5 Days in Maui
When Kevin said he might "have to go" to Hawaii for work, I said I would take one for the team and tag along because marriage is ALL ABOUT SACRIFICE, people. It was okay there, though. I mean, we made the best of it. What else can ya do?
A few of our favorite Maui adventures:
I loved exploring Front Street and wandering in and out of the shops there. We ate lunch at Lahainaluna Cafe, bought a few secondhand books at the bookstore, and marveled at the pretty little park that's nested in the midst of the shops and tourists. The trees reminded me of the Angel Oak Tree in Charleston!
SUNRISE AT HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK
Fun fact: you now have to buy tickets in advance if you want to watch the sunrise at Haleakala. We did not know this, but luckily someone from the hotel told us they release an extra 40 tickets 2 days prior (at 4 PM Hawaiin time). So we set an alarm on our phones Friday and were able to grab tickets for the Sunday morning sunrise. (You can buy tickets here. )
We never fully adjusted to Hawaiin time, so the 2 AM wakeup call wasn't that bad for us. It was about a 2-hour drive to the park from where we were staying and then about another 30-minute drive to the top. Everyone warned us how cold it would be, and they were right. It was COLD. But it was also beautiful and definitely worth the numb fingers.
We reached the top a little early, so we were able to grab a parking spot near the observatory and look at the prettiest starry sky for a few minutes before watching the sun come up.
Pictures don't do it justice.
ROAD TO HANA
We are a little crazy (if you haven't noticed) and decided to do the entire Road to Hana on the same day we watched the sunrise at Haleakala. While it was a looong day (and everyone warned us not to do this), I am actually glad we did because:
-We got a super early start (obviously) before the rest of the island woke up.
-When you drive the Road to Hana after leaving Haleakala, the most logical way is to do the drive backward. This means we went the opposite direction from most of the other tourists and we were able to see the main attractions of the Road to Hana at the beginning of the drive before everyone else.
-We saved a lot of time. We were staying about as far away as you could get from the Road to Hana and Haleakala is in the middle of the island, so we were able to save the other days for relaxing at the beach instead of driving the entire island again.
Kevin may disagree with me on the above points because he was the one driving... and going against traffic on tiny roads and the edge of cliffs is not for the faint of heart.
I, however, was loaded up on Dramamine and annoyingly exclaiming every other minute, "Can you believe how PRETTYYY it is?!" To which he would reply, "I am just trying not to wreck."
Right. Good talk.
We started out by eating a big breakfast (and loading up on coffee) at Kula Bistro, changed out of our sunrise clothes into shorts and swimsuits, then hit the road.
I downloaded the Shaka guide app before we left, which was a huge help along the drive. We may have sarcastically talked back to the guide the whole drive, but in the end, we were so glad we had him!
The more desolate places on the drive reminded us so much of Ireland (our all-time favorite place), so we were obviously big fans.
Our stops along the Road to Hana included: St. Joseph's Church Kaupo, Huialoha Church, Oheo Pools, Wailua Falls, Kaihalulu Red Sand Beach, Black Sand Beach, Coconut Glens (the best vegan coconut milk ice cream!), Ho'okipa Beach, and lots of the viewpoints along the way
The only place we really wanted to see but didn't was Jaws, which is the big wave surf beach (the surfers have to get towed into the waves with a jet ski. Whoa). Our rental car didn't have 4-wheel drive and we were starting to run out of daylight, so we ultimately decided to stop at a beach with some smaller wave surfing (which was still fun to watch).
Apparently, a lot of tourists don't drive the entire Road to Hana, but I am so glad we did. Every inch of the landscape seems to be something new and all of it is beautiful. The guide told us that the reverse Road to Hana drive (which ended in Pa'ia Town) would take 10-12 hours, but due to our head start and prioritizing the stops we made, we completed it in about 7 hours.
By the end of the day, we were exhausted and happily headed back to the hotel to sleep. We purposely planned to stay nearby the remainder of our trip and enjoy the slowness of the resort.
KAPALUA (the area we stayed)
Our favorite breakfast in Kapalua was called The Gazebo. It is kind of hidden (located behind a hotel), but it had a beautiful view of the ocean and the food was delicious. We also grabbed a few meals and snacks at the Honolua Store, which had a market, great meal options, and a cute little coffee bar.
While it was a little inconvenient to not adjust to the local time, it was kind of nice watching the sunrise every morning from an empty beach.
Aloha, Hawaii. You are a dream.
All photos are property of Alex Fly