Greetings from Berkeley!
We're back from our honeymoon, feeling relaxed, refreshed, and (thanks to the miracle of time zones) actually waking up at a reasonable hour of the morning. Here are some of the highlights:
Hot dogs eaten: 5 (each). One of the selling points for this particular resort (the Sheraton Maui) was that there was a poolside hot dog stand. Even as we booked it, I remember thinking to myself "sure, a poolside hot dog stand sounds awesome in concept, but how much of a role will it really play in a honeymoon?" Answer: a massive one. Eating hot dogs and fries in a poolside cabana while watching March Madness on the iPad was the best way I can think of to spend an afternoon.
Fish eaten: 2. Jill and I don't really like fish, but we were on an island and figured why not try something a bit new? The Mahi Mahi tacos weren't really to our taste, but the Ahi Poke bowl was absolutely delicious -- I'd totally eat that again.
Fish seen: countless. We went snorkling! This is actually a big deal, as Jill has for as long as I've known her been deathly afraid of fish (this is independent of her not liking the taste of fish). But she was a very brave girl, and we actually both had a really nice time! The beach by the hotel was amazing for this, incidentally -- ten feet from the shore, and suddenly there are fish everywhere in all the colors of the rainbow.
Sunglasses purchased: 1. I should be wearing sunglasses all the time -- I have an eye condition that makes me very sensitive to sunlight -- but I've never really gotten into the habit. But our poolside cabana came with a free trial pair of Maui Jims and whoa. It was like I was seeing colors for the first time. It was actually almost unnerving how much more vibrant the world was. So I bought a pair, furthering the inevitable convergence of my own sartorial style into my father's.
Waters submersed in: 4. Ocean, pool/lazy river, hot tub, and spa bath ritual. The last one might have sold me on baths, where those baths are in jacuzzis with perfect temperature regulation and some sort of magic passionfruit powder that made my skin super soft and not at all wrinkly.
Private dinners: 1. The most classically "romantic" thing we did -- other than perhaps the spa bath ritual -- was a private dinner on the lawn for just the two of us, looking out over the beach and cliff rocks. It was a really nice experience. They had four menus to choose from, and we kind of had to hack all four of them together to come up with a four-course meal that didn't include pork or shellfish, but it all worked out -- and that's what got us to try the Poke bowl.
New breakfast sensations: 1. Loco Moco! I'd heard of it before -- it's a ground beef patty over eggs and fried rice, with onion gravy -- but I hadn't tried it or even seen it served anywhere until we got to the hotel. But it is so good. And it doesn't seem like it requires any particular ingredients local to Hawaii, so how has this not made the jump to the mainland yet?
Bird alarm clocks: 1. There are many birds fluttering around Maui, singing their sweet little songs. There was also one particular bird who, from roughly 6:00 AM to 6:30 AM each morning, would just start shrieking at the top of its lungs like it just stumbled across the murder room in a horror movie. Thankfully, 6:00 AM Hawaii is 9:00 AM Pacific, so this was about the time we were getting up anyway. But still -- somebody get that bird to therapy. It's clearly seen some stuff.
Lizards in room: 1. Girls like swarms of lizards, right?
Hours spent off the resort: 0. We kept thinking about it. "Maybe we'll do an ATV tour of a neighboring island" (they never got back to us). "Maybe we'll go shopping in town" (we're spending enough here, thank you). "Maybe we'll go whalewatching" (the booking hut seems awfully far away when we're nice and comfy in our cabana). Ultimately, I'm content with our choice here.