8 days in Maui. But only 3 to explore. How much can you really see of Maui in just three days of down time?
We arrived at the Kahului airport late at night, got our rental car, and crashed for a few hours at an Airbnb condo we rented out for the week in Kihei. After 3 hours of sleep we woke up, grabbed some coffee and breakfast, and headed straight for the Road to Hana.
If you go to Maui, the Road to Hana is a must. Theres a CD you can buy with a guide. Super helpful. But if you’re like us and forgot it at the condo, do it anyways. I promise you, if you’re someone who just likes to see new things, whatever stops you make, you’ll have a great time.
Was this the best one to visit? Probably not. There’s a ton. Go see any. For me I’ve never seen a waterfall with that clear of water, so it didn’t really matter.
2. Coconut Stand
Which one? Don’t remember. The coconuts were huge. It was cool to watch the dude cut them open with his big machete. Plus there were dogs so Derek’s day was made right there. I didn’t like the taste of the coconut. Didn’t realize there’s like 100 something different types. To this day my favorite is the Young Thai Coconut.
3. Black Sand Beach
Just seeing black sand is legit. Tons of people here, but whatever. Just look down at the sand and don’t focus on the people.
4. The backside of Hana
If you take the backside of Hana, which a lot of people are too afraid to do because they’re not used to driving on roads like The Road to Hana, it gets sweet. Up until this part, you’ve seen a luscious, green rainforest full of vibrant colors, little communities tucked into the rainforest, and there have been people around. Within seconds, you come around a turn and the rainforest is completely gone. There are no more houses, no more people, and no more green. It’s just quiet, extremely quiet, desert. If you’re not too scared, take the backside of Hana. It’ll eventually spit you back out into the rainforest and get you home, and it’s a wild ride for your visual emotions.
So that was day one. I think we did a total of 9 hours of driving. Back to Kihei to eat, then to the condo to crash for a few more hours, to wake up again and do day 2.
Day two was Kayak and snorkel with Sea Turtles day. I had never seen a sea turtle in the wild.
This day we went to a different part of the island called Kaanapali Beach. Honestly the views alone driving through this island are enough.
7Am we’re all ready to go. Our guide has Derek and I go first into the waves because we’re “fit”. We are in the water, we’ve been instructed on how to get into the kayak, Derek has to get in first, goes for it with all of his fitness, and………
Overkill. Too much fitness. This is such a great start to my day! My husband has already fallen out of the kayak whilst trying to get in it.
After we all made it past the waves, our guide takes us to his secret turtle spot instead of to the regular spot where it’s loaded with tourists. So here we are in the middle of this amazingly clear, blue ocean, nowhere near any other people, looking out at this mountain view ahead of us, and he connects all of our kayaks together. From there we were all going to jump into the water and snorkel over to where he said there would be 8-10 huge 80 year old sea turtles.
As we’re getting all of our kayaks connected, a huge sea turtle comes up to the top of the water to breathe and I literally just died right there. My heart was pumping, and I swear it took everything in me not to just bail off the side of my kayak to go and hug that darn sea turtle. It was so close and I was so overwhelmed with giddiness.
Next thing I know we’re all in the water and looking down at sea turtles.
Our tour guide delivered, and thank God for Derek’s swimming skills because he dove down and got ridiculously close to the turtles and captured these shots. I need to get on his level and upgrade to Scuba.
Once we got back to shore, Derek and I were walking around, and there was this area of rocks where we could see sea turtles riding the waves. They ranged from really tiny to large, and they just didn’t stop playing. We must have watched that for almost an hour. Honestly as cool as it was to snorkel and see the huge sea turtles, they didn’t really do anything other than chill at the bottom of the ocean. The sea turtle that came up close to us, and these sea turtles playing in the waves was my favorite part.
So in two days we drove a total of 14 hours and had covered 3/4th of the island. Not bad for not being on vacation.
Spent inside of a conference room at one of the resorts in Wailea, with 200 other people, and this is the entire point of why we came to Maui. This seminar had been a desire of mine since I was 18, and man was my hearts desire on point. I’ll talk more about that further down.
We had really epic plans for this day to wake up at 2am and take a bus up to the top of Haleaka Volcano to see the sunrise, and then bike down the mountain. However that didn’t happen because the last day of our seminar lasted until 2am that morning. Once the seminar was done we had to be out of our condo by 11am, but our plane didn’t leave until 11pm that night. We decided that even though we missed the sunrise and the epic bike tour, we were going to go drive up to see the volcano anyways.
This was it man. I grew up in Colorado. I’ve made the ride up Pikes Peak. It’s beautiful. But this ride up the mountain gave me a totally new set of visual emotions. On the ride up you pass farm land, cows, goats, etc. Then you go through some forest that reminded me of Colorado. Then all you see is massive, thick clouds. Then you ride through them. Then you’re above them. And then you get to the top and there’s a volcano to your right and a clear, blue ocean to your left. There is so much to look at. If I were to go again I would absolutely do the sunrise bike tour, but this was good enough, and I’m glad we chose to do this for the remainder of our time there.
Was it worth it to go to Maui even though we only had three days to actually see the island?
Going to Maui was the dumbest financial decision we made all year, and it was the best decision we made all year. We could have done 3 Canada trips for the price that Maui cost, and that hurt our souls. But…….. we were in Maui for a purpose, and that purpose was our seminar. If we were going for just vacation, no it’s not worth it to go for a short amount of time. It’s expensive. The plane ride sucks. So if you’re going to go to Hawaii, go with money and go with time.
If it was the dumbest financial decision of the year, why did you go?
There are many things in life that cost money that Derek and I will gladly put to the side. Anything that develops us as people and moves us onward towards our next goal or our future is not one of those things. The company we are apart of holds 4 national events a year, which usually have 10-20k people. This 5th event called Journey is a much smaller event designed for people who desire to grow in their leadership, and is usually around 200-500 people. I’m not going to explain the seminar, but I will say that if you are the kind of person who is hungry for personal growth, want to propel yourself towards your goals, are proactive and apply information you learn immediately, want an honest assessment of where you currently are in your life, how well you really do understand others, etc. then that’s what this seminar was.
If we had to do it all over again knowing how much it was going to cost us, and how many other things we could have bought with that money, would we have gone?
We would have cringed, but yes, we would have done it all over again. Investing in your future is never a mistake. Ever.
So Hawaii itself, would you go back again?
Hawaii was never on either Derek’s or my bucket list. If we were to go back to Hawaii, it would probably be in 5-10 years with our kids, and because the plane ride takes so long, we’d probably just go from Hawaii to Australia and make it an extended trip. We’d also pack in as many adventure filled activities as humanly possible. Hawaii was a beautiful island, but it wasn’t the most magical place I’ve ever been to. Honestly, we loved Vancouver BC, Canada just as much.