I’ve been back from Maui a couple of weeks now. The jet lag I had was the worst I’ve experienced. As I’m about to embark on a year of moderate travel, I hope the worst has passed.
Hawaii was worth every penny. I arrived close to midnight my time, in the middle of torrential rain and heavy tradewinds. Every local I came across that night told me that the amount of rain was unusual, not only for this time of year, but it was the most they’d seen at the same time years.
I managed to get to the condo, which is north of Whaler’s Village, the resort area. I stayed up as long as I could, but at 4 AM I was wide awake and so was the BFF. My first view of Maui:
Then, the magic started happening. The sun came up. The rain stopped. Maui revealed itself to us in a new way every day.
The first thing I noticed about Maui, besides the scenery, was that, if you are a fast-paced, go-go-go person like me, everything on the island whispers, “slow down,” and then the island makes you slow down. Not only are most speed limits between a maddening 35-45 mph, people walk slower, talk slower, serve slower, and respond slower than they do on the mainland. This is how the Hawaiian culture is. Either you accept that and let yourself relax, or you are in for a maddening, frustrating experience.
I let myself relax, almost too much. We did get out and see something new every day. Most evenings, however, we were parked on the lanai (that’s balcony for you landlubbers) ready to take in the breathtaking sunsets. Each sunset was different and spectacular in its own way.
Of course, there were a few rainbows to gawk at as well:
One of our favorite hangout spots was called Aloha Mixed Plate, a family-owned restaurant (they also own the oldest luau on the island). The prices are reasonable all day, the staff is warm and friendly, and the view is beautiful. We ate there at least once a day, usually for breakfast before we headed out to explore all day.
We also drove the Road to Hana, a highlight of my trip for certain. With views of waterfalls, rainbow eucalyptus trees, bamboo, and other random visual delights, it’s worth the 52-mile road with 610 hairpin turns and 59 bridges, most of them one lane. When we arrived at the end, we found a little Thai restaurant called Nutcharree’s and I daresay it was the best pad Thai I ever had!
Best of all, I got to spend over a week with my BFF from college, also named Sharon, hence the “Ditto” photo. We always have such a great time together. I cannot wait to see where we will go next time!