Sunset with trees in front. Sky has clouds with an orange-pink hue.
Adventures,  blog,  new life,  Thoughts

Relaxing and Exploring

Day 3

view of a beach in Maui, Hawaii
Beautiful blue skies and crystal clear water.

I think it’s important to build in days of relaxation in between your days of adventures when going on vacation. This was a new concept to my husband, Patric who wants to jam-pack as much as possible when we go to new places. I understand that desire because you don’t necessarily know if/when you will be back to the different places being explored. For me, I need downtime in order to enjoy the full days like we experienced on Day 2, so today was a down day for us,

We got up early because our internal clocks were not on Hawaiian time yet (that will probably happen on the day we leave). We went to Ka’ana Kitchen for breakfast. We didn’t realize that it was buffet style at a price of $50 per person. We had our buffet breakfast which included a wide array of food from fruit, to omelets, waffles and even fried rice and pork belly. Our server was a perky young woman by the name of Kari who was very exuberant.

After breakfast, we trekked down to the beach and walked along the water. I took my sandles off to walk in the water while Patric stayed away from the water. I’m a water person and he is not. A kind woman offered to take pictures of us and we accepted. Then, we returned to our starting point to set up the beach lounge chairs with the help of one of the employees working there. I went back to our room to change into my swim suit as Patric saved our seats. I returned to the beach and got to play in the water for the next couple of hours – covered in sunscreen of course!

When I was done frolicking in the sand and water, we headed back to our room, but not before making a quick stop at the bar next to the pool. As I ordered a margarita, there was a very much inebriated man performing a balancing act of trying not to drop the round of drinks ordered for his friends waiting in the pool. Fortunately he didn’t drop the drinks! I quipped to those around us that that was probably due to him being drunk! We returned to our room without any further incidents to rest until our dinner reservations at 6. We went to Lineage down from the resort and enjoyed a meal of Korean fried chicken with some shrimp and scallop croquettes. I also ordered the Dragonfly drink because of course I did. (IYKYK).

Day 4

top of the Haleakala volcano and crater with clouds just beneath its peak.
View above the clouds – Haleakala volcano

We woke up around 6 am in order to get ready for the day’s excursion – exploring the Haleakala volcano. We received a call the day before from Jasmine with Holo Holo Maui Tours in order to let us know where to meet our tour guide for the day. When we arrived to our pick up location, we were greeted by Joe, our tour guide. He introduced himself and then asked us what we were hoping to see for the day. Patric was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a few months ago and has some minor mobility issues which needed to be taken into account. Once we had that discussion, we were on our way.

Our first stop was at Hosmer Grove which is an area covered with trees that is almost a hundred years old. These trees were planted by Ralph Hosmer back in 1927 who was hoping to create a thriving lumber company. Hosmer planted 86 non-native trees with only 20 of the species surviving. Unfortunately more than a few of the trees that Hosmer planted are invasive and have led to destruction of native plants and species. We were fortunate to view some of the Hawaiian Honeycreepers, beautiful red birds with long beaks that are used to retrieve the nectar found in some of the native plants in Hawaii.

We are standing front of sign that reads "Haleakala National Park: House of the Sun. Elevation: 10,023 feet (3,055 meters)
Haleakala National Park: House of the Sun. Elevation: 10,023 feet (3,055 meters)

Once we done exploring the grove, we sat at the picnic tables and enjoyed some Maui Gold pineapple along with some banana bread. When we were finished eating, we headed up to the peak of the mountain to view the crater. Jasmine had warned us the day before to make sure we dressed in layers as sometimes it can be a full 30 degrees cooler at the top. We dressed accordingly, but were fortunate in that it was a warm, clear day. Joe was excellent in providing us with a lot of information about the crater and the volcano, historical, scientific and cultural. You could really tell that he had a lot of respect for the land and its people. We spent about six hours on this tour and it was another highlight of our trip.

Day 4 and 5

Waterfall along the Hanna Highway.
Lush greenery with one of the many beautiful waterfalls along Hanna Highway.

On day 4, we decided to take the well-known “Road to Hanna.” We weren’t going to do it at first but our tour guide, Joe, from the previous day, convinced us we should. Here’s a fun, funny fact. The Road to Hanna is sometimes called the divorce road because of how stressful the drive can be. Hanna Highway is full of twisty curves (620 total), one lane bridges (59 total), and waterfalls (18 total). It takes about 2 hours to drive one way without any stops. We stopped two times – once to enjoy the Pua’a Ka’a waterfall, where I was able to climb down into it in order to enjoy the water and then to enjoy some vegan ice cream and water. When we arrived at the town of Hana, we turned around to come back the way we came. Patric did very well driving it and I only slightly damaged the car arm rest as I clutched it. This is not a road to take if you are in a rush or if you are an aggressive driver. If you can’t be patient as a driver, a tour is probably better for you.

After we were done with our drive, we were famished. We had seen a restaurant on our way to Hana Highway called Mama’s Fish House. We didn’t realize that this is a world famous restaurant which requires reservations months in advance. Patric called the restaurant to see if there was any chance of getting in. That’s when we discovered this hot tip: if there any open spots in the lounge/bar area, you can put your name in and you will be seated. So, we were able to enjoy a great meal at a classic restaurant and learn some of its history.

Day 5

This was our last full day in Maui before heading home the next day with an early flight. We try to take it easy the day before heading home, so we kind of played it by ear. We had passed by the Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum many times on our various drives on the island. It was just a couple of miles down the road from the resort, so we decided to take a tour of it. We arrived about an hour before it was closing for the day. (Tip: do not show up even a minute after closing as they lock the doors and will not let you in.) This was a nice, easy visit where we learned a lot about the early days of growing and harvesting sugar cane. Sadly, as with pineapple, much of the sugar plantations are gone. Patric enjoyed being able to look at the various pieces of machinery and equipment that is on the property. When we were finished, we headed back to the resort to get ready for our dinner reservations at Duo, a restaurant located at the Four Seasons Hotel. Patric and I felt it was okay, but we really would not recommend it as a must go to restaurant in Maui.

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