Waking up on Monday morning after returning from paradise vacation 2.0 sucks. There is no luxury cabana by the serenity pool, no beach-side walks, no mid-morning Mai Tai, no afternoon spritzes from Rowena, no casual dining in the ocean air restaurant, and no ocean view bedroom. But those are just some of the reasons we decided to celebrate our 30th anniversary at our favorite location in Maui at the Four Seasons, version 2 of the best anniversary vacation. I spent three months planning for this reboot of our prior visit five years ago. It turned out so great we did not want to leave.
Mountain Top Sunrise
We awoke at OMG-thirty Friday morning to make our way to Hawaii. Three ﬂights and 17 hours later, we found ourselves back home at the Four Seasons, Maui. By the time we drove from the airport to the hotel it was 10:00 PM, we were wiped, and we had an early start, so we crashed for the night…. well part of the night.
If Friday morning was an early start, Saturday was off the charts. We headed up to the top of Mt. Haleakalā and no matter who I asked, everyone at the hotel recommended leaving by 2:30 AM. No, that’s not a typo. I don’t care who you are or where you come from, 2:00 AM alarms are not welcome. Somehow, we managed to drag ourselves down to the lobby for a cup of coffee and a muffin before gathering the blankets and towels for our trek up the mountain top.
Standing on the dark, cold mountain top in the middle of the night, we still didn’t quite understand why we began so early, that is for about ten minutes. When we looked back at the parking lot below the summit, the lot that was empty but for five or six cars when we arrived ten minutes before was completely full. Within minutes, people were jockeying for prime positions at the summit. Lucky for me, the Four Seasons advised us to leave at 2:30 AM, so I had the perfect position and a great parking spot 100 yards away.