We’ve been back from Hawaii for a week and a half now, and I am only just getting around to posting. I wanted to spend some time and give a detailed account of our fantastic trip, giving it the attention it deserved. It was absolutely perfect. But unfortunately reality slapped me in the face when returning to (cold) Utah, with a conference to plan at work, WAY too much homework to contend with, and on top of all of it I let the jetlag and backlog wear me down and I’ve been sick for the past few days. Bummer, dude. So thus why I am just getting around to posting today about a trip that was totally great. I would go back to Hawaii in a SECOND.
We spent time on Maui and Oahu, but I will focus on Maui for now since I’m limited on time! I will post about Oahu tomorrow, hopefully!
On Maui, we stayed at Hotel Wailea, a really charming place with seperate little bungalows (kind of – there were 4 to a unit). Ours must have had the best view of the ocean of all the units – it was absolutely gorgeous. We got in at night and didn’t realize what we would wake up to. Which was the sound of tropical birds and moody early-morning views of tropical foliage and ocean. Perfect.
All of our time in Hawaii was filled up because there is just so much to do and see. Luckily I actually scheduled us in some beach time or it may not have happened, and that would have been tragic. It was my favorite part. Day 1 we drove the Road to Hana. Everyone talks about this. It’s as gorgeous as they say. But what you don’t realize is it’s SO long. 15 miles or so doesn’t seem like much at all, but on a twisty, turny, narrow road, it is so, so long. We had a luau we’d pre-paid for scheduled at 5pm and we barely made it back in time and we didn’t even make the entire drive. But it was amazing, and filled with lava-sand beaches, waterfalls, moss-covered bridges, and charming shrimp shack establishments.
One thing that immediately made an impression on me is how nice everyone was in Hawaii. The cab drivers were not the Vegas-variety, our waitresses were not the jaded Utah variety. Everyone wanted to give you tips on where to go, what to see, and learn about you. You could absolutely show up with no plan and rely on the locals to plan your trip minute-by-minute. Every single person we met, without exception, was helpful and warm and genuinely happy to meet us. I am convinced, it is impossible to be in a bad mood on Maui, Hawaii!
The luau was brilliant! No good pictures of the dancing due to weird lighting but it was very fun. The Kalua pork was phenominal even though I had a hard time getting past seeing it whole and roasted first! And I could live on fresh pineapple! Hula dancing is so beautiful, and it can almost make me trance out like a Portishead show. I don’t own anything tropical and luau-ish, so I made due with a flower in my hair.
Day 2, we got up early and did some snorkleing! I’d never swam in the ocean and I was totally freaked out that I could paddle around and breathe while looking around with my eyes open! (As a forever-contacts wearer, swimming just isn’t that awesome normally!). We saw a few fish (nothing too notable, unfortunately, except the eel I saw!) We spent time on the beach and for the first time in my adult life, I wore a bikini in public, with nothing over it. This was kind of a big deal for me (enough so it was an item on my list of 30 things to do before I turn 30!- check!). The beach we went to in Maui was luxurious- we got chairs and umbrellas and towels with our hotel access card (perk!) and soaked up sun amongst the rich folks!
Ahead of time we purchased tickets on a whale-watching tour, reading that January was prime whale-watching season, so we spent our afternoon on a boat sipping mai tais and watching for the world’s most ah-inspiring creatures. And I don’t mean that the cliche way, I mean literally, everyone would say “ahhhhh!” ohhhh!” whenever a whale would so much as show its tail. We saw dozens of whales and the sunset was magical. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone traveling to Maui. This was the trip bargain – $30 for both of us for a 2 hour tour – just search the web for great deals.
Our final day in Maui, we spent more beach time before our afternoon flight back to Oahu for a few more days. That was Sunday, and Jonathan’s 29th birthday! Lucky boy, his first ever warm-weather birthday! It was so hard to leave knowing the next island would be equally lovely but more more city-like. We had no idea! I will give you all some Honolulu details shortly.