February 9, 2015

C & C on the Move: Maui Part 3

Here lies the close of our Maui recap. I think in a way, I've been delaying this final one...hoping to hold on to that post-vacation glow for as long as possible. But I've had several people ask me for recs in the last week and this is the close to the trilogy, so it had to be done. 

We're the kind of vacationers that believe in a healthy mixture of doing and relaxing. And Hawaii was the perfect balance between seeing the sights and getting the down time we so desperately needed. By the end of the trip Dr. B and I both felt like we'd made the most of our vacation with some great adventures and were okay with heading home - the sign of a truly good trip. So hold on, you're in for a vicariously good ride (I'm pretty sure this isn't grammatically correct, but you get the idea). 

The Road to Hana

It's probably safe to say that if you haven't driven the road to Hana, you haven't been to Maui. The Hana Highway is a 65-mile long road with 620 curves that connects Kahului with the town of Hana in east Maui. The road winds through tropical rain forests with many opportunities to experience the true beauty of Hawaii. Two key mistakes when taking the road to Hana - one, trying to get there as fast as you can. The road to Hana is about the journey, not the destination. While the town itself is cute, and it's worth staying a night or two (although we did not), it's all about the stops along the way. The second mistake (and in my opinion biggest) is going back the way you came. You'll read that the roads are bad and your rental car agreement (we rented a four-door jeep from Costco online, which I'd highly recommend) will be voided if you drive the entire loop. I'm here to tell the road is fine (a small portion is dirt), it's just as narrow as the first part of the trip, and in my opinion the scenery and landscape are even prettier. Either way, you can't go wrong taking a day for a road trip. My two favorite stops were the hike to Waimoku falls through the most insane (and kind of creepy) bamboo forest and some beach time at Koki Beach Park (both of which are after the town of Hana). And don't forget the GyPSY Guide app to tell you where to stop along the way. 


Whale Watching

Hands down the highlight of our trip was whale watching. We went out on a small zodiak and it was the best two hours I've ever spent on a boat. These incredible creatures migrate every year down from the chilly waters of Alaska to breed.

Humpback whales are the 5th largest whale, growing in length from 40-50 feet. The females typically grow larger than males so they can give birth to their 12-foot long, 2,000 lb babies. Can you imagine?!

Peak whale season in Maui usually runs from the middle of January until the end of March. I don't know if our timing was right or the ocean highway was unusually traffic free, either way, it was almost impossible to look out at the ocean without seeing a whale. And we definitely got our money's worth out on the boat. Brian even captured this photo below (on his iphone) of a whale breaching right next to a boat near us. Talk about a photo opp! There's nothing that quite explains seeing these majestic animals up close and personal. 

Driving up the Northwest Maui Coast

The Northwest coast of Maui also boasts some pretty incredible views and can be driven in a morning or afternoon. Between catching some surfers taking full advantage of the big swell, staying hydrated on some fresh coconut water, and experiencing the unpredictability of a blow hole (you're missing the next shot when I'm completely soaked), we took full advantage of seeing a lot of the island. 


Beach Time

And, of course, you can't miss the beaches (and you won't, because they are everywhere). On the other side of the island we spent a day at Big Beach (which is not to miss - especially if you're staying near Wailea).

Napili Bay, Kapalua Bay and Oneloa Beach, which were all within walking distance of our hotel, also required some serious attention. Thankfully we were up to the task. 

A Walk Down Memory Lane

And finally, not someplace you'll necessarily stop, but incredibly special to me...On Sunday Dr. B and I attended church at Holy Innocence Church in Lahaina, where Regan and I were baptized over 34 years ago. We can thank my dad's parents for our ties to Maui and bringing us to this church. They spent a lot of time there before my grandfather and grandmother died (my grandfather before we were born and our grandmother when we were two). Both of their ashes are off the coast of Maui. While I didn't know them, there was something about coming back here, specifically to the church, to make me feel a connection to two incredibly special people. I know it would have made them happy. 

That's it for reliving Maui! If you've got a trip in the works, I'm happy to answer any questions you might have! Send me a note at CardiCouture@gmail.com.


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