As I publish this, we’re sitting in the Maui airport waiting for our flight home. This was a fairly eventful trip! We went ziplining, snorkeling, attended a luau, watched the sunset from a volcano, and even toured a pineapple plantation. We also went to a different beach every day. But there was still plenty that we didn’t have time for, like the popular Road to Hana highway.
One thing that I noticed early on is that the roosters started crowing around 5am every morning. I ended up getting out of bed shortly after, but it meant I was going to sleep at 9pm every night to make up for it. Keep this in mind if you ever decide to visit Maui.
The most difficult part of this trip is going home, and not just because we’re leaving a tropical island paradise. I somehow misbooked my flight home for yesterday instead of today. It would have left while we were at the pineapple tour, but I didn’t realize my mistake until last night when I tried checking in. I managed to get a seat on the flights I intended, but last-minute airline tickets cost a lot of money! I guess I should just be relieved that I get to go home.
I hope you all have enjoyed reading my daily vacation blog entries. They were a lot of fun to put together, and it was sometimes difficult to choose the best photos from throughout the day. I especially hope that me a few months from now finds these posts useful, once all the details of this trip start blurring together.
We started today with a tour of the Maui Gold Pineapple plantation. We got to see pineapples at varying stages of development, including fields that had just been planted a few months ago. Fairly early into the tour we stopped for a pineapple sampling, and our tour guide used his machete to pick, peel, and cut up pineapples for all of us to try. They were much better than the pineapples you can get in the store, and everybody on the tour got a free pineapple to take home.
After lunch we looked around the Makai Glass glass blowing studio. An artist there had just started making a glass humpback whale, so we watched him work for a few minutes.
The distillery tour was next. We saw a small facility where Maui Gold pineapples get turned into various rums, vodkas, and other spirits and shipped to a few places back on the mainland. There was a tasting session at the end, where I tried several of their products. The pineapple orange guava flavored vodka was my favorite!
We finished off the day by snorkeling and swimming at Polo Beach, right next to the hotel where our luau was Monday night.
Here are pictures from throughout the day:
The beginnings of a pineapple stalk growing
Pineapples at various stages of development
This pineapple field was just planted a few months ago
Workers harvesting pineapples
I ate a pineapple peeled with a machete today
Photo op with props!
Pineapples getting rinsed before sorting and boxing
A glass turtle with built-in light
A live glass blowing demonstration. The artist is making a glass humpback whale
The glassblower brought his dog to work today
Pineapple mash and distillery equipment
Bottles of rum at the labeling station
Barrels of vodka
Another morning spent at the beach, only this time we brought snorkel gear that we rented. We spent half our time there snorkeling before heading back for lunch.
After lunch we drove to the Haleakalā Volcano, home of both the Haleakalā Observatory and the Haleakalā silversword. We reached the summit about 20 minutes before sunset, so our timing was just about perfect. Watching the sunset from 10,000 feet was AMAZING, and I wish we had stayed a bit longer to see the stars.
Here are some photos from the day:
Panorama of Kamole Beach Park 3, where we spent our morning snorkeling.
The view from close to the summit of Haleakalā volcano
The Haleakalā silversword plant
Haleakalā observatory, which was apparently off-limits to tourists
Okay, we were actually at 10,023 feet
Me at the summit!
My parents at the summit!
We started today with a Segway tour of Lahaina. After a short tutorial on how to ride a Segway, our tour guide took us all over the town! Our first stop was at the Lahaina Jodo Mission, a Buddhist temple home to one of the largest Buddha statues outside of Asia. We continued past the historic district and stopped at the Great Banyan Tree for a photo before returning our Segways.
After lunch, we went to Maui’s Big Beach for the rest of the afternoon. This beach has some powerful waves that are great for bodysurfing, if you don’t mind getting tumbled around a bit.
Today’s photos are mostly from the Segway tour, but there are a few of Big Beach at the end:
The three of us on our Segways in front of the Jodo Mission
This bell at the Jodo Mission is rung 11 times at 8PM
Inside view of the Buddhist Temple
The Jodo Mission Pagoda
Us in front of the Giant Buddah Statue
The U.S. Seamen’s Hospital in the Hisoric District
On our Segways in front of the Great Banyan Tree
All of this is a single tree with many root systems
In front of the Sugar Cane Train at the end of our tour
An Old Hawaiian Flag, originally designed in 1812
Maui’s Big Beach
A panorama of Big Beach. You can climb over those rocks on the right to reach the nude beach …