Maui 2022

My husband and I decided to visit Maui again and we went from November 1 to 11. We got a timeshare sales offer from Westin through our Marriott Bonvoy reward program for a stay at a villas resort at low cost for five days and five days of a free rental car. We added on five more days at another more affordable hotel. And we had reward points to use for that making it free. We had a companion fare to use up at Alaska Air. It was too hard to turn down. We’d been there twice before. My heart had been longing to go back to Kaanapali Beach as I did not get enough time there, and the beachwalk there is so wonderful. After I booked it earlier in 2022 I wondered what I was thinking. I almost always get some pretty severe anxiety before any traveling or trip. Especially if I am flying. But that anxiety wore off and it became to me kind of like another chore I had to check off my list, then get home for the holidays and tasks I wanted to accomplish.

But then we got there. Travel, flying, rental car obtaining, and checking in at a new unknown place usually is pretty stressful and physically demanding for me and my weak body. Having to get up at 2 am to get an early flight just compounds it. Everything went really well except for a couple very minor annoyances at the departing airport–let’s just say kiosks and I weren’t getting along too well that morning. I think the airport network might have been having issues. But overall, we were so blessed and protected with travel mercies. Arriving at the villas overwhelmed me. The complex was huge. Since Jerry and I are stubborn and refuse to do valet parking and luggage service, we go against the norm and flow of high level villa resorts in doing these things for ourselves. We finally figured out the mystery of where to best park and were able to lug our luggage up a flight of stairs and wander through the buildings to get to our assigned building. Once there, I always feel like a little girl that doesn’t belong again. The pools, the crowds, the size of the complex give me such anxiety and I feel like a poor relation that doesn’t belong with all the rich folks. It just doesn’t feel right for me to be in such a luxurious place. I feel so much guilt for getting to do such a nice trip. I should be giving more money to world missions, my church, the cause of Christ, etc. And I was so exhausted. We arrived in Maui around noon Hawaii time which was 3 pm PDT. Having gotten up at 2 am and traveled for 12 hours straight, my autoimmune fatigue was pretty critical. I can’t really even remember what I did the rest of that day after getting checked in and settled in. I’m pretty sure I exhaustion collapsed early evening and slept over 12 hours that first night.

But then morning came. One of my most favorite things in my whole life is waking up in the morning in Hawaii. I usually awaken around 6 am which feels like 9 am PDT. I quickly looked out at the view. We had a partial ocean view a bit distant over a dune visible from our ground floor patio. I made my morning decaf. Quickly throwing on shorts and a tank, one is ready for a morning in Hawaii. Few things are more glorious than watching the sunrise and watching how the sun changes on the water. Even though the sun rises in the east, it is still spectacular on the west coast of Maui. I did the most wonderful morning devotions/Bible study times on that villa patio. I people watched. The Kaanapali beachwalk trail that meanders through all the resorts along that beach was near our room/patio so I watched all the people jogging, walking, etc. by with delight. And then I could easily walk to the beach for some more alone time and people watching while my husband delights in sleeping in and resting from all the work he does at home. The main benefit of staying at an expensive resort is the nearby beach access without having to find parking. Driving to find beach access on Maui is difficult. Having nowhere you have to be and having nothing scheduled mornings is such a delight, especially on Maui. And it is warm. Not hot. Just right warm. It is probably as near to perfection as any place on this fallen planet gets this side of eternity. But it only lasts until around 10 am when the heat starts.

By mid morning we would do our walking. Kaanapali beachwalk is my favorite with Wailea beachwalk a close second or a tie. It can be tricky accessing these trails unless you stay in one of the resorts along it. But the beachwalks and the beaches are public. There are very limited public parking lots available so it can be challenging if you’re not staying at a resort. If you want to walk at Kaanapali, park at Whaler’s Village shopping center and get a meal there to help validate your parking fee. If you want to walk at Wailea beachwalk, there are a couple public parking lots, but they are usually full and difficult to access. You can park at The Shops at Wailea shopping center which is free and then walk in through the Marriott resort next door to it. It ends up being a lot of walking to get down the hill through the resort to the beach trail. It was way hotter in early November than we experienced when we visited in late December and in February on our two prior trips to Maui. It is best to get your walking in before mid morning. We really struggled with the heat and muggy humidity this trip. It was a rude awakening at our second hotel realizing how far we had to walk to access the beach. Our hotel was up the hill about 4 blocks from the resort row along Wailea beach. But we made it work.

All of the sightseeing we did and the magic show did not disappoint. We skipped the Road to Hana this time–it’s not really worth the bother because it’s too difficult to access any of the waterfalls etc. that are along the road due to lack of parking. We did the volcano national park again–Haleakala. It was worth seeing again. But to really take advantage of this park, one must be a skilled hiker, which we are not. The driving up the mountain, and the elevation changes that hurt my ears make the day pretty stressful for me. But if there’s a national park to be seen, it has to be done. The lavender garden was a great find. At 4000 feet on the slopes of Haleakala it had a beautiful view of Maalaea bay below and it was so incredibly peaceful there. The Nakalele blow hole / spouting horn was well worth the drive on the curvy mountain road to get there (about 20 minutes north of Kaanapali) to see it once again. The view of Honolua Bay a little to the south of it is spectacular, but there is only a little room to pull over on the road’s shoulder to access it. I have seldom seen prettier turquoise blue water than there. Unfortunately there were very strong wind gusts that day and I nearly got blown over the edge, so my viewing was cut a bit short. There is sketchy street parking available down the road to walk down into the bay area which would be an amazing spot to go if one had the hiking skills. I believe it is considered a pretty prime snorkeling and surfing spot.

We ate some nice meals out. Food is very expensive on Maui. Grocery store prices are also expensive. Most locals who live on Maui have to work two jobs to afford it. There is a Costco that many recommend, but we aren’t Costco members. We ate at Hula Grill and Leilani’s on the Beach at Kaanapali. Both meals were amazing and expensive. The sunset views are worth every penny. We ate at Monkey Pod Kitchen twice in Wailea. Two of the best meals of my life though expensive. The live music was another bonus. We also ate a lot of cheaper meals in our kitchens at the Westin North Villas at Kaanapali and Residence Inn at Wailea we stayed at. Kihei has more reasonably priced restaurants and we found a great Thai food place and seafood place there. The Kalama Park in Kihei is a very busy spot with a lot of interesting type of folks, but it is also a lovely boardwalk beach walk and the sunset views were magnificent there. I have a funny story to tell about preparing a frozen pizza in our room — if you want to hear it, please be in touch with me personally and I will tell you a pretty good story about human stupidity and how details matter. And a story about realizing a hotel complete kitchen isn’t always really a complete kitchen (no oven).

We had a little inconvenience happen which God used to bless us some more on this trip. The office kept calling us to inquire if we had a smoke alarm ringing and to check if our room was on fire. No alarm. No fire. But boy did that trigger some crazy anxiety and bad dreams that night. And no I did not set the room on fire trying to cook a pizza. This false alarm happened twice one day. The next day, the hotel informed us we had to move rooms because there was something defective about our smoke alarm and it falsely signaling the office. So, we had to pack up again (2nd time having moved from the villa resort to the hotel two days earlier) and move rooms. We were upgraded to a 2 bedroom and 2 bathroom suite that was larger than our first home we owned I kid you not. “Hello, husband, are you in here?” We kept losing each other the suite was so big. And the second room had a much better balcony view than the first room. Oh and they rewarded us 60,000 more points for more free hotel stays. It will amount to a couple nights free on a next trip. God just keeps blessing us. I guess He is okay with our traveling and wants us to keep getting all we can out of this crazy Marriott Bonvoy reward program that I can highly recommend. Please contact me if you’d like to know more about it. And of course I would gain nothing from pointing anyone to it–it’s just been an easy way to get some affordable travel in for us. We did have to endure a one hour sales pitch presentation at the villas. Once again we were honest and told them, hey, we are never going to sign up for your timeshare, but you’re welcome to keep trying. They quizzed us on where we most wanted to go next and my husband said Utah. So guess where our next sales pitch offer will be for next time? We shall see if we get another one. We have done three of them so far–two in Scottsdale and one in Maui.

I don’t think my husband and I have ever relaxed as thoroughly as we did this trip. We did not push ourselves and we scheduled very few things and just did whatever we wanted. I feel bad that we didn’t do more for the value of the trip, but we did what we could with our health and fatigue. We usually feel we have to “conquer the island” or whatever area we are sightseeing at. It is important to me to see as much as possible when I risk my life flying long distance to get there. It was truly a wonderful and blessed rest. Warm. Beautiful. But then the 11th dreaded day of our trip, the travel home day came. Again we were given travel mercies and all went well except for a half hour delayed flight. The flight home seemed so very long. We arrived home around midnight which was only 10 pm old Hawaii time, but talk about exhausted and depleted. My family decided it was a bright idea for us to have a family dinner to tell about the trip the first day home on Saturday. Having slept 12 hours again until 11:30 am I was able to pull it off. But then the next morning, the acute exhaustion hit. How can one get that sick and exhausted and fatigued from a relaxing vacation? You’d have to have Sjogren’s Syndrome or some similar malady to understand I guess. I woke up crying that morning. Because as soon as my eyes were opening I realized I was no longer on Maui, no longer in a warm zone, no more sunrises and early morning skies, no more easy walking to the beach, boo hoo poor me. I have seldom grieved more than that morning. I fall in love with places in a way I can’t describe. I feel the same way about Scottsdale, Sedona, San Juan Island, San Diego, and so many places I have had the privilege of visiting. And I realized I will most likely never travel to Hawaii and especially not to Maui again. Not in this lifetime. And who knows if there will be islands on The New Earth. Many think there will not be. What is wrong with me that I have so much trouble returning to reality after a vacation when my life is so blessed? Usually I return home and my house looks so beautiful to me as I’ve missed it so much and I realize how blessed I am to have such a house to live in. This time I experienced the glad to be home, the house looks so good only slightly, but mostly felt like, I’m not ready to be back here. I spiraled into a mild depression which lasted from Nov. 13 to 27. Thank God He is once again pulling me out of it and I am a little more back to “normal” today and yesterday. A family member once told me that he thinks my sadness about leaving places I love is symbolic of how much I long for my eternal reward on The New Earth. A vacation in a beautiful place symbolizes the New Earth to me. I think he might be right.

So thanks for letting me vent and share a bit about my trip. I feel like somewhat of an expert on Maui and I would so love to share tips on how to navigate it if anyone is interested. If I ever do go to Maui again, which is unlikely, I would stay at The Sheraton resort at Black Rock in Kaanapali which is on the beachwalk and is also included now in the Marriott Bonvoy reward program. What do you like best about Maui? Or about traveling?

This verse below is my greatest hope and the only thing and reason that keeps me living and pressing on to obey Jesus. Even through depression and all life’s disappointments. Oh friend, how I wish everyone I know would understand how great is this hope and promise. Whatever “no more sea” may really mean–even if there aren’t any islands on the new earth–whatever our eternal reward will be in fellowship with God and all His believing people– it is going to be more wonderful and spectacular than any vacation we could ever dream of having in this life, and best of all — it will never end. We will be both at home and in a paradise vacation forever and ever. Please don’t miss out on it. I want to see you there.

Revelation 21:1-4:

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

4 thoughts on “Maui 2022

  1. Lovely description of how you and your husband treasure each day together; even though this world and each of us are imperfect, we seek the beauty and joy in resting in nature… each of us are blessed by seeking out the beauty God has created in our world in nature. It’s such a let-down to return to the “real world “ but it helps to remind ourselves to abide in Him all the time… that is where our true peace is found.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! And to learn to be content in whatever our circumstances — a great vacation or a return to duties and tasks that often seem insurmountable. What a lifelong learning curve it is. Praise God for His grace, mercy and patience with us.

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  2. Amen! His mercy, grace and care for us is indescribable, and it is breathtaking to realize this is who He is, all the time, not just when we have a peek at His presence!

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