Guess where I went for my next trip? One of my dream spots to visit – Hawaii! I’ve always dreamed of visiting Hawaii and imagined it as an exotic tropical paradise. To my pleasure, I had the opportunity to travel there in March. It was just as beautiful as I imagined.
Hawaii has many islands and the area I visited was called Kihei which is in the island of Maui. I rented a small cottage through www.airbnb.com, an online site that connects you with local people that rent their homes. It’s a great way to live like a local and really connect with the culture since you’re immersed in the environment. It beats the standard hotel room vibe! The cottage was located in a residential neighborhood on the same property as the main house of the homeowners, but I didn’t have any interaction with the them which suited me fine. It had a full sized kitchen, bathroom, washer/dryer, pull out sofa-bed, etc. In two words, cute and cozy!
The cottage was only a couple blocks away from a nearby beach and the first evening I arrived I was able to witness the most beautiful sunset ever! My visit was perfect timing. I arrived after a rare storm passed through the island which helped cool the temperatures to a comfortable mid 70’s range.
I also rented a car, which I highly recommend, to get around and explore the island.
Things to do:
Haleakalā National Park
Haleakalā National Park is a great place to go to watch the sunrise. It was breathtaking and very beautiful! However, I didn’t realize it was going to be so cold up there! I had on a crop top shirt and a light jacket but luckily I still had blankets left over from the airplane and wrapped them around me to try to stay warm. It’s about 10,000 -11,000 feet elevation so it was amazing to be above the clouds in the open air. I try to work out on a regular basis, but with the air being so thin at that elevation, I was definitely panting when I made it up the hill to be above the clouds. I learned that the park is actually apart of an dormant volcano, that last erupted in the 17th Century. The summit in Haleakalā National Park is one of the most sought-after locations in the world for ground-based telescopes because of the lack of city lights and the stillness of the air. Experts come from all over the world to take part in research at “Science City“, an astrophysical complex operated by the U.S. Department of Defense, University of Hawaii, Smithsonian Institution, Air Force, Federal Aviation Administration, and others. Definitely a must see!
Above the clouds, driving down the mountain. Click here or watch video below:
The Road to Hana, HI
I’m proud to say, I survived the Road to Hana – This is an extremely narrow and curvy road – for about 3 hours! In some parts of the road, there is only one lane right up against the mountain’s edge. However, it has plenty of cool stops along the way like small towns with all types of different shops, art, waterfalls, parks, seven sacred pools, etc. that was really beautiful. I even came across a cow and her calf running in the middle of the road. I’ve never seen a cow run, so it was pretty funny and cool to see.
Hana itself isn’t a big city – it’s actually a small town, but it’s more about the journey then the destination ?
Click here or watch video below:
Seven sacred pools
It’s time to goooooo…Shopping!
Shopping is always a must (at least for the ladies)! I love to try to find cool and unique items from my travels. I shopped at The Shops of Wailea which is in the resort district. It’s an outdoor mall that had some nice shops and restaurants and I was able to pick up a few souvenirs and have a nice lunch.
Fun in the Sun
Of course, coming to Hawaii, you must go to the beach! There are a few different options, I went to one of the popular ones near the resorts called Kaanapali. It was nice, but make sure you choose a good area because the water can be choppy in some areas but it was also cool to see the surfers. The scenery was very beautiful but boy was the sun blazing! I have sensitive skin so I had to make sure I had shade and sun screen lotion.
I used a service called Boss Frogs Dive and Surf to go to a La’au at the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa which was very nice – they had a buffet, drinks, and a pretty good live show. It was outside near the beach which had a beautiful sunset. It was my first time being lei’d, which were with beautiful real flowers. It was cool to see the traditional Hawaiian hula dancing in person as well as cool tricks using fire!
Click here or see video below:
Click here or see below:
That service also allowed us to do Humpback Whale Watching. I chose a smaller pontoon boat which was cool – if you don’t sit in the back! Since it’s a smaller boat you can get wet. I sat in the back because I wanted some shade after being sunburnt, but did get sprayed with water. It was about a 1.5 hour trip out on the water and I even saw some whales which was cool!
Click here or watch video below:
What’s the Catch?
With a fun trip, there always seem to be one thing that is a downfall. With all that fun in the sun, my sensitive skin couldn’t seem to handle it. I am also allergic to citrus fruits and being in Hawaii isn’t the place for this! With a combination of sunburn and an allergic reaction from the citrus, the journey back home from Maui was torture! I broke out in a combination of a heat rash, swelling, and itchy skin. My face, hands, and legs were swollen! Of course on the flight home I wore jeans so I wouldn’t be cold, but when I landed I realized that it irritated my already sunburnt skin. I had huge red blotches all over my calves and it was painful to even walk. I had to go to urgent care and got a shot, pills, and an ointment to heal and get back to normal. Smh, I love the beach, but the beach fun in the sun doesn’t love me.
Until my next adventure!