So I had a realization last week about the blog, Hawaii, and my website. I came to the conclusion that I had not recapped on my vacation because I was too scared to do so. I knew that if I went back and replayed my time in Maui and on the Big Island, it would make me sad because my heart is very much still there. This hit me after I went out that night to see an old co-worker (and friend) of mine who had just left the law firm we worked for. He left his great paying job with benefits to start his own firm, with no clients, minimal savings, and just took on a part-time bartending job to make up the difference. It was probably the most inspiring thing I have ever seen. I saw him that night as a radiant and happy man I had never before met! And then it hit me.
On my way home, I called my husband and said, “why are we waiting? Why don’t we just go to Hawaii now?” Not only did he agree, but he then suggested cashing out his retirement in just picking up and going immediately. The next day I gave notice at my job.
I will post more about my upcoming adventure and cross-country drive to California, which I am taking alone with my two dogs, but right now I need to relive my time in Hawaii lol…
We were scheduled to fly out June 18th, the day after my birthday, and decided to spend that night in Manhattan so my best friend could celebrate with me. We had some amazing Italian food and visited some of the coolest bars I have ever seen. I was having severe flight anxiety weeks before this trip and tiring myself out before the plane ride really helped to alleviate that.
I hate to leave out the details of Manhattan, but I am just too excited to dive into the best part of the story.
The airport and Honolulu was beyond words beautiful. There were no windows anywhere and the entire terminal was open, with just a roof. I immediately knew that I was in the right place. We hopped on a commuter flight to Maui, where we shared the cabin with just four other passengers. They were all middle-aged men who are professional golfers, and they had us cracking up the thirty minute flight.
Once we got to Maui we picked up our Jeep Wrangler, something that has always been a dream of mine. Now we were ready to find our cottage rental! [Side Note: For this trip I decided that I did not want stay at any hotels, so we went on this website and rented personal dwellings for the entire time on both islands. By the way, I fully promote and endorse http://www.VRBO.com and suggest that everyone use it] I will tell you more about our rental later, as it was so breathtaking that it truly deserves it’s own post.
We attempted to explore the island a little bit, but by that time it was dark and starting to rain. Not to mention that many of the roads were unpaved and a little tricky in my first time driving a jeep! With minimal energy to explore the unfamiliar roads, we surrendered for a nap and decided we were instead going to get up early to visit the summit of Mount Haleakala at 4 am. Since our biological clocks were already turned around, it seems like the perfect time to do that!
It was on our way to the summit and roughly 4:30 in the morning when I encountered the most significant part of the trip, the true first synchronicity of my life. My best friend – who has a name, by the way, it is Dan- was on his phone arguing with one of his employees after having something go wrong at the office. I was trying to navigate unfamiliar roads in the dark, with no cell phone service, and trying to tune him out. lol. I stopped at a small stand called Crater Coffee for my morning dose of caffeine and came across the most pleasant man I have ever met in my life. I stood there and talked to him for about 20 minutes about the beauty of the island. Several tourists drove by hastily or stopping to ask “how much further is it?”, but he didn’t seem to mind. I bought a muffin and a souvenir mug of coffee, which I still keep on my desk at work, but felt compelled to ask him what HIS favorite places were in Maui. I didn’t want tourist spots; I wanted to see the real beauty and heart of the island. He took out one of his free souvenir maps and began circling, making notes, and crossing out locations around this cutesy map of Maui. He even wrote in a few places that weren’t labeled!
I expressed my gratitude and we went on our way to find the most breathtaking sunrise of my life.
Shortly after descending the mountain, we looked to this handwritten map provided to me by the man at Crater Coffee, which led to some of the most incredible and unmistakably magical experiences of my life.