Sadly, we’re home. What do we miss most? The view. I couldn’t help but notice on my drive in yesterday how there’s absolutely nothing to look at. In Hawaii, there’s always scenery to look at, even when you’re driving through the endless sugarcane fields you can watch them harvest it.
Speaking of sugarcane we learned that they burn it first before they harvest it. Weird Huh?
Well, we’ll be creating a ‘best of’ Photo Album and when we do we’ll post it here so stay tuned. We haven’t done much since getting home, still trying to recover the 6 hours we lost. We got home and the Dining room is mostly done though, all that is left is painting, the flooring and a counter top. Its looking great.
And its back to the grind :(.
Our last full day in Hawaii, how sad. We spent it in true Hawaiian fashion by just relaxing and ‘taking it easy mon’. We hit up
Whaler’s Village and popped in and out of a few shops before lunch. Then we were off to Makena and Oneloa Beach.
Because its over 100′ wide and over 3,000′ long, the natives call it ‘Big Beach’ not to be confused with ‘Little Beach’ next door where the nudists hang. Big Beach is probably our favorite beach thus far. Its golden sand, perfect crescent shape and sparse population all make it a perfect spot. We swam in the clear waters, tried to catch a few waves and played in the sand.
As the evening passed we picked up and moved south along the beach to get a good view of the sunset. We can safely say that tonight’s sunset was the most beautiful we’ve seen since arriving in Hawaii. This is saying a lot as our previous posts have mentioned the other sunsets we’ve had the privilege of seeing. What a great way to say goodnight and goodbye to Hawaii.
Randy and Rachel
That right, we did it! Our first surf lesson started at 9am today. We went through a basic training on land where we practiced our pop ups and how to balance our bodies. Right off the bat our instructor told us with surfing tall people have a disadvantage. It did take us a little longer than our shorter classmates but with persistence there was success. By the end of our lesson we were catching waves and riding them in to shore.
Surfing is a very physically demanding sport and we were in much need of nap afterward.
Dinner tonight was at the Tiki Terrace where we dined outside and enjoyed live music and Hawaiian dancers. When dinner was finished we moved to the Tiki bar and continued to enjoy the music and couple more drinks. We met two nice honeymooning couples and had a few more drinks over some conversations.
We ended the night with a game of coconut checkers. In our hotel’s courtyard there is a massive checker board with painted coconuts were you walked your coconut over the opponents and then get to throw their coconut off the board. How fun is that! I don’t remember who won but I’m sure it was me (just don’t tell Randy).
only a few days left 😦
Rachel and Randy
Another early start to a long day, but here that sort of day is welcomed. At 7am this morning we caught a ride on the leilani. She was a charter boat serving those interested in snorkel, snuba or just enjoying a ride on some of the most beautiful waters mother nature has to offer. It first took us to Molokini, a half sunk crater islet. It’s a popular snorkel spot with clear waters, a thriving reef and an abundance of aquatic life. We suited up and headed out to try our luck with the funny goggles and somewhat fishy breathing apparatus. The object of the game was to stick your head face down in the water and see as many fish as possible before swallowing too much sea water that unavoidably was sucked down the spout of your snorkel. It was amazing though. there must have been at least 50 different species of fish down there, some getting close enough you swear you could reach out and touch them. it was a good call buying that underwater camera. you’ll have to wait for pics from that till we get home.
Next we ate a BBQ lunch prepared by the ships crew and headed to Turtle Town. Here we tried Snuba, a combination of snorkeling and scuba. really it was scuba diving with a tank on raft above you instead of on your back. It took a little while to get used to the breathing but once we did it was great. We are both in agreement that snuba kicked snorkels butt. Once in the water it took no time at all to see a turtle. As matter of fact one was waiting to greet us right off the ship. We saw two others that day and again were able to get pretty close. these guys aren’t shy. we don’t dare touch them though. sea turtles are a protected species and you could get fined up to 2000 if caught touching one. we left turtle town and it was back to Maui.
when back at the hotel we decided to catch up on some relaxation. we rented a cabana on the beach and sipped pineapple juice and coconut rum cocktails till sunset. This is the life.
the Mr. & Mrs.
Today we learned again why Maui is called the Valley Isle. It’s really called the Valley Isle because of the very large valley between the two dormant volcanoes. However; we like to call it that because of all the luscious beautiful valleys strewn across the landscape. All of which start on the sides of one of the volcanoes.
After listening to another breakfast briefing about things we already knew we should do or already have done, we took a drive to Iao Valley. This is home to the Iao Needle which rises straight up more than 2,000 feet from the valley floor. it is also known as the phallic stone of Kanaloa, Hawaiian god of the ocean. The many pathways leading away from the overlook allowed you to see beautiful scenery and fantastic views of the needle itself.
Atop a high bridge there were two natives jumping into a pool in the tiny steam below, a good 20-30 feet drop. They were defying death for tips and fun we couldn’t decide
which was more important to them.
The view form the valley floor was not the last we’d see of Iao Valley today. We took a tour on Blue Hawaiian Helicopters that lead us over west Maui and Molokai. We flew through some of the most beautiful valleys on the west side of Maui and then flew over to Molokai to see Jurassic Falls and Olo’upena Falls, some of the tallest waterfalls in the world.
After our tour we returned to our room and gussied up for a night out on the… beach. we ate at the very upscale Gerard’s and enjoyed a three course meal with Chekofsky’s Nutcracker playing in the background. Tres chic. When our meal was finished we headed down to the streets and did a little shopping. We ended the night with a ride back to our hotel. Top down, wind in our hair, starry sky above, perfect!
the mr & mrs
Haleakala, House of the sun. apparently the best way to see it is: to be picked up at 2am by bus, taken up the 9,740 feet to its overlook and wait for sunrise. the 2 am part was brutal but boy it was worth it. When walking out to the edge you don’t see much except the top of a few clouds (because you’re well above them). As the sun begins to rise the horizon begins to take form around you. Purple, blue, orange and red bounce off the surrounding cliffs making it more and more apparent what 9740 feet up really looks like. A few couples thought it was a good idea to cozy up on a rock outside the protective guard rail. once there was enough light to see the distance to the bottom of the crater they were gone, hopefully by choice. Once what we and many others besides us called the most beautiful sunrise on earth was completed it was time to make our decent.
The company we rode up with, Maui Mountain Cruisers, specializes in the cruel game of roll the tourist down the mountain. They dress you up in a bright blue jump suit, give you a goofy helmet and a rickety bike probably older than the mountain itself and push you down the Guinness book of world records steepest road. It’s like a high school science experiment gone bad. As a matter of fact the question is on the Hawaii state regents exam. All kidding Aside it one of the best thing you could ever do, as long as your brakes work (and Randy’s didn’t at first). the ride down the mountain is literally a coast. only 400 yards of pedaling in the whole 40 mile ride. The views were amazing. The cold wind on your face while you zip around sharp bends really made you feel alive.
At the bottom a hot breakfast was waiting for us (it was only 10AM although we had been up for 9 hours). after about an hour the bus brought us back to our hotel. It was just before noon and we decided to take a short nap. about 430 we woke up and got ready for dinner.
A few minutes walk from our room was the barefoot bar at the Hula Grill. we got a table in the sand so we kicked off our shoes and enjoyed a few drinks before the meal. Our table was up front near the Hawaiian band and hula dancer. We listened to the music, sipped pina coladas and ate as we watched another spectacular sunset over the beach.
wish you were here (but on a different island :-)),
Rachel and Randy
We saw two little birds near our dinner table this evening. The male was puffed out, fanning his wings while he did a courtship dance for his female.
Aww look they’re twitterpated
Twitterpated? But its not the right time. don’t birds mate in early spring?
He looked at me with that coy little smile of his and said
honey, in Hawaii its always the right time.
And its so true! Everywhere you look in this place there is romance, something to put a sparkle in your eye. Today we didn’t do much but still it was one of the best days ever. We took the car out for a spin, that’s all. We saw a little bit of the island and now understand why this is known as the valley isle. There is so much luscious greenery and rolling hills that end abruptly at turquoise blue waters. We let the road take us up steep mountain sides, around sharp bends, and squeeze us through tight passages where you pray to god a sneeze doesn’t jerk the car over the edge and onto the rocky cliffs below. Despite the anxiety of the rocky cliffs edge the drive was one for the books. We stopped at a few sandy beaches (Maui has a lot) and hiked to lookout points were the view just seemed to go on and on. When The Who wrote “I can see for miles and miles” they must have been talking about this place.
Our hotel sent us box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts and a complementary bottle of champagne. We ended our first whole day on Maui with a toast to each other and chocolate macadamia nut kisses. To top it all off we got to experience first hand why it’s said Maui has the most beautiful sunsets on earth.
Aloha Nui Loa (Love you lots),
Randy and Rachel
In another life we must have been explorers. Just as Christopher Columbus found the Americas while trying to find India, we stumbled upon the Hawaiian Paradise Beaches while trying to find the lighthouse. The Beaches are not the paradise they sound like. Instead they are nothing but lava fields that jut out into the ocean where the waves crash against them with an unmatched ferociousness.
While following the coastline, after crossing 4 wheel drive only lava fields and driving through a flooded road, we also happened across Isaac Hale Park. There we were able to catch a few glimpses of surfers taking advantage of the incoming tide.
In the morning before our jaunt in the Jeep we headed to Akaka Falls. Akaka Falls drops more than 400 ft in a lush jungle atmosphere. It is on a half mile trail together with Kahuna Falls which provides several overlooks and viewing areas.
Today was a great way to conclude our stay on the Big Island. We caught our flight to Maui and arrived shortly after 7pm. We grabbed the rental (Yellow Ford Mustang Convertible yeah 🙂 ) and began our adventures on the ‘Valley Isle.’
Rachel & Randy
Today was the least rainy day since we’ve been in Hilo. I guess when you’re in a place that averages over 126 inches of rain per year and has gotten over 200 inches in the past a little rain is expected. At least it can be accredited with all the beautiful foliage and flowers.
First on the agenda was Rainbow Falls. It’s right in Hilo and since we had to be to the airport for the helicopter ride by noon we wanted to stay close to home. In between bouts of rain we ran from the car to the overlook but couldn’t spend much time due to torrential downpours.
Just in time for the Helicopter ride the rain subsided and we saw to the east that the sky was open and it would stay that way for the rest of the day. Our pilot Ray was very friendly. He greeted everyone individually and used our names to refer to directions (on Rachel’s side you can see ___). It was different but worked very well. We flew over an area to the southwest of Hilo containing lots of waterfalls, streams and valleys.
Next the helicopter did a fly by over the active vent of the volcano. Ray informed us that Kilauea is not erupting from its main caldera; instead it has formed a rift much closer to the coast and is venting lava from there. Unfortunately during the day it’s very difficult to see much red, although there were a few cracks and gaps that allowed us to see some glimpses of the hot stuff. He then took us to the coastline where we saw the newest land in the United States (and quite possibly the world). Ray told us that since it started erupting in 1983 Kilauea has added over 60 acres to the Big Island of Hawaii.
One of the employees at Blue Hawaiian Helicopters told us about a valley to the north which had some beautiful scenery. Since we didn’t have anything else planned for the day, we decided to take a drive. Our rental was a 4 wheel drive Jeep which allowed us to take several side trips towards the coastline. We first took the top down so we could enjoy the Beautiful weather.
The first side road took us to a sign that read ‘public shoreline access’ which led us to a dirt/mud road. At the end of the road (a few hundred feet from the coast) we left the jeep and hiked down to the water to check it out. The scenery at the shoreline was amazing, the waves were crashing while high tide was coming in and some lucky people had a house right off the shore.
The rest of the day consisted of a few more side trips down to the coastline and ended at Waipo Valley where we met a group of natives chanting from the overlook. Sunset over the valley was very beautiful and peaceful. However; the clouds soon started rolling in and we knew it was time to put up the top and head home.
Aloha from the Aldrichs