Jason and I just hit our tenth anniversary. What a fantastic decade! We traveled to Oahu to commemorate our 5th anniversary so we thought it was only fitting that we should travel to another Hawaiian island, Maui, to celebrate our tenth. Okay, okay, so we were just looking for an excuse to go to Hawaii again but who isn’t looking for an excuse to go to Hawaii?
Our week on the island was packed! Maui is a bigger less-navigable island than Oahu so fitting in all that we wanted to do required a few too many early morning rises for my vacation tastes but we had some truly memorable experiences so I can’t complain too much.
Compacting the details of an adventurous week into a little post won’t be easy but here’s my best attempt:
1. We snorkeled in the Molokini crater in the clearest water I have seen this side of a swimming pool. Visibility was well over 100 feet and the fish weren’t even slightly shy. It was like swimming in a monstrous aquarium. Amazing! We saw at least a dozen types of fish including triggerfish, yellow tangs, and raccoon butterflyfish. Jason is pretty sure a reef shark also cruised by him.
2. We watched the sunrise over the Haleakala Crater. This is a very popular tourist activity but it lived up to much of the hype. In order to make it to the crater by 5:50 AM though, an ungodly time in of itself, we had to get up at about 2:30 AM and travel a winding road that gains 10,023 feet in 37 miles, one of the greatest elevation changes in that distance in the world. Although the hour was painful and the ride was slow, witnessing the day dawning in these heavens was sublime. The thick layer of turbulent clouds driving up the sides of Haleakala gilded by the rising sun gave the setting an ethereal characteristic. I felt like a god of Olympus watching the beauty of the world unfold beneath me. Lovely! After the sun was up we hiked down the Sliding Sands trail into the crater itself. Talk about otherworldly! The endless veins of eroding green, red, brown, black, blue, and yellow volcanic gravel creeping across the desolate landscape toward the crater’s floor in complete silence made me question the reality of my surroundings more than a few times.
3. We boogie boarded on Polo Beach near our hotel, the Fairmont Kea Lani. It was a blast! Neither of us had boogied before but I rode a wave all the way to the shore on my first attempt, which got me some envious “How’d she do that?” looks from a group of tourists that had been trying unsuccessfully to do that very thing for over an hour. It was all beginner’s luck-not every wave was that easy-but I did inspire confidence in a number of other beach goers. My easy ride convinced a bunch of cowardly observers that it really couldn’t be that hard so the assemblage of boarders in the water almost instantly doubled. I got some pretty painful burns on my stomach and elbows from being dragged along the shore by wave after wave and, a week later, I am still picking sand out of my hair but it was all worth it! I loved boogieing! By the way, boogie boarding is much easier and less tiring than surfing so if surfing intimidates you, you might want to give boogie boarding a try.
4. We drove through the lush waterfall-filled tropics on Maui’s east side, commonly referred to as the highway to Hana, with our Mustang convertible’s top down. Absolutely gorgeous! We made a lot of waterfall stops along the way and found plenty of other diversions like the Seven Sacred Pools, a couple of black sand beaches, and an enormous ancient Hawaiian temple called the Pi’olanihale Heiau. Fantastic!
5. We ziplined 2,800 feet across a gulch near Makawao with 700 feet of air between our dangling bodies and the ground. Awesome!
6. We rode horses through the eucalyptus forests and windy pastures of the Pi’iholo Ranch. It was quite relaxing and gave Jason a chance to improve his shabby riding skills.
We spent the rest of our time, which honestly wasn’t much, wandering along the coastline, shopping in Lahaina, eating some truly fantastic fish, making little hiking excursions to the ‘Iao Needle and Dragon’s Teeth, being wowed by the magic of Warren and Annabelle’s, and dipping our feet in Maui’s impossibly blue waters.
What a lovely vacation! Good thing our 15th anniversary isn’t too far away or we might have to think of some other excuse to return to the charming islands of Hawaii.