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Maui first impressions

  • I used to say Maryland was the best U.S. state. I’d like to change that to the best continental state. I don’t know about the rest of Hawai’i but Maui is spectacular. That 50th star should be gold.
  • This is why: there are so many things to do on the island that many visitors get a FOMO-induced urge to do as much as possible. That leaves the wonderful beaches mostly empty during the weekdays, when the locals are working, and quite bearable (compared to the Montenegrin beaches of my youth) on weekends.
  • There are at least five kid-friendly beaches within a 5-minute drive from our condo. One is a go-to for snorkeling, one if full of sea turtles for those who enjoy swimming around them (which should be everyone with a heart), one is looong, peaceful, with shallow water no waves, excellent shade, and also an occasional turtle (swimming with sea turtles naturally being better when you didn’t even expect to find them).
  • The road to Hana” would be a great find if you had some business to do in Hana, then stumbled into seeing a few waterfalls and making a pit stop at a black sand beach. It’s overrated otherwise, and the poor residents of Hana and central Maui have to deal with droves of slow-moving tourist vehicles looking for the next instagrammable moment.
  • Hana highway is also the home to the best vegan ice cream I’ve ever had, so there’s that.
  • No, I’m not vegan. Kalua pork is too good.
  • Each new state I visit means I get to learn more about American exceptionalism. The story of Hawai’i’s annexation taught me that it’s OK for a private corporation to hold the ruler of an independent nation hostage in order to control the said nation’s resources, as long as the corporation is American and the nation is not European.
  • Yes I’ll keep writing Hawai’i.
  • It’s also OK to ban the native language and culture well into the 20th century. Safeway came to the islands well before the Hawaiian language was legal again.
  • Having said that, there is now also a Walmart and — crucially — a Costco on Maui. Prices are the same or lower than in D.C. That is how you conquer a nation, Serbia.

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