Here are a few photos of our overnight camping trip to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. It was a wonderful getaway, just 1.5 hours from home. Highly recommend (when it’s not too hot)!
Today we flew back home to Texas. While at the airport I took a photo of the boxes of Hawaiian Host candies. My grandfather was an artist and teacher, and drew the original tiki that has been on the box since the beginning. (see below)
For the past year or so, the company has been transitioning to a new box design, and the tiki is now embossed in gold, but I noticed that the drawing is slightly changed. Small details like the shape of the hands, the nose, and teeth have been updated. I’m sad to see the original box go, but at least we have photos!
Anyways, our vacation to Maui and Molokai has come to an end. It was a spectacular trip with plenty of excellent experiences and good memories created. I’m very happy!
Today was book-ended by two of Maui’s classic landmarks: ʻIao Valley and Haleakalā Crater. First up was ʻIao Valley, which is just a few minutes away from our house. I’ve been here several times but I always enjoy visiting and reading about the history of the valley, especially the battle that was fought here between Kamehameha I and Kalanikūpule.
Later that morning, we visited my grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ graves. We laid flowers down and noticed that someone (probably my brother or nephew) had left a golf ball for my grandpa, who was an avid golfer. The place where they are laid to rest has a nice view of ‘Iao Valley and their old house on the hill. 💜
For lunch, we headed over to Paia Fishmarket in Pā’ia. It’s a popular restaurant with a few locations in the islands, but it wasn’t too busy today and we got a nice table to enjoy our lunch. We’re eating so good on this trip!
Next, we headed upcountry to Haleakalā Crater. The park has a truly otherworldly feel to it. What a fun place for photographers! Someday I’d like to hike into the crater and even stay at one of cabins or campsites there. Wouldn’t that be awesome?
On the way down from the park, we stopped at Mahalo Aleworks in Makawao for a beer and a bite. The sun was setting and the view was really cool because you could see the ocean on both the north and south sides of the island. Very neat!
We got home in the early evening in order to get ready to fly back to the mainland the next day. I did take some time to set up my tripod to take a photo of Kahului and the airport with planes taking off and landing. I think it turned out pretty good!
I woke up today ready to go for a run near our house so I put on my shoes and headed out the door. The area is super-hilly though, and I was still recovering from very sore/injured muscles from the marathon I finished on Sunday, so I ran carefully. The residents of the neighborhood are all very friendly, and you can expect a nice wave and a “good morning” from everyone you see. It’s really nice!
And of course, the views are stunning:
On the way back to the house, my left leg started hurting so I walked the rest of the way. Luckily there wasn’t any pain just walking along. I am just thankful that my legs were strong enough for the hike in Molokai.
After that, we met up with my Uncle and Auntie for another bite to eat in Kahului, then did a bit of shopping. And another highlight of the trip was a visit to Mele Ukulele. They have some beautiful instruments and I chatted with the owner and shop helper and learned about the history of the store. It was really fun and I enjoyed listening to some relaxing ukulele music. I’m planning on buying a ukulele from them next time we visit. It’s the dream!
For dinner, we found ourselves in Wailea where we had reservations at Lineage. But before that, we had a drink at Bistro Molokini and watched baby whales frolicking under the sunset. It was awesome. Another wonderful day in paradise.
While we were on Molokai, we decided to book a whale-watching tour in Lāhainā. It was last-minute, so we were only able to reserve a spot on the first boat out. That meant we had to arrive at about 6:30 am!
The early start worked out nicely because the drive over from Wailuku was quick and we were able to park in the Lāhainā Free Public Parking lot, which was just a couple blocks from where the whale-watching boats depart from.
We chose Ultimate Whale Watch & Snorkel because of the excellent reviews, and they were great – informative and funny. The boat itself seated about 20 people, and you had a good view from wherever you sat. We started on one of the seats at the rear of the boat, but then moved up to the front for an even better view.
March is the tail-end of whale-watching season, but we saw plenty of humpback whales – mothers, babies, and males sparring for the females’ attention. It was so cool! We even saw a few breaches (whales jumping out of the water) which were spectacular.
The early morning tour meant we were treated to the sun rising over the western Maui mountains, and the sun wasn’t too intense. It was great.
After the 2-hour tour, we grabbed a table at the nearby Papa’Aina restaurant. The menu is on the pricey side, but that’s expected for a premium location in Lāhainā. We ordered the fish & eggs and biscuit. Yum!
We shopped around Lāhainā town for a bit, and then drove back to Wailuku and ran some errands which included some shopping at Takamiya Market and Tamura’s Market. Wailuku is an old town so it’s interesting to visit the businesses that have been around a long time. (Takamiya, not Tamura’s)
The evening’s plans took us back to Lāhainā because we had dinner reservations at Kimo’s. Our table had the best view of Lanai and the setting sun, and we ordered a couple of tropical drinks to celebrate our Maui vacation. It was one of those magical vacation moments!
Drinks were followed by macadamia nut calamari and ahi poke & avocado appetizers. So good.
By this time, the sun was dipping lower and many diners were taking sunset photos. It was fun and everyone was enjoying the vibe.
For the main course, I got the cheeseburger (hey, I haven’t had a burger in a while!) and Mariko ordered the “Lobster Topped”. Both dishes were, as expected, delicious.
For dessert, we shared a Hula Pie. The macadamia nut ice cream and chocolate cookie crust was awesome. OMG we were so stuffed.
It was another long, but memorable day. So far, this vacation has been a blast!