Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mahalo Noi Lua


Are we having fun? Actually, we're having a terrible time. We regret coming here to this hell hole of an island chain. What a forsaken place...we can see why people hate to come here, why it's so unpopular, especially as a honeymoon choice. 

This is what we first saw driving out of the airport in our rented jeep. We fell in love. Love at first sight, not unlike the first time we met. The sun was about to start setting, and we were pretty hungry (why in the world don't airlines give snacks away anymore) and tired because it was actually our bedtime on the mainland. 

Checking in at our hotel. Again, love at first site. This is the open-air lobby. Hotel Wailea. Wailea is in South Maui, and supposed to have the best beaches. The hotel has a bunch of villa-like dwellings. We magically got upgraded to a view of the Pacific Ocean. 

Oh my. Flowers, flowers, flowers. When the wind is blowing the right way, you can smell the stephanotis and other red flowers I have not yet identified. Sun has just sunk in this picture above. The island that you see in this picture is uninhabited. The little piece of land in front of it is a sunken volcano crater. A long time ago (or not that long), this volcano was coming up out of the ocean and when it was making its way, changed its mind and decided to go to sleep and skip all the dramatic eruptions. We are apparently going to snorkel here in a couple of days. I'm a little wary about swimming on top of a volcano crater, but that would be some real bad luck. So I'm just going to relax and worry about drowning instead. 

Bright morning view. You wouldn't believe the blue. I can see whales jumping in the distance, squirting their spouts, trying to attract the lady humpbacks. It's so fun to see them way out there. I'm usually not the first to spot them, but hawk eyes over here tries his best to point them out every time. 

The first day we got up super duper early (4 am anyone?) because we are [a] farmers, and were [b] in Mississippi time in Maui. We decided to go to the first beach we could find--it was the right one. Polo Beach baby. I took this picture on the walk down to it. We were foaming at the mouth at the beauty of everything around us. We were even enamored with the silver jeep we are driving around. And still are. 

Then I took a picture of this tree. The Liza Jane trademark is the sideways picture. I liked the red blossoms on this tree. Everything seems not to be able to be contained here, like just bursting with beauty. 

W walking down to Polo Beach. That's his snorkel gear. Beaches are the best I've ever seen. On this day, we had an incredible lunch. Ahi salad (it was Thai with bean sprouts, noodles, and all) and W had an amazing fish taco with good french fries. We had an awakening as to how expensive things really are around these parts, but we both agreed it was the best lunch we've both ever had. 

Pretty pretty. Pretty excited as I walked up on this. 

Wait, that's not my husband. Where is he? 

I think that's him. 

Yes, that's definitely him. My husband is a fish. Water is by far the favorite element of my husband. He loves water in all kinds of forms. I think this picture pretty much sums him up actually. I've never seen anyone have a relationship with water like W. I certainly don't. Some of our conversations on the beach are about why I don't feel like getting in the water (I just put my suncreen on, the water's pretty cold, I'm waiting until the sun comes back out, I'm waiting until I have to use the restroom, one more page--this book is really good, I'm actually a little thirsty, I'm actually kind of hungry). I have used them all. 

But I have actually gotten in a lot. The first time I was pressured by a neighboring couple, who were older and more experienced in Hawaiian ways. They had come on their honeymoon there long ago. So I was influenced by them, and their strong advice to use their boogy-boards. And it was so much fun. I see why people who love water love it so much. I love water, but I like to drink it, cook with it, and bathe in it. We have a loving, but more business over pleasure relationship. 

I love this kind of thing. Why, why did the the flower start turning yellow like that? Flowers are amazing to me. 

Opened up to the sun. I would think that this is what the Garden of Eden looked like in its prime. But, yes, I know that Hawaii couldn't have been Eden because Hawaii is such a young place, just a bunch of short-lived volcanoes (in terms of the Earth you know). 

Love this color.

Zoomed in pic of our view. 

The sun going down on the ocean. Blasting light. 

The biggest avocados I've ever seen ever, ever. They are called butter avocados. Sounds good to me. Those are the two best tasting things in the world. We got these along with other funky fruits and vegetables at a local farmer's stand. 

That night we had the simple idea that we would go to the summit of Haleakala, the closest mountain/volcano on the island at dawn. There are companies that can take you to the summit to watch the sunrise and then bike down to the ocean. So we called some Bike company before we past out at 7 pm. Up and adam at 3 am, we were picked up by a local who had had a lot of coffee. 

Best sunrise we both have ever seen. And look at those clouds. The crater was right in front of us. 

We were a little tired and cold, but it was worth it all. I was actually a little short of breath up there, but the Heavenly beauty made it all right. Even the little red-pink glow peering up through the clouds when we first got up there was amazing. And the silence. And man, let me tell you, it was so dark up there before this little glow came along. 

Here it comes. 

Our guide was nice enough to offer to take a picture of us. I look like someone who has had a lot of altitude but not a lot of sleep. I can sleep when I die. 

Sun's coming up. 

Quick, turn around and take a picture! Love the clouds. 

Lava rock all over the place, sitting in the clouds.

From where we sat. Whoa. When the sun came up, I realized where I had been sitting. 

This is a video of the process. It was an experience. I'm so happy for it. 

A little bit more?

We have decided we are going to blow this one up. The prettiest, craziest sunrise I've ever seen. 

Our bike guide Mike. 

We rode like this down the mountain.

That's West Maui behind us. The bike company gave me those pants. 

The next day we went to Po'olenalena Beach. It was a local's beach. Part of it was deserted. We found that out when we left. 

The sunset from our room. 

Sitting on my chair now. 

Big wave--W was in it. 

Look at this one coming up behind him. 

Strike a pose. 

This morning after sunrise. 

So W has a thing for water, and I have a thing for the sun. And so we have figured out that this is our Garden of Eden, and I have also chipped my tooth while eating an apple so what do you know? We have fallen in love and aren't coming back. There's nothing we can do about it now.

We are taking a break today from the sunshine and swimming to watch the Super Bowl, but we are still staring at the ocean, spotting humpbacks, and enjoying fresh air and sunshine. And we'll probably go to the pool after this. We have a little ritual of going to the Japanese bathhouse when the sun is setting. I've never been in one of those, but they are wonderful! I like the rainfall showers that massage you. 

I have a feeling that our hotel is a secret jewel for vacationers. It's not resort-like, but very calm and peaceful. It's not on the beach, but up the hill from it. But we want to go to all the beaches so that doesn't matter. We'd have to get in our beloved jeep and go somewhere anyway. We love that thing. One time, we just got in the car and rode around. Because we like being in a jeep in Maui. 

We can't believe we are here. We feel very blessed; we are. 

Going to make some tacos! Go Giants, but also go patriots because I like Tom Brady, but also Eli was a Rebel, so I don't know. Go Madonna! Whoa! What an awesome halftime show! What in the world? How old is she? She is inspiration. I am never going to grow old. That was the best halftime show I've ever seen. Maybe it's because I was a Madonna fan. 

And don't even get me started on the commercials, 7 of which have made me cry. The Detroit commercial with Clint Eastwood about America had me bawling. I love America. (And I keep forgetting that I am still in the United States, which makes me even more patriotic because I am in awe about how great this country is after seeing all this that I have to keep reminding myself is America). And then the NFL commercial was great, even made me tear up a little bit. I love NFL football. W does too. It's a good combo. 

Have a good night (because I know it's 8 and still feel my body clock a little)! Go Eli! Go Patriots! 

Liza Jane

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