aloha! Part 1....lilikoi and waterfalls

Yes, my three week (maybe more) hiatus is over. I am back from Hawaii with a golden brown tan and lots of great stories!

If you don't already know, the love of my life- Chandler- took me on a 10 day adventure on the beautiful islands of Maui and Kauai. We needed a break from life so we took it to the islands, lei's and all. Here is a quick breakdown of our trip....

We arrive in Maui....amazing! We pick up our blue jeep wrangler, lose the soft top and cruise down the coast to Ka'anapali. We stayed at a beautiful hotel on the beach that was fit for kings and queens. We truly felt like royalty (not to mention the free room upgrade! heheh)

We hung out by the pool and soaked up the sun! That night, pretty exhausted, we ate at a fun beachside restaurant in Whalers Village. Leilani's is famous for fish tacos and for good reason!

Day two...BEACH!
Relaxation heaven! We started the morning by having a large breakfast at the hotel. Later, we decided not to do that again because we were so full, it was hard to do anything other than beach ourselves like whales. Actually, yes, I take it back. That was wonderful....
Funny thing about breakfast in Hawaii is the asian influence is so apparent. I ate miso soup and a few pieces of sushi with my omelet! Who would have though miso soup before coffee was so delicious!
So we set up by the beach, basted ourselves in sunscreen and enjoyed the ocean at our toes. After a couple hours, we got ancy and walked the entire Kanapali coast line. We started off to
We even walked the entire Ka'anapali coast line from our hotel beach. We just walked and walked, without any reason other than to be together.
We grabbed a late afternoon snack at Hula Grill in Whalers Village. We went back in the sun, only to fall asleep after our walk. We did get some hot tub time in around the pool enjoying one more frozen concoction before cleaning up. That night, we ate at the fancy restaurant in the hotel called was yummmm! Hawaii has such delicious food! Foodie heaven for someone like me! Tropica is also beach side, so we had a wonderful view of all the yachts and sailboats anchored for the night offshore. These ubiquitous boats bobbing below the starry night could only be explained as something out of a romance novel. And at that moment, dining with my cute man, watching the tide, and seeing the moon set down on the horizon I realized I was in a state of pure joy. Fully relaxed! A perfect way to end our first full day on the island!

Day 3....SNUBA

Snuba is a cross between scuba diving and snorkeling. In the am, we took a charter cruise off a boat harbor in Kihei, which is south of Ka'anapali. After breakfast onboard, we suited up and into the water. During our SNUBA tour, Chandler and I were attached by 20 feet cords to a O2 tank on a free-floating raft off the charter boat. It kinda felt like we were puppets underwater. We first went to Molokini which is a sunken volcano off the south shore of Maui.

We saw tons of fish and beautiful coral! I think the word breathtaking is a fair way to explain the entire trip! After the sunken volcano, we went to sea turtle gardens (I think that was the name...) and saw a baby sea turtle swim by before the weather got too rough to say afloat. We headed back to shore and went back to the resort to soak up some more sun and mai tais!
We had big plans...emphasize had. While getting dressed, we turned on a movie and well, three hours later and a fabulous nap, we woke up with empty stomachs. We ordered room service and had a feast. I believe we could have feed 6 people yet enjoyed it all to ourselves. Knowing we were getting up early the next day, we watched TV and again, slept.

Day 3.....Road to Hana!!

After talking with some new friends on the snuba tour, we decided to forgo the normal "road to hana" sightseeing and jet straight to the town of Hana. We did stop at a fruit stand where I picked up 7 lilikoi for $2. If you have never eaten lilikoi, or called passion fruit in the mainland, it is scrumptious! It is a round, baseball size yellow fruit that is filled with a tart edible seeds and pulp. I have been buying passion fruit for years in Texas, where it is ironically a smaller, brown and wrinkled up. It seems the outer rind has completely lost all moisture during its transport to the mainland. The inside still tastes the same, but like always, fresh is best. I doubt I will ever find fresh lilikoi in Texas. more reason to head back to the south pacific!

So back to the road to Hana....We went to the first town past Hana to see the Seven Sacred pools and hike 2.5 miles to see a Waimoku Falls. We begin the hike like any hike would start off in Texas or Colorado, with a dirt path, rocks and small boulders amongst the trees and a fairly light canopy. Then, about 1/2 mile into it, we hit the tropical rainforest! Huge ferns, towering trees, and a dense canopy that nearly erased the sunlight! It even smelled like a rainforest! (probably because it was one....) It was neat. Once we got through the thicket of the rainforest, we actually walked through a bamboo forest. I don't know if forest is the correct term but instantly we were in almost complete darkness, hiking among the largest and tallest bamboo trees I have ever seen! It was incredible! It was like we stepped out of the rainforest in Hawaii and ended up in a back roads forest in China. And that is not even the best part....once we finished the bamboo forest portion of the hike, we came to an opening of the cliffs to Waimoku Falls. This natural waterfall is a gigantic 400 feet! It is the most amazing sight I have ever seen. I felt about about 2 inches tall standing underneath this massive falling body of water. I bet it was 75 feet wide.

After playing in the water (cautiously....did't want to get hit by falling debris or rocks!), we sat and ate our box lunch from Paia and watched the water fall from the cliff above. I believe it is worth the trip to Hawaii just to see this one waterfall. I will never forget it.

Back on the road, we head back to Paia. It was about 1 pm at this point which gave us plenty of time to see some of the "attractions" on the famed Road to Hana. Our favorite stop was at the freshwater caves and black sand beach park. Chandler and I crawled and climbed lava rock caves and watched the waves while sitting on the black sand beach. We spent about an hour just hanging out. It transformed our minds to feeling like we were a live version of the TV show LOST. It is very apparent why that show is filmed in Hawaii.

Around 5:45 pm we completed the Road to Hana and ended up in Paia where we had dinner reservations at a beach side restuarant called Mama's Fish House. Don't let the name fool you. Mama's is a fancy place with the most amazing food! I recommend reservations- we sat quickly while onlookers were told there was a 2 hour wait. Good thing we called ahead! We feasted on Ono and mango wrapped and steamed in a banana leaf with a coconut milk cream for an appetizer! The meal was perfect, especially watching the sunset out on the beach in front of us.

After dinner, we jetted back to the hotel to get some sleep and prepare for our sunrise bike ride down the Haleakala volcano. Another perfect day in paradise!

**hope you are enjoying my condensed travel journal....unfortunately, we lost our camera card on our last night on the trip so I do not have as many pictures as I would like to show. Therefore, I have written our entire trip down so I will not forget a single second on this amazing vacation.