We got this great vacation package offer from the Sheraton Maui, waaay back last summer. Perfect celebration of our 30 years of marriage! Trouble was, their dates filled up so quickly that the first available time was this April. Then i broke my toe, got the cast, etc etc. So we rescheduled to May 10th, three days after the cast came off of my AWEsomely hairy leg. So here is the accounting of random thoughts on the too short vacation, kept in my tiny purse size notebook:
Thursday, 10th May, 2007. We hoped for first class, (as we airline employees and spouses do) and got cattle class. Oh well, we're still on our way to Maui! i sat with a couple from Cape Cod who were celebrating a friend's 50th birthday along with three other couples. Great conversation, friendly people. Dean sat with a guy who never said a single word for the entire 5 hour flight.
Arrived at the Sheraton Maui feeling out of place--valet parking? We're more accustomed to the kind of accomodations with the loud ice machine in the hall outside our door. Everybody smiles and says "Aloha" when they see you--
Nice lunch at the Something-or-Other-Terrace in the hotel--easygoing wait staff. Made me think about restaurants at home, people taking themselves so seriously-- The hotel restaurants are sort of boundary-less, and you can approach from all sides--people wander in from the beach with towels wrapped around them, somebody greets them with "Aloha" and a relaxed smile and asks to help them. At home things seem so much more prescribed and edged. We watched birds landing on neighboring tables to steal leftover fries waiting to be cleared, nobody chases them away--we fed them crumbs from our rolls. Tiny birds argued with medium size birds, and everybody seemed to get something.
Nice room, pretty private lanai facing onto a grassy yard bordered by flowers--upgrading to an ocean view room was going to double the cost of the whole trip, so "garden view" it is!
Friday the 11th--i felt sexy for five minutes on Friday--i put on my gauzy black skirt and a tank top, and was standing with one foot up on the edge of the counter, shaving my leg. i glanced over and caught a view of myself in the mirrored closet door, and thought, "Hmm...not bad..."
Dean went for a brisk walk so i bought myself a vanilla latte and some canteloupe and blueberries at the hotel's coffee cart. i sat alone at one of those high tables in my gauzy skirt and concentrated on looking mysterious...
We drove a ways up the coast from Kanapaali, where the Sheraton is, stopping alongside the road every now and again to look at the amazing ocean view spread out far below us--at one stop we walked to the water through rainforest looking trees, all densely topped and dripping with vines, the ground covered with a deep floor of a vining plant--beautiful! And all this with my adorable sock and "post-op" black shoe covered right foot.
8pm and we're sitting at the Lagoon Bar out by the beach, listening to a guitar playing guy singing pop songs--currently "Margaritaville" AND they have Orna-Glow type candles on the tables! For those of you unfamiliar with the Orna-Glow concept, one Christmas my friend Julia gave each of us in Bible study group an Orna-Glow tree ornament. It glows, phasing through different colors. An instant hit, we have spent the ensuing years delighting over every other Orna-Glow sort of find--Melanie thrilling us all with her (snowman?) addition to the Orna-Glow family last Christmas. And where are the Orna-Glow coasters Sabrina used for a time? ANYway, wish i could buy these candles from the bar!
The singer is having creative fun with the words to the songs--in Margaritaville, instead of "Don't know the reason/Stayed here all season/With nothing to show but this brand new tattoo./But it's a real beauty/A Mexican cutie/ how it got here I haven't a clue." he's singing, "don't know the reason/stayed here all season/with nothing to show but this brand new sunburn/but it's a real beauty/back there on my bootie/how it got there i haven't a clue."
There are all shapes and sizes of couple out--several spontaneously swaying and dancing together to the songs, out along the beach and edges of the bar--
Saturday the 12th--We bought coffees at the cart again, sat in this lovely seating area on a veranda-like part of the building talking. We rented a blue topped cabana on the beach (40 bucks!!) and lounged about and napped and read till just before dinner, cleaned up and ate at the Lagoon Bar and watched the Cliff Dive ceremony at dusk--very relaxing. Chatted with a woman from Minnesota and her visiting friend from Germany.
While in the cabana a cute little young couple was passing--she saw me and stopped and said "Oh! Would you mind taking a picture for us?" i said, "Sure! If i looked like you two i'd be having everyone ON this beach taking my picture--" They had a sweetly happy and unassuming air about them, and those firm young bodies that come naturally only to the 20 year olds--She had a head full of long dark curly hair and a tiny tropical print bikini, and he leaned over and kissed her and gave her a quick squeeze as they posed--So cute. Dean has taken a couple of photos for couples on the trip too--it makes people so happy.
Sunday the 13th, Mother's Day-- We got coffee at the cart again and skipped the 50 bucks a head Mother's Day brunch at the Terrace restaurant--took a really nice drive down the coast this time, ending at a lava field place with a gorgeous bay with black and white rock beach--
Back up to Lahaina where we had lunch at the Cool Cat Cafe (seriously.) and walked through an art fair outside the old courthouse under the famous banyan trees--i bought a print of a woman's watercolor painting of the old courthouse--her name was Marjorie. My mother's name. On Mother's Day. Crazy, eh? There were a number of older bohemian type women there selling their art, gaunt, gray, in flowing clothes--and some rather ordinary men and women who just looked like people you'd see at Back To School Night--
i ate a mango that was off of somebody's tree! How cool, mango trees in your yard--i know we are blessed to have citrus trees in California, but mango sounds so, well, tropical. i suppose because it is.
Monday the 14th-- We're driving along the coast highway on our way to the Island Paperie, "the only scrapbooking store on the island!" It's in Kahului, not far from the airport. When i told Dean i wanted to go there he groaned, but being a good sport he'll take me anyway.
Chain link is draped over the lava rock walls along the highway like a fine net skirt--
Continuing our drive after the Island Paperie (very well stocked, i must say, with many many beautiful and special Hawaii papers) we drove up into the neighborhoods and up the mountain to the Iao Valley--we ate lunch at a funky little nature area behind a gift shop, a pretty good crab and avocado sandwich for a place operating out of a kitchen with walk up service at a screened window, and a patio of battered and weather worn outdoor furniture.
We watched a couple of local guys jumping off the bridge at the Iao Valley walk into the 6 1/2 foot deep, narrow river 30 feet below, for tips--like a street musician. i thanked them for being crazy, it was fun watching! And way better them than me--
We drove around looking at the local houses, both new and really old, many with wide eaves serving i suppose as a way to shade the houses from the tropical heat, some wide enough to cover shady porches. We saw quail, 2 adults flanking a bunch of tiny babies, walking purposefully up a street and into a yard--so cool!!
Tuesday the 15th, and sadly, the sixth day and time to go home--We've had some great talks, great drives, read and basically just RELAXED. Time to return the car and to reality, hopefully somewhat restored. We spent last night chasing the sunset around the hotel--the Sheraton is spread over quite a large area, with a number of buildings. We wandered through all the areas searching for the best place to get photos as the sun went down. The colors change so as the sun goes down, its own tropical Orna-Glow...