Friday, October 9, 2009


We're back. The trip was just as amazing as I thought it would be, and I can't even think of any moments I didn't wholeheartedly love. Even when it started pouring in the middle of our drive to Hana and it took us fully 20 minutes to figure out how to put the damn top up on the Jeep. We were soaked, and we didn't even care, because we were in HAWAII and hey, since we're wearing our bathing suits and already drenched, let's just finish up our just-roasted-over-an-open-fire macadamia nuts and the passionfruit we're eating out of hand and go swim in that natural pool with a waterfall.

Seriously, I was pinching myself the whole time, wondering why anyone would ever go anywhere else, planning even before we left when we could go back again. The conference is there every ten years, so for sure we'll take the girls next time. They'll be 12 and 15 (!) - a great age to do all the fun, adventurous stuff - and that way, we won't have to miss them while we're gone. We did miss them plenty, of course, but all the same, it was such a treat to have all that TIME to ourselves. Reading whole books on the plane, listening to our own music, talking, writing, eating, drinking, swimming, biking, running, hiking, walking on the beach all on our own schedule, without having to tie a shoe or pack wipes or settle an argument. We saw a few couples there with small kids, and it didn't look like a party. The time change alone (6 hours) and the shitty travel (a 12 hour flight is no fun, no matter which snacks you pack) would kill the trip. Like I said, next time.

THIS TIME, though. This time, it was magical. We toured the Pearl Harbor Arizona Memorial. We hiked Diamond Head. We climbed down cliffs to the ocean, then swam (briefly!) at beaches where the waves were the biggest I'd ever seen and the lifeguard came marching right over to lecture us about the spinal cord injuries he sees every month. (By swim, I mean that we would stand in the water, calf-deep, and then a gigantic wave would come and knock us completely over and send us tumbling underwater so we had salt water up our noses for the rest of the night. Good times.) We ate almost every single meal outside, and the one we ate inside was some of the best sushi I've ever had. We met a group of friends for dinner one night and sat drinking Mai Tais under a banyan tree, looking out over the crashing waves, while fireworks went off in the distance. We stopped at roadside stands for coconut shave ice. Sarah and I had two-hour spa treatments involving seaweed and hot clay being smeared all over our bodies. Sarah and I had a two-hour lunch at The Pineapple Room with fancy drinks and dessert and Kona coffee.

We got up at 2:30 a.m. to watch the sunrise from the top of the Haleakala Crater on Maui, then biked down the mountain to the beach through eucalyptus trees, plumeria, pineapple fields, and sugarcane. We hiked two miles in the rainforest through bamboo forests and across rocky streams to see the tallest waterfall I've ever seen. We swam at Kaanapali Beach and let the waves push us back and forth, back and forth. We drank champagne and watched the sunset from our balcony. We took a private yoga class in an open-air studio with a view of the ocean. We ate huge breakfasts of papaya and guava juice, eggs benedict and miso soup, bacon and smoothies. We drank lychee martinis, coconut porter, mojitos, lava flows and mai tais. We ate fish every day. We went running on Waikiki Beach at 4:30 in the morning. We woke up every morning no later than 6:30. We drove with the top down, listening to reggae and Hawaiian music. We sent pictures to the girls. We went to bed every night tired and happy.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Stephanie...sounds absolutely amazing! You really took advantage of all there is to do and see in Hawaii. Missed reading you while you were gone:) Kellie