Weekend in Maui. A trip for Erin

We just got back from Maui on Sunday night. Me, Sam, Bella, Erin, and Angel went to go spend a special weekend together. Erin is moving to Germany in a few days, so Sam and Angel planned a secret getaway for her, something to enjoy before she gets tossed into Zero Degree weather. All though the mini vacation was mainly 'for the girls', I had a lot of fun hanging out with Sam's friends too. Tip, another way to ensure you have an amazing marriage is to make sure you both get along with each others best friends. Lucky for us, I love Sam's friends, and Sam puts up with my favorite idiots. :)
Anyway, we flew up to Maui on the early flight on friday morning. We wanted to see as much as we could in less than 100 hours. We ended up doing everything we wanted to, we went to the aquarium, we went whale watching, we shopped, went to a fancy dinner, we went up to Haleakala, drove to Hana, ate guri guri, and got some Krispy Kreme donuts.
I kept telling myself.. "don't take too many pictures, you are gonna have a hard time uploading all of this and blogging...", but I couldnt help shooting a lot of pictures. Maui is a beautiful place, and I felt I needed to show you guys every little detail. So here,

Bella finally got to use her suitcase she got for Christmas. She seems so grown up now, she's already been across the United states, and to three different Islands. Lucky girl.
So here we are, "casa de Ruth." My mom's house is pretty funny. It's a mix between a nice contemporary house and an old beach house that's not on the beach. Hard to explain, you'd have to be there to understand.
My mom's house is full of dogs. 7 dogs, including these new puppy's. Bella said her favorite part of the trip was playing with these dogs. I don't blame her, they were lovable and probably delicious.

My mom is trying to rent out the upstairs portion of the back house. This is it. Anyone interested?? $1400 all inclusive. Pimpin 2 bedroom, 1 bath, all new stuff.
My mom's house had so many hidden treasures around. Stored away in an extra room, I found my grandmothers old Singer sewing machine. I remember playing with this thing when I was a kid. It still works, it has a manual foot peddle... its super vintage. I took a picture
backyard security forces. Maui loves spiders.
Quality time with bella and her mom.
The first thing we did on friday (after taking a nap after the early flight) was to go check out the Maui Ocean Center by Ma'alaea boat harbor. It's a pretty cool aquarium, but kind of expensive even for kama'aina. A good way to spend 90 minutes with Bella though. Also some pretty good photo opportunities inside.

there was nice vintage Jeep outside. I took a picture
I guess I already know what Bella is going to look like when she gets older... just like sam.
Friday night. Maui has a "First Friday" party too! It's in Wailuku town, about 3 miles from mom's house. We checked it out to see how it compared to Oahu's first friday. This one was pretty cool, a lot more outdoor stuff compared to our chinatown event, not many Bars or clubs or anything. A lot more hippies too (as you would expect from Maui.)

i'm on t.v.
musics under the banyan tree

old theater on Main st.
more musics

The next morning we somehow managed to wake up before the sunrise to go see some whales. I booked ourselves on the sunrise whale watching tour (saved like $5 going that early!). This was the first time for any of us going whale watching, and we didnt really know what to expect. We took one of the tours that left from Ma'alaea harbor.
Bella was totally into it (once she had her morning cup of coffee)
the boat departed at 6:30 am.
Sunrise was about 6:50 am.
First sighting. I wasnt sure how close we were gonna get, or how close the whales were gonna get to us.
One thing I do recommend though, if you ever go whale watching, do take the sunrise tour!! The water was so calm, the views were amazing, even if you didnt see that many whales, you got to see the sun come up over Haleakala. Pretty cool.
Most people were crowded on top of the boat trying to get the best views, but I think the better views were from the bottom level. you got to be on the same level as the whales... perfect for harpooning.
I was hoping to get a shot like this, so already I was happy.
More amazing views. Thats Molokini in the middle (the banana island)
We followed a momma whale and her calf for a while, very beautiful to watch.

2 blowholes out in the distance

"Hi there!"

I thought this was a funny picture. I wish it was me in the picture.

Sunrise was so nice.
At one point we were following about 4 whales. 3 dudes trying to get it on with one female, she had a "nice tail".
showing off for the lady

I was so amazed how close the whales got to the boat. It's super amazing seeing how big these guys are up close.
this guy scared me actually. I was looking off into the distance, and his giant head shot out of the water about 10 yards in front of me... "whoa!!!"
you can see his closed eye and everything by his mouth. I wanted to ride him so bad.

more showing off

Girls on the front of the boat.
Bella on lookout.

The Hook's
headed back into the harbor. total time on the water about 90 minutes, totally worth the $19

After whale watching, we went over to Kaahumanu shopping center and looked for some cold weather clothes for Haleakala the next morning.
I took a lot of pictures of bella in this shirt. I love this shirt.

After waking up at 5:00 am, after a big breakfast, after the mall, we thought it would be a good idea to drive 3 hours to Hana. "Let's do this"

Stopped between mile marker 16 & 17, to take a small walk into some bamboo.
I bought Bella a camera so she could document everything too. She loved it.

Steven the Bat (my version of a traveling gnome) came along.

Trek on, continue on
We pulled off of the road, and drove down a dirt road to get to this hideaway bay. Took some pictures.

Erin modeling for Angel

Drove some more. Pulled over again. Looked at this, took a picture
drove some more, pulled over to look at this waterfall, took a picture.
Steven the Bat took a shot.
Finally got to the Black Sand beach 3 hours later.

Ants on a log.
Time to head back to mom's house. 3 hour drive back. Everyone take a nap, John drive.
Got back to Wailuku in time to see the sun go down behind the West Maui mountains.

It was time to have some adult time. Grandma Ruth volunteered to have a 'girls night' with Bella, watching dvd's and eating grilled cheese. Me and the other girls went to the Four Seasons resort and had an expensive dinner at Spago's.
Pretty expensive. $88 for the Kobe, $71 for the New york. We ended up spending over $300 between the four of us.

the only thing weird was this photo of a giant Coral Vagina right above our table. nice touch.

Alrighty. Sunday morning, our last day on Maui. Again somehow we managed to wake up super early (like at 3:30 am.) and take a 90 minute drive up a mountain. We wanted to make sure we got up there early so we could see the stars. See the stars, we did! It was so amazing, I took a crud load of pictures. It was freezing (i'd say between 30-40 degrees when we first got up there.) The girls waited in the van before sunrise while I took some pictures of the sky.

Haleakala is probably one of my most favorite places on earth (that i've physically been to). It's super accessible, and as beautiful as anything. Here's some pics (no photoshop, no color shifts, this is what it looks like, you just have to show up and take a picture)

The moon and the Crater. The red coloring on the rocks is from car headlights in the parking lot.
Standing by the railing, right in front of the crater. About 30 minutes before sunrise, you can start seeing color on the horizon.
My fingers were freezing. My lips fell off. I think my fisheye lens started to get frost bite.

Panoramic view. On the far left, you can see the Makena/ Kihei town lights still on (10,000 feet below). on the far right, the sun gets closer to rising.
Even the parking lot gives some nice photo opps. Sam, Erin, and Angel waiting in the Mazda van.

clouds drifting over the crater
Sam, Erin, and Angel against the railing finally brave enough to enjoy the view.
about 6:45 am

it's cold, believe me.

sunrise in your eyes
the light fills the crater

Steven the Bat. Loves the lighting
Michael Jackson tribute at 10,000 feet.

Bone thugs-n-Harmony

Silversword, only at Haleakala
That UFO in the distance above the clouds, it's the Big Island.
"Mr. White" revisited on the way down from Haleakala

When we finally got home, Bella was babysitting the puppy's with grandma.
These little guys were so awesome.

nap time
'Jingles' posing for a picture on my moms old couch.

Two last stops on Maui before heading to the airport. First, get some Guri-Guri from the old Maui Mall.

last stop, grab some Krispy Kreme's to bring home to Oahu.
airport again.
My little frequent flyer. One day we will travel the world. (soon)
going home.

home .

Erin, hope you had some good Hawaii fun to last you a while.