The DougBlog
"Et sans savoir pourquoi, disent toujours: Allons!" —Baudelaire

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Aloha Blog, Part 3: Maui

Clare and GM get “Mauied” at last!!

So from Moloka`i it was on to Maui—my last stop and, indeed, the reason for my trip. My dear friends Clare and GM were to be married, an event I was to witness and photograph.

The first nights there I stayed at the Maui Prince Resort and enjoyed my last room with a view:

The hotel had this desk where you could arrange "pleasant activities". I guess they don’t want to guarantee anything too crazy or “out there”. Just pleasant:

Our first day, I met up with Clare and GM to find and check out the cove at Makena Beach, where they were to be married the next day. You can click here fore a 360° view of it, which the locals also call “Wedding Beach” because it is so popular for that purpose. Here’s Clare and GM chatting up a few of those locals:

The small, cozy beach offers a lovely view of neighboring, uninhabited Kaho`olawe, the smallest of the Hawaiian Islands:

Making their mark:

We found this cool crab. Unfortunately for him, he was dead.

That evening, Clare’s dad hosted dinner at the Fairmont Kea Lani, and next was the big day. I was in charge of picking up the flowers and relatives and getting all of these things to the beach. When I did, we saw that Pastor Vance had already arrived on his Harley:

He performs a simple ceremony with a few Hawaiian customs thrown in. Anyone who goes to Hawaii (except, apparently, for Clare) quickly learns a few basic Hawaiian words that appear everywhere, like keiki (kids). After the wedding Pastor Vance told Clare to keep in touch and one day send him pictures of the keiki. She thought he wanted pictures of the cake. Smooth.

We proceeded to the beach for the wedding. When you get married on the beach, you don’t have to worry about your footwear:

Now I myself was a little nervous about being the designated photographer. That’s a lot of responsibility, and I’m more of a landscape photographer than portraits or weddings. But all in all, I think I did well (whew). The wedding began with the blowing of the conch (as always, you can click on any picture to enlarge):

Then they got leid (no, seriously):

The paparazzi:

Clare cried a little, Pastor Vance sweated a little…:

...I got a little dramatic:

The blushing bride:

Portrait time…It was a very small group. Clare’s dad and step mom are on the left, her mom (in hat) and aunt are on the right. GM’s family was unable to make it in from Austria, but they were there in spirit:

The happy couple:

I got a little creative:

I took hundreds of photos (yay for digital) but here are a few that will probably not make it into the album…like GM getting cheeky:

…or Clare getting saucy:

…or Clare doing her impression of the obedient Oriental wife:

…and—it took a quick hand to get this—but here’s a shot of the newlyweds with none other than the great Indian leader and pacifist Mahatma Gandhi, washing his feet:

After a champagne toast, we had dinner at Nick’s Fish Market, one of the best reviewed restaurants on Maui. I toasted them with a Chinese proverb that my friend Grace Yu graciously taught me how to say. Her family didn’t understand a word of it. Oh, well—at least I tried. In any event, here’s a picture that Clare can send to Pastor Vance: the wedding “cakey”!


For the last couple of days, I also moved into the Fairmont Kea Lani Hotel. It is a lovely hotel on the Waimea coast, though it looks more Arabian than Hawaiian:

Interesting architecture on the Kea Lani. Is it cold in here?:

Talks about classy…they changed the carpet in the elevators based on the time of day! I assume there was a “Good Morning” version but, needless to say, I never saw it:

The day after the wedding, Clare and GM went snorkeling…and she lost her ring in the ocean! Less than 24-hours: that’s gotta be a record. Luckily Clare has a good sense of humor about such things. And even luckier, the hotel referred them to a local dude with a metal detector—who found it the very next day. So all’s well that ends well.

On my last night in Hawaii, Clare and GM took me out to a dinner/magic show for my birthday called Warren & Annabelle’s. The magician was really more of a comedian, and I have to say it was a riot. Probably because he told a lot of terrible jokes that were right up my alley (“Why do mermaids wear seashells?…because B-shells are too small and D-shells are too big!” Hey-yo!). He really picked on GM, whom he called “Gomer”. Of course, we had to explain to GM who Gomer was after the show.

The next day I chilled at the hotel until my overnight flight (3 flights, actually!) home. All in all it was a wonderful time. Hawaii is still one of my favorite places. Moloka`i was a new and different experience and worth going back to, but my favorite island would still be a toss-up between Kaua`i and the Big Island of Hawai`i. Each island is really different from the others. And this trip was different from any other because of the beautiful wedding and wonderful, unforgettable time I had with Clare and GM. Not to mention Clare’s shy, demure, and unassuming mother, Nancy (cue the sarcasm…).


My friend Julie Monroid is a genuine Hawaiian—she grew up on Kaua`i!—and she pointed out an error in my last post: I said that Moloka`i is “…the most ‘Hawaiian’ of the islands”. This honor really belongs to tiny Ni`ihau. Although there are only about 160 residents, Ni`ihau is the only island where Hawaiian is the primary language. The island is entirely privately owned and therefore generally closed to visitors (hence it's known as “the Forbidden Island”). They're most famous for their unique pupu shells. But Julie did applaud my proper use of the `okina, the backwards-apostrophe-like letter (`), also known as a glottal stop, that appears in many Hawaiian names! So I've got that going for me. Which is nice.

Also, I’d like to give a special shout-out to Missy Wilson and Ted Kossakowski so they’ll stop bitching about never making it onto my blog.



  • Doug,
    You did a great job recording the "it finally happened. Thank God!" event!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:53 AM  

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