Thankfully, no bad news came on our trip this year and we were able to enjoy a week in Hawaii without thinking about the damage to our house. It was seriously the first time where we went almost an entire week without even talking about the house. Ahhhhh!
I had an educational conference to attend in Hawaii (rough place for that, I know) so Michael tagged along and got to go sight-seeing while I worked. The only full day I had free was the first day we were on the island. We had a quick 2 hour
A friend who has been to Maui several times mentioned that she watched the sunrise from the top of the volcano on the island and then biked down it. We checked into it and found several places that have either guided or self-directed tours to do it. SO fun!
Here's the sunrise at the top of Haleakala volcano (at about 10,000 feet). This first picture was taken before the sun had peeked through the clouds. It was actually quite dark and freeeeeeeeezing cold! We arrived at the top of the volcano around 5:30 (after meeting our group at 3:30am and taking the slow drive to the top). It was about 40 degrees...but with wind chill (it was incredibly windy) it felt around 20! Brrrrr!
I admit I was a bit scared on certain parts of the road. You have to ride in some tough places where there isn't any kind of a shoulder and the cars don't like to give you much space. Thankfully, we chose to be on a self-guided tour down the volcano so we could go at our own pace. Some people biked down as quickly as they could...but we went pretty slowly and stopped quite a few times to take in the amazing views!
We left the volcano and wanted to drive around the NW side of the island. We had no idea what a crazy road snakes its way around the hills of Northern Maui! It was the scariest ride I've ever had and I was SO glad Michael was driving instead of me!
Everything was fine until we got to the part of the drive that is circled in the map below. It became a one-lane road carved out of the mountain but traffic still tried to go two-ways so you had to find some places for people to pass...and sometimes there were jams where you had to back up.
But the views were amazing. (I only took this one shot because I think my hands were shaking too badly to want to get the camera out before this!)
When we finally reached regular roads again and got back to the beachy areas, we decided a whale watch would be fun. This is a fantastic time of year to see whales that flock to Maui from Alaska in winter. We wish were on the boat you see below. Our boat didn't get this close to any whales - but it was still amazing to see them all over!
Here is Michael in the ocean. You can see Molikini in the background on the right. Gorgeous!