Saturday, August 20, 2016

HAWAII! {part two}

It might seem a little unnecessary that each day in Hawaii (HAWAII!) gets a post all its own, but I wanted to remember every detail and not leave anything out simply because it made for too long a post. I appreciate everyone who's interested enough in our lives to read along, but I'm not writing these out for your sake ;) Monday, as you will soon find out, does not deserve a post all it's own. But Sunday... Sunday was definitely a day to remember!

It started early, like 3 am early. We decided just before bed the following day that we should do the sunrise at Haleakala Sunday morning since we hadn't fully adjusted to the time change yet. We read numerous accounts (with the pictures to prove it!) that seeing the sunrise on top of Haleakala was nothing short of an encounter with God, so not only was it appropriately a Sunday, it seemed well worth the early alarm clock. (Though despite the time change, it did not feel like 6 am when our phones starting buzzing) We downed a cup of coffee and set off in the dark.

I get car sick. (I also get boat sick and plane sick and spinning in too many circles with my kids sick) We knew it was a windy road up the mountain, but I was so tired (and still maybe a little 'off' from the plane ride the previous day) that I felt like I could sleep and be just fine - wake me at the top! I didn't sleep, but Stephen has learned to drive extra slow when I'm in the passenger seat so all was well when we reached the top of Haleakala - along with hundreds of other people!

I had read that it was cold, and at 10,000 feet it's not hard to believe!, and that it's hard to enjoy the incredible view if you're shivering the entire time, so we had packed hats and gloves and brought bundles of blankets from the house. We had also read that you want the morning to be cloudy - if you drive up the mountain through the clouds, you'll come out the clouds on the very top and then watch the sun rise above them creating a beautiful light show. Theoretically.

We found our spot along the wall and snuggled up to each other in the cold - a nice welcome after our night in our house with no air conditioning! It was freezing! But so. much. FUN! Maybe it's something I won't ever be able to explain to someone else, maybe it's just something Stephen and I will forever share, like our own little secret, but that morning we were not married, we were not parents - we were back in college, in lust and in love, surrounded by people but the only two people in the world.

The sunrise? We never saw it! It rose sometime while we were there, but the clouds never parted for us to see it and it didn't start getting light until long after everyone else had given up and gone back down the mountain. We spent a while up there goofing off, exploring and snuggling back up under the blankets. Life altering sunrise or not, it was one of the best parts of our trip.

What we were expecting to see on the top of Haleakala...

And what we did see on the top of Haleakala...

Eventually, we drove back down the mountain and stopped for breakfast at Kula Lodge. The food was amazing and the view of the island was pretty spectacular. It made up for the sunrise mishap ;)

After a nap at our place, we set off to explore south. We stopped at Five Caves thinking we'd just get some great views (which we did!) but we also found turtles! Maybe this isn't a big deal to anyone else, seeing a sea turtle in the ocean, but I 'bout cried! I had told Uriah before we left that I was hoping to see one and he got so excited about the possibility! I felt like Marlin in Finding Nemo and I wanted to ask the turtle how old he was so I could tell Uriah! Apparently, the picture we sent had him jumping up and down! I'm not a huge fan of snorkeling, because I'm afraid of just about everything, but this is apparently a great spot to do so and I wish Stephen had been able to get in with some gear! 

(I hate that these pictures make it look so gray and overcast! It was so hot and sunny with just the perfect amount of breeze and shade! I guess I could edit them... But 'ain't no body got time for that!')

After climbing around on the rocks at Five Caves we drove further south with the intention of stopping at Big Beach. Just driving past in the car we decided it was too crowded (we just don't like other people much) and sorta half stumbled upon a "secret beach". Except it's not really a secret because there were other people there and it's written about in a very popular Maui guide book, but it's definitely more secret than most of Maui's beaches. Personally, I'd want to keep it a secret, too! It as so small, quiet and beautiful! We spent the rest of the day there and eventually we were the last ones left and had the place to ourselves (really, we only shared it with a couple and their baby for the majority of the time and I didn't mind watching their sweet little six month old splash in the waves, snooze naked in the shade or play in the sand - I had baby fever and envy!) We climbed the rocks (Stephen jumped off them!), swam in the ocean, read, relaxed, ate and played card games. My ideal day!

After showers at our place, we walked down to watch the sunset and then walked around "downtown" Kihei until we came across a yummy looking Three's restaurant where we enjoyed appetizers for dinner and drinks, before watching a movie at home and calling it a day. A very full, loved filled, fun day :)

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