Feeling adventurous and more sure of my mountain driving skills, the kids and I headed out attempting to find the Olivine Pools – yes, the ones we were looking for when we ended up driving around the “top” of Maui on the one lane road. Fortunately, we’ve had so much more practice looking for mile markers since this is largely the way directions are given here, that we were pretty sure we were in good shape.
We found the turn off easily enough – the dirt road turn off right between mm 42 and mm 16 (isn’t cool how it changes #s when the maintenance moves from county to state…not confusing at all). And then….we couldn’t figure out where the pools were. OK, I know you’re thinking – by the ocean! Ahhh….but where by the ocean? The drops are steep and not so easy to see down without thinking you’re going to plummet down like some ancient Hawaiian god sacrifice…and the coastline tends to start looking the same.
What to do? What to do? Follow others of course! We got far enough down to be able to see others down near the ocean so we headed that way…
And made it…then we had to climb back up. We didn’t slip – although we did lose sight of Max for a bit because he scrambles up the hills like his feet are on fire…classic Max. No fear (although in this case there wasn’t a reason for him to be taking it slow).
We hopped back in the car – after buying a pineapple from a guy who had set up a table on the dirt turnout to sell water, pineapple, mango, lilikoi (passion fruit) and pineapple/mango jam. Seriously – he blocked our car in and had to move his truck so we could leave. I drove between scrub trees and the table to get through…always an adventure! After that, our BBQ rib lunch from Mama’s Ribs was just plain awesome..who would have thought that a carry-out place in a strip mall would have such good smoked meat?
On Wednesday afternoon, me and the kids decided a new hiking adventure was in store. We got a late start, so no driving 1 1/2 hours to their first choice which included some cool rope bridges. We stayed closer to home going in search of petroglyphs and possible a smoothie (it’s the same thing in Hawaii as it is in KC).
We will all say it was stinkin’ HOT (note: Lahaina hikes should be done earlier rather than later). Lahaina hikes seem to pretty much be in the sun – relief comes from any section that might get close to the ocean. Of course, we were on the mauka (mountain) side, though, so no such luck. We celebrated breezes and clouds covering the sun…I know you feel sorry for us!
The petroglyphs were not what I expected – despite having a picture of them. I thought they’d be bigger – way bigger. Maybe up close they would have been. We found them back accident as I sat down to read the guidebook (again) while Max relieved himself. Honestly, if we hadn’t been trying to find a place for him to go, I don’t think I would have sat down and looked up long enough to see the things. A couple of pics later, we decided to try a shot at another trail. We ended up going to the top of Kilea cinder which at some point in the wayback past only had about 15 feet of its top showing above the water. That’s something considering the expanse of land between us and the water when we reached the top.
The view from “up top” made the whole thing worthwhile although the kids might argue it was the smoothies sold at the roadside stand that was our landmark for where to start the hike.
We went back to the beach we visited on the 4th to check out the surf more closely. Waves were decent (although a little impeded by a surfing class that) – but the best ones were a bit close to the breakwall. Mike says that the riding would have been better with a longboard. Sorry to say it wasn’t really possible to get pics of him…the zoom on the camera isn’t that good!
Still – it was a great afternoon in the sun (as long as we all kept our shoes on – or toes in the water…that sand is lava hot). We topped it off with some food and drink at Moose’s (happy hour
+ taco specials)…this is pretty close to the definition of “aloha spirit”!
Jen has been doing an awesome job of updating the blog but I had to weigh in with a couple of additional pictures. It’s not everyday that you get to spend the 4th of July looking out over the Hawaiian sunset watching the fireworks. Was very, very cool!
As near as we could tell (and find from scouring the web, the local paper and the locals in general – I asked the grocery story clerk), the only fireworks display on this side of the island was in Lahaina. That’s not a bad thing…it sure helps cut down on having to make a decision! (BTW…there are NO fireworks stands or tents that we have seen. No real backyard fireworks in our neighborhood – Ka’anapali – either…not sure why unless it’s the law or something).
First, we discovered a whole new beach by catching up with some locals we met on our original flight over – and the kids tried to figure out if they could get to Australia through the sand.
When that didn’t work, they just folded themselves in. Guess they were trying to see if they could grow roots that would reach that far…
Eventually, it was time for a beachside hot dog and some snacks from Whaler’s General Store (snacks, souvenirs…lots and lots of macadamia nuts…do we eat well or what?!). And, finally at exactly 8 p.m. Fireworks launched from a barge in the middle of the harbor….can you hear the ooo’s and ah’s?
Happy 4th of July!
P.S. – Yes, 8 p.m….sunset is about 7:15 p.m. here. It seemed weird to us at first too since summer in the Midwest means it’s light until 9 at least. On the other hand, I don’t think the sun sets at 4:30 p.m. in January either.
July 2nd is Mike’s birthday – he came back to Maui from Vegas ready to celebrate. Ok, he really came back ready to take a nap. After a great week at Cisco Live and a 4 a.m. wake-up call to catch a plane, who can blame him?
A little dip in the pool (and not even any Starbucks!) helped fix that. After we found the keys to the car (which were in the plastic bag with the ears of corn in the fridge…don’t ask), we were off to one of his favorite haunts here in Maui: Moose McGillycuddy’s. Suprisingly good fish tacos plus a couple of drinks (Mai Tai, Hawaiian Punch) to round out the celebration. Happy Birthday, Mike!
Lest you all think that we spend all our days driving the island to seek out new adventures to post here for your entertainment, we wanted to let you know that sometimes we trip (and sometimes literally) to the pool that is about 25 feet from our front door. The adults generally relax – the kids not so much. They find lots of ways to entertain themselves – this being just one example.
Yes, you heard her right…that’s kid level entertainment!
On Wednesday, the Gs (my mom and Grandma) ended their Hawaiian adventure and headed back to KC. Never ones to miss an excuse to eat at our favorite P’aia hangout, me and the kids took advantage of the airport trip and introduced the Gs to Flatbread Pizza Company. The pizza is flat out awesome (no pun intended…ok, maybe a little one), the lemonade is fresh-squeezed and it’s got a little bit of a hippy vibe.
The last big adventure with the Gs was visiting Maui Ocean Center (the aquarium). We opted to get a behind-the-scenes tour along with the regular DIY stroll. It was totally worth the $10 extra per person. We got to hold jellyfish (Max overcame his man o’ war psychological scars and joined in), high-five one-year-old sea turtles and feed hammerheads.
Yeah, it was cool.
The best part of the self-guided tour was definitely the shark tank and the walk-through tunnel. Tiger sharks, sting rays and puffer fish…all in one HUGE tank. We got to see the scuba divers get in that tank and feed the fish and rays…then they got out and fed the sharks.
If you are at least 15 years old, scuba certified and can get yourself over here, you too can swim with the sharks! Anyone, anyone?