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Haleakala and Ioa Valley

Kim and I finally decided to visit two spots on Maui we hadn't been too yet - Iao Valley and Haleakala.  Iao Valley is on the northern part of the island - Haleakala is a volcano on the southern part of the island with an elevation of more than 10,000 feet.

It took Kim and I about 2 1/2 hours to reach the summit of Haleakala.  It was strange that when we got out of the car and started to walk around, the extreme elevation had an effect on us.  The reduced amount of oxygen in the air made it noticeably difficult to breathe.

We weren't really dressed for the elevation and it was a bit cold.

Most of the Haleakala summit was in the clouds and we couldn't see very much.  We think this lookout point
we were at is at the edge of the main crater.  We could not see the bottom looking into the cloud.  Elevation
here was 10,023 feet.

Another view of the crater's edge with the clouds.





This plant is called Silversword.  It was so perfect, it didn't look real.  It only grew from about the 8000' level and up.

A view of Molokini from about 5000'
Iao Valley.  This peak is called Iao Needle.  The elevation is 2250' and it was used by ancient warriors as a lookout.




Our Best Day Ever (So Far) - Monday Dec. 16

Kim and I had a simply awesome day today - our best day of this trip so far.  It started with a wonderful, relaxing massage for Kim. While she was getting her massage, I took the time to do some snorkeling in Napili Bay for about 45 minutes.  The rest of the time I spent relaxing and getting some sun on the beach.

The snorkeling at Napili Bay was incredible.  The bay is in a cove so the water is super calm and there are a lot of rocks and reefs to see fish.  The highlight was a fish that was beautiful blue in color which I thought was an eel at first.  I looked straight down and saw it swimming right below me.  It was about 4 feet in length.  I have to admit it was a bit cautious and made sure not to get too close to it.

Sorry again... no pictures.  I refuse to spend $18 for an underwater camera and then have to spend that much again or more to have the pictures developed.

After Kim's massage, we had lunch at the SeaHouse Restaurant at Napili Bay.  Then we went for a drive to the north side of the island.  We stopped at a place when I hiked down a bit to see an awesome blow hole.  In the same spot, I was able to see sea turtles looking down from a cliff about 125 feet above the water.

Finally, we stopped at a spot on our return trip where we were able to see some whales about 300 to 400 yards out from shore.  They were playing and breaching out of the water for a good 10 or 15 minutes.  It doesn't show it too clearly in the photo below but we could see them very well from shore.

The view while laying on my back relaxing at Napili Beach

The northern end of Napili Bay where I snorkeled.  I snorkeled out to the reef that can be seen extending out
from the shore on the right.  The water on this side of the reef is about 8 feet deep and there were many
fish around that reef.

A blow hole on the north side of Maui.  I took this photo from about 100 yards away.  Not a bad picture using
my little Nikon Cool Pix camera.  You can get an idea of the size of the water spout compared to the people
standing nearby.

The hike back up the hill where the blow hole was located.  Kim is one of the three people standing at the top.

A whale breaching.  Awesome.  Another pretty good picture with my little camera.  Image what I could do with
a good camera.

Hawaii's Volcanos

Our grandson Nicholas has been waiting patiently for some pictures of volcanos.  The only currently active volcanos in Hawaii are Mauna Loa, Kilauea, and Lo'ihi, all located on or near the big island of Hawaii.

Mauna Loa first erupted in 1843 and has erupted 33 times, the last eruption being in 1984.
Kilaua is located on the southeastern flank of Mauna Loa and has been actively eruption for 30 years, since 1983.
Lo'ihi is off the coast of the big island of Hawaii and it's summit is actually 969 meters BELOW sea level.

The only volcanos on Maui are "The West Maui Volcano" and Haleakala.  I am not sure when they last erupted.  Perhaps I will do a little more research and try to find the answer.

Haleakala

Napili Bay - Sunday Dec. 15

We have spent a total of eight weeks on Maui over the last three years and thought we knew our way around pretty well.  Until yesterday, we thought the place to get the best hamburger was Leoda's and the place for the best breakfast was the Gazebo.  Now we found a place in Lahaina which has taken over the #1 spot for hamburgers.  It is called Lulu's.  And there is a restaurant on Napili Bay called The Seahouse which is now our favorite place for breakfast.  

The photos below are of Napili Bay.  The Seahouse is on the northern end of Napili Bay.






Snorkeling, Finally - Friday Dec. 13

Kim was a bit tired today and spent the day relaxing in the condo.  I took advantage of my "me time" opportunity and snorkeled off the beach for a couple of hours.  I never ventured out any deeper than into about 5 feet of water but was able to see at least a dozen different varieties of fish and even a sea turtle.  Sorry, no pictures to share.

I spent the afternoon touring the Hyatt Regency and the construction project next door where Kim and I have purchased our share of a one-bedroom condo...  just to make sure I still liked what I saw.

I have a special request from our grandson Nicholas to post a picture of a volcano.  Papa is still working on it.

Lots To Catch Up On - Wednesday Dec. 11

Yesterday, Kim and I went to the Hyatt Maui to visit a jewelry shop where she purchased a pearl ring last year.  She dropped off the ring to have some minor repair work done.  We toured the resort and stayed for lunch.  

This morning, we went down the road about a quarter mile to the place we stayed at last year just to take a look.  While there, we saw one of our turtle friends on the reef just about 10 or 15 feet out into the water.

Here is the big news of the day... we went back to the Hyatt this morning to pick up Kim's ring and we purchased (1/52nd fractional purchase better known as a vacation ownership) a 1-bedroom condo at a new Hyatt resort currently under construction and scheduled to be completed at this time next year.  As a matter of fact, we will be the first people to occupy our unit when it opens in January 2015.

Just for information, it sleeps four. 

Enjoy the pictures below.

Pool and ocean view from the Hyatt Maui


Kim at lunch at the Hyatt Maui yesterday

Birds (or is it bird) Of Paradise at the Kaanapali Shores

Sea turtle just a few feet away

Our new condo at the new Hyatt resort in Kaanapali

This will be similar to the view from our Hyatt Kaanapali Resort condo.  Our unit will be on the 3rd floor.
Not an ocean view but it was a lot cheaper.

Fun In The Water - Tuesday Dec. 10

Kim didn't get a good night's sleep Sunday night and slept in Monday morning.  I took the time to sit on the beach early in the morning which is something we haven't done.  It was a different perspective as there were few people on the beach.  Kim joined me later in the morning and we just stayed there enjoying the morning.

Later, we spent some time in the water.  The water seemed warmer than usual and the trade winds were making some bigger than normal waves.  I guess I went in one too many times as I got knocked over by a wave and fell down on to some coral cutting my hand, fingers and leg pretty badly - no stitches required however.

We again enjoyed a Mai tai at sunset on the beach.  I was only able to take one picture of the sunset before my batteries went dead.

We're still talking about renting some snorkel gear or boggie boards, or possibly taking a day trip over to Lanai.


Doing Absolutely Nothing - Monday Dec. 9

For the last couple of days, Kim and I have done absolutely nothing - which I think is the whole object of being here.  Heck, yesterday I didn't even shave and I never do that.  Actually, Kim wasn't feeling very well yesterday as she was having some severe chest pain and difficulty breathing due to her asthma.  I took advantage of the day off to watch football - I enjoyed the 49ers beating the Seahawks.  No matter what, we always make time to watch the sunset.  From our location, the sun always sets over the island of Lanai which until yesterday always had heavy cloud cover over it.  Yesterday, there was a break between the cloud cover and the island which made for a very beautiful sunset.




Whale Ho - Friday Dec. 6

So far, each sunset has pretty much looked alike.  Kim says we dedicated last night's sunset to Jamie's birthday.

Prior to our trip, Kim and I agreed that we would go to each of our favorite restaurants once.  We have already been to the Hula Grill and Barefoot Bar and the Gazebo.  Yesterday, we went to our favorite hamburger place called Leoda's.  It was everything we remembered and expected.

We spent more time lounging on the beach yesterday but the highlight of the day was that we spotted some whale activity.  We could clearly see the whales coming out of the water and spouting.  Quite exciting.  We finished the day taking a walk on the beach and having dinner in the restaurant at the Kaanapali Shores resort.  Kim had prime rib and I had a Hawaiian style bbq ribs. 

By the way, I am posting this on Saturday morning, Dec. 7th and today is the 72nd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.






Hau'oli la hanau Jamie - Friday Dec. 6

Happy birthday to our daughter Jamie today.  We hope you have a wonderful day.


Thursday... In Summary - Dec. 5

Let's see... woke up, had coffee, ate breakfast, took naps, went down to the beach, went in the water, ate lunch, took more naps, sat in lounge chairs on the beach, watched the sunset, drank Mai tais... ditto...

Tomorrow for a change of pace, we may go to Boss Frogs and rent snorkel gear.





The Gazebo - Wednesday Dec. 4

Kim and I had breakfast at one of our favorite restaurants on Maui called the Gazebo.  It is about 3 1/2 miles north of where we are staying.  It is a small restaurant right on Napili Beach and the wait is typically 30 minutes to an hour.  The are famous for their breakfast fried rice and macadamia nut banana pancakes.

At 12:30 p.m., we were obligated to attend a vacation ownership presentation at the Kaanapali Beach Club next door.  It wasn't a program that we would want to get involved in because frankly it just isn't a good deal financially - we can do a lot better booking a trip on our own.  Dealing with the sales person was not a pleasant experience as it was like dealing with a car salesman.  We didn't let the experience ruin our day however as we spent the rest of the afternoon sitting on lounge chairs on the beach, drinking Mai tais, talking to people (we met a couple from Stockton), and listening to live Hawaiian music by the poolside.