Day Nine / Maui
Maui, the Garden Isle, has a much different feel than Kaua'i. For starters, the road from the airport to our hotel, The Four Seasons in Wailea, was a four-lane highway most of the way—a relative luxury. But, the real luxury began upon checking in.
We were told by the hotel clerk that a note under our reservation stated we were VIPs, a string that was pulled by Sarah's boss on our behalf. The status came with an upgraded view (from mountain to ocean), a plate of meats and cheeses that greeted us in our room, and a bottle of champagne to wash it down with. This is something we could get used to.
The grounds of the hotel are stunning. There are gardens, and waterfall fountains, and torches, and pools, and even two birds name Ricky and Lucy. The views of the ocean, especially at sunset, are what you envision when you think of Hawaii.
There are three pools: the main one, which has a large, loud fountain in the middle, as well as kids doing cannonballs, anchors one side of the resort; in the middle is the Keike Pool (kids pool); and through a gate and up a flight of stairs is the Serenity Pool, an adult-only pool that features a swim-up bar, infinity pool, and private cabanas. Of course we chose the Serenity Pool. The attendant told us they were all full for the day, so we ended up setting up shop at the main pool. We put our name on the list in case anything opened up.
Several hours later, we were lounging on the padded beach chairs of the Serenity Pool and getting offered an Evian mist spray by a woman who works there. We didn't accept, because that is ridiculous, but it is nice to have the option should we decide that we need another human being to cool us down. My preferred method of that is jumping in the pool. As I tried to do the back float I thought I heard something under the water so I did a full dunk to investigate. Turns out I did: music plays under water. The sound was clear as a radio that you'd play in your bedroom.
For dinner we went off-property, to Sarento's, to meet a couple we know from the Jersey shore that were coincidentally in town for a work event. After a few hours of laughter and drinks it was time to call it a night. We dropped them off at their hotel, the Grand Wailea, next door and then drove to ours. But, whereas Kaua'i (and the St. Regis) is like your parents setting your bedtime at nine o'clock and rigidly enforcing it, Maui (and the Four Seasons) is like a friend throwing rocks at your bedroom window telling you to come out and party.
We stopped off at the hotel bar for a drink, which gave Sarah an excuse to inspect their Louis XIII offering. The bartender sussed out that we were on our honeymoon and gave us a free dessert, which was nice of him. A Hawaiian couple sitting next to us bought us a round of drinks to celebrate, which was nice of them. An hour and a half later, it was time to go to bed.
The alarm is going off early and we have a long day ahead of us.