I am back from Hawaii, exhausted but relaxed from a week of chilling out in the sun and drinking a lot of coffee. This vacation was much needed after the holidays which were crazy! Of course I adore all the Christmas parties and family gatherings but they are certainly tiring. Heading out to Maui to visit Peter’s father was the perfect opportunity to relax before wedding craziness sets in (WE GET MARRIED IN 14 WEEKS SAY WHAT).
This is how I spent most mornings: sitting on the lanai at the Ka’anapali Coffee Farm house, drinking delicious homemade lattes, and watching whales in the distance while reading and answering emails. Maui is a truly beautiful location with amazing weather despite the occasionally frustrating traffic. Upcountry is sunny and dry with chilly winds, the perfect contrast to the warmer beach areas on the water. You get the best of both worlds and this paradise is still in the USA! Wow! I love America ;-).
We explored Maui quite a bit, marveling at the jagged volcanic coastline and gigantic waves crashing to shore. We also kept an eye out for turtles and sharks among the surfers. Thankfully we only saw several turtles :-).
We also walked through the lush jungle below some enormous trees to check out a few snorkel spots. I love these trees!
For Christmas, I got Peter a kiteboarding lesson at one of the windiest harbors in Maui! He was pretty stoked. I had no interest in being dragged around by the wind, so I sunbathed on the beach for like 4 hours, unknowingly roasting in the harsh sun. Peter finished the day as a badass kiteboarder while I ended up as red as a lobster. It was a win-win.
We spent the rest of our days drinking more coffee, doing some work and cuddling with cats. It’s a rough life. I didn’t take too many photos (all of these are iPhone photos whoops) because I was too busy RELAXING and enjoying the moment. Believe me, it is a hard thing to do, but after a few days I finally got the hang of it.
One day we drove upcountry to have dinner at a lodge overlooking all of Maui. It was beautiful but cold! It was also a hazy day so you couldn’t see much except the opposing mountain peeking above the clouds. Then we drove down to funky beach town Paia for delicious Nutella crepes. It made me miss France…
And like a couple of crazy people, we went on a snorkeling trip to Molokai and Turtle Bay that left at 6AM. We watched the sunrise as we rode the boat to Molokai and OMG it was freezing. We got in the water at 7:45AM before the sun had even risen behind the island and the water was ridiculously chilly. We kicked around like crazy to get warm before settling in to check out the volcanic coral. After 35 minutes, I was DONE. I was cold, hungry and nauseous so we sat back on deck to feel the sun FINALLY break across our faces. We also met a few Chinese people, including a girl who is moving to Shanghai! Yay China friends.
The next snorkeling location is known as Turtle Bay because.. you guessed it… turtles!! We swam with at least 3 different turtles which was AMAZING! We then had lunch (at 10:30AM lol) while sitting on the sunny deck (thank god).
On the ride back to port we came across a pod of dueling humpback whales!! Two males were fighting underwater for the female’s attention while she lazily flapped her fin above water. It was incredible to watch. The snorkel trip was worth it just for the whales. I am so glad we got to see them up close!
On our last day we went back to beach for a final nap in the sun and romp in the rocky waves. The waves in Hawaii are massive so swimming is a little tricky…
We had a lovely time in Hawaii with Peter’s family, eating a lot of poke (aka raw tuna), sunbathing and walking around the coffee farm and coastline. It was a perfect break before we split our time between Florida and Shanghai like the nomads we are. Now it’s going to be a race to April as I balance wedding planning, a couple trips to and from China, the bachelorette party, wedding showers AND event planning for a charity auction and golf tournament.
But 2015 is going to be great and I am thankful for all our blessings in 2014. Hopefully I can put together a year-in-review post but god knows what that is going to happen.
And a big THANK YOU to all of you who read this little blog and enjoy all the travel photography. I am grateful for you and I wish you the all the best in the new year. Cheers!