Spotted: 11 rainbows, 1 thrashing marlin, 4 sea turtles, 1 stingray, 1 pacific ocean, throngs of tourists and the sun.
We touched down in Maui at 10:00 at night. We were not immediately adorned with fragrant flower leis by Tom Selleck. But the good news was it was warm. Well, warm enough that when we fetched our little Jeep we could drive to our condo, roof and windows down. Try that in Vancouver in May. Heck try it in August. Arriving there at about 12am we hit the sheets right away.
In the blissfully harsh light of day I was able to observe my surroundings. The theme in our condo seemed to be pineapples and early '90's plantation style on a budget. I counted 6 decor pineapples and one edible one. After surveying the room it was time to venture out and familiarize ourselves with the wilds of The Island.
In terms of sights, there were a few. High on my To-Do list were waterfalls. Other than that I really didn't care. Actually I did. As long as I got sun and sea in excess I was A-ok. Or so I thought. Within 5 days I would eat those words, then promptly regurgitate them. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Five hour boat ride to a secret snorkelling spot, on the way the promise of dolphins and breakfast. After snorkelling, an on-board BBQ and all the Mai Tai's you can drink. Unfortunately for me, a half hour in the nausea took hold and didn't let up until I was back on the dock. The parts I remember are the parts of papaya and pineapple I threw up over the side of the boat. As I heaved over the railing I watched a pod of spinner dolphins doing their best to make me feel even more queasy. I did not partake in the BBQ.
My other watery experiences over the two weeks were more controlled. They involved dashing from sandy towel to splashing surf and back to towel again. Sometimes with flippers, sometimes without, but always with a harpoon.
Speaking of deep sea fishing. Because of a certain person's aversion to seafood of any kind, I tried to respectfully avoid the piscine items on the menu. Two days later I aborted that mission. Not because I wanted to see my boyfriend vomit in front of me, but because I fast realized that seafood is what Hawaiians do best. And by best I mean adequately. If you like Cactus Club you'll like Maui. Except the food is better at Cactus Club. I had more than one extraordinarily terrible meal. I had a handful of palatable meals. Maybe 3 good meals. And one great meal, and that was a BBQ the family threw together poolside at their hotel. To sum up, I found Maui food to be underwhelming and gave it an overall rating of 2 meh's and a scrunched up nose.
But then we were not there for the food. We were there for the booze. . . . Wait, no. We were there for a wedding. Which by the way was lovely. The bride wore white, and the groom wore his heart on his sleeve. Perfect, tasteful, warm and romantic.
While we're on the subject of perfection. Turns out not only am I prone to bitchin' tans, but my hair looks awesome in Maui. Humidity, sun and salt are my new BFF's. My hair waved, bleached and volumized itself. Had I not been very careful I could have ended up about 3 days away from dreads. But that my hippie friends is what shampoo and basic hygiene is for. . . What am I saying? I don't have friends that are hippies.
Boyfriend and I saw those photoshopped sunsets, and a handful of the cliched Hawaiian rainbows. We both successfully burned portions of ourselves. But with a healthy slathering of Maui Babe, those pesky burns glazed over and became fetching tans.
To sum up the vacay and Maui in general: It does what it says on the tin.
If you're expecting sunny warmth, postcard worthy beaches and relaxation, this is the place for you. Culture and food, not so much, although if you look hard enough there's a sprinkling of both. But you need to look pretty hard. Personally I came away with a tan and an unhealthy love of palm trees and 1960's resorts. As well coming back from paradise only to find your home city is still shrouded in clouds and gloom can be more than a touch depressing. Siiiiigh*
But, we'll always have Maui.