Posted on February 26th, 2018 at 8:41 PM by admin

Friday we went to the Big Beach. At this point in the trip our daughter was really getting into the boogie boarding and we thought let’s give her some big waves at the Big Beach. Unfortunately, she came back after just a few minutes as one of the waves had pummeled her. A few minutes later someone came on a portable loudspeaker telling the beach-goers that the waves are breaking hard at the shore and it was unsafe to board. Whoops! That was a bit of a bummer but we hung out on the beach for a while anyway and watched the crazies that chose to ignore the warnings.
 
For lunch we hit up a food truck that was literally sitting in the beach parking lot. I think it was the first time I’d ever tried fish nachos. Pretty much anything with fish or seafood in it on this island was phenomenal and the fish nachos were no exception to this rule.  In the evening we took the kids to a traditional Luau in Wailea. I will admit that this was the only meal I ate the entire 9 days on Maui that didn’t quite settle in my stomach just right. And that’s saying a lot as I have what you might call a sensitive digestive track and I was eating raw fish nearly every day!  Anyway, the weather, the gorgeous sunset and the talented dancers at the Luau made for a very enjoyable evening

Luau background at sunset

Luau dancers 🙂

Since we’d been eating breakfast at the condo most days on our last full day on Maui we decided to go out to breakfast not far from our condo at 808 Bistro. Here I got a deliciously savory dish with banana bread french toast on the side. Afterwards, you might have guessed that we went back to the beach. But this afternoon we did actually do something else. We hopped on a boat and went whale watching! A woman came up to me before we even left the dock asking if I was ok. I might as well have had a sign on my forehead that said “I AM MOTION SICK.” Luckily I’ve learned know hot to keep it in check for the most part. The area we went into was a whale sanctuary. We saw lots of big tails waving to us, baby whales learning to jump (just thrusting up their heads) and adult whales making full leaps. The adult leaps were few and far between but the 3-4 times it happened it literally took my breath away.

whale watching doesn’t necessarily lend itself to whale photographing but we tried

View as we were docking after whale watching

On day 7 we could’ve rested for what was bound to be a very long day (red eye flights back to the continental U.S.), but instead we decided to hit as many additional tourist sites as we possibly could in the daylight hours. First we drove up the Haleakala crater. I was worried about how cloudy it was but Maui guy said you always have to drive through clouds but that at the top it usually clears up. Boy was he wrong. Well he was right that we’d drive through them but nothing cleared up at the top. So I guess that hour and a half that my wife was hugging the steering wheel because the road was so close to cliff was all for nothing. I did take a few very cloudy pics here and there but I can’t say I have much to show for this adventure.

I looked up online what this view should’ve looked like and cried a little :-/

After the somewhat disappointing Halekala trip my wife and I figured we should sooth our souls with some wine from Maui’s only winery! We did a tasting of several different wines including a delicious syrah. But most unique were the pineapple wine offerings and the raspberry desert wine that was like 20% ACV. Dizamn that was strong! Luckily we were able to soak up some of that alcohol right across the street at what was clearly a cute little store and farm to table pub!?! We had fresh lamb and bison burgers with kimchi on the side. I can still taste it…yum yum yum!
 
After lunch it was off to a lavender farm. This adventure was on my wife’s list to do and while I wasn’t against  I figured we’d just see blankets of purple, take a few pics and call it a day but there were so many more interesting plants to see. Many stunningly unique views provided a plethora of photo ops.

beautiful view

utterly cool lookin’ tree

love these plants

My and my daughter at the lavender farm

Posted on February 21st, 2018 at 8:39 PM by admin

Wednesday was day three on Maui for us and something very rare happened that day. Both my wife and I cooked a meal together. Our daughter was quick to take a picture of this obviously noteworthy moment. Unfortunately I had to go to the dr due to an infected hang nail and sat out of the going to the beach with my family this day but I did make a turn around for evening festivities. I just needed a little treat to make me feel better. If you’ve been to Hawai’i maybe you guessed that the treat I’m talking about is called “shave ice.” I will say that there was day’s of arguing with my wife whether the correct term was “shaved ice” or “shave ice” but in the end I was atypically right with “shave ice.” Sometimes grammar loses.

OMG – we are both cooking. AKA – I am cooking too!

shave ice!!

In the evening we had some excellent drinks and dinner at Pi Artisenal Pizza in Lahaina with my friend and her destination wedding guests. After all, it was my friend’s wedding invite that brought us to Maui and this welcome dinner was a fun night for all. I even got to see the US Women’s National Hockey team win the Olympic gold medal when we got home from dinner. The day definitely turned around for the better!
 
The weather on day four was a bit odd. The morning was just a touch cloudy but the afternoon brought some light but long lasting rain. Since we had to get fancied up for a wedding in the evening we decided to stay close and literally walked across the street to Charlie Beach. After some sun bathing and boogie boarding we got changed and went to the wedding at Olowahu Plantation House. The rainy mist continued through the ceremony but cleared up during the reception. I  will never forget drinking fresh coconut juice right from the the coconut nor will I ever forget the dude who hacked the coconuts open for like 1.5 hours straight. What a job!!

Posted on February 19th, 2018 at 8:23 PM by admin

We arrived Sunday evening to some rain and really only had time to pick up some take out and head to the condo we rented in North Kihei. Monday morning was our first full day. With the 5 hour time difference we were waking up naturally at about 4am which lent itself nicely to watching the sun rise over Haleakala from our balcony.

 

Sunrise Over Haleakala

We elected to spend the rest of the day a bit further north up Maui’s western coast at Hanakao’o Beach The journey to this beach was absolutely stunning.

View from the road on the way to Hanakao’o

Beach time!

After laying around at the beach for the afternoon we headed back towards Kihei and stopped at Keawakapu Beach to watch sunset.

Sunset at Keawakapu Beach

After having a relaxing first day we wanted to take on the famous Road to Hana on day two of our trip. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t experience some motion sickness on the 600 and some hair pin turns over one way bridges with blind entries. But it was certainly worth it. I will just highlight a few of the many beautiful stops along this journey.
 
The first site, which our app guided tour actually said we could pass up if we were short on time, was Twin Falls. It was a short hike in from the road to these stunning falls. We left wondering what must be to come if the app didn’t consider this stop a “must see.”

Twin Falls

Shortly after Twin Falls Maui guy pointed out that we’d see some rainbow eucalyptus trees. I was struggling to understand what this was going to look like but the bark actually looks painted. I’ve never seen anything like them.

Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree

The Ka’anae Peninsula was truthfully one of my first OMG moments. The ocean, volcanic rock cliffs next to super green trees and plants in Hawai’i is simply unparalleled. I could’ve stayed here all day, but the Road to Hana travels on.

Ka’anae Peninsula view 1

Ka’anae Peninsula view 2

We saw at least 3 or 4 sets of falls on this day trip, but the Upper Waikani Falls, also known as 3 Bears Falls, was one of the most majestic. The falls were very close to the road so my daughter and I even climbed the rocks right up to the water. We didn’t have bathing suites in hand to join the swimmers who looked like they were freezing, but just getting that close was an awesome experience.

3 Bears Falls

Next major highlight? Wai’anapanapa State Park. Black sand beaches, caves, a blow hole that threw water at me from like 20 ft away! This park was nothing short of amazing either. Every time I thought I had seen my favorite thing the next site blew me away again.

Wai’anapanapa State Park

My son and I at Wai’anapanapaState Park

After the state park we had another gorgeous beach to visit called Koki Beach.

Koki Beach

Our app tour guide, who we affectionately nicknamed, Maui guy, told us that many people reach Hana and turn around but he advised us to go a bit past Hana to visit ‘Ohe’o Gulch (7 Sacred Pools). It was a bit difficult to capture the beauty of this place even with a DSLR wide angle lens but I definitively decided this was my favorite site of the day. What a great day to show my daughter how to use her new DSLR camera. Her extraordinary efforts to capture the right perspective for her pictures can be appreciated in the picture below!

Just a fraction of the 360 view at ‘Ohe’o Gulch (7 Sacred Pools)

My daughter getting a pic from the volcanic rock ground view