Travel: Our First Trip to Maui – What’s Wrong With Being A “Tourist”?

sandshaka

We’re planning a trip to Maui in August. As a family, we are completely obsessed with Hawaii – Maui in particular.

I’ve never been affected by a vacation quite like I was two years ago when my husband and I made our first trip to Maui for our 20th anniversary. No amount of online research can prepare you for what is ahead. I got a lot of great tips and learned quite a bit about Maui, but the feeling that you get when you are looking through the airplane window after hours and hours of flying over the ocean and the island comes into view…there is nothing quite like it.

There’s nothing quite like stepping off the plane into the open-air Kahului airport and feeling the warm breeze on your skin and the scent of the island filling all of your senses. It’s all short-lived because many of the planes land at the same time on Maui and it’s a mad dash to get to the baggage claim and rental car agency so that you can make a break for Costco (which was the first and only tip that we followed almost immediately) or a grocery store. It’s almost as if you have a mission before you can begin your actual vacation:

SECURE ENOUGH BOOZE AND FOOD TO SUSTAIN LIFE FOR 12 DAYS AND THEN JUMP INTO THE OCEAN.

At least that was the back up plan last time.

The original plan – two years ago – was to get the rental car, then find the closest beach and go jump in the ocean…clothes and all! That didn’t really happen. You see, we had never been on any kind of tropical vacation before. Nothing ever warmer than California – well…beach-wise anyway – when we went to Tucson last year, that was pretty damn hot – but alas, no beach – no ocean. Only red rock and cacti. Not exactly the same thing…but this. THIS was HAWAII!

What really happened:

We got off the plane! (Typically the best first step to getting to your destination.) We were met with our Lei’s and directed towards baggage claim. While hubster was doing the pacing back and forth waiting for the bags, I ransacked the BROCHURE carousel – grabbing every Hawaiian travel tip magazine I could get my grubby hands on. With bags in tow, we raced to find the Rental Car Agency Shuttle, and it was off to pick up the rental car. So far – we’re giving off that “Tourist” vibe pretty hardcore. Nothing shouts “TOURIST!” than when you’re standing in a long line of people waiting to get their dream vacation started by picking up their convertible Seabring. Another thing that screams tourist? All the new clothes people are wearing and the idiot smiles they have on their faces. I know that I looked like I didn’t belong there -I DON’T CARE HOW MANY TANNING SESSIONS I HAD BEFORE I GOT THERE!

Once the car was secured, we asked the parking lot attendant where the CLOSEST POSSIBLE BEACH WAS – she looked at us like we were from outer space and told us – but reminded us that the directions to Costco is typically the question she is asked most and that this was a “first”. Really? You mean to tell me that no one has EVER wanted to jump into the ocean the moment they were independent after arriving? Really? I always was a trailblazer and trendsetter…

Since the lot attendant mentioned Costco – and several of our friends mentioned Costco, I guess the logical thing to do was to put jumping into the ocean on the back burner for now until we bought all the booze we expected to consume as well as the food we had planned on eating for our trip. So… first stop? Costco.

Costco’s are pretty consistent no matter where you are. And for that, we are thankful. We went straight to the meat case where we picked-up enough rib-eye steaks to feed an army. We also picked up a few other typical vacationy eats and then – like a beacon of heavenly God-light – there it was…

BOOZE!!

We didn’t have booze in our Costco’s at home and so the pure fact that this was a novelty was completely overwhelming to us at the time. We went a little overboard as evidenced below:

booze

All the perfect things needed for an excellent vacation – BOOZE. 

You’d think we were alcoholics with all those bottles we shoved into our buggy…hubby is more of a drinker than I am and all I want to do after I’ve had about 1/2 a drink is to lay down and go to sleep. WHICH IS NO FUN…so hubby drank most of it. We did bring back almost the entire bottle of Malibu rum back home – you know, if that makes you feel better at all.

After we were done at Costco – we had decided it was time to find our Condo. We were so excited to get there, it’s not even funny…because we all know what happens when you get into your room, right?

BOMP-CHICKA-BOW-WOW!!!

Yeah…fast-forward – but first…let me tell you that Maui sex is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better  different than Mainland sex. It’s hard to explain – forgive the pun. *high-hat*

I was finally able to talk the hubby into getting into our suits and jump into the water. IT WAS GLORIOUS! Our Condo was on the bottom floor and about 25 steps to the ocean. You could walk off of the lanai and through the grass for about 7 steps and a sandy trail took you to the PACIFIC-FUCKING-OCEAN, YOU GUYS! The water temp was perfect – no need to even get used to it. Ever. No matter what time of day it was…you could just walk right in and fall and it wasn’t a shock or anything.

Now, because this was a dream vacation and I had no earthly idea if we were ever going to come back – all that internet research I did came in super handy because I had this entire trip planned with all the stuff I wanted to do. The Road to Hana, Sunrise on Haleakala, Snorkel Cruise, Shopping, Driving, Swimming…it was all planned out. This particular trip, we were gone for 8 days…the one we are taking in 3 months is going to be 12 days.

We packed so much into our trip that I found out about 2 days before we left that my poor husband would have been happy to just lounge around on our beach and chill out…only thing is…he had a great time doing all the activities that I had planned – and so that you don’t think I’m a vacation-Nazi, I certainly included the hubby on all the plans for the trip, it’s just that I really enjoy planning things like this – always have – so the mere fact that he kept this small detail from me as I excitedly filled our days from dawn to dusk with things to do, took me aback a little bit.

For our trip this August, I’ve created a spreadsheet for all the things that the kiddos want to do and the things that *I* feel they will want to participate in. This time we’re going for 12 days and will have more “down-time”. And this time, hubby defined down- time as, “Oh, we’ll still drive around and snorkel and stuff – I just don’t want to be on the go for hours and hours and hours.” Point taken, sir.

I need to learn how to chill-the fuck-out! I had no idea that I was monopolizing him on the last trip. I certainly gave him plenty of opportunity to help in the plan making – but maybe that’s where I went wrong. Maybe you don’t *need* to plan so much. Maybe just the big ticket items, like Luau’s and Snorkel Tours…the rest, we can wing it.

I dunno – all I know is that I have 12 days to plan and so many things that I wouldn’t have done differently if I were given another chance to do that trip all over again with just the two of us.

But here’s the deal:

Every travel article I read nowadays, frowns on walking around as though you’re a tourist. It’s like the word “Tourist” is bad thing. I personally don’t see anything wrong with being a tourist and doing all the touristy things that these destinations offer. Sure, it’s going to cost a little more…sure, it’s obvious you’re “not from around here”. Either you don’t speak the language, you don’t have the right sun-kissed tan, or perhaps you have the word “tourist” tattooed on your forehead. I DON’T CARE! That’s what you are for chrissakes! EMRACE THAT SHIT! OWN IT!

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