Our wonderful mothers took turns watching our children here at home, so they could continue to go to school. We could never adequately express our appreciation. We love you both! What follows now are way too many pics of our trip that only we will care about. Pictures cannot capture the beauty we experienced.
Luckily we did a good job packing. We only forgot to bring one thing on our trip....our camera!!!! We had to rely on our cellphones, so most of our pics are selfies.
My sweet husband tries so hard to be a non-traditionalist. He proposed to me the day AFTER Valentine's Day. (You can read about that, here). We went on a special trip to visit Chad's parents in Switzerland on our 12th and a half year anniversary, not our 10th or 15th. So when the hotel asked Chad if our trip was for a special occasion, he told them yes, it was our 17th and a half year anniversary. So this was waiting for us in our room.
I have never stayed in a Ritz Carlton hotel, but imagine it will be hard to want to stay anywhere else again. We were so spoiled. This is the view from our room the night we arrived.
This is from the lobby of our hotel.
Since we were on east coast time, we got up early the first morning to watch the sunrise on the beach on the property.
We drove up the coast a little ways and explored Kapalua Bay that day. We walked along the beach and also rented some snorkeling gear.
That night we headed to an amazing sunset luau.
The next morning we decided to drive the road to Hana. Chad drove the entire thing. It was scary and breathtaking all at the same time. I am so glad we went. But not sure we would do it again!
We came across this lovely rainbow eucalyptus forest.
We stopped on the road to Hanna at this nature trail. It was a short, but beautiful hike.
The views from the window of our car were amazing.
In this picture, you can see the curvy road to Hana in the hills behind us.
We also stopped at the Waianapanapa State Park, a Black Sand Beach.
We even found a little cave we could hide in for a moment.
Eventually we made it to Hana! It is a tiny little town.
On our way back, we stopped at a stand that claimed to have Maui's best banana bread. We headed out and luckily made it home before dark.
The next day was Sunday. We watched General Conference from our hotel room and took a walk together on the beautiful Dragon Tooth cliffs next to our hotel. There was even a Labyrinth on the cliffs.
We ended the evening by watching the sunset service at our hotel.
Monday morning we headed out for a day of snorkeling on the Maui Magic. We swam with turtles and tropical fish, saw dozens of dolphins, and ate delicious Maui Wow-ee burgers.
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped in a little ice cream shop and ate Banana Pudding Macadamia Nut Ice Cream. It was the best ice cream I have ever eaten. We returned to the hotel and got dressed for a free sunset photo shoot on the beach. When the picture gets mailed to us, I will share it here.
We looked on yelp to find a great 5 star place to eat and ended up here, at Ono Tacos. It consists of a grill on a porch. I ordered fish tacos and Chad got shrimp ones and we brought them back to the hotel. They were amazing!
On Tuesday, jet lag hit hard. We stayed around the hotel and went swimming and rested all morning.
That afternoon, we headed up to Haleakala National Park to see the sunset. I don't think I had ever really understood the term breathtaking until that night. I wish there were words to describe the experience of watching the the sun set 10,000 feet in the air, above the cloud-filled crater, and the moon rise on the other side.
When we got back down the mountain, we headed to Front Street in Lahaina for dinner. We ate at another delicious street stand. We ate fish and fresh fruit every chance we could there.
Our last night in Hawaii there was also a lunar eclipse at midnight. We watched it from lounge chairs by the pool in our pajamas. While we watched, we both saw falling stars. And as an epic ending to our trip, a great Hawaiian White Owl flew directly over our heads. The owl is very sacred and lucky in Hawaiian culture.
We woke up early on Wednesday morning and headed to the beach at our hotel until check out time.
We grabbed an early dinner by the ocean on the way to the airport, and flew home to our dearest children.