Maui Magic


Ahhh. Maui.

On my first day there a friend on Twitter told me

Don’t forget to just relax for a few days and let Maui work it’s magic on you.

It’s hard for me to relax on vacation.  There’s too much to see and do and only so much time to do it. And my time in Maui was especially short since I was only there 3 1/2 days. But whether I slowed down or not Maui certainly worked it’s magic, starting with the smell. Before I left, a co-worker told me that I’d smell the sugar burning which didn’t sound pleasant at all. Burning sugar? But it wasn’t burning it was just cooking. Simmering rather like the aroma of a sweet, sweet dessert. Add in the gardenia and plumeria, orchids and other florals, and the whole island smelled like a Yankee Candle. Mmmm. I was sad to leave because I knew I’d miss the smell.

I flew all day (traveled 15 hours) to get there Friday night — after dark, so I couldn’t really see Maui until the next day. We had already planned to drive up the Haleakala volcano the next morning to watch the sun rise. That meant waking up at 3 a.m. and driving two hours to the 10,000 feet peak. So we slept about five hours and off we went into the dark. Which meant I still couldn’t see Maui. But this worked out to be a rather cool thing because when I finally did see Maui in daylight it was from an aerial view some 10,000 feet-plus above it. I could see the island shore to shore, and also the rainforest mountains across the way from us.

The view from the top of Haleakala about an hour before sunrise

The view from the top of Haleakala about an hour before sunrise

The sun is coming ...

The sun is coming …

The moon over Science City, a group of observatories at the top of Haleakala

The moon over Science City, a group of observatories at the top of Haleakala

It was very cold 10,000 feet up

It was very cold 10,000 feet up

Finally, the sun

Finally, the sun

Ooooh. Ahhhh.

Ooooh. Ahhhh.

One side of the Haleakala crater

One side of the Haleakala crater

After Haleakala, we ate breakfast at the Kula Lodge. Then we went back to the hotel and took a nap — remember I’d traveled all day the day before and we got up super early to see that sunrise!

That afternoon we made our first outing to the beach and boy was it different than the Gulf beaches I’m used to. For one, the water was so blue it  looked purple. The water in Florida or Gulf Shores is more aqua. Then the sand — it was so dark compared to the sand in the South. It was so smooth. There were no broken shells to hurt my feet as I walked around.

The waves were quite rough that first afternoon. A few days later we went back in the morning and the waves were so mild I could actually swim without being tossed about. The water was also clear, like a fountain.

The beach

The beach

My own "footprints in the sand" photo

My own “footprints in the sand”

DSC02125

I miss Maui’s beautiful, fragrant flowers

On our second day we drove up to the Iao Valley State Park. This is the rainforest area of Maui. It was the exact opposite of Haleakala. Haleakala was dry and desert-like. It looked like Mars! The Iao Valley was green and lush and wet. It even rained while were there turning streams into raging rapids. The main attraction of the park is the Iao Needle.

The Iao Needle at the Iao Valley State Park

The Iao Needle at the Iao Valley State Park

The other main area we visited was Lahaina. We made two trips to Lahaina — one at night to attend the Old Lahaina Luau, and the other during the day to shop along the main street at all the little touristy shops.

And that was pretty much it. A short trip but just long enough to see new things, enjoy alone time away from the kids and relax (a little).

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