Oh man, Maui! When I imagined Hawaii, this is exactly what I pictured: clear water, unreal sunsets, tropical foliage surrounded by volcanic rock, hilarious Hawaiian pay phones, wildlife, rainbow trees, and for-real rainbows.
The first few nights we stayed at the the Marriott Ko Olina. The beaches on that side of the island have their own lagoons off the ocean. You would think that would keep ocean life away, but not in the least. We got to watch a pregnant monk seal take a nap in the sand. You can see her in a picture below–and I promise that she’s not dead. She eventually shimmied back into the water.
When in Maui, everyone tells you to drive the Road to Hana. It was definitely fun, but I gotta say we found another road on our way back from Haleakala National Park and that blew us away. I didn’t expect the islands to remind me so much of driving along the Irish coast–but they have some striking similarities. It is so lush, green, jagged, and magical.
The next few nights, we stayed at the Sheraton Maui. Every night there is a cliff diving ceremony off of Blackrock honoring the legend of the last chief of Maui, Kahekili. According to folklore, he would leap off Pu’u Keka’a into the Pacific as a show of spiritual strength. It was cool to watch, but a little strange to hear the heavy handed Sheraton Resort commentary.
Perhaps the most exciting moments of the trip were the constant whale activity off the coast. We went whale watching at sunset and it was breathtaking, mostly because of the scenery and a little because I was a little scared a whale would knock over our tiny inflatable boat. The action never stopped! The following morning, we ate breakfast on the beach and watched about 20 full breaches from the table. While swimming, you can even hear the whale songs!
We went to Maui Brewing (which was so great we stopped in on two separate occasions). They have an ice bar that keeps your beer cold while you drink. The food is also worth the trip, even if you don’t drink. Our next beer adventure included an hour long search trying to find Kohola Brewery. The beer was good (but take an uber there so you don’t get lost like us losers)! Plus, there is a Mexican food truck right around the corner that you have to try.