That’s right, it’s finally here: your big Hawaiian adventure. You’ve been on island time for the past week, which your boss has really appreciated, dreaming of mai tais and tropical sunsets.
Well, no more dreaming. Time to experience the real thing. You’ve got a week of Maui adventures planned, and you can’t wait to turn off your brain and chill out.
As you check into your hotel, you’re greeted by the sound of birds chirping and the muffled laughter of families splashing at the pool. You drop your luggage in the room and immediately hit Wailea Beach.
You can hear snippets of conversations as you search for the perfect spot to toss down your towel, all underscored by the waves tumbling against the shore. You close your eyes and soak in the sun, listening to the excited shrieks of kids running in and out of the water, the quiet rustling of a breeze through the tall palm trees, the waves crashing endlessly. The stress you’ve held throughout the week melts away like ice in a mai tai, and you turn off your brain for a few hours.
When you get too warm, you hop into the water for a quick dunk, submerging yourself underwater.
There’s a different world beneath the surface. Fish dart in and out of coral reefs as you let the currents gently rock you back and forth. The sunlight streams through the water, speckling the sea floor with hundreds of shimmering, tiny spotlights. To your right, a sea turtle glides past. And for a perfect moment, everything is hushed and peaceful. It’s just you, soaking in the magic of your own private universe.
Then you resurface and are hit with the sound of the waves and the chatter from the shore. You paddle back, and flop onto your towel.
Once you’re dangerously close to resembling a lobster, you decide to head out and explore the island. You hop in your car and fiddle with the radio until you find a local station playing slack-key guitar. It’s a perfect 80-degree day, so you roll down your windows and enjoy the wind through your hair as you head toward Haleakalā National Park.
You park your car, lace up your hiking shoes, and hit the trail. You’re heading toward Waimoku Falls. On the way, you hear birds chirping, bugs buzzing and clicking, and the steady beat of your own footsteps. You exchange greetings with the people you pass on the trail, but other than that, all is quiet.
But then you get closer to the falls. You hear it faintly at first, but the closer you get, the more it grows from a whisper to a roar until it’s right there in front of you: 400 feet of beauty, nestled into the trees.
You take it in for a while (and snap a few pictures, of course), then you head back to your car to grab some food and head back to the hotel—but not before treating yourself to a shave ice from Ululani’s.
Once you’re there, you decide to take in the sunset from the beach, plunking yourself down in the sand and waiting for Mother Nature to put on a show. There’s live music playing at the hotel restaurant in the distance, and if you strain, you can make out the faint sounds of “Hotel California” being played on an acoustic.
You decide to focus on the sound of the waves instead, and of the sun slowly starting its descent. The peaceful hush is broken only by the slurp and crunch of your shave ice and the occasional laughter of kids, splashing in the water. You gaze across the water as the light slowly changes. The sun is stretching long and low on the horizon, bathing the world in a rich, golden glow that reflects off the water’s surface, making it glitter like treasure.
After a few perfect moments, the sun sets, leaving brilliant streaks of pink and orange in the sky. You leave the beach and make your way towards the bar to place your order. And finally, you hear the one thing you’ve been waiting to hear for weeks now: “One mai tai, coming right up.”
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