Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hawaii, part 1!

We are back home from our trip to Maui, and I figured it was time to post some pictures from our trip...  and I figured I probably won't get everything into one post, so there will probably be a few parts to this story. 

We left for Maui last week in the wee hours of the morning, and we got there without any delays!  When we stepped out of the airport it was a wonderful 82 degrees!  After eating a quick lunch, we were off to the beach!  We went to a beach that is really popular for surfing, north of Paia, where we were hoping to see some surfing action, but there was no one out, except a few turtles. 

Mikey and the Pacific

My parents had rented a condo for a month in the town of Kihei and they let us come sleep on their pull out sofa!   So after settling in we headed to our first sunset on the beach!  It was the first of many sunsets. 

The next day, we talked my dad into driving up the volcano on the island to see the sunrise.  We left at 4:45 in the morning and started the two hour drive to the top of Haleakala!  It had crazy turns, a good bit of exposure to the steep drop offs, and some stunning views of the pre-dawn lights around the island.  We waited for the sunrise while we were above the clouds (about 10,000 feet) for about twenty minutes with the other 150 people who also had made their way up there, and man it was cold! 

The sunrise on Haleakala

After the sunrise we found out there were some trails that we could hike down into the crater, so we did!  It was still pretty cold so we kept on our sweaters, and headed down.  It was about 2 1/2 miles down to one of the small chutes which shot liquid hot magma many centuries ago.  Once we got down to the smaller crater, it finally started to warm up and the views were pretty amazing.  The park says that they have had astronauts train in the volcano because it looks so much like the moon.  It was strangely pretty!

The trail out of the volcano

Mikey and dad in Haleakala

Julie in Haleakala

Unfortunately hiking 2.5 miles downhill means that you have to hike 2.5 miles back up once you are done.  We took our time, but unfortunately our camera ran out of power at the bottom, so there aren't any pictures from that portion of the trip :-(.  We finally returned to the summit and my mom was having a great time listening to Rush (Limbaugh, not the rock band) and trying to stay warm. 

We had just about enough of the cold at that point, so we went back home, took a well deserved nap, and did some shopping for tacky and brightly colored Hawaiian wares.  Then, just to keep mom and dad's streak going, we went to go see another sunset on the beach. 

Since we were in Hawaii, we figured it was about time we spent some quality time on the beach.  We packed up the car with just about everything we could find in the house, and found a nice shady spot to relax in.  After a few hours of hopping waves, building up courage to try the boogie board, and good bit of lounging around, the sun creeped into our spot, and we had to use the umbrella to keep in the shade.  Unfortunately, it is kind of a small umbrella. 

Huddling under the umbrella

For mom's birthday dinner we travelled to Lahania and then to the Whaler's Village to eat at the Hula Grill, which she had picked out for a few days.  The drive up along the bay was scenic, and included a stop at a great whale watching spot, where Mikey was finally able to spot a whale (not just it's splash).  Lahania was a former Royal capital so we walked the streets of the town to check out the sights.  I found a huge banyan tree to hang on!! 

Illegal hanging on trees

Mikey found a good number of signs to read which told about the old Royal stuff and the whaling history of the city.  I got to look at the ocean!  We took a side trip to see the largest Buddha outside of Asia, which um...looked like a large Buddha. 

Mikey and Buddha

We finally made it to dinner, which included sitting on a beach side patio, watching the sunset, our toes were in the sand, and there was Hawaiian type music playing.  Some hula dancers joined in towards the end of the meal, and it was fantastic!!  I think that'll wrap it up for Part I, stay tuned for Part II!

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