With enough snow to fill the Gillette Stadium 90 times and 120-year-old snowfall records being broken, I’m sure many Bostonian’s are dreaming of a warmer climate. With temperatures dipping below zero and wind chills dipping into the negative double digits, I’m sure many Minnesotan’s are dreaming of a warmer climate. With parts of downtown turned into an ice kingdom that the abominable snowman would love to lord over, I’m sure many Chicagoan’s are dreaming of a warmer climate.
Having lived in some pretty cold parts of the U.S. and Canada, a vacation to a place like Hawaii, was as much a necessity as it was a nicety, to survive the brutally cold long winters suffered in these kinds of cold climates. When my family lived in Regina, Saskatchewan, where it can dip to below zero for weeks on end – it was never, “…are you going on holiday?” – but “…which warm climate destination are you going to?”
Hawaii – often came the answer. Flight time is approximately 7 hours non-stop from middle Canada, but many Canadians take two to three weeks off at a time, so that length of flight is well worth the effort to get a break from the frozen tundra. And from the U.S there are plenty of non-stop options from all corners of the country. Hawaii may be more appealing for those dealing with harsh winters, but really Hawaii is just plain and simply appealing to everyone, everywhere.
Hawaii has a reputation of being an expensive place to vacation. But – it is an English-speaking U.S. state where we can use our American dollar straight up. For me, those perks make Hawaii a very alluring vacation spot. A poolside smoothie may cost $12, but the cost to float in the pool or stroll along the sandy the beach – zilch. Or the cost to boogie board into the ocean or go snorkeling is fairly minimal. Compare that to a lift ticket at Vail, or a park pass at Disneyland, and all of sudden Hawaii is looking like a pretty good deal.
My first trip to Hawaii was with my husband for our honeymoon – four years after we were married. It was always our dream to go and have the full Hawaiian experience, so we patiently saved our money and earned extra vacation days. We stayed in Kaanapali on the west coast of Maui. Our place was right on the beach, so we strolled the beach every morning and evening. During the day we discovered the remote Makena Beach; peered inside the slumbering volcano Haleakula; had a dinner cruise on a catamaran; bought oysters in hopes of landing a uniquely colored or huge pearl; drank mai tais like they were water.
My next visit was with my family, when our kids were 10 & 12. We stayed at the Fairmont Kea-Lani, in Wailea, Maui. Our pool-side room was large, decorated in white and cream hues and plush furniture. So plush my son chose to sleep on the white sofa instead of his bed. Unfortunately this was during his colored hair gel days – and red was his color for this trip. When he woke up the next morning, we had a pink sofa and I was sure we were going to be thrown out of the hotel. We went to the pool and when we came back we had a white couch – I never found out whether they cleaned that sofa or if they replaced it with a new one. But it sure confirmed to me that I would certainly return to this resort again.
The kids loved Hawaii!! They ate exotic fresh fruit like it was candy; went snorkeling at Molokini Crater; learned to boogie board at body surf at the amazing beach at the hotel; played marco polo in the pool for hours; drank $12 smoothies like they were water; napped and read in the hotel cabana’s; and went back to Canada with golden tans and made all their friends jealous.
My third trip was back to Kaanapali, Maui, with my husband for a work conference. We stayed at the Sheraton which hosts one of the islands better luaus twice a week and has a daily cliff diving ceremony just as the sun sets. Being avid golfers we splurged and played the public Plantation Course, where the PGA Tour Tournament of Champions is played every January. The ocean butts up to the edge of the Sheraton property allowing us an unimpeded view to catch a glimpse of whales spouting in the distance, fisherman catching fresh fish for the local eateries or surfers waiting for the big wave.
So far my experience to the Hawaiian Islands has been limited to Maui – but I figured it is popular for a reason. Maui boasts a great mix of tranquility and activity to fit the diverse needs of any family or group gathering. Having said that, visiting the other Hawaiian Islands is high on my bucket list. Aloha!!