Friday, February 18, 2011

Hawaii 5-0

Aloha friends!

How do you sum up a week-long honeymoon in one measly blog post?  Not easily.  However, to simplify things I made a Hawaii top 5 to share with you.  Although we spent a lot of the week on the beach (crossing #21 off of The List!), I highlighted the more interesting things from our trip!

Please excuse our point-and-shoot quality photos.  We really would like to and need to invest in a DSLR camera but if I want a bike it's just gonna have to wait a while!  For those wondering, we went to Maui and stayed at a timeshare in Kahana.  Obviously, we were unable to visit all of the sites, restaurants and hikes, particularly the infinity pool on the Road to Hana:

Grr.... I'm still frustrated just thinking about it.  Oh well, next time (fingers crossed!).

Onto the Top 5:

5.  Road to Hana
The road to Hana is a popular tourist attraction that takes you around nearly the whole island (excluding West Maui) and is really popular due to it’s multitude of waterfalls, amazingly green vegetation and views of the ocean.  Hana is actually a city but the trip and experience of the road is more of an attraction than the actual city of Hana.  We unfortunately got a little bit of a late start so we weren’t able to see everything we would have liked to but we tried to do the less-touristy things because tourist traps kind of make us spill our cookies.

On our way to the actual Hana Road we stopped for a few supplies at a drug store.  Unfortunately the drug store didn’t have a bathroom but they told us that the Whole Foods next door did.  

Whole Foods is only one of my favorite stores in the world and this one was the best one I’ve ever been to!  They had all of the usuals but had a HUGE hot bar and soup bar; they had a little coffee and pastry bar; they had more local food selections than other Whole Foods I’ve been to; and they even made their Kombucha.  I could have spent a month’s paycheck in that store.

Our first stop on the actual road was a waterfall (can’t remember the name!) that isn’t visible from the road.  We had a little bit of a climb to see it.

We could only see it from a distance but it was really beautiful!

We also got a little view of the ocean.

One of our first good views of the ocean.  So beautiful next to the rich vegetation!

The drive literally looked like this a majority of the time.  SOOOOO GREEN!!

The best part of our trip on the Road to Hana was when we climbed to a hidden waterfall.  We had to climb through boulders for about half an hour to get to it.

We picked up some Tabis at the drug store that we stopped at.  These guys are like water boots that help you when walking on slick and mossy rocks.  Hubz didn’t think we should wear them on the actual climb to the waterfall.  I decided that we should on the way back to the car… and it almost cut our climbing time in half.  I always know best  :)

I was a little nervous on the hike there, especially after a rock fell from the cliff next to us and almost hit me in the head.

I got better at climbing and hopping the rocks as we went on.  It was a good workout--we were soaked in sweat!

Eventually we got to the waterfall.  It was more of a trickle at the time but it was still really neat.  When you looked up all you saw was moss covering the cliffs.  Totally rainforest-esque.

We had this waterfall and the little pool at the bottom to ourselves which was really exciting.

We stopped right before Hana for some food at a little market.  It was a little touristy but not so bad.

I finally got the fish tacos that I had been wanting all week!

Our last major stop was at one of Maui’s only black sand beaches.  It was so weird to see black sand!  

It’s from when the volcano erupted so there’s a only a limited amount of black sand.  Apparently these are a lot more common on the Big Island.

This beach was located in a park that also had camping sites… and grave sites?!?... and weird signs like this:

In front of showers like this:

We giggled… so did the old couple behind us.

By this time we needed to head home.  It would seem that the majority of people who take the Road to Hana turn around at about this point and go back the way they came… well, we’re not most people.  Instead we decided to take the loop around the opposite side of Maui.  This road ended up being mainly one-lane, partially paved but mostly dirt and incredibly dangerous with the late afternoon sun blinding us, the crazy curves and the excessive amount of one-lane bridges. 

Hubz drove so I found it to be much more entertaining than he did.  He was slightly stressed.  It got better eventually though and revealed beautiful sights of the mountains and Haleakala National Park, where Maui's dormant volcano is.

Our faithful rental car.  We referred to it as the "Under-25-Special."  Because we're pretty young, and broke, we got a piece of junk compared to the Jeeps, Mustang convertibles and brand new Audis that most tourists had.  It was faithful though and I'm quite glad we didn't have a new beautiful car while we were on the Road to Hana!  Hubz would have been even more stressed out! 

4.  West Maui Farmer's Market
A little over a mile from our timeshare was a little farmer’s market that was associated with a natural food store.  We walked there a couple of times and I absolutely loved it!  

They gave out samples of pretty much everything they were selling, including the most amazing guacamole I’ve ever tasted.  Yes, even better than Chipotle’s.  

I sipped on an iced coconut latte from a coffee shop in the same strip mall as the natural food store (if you look really closely you can see the name of the coffee shop.  It made me giggle a lot).  Their coffee was awesome!

The people at the farmer’s market (and the natural food store) were awesome and so friendly.

We loaded our finds up in Greg's backpack... it also made me giggle.

We got a free smoothie from the natural food store for spending more than $25 at the farmer's market!  And I bought a fresh squeezed juice.  I told the lady to surprise me but I'm thinking it was Carrot, Apple and Celery.  It was delicious and refreshing.

3.  Olivine Pools
The Olivine Pools are a not so well known attraction on the loop around West Maui.  They are fairly well hidden from the run-of-the-road tourist but are definitely worth the hike down to them.  The pools are a greenish color that resemble the semi-precious material, olivine. 

 They are tide pools that partially protected from raging ocean and tide.  The water rushes up against the high rocks surrounding the pools and when tide is high enough in fills the pools.

And this is what happens when the tide comes up and you are too busy gawking at how cool it is:

Just beyond the pools is the 'Iao Needle.  Greg thought it would be fun to hike.  I thought he was slightly too daring for me.

2.  The Food.  Period.

I would like to live in Hawaii just for the food.  No joke.  I seriously felt like I was in a food coma all week.  The best part?  This kind of food coma doesn’t make me have to buy bigger pants because so much of it is fresh and healthy.  I already talked about the West Maui Farmer’s Market, so here are a few other fresh food favorites:

Rambutan.  These babies are similar to lychees (from what I've heard... I've never had a lychee).  You break open the outer skin by pinching it and inside it is the fruit.  

The fruit is similar to a peeled grape but bigger, sweeter and way better!

Inside the fruit is a seed that apparently has dangerous toxins that you obviously do not want to eat.  We got a whole bag of these.  They were awesome. 

There was literally pineapple everywhere.  Hubz cut this one.  Doesn't it look great?

Apple Bananas.  They are like mini bananas but sweeter.  Perfect for a snack or in your oatmeal.  I wish we could find these in Minnesota.

Caprese bruschetta at a local restaurant.  I could eat caprese every day.  So delish.

Fruity drinks.  Can't go to Hawaii and not have fruity drinks.  This one was called a Lava Flow, which is a pina colada infused with strawberry.  YUM.

Pacific'O Restaurant.  I didn't take any pictures of the actual food at this restaurant because it was fairly classy and we were of course way under-dressed (and about 30 years younger than the majority of the people there!) and the last thing I needed to do was draw more attention to us from taking a picture in the dark night and having my camera's flash blinding everyone with in a 100-foot radius.  Yeah.  I felt a little out of place with my sunburn, headband, v-neck, bermudas and Chacos.  But the food was AMAZING.  

We went there on our last night in Maui and I'm so glad we did because otherwise all of the other restaurants we went to would have seemed really lame compared to this one!  The restaurant has their own organic farm that they get most of their produce from and you could definitely tell!  Everything was really fresh, creative and incredibly well made.  

I had the Coconut Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi.  It had a thai peanut coconut sauce, mango salsa, roasted root veggies and black jasmine rice.  One of the best meals I've ever had.  I plan on attempting to re-create this dish.  Hubz's was good too.  But not as good as mine, obviously.  I win in our household  ;)

Coconut.  I consumed everything containing the word "coconut" that I could. 

Pictured are... 

Coconut water: I know you can get this basically everywhere but I hadn't tried it until now.  It was great after a hike!  
Milk Chocolate Coconut Macadamia Nuts:  I want to marry these things.  Seriously.
Iced Coconut Latte:  The coconut lattes were 500x better there than here.  I had like 3 of these.
Coconut Porter:  This coconut porter was from the Maui Brewing Company which was a couple of blocks from us.  I don't normally like porters but this was awesome.
Coconut Bread:  We picked this up right outside of Hana and the lady who baked it served us food.  It was amazing.  I ate almost the whole thing in one sitting.  Hubz missed out on most of it... he needs to eat faster.

Not pictured coconut things:
Several pina coladas, coconut shrimp, thai coconut soup, coconut bagel, coconut syrup (I bought some of this and will be highlighting it later!) and the amazing Coconut Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi.  

I kind of love coconut.

1.  Two-Tiered Tide Pools
This is also a not-so-well-known attraction in Maui.  We decided to stop here on the way to a different popular attraction (which actually wasn’t that attractive) and I’m so glad we did!  The two tiered tide pools were the most rewarding thing that we experienced I think because it took us a while before we actually found it. 

We used the “Maui Revealed” book the whole time we were in Maui and it helped us find most of our favorite places on our trip and included a lot of not well-known attractions!  We definitely recommend this if you’re visiting Maui!

We followed a step-by-step hike to the pools.

These were similar to the Olivine Pools but we were the only ones there and we were more protected from the ocean.  So cool!

We took a dip in these pools.  It was like our own private oasis.  Super romantic… minus those weird fish that were swimming around us.

So that is our trip to Maui in a nutshell (and an awfully long blog post)!  Happy friday all!  Sure wish that the weather was as nice as it looks here in Minnesota.

Tomorrow we plan on going to the St. Paul Winter's Market!



  1. i love this! this is fantastic! I cannot wait to see all the photos sometime soon! lets make some summer plans, yes? how about a trip to the cities, and duluth? i know Gregory has wanted to go there, and well i want to go too! love you kids :)

  2. Beautiful photos, Kayla. It looks like you guys had a blast! All that yummy food you described made me super hungry. Oh, and the picture of you all wet made me literally laugh out loud.