Friday, July 30, 2010

Maui Day 1 - Haleakala Sunrise, Pai'a Town, and Lahaina

When Chris and I visited Maui in 2007, the one activity that we had planned on doing, but didn't, was to drive to the top of Mt. Haleakala to watch the sunrise.  Haleakala is the largest volcano on Maui and the summit is at about 10,000 ft above sea level.  Watching the sunrise over the clouds is said to be a life-altering experience.

This time around, I insisted that we see the sunrise.  All 6 of us woke up at 2 a.m. to drive out of here at 2:30 a.m.  (Good thing we went to sleep early the night before!).  It took 2 full hours to get to the top of Haleakala, where it was dark, cold, and very windy.  I was freezing despite my jeans and hoodie.  My stubborn husband refused to pack jeans, so he froze his legs of in shorts!  The man sitting next to us had on an honest-to-God mink coat!  We had to wait for more than an hour for the sun to actually rise, but we had the BEST seats in the house for an incredibly cool sunrise over the layers of clouds floating below.  Yes, the sunrise was awesome and I'm very glad that we saw it this time around.  But getting up so early on our first day of vacation was... rough.

Before the sunrise...

Yes, this is actually OUR photo.  Pretty incredible, huh?
So after the sun came up, we were all ready for breakfast.  We drove down the volcano and into Pai'a town on the north shore of Maui.  Pai'a is known for being very "eclectic" and also for it's amazing kite surfing -- best in the world.  Unfortunately, most of the main street shops weren't open yet while we visited, so I'm hoping Chris and I can go back there sometime to shop.  Dad asked a local for a restaurant recommendation and we ended up at Cafe Mambo for breakfast -- a cool little cafe and coffee bar where the surfers come to fill-up.  Breakfast was insanely good and we left Pai'a with full bellies and smiles on our faces.

After a much-needed nap and a dip in our condo pool, we decided to head into Lahaina for dinner.  We ate at a fairly new restaurant called "Mai Tai" and had a table out on an ocean-front deck.  Our day truly came full-circle as we watched the sunset over the ocean in Lahaina.  It was a really wonderful end to the day.


  1. Looks beautiful! I love that Emily has her big bag even up on the Volcano. Ha. Did anyone offer you drugs in Pai'a? If you spend anytime there you will be offered. The house we rented was just outside Pai'a on a private road back in the woods so we spent a little time there too. Very interesting town. Cool pictures! You should get them blown up and framed.

  2. WOW! After viewing those photos, I might decide to go with Steve to Hawaii yet. But, don't hold your breath! lol KJ, I need for you to send the photos of you and Chris, plus the single of you to Picassa, please. Enjoy your days left!