This was my third trip to Hawaii in six years, so by now I have the general lay of the land figured out. I knew it at least well enough to know that Lahaina Town, as it’s called by locals, is in a rain shadow desert, and that it gets only 11 to 13 inches of rain a year.

That weather fact, combined with the delightfully quaint downtown area, close proximity of marina, restaurants, ice cream parlors, park benches, street artisans and gift shops, made the decision to make this town our “home base” on Maui an easy one.

Lahaina means “cruel sun” in the Hawaiian language, but spending two whole weeks basking in the mid 80 degree sunshine was exactly what my weary old bones needed.

I have a well-documented weakness for “happy crap” souvenirs wherever I go, and the vendors love to see me coming. I don’t actually buy much, constantly aware of the available space in my luggage, but I do enjoy chatting with the artisans and appreciating their crafts.

One of the biggest problems with staying in Lahaina is trying to decide where to eat each day. Restaurants are plentiful, and all within a few blocks of each other. In our 14 days, we only ate twice at the same location. Once because of proximity when hunger struck, and once because we already knew the menu and decided to return.

Rivaling the number of eating establishments are the tattoo parlors. In 2008, I only saw four such places. In 2013, they seemed to be everywhere, and I personally visited six of them before deciding which one would ink me the last day of our trip. Yes, I got a tattoo, but that story (and pictures) are for a later post in this adventure series.

Aloha! Stay tuned!