|It's been on our Bucket List for a long time and we finally got the chance to visit three of the Hawaiian Islands recently.|
|We finally made it!! Hello, Maui!!|
|The Maui Valley surrounding the city of Kahului and the airport is stunning and the first thing we saw when we landed.|
|Our first sunrise in Hawaii was a dandy!|
|Beauty everywhere here! Note the birds flying against the cloud.|
Monday, January 13: After our first dip in the Pacific Ocean, we had a delicious lunch (deep-fried mac-n-cheese and slider burgers) and some good craft beer at the nearby Maui Brewing.
|Gettin' the pig out of the ground at the Old Lahaina Luau.|
|My, what a lovely bunch of coconuts at the Old Lahaina Luau.|
Tuesday, January 14 - We got up early this morning to be picked up for a Road to Hana Tour which entails 620 curves and 59 one-lane bridges over a 48-mile trip to the tiny hamlet of Hana. It was a long day and we were glad when it was over despite all the beauty we saw. The ginger candy our guide gave us to ward off car sickness helped greatly. That evening we had a great dinner back in Lahaina at Mala Ocean Tavern out on the back porch overlooking the ocean.
|An early stop on The Road to Hana along the north shore of Maui was this impressive overlook |
of a small cove with a black sand beach. The road we had just come across is barely visible along the cliffs.
|Coconut milk ice cream? Yeah, maybe not so dumb.|
|Our favorite stop on The Road to Hana Tour was the blank sand beach at Wai'anapanapa State Park.|
|A cool small sea cave at Wai'anapanapa State Park. The sound of the surf rushing in over|
the smooth black stones was mesmerizing.
|Keanae Peninsula at the end of our Road to Hana Tour. |
The color of the waves
has not been modified and this is only an IPhone 5 picture.
|Our last Maui sunset was a killer. That's the island of Molokai to the right and Lanai to the left.|
|The pancakes at The Gazebo were good, but the huge half-order (?) of fried rice (for breakfast?) was awesome!|
|The big island of Hawaii is a lot different than Maui. It's the "youngest" of the islands, so the beaches are more scarce and big, jagged cliffs of volcanic rock like the one on which the Sheraton Resort sits are prevalent. The surf boomed all the time, and even increased in intensity as we were there with the Great Northern Swell predicted to come in the night we left.|
|Volcano!! No, not really, just a fiery sunset atop the dormant Hualālai Volcano near Kona. The crashing waves give you a clue of how rough the sea was that we were snorkeling in.|
|A truly amazing experience. Each snorkeler lays out flat on the ocean surface while hanging on to a board above a light that attracts the plankton which in turn attracts the large, yet gentle and harmless manta rays. Instead of swimming around looking for something, you just let the show come to you. The coolest thing is that as they approach you the do a huge barrel-roll and you get to see the entire creature, top, bottom and gaping mouth.|
|Volcano field on the drive over to Hilo from Kona|
|The 100' tall and exquisitely beautiful Kulaniapia Falls. We took a glorious (and private) swim below the falls.|
|Our private pagoda-style rental house overlooking the falls was terrific. It was stocked with food for a bountiful breakfast that we made ourselves and ate at the picnic table outside.|
Saturday, January 18 - We reluctantly left our beautiful waterfall pagoda house and headed for Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park where we would spend most of the day before jetting over late in the evening to Honolulu on the island of Oahu for our last full night in this beautiful place.
|The amazing Kilauea Caldera smokes in the distance as seen from the appropriately-named Steaming Bluff off Crater Rim Drive in Volcanoes National Park. Pictures will never do this place justice. Simply amazing.|
Sunday, January 19 - This was our last day in Hawaii and we made the most of it with a great driving tour around a lot of Oahu Island including visits to the huge city of Honolulu, the iconic Diamond Head volcanic tuff, the famous North Shore, historic Pearl Harbor, and the popular Waikiki Beach. We then flew out late for an overnight flight back to the mainland.
|We had some great food on Oahu with lunch at The Shrimp Shack food truck on the North Shore and The Rainbow Drive-In (one of President Obama's favorite places) back in Honolulu for dinner.|
|A perfect sunset walk along Waikiki Beach was a perfect way to end our trip to Hawaii.|