, when we found them in the bargain bin, we had to get some for my hair. We stretched our day right to the end, catching one of the last tenders back. We had a short dinner and went to bed early since we would be diving so early in the morning.

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