Roman Malanke

The Paradise of Maui

This is heaven. This is heaven. These three words just kept jumping off my tongue subconsciously at random times throughout all the seven days we spent on Maui. A more than ideal destination for a wedding anniversary trip, this beautiful Hawaiian island welcomed us in such a warm and hospitable way that we forever fell in love with it.

Everything was perfect. The weather, the food, the service, the amiable locals. Even our last name, Malanke, was pronounced exactly right by everybody we met. It turns out that Hawaiian language only has 13 letters and sounds, and 6 of those are found in Malanke. The concept of Hawaiian time was real too. We saw a lot, but we never hurried.

Our number one priority was, of course, the ocean. We wanted to enjoy those postcard-beautiful tropical beaches and, finally, swim in warm Pacific waters. Snorkeling turned out to be a very fun thing to do. I found myself mesmerized by all the brightly-colored fishes and imagining myself to be one of them, I would spend hours cruising slowly along the reefs. The huge sea turtles were super cool, but when swimming head on onto you, a little scary too.

The second priority, us being complete foodies, you guess what it was. Oh, local seafood! Oh, tropical fruits! Uber-delicious. We tried it all: Ahi, Mahimahi, Opah, Opakapaka, Monchong, Marlin, and several other local fishes, all cooked to perfection in simple yet colorful Hawaiian ways. We drank coconut water from a giant coconut freshly cut for us by an old-aged hippie with a machete. We got baby-bananas from a self-service fruit stand under that very banana palm tree that gave those fruits. And on one remote rainforest trail we even threw some wild guavas at each other.

The famous Road to Hana was worth every good word it was given in guide books and by our friends who drove it before. It’s the drive of drives. Even the beautiful coastal roads of California humbly and respectfully bow to the Road to Hana. The heavenly green rainforest and crystal-clear waterfalls alternating with stunning ocean views make you want to stop the time.

We had a couple of very nice evening strolls along the coast enjoying the sunset: in a town of Lahaina with it’s nice boardwalk and the giant Banyan tree, and in the posh hotels line at Wailea-Makena. And what sunsets were those! All the colors are just indescribable. I tried to capture a few in photos here, but it’s still not the same as seeing it for real.

I wish we had more time to enjoy all these pleasures of life, but the time came to go back home. Luckily with a direct 5 hour flight from San Jose, the Hawaiian paradise is not that far away. We will be back, Maui. Mahalo.