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Friday, March 28, 2014

Well...it was an early morning, but it was well worth it. We headed out at 4 to head to the crater located at 10,000 feet to see the sunrise. We were smart enough to drive up and back on our own. There were several groups of people who ride up in vans, watch the sunrise, and ride bikes down. I figure after waking up at 3:15 riding quickly down a twisty road with cars going past was not the safest thing for me to be doing. Instead we drove down and looked at the bikers who often times looked like they were wondering what they had gotten themselves into. Here is the sunrise we saw over the crater.






Then we headed to a beautiful and fragrant lavender farm near the base of the crater. We walked the grounds, got lots of beautiful pictures, and shopped at the gift store.  You would be amazed at all the things they can put lavender in: brownies, chocolate, tea, scones, sugar, lip balm, coffee, and even dog shampoo. For those of you who know my never ending battle with the mosquitos love of my skin I was excited to hear that lavender is a bug repellent. So....I bought a great lotion that is lavender and citronella that is supposed to repel bugs. We shall see.





After an afternoon at the pool we spent a great evening at a Luau at the Hyatt Kaanapali called Drums of the Pacific. The location was beautiful, the food was really good and included pork, fish, chicken, rice, salad, veggies, and dessert, the drinks of coconut rum and cranberry was to die for, and the dancers were fabulous. They even ended the show with fire dancers who were wonderful.


 






Although I am really sad that tomorrow is our last full day on Maui, I am so grateful that I have been given the opportunity to see this beautiful island.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

13 hours in a jeep. Who would have thought that I would have enjoyed a day that was spent driving  for that length of time so much, but I did. In fact, I'm thinking it may have been my favorite thing here so far. Maybe it was because I got to see so many sides of Maui today.

Stevie and I left the room at 6:15 to get a head start on the twisty, one-lane, beautiful Road to Hana. We knew we were going to want to take our time....hey we are on vacation.....stop often, and yet be ahead of the crowd. So we started out early with our top down in the jeep and spent the day doing all of those things. We only felt bad for those who felt that this outing was a race. Some people seemed to be in a hurry to get to the end and I'm not really sure they got to see and experience all of God's beauty that was in between the beginning and the end.

Here are some of the beautiful things we saw....


 
Ke'anae Peninsula
 

Upper Waikani Falls
 
 

 
Our Picnic Lunch Spot Nahiku Road
 


 
Wai'anapanapa Black Sand Beach



 
Hana Red Sand Beach
 
 
Ohe'o Gulch
 

 
Charles Lindberg Grave

 
Our New Friend
 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Today was our Trilogy snorkel tour to the island of Molokini. Why did I pick this location to snorkel? Because it is one of my 1,000 places to see before I die. We boarded the catamaran and headed for the island. We even got a really close view of another whale on the way!

 
Another Whale...Do You See It?


Our Catamaran
 
 
Molokini

We arrived and were given actual instructions on how to properly put on our snorkel mask. Funny that in all the times I have done this I don't think anyone has ever given me instructions or actually checked my mask to make sure it was on properly. Interestingly enough it was also the only time I have ever done this where I have not had water seep into my mask. From what I understand the reason for this was one of three things. One...my hair was preventing the mask from sealing. Two...my sunscreen was doing the same thing. Three...my mask was too tight. Now given that this was the first time I didn't get out of the water with a mask mark on my face I am going to go with number three.

The water was beautiful as was the coral, however, I was surprised that there was not more of a variety of fish. The snorkel was relaxing and put you in a different world until...the attack of the jelly fish. Yes...several people on our boat were stung and not being one to be left out I had to be part of it. However, when everyone else headed in for the ship to get an ointment, I toughed it out. After all, how often do you get to snorkel in Hawaii? And it really wasn't that bad...I was brought up to be tough.

So...the captain pulled up anchor and took us to his favorite spot called coral gardens to snorkel for another hour. However, we didn't know that we would be part of the Poseidon Adventure on route to the site. We were headed straight into the trade winds and we were sitting in the front of the boat with our new friend Debbie and John. We met them last night on our sunset cruise and they were a wonderful couple from Cleveland here celebrating their 35th anniversary. Think about the movie The Perfect Storm or the TV show The Deadliest Catch. This was us in front of the boat as it skimmed over the waves with the wind blowing right into us. I am thinking Debbie, John, Stevie, and myself got wetter during that portion of the trip than we did snorkeling.

Upon arrival at coral gardens we did get to do some snorkeling, see some interesting fish, not get attacked by jellyfish, and one group even saw a sea turtle. Although we missed that we did get to see one on the way back to the harbor.

 
Coral Gardens

It was another great day of seeing more of God's beauty. We ended it with some yummy shaved ice! Not sure it gets any better than this.
   

 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Today was an absolutely beautiful day on the island of Maui. We awoke at 3AM with the intention of heading to the crater to see the sunrise, however, after looking at the weather forecast we decided to wait until another day.

So, we woke up much later to a sunny Kaanapali sunshine and decided to head out to the beach. PARADISE. I think maybe I will just stay there forever. The water is crystal clear blue, the sand is white, there are trees that provide shade, and a Maui breeze. I just don't know if it gets any better.

 
Our Kaanapali Beach


We spent the evening on a catamaran cruise watching the sunset and keeping our eyes open for some whales. It was almost like a private tour as there were only 20 people on our cruise. They gave us some awesome drinks and fabulous food. We were able to see a beautiful Maui sunset that will be able to help me through some of the days when work gets tough. At the end we were even able to see and capture a picture of a whale. What amazing creatures. It is moments and experiences like today that make me grateful for all the things I get to experience in my life and all the life memories I have.
 
 
Aboard Trilogy

 
Our View of Lahaina
 
 
Maui Sunset

 
Lahaina at Sunset

 
Do you see the whale???????
 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Aloha from the beautiful island of Maui!

Stevie and I have made it to the site of my 40th birthday spring break. The flight was long, but knowing we were going to end up in paradise for 10 days helped us make it through. We arrived to rainy, but warm conditions. After all... I'll take a warm rain over cold blowing snow any day. Both my dad and my friend Kristi told me to smell the air as I stepped off the plane and they were right. You could just smell the flowers in the air.

We are staying in a studio condo I found on Home Away. We love it. It is on Kaanapali beach, is at a beautiful resort area, is right next to the pool, has been recently refurbished, and was a wonderful price. So, if anyone needs a suggestion of where to stay let me know.

After arriving at around 11pm we awoke our first morning and were ready to head out for a day of seeing paradise, however, the rain was coming down hard. You know us though, we decided to hop in our jeep and head out to see North Maui. After breakfast at the Plantation House we were off and the rain started to let up. We saw many beautiful sights along this route. We hiked to a blowhole, bought some of the best banana bread I have ever eaten in my life, saw some of the most beautiful shoreline since Ireland and California, and had to help people who were too afraid to continue on the road turn around. Yep...that is right...obviously they don't have an OCD trip planner with them that read that the road was narrow and winding and that some people may get a little freaked out by it. I figured we would be okay after our travels in Ireland and Northern California. However there were people so freaked out they decided to turn around ON THE NARROW ROAD as opposed to go any further. What I didn't quite understand was that the road was no more narrow than the ones we see in WV and Ohio all the time. Not really sure where these people were from!


 

 

The day ended with an awesome dinner of seafood, a lava flow, and a piece of hula pie (seriously just look it up). Yummy food, great sunset, and a great start to vacation.

We went to a cute United Methodist Church today that had some of the most beautiful stained glass windows. The service was wonderful and.....every person who attended got a fresh, handmade lei. Hmmm...one more thing that makes this place look so inviting. We then drove to South Maui to visit some of the more upscale resort areas and sit at the beach for awhile. We went to Makena State Park and sat on the beautiful beach, looked put over the crystal blue water, and saw our first whale of our trip. This place certainly is paradise.