|Lahaina Harbor as we left Maui|
So much nicer than coffee at home, looking at all the housework I should be doing!
I worked at my "desk" for a few hours until it was time to drive in to Lahaina (means merciless sun) and check in at the harbor for the ferry across the ocean to the closest island--Lana'i, which used to be the Pineapple Island. The ride across was full of whales everywhere you looked. So many baby whales, the size of a canoe shooting up off the water for a slap breach on the surface. Everywhere you looked on the 45 minute ride to Lanai, were whales blowing, breaching, tail slapping. I got a lot of photos of slightly disturbed water after the breach was over, but nothing of the whales themselves!
Lanai is now privately owned by some rich dude named Larry who does not care if there is tourism or not. He's had the island for 5 years must have a plan of what he wants but it's hard to tell when you see very little tourism and few people. Prices for hotel rooms are extraordinarily high at the Manele Bay Resort, the only big hotel on the island, and the pineapples are long gone.
The ferry costs $30 each way and was a fantastic Whale Watch Tour as well as delivering me to the dock where my friend Bill waited in Roja, his little red "sports car" that purrs like a kitten (a lion cub) and runs like a charm. It's 7 miles from the ferry dock to the town where Bill lives so having a showpiece car that costs an arm and a leg is so not necessary for life on Lana'i.
First, we drove to the beach where I decided I did not need to swim, instead choosing to go get a burger at The Views, the restaurant at the exclusive golf course associated with the Resort. $500 can buy you a round of golf, or $40 can buy you and a friend lunch with an unrivaled view of Sweetheart Rock at the Lana'i harbor.
Next, it was off to the Lana'i Cat Sanctuary, a place that left me speechless and humbled. Five hundred cats live at the sanctuary and apparently there's a whole night shift that plays in the dark if you ever happen to wear night vision goggles and spy on the felines at midnight.
Baskets in trees, cat houses, perches, toys, lazing around platforms, bowls of kibble and plenty of shade from enormous trees, make this property heaven for cats. There is even a senior center for the elderly cats and separate living quarters for cats with communicable diseases. It costs nothing to visit, wander around, pet the cats, play with their toys, but of course, the care givers won't turn down a donation if you choose to help on your way out.
The proprietors were kind enough to let Bill (who wrote a children's book on the sanctuary--Kingdom for Cats) and I in after hours. Apparently when the humans leave for the day, the cats get more playful, even if some cats never stray too far from the Catfurteria Feeding Station in fear of never getting another meal.
All the cats have beautiful coats, soulful faces and seeing that many cats of all colors in one spot was something I will never forget, even if I can't take a cat home with me. I petted more than a few who rubbed up against my legs and meowed at me.
Next stop after Bill's cute little Lanai house was the newly renovated Hotel Lanai in Lana'i City (a small village not unlike Yosemite or Jasper, Canada in the olden days) for a drink and pu pu's, which are appetizers in Hawaiian. The hotel is a charmingly renovated boutique hotel done in the traditional plantation style with only 10 rooms for rent. It looked gorgeously quaint and affordable for a splurge night on Lana'i!
For food, I had humus with veggies, crackers and cheese, Bill had fish soup and we split a designer vegetable salad with a sweet vinaigrette. Delicious! You can't dance in the restaurant, even if the duo plays such good music that it's almost impossible to sit still.
Their liquor license doesn't allow dancing so when my dancing shoes started tapping, and my shoulders started moving to the beat, Bill whisked me back to the Off Seasons Hotel (Bill's place) to watch one of the many free movies my actor friend is sent for the SAG award voting privilege. We chose to watch VICE, a movie about Dick Cheney. I didn't fall asleep because the movie was boring or bad but more because a gin and tonic at dinner told me it was an excellent time to close my eyes.
I woke up with a blanket over me and Bill gone to bed. The soft rain on the top most part of Lana'i fell gently outside while I went back to sleep to wait for first light.
Another perfect day in Hawaii!
The Lanai Cat Sanctuary can be found at this web site: CATS
KIM HORNSBY is the bestselling Amazon Author of The Dream Jumper's Promise, Book 1 in a Supernatural Suspense series. She lives in the Seattle area and writes stories for women about overcoming tragedy, adversity and coming out the other end.
Find her on Amazon Books.