Thursday, August 20, 2015

New friends

It is, at most, 75 degrees here on a given summer day. And these kiddos insist on swimming in the 50 degree water til their lips turn blue. We just recently moved to the coast and have spent half of our waking moments on the beach. We have been so lucky to meet and become friends with an awesome family that have made our transition so much smoother. Everyone needs a friend who will swim in the ocean with you when its cold out.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Maui - flowers for Kem Kem

Every time I saw a flower I thought how much Kem would love to see them, so I took pictures of tons of flowers. She would have loved to see the plant life. Definitely glad we went without kiddos, but I plan on taking them to Maui in a few years. 

Maui - what you absolutely should do

 I will not pretend to be an expert as I have only been to Maui once. We were lucky and have family that live, have lived, and visit often to this island, so we had a lot of advise. But I was still scared that I was going to miss something or choose the wrong things. My intention in posting this is to remember what I loved for next time we visit and  maybe this will help you have an awesome and relaxing Maui vacation as well. I hope this helps. Aloha. 

Here are the things I recommend doing when your in Maui. 

I have marked a few things with ** I highly recommended these things.  (you will miss out if you don't do these things)

- **Costco in Kihei to pick up sustenance and gas for the week.
This is super close to the airport. Buy pineapple here. Make sure it is Maui gold that means it was picked ripe on Maui. This is the cheapest pineapple you will find.

- you have to wash off the main land right  when getting to the island. Close to the airport is baby beach, Baldwin beach and ho'okepa. I would recommend any of the three.

- Other beaches I recommend seeing while in Maui (we spent most of our time relaxing on the beach. It was wonderful: 

**ulua near Kihei

**Ho'okepa. This is where a lot of turtles live. They come up on the shore to rest. While we were here this particular day, there were 7 turtles on the beach and 2 seals.

secret cove in wilea It's hard to find but worth it. 

**Napili bay in Lahaina. This is behind a resort. I highly recommend this beach especially for snorkeling even though you will have to sneak past the resort and the sea house reseraunt. 

Hamoa beach park on road to Hana.

- Road to Hana. I fee like you have to do this drive at least once in your life. Bring cash for all the fun stops.  Here are the stops I recommend:

**Auntie Sandy's in keanae. 

Definitely buy banana bread and **coconut candy. (I looked over the entire island for more of this kind. It doesn't exist except here)

-Coconut glens vegan ice cream. 

-Twin falls.
Busy but pretty. Worth a dip in a waterfall. Give a little time for this one it is about a 1.5 mile hike. 

 **Wainapanapa (highlight of my trip)

Swim in the legendary fresh water caves and visit the black sand beach.
-Hamoa beach. Apparently this beach is world renowned. Big, strong, waves!
- I would have loved to see the 7 sacred pools but we were on a time limit and I think it was closed pending flash floods from the rain. I would have been disappointed to not swim in it any way. 

-Go to a Farmers market.
On Saturday you should go to a farmers market. There is a cool one up toward Haleakala crater called **up country farmers market. It was fun to see all the wierd organic fruits and veggies. Definitely buy a drinking coconut here. Ours was $3.  Don't pay more than $5. In wilea someone tried to sell us one for $15. When your done drinking it have it cut in half so you can eat the coconut. Yummy.
definitely splurge and buy lots of yummy fruits. 

-Snorkel cruise.
I didn't originally plan on doing this, but I am glad we did. Look around for prices. We went on the four winds II. It was about $45 per person which is a great price. We paid extra for lunch. I recommend doing this because snorkeling was exauhsting, we were for sure hungry. 

-Visit Iao valley.
This was a neat experience with nature. Spiritual place. Worth seeing. 

-Shopping. Buying gifts for family and friends is part of anyone's Hawaii vacation. Here is where we went, I am sure there are many others and probably better ones but this is where we went:
-Lahaina lots of fun shops. Including amazing galleries with art that I could never afford. 
-paia is cute. There is a cool store off the Main Street that I liked I can't remember the name but they had lots of funny cards and gifts including beach signs. 
-Keihei open air market. This is where I got most of the little gifts for my kids like bracelets, puka shell stuff and hair clips. 

-we got a couples massage and if that is something you are interested in, I would recommend wilea massage and body care.

-Places to eat. There were so many good restraunts, but theses are the ones that were recommended to me and they were amazing. I HIGHLY recommend you visit some of these places. 
**ululani's shaved ice. 
You must get coconut ice cream on the bottom. 
*****cool cats. Lahaina. I got the luna burger.  

This was hands down the best burger I have EVER eaten. I will dream about his burger. 

** Kihei cafe. Don't think about what to order just get the French toast. 
Everything we ate there was amazing but the French toast with coconut syrup was out of this world.
Get ther early and plan to wait in line. It is worth it!

- Jaws taco truck. 
We saw it in Lahaina. It was an interesting burrito. Different then the norm which was good.

Have fun in Maui!!!

Maui - Day 8 last day ho'okepa

Can you guess what we did on our last day in Maui? Yep, we sat on the beach and did nothing! It was blissful. 

We went back to ho'okepa. There were so many sea turtles. At one point there were 7 turtles on the shore and two seals. There are always volunteered or conservation staff on the beach to watch the animals since both of these are endangered. One of the turtles had fishing line on its fin, but he went back in the water before a specialist could come. Jared got in the water with his snorkel and followed it until they could come save the day.
Can you tell which are rocks and which are turtles? I had a hard time even in person. I set up my chair and didn't realize I sat down right next to a turtle. I thought he was a rock. 

My shark bite wound...ok it was just a rock scrape, but shark but sounds better.

Then we went and bummed around the shops in paia. There was a cute shop with the hilarious cards. I could have sat there for hours reading them. 

We went to flat bread pizza in paia. It was super organic and hippy, reminded me of home. It was good, but I wish we had gone to something a little more Hawaii. I think we were tired and all fooded out by this point as well. 

Sad as it is to leave paradise, I am ready to go home to the rain, cooler weather and my babies. 

Maui - day 7 Iao valley and Lahaina

Before heading to the beach to do nothing, we went to iao valley. Iao is carved out of the mountains of Maui and gets 400 inches of rainfall per year. To put  that into perspective, my home town in Oregon which is known as being very rainy, get 50 inches of rainfall per year. Iao was super green and lush. It was beautiful. I felt small next to the huge mountains and valleys. The stories of war and kings and royalty that once lived here  was incredible. It is said to be a very sacred place.  I really love all the pride and history of Hawaii. There is also a lot of legend and myth. Cool stories. 

After Iao we went to Lahaina. I origianally did not want to visit there since it is acrossed the island and a little bit of a drive, but I am glad we went. 

There is a banyan tree that takes up an acre of ground and is 100 years old. It looks like severa different trees, but if you look close, they are all conected and growing out of the middle trunk. 

My brother told us that while in Lahaina we had to go to a resteraunt cakes cool cats. I was a little skeptical about a vintage dinner in Hawaii, I would have rather gone to sea food or Hawaiian food. But we went because he said it was good. HOLY COW. I will dream about this burger. No other burger will ever compare to this burger. I am not exaggerating in any way, I inhaled this burger and only let my husband have a few bites. He ordered the chili dog and loved it. 

Seriously!!! If you find yourself in Lahaina on Maui and your hungry, which you likely will be, EAT AT COOL CATS!!!!!!!

Oops, I didn't have time to take a before picture, it was gone before I thought too. 

Also in Lahaina there are lots of little shops and high end galleries. If I was rich, I would have dropped $5000 on this photogrpah in the lik gallery. It is beautiful. 

Then we went to Napili beach in Lahaina. This beach had almost no waves and the water was crystal clear. It was beautiful and had amazing snorkeling. There were valleys and canyons in the reef. I was afraid an octopus was going to jump out at me. It was a great and relaxing day. 

I am glad we made it over to Lahaina.