A few weeks ago, my cousin Krista and her husband Don came to visit. We went on many hikes, ate a ton of food and caught a sunrise. Highlights below!
For our third day on Maui, Josh and I woke up at 2:15 a.m. to catch the sunrise at Haleakalā National Park. We viewed the sunrise at 10,023 feet above sea-level at the summit of Haleakalā well above the clouds. It was absolutely FREEZING at the top, but so worth it for the amazing view we received. The pictures below are in the order they were taken. The amazing thing is the clouds kept moving, so it constantly changed how much of the sun we saw. By the time the sun was in the sky, too many clouds had moved in to see it. It was a surreal view.
After the sunrise, we took a nap in the car at the visitor center. Our next activity was a horseback ride to the Haleakalā crater floor, but we had a few hours. We met the guide at the visitor center at the summit around 9:15 a.m. He handed out some rain suits for us to wear. He only had sizes L and XL, so needless to say I looked absolutely ridiculous. Our group had eight people in it and Josh and I somehow ended up on the two horses that liked to hang out in the back. At times, it was like we were on our own tour by ourselves…it was pretty comical. After awhile, it was just Josh by himself wayyyyy in the back as I had caught up to the person in front of me. Our view going down to the crater floor was incredible. Pictures cannot do the views justice. We rode down and had lunch on the crater floor and looked around a bit. Then we headed back up to the top. On the way up, the clouds started to come in and it got pretty chilly and misted a bit. By the time we got to the top, I was ready to be in a warm car again! The horseback ride was definitely worth it. Josh and I both decided that hiking it would have been too boring.
After our amazing day at Haleakalā, we went back to the hotel and showered and changed and headed to Mama’s Fish House. We were both really excited about dinner as this restaurant was supposed to be one of the best on Maui. We were absolutely blown away. I think it is the best meal I have ever had in my life. The atmosphere was so unique, the service was great and the food was amazing. We had so much fun and it was a great way to end a tiring day!
Merry Christmas Eve! Josh and I got up at 5:15 am to go watch the sunrise over Lanikai. We were joined by about 50 of our best friends as we apparently weren’t the only ones to think of this fantastic idea. It only takes about 15 minutes to get to the first pillbox (left over from WWII), but it was definitely a cardio workout, as the first five minutes were up a pretty steep hill (and we navigated this in the dark). After that, the trail leveled out for the most part so we made it up in pretty good time. Once at the top, we sat and enjoyed the coffee (me) and tea (Josh) we brought and took a million pictures waiting for the sunrise. It was gorgeous and a great way to kick off the day. After that, we went and had breakfast at Koa Pancake House to kill some time. I had Hawaiian sweet bread french toast with coconut syrup and Josh had an omelet…both were pretty good..mine was better :). Then we took cookies to the barracks on base for the Marines who didn’t go home for Christmas and finally ended our morning around 9:30 am with a stop a the Nu’uanu Pali Lookout on the way home.
Sunrise Slideshow (captures about a half hour before and a few minutes after sunrise)
Waiting on the sunrise and the hike back down.