Moonset in paradise

Sunset on Maui
Sunset on Maui.







Tropical sunsets, palm trees, warm breeze, mai tai in hand, ukulele playing in the background. We all dream about them, some of us have experienced them. Watching the sun setting below the ocean filled horizon is the vision many of us have of pure relaxation, pure connection with a greatness that humbles us and fills us with gratitude. There are many pictures of sunsets, but what about moonsets?

While planning my trip to Maui I choose to be there during the full moon. I didn’t plan on watching a moonset, like I had planned to catch the sunset every day, mai tai in hand. I had only envisioned watching the greatness of the full moon’s cool glow as she rose over the eastern sky after a glorious sunset.

Moon rising over Lahaina
Moon rising over Lahaina.

Jet-lag is usually viewed as negative, something that leaves your biorhythms askew. Hawaii is three hours behind my usual Pacific time zone, which meant going to sleep early and waking up at 4:30 in the morning. The first morning in Maui, much to the chagrin of my partner, I was up and making coffee before 5:30 a.m. My goal that first morning was to be the first person in the water at a popular snorkel area in Kihei, an hour drive from our condo. The moon and the bright stars were just a backdrop to a perfect morning, nothing more.

Full moon.
Full moon in Maui






The second morning, I slept in. It was 4:45 a.m. Wide awake, I decided to begin brewing a pot of coffee and sit out on the Lanai. The sky was clear and the moon was one day away from total fullness, but she looked pregnant, and bright that morning. There was a gentleness in the air,  no breeze, no birds singing, no sign of the other tourists staying at the condo complex. The trade winds wouldn’t kick up until mid morning, several hours away, the only sound was the sound of gentle waves lapping against the shore. I enjoyed the stillness, I embraced it, I wanted to bottle it up and take it with me back to Seattle, to open during one of those chaotic city moments.

Slowly the moon descended towards the horizon as I enjoyed my morning cup of Maui coffee. The western sky was black, as the eastern sky showed only slight hints of the sunrising. I looked at the time, 5:45 a.m., the sun would be up in 15-20 minutes. The moon was going to set about the same time as the sun would begin to peek over the eastern horizon. I became excited with the notion of watching the full moon set. The sky became lighter as the moon came within centimeters of the horizon. Slowly the moon began to turn a pinkish orange, the birds began to sing as she disappeared below the horizon. Moonset.

Moonset in Maui
Moonset in Maui.
Moonset in Maui.

Preflight Entertainment

It’s 7am and I’m at SeaTac airport awaiting a flight to Maui. A much needed vacation, I am already in vacation mode, regardless of the crowds at the airport stinging my mellow mood. I stood at the gate for awhile, watching the newbie travelers walking around in a daze, the sunburned people arriving off the red-eye from Honolulu and wild children running around like dogs in an off-leash park. I was bored, I was starting to feel the anxiety of all these other folks and my vacation mode mellow was fraying at the seams.

I decided to go for a walk around the terminal. I didn’t want any food, or any charbucks coffee, but I spied a new store at the end of the C terminal that looked like fun. Stuff oozed out of the store. On a rack just outside of the store there were purses and wallets made of recycled materials – I was really considering buying a coin purse with cat butts on it. With my self control in check, I entered this temptation filled store. Why is it that when you are in vacation mode you want to just buy, buy, buy?

instant vacation
hmmm… What about laughing on the beach in Maui?

I strolled through the crowded store, trying not to knock something off the shelf. I questioned who the audience was for this store. I had the luxury of 15 minutes before boarding and I found myself so overwhelmed by all the stuff that even if I wanted to buy something I wouldn’t have the time to make a decision. The bacon tie did tempt me, for that bacon lover in my life, but I passed. Then I saw a book that made me question why I was at the airport waiting for a 5.5 hour flight.

Traveler items?
Items for traveling?

Unfettered, I continued to explore this store. I found something that was a bit more appropriate for traveling. An inflight comfort kit with ear plugs and eye mask. But how can I believe that this product was a serious accessory for my travels when next to it is a cookbook about donuts?

fireworks bouquet
Bouquet of lights.

Just as I was leaving the store, I had an epiphany as I stood in front of a bouquet of fake flowers with lights strung through them… The store was an example of what would happen if fireworks hit a pinata and all the toys, candy and other crap flew onto the store shelves.