We were a little worried before we left because Maui (along with the rest of the Hawaiian Islands) was experiencing the worst winter storm in 16 years. We heard reports of winds up to 60 miles an hour, road closures, flooding, and power outages and pictured the worst. http://www.mauinews.com/story.aspx?id=36668 As it turns out, we ended up staying in West Maui rather than South Maui where all the damage was. There power was out for 2 days, 3 of their beaches were closed for 3 or 4 days. One of their main thoroughfares was closed. Parking lots were mud bowls. It was a mess.
We stayed the first 5 nights at Kaanapali Beach Club, a resort north of Lahaina. Granted, the building was pink, but we had a beachfront corner suite on the third floor. The bedroom was luxurious.
The bathroom had tile and marble with a deep tub.
The beach was right outside our room. After staying right on the beach, I'm afraid we're spoiled and won't be able to stay anywhere else. It was heavenly being able to open the sliding glass door and hear the waves crashing on the shore.
And watching them is hypnotic. Each night, we were lulled to sleep by the sounds of the surf. OK, to be honest, the first night we were awakened about 3:30 AM by the sound of our patio furniture being blown into the metal balcony railing. The winds were heavy and so was the rain. Since that was about the time we'd usually wake up back on the mainland, we had a hard time going back to sleep.
The rain had washed lots of run off into the ocean, so even though we thought it was beautiful at first, looking back we can see how dirty it really was. (See the blue-gray strip of less dirty ocean in the back?) We didn't even go out in it until Monday, 4 days after we arrived. The wind was blowing fiercely, although maybe not as hard as it looks. That palm tree is actually missing all its branches from the left side. We read later that there had been two sewage spills on Maui as well as dirty run off, so we're glad we didn't go in those first few days.
We did, however, take lots of long walks on the beach. The original weather forecasts called for heavy rain on both Friday and Saturday. (We arrived Thursday afternoon.) But, it was just cloudy when we woke up and remained clear while we had breakfast, so we went for a walk. We walked from our resort all the way down the beach to Black Rock, probably about a mile and a half away. Just as we were turning around to go back, it started sprinkling. Within seconds, it was pouring (that heavy rain they were talking about). We found a private cabana in front of the Maui Eldorado resort and sought shelter along with a few other unlucky folks until the rain let up. Then we made a mad dash for home. We found a covered picnic table at a beach park for the next downpour. It was almost like someone was controlling the rain like a faucet--on just a little bit, turn it on harder, turn it down, harder, down, almost off, harder, then off. We started back during an "almost off" rain, and started a slow jog. When it started a "harder" phase, we just walked, as we were already pretty soaked and the rain was so warm. Temperatures that day were around 70, so we weren't shivering at all.
Since we couldn't surf in the ocean, we decided to do a little surfing on the Internet.Our resort had free wireless in the lobby, and we found this little cubbyhole on the mezzanine opposite the miniature golf course (closed due to flooding).
We caught up on our mail and the news and then decided to go exploring in Lahaina. Every time Dave went to get the car, he had to take off his shoes and roll up his pants, as there was about 5 inches of water on the second level of the parking garage. They finally got it pumped out and dried out by the 4th day or so. There were sandbags and "wet floor" warning cones everywhere.
Well, that's all for today. Stay tuned for "Part Two".