July 1: Day 5

The morning was busy. James and I woke up, ate breakfast, did some laundry, packed our things, and left our beloved Cliffhouse in Huelo. We were both sad to leave the beautiful, private house we'd called home for the past four days, but it was time to move to the other side of the island.

Traffic was miserable leading into Lahaina. Bumper-to-bumper-stop-and-go...we get enough of that crap in LA, we weren't prepared for it on Maui! Thankfully, once we passed through that little town, it took only minutes for us to arrive at the Sheraton Maui Resort on Ka'anapali Beach.

Upon arrival at the Sheraton, we were lei'ed by the valet workers. We checked into our room and unpacked. Minutes later, room service delivered a complimentary bottle of champagne. Everyone loves honeymooners!

James and I explored the hotel, admiring the views of Ka'anapali Beach and Black Rock. The Sheraton's grounds were covered with plumeria trees, which I adore. A perfect yellow flower fell off one of the trees and landed right in front of me, so I snagged it to wear in my hair. It seemed like the perfect accent for the outfit I had chosen to wear that night at the Old Lahaina Luau.

We expected the luau to be cheesy, but we felt like we had to go to a luau on our first visit to Hawaii. Thankfully, the ridiculously overpriced luau included beverages, so at least I got some Mai Tais and other assorted fruity beverages out of the deal. I approached the luau apprehensively. I don't really care for Polynesian food, and I am not the biggest fan of pork. Also, I was concerned that I would have a hard time eating a pig that had just been roasted right before my eyes. Turns out the pig is roasted underground, so you don't really get to see him roast. Some people watched the Hawaiians dig the pig out of the ground, but I passed on that.

As we walked into the luau, we saw Christians! It was the same group! We laughed uncontrollably as employees in traditional Hawaiian garb offered us Mai Tais lei'ed us again. Two times in one day!

We were escorted to our table, where we discovered, much to our dismay, that we would be sitting with six other people. This might not have bothered us, but our tablemates were all annoying and bizarre. First off, we met an older couple who introduced themselves right away as "Mack and Pearl." Mack had a southern accent, which he (incorrectly) assumed we would easily identify as being from North Carolina. Uh, hello? Why the heck would he think we'd know that? There was nothing really wrong with Mack and Pearl, except Pearl's smile was too big and forced, and Mack addressed James or I by name every time he spoke to us. Let me give you an example.

Mack: So where you from James?
James: We live in Hermosa Beach in California
Mack: And what to you do for a living James?
James: I'm a copywriter.
Mack: James, how long have you and Liz been on Maui?

Anyway, they were just weird. We also had a bizarre, overly friendly couple from Canada, and a dysfunctional mother-daughter duo from California. The girl, who was approximately 14 years old, proceeded to berate her mother or snootily rant about her year-round private school in Tahoe until, blissfully, she fell asleep with her head on the table.

The food at the luau was not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be, and we liked seeing the hula dances and hearing Hawaiian folktales. Unfortunately, we were sitting a little bit too far away to fully enjoy the show, but as always, we entertained each other and had fun anyway.

When we left the luau, we returned back to the hotel and discovered that our key wouldn't open the door. We went to the front desk, and they gave us two new keys. We returned to the room, and the keys still didn't work. This went on and on for entirely too long. I made the best of the situation by twirling around in my skirt and pretending I knew how to hula.

Someone from maintenance finally showed up and replaced the entire doorknob/lock system. We were irritated that is took 40 minutes to get into our room. The blow was softened-after complaining, the hotel gave us 2500 Starwood preferred bonus points and also agreed not to charge us the resort fees for any of our stay.

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