Enjoy the little things for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things — Robert BraultPosts RSS Comments RSS

Archive for the Tag 'maui'

Northern Exposure

After having lots of fun exploring the Northern shores of Maui, we decided to continue our journey northward. After a delicious lunch beach side at Hula Grill in Whaler’s Village, we jumped in the car and headed towards the unknown.

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Rocky Coastline of Northern Maui

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Cool lava rock formations…this one was shaped like a bench

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Scary hazardous cliffs! Beware! Meh…we’re exploring!

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Giant killer plants! Ok, maybe I’m overstating the killer part.

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Long narrow winding roads

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Awe-inspiring views

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Quaint villages

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Cool churches

We found lots of great things along the way in our trip up North. Eventually, we ended up on a treacherous single lane road and decided to turn back, but not after sampling a few treats sold by the locals in a small village. If you’re ever up this way, stop at the pink hut and get some shaved ice. It’s the best…you betcha, you betcha!

On our trip back, we stopped in at the “rehearsal beach” to do some….yes, you guessed it…some rehearsing. Once again, we were all alone enjoying the lovely splendor that God has created. I’ll never get over it. I just love the ocean. It’s amazing.

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Our “rehearsal beach”

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Back at the hotel, we got a lovely full rainbow. It’s sooo beautiful!

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We watched the sun set over Black Rock

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Stayed for the torch lighting ceremony

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And cliff diving ceremony…it never gets old

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Then back to Front Street in Lahaina for dinner on our last evening in Maui.

Another fantastic day in paradise!

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Off the Beaten Path

Another beautiful day in Maui — the weather was perfect, the clouds were resting lightly on top of the mountain, and it was time to go exploring. Our first adventure of the day was a short bike ride to the area of Kaanapali beach where we spent our honeymoon sixteen years ago. We visit it each time we return to Maui so we can see just how much things have changed. On our last trip, we discovered that our condos had become apartments. This time, they are still apartments, but the name has changed yet again. I guess it’s hard to find a good name these days…hehe! And as expected, more shops and resorts have sprung up nearby. The Italian Cypress trees are taller, and the plants in the garden have grown like crazy.

It’s fun reminiscing about those first days of our marriage and retracing our steps. Wow, it brings back so many great memories. I love Maui! We are so blessed to be able to travel there for a third time — and, I hope it’s not the last. I hope we get to go back again and again and again.

Ok, enough with the memories and back to the recap of our trip…after the ride, we walked to the back side of Black Rock to reach a more secluded area of the beach. Gary and I enjoyed the water, worked on our tans, and rehearsed a few lines before grabbing lunch by the pool at our hotel.

After lunch, we decided to get away from Kaanapali and go far up North away from the resorts and tourist areas. We wanted to explore. Here’s some of what we found.

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Honolua Bay, a great snorkeling spot with water as clear as glass

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A completely secluded beach which Gary and I affectionately named “Rehearsal Beach.”

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We spent hours on this beach relaxing and rehearsing our lines for Leaving Iowa (which opens next week…wow!)

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We also took time to have a little fun

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And then back to rehearsing!!

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On the way home, we had some amazing views of the sunset

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We ended the night back in Kaanapali and had dinner at a seafood restaurant on the beach in Lahaina — a great ending to a perfect day.

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Tuesday on the Island

Tuesday started with an early morning cycling ride. We rented road bikes from West Maui Cycles so we were fully equipped for a great ride — similar to what we have at home, but with even better bikes. Our ride treated us to some amazing views as we rode along the ocean. I think I’m really spoiled now by the Maui scenery. Riding in Plano while looking at concrete and houses just can’t compare.

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Mountains of Maui

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Our view for most of the ride…ah-mazing

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Stopping for some shaved ice along the way

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Large trees that covered the road and provided nice shade for our ride

After our 20-mile ride, we ate lunch at Kimo’s on Front Street in Lahaina and then went to our next adventure, Makawao. It’s a small town on Mt. Haleakala with an old Hawaiian Cowboy flair. There are some quaint shops, galleries, and a sampling of restaurants along the main road. We spent a few hours browsing through them and then went on to our next stop.

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Shops in Makawao

Twin Falls, along the famous “Road to Hana,” was next. We hiked through the forest and came across our first waterfall.

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We don’t have these in Texas!

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Posing with the water

Since the spot is called Twin Falls, we hiked away from our first waterfall and went on the search for waterfall #2. It wasn’t long before we found it, and since it was empty (i.e. no people except me and Gary), I went for a nice little swim.

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We continued our hike and found a third waterfall, but it wasn’t as dramatic as the first two so I’m not posting it here. By the time we finished our hike, it was near sunset. We headed back to Makawao to eat dinner at a little Mexican food joint we found when we toured through the area. We had a picturesque drive back.

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Maui Monday

Monday in Maui was the Monday of my year –without a doubt. Gary and I got up extremely early (5 am) to catch up with a snorkeling trip called Blue Water Rafting. It was the best snorkeling tour I’ve had on the Island. Instead of being in a slow, large, and boring boat, you are in a rigid hull inflatable that is small and nimble. Pair that with a couple of fun-loving tour guides, and you have the start of a great adventure.

After loading up, we headed to our first snorkeling destination, which can only be reached by boat. On the way, the drivers did their best to make sure we had some fun. They cranked the boat up to full blast and jumped across the waves. They also took time to do a few donuts on the water. The experience was almost like a mini-roller coaster in the ocean — fun! We also spotted a few bottlenose dolphins on the way there. A neat treat for many on the trip.

We snorkeled in the first location for a while, had breakfast, and then departed for our next adventure, sea caves and a lava tour. The captain drove us to a part of the Island that only few people get to see (~35K per year), even many locals never venture to that area. Here, we found large waves (which were a blast to jump over in the boat) and some interesting lava formations. They drove us around and provided some interesting information about the formations, but to be honest, the best part was when they drove the boat inside the lava caves. The waves would crash in around us and blow out foam. It was really cool.

After the lava adventure, we went to Molokini (a small crater off the coast of Maui that is a popular snorkeling and diving destination). They allowed us to snorkel on both sides of the crater (which most tours won’t let you do). The outside of the crater is a sheer drop, and it’s about 300 feet deep. We got some great views there and saw lots of fish. Then we pulled around to snorkel the inside of the crater, which also offers some great views of marine life and coral. Finally, we drove to an area where many of the sea turtles hang out and dropped anchor to snorkel and to have lunch.

It was an awesome trip, but I can’t share pictures yet since they are all on my waterproof camera (which isn’t digital). I’ll try to share some when I get them developed later.

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Back in Maui

Maui is one of my favorite Islands. It’s where Gary and I went for our honeymoon and where we decided to celebrate our 10th year of marriage. Fast-forward to 2010, and I find myself back on the Island again. And guess what? It’s still as great as it was the first time I came. Seriously, every time I come here, I never want to leave. The views are amazing. The weather is perfect. The ocean is mesmerizing. I think it’s about as close to heaven as you can get.

This year, we traveled to the Island first-class, which made the 8-hour plane ride much more comfortable. I knew all of those upgrade points I had been accumulating would come in handy one day! We arrived in the late afternoon, checked into our hotel, and admired the fantastic view from our balcony. We’re only steps from the famous “black rock” on Kaanapali Beach in Maui, a spot that is well-known for excellent snorkeling. Just step outside, and we’re there.

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View from our room

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Looking out at Lanai


Black Rock

After checking in, we wandered around Kaanapali Beach and had dinner at the nearby Whaler’s Village.

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Hula show at Whaler’s Village

We did some shopping, and then strolled along the beach before returning to our room to admire the beauty that God was painting in the night sky. I just love how the moon and stars are so bright in Hawaii. I never get over it. I just wish I had a better camera so I could really capture how awesome it truly is.

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On day two, we got up early to do some snorkeling around black rock. We saw lots of fish, a couple of eels hiding in the reef, and…the best treat of the day…a sea turtle. It was huge! We followed it around for a while and took lots of pictures, but it’s on the waterproof camera so I can’t share those pictures until I get them developed.

We took a break for lunch, enjoying food and live music at an outdoor grill on the beach, and then we headed to Front Street in Lahaina to do some shopping and pick up a couple of road bikes that we are renting for the week.

Finally, we ended up at the spa for a beachside couples massage that was pure heaven! If I wasn’t relaxed before, I certainly am now. Oh, how I love vacation — it’s bliss.

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