To give some perspective on the size, photo # 3 shows several children sitting on the branches. What an awesome climbing tree this is! Can you imagine the hours you could spend playing there? It's definitely a Swiss Family Robinson Tree.
This photo shows more detail of the aerial prop roots that grow down from the branches. They are a bit creepy looking and could be pretty frightening for a youngster with a vivid imagination, especially in the dark.
The last photo of the tree is after the Christmas lights were lit. The ceremony was somewhat anti-climactic unless you're 5 years old, but the tree itself is very impressive. I'm glad we saw it. It would be fun to go back when it's not so crowded and take a few kids to enjoy it with you.
Oh and Santa and Mrs. Claus made an appearance as well. I guess they dress a little differently when they're in Maui. I almost got a great pic of Santa holding a 6 month old baby in just a diaper who was terrified of him. It was so cute (and a little sad).
After the tree lighting, we decided to do some window shopping along Front Street to see if we could find some Christmas presents.
As in many resort towns, there were large amounts of tourist shops filled with T-shirts and paraphernalia, as well as galleries, restaurants, bars, ice cream shops. etc. My absolute favorite was "Rip Squeak & Friends Gallery".
I don't think I've seen these particular characters before, but the place was filled with children's books, puzzles, original artwork illustrations of the most colorful and imaginative characters I've seen in a long time, created by Leonard Filgate and written by his wife, Susan Yost-Filgate. I just love great illustrations in children's books and these are some of the best I've seen, as you can see from this example, called "Bedtime Stories". If I had a grandchild I would have spent quite a bit of money in that store. His illustrations would make amazing artwork for a nursery.
And speaking of kids, here's one of the big kids that I get to work with (just kidding, friend). Aren't Michael and Ali such a gorgeous couple? And so much fun too! Michael reminds me of my older brother, Rusty who was constantly wreaking havoc, teasing and playing practical jokes. But he's so sweet and fun, you just can't get mad at him. Ali must have quite a job keeping him in line at home along with the other kids. I enjoy having him around the office. It tends to be quiet a lot of the time and he adds more life to the place.