20. This is the number of days until I leave for Hawaii. I was there in 2013 for my 35th birthday and it quickly became my favorite of all the places I have visited so far. It is pretty much the best of everything – the sun, beaches and ocean of the Caribbean but it is the U.S., so the food and water are safe, I don’t need a passport, the driving laws are the same and no currency exchange is necessary. When I went in 2013, I went to Oahu and Maui. I love, love, love Maui and debated going there again for this trip but decided to shake things up and am going to the Big Island instead. In anticipation of my upcoming trip, here are some of my favorite photos from Maui.
I stayed on the west coast of the island at the Outrigger Napili Shores hotel. The shoreline in front of the hotel was not beachy (although there was a swimming beach a few hundred yards north of the hotel that I went to several times). I loved to sit out and take a nap under the palm trees in the afternoon listening to the waves and then catch the sunsets in the evening. My room was oceanfront. It did not have windows (just shutters) so I heard the waves crashing all night long, It was wonderful (and a bit noisy at times).
I went to the Old Lahaina luau one night. The food was decent (there is a pig roasting in the sand in the second photo below) and I loved watching the dancers. I also liked the purple lei they gave all of the guests.
Road to Hana: This is one of the main attractions in Maui. It is a long, curvy, sometimes one lane road that meanders along the coast and goes through the town of Hana. I did the trip as a tour rather than braving it on my own. It was totally worth it. And the tour guide asked me out at the end of the tour. I politely declined. Maybe I answered too hastily? 🙂
The tree below is a Rainbow Eucalyptus tree. The colors are all natural. The multi-colored streaks on its trunk come from patches of outer bark that are shed annually at different times, showing bright green inner bark. This then darkens and matures to give blue, purple, orange and then maroon tones.
The second photo below was taken on a black sand beach along the Road to Hana. The photo after that is of a lava tube. Lava tubes are a natural conduit formed by flowing lava which moves beneath the hardened surface of a lava flow. The tubes can be actively draining lava from a volcano during an eruption or can be extinct, meaning the lava flow has ceased and the rock has cooled, leaving a long, cave-like channel.
I loved the short palm trees in the photo below. The other two photos are of waterfalls we encountered along the Road to Hana. There were so many beautiful ones!
The photo of the flower below is probably one of the best photos I have ever taken. I think it looks fake. I loved these flowers – they were so pretty.
Towards the end of the Road to Hana tour, we stopped at a cemetery to check out the grave site of someone (I cannot remember who). I wasn’t all that interested so I stayed back and played with this horse with the tour guide. We would feed him mints for a smile. This horse has the best breath on the island! I cannot help but sing the “Mr. Ed” theme song whenever I see these photos. He kind of looks like Mr. Ed, right? A horse is a horse of course, of course…
Another beautiful sunset and then a rainbow that appeared while I was enjoying breakfast one morning.
I did a day trip to Lana’i my last full day in Hawaii. On the way from Maui to Lana’i, two dolphins swam up to our boat and entertained us. They were really neat to see! It was definitely a highlight of the trip! Unfortunately, the trip to Lana’i was really rough and several people got sick on the way there. I tend to get very seasick but luckily for me, my sister hooked me up with some Transderm-Scop transdermal patches before I left. These are patches you put behind your ear. They are amazing and make a huge difference. I felt no ill effects from the trip to Lana’i. If you tend to get motion sick, you should ask your doctor about them.
Also on this tour, I met a wonderful couple from Canada. The wife, Cathleen, is a red head like me. People kept asking us if we were sisters the whole day. On the way back to Maui, we witnessed a gorgeous sunset.
On the way to the airport, I hit up this restaurant along the beach. It had great reviews on Yelp and did not disappoint. And the beach was so beautiful as well.