Our flight from Honolulu to Maui was cancelled because the airline had one plane out of commission that day so we got rebooked on a later flight which meant now we had 2.5 hours to kill at the airport. It was a bummer to have to waste precious vacation time in a stuffy airport terminal with little entertainment, no wifi, and a significant lack of power outlets. I spent a large part of my time on the phone with American Airlines trying to get our reservations fixed for our flight home a few days later and thankfully we got that sorted out.
Finally, we were lining up for our flight and waved goodbye to Oahu.
We landed on Maui just as the sun was setting and we raced off to get our luggage and rental car so that we could get to Mama’s Fish House for our 6:45pm reservation. We drove over from Kahului to Paia and we were really surprised how different Maui was from Oahu. While we were used to the large resorts and busy streets of Oahu, the quaint landscape and lush sugar cane fields were a strong contrast and really set the tone for the pace of our time in Maui.
When we arrived Mama’s we spent a few minutes outside of the restaurant taking in the beauty of the beachside locale. The waves crashed against the sand as the sun cast a glow over the horizon. It was picturesque. Like a living postcard.
The food was amazing. That was the best sashimi I’ve ever tasted in my entire life and my only regret is not eating more of it.
It was pretty late when we were finished with dinner and we’d had a long day and one more longer day ahead of us the next, so we headed back to our condo for the night. We drove over to Lahaina and settled in for the night.
The next morning we got up eeeeeearrrrrlllyyyy to start the Road to Hana. We stopped at the KMart and stocked up on snacks for the drive and headed out for the day’s adventure.
To say that Maui is beautiful is probably the understatement of the century.
The Road to Hana was an all day trip starting in Paia and ending up just on the other side of Hana at the Oheo Gulch. We saw a few dozen waterfalls in one day alone, drove around some of the sharpest J-turns in the world, and filled our bellies with the best fresh banana bread we’ve ever had in our lives. Maui has amazing beaches. We pinched each other several times because it just didn’t seem real that we were living this dream vacation.
That evening back in Lahiana we explored the downtown area. We had no dea how bustling and exciting it was! Lahaina’s main road had a Hard Rock Cafe, Bubba’s Shrimp, Cheeseburger in Paradise, and many more. It used to be an old whaling village many many years ago and the infrastructure was right out of a storybook. We waited for a table at one restaurant before ditching and going over to Cheeseburger in Paradise where we were immediately seated by the rail where we could watch people as they walked by. The entire area was open late, and we made sure to grab a shave ice from Ululani’s. MMMMMM…. shave ice. Brian got some gelato and we headed back to the condo resort to check out the pool areas and unwind.
The next morning was our last day in Maui. Sad day. (capital S) We slept in for the first time in our entire trip but headed out eventually to the pools to relax. We had a noon check out time so we packed up our bags, grabbed lunch at a local pizza restaurant, and checked out the other parts of Maui we hadn’t seen yet.
We drove over to Sugar Beach where we saw about 30 different Hona sea turtles swimming just below us. It was amazing!
There was a farmer’s market nearby where we grabbed some fresh apple bananas, which are smaller than the banana’s we are used to at home and have, as I’m sure you guessed, an apple taste to them. YUM. (capital Y) We looked around an outdoor mall, snacked on nutella crepes (also YUM), and shopped around Paia. We grabbed dinner to go and headed over to a nearby beach to watch the surfers and stand up paddlers do their thing before it was time to return the rental car and start heading home. We had a red eye flight back through LA and then DFW before getting back to Atlanta. Not going to lie, it was a pretty rough flight. I was so thankful to be done with flying when we got back to Atlanta, but I was also most excited to see our kids again.
When we landed Knox and Lux gave us the biggest hugs and kisses, it was exactly what I needed to sooth myself from being sad about leaving Hawaii. The next day we had the long road trip back home to Texas which gave me plenty of time to think about our trip.
I am thankful for Hawaii. I am thankful for the opportunity it gave me to recharge my weary heart and soul and for both Brian and I to refocus on our marriage and building our life together. We’ve had some hard times in the almost six years we’ve been married. In fact, I’d say this year has probably been the hardest. Through job changes, social commitments, stress from kids, it’s been a doozy.
At times it felt like we were building different lives in completely separate directions. Hawaii taught me why my marriage is worth fighting for, why Brian is the one I’m glad to be tied to through the ups and downs, the one who fills in all the places I am incomplete, and the one I get to raise our children with. I’d go to the moon and back if that meant I’d get to be by that man’s side.
Helen Keller said “Life is either a great adventure or nothing.”
There’s no one I’d rather be on an adventure with.
So aloha, Hawaii… until we meet again.