I actually don't mind a rainy day in Hawaii. Sometimes it's nice to have a break from the sun. This one, however, came a little too early in the trip. I wasn't quite ready for a weather change yet.
After breakfast, I made Thane take a walk in the drizzle with me, just for a couple of miles. Walking doesn't bother my knee nearly as much as sitting too long. I did try to speed up to a run at one point, but it only took landing once on my left foot for me to bring that to a very abrupt stop. My knee is not about to put up with that yet. We walked through a strip of businesses along South Kihei, so there wasn't much to see. Little enough that I was excited by the giant snails that had come out to take advantage of the wet and the sidewalks. I've never seen such big ones. I put my toe into the photo for comparison - it had to be at least three inches long.
We decided this was as good a day as any for an excursion to Lahaina. The female three quarters of our troop were up for a little shopping. Thane went along grudgingly. Actually, I ended up being pretty disappointed in the whole thing. Lots of shops, but most were selling tourist junk or overpriced jewelry. I was hoping for some interesting local art galleries, but I think we only found one. My only purchases were a Maui Life is Good shirt for me and a pair of Vans shoes for Rowan. Oh, yes, and from a used book store a copy of The Naughty Diary of an Edwardian Lady, a "handwritten" diary with cheeky watercolor illustrations, by Ethel Hordle. I love it when something amusing catches my eye unexpectedly.
We did spend a few minutes exploring the 1850s prison, Hale Pa'ahao (stuck in irons house). The displays included lists of crimes and the number of people imprisoned for them in various years during the 1850s and 1860s. The included such things as profanity, furious riding, affray, giving birth to bastard children, fornication, seduction, adultery (perhaps I should have listed giving birth to bastard children after the last three), lewd conversations, and more. Basically, if you were a sailor who went ashore in Lahaina, you were bound to end up in the pokey unless you were back aboard your ship by dark. Here's a photo of the restored jail and a bit of the coral wall that surrounds it.
Of course, you can't visit Lahaina and not see the banyan tree in Banyan Tree Park. The tree was planted in 1873, and thanks to the species' tendency to grow roots wherever a branch touches ground, it now has many trunks and covers two-thirds of an acre - the largest in Hawaii and one of the largest in North America. I'm sure the park would be more densely covered by the banyan if it weren't well pruned. All the trunks you can see in the photo are part of the same tree.
We lunched at Lahaina Pizza Company, but then we were done with the town and headed back south. It was early enough that we decided to join the bad-weather crowds at the Maui Ocean Center. We'd been there before on the only other day we spent on Maui, but that was six or seven years ago. I had looked forward to another visit. Damn those crowds. It seemed that every time I stopped to read a sign or look at an aquarium, if I was more than a foot and a half away from it someone stepped right in front of me and blocked my view. I was already in need of some alone time, and this was the last straw. Deep breaths and patience. The aquaria are wonderful, and I just can't imagine how they do such a good job of growing so many types of coral in confined spaces. My main complaint is a lack of signs identifying the types of fish you see. They have an abundance of save-the-reefs information, but little of interest to me. Regardless, it was a nice diversion on a rainy afternoon. Not surprisingly, it was difficult to get photos through the thick glass walls, but I tried. I especially like the perpetually grumpy expressions on the Honu, green sea turtles.
After ice cream at Hula Cookies (our bible, Maui Revealed, declared it the best place in south Maui to get homemade ice cream sandwiches - turns out it's owned by the son of a woman Thane graduated from high school with; she was there working when we went in), we headed for home. I was in desperate need of a little peace and quiet, so I went for a walk along Kama'ole Beaches III and II and took up residence in a lounge chair at one of the resorts overlooking the ocean to watch the sunset. In spite of, or perhaps because of, the clouds the sunset was spectacular. Here's a few shots to tease you with a taste of paradise. I just wished I'd had a better camera than my phone's.