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! 🙂
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
Apparently the guide has been taking these hilariously awkward photos of couples for years – lol! Loved it!
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!
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.)
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. 🙂
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.
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.
It was a rainy morning but luckily cleared up once we were on the boat!
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!
My favorite moment of this dive was when we found this HUGE school of beautiful fish. Amazing! That’s me behind them. 🙂
This eel was also super cool!
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.
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!
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! 🙂
Have you ever been to Hawaii? Which island? Favorite thing you did?