On Monday we got up at 1:30am HST to get to Paia town. This is where our excursion of riding a bike down Hakeakala started. On our way we saw sugar cane fields being burned as part of the harvest. There is interesting history in how Hawaiians found out that burning helped to harvest the sugar cane and controversy regarding the emissions from the fires into the environment. We took the tour with Maui Sunriders to watch the sunrise at 10,000 ft. It was freezing cold at the top, thankfully we knew this was going to be the case and planned accordingly. Other cruise boat travelers were not as well informed and tried to stay warm under a beach towel in their shorts/flip flops. After watching the sunrise which was unfortunately cloudy that day, we rode our bikes down the volcano. We stopped for breakfast Kula Lodge, my water bottle backpack started leaking down my pants, so it was a nice break to sit by the fire to dry off/warm up!
On our way down the volcano, we could smell lavender and eucalyptus fields. This area of Maui is called “Upcountry.” Next time we visit, I definitely want to explore upcountry more! If you are near “Upcountry” and willing to splurge on a pastry, you must go to Komoda Bakery in Makawao (Cowboy Town). Apparently you must go early or they sell out! We had a pastry filled with guava and a couple others we saved for the beach later.
There was a small old church we stopped at a local church to take pictures and almost crashed a wedding. Who knew someone was getting married on a Monday in the middle of “Upcountry!” We turned our bikes in around 10:30am and went to a beach near the airport in Kahului where windsurfing is popular. We could have kept the bikes longer, but they were only one gear so you really couldn’t get around very easily. We crashed and slept by the pool back in Kahana for several hours afterward and made dinner in our kitchenette.
The next day we stuck close by and enjoyed lunch at Aloha Mixed Plate in Lahaina. Dustin had fresh Mahi Mahi and Melody had a Kula pig sandwich. We then spent the afternoon at Kahana beach and resort pool.
On Wednesday we explored a bit more of West Maui north of Kahana. The locals raved about a breakfast place called Gazebos and rightfully so. Again another splurge meal, but at least we were going to hike afterwards right?! We split white chocolate macadamia nut pancakes and a breakfast wrap. The pancakes were amazing with a homemade whip cream topping. The portions were huge. They also served a traditional Hawaiian fried rice that other tables had ordered that was in a very very large bowl! Afterward we took a van ride to from the Kapalua Visitor’s Center to trails on their property. We hiked for about 3 miles, then came back down in the shuttle and hiked the coastal trail. It was beautiful. We relaxed at the beach across the street and the pool then got ready for the Luau at the Sheraton Hotel.
Our last day in Maui we again relaxed and stuck close by. We had dinner at the dinner at Sands of Kahana Restaurant, we split the Surf N’ Turf. Our waiter was a little crazy but he sent us home with an extra loaf of fresh bread. It came in very handy for breakfast on the plane the next morning. We packed up and watched the sunset from Lahaina. We had one last trip to Island Fro Yo before heading to the airport for our red eye back to Cincinnati. Friday was our good friends Josh and Sarah’s wedding and Dustin was an usher. Thankfully we had no travel delays and we were able to enjoy a beautiful day with them. That’s it for Hawaii.. we can’t wait to return..maybe 2016 or 2017? Who knows! Who wants to join us?