The Adventures of Big Kahuna & Seahorse

Chris and I flew into Honolulu, Hawai’i (located on the Oahu island) last Wednesday and after a few hours chilling in their outdoor airport quickly flew over to our vacation destination – Maui! I had been to Maui the summer of my freshmen year of college, but this was Chris’s first time and our first long vacation together. We were ready for some sun, adventures, and relaxation.

– – – Day 1: Arrival – – –

Chris testing the water... it was warm!

We got into Maui around 3:00 and were starving, so we hit up Fred’s Mexican. After that we took some time to explore Sugar Beach Resort and walked up and down the beach right outside our condo’s doorstep. On lazy nights, Chris and I learned a couple new card games for 2 players. The first was Bura, a Russian prison game, and the second was Cuarenta, an Ecuadorian game full of bravado and silliness.

– – – Day 2: Haleakala – – –

Haleakala Panorama

The second morning I woke up extremely early (yay time difference) and went out on the porch to read when, suddenly, the sun disappeared. Chris and I still don’t know exactly what happened, but his 35mm photo of it looks like a bomb went off. The rest of the day we spent driving up and hiking around Haleakala, the large dormant volcano on south Maui. Unfortunately we headed up there a bit late and the mid-day fog, that we named ‘Carlos’ (Karl‘s long lost brother), was hanging around. It was particularly cold, so after reading some informative placards about weather on the volcano, we played cards in the car as we waited the fog out. As soon as we noticed it clearing, we ran up the trail next to the visitor center and stared out into the crater. My ears started to hurt it was so quiet up there. After a little while this small cloud floated into the center on the left side (you can see in the photo above) and within seconds it grew and consumed the entire crater. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. Science!

– – – Day 3: Lanai – – –


Our favorite Hawai’i adventure was boating and snorkeling around Lanai with Ocean Riders. It was a gift from my parents for Chris’s birthday – thank you so, so much! Our day began with a water-logged, bucking bronco of a ride from Lahaina, Maui to the coast of Lanai. We were on this bright orange, inflated raft boat that you had to balance on and hold tightly onto a rope to keep from flying off of, especially when our captain (who looked and acted exactly like Sabrina’s mom) made hairpin turns. The first point of interest were a few shipwrecks off of the east coast. The ships were colossal and it was crazy to see how high the water gets during the winter season. Then we moved onto snorkeling! I was panicking, due to my last less than stellar attempt, but our captain assured us that nobody would have problems. They handed out the snorkeling masks that all had names – Chris got ‘Big Kahuna‘ and I got Seahorse. Everybody on the boat loved Chris’s fitting new nickname. ;) Captain, Sabrina’s mom, showed us how to put on all the equipment on the boat, told us how it worked and pushed us in the water. News flash: I love snorkeling! We saw so many beautiful tropical fish and 2 eagle rays! I nearly drowned with excitement. On the boat we saw a sea turtle and a pod of dolphins with football sized babies! We learned that when dolphins jump in the air they’re not showing off, they’re actually trying to get a sucker-fish off, lol. The babies couldn’t jump gracefully yet, so watching them was highly amusing. Other than that, we saw Lanai’s only bear, jumped in waters of fertility, saw the ancient king’s burial cave, and went partially into a water lava tube. Pretty amazing sun-burnt day.

– – – Day 4: Road to Hana – – –

Waianapanapa State Park

The next day we were both really feeling our sun-burnt backs, so we decided to take on the air-conditioned Road to Hana. We made stops at the Twin Falls, Waikamoi Bamboo Forest Loop Trail, Garden of Eden Arboretum (where we made a dog friend), Lava Tube, and ended with Waianapanapa State Park.

– – – Day 5: Supreme Relaxation – – –

Kapalua Beach

We spent day five in total relaxation mode. In the morning we bought some local produce for home-made breakfast and to take with us to the beach. This time we were smart and rented an umbrella… no more sunburns! We also unconsciously decided to make day five support your local San Francisco business day. Here’s Chris rocking Cole Hardware and me sporting Apparently we made a great decision when picking Kapalua Beach because there were 2 weddings and a photo-shoot at sunset. That night I discovered the delectable wonders of shave ice with ice cream. Omg.

– – – Day 6: Piiholo Ranch Zipline – – –

1,065' zip across the gulch

Similar to snorkeling, Chris and I were a little freaked out about zipping. It’s high up… just you and a rope. Scary stuff. Fortunately Josh, our zipping instructor, was super great at making us feel safe, comfortable, and was super hilarious to boot. I remember walking up the steps to the top of the first tower, my legs shaking, being like – I am going to freak out, but as soon as he strapped me in and said “ok, now just sit down” I realized it wasn’t scary at all. It was like being on the world’s best swing that instead of going back and forth just went forward. Here’s my video where Chris does a lot of starfishing. You starfish to slow down. The only downside was I wish it lasted longer.

– – –– – –

Goodbye Hawai'i!

In short Hawai’i was awesome. We made lots of friends (people and animals), learned lots of science and card games, relaxed, ate great food, adventured, and loved. Mahalo to everyone for the great recommendations, especially my parents. Check out the rest of Chris and my photos on Flickr. Aloha!