A friend decided to have a destination wedding in West Maui and I jumped at the chance to visit this place, that I'd heard was magical, for the first time. I arrived on a Tuesday night after dark and took a shuttle from Kahului airport to my hotel - the Royal Lahaina. During the hour drive I could tell we were driving along the edge of the land with the ocean at our left and I knew it would be beautiful but it was dark. And not like a Southern California dark. Pretty much complete blackness.
Although I should have been exhausted due to the time change, once I made it to my hotel I found it really difficult to sleep. The anticipation of what beauty lay just outside my window in the darkness was almost too much. Friends were coming to pick me up the following day right at 6am for a day of snorkeling (!!) and hiking so I tried to get a couple hours of sleep, thinking when I opened my eyes it would be light. Not the case! I'd never been so close to the equator before and it was stunning how pitch black it still was at 5:45 am . . . and the anticipation! Think Christmas Eve night when you were 5 years old!
My friends collected me and as we drove southeast to Kihei in South Maui the sun rose. It did not disappoint me. The week would be filled with exploring the island and the waters that surround it, relaxing, catching up with old friends, making some new ones, being witness to the melding of two beautiful families, and really internalizing that Aloha spirit.
For a couple of days after I returned I didn't want to discuss my trip in detail. Still really taking it all in. But now I think I'm ready to share the beauty I experienced.
This introductory post is a teaser of sorts for the posts to come. The following links will fill out as I finish the posts.
Post 1: Snorkeling at Molokini Crater
Post 2: Hike through Ahihi-Kina'u Natural Area Preserve
Post 3: Snorkeling at Pu'u Keka'a
Post 4: Snorkeling at Kahekili Beach Park
Post 5: Stand-up Paddle Boarding neat Ka'anapali Beach
And here's a link to my Maui set on Flickr. Enjoy!