February 9 (Tuesday - Day Two)
I'm not sure how the rest of you feel, but there are few things more relaxing than go to sleep with the sounds of the ocean, and then hearing them upon waking. Just a really soothing way to wake up.
I had planned to go on a Molokini snorkel trip today, but due to the residual sinus issues, I ended up not going. Given what happened as the day went on, this was probably a wise decision. As it was early (maybe 7 AM), I headed down to the beach to watch the ocean for a while. I was there for an hour, and I think I saw at most 10 people.
A word about this phenomenon - I had experienced it a year before, at the Sheraton Maui, but the effect seemed so much more pronounced at the Royal Lahaina. At the beach, there is really only one other hotel visible to the north, and there was a very real sense of being on your own private beach. With few man-made structures in your sight lines, it just seems calmer and more isolated.
Had the buffet breakfast at the hotel, which was very nice. I'm not really going to get into prices too much. I look at it as the cost of being on vacation and budget appropriately. Overall, I thought the prices at the Royal Lahaina were fairly reasonable for Hawaii.
With nothing planned for the day, I ended up reading for most of the morning by the pool. The pools at the hotel are nothing special by Maui standards, but I rarely if ever go in the pool when I'm near a beach.
As I said before, I'm glad I ended up not going on the snorkel trip. It would have exacerbated what I went through in the afternoon, which was a recurrence of many of the symptoms that plagued me on Sunday, with less of a sinus pain problem. I ended up staying in my room for most of the afternoon, emerging only around dusk to eat a quick dinner before I went back to the room and passed out before 8 PM.
Am really hoping that I won't spend the entire trip battling this problem.
February 10 (Wednesday - Day Three)
I'm glad that I took the time to take care of myself on Tuesday, because I was feeling much better by Wednesday morning. Well enough, in fact, to head to the beach for a morning swim. The sea was particularly calm that day, and with clear blue skies, it made for one of those magical Maui moments that you keep in your head for years. I found the water to be just a little on the chilly side. Had I done any snorkeling on the trip, I believe I would have opted for a shorty wet suit in order to stay comfortable.
Spread my towels out on the beach and plopped down with a book. Another good thing about this hotel is that they let you take the number of towels that you need. None of this one-towel-per-person stuff that I've seen at other resorts in the islands (I'm looking at you, Sheraton Maui and Sheraton Waikiki).
For lunch, I headed into Lahaina and ate at Moose McGillicuddy's. Nothing special, but good bar food. This, of course, was cover for another shave ice run at Ululani's. Oh, shave ice, how I adore you and your magic snow-like properties.
Back to the hotel, where I read for a couple of hours on my lanai. I'm always careful, especially in the first several days of a trip, to limit my exposure to direct sunlight, as I'd rather not spend the bulk of the trip hiding from the sun.
My uncle lives on Oahu, but was on Maui to take some depositions, so we arranged to meet at Da Kitchen in Kahului. Hard to find, but really good Hawaiian food. Can't actually remember what I had, as he ordered it for me, but it was pretty tasty.
By the time I had driven back to Kaanapali, the sun was setting, but I got to watch it going down during the drive. What is normally a really beautiful drive turned into a spectacular one, and it was hard to keep the car on the road while keeping one eye on the amazing sights and colors. I had a couple of drinks at the bar, but decided I wanted to have some beach time.
It was a moonless night, and I was able to find an area of the beach where there was little light from the resort. Pulled out the iPhone and dialed up a couple of songs. I find that sounds are really powerful triggers, and in the future, every time I hear Looking for Space by John Denver I will be able to close my eyes and remember the soft Hawaiian breezes, the sounds of the ocean, and the incomprehensible beauty of a sky filled with stars.