June 06, 2003
Travel Diary Day 6.1: Maui

07.57 Hawaii-Aleutian Time
Here's my hotel room. Click on the thumbnail to get a full size version:

After a period of recrimination accompanied by self-flagellation with one of the fresh orchid stems in my room. I decided to go buy a new camera. The concierge told me that there's a Ritz Camera at Whaler's Village in Ka'anapali, so I made the short drive south down 30 to where it all began for Maui (and even Hawaii) as a posh tourist destination. This used to be sugar country, but American Factors (now Am Fac) decided in 1963 to convert a sleepy railroad stop and plantation wharf into what is now 4000 rooms worth of development.

It has the looks of an upscale community circa the 60's and 70's with that era's high-rise mentality. I can see in my mind's eye sideburned tennis instructors in short shorts driving shiny Pontiac GTOs and bored tourist wives from the Mainland baking by the pool...I'd better stop before this turns into a boom-chaka-wow-wow movie plot.

It is pleasant, but bland and condominiumized like hundreds of places in Florida or Southern California. Whaler's Village sounds like it could be a quaint street of false storefronts where whalers used to come and say "Yar!" (whatever that means), but is basically Copley Plaza in Hawaii: there's Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Coach. I like these things, but was ambivalent about whether I really needed to find myself in such a place.

Ritz Camera didn't have any digital SLRs in stock, but had a Canon G3, which short of the semi-professional cameras, has stellar reviews from the digital photography crowd, so I went ahead and purchased it. Unfortunately the cash register computers were having issues, and Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, as nice as they were, were having trouble getting things going again.

I finally escaped Ritz Camera, and tarried no longer than it took to actually see what a Tommy Bahama store looks like. It was dark and 20.30 when I got back to my room, so I ordered room service. Goat cheese and marinated pear salad with toasted walnuts and pancetta and Kona crab wontons and a pineapple charlotte with coffee. The meal was not bad, but so exquisitely arranged that it was hard to unify goat cheese, pear, walnuts, and pancetta into one experience. Fried wontons are straightforward. Pineapple charlotte was appropriately decadent.

Sleep.

Posted by erich at June 06, 2003 02:01 PM
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