Saturday, May 19, 2012

Grape #12: Pilgrimage to Maui: Part 2

DAY 2 – Friday, May 18, 2012

Aloha!  After eating at "Da Kitchen" last night, we went back to the hotel and were asleep around 8 PM after what was a very, very long day.  It had started some 21 hours earlier, traversing a handful of time zones and 5,000 miles.  I woke up around 3 AM local time and after deciding this just couldn’t happen, I “slept in” for another hour and a half, getting up at 4:30. 

Day 2 was destined to be a million times better than Day 1.  Around 6:45 AM, we went for a breakfast buffet on the indoor/outdoor second level pool deck.  Along with our bacon and eggs, we had rice, pineapple, POG juice (Passion fruit, Orange, and Guava juice) and delicious Hawaiian coffee.  The sun was out and we watched the palm trees blow with two volcanoes flanking the island on either side.  Maui, if you didn’t know, is basically in the shape of a splitting atom, two islands fused as one with a thin middle.  Our first night was spent at the top of this middle area where the airport is, and the remainder of our time will be on Maui’s western, leeward shore, where all of the nicest resorts and golf courses are. 

Andy used the word micro-climates to describe how different things are from one part of the island to another, and it really is a very apt description.  The cloudy blahtitude of Kahului made us a little reticent about the island in our first few hours here.  Yet once Day 2 commenced and we were able to start exploring some amazing beaches and drives, we were absolutely blown away.  Tavares Beach is a tiny hole in the wall, a “beach access” point that you could easily miss if the guide book didn’t wink and point us toward it.  Basically just a small parking lot and a rail with openings wide enough for a couple of people to walk through, you don’t realize how beautiful and cool it is until you are on it.  We hear Maui has TONS of gems like this one.  After Tavares Beach, we drove up to Ho'okipa Beach, an incredible mecca of windsurfers and wave surfers alike.  Called one of and often the best windsurfing beach in the whole world, Ho'okipa was a real trip to experience from every angle, and our camera was going almost nonstop at times.  YES, we appreciated every moment too, but when you have a camera in hand and you have the kind of amazing in front of us as we did, it feels a sin not to show your appreciation to the artists all around you.

After some shopping and lunch, we drove south and west to our resort.  It was really funny hearing our female GPS voice recite the extra long Hawaiian road names as we approached each new turn.  And we saw our very first shaka sign, given from the motorcyclist ahead of us at a red light to a friendly face in the parking lot to the right.  The shaka is that familiar three fingers down, pinky and thumb out with a wave that you see in Hawaiian videos and photos. 

We arrived at our condo around 3:30 PM, got squared away, unpacked, then explored the grounds of our resort, the beach, and the beautiful pool.  A great swim and jacuzzi soak later, we then got showered and grabbed dinner at The Castaway Café, the restaurant located right here on the grounds of our resort.  Andy had a delicious grilled chicken with pineapple sandwich dressed with a cilantro lime mayonnaise.  I had a "Hawaiian chicken cordon bleu".  Imagine the most delicious chicken cordon bleu you’ve ever tasted or could imagine tasting, add sweet pineapple bits in between the cheese and ham, with a bread crusting mixed with little macadamia nut specs, and that’s what this was.  One of the best meals I’ve ever had!  I washed it down with a delicious mai tai.  Our table was right there between indoor and outdoor, with the setting sun right between us.  Torches were lit around the resort and euphoria reigned supreme.

Only some of these descriptions touch on anything spiritual, which was the main reason I wanted to write down thoughts on my trip, not just give a play by play.  I promise (myself) to do more reflecting and less play-by-playing going forward.

On that note, it’s 3:52 AM now New York time, 9:52 PM Maui time, so I’m gonna head to bed now.  Mahalo for reading along, and I hope you’ll keep doing so in the days to come!

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