Awesome trip...Everything went just right.
Flight in was uneventful, got some great aerial shots from the plane around the islands.
Got the car we wanted and I picked up my lovely wife in it just as she walked out from getting our checked bag, off to Costco and to see an old friend who lives nearby. Thanks again J bruddah!
Made it to the Sheraton around 3:30, they were all awesome, extreme aloha. They liked the flowers I had sent in advance of our arrival and we loved our room, the view was PERFECT. Hastily unpacked and off to the beach side bar for a quick drink. We felt that the grounds were impeccable, open and felt very Hawaiian.
A wide open jaw dropping walk along the beach to Whalers Village. Could it be this nice? We pinched ourselves, it was.
Toes in the sand at the Hula Grill. Mai Tais and a great light meal. Fish was great. Music was great, watched the sun go down. Several drinks and then some light shopping in Whalers and picked up our snorkel equipment from Maui Dive Shop. Much aloha from them too.
Like little kids we almost skipped back to the room.
Up at 2:30 and off to Haleakala. There is a cute little coffee, muffins and fruit stand now on the way up, nice guy said he just opened a few weeks ago. Almost mainland prices too! Was one of the first cars there. Used the bathrooms at the upper visitor center and went up to the summit and got a good spot, which way is East? We were very warm with our thermal undies, fleece and windbreakers and skull caps. I have a tripod 30 minute video of the sunrise. I love sunrises, sunsets and stars ( which were also awesome) and living in the desert of Arizona I see many, many great rises and sets. This was different. I loved it. At one point, and this sounds funny, as the actual sun was coming up I felt it move through me. I was overcome for a moment and haven't shared that until now. It brought tears to my eyes.
Walked around the summit and saw some Nene birds. Looked at the views all around and took our time back down, stopping at the Kula Lodge for breakfast, I know my wife well and Kula is her kind of place. We had a great breakfast with a splendid view and then shopped a bit in the Kula Marketplace.
Back to the Sheraton and took a long nap. Then I went snorkeling and she laid by the pool. Had my first awesome encounter with several very large turtles, got some great underwater video. Snorkled out past the point. It was smooth and the current felt fine, it was leisure snorkeling there. Fish were amazing.
Showered and shiny for the luau, left on the 4:10 shuttle to Lahaina but we stopped by Cheeseburger in Paradise first. My old license plate now hangs on the wall in the back looking out the window at the ocean, SWANKY T.
Cab to Cannery Mall and then Old Lahiana Luau. They do service right there. Welcome, have a mai tai. We had good company and the show and dinner were just right. Stupidly we went back to Front street and the tired set in just as we got there. Shuttle back to Sheraton and to our nice room with the sound of a twin fountain just outside the room, and visions of a day lounging along Ka'anapali in our heads we drifted off to blissful sleep thinking of the whirlwind day, sea turtles and the great Hawaiian story we had just heard.
more tomorrow...Edited: 11 September 2010, 01:22