Ten Year Anniversary

Posted on September 18, 2010 by Stephen

This year is our tenth anniversary. Michelle planned our trip to Maui--she is much better at planning than I am. We left for Maui on Sept. 10th at 7:00am. The early flight allowed us to upgrade to first class seating. After ten years of marriage, why not upgrade to better seats? We picked up our rental car after the 5 hour flight and drove to the Ka'anapali Westin on the the southwest side of the island. I made a promise to myself that during this trip I would touch the ocean everyday. I kept my promise.

Friday
Before we had a room, we ate at the Ono Grill located in the Westin--I had the fish taco. We moved into room 978 after we set up a couple of activities for the fist couple of days (sunset cruise, molokini snorkel trip). We changed out of our "mainland" clothes in into something more "island"--swim suits and sandals.

A short elevator ride down from our room and I walked straight into the ocean and instantly felt like I was on a vacation. The water was cool and soaked away the hustle-and-bustle of the mainland. We headed to the pool after my trip to the ocean.

We walked to Whaler's Village and had dinner at the Hula Grill. The hamburger was excellent and the drinks were fantastic.

Saturday
Today I was going to get into the ocean properly. After breakfast at the Westin's buffet, we packed a bag for the beach with our masks and snorkels--no need for fins on this walk-in trip. There is a small number of rocky reefs right in front of the hotel. I was fortunate enough to see Humuhumu Nukunuku Apua'a[1] on my first day snorkeling.

The evening held a surprise for Michelle. We had booked our sunset cruise on the Gemini on Friday. We lined up to board the catamaran on the beach at 4:30pm and met some newly weds from New Jersey and Chicago. The beach entry was a bit wet when the shore break was large, but we made it onboard without indecent. I made sure the surprise stayed dry. The trip started out under power, but halfway along our trip north along Maui's western shore the captain put up sail and we cruised smoothly over the waves. The boat slowed as we made our turn south, this was my time to surprise Michelle. I stood up and faced her. I got down on one knee and said, "These have been the best ten years of my life and I will take many more with you." I reached into my pocket and pulled out the diamond and sapphire ring I had smuggled aboard.

After the sunset cruise on the Gemini II, we had dinner at Cane & Taro in Whaler's Village.

Sunday
Today was the day I had been waiting for since I arrived on the island. Morning started with a drive to Ma'alaea harbor to board the Four Winds II for a trip to snorkel in Molokini atoll. We saw many different fishes and lots of coral.

When we returned to the island, we had lunch at McDonalds. We also wizened up and bought beer at the ABC Store. For dinner we ate at the Ono Grill--I had pizza and Michelle had a burger.

Monday
We finally broke out of our shell and went into Lahaina. We had lunch at Kimo's. We spent the evening in the "Adult Only" pool where we met a nice couple from our area. He is an SF cop. They were leaving the next day, so they gave us the rest of their Coors Lights. We didn't have to buy beer again for the rest of the trip.

The funniest thing we saw throughout our vacation was a "train wreck" called "a midlife crisis gone bad". The husband must have been in his mid-fifties and she was in her early twenties. I told Michelle that he should take his kids to the other pool--this is the "Adult Only" pool.

Dinner was at Moose McGillicuddy's in Lahaina.

Tuesday
Big day today, we drove along the southern edge to Wailea and Makena. We first stopped at Mekena's Landing for a few photos before heading farther east to Big Beach (Oneloa). The shore break was of a good size. People who were body surfing the shore break had to visit the chiropractor after being folder over several times.

We had lunch at Burger's-in-Paradise in Wailea. The meal wasn't the best burger I've had, but it had the best view I've ever had while eating a burger.

The evening was definitely a hit with both of us. We booked spots for the "Old Lahaina Luau". This luau is a more traditional luau with traditional costumes and music. We sat at a table with 3 other couples. One couple was visiting from Dublin, CA, the newly wed couple was from Philadelphia, and the third couple from Atlanta was also celebrating their 10 year anniversary.

Wednesday
My birthday could not have been better. We booked a second trip with the Gemini crew. This time we set sail for Honolua Bay. Honolua Bay is part of the Mokuleia Marine Life Conservation District. The trip was exceptional. Michelle called in a few favors from the animal kingdom and made sure I had a green sea turtle, an octopus and an eel show up during my birthday snorkel trip. We made sure to interact with Kristie the videographer. She made a DVD of the whole trip. We had to have a copy of that video.

Dinner was romantic as the sun set at Pacific'O in Lahaina. Pacific'O and I'O restaurants have 380 acres of land where they grow a lot of their own produce featured in the meals.

Thursday
This was a sad day. We spent the day packing and getting ready to leave.

Friday
We had an early flight. Our flight was scheduled for 11:05am departure so we left the hotel after a quick breakfast buffet. We return the rental car and made it through security well ahead of schedule. We were three hours early so we headed into Sammy's Bar and Grill (Sammy Hagar) and had a little more breakfast. The flight was smooth and we arrived in Oakland at 7:00 PDT.

Links
http://www.reef.org/data/haw/fishsp.htm
http://www.marinelifephotography.com/
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