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Hiking Maui, A Volcano Sunrise + Bike Ride, and Scuba Diving Lanai

Hello from paradise – Maui, Hawaii! Matt and I have had this Hawaii trip on the calendar for over a year now, so it’s exciting that it’s finally here! :)

hiking kapalua

As I mentioned, this is a part work, part play trip for me – we are lucky enough to be staying at the gorgeous Ritz-Carlton Kapalua on Maui because I’m doing a couple nutrition talks for a wellness event they are hosting for their guests this coming weekend. Since I’m here as a speaker, they covered the majority of our hotel and paid for my flights. We paid for Matt’s flights, two nights of hotel, and all the activities/excursions/food (unless otherwise noted) that I’ll be talking about in my posts. I was not otherwise compensated to speak at the event or to write any blog recaps. Okay, disclosures done (you guys know I always want to be 100% clear about that stuff) – on to the fun!

Here are some of the highlights of the trip so far. :)

Hiking the Kapalua Coastal Trail

On Sunday, we wanted to stay close to the resort as we got our bearings and got over jet lag, but we made it out for a nice hike along the water. This trail is right by the resort – so awesome!

MY OTHER RECIPES
 

kapalua coastal trail

hiking kapalua trail

kapalua trail hike

Sunrise on a Volcano + Biking Down

On Tuesday morning, we woke up at 1 a.m. (gah) for a cool adventure: watching the sunrise from the summit (over 10,000 feet!) of volcano Mount Haleakalā and then biking down via Maui Downhill!

sunrise mount haleakala

They picked us up at our hotel at 1:40 a.m. – yikes!! SO early but we knew it would be worth it. This definitely involved a lot of time in a van – Haleakalā National Park is a couple hours away – but the views were stunning. You can drive up and watch the sunrise via your own car or hike up there, but we wanted to do the bike down so we went with a company!

sunrise mount haleakala

We arrived around 5:30 a.m. at the summit – you can drive right up there and park nearby – and settled in for the wait. It was FREEZING up there so if you go, pack very warm clothes! Probably in the 30’s with the windchill – brrrr!

sunrise mt haleakala

Luckily our efforts were rewarded – we had a beautiful morning show. It was so cool with the low hanging clouds – felt like we were on top of the world!

sunrise maui mountain

sunrise maui mountain

Processed with Snapseed.

I wish we’d had some time to hike around after the sun came up but it was time to bike! We aren’t allowed to bike in the park so they take you down to 6,000 feet and you bike the rest of the way down from there. I thought it was going to be really steep and scary but it actually wasn’t – you have a car behind you blocking the cars from passing (you pull over to the shoulder when there’s more space so they can pass), and the road was gradual and winding with stunning views. I didn’t get any pictures while we were moving because I didn’t want to crash, but we stopped for a photo opp at a scenic overlook.

bike down haleakala

Apparently the guide has been taking these hilariously awkward photos of couples for years – lol! Loved it!

bike down haleakala

:)

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I wish the biking portion of the trip had been a bit longer (it was definitely a lot of time in the car and not enough time moving/out and about), but it was still a lot of fun and worth doing! After the bike ride we got back in the car and headed to a cute food truck for an early lunch (it was only like 9:30 by this point – how is that possible?! Felt like 6 p.m. since we’d been up so long)! The food truck was called Kama Hele Café and majorly exceeded my expectations. They even had homemade kombucha on tap – how awesome!

kama hele cafe food truck maui

Matt and I shared a kombucha and a bulletproof coffee (with coconut oil and grassfed butter – so creamy!), and I got their Hawaiian BBQ Plate – pulled pork with brown rice and salad. Yummmm! Hit the spot – I was so hungry. (Tip: bring lots of snacks with you if you do the sunrise/bike tour – I brought lots of nuts/seeds and fruit and some hard boiled eggs from the hotel, and I was glad because the “breakfast” they gave us was some lame packaged pastries.)

kama hele cafe

kama hele cafe review

Delicious!

We took a nap when we got back to the hotel (so necessary) and then attempted to play tennis but got poured on – it’s been pretty rainy here in the afternoons this week! Oh well – we kept playing for quite awhile in the rain and had fun with it. :)

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Scuba Diving with Extended Horizons

As you guys know, Matt and I are both certified divers (Matt got certified last year when we were in Malta, and I got certified back in 2003 on the Great Barrier Reef while studying abroad in Australia). We tried to go scuba diving while in Florida in April for Matt’s brother’s wedding, but sadly the weather was bad, so we hadn’t gone since Malta! This trip was time to change that.

extended horizons diving maui

We booked a two tank boat dive (meaning you take a boat to one location, dive with one tank, then take the boat to another dive spot and dive there with the second tank) for Tuesday morning via Extended Horizons, which had awesome reviews not only for their instructors but also for their environmental practices, which I loved. They use recycled frying oil to power their boats, give everyone reusable water bottles (vs. plastic – they clean the bottles every night and reuse them), and they are all trained naturalists and treat the reef and animals with a lot of respect. Two big thumbs up! We loved them.

We met up with them in town and pushed off shortly after 6:30 a.m. for the dive. They change the dive sites based on the condition of the seas, so we weren’t sure where we were going besides that we were headed to nearby Lanai Island.

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It was a rainy morning but luckily cleared up once we were on the boat!

diving extended horizons maui

extended horizons maui

Our first dive was at a spot called “Wash Rock” off Lanai Island. Matt and I paid extra to have our instructor take pictures for us – totally worth it for these cool shots!

extended horizons maui

first cathedral dive maui

My favorite moment of this dive was when we found this HUGE school of beautiful fish. Amazing! That’s me behind them. :)

diving lanai wash rock

This eel was also super cool!

eel dive maui

For our second dive, we went to a spot called First Cathedral – I was really excited because I’d read about this online. It’s a sort of open cave where the openings give the impression of stained glass. People have even gotten married down here – wow! It was stunning.

first cathedral dive

first cathedral dive lanai

Such a great morning! We hit up Choice Health Bar in Lahaina, a hippie vegan spot, for lunch after the dive adventure. I got their buddha bowl which was quinoa topped with a bit of soup (white bean) and kale salad. Really good combo! Matt and I shared a kombucha and a couple raw dessert bites too. Loved this place!

choice health bar lahaina

We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing at the pool. :)

I’ll be back tomorrow to share our Wednesday and Thursday adventures – stay tuned! Also: we’re spontaneously doing some racing this weekend! I discovered a race series happening this coming weekend near our hotel – the Maui Marathon – and Matt and I signed up for the 10k on Saturday morning just for fun. I also decided a little later to sign myself up for the half marathon on Sunday morning (it starts at 5 a.m. so I’ll have plenty of time to do it before my nutrition talk at 11:30 that day) – we haven’t really been getting in any running while here yet so I figure this is a good excuse to get in a longer run for Marine Corps Marathon training while here! Expensive training run but way more fun than trying to figure out a long run on my own. Should be a good time! :)

maui marathon

Have you ever been to Hawaii? Which island? Favorite thing you did?

Comments

  1. 1

    My husband and I vacationed there earlier this year–we actually did the Maui Oceanfront 10K :) My favorite island, though, is the Big Island-Volcanoes NP and all of the other NPS sites were my favorite places to visit and of course being a triathlete spending time in Kona you just felt the amazing energy (I equate it to the first time I went to Boston and saw the infamous marathon finish line). Enjoy the rest of your vacation and good luck on Saturday!

  2. 3

    Amazing!!! Miss diving with you guys in Malta! This looks spectacular!
    Random coincidence, my brother Adam just landed in Hawaii yesterday but I have no details, keep a lookout for a Severi! ;)

    • 4

      The diving made me miss our Malta adventures and you so much! Wish you were here – that’s too funny Adam is in Hawaii, I’ll keep an eye out ha!

  3. 5

    I loved watching the sunrise at Haleakalā! My husband and I went up the mountain both times we went to Maui, so cool when the woman sings the sunrise song! Will have to look into biking down next time! :)

  4. 7

    Totally worth a 1am wakeup call to see a sunrise in Hawaii!! That scuba diving is amazing, and so cool that you’ll have pictures of you guys now. Great memories!

  5. 8

    I LOVE Maui — I was there a couple of years ago and it was my favorite island. Like, to the point that I wanted to move there. We’re going back in November/December, so I can’t wait to see what else you guys do on your trip! Totally agree on Haleakala — we didn’t actually go for sunrise but we did the biking down and it was gorgeous. Slightly scary for me, but I’m pretty easy to scare.

    Not sure if you’ll have time for the Road to Hana, but that was a really memorable adventure for us (even though there was no swimming allowed at the end due to weather — boo!). One of my favorite foodie memories from Maui was stopping and picking up fresh pineapple from a roadside stand — it was the best pineapple I’ve ever had in my life. We ate some on a nearby beach watching surfers and paddleboarders, and then I had the leftovers the next day for breakfast by the pool.

  6. 10

    Used to live in Lahaina. Love all your pics. Miss the islands soooo much. ENJOY!

  7. 11

    I was in Maui exactly a year ago and also happened to stay in the Ritz-Carlton. And I did wake up at 2:30am to drive to see the sunrise over Haleakalā… Only I did not get a chance to see anything due to rain and clouds, the weather was absolutely dreadful with zero visibility. Bad luck. I’m jealous of your pictures, will have to go back!

  8. 13

    never been but boy do I want to go. Loved all your scuba pics. That eel!

  9. 14

    OMG that is so awesome! I will gladly go to Hawaii to speak at a conference, what a great opportunity! I have not yet been to Hawaii but it’s definitely on my list!

  10. 15

    Actually going there in January, to Kauai and Oahu. Love your pictures!

  11. 16

    Eat all the pulled pork and poke that you can!!

  12. 17

    Sounds like you’re having fun so far! I’ve been to Oahu, Maui and Kauai. Maui is definitely my favorite. I’ve done that bike ride down the crater too, it’s so fun. We stopped at a restaurant about halfway down and had the best macadamia nut pancakes ever!!

    Favorite thing I did was probably jet skiing. And parasailing. Both were a blast!

    • 18

      LOVE jet skiing and parasailing! And glad Maui is your fave – would love to see the other islands someday but for now Maui is pretty awesome! :)

  13. 19

    Wow–you guys are traveling machines these past few months! Such beautiful photos–Hawaii is my #1 of places I want to go–I hope I can get there! <3 Enjoy!!

  14. 20

    So glad that you decided to participate in the races this weekend. I hope you have a great time–my daughter’s high school volunteers at one of the rest stations along the marathon route! I’ll make sure she looks for you! :)

    • 21

      Fun! Please tell her to say hi if she sees me – I didn’t bring my hydration pack with me because I wasn’t planning on a long run, so I’ll be stopping at the water stops for once! :)

  15. 22

    Ahh I was in Maui earlier this year and it was one of my favorite vacations of all time. We stayed at the Grand Wailea and did the sunrise and it was incredible. Enjoy your trip!

  16. 23

    This holiday sounds amazing! Those views were definitely worth the awful wake up time!
    It’s so interesting that you are both certified divers – what a great skill to have when you are travelling! You get to see so many unique places!
    Signing up for the races is a great idea for getting in your long run! You get the benefit of the awesome crowd attitude and a medal at the end ;) and sometimes at the end of a long run that’s just what you need! I hope you have a great time racing! And enjoy the rest of your Hawaiian adventures :)

    • 24

      So true – definitely wouldn’t be doing 13.1 without those crowds (and the pre-determined route so I don’t have to figure it out myself – and the water and fuel on the course)! :)

  17. 25

    Clearly another place to add to the travel bucket list! Awesome pics and activities, thanks!

  18. 26

    Ahh! The diving photos are awesome! Hope you put your Malta skills to work! Wish I could have been there, looks amazing!! :D

  19. 28

    first off, the food you’re eating looks sooo good (& so much better than what i was able to find! hah. i guess things change :) ) but that sunrise trip sounds amazing. if i ever go back i’ll have to try that!!

Trackbacks

  1. […] guys! I’m back for another installment of our Maui, Hawaii adventures. See my first post (Hiking Maui, a Volcano Sunrise + Bike Ride and Scuba Diving Lanai) for more details on why Matt and I are here and what we were up to for the first few days of the […]

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