We went to a mall in the town of Kahului, the Queen Ka'ahamanu, and while gawking at all the storefronts, spotted a ""pop up " store with its signage proclaiming it to be the Story of Hawaii Museum store.
So of course, in we went.
Totally different experience than one might have anticipated greeted us.
No sooner did we walk in and instead of a dull, solemn atmosphere- we were cheerfully hailed by one of the owners, Bryant J. Neal and he took us in hand and walked us through the wide and storied displays. He recounted not just the usual litany of facts but enlarged upon them and interspersed them with anecdotes of local folklore and personal histories. We journeyed with him thousands of years of Pacific migration with tales of sacrifice and dedication and hardship to the meeting of Captain Cook with the peoples of the Islands to the naming of them as the Sandwich Islands all the way through to Hawaiian royalty and the actual overthrow of the royalty by American businessmen, Pearl Harbour, Pacific strategic war mapping (cartography is his career livelihood) native Japanese internment and eventual statehood.
Truly a fascinating and enjoyable narrative. He has a talent for bringing the past alive and the Museum reflects this passion and in all honesty, should be on a persons' must see list when coming to Maui.
One can purchase momentos from the Museum and they are of a type and quality that can adorn ones' walls and are indeed fascinating to look at.
A shameless plug here, the Museum's permanent location is in the town of Maalaea and is at 300 Maalaea Harbour shop unit # 2. Their website is www.storyofhawaiimuseum.com.
Tell Bryant that flatlander52 suggested seeing them and he will spend some time with you!
A hui hou!!!