There are tons of perks re: my move from the frozen tundra that is Chiberia to sunny, warm, I-am-complaining-to-my-best-friend-Jesse-that-it-is-TOO-hot-in-January-as-I-type-this weather. (Side note: she just said everyone I know will want to punch me for that comment. My apologies, Everyone I Know, but 8 degrees cooler would be ideal.)
Anyway, one of the biggest perks that I didn’t even think about when I decided to pack up and ship out to Los Angeles?
I am close to Hawaii.
Well not close as in weekend getaway close (nor do I have the budget for that…yet! Let’s be real folks – I might have worked for Oprah, but Oprah I am not).
But I am close enough to Hawaii that when my brother tells me that he and his (relatively new) girlfriend are going there for a winter getaway/work conference and that the hotel room has a pull out bed and I should come along because I’m already so close- I say “um, OKAY!” You might argue I’m being intrusive on their romantic trip but really when looked at from another angle… It’s more like QT with my brother and his new GF! And after all, I am SO CLOSE that it would be rude NOT to join them. And of course there’s the fact that we are blood and I’m pretty sure it says in the Torah or at least on a cheeky/cheesy greeting card in one of those quirky gift shops that there’s no such thing as intrusive when it comes to family, right?
Aloha to me.
I (overpacked) my bags and hopped on a plane hoping that Hawaii would bring me as much love and fun as it did to Jason Segel and Mila Kunis in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Sadly the other doctors attending this work conference my brother was going to seemed to be balding or married. Or in most cases, both. And truth be told, I was just hoping that this trip would bring me love WITH Jason Segel – but astonishingly enough he was nowhere to be found.
My Brother and his awesome GF arrived later that night and what followed was four fun filled/sun filled days. Sadly, The GF got sick on day two (but the silver lining is her flu further proved that the universe wanted me to come all along lest my brother be sad and lonely on the island all by himself! There’s really a silver lining in everything, sometimes you just really have to look hard for it. But it’s there. Oh it’s there.)
Here were some of the highlights that I recommend to anyone visiting Maui– granted a lot of the amazingly romantic sunset views/romantic dinners/insert other romantic thing here because everything on Maui is pretty damn romantic– I told my brother and GF to save for after my departure. See! I was so not intrusive! I was thoughtful! And besides, now I have a reason to go back. With Jason Segel. I mean after all we do live SO close. Like romantic weekend getaway close. God I love California.
Another thing to note: Prepare to be lamer than your grandparents on this trip. While My grandma is usually cooler than me on most days, she was light years cooler than me while I was on this vay-k. I was asleep every night by 9:30 and up by 7. Pretty sure an 89 year old took over my body. Actually, now that I think about it, my hips were aching and I even caught myself putting sugar packets in my purse. Hmm.
SLEPT HERE: Fairmont Kea Lani
We stayed at this beautiful hotel in Wailea. They offered morning Yoga outside that most days I observed from my room while drinking a latte– convincing myself that it counted as a workout. I finally joined in and was glad I did. Great instructor and a super relaxing and beautiful way to start the morning.
Other perks to this hotel: Gorgeous pools, helpful staff, beautiful beach front and very easy to get around. Also, even though I smuggled almond milk in from Cali (I realized that if I put as much thought and planning into how I carefully wrapped and packed the almond milk- lest it ruin my flowy beach coverups- I would probs be richer than Mark Zuckerberg by now), they had it in their coffee shop. It was a Hawaii miracle. Additionally they had menus for literally every diet in existence.
DO IT: Beach Path
My favorite thing to do every day was walk/jog the beach path from the Fairmont all the way down to the Andaz. It was SO beautiful both at sunset and made working out in the morning enjoyable (I promise!) It’s also fun to do a leisurely stroll and stop off at all of the hotels along the way (to determine where I will be staying on my next trip, of course!) The Four Seasons and the Andaz are both amazingly gorgeous. And the Marriott has a Starbucks (a triple the price Starbucks but a Starbucks nonetheless. #coffeedrinkersunite)
One day I got caught in a whole lot of rain but it led to a double rainbow followed by another rainbow that was the brightest, most vividly gorgeous rainbow I have ever seen. And it was the first time I ever saw the end of a rainbow! Sadly there was no pot of gold BUT I did see it while sipping a delectable almond milk latte and noshing on gluten free pineapple bread at the Four Seasons so in my world, I would say it was like practically the same thing.
ATE IT: We loved dinner at Joe’s and Monkeypod for casual but delicious fare. The fish served up at Monkeypod is caught day of and it’s delicious #sorryfishies. Sushi at Sansei was okay- good but not great- but fun to see a place that locals go.
SAW IT: We did a 1.5 hour drive up the mountain to the Haleakala Crater for sunset. It was a stunning drive high above the clouds. Always a beautiful reminder that by simply removing yourself from what feels so BIG in life, it instantly becomes small or even insignificant. A great way to get perspective. Just remove yourself and “rise above.”
Sadly as we got to the top it got a bit too foggy for sunset but was a gorgeous drive and I highly recommend it. A lot of people do this drive for sunset but really who wants to wake up at 3 A.M.? Not this girl thankyouverymuch. Note: If you do this drive bring lots and lots of layers. It dropped to about 40 degrees and my beloved jean jacket (serving me since 1999) was just not cutting it.
TRIED IT: Kai Kanani Early Morning Snorkeling. I am not one for adventure. Roller Coasters? Hate ‘em. Roller Skating? Miserable. Water Sports? Pretty sure (actually positive) that I fell in the first and only time I went paddle boarding, pulled a muscle and a man on a jet ski from another house had to pull up to see if I was okay. And no I wasn’t 12. I was 28. So you can imagine that every person I told that I went snorkeling met me with comments that varied from “Really? YOU?! You don’t strike me as someone who snorkels” to “weren’t you scared?” to “You got up THAT early? TO SNORKEL”
Yes, Yes and Yes.
And despite what my sweatshirt says, I’m so glad I did.
I have never snorkeled before, and let’s face it getting up at 5:30 AM is not something I generally enjoy (truth, we ran up to the boat as it was pulling away and thankfully they let us on) BUT it was such an amazing morning. The staff was amazing, the fish were beautiful. And while snorkeling at the Molokini Crater, I felt like I was in an extra special deleted scene that only comes with the purchase of Finding Nemo on Blue Ray.
The saltwater up my nose was totally worth it. After snorkeling around the turtle cave, I spotted a huge and adorable sea turtle that had me gleefully giggling like a 6 year old kid. This whole adventure thing might not be so bad. It was such a blast and I highly recommend this to anyone visiting Maui.