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Maui Vacation Planning: Find Your 3 Perfect Days on Maui | Maui.Net - All Things Maui
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Three Perfect Days in Maui

Five Thousand Days Distilled Into Three

Article by Judy Edwards

I admit it -- I'm ruinously spoiled. When I got here I was planning to move to Baja, and 13.7 years later I am apparently not moving to Baja just right now.

If you do the math, I've had about FIVE THOUSAND days of life on this suite of volcanic bumps in the middle of the vast blue Pacific. What I am going to try to describe to you in the following paragraphs can be thought of as a distillation: five thousand grapes of Baldwin Beach experience smooshed and filtered and subjected to careful scrutiny. I am going take a look at all that juice and give you three glasses of ruby red vino. I'm going to give you my idea of Three Perfect Days.

Let's start this way:

Every day should have in it at least one meal that makes you happy, one thing to do that makes you feel perfect and right in your skin, and a place to watch the sun go down. Yes?

So, say you wake up in Paia, as I did for the years I lived there. I'd walk into that technicolor town and into Anthony's Coffee, order up a mocha and a cream-cheese scramble with sourdough toast, wedge myself into a space at the window, steal whatever part of the newspaper had been left behind by the early birds (I'm no early bird, trust me), and alternate between reading the local news and Maui Dining watching the human surreality parade on Hana Highway. Then, I'd take the short drive down to Baldwin beach. If it was a late summer day and the winds were tame, the ocean flat, and the sky a wide sunny expanse, I'd jump in anywhere between the lifeguard station and Baby Beach. I might see surfer royalty on their training runs, I might get to pet a hundred happy dogs, I might see some little teeny baby fishes hiding in the reef on the west end of the beach. On a good day I'd watch the sun go down from there as well, with the Jesus-calendar rays crowning the heights of the West Maui mountains. Add champagne, die of happiness.

Say you get a hankering for the view the gods have every day. Then pack a sweater and a lunch, fill the car with gas, grab the camera and a hat, and drive up up up until you run out of island at 10,023 ft. Go be humbled at the summit of Haleakala, the jewel in the crown of Haleakala Crater Haleakala National Park. Lunch can be quite capably handled with a stop on the way up at Casanova's Deli in Makawao, where the eclectic menu for both food and coffee drinks gives you plenty of sophisticated and fresh options. I mention the sweater because the summit of the volcano can be anything from 40 to 70 degrees, and may or may not be foggy/rainy/sleety/perfect. Gods are moody, so be flexible. If you can stay distracted all day (easily done), you can catch the sun setting on the sea as the pointy shadow of the volcano stretches away to the purpling horizon. You'll need 3 sweaters by then, but you won't care.

Fruits of Hana, Maui But, say you've got a craving for coconut milk, for bananas and avocados purchased on the honor system from a table in somebody's front yard; for red sand beaches, waterfalls, and rain on the tin roofs at night, for smoked fish and smoothies from roadside stands. In that case, my friend, you want to go to Hana. Black sand beaches and stars close enough to kiss. Big blue waves crashing on big black boulders, seabirds wheeling on updrafts, the rumple of jungle on the slope behind you...Hana. Music coming from backyards at night, kids jumping into streams, dogs having the time of their lives chasing wild jungle chickens. Cliffs draped with greenery, the chirp of a gecko on your screen/tent/hotel door. Floating on your back/in your/ kayak/off to sleep -- oh? is it sunset already?

Hana. Just go. And you know what? Spend all three days there. Bring me an avocado, OK?

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