A few weeks ago, Harrison asked me to book off a few days for a surprise vacation to celebrate our five year anniversary. He was quite mute about the details, advising me that it would be a “shorts and a t-shirt every day” type of trip. It wasn’t until we arrived at the Air Canada check-in counter at Toronto Pearson International Airport that our destination was unveiled (and my suspicions were confirmed): we were off to the beautiful Aloha state!
Two flights and eighteen hours of traveling later, we landed at Kahului Airport in Maui. Our home base on the island was the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, a beautiful resort located on the northwestern point of Maui. The lush West Maui mountains and the glistening ocean provided a beautiful backdrop to the contemporary, Hawaiian-inspired resort. I quickly fell in love with the plumeria trees dotted throughout the grounds. The sweet smell from the beautiful, fragrant flowers that fell to the ground with the wind was intoxicating.
Mornings in Kapalua were magical. On a few occasions, we woke up around 4 am, jumped into our jeep and drove east. Within minutes, the carefully manicured grounds were left behind and beautiful, soaring volcanic cliffs appeared – a beautiful backdrop to watch the sun rise.
Other mornings (when Harrison preferred to have a sleep-in), I would wake-up and sit on our lanai (balcony). As you can imagine, there weren’t too many people up at that hour. There were, however, hundreds of birds singing in the mountains and the sound of the ocean waves crashing in the distance. I could also smell my favorite plumeria trees on the grounds below. Bliss.
Beautiful mornings quickly rolled into afternoons. On some days we ventured out to explore other parts of the island (more on that in the next post), on others we headed beachside. The Ritz’ beachside burger joint, Burger Shack, quickly became our go-to spot for lunch. The gourmet American-size burgers were juicy and flavorful; while the house made ketchup with pineapple was divine. While the menu might seem small to some, there are a multitude of options to complement your burger, from milkshakes to local brews and cocktails (their signature Mai Tai is powerful!).
Beachside drinks would roll into ocean swims and before we knew it, it was time to watch the breathtaking and colorful sunsets that grace the Hawaiian sky every evening. Goodnight paradise 🙂