It was supposed to be a surprise and I wasn't supposed to know about the trip to Maui until we got there, but that didn't work. I found out a few months in advance and I have to say that I was a bit trepid. I knew it was beautiful, but I also knew that the Hawaiian sun would burn my pale skin. In general, I pretty much avoid the outdoors when the sun is out.
After seeing the beauty of Maui and the wonder all around it is a trip that I would gladly do again. There are so many areas of Maui that are more than just the ocean and beaches. The beaches are amazing. The water is clear. There are fish everywhere and all you have to do is swim out a few feet and you will see a sea creature. Even if you stay close to shore you can see an eel and small fish.
Clear waterAmber LeBlanc
As my family and I were driving up Haleakalā to see the sunrise, we were listening to K-Love. They shared that out of the top 10 places to see in the world, Maui and the Grand Canyon were the only two in the United States. In that moment as we drove up to a gorgeous view of not only the mountain but the entire island, I could see why. The sunrise is beautiful there and any time of day it is a view worth seeing.
Sunrise on the mountainAmber LeBlanc
I have a few places yet on my bucket lists, such as Ireland, New York, and Alaska. Even though I am an Arizona native born and raised, me and the sun don't get along very well and I go out of my way to avoid it. Maui has sun and lots of it. It also has clouds. It also has trees along the beach, which you can't find in California.
The most beautiful tree in Maui is probably the Banyan tree on Front St in Lahaina. The tree was planted in 1873 and it seems to have no end and no beginning. One tree branch turns into another tree which is rooted in the ground. It all stems from one large tree in the middle of the square. The vines hanging down from it make it a sight to remember. Pictures do not do it justice.
Banyan Tree, Front St Lahaina Amber LeBlanc
There are so many activities to do in Maui that it can get overwhelming and pricey. The best things to do, don't cost anything. My advice; take a few bathing suits because you practically live in them. Take a pair of good flip flops, get ones with some grip on the bottom, they are good for walking on the rocky beaches. Invest in a good surfer towel. They dry out very quickly, even if you get it sopping wet. Buy your sunscreen in Hawaii. They require a reef-safe sunscreen, which makes me think if it's better for the environment it is probably better for the person.
The most important, when in Hawaii, relax. Island time is a real thing. We got up early and went out to the ocean and would take a break in the hottest part of the day and then would get back to it when it got cooler. It wasn't about how much we could get done. It was about being in Maui. Ocean views from every window, hearing the waves, enjoying the sights and sounds without doing anything. Island life is the way to go.