Last night, I headed out solo to the Haleiwa Jodo Mission. Why? To watch and photograph their lantern floating ceremony. I got there early thanks to advice from the internet, and kinda just wandered around for awhile. I’d settled under a palm tree and had just finished up a FaceTime chat with my love when I heard people talking about turtles on the beach. So, of course, I went to check it out. Holy smokes, there were a lot of them! All just chilling in the afternoon sun, no apparent notice of all the people! DSC_3847 Look how cute they are! DSC_3842 A reminder, dear readers, that these and other endangered animals should be given plenty of space and not be touched at all! DSC_3850 This is why a telephoto lens is a must! After I documented the turtles, I headed to a clear spot of beach to wait for the sunset. I caught a lonely bubble that had escaped from some kids playing a little ways away. DSC_3869 Some people in a kayak passed by. DSC_3860 And a festival attendee stopped to snap a couple pictures of the golden sky. DSC_3876 Then the way was finally clear for me to capture the setting sun. DSC_3892 I hung around for about another hour when it started to rain. The lantern float wasn’t scheduled to start until 9 o’clock, and this girl had gotten up at 2:15 in the morning for a hike. I was tired, and it was dark and rainy. I was happy to have seen the crowd of turtles and a beautiful sunset. I don’t regret heading out early, considering what traffic was going to look like after the festival was done. Besides, I had another exciting day planned for tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Mahalo,
Jen

Our last day in Maui (which also happened to be Grant’s birthday) was another fairly relaxed day. We slept in so that we wouldn’t be exhausted by the time we caught our flight at 11 pm. After a leisurely breakfast, we packed up the rental car and headed to ‘Iao Valley State Park. It was a pretty valley tucked between some mountains, with a view of the ‘Iao Needle. DSC_3398 DSC_3396 After the park, we headed out in search of more beaches (because that’s the thing to do on Maui)! This time, we turned to the southern part of the island, towards Wailea-Makena. We stopped at one beach for a bit before deciding to find some food a little further south at a highly recommended food truck called Jawz, near Makena State Park. Their fish tacos and quesadillas were indeed delicious, and we sat under the shade of a tree and watched and listened to the waves crash on the shore while I read a book and Grant played games on his phone. DSC_3414 DSC_3426 This particular stretch of beach faced more south than west, however, and we wanted to catch one more sunset before heading back to Oahu. So, we packed up again and set out along the highway to find a more west-facing beach. We found one tucked away among some trees and rocks. DSC_3436 Grant hadn’t yet had a chance to really explore the water, so he broke out the snorkel and mask and went for a swim. DSC_3495 He was fortunate enough to spot a sea turtle! He said it popped up less than six feet from him, and it was massive! Grant swam a bit more, then joined me where I’d staked out the best spot for the sunset. DSC_3525 It was a happy accident that we chose a beach where the sun set right behind an island, making it look almost like an erupting volcano! DSC_3540 DSC_3620 And there ends our birthday adventure in Maui. The experience was unbelievable! I’m so thankful to Kelsey and Devlin for sending us on this trip (I don’t know how I can possibly top that gift)! I’m back on Oahu now (Grant headed back to the mainland the next day), and my summer here is winding down. I have a few more hikes I haven’t done, and a special adventure a few days before I head home (I’m keeping it a secret so I don’t jinx it).

As always, mahalo for reading,

Jen

Well, day one in Maui was exhausting because of the long drive and the very little sleep the night before. So, we decided to sleep in a bit on day two and then go to the beach for water and sunset. Before I forget, here’s the view from our hotel room’s balcony.

Thank you, Kelsey and Devlin!
Thank you, Kelsey and Devlin!

A few different sites recommended Ka’anapali Beach for nice sands, good snorkeling, and great sunsets. Sold! We took the highway along the southwestern coast of the island, and had to stop at this lookout we found. IMG_5472 It’s apparently a great spot for watching humpback whales during the colder months when they’ve migrated down to these waters. Since it’s summer, we just got a beautiful, clear view of the Pacific and some islands in the distance.

We got to our destination (after a bit of driving around trying to find the place), and staked out our spot on the sands (which were very soft, as advertised). I didn’t take many pictures while we relaxed on the beach, but when it got closer to sunset, the Nikon came out to play. IMG_5481 IMG_5478 DSC_3137 Next up: freezing our butts off for a sunrise on a mountain. Stay tuned!

Mahalo,

Jen