Hawaii (Days 11-14)
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Where I stayed
Thursday morning we got up and drove to Lahaina. It actually wasn't a very long drive, jut one town over. Lahaina is a hoppin' little town though. The first thing we did was go on a submarine ride. It was great. First there was the boat that took us out of the harbor, and to the submarine. When we got on the sub, and our group was ready to go, the captain shouted "Dive! Dive! Dive!" and set off a startling alarm. The whole ride was really cool. Everyone had a window to look through. We went down about 125 feet, and saw choral reefs and all sorts of fish. Some fish were eating algae off the side of the sub, so we got to see them close up. There were two eels hiding in the reef, poking their heads out. There was a sunken ship. We even saw two sharks resting in the sand. We both agreed though that the highlight of the ride was seeing a group of 5 manta rays swimming side by side.
After the sub, we went back to the harbor. We visited this huge banyon tree that's 135 years old
After that was the Whale Watch. We went out on this tiny little boat, with about twenty people or so stuffed on it. It was great though. We saw a looooot of humpback whales. Many of them jumped right out of the water which made a tremendous splash. They liked to slap their fins on the water too, which wade a huge clapping sound.
After the whale watch, we walked around Lahaina, got some food, and Shane discovered his new favorite drink... the lava flow! We went into an art gallery, and one of the featured artists was an Alessio! Only one "l" though, so we're probably not related.
Friday was much less eventful. We sat by the pool, sipping on lava flows, and just relaxed. That evening though we had a lovely romantic dinner at Son'z, the hotel's fancy shmancy restaurant. It was quite fancy, and romantic, and delicious, and Jen looked absolutely stunning in her beautiful purple dress. We got a complimentary bottle of champagne because it's our honeymoon, and for desert we got some chocolate cake, and they wrote "Congratulations" on the side of the plate in chocolate frosting
On Saturday we drove the road to Hana. The Hana Highway is a little over 30 miles long, but it took us a few hours to navigate. There are 600 curves, and 50 one-lane bridges, and a whole lotta water falls plus a black sand beach. It's really beautiful though. Bamboo forests, and rainbow eucalyptus trees, and coconut trees, and taro fields. It's all quite stunning. Jen did a great job driving, but Shane got wicked car sick from all the swerving in the road. When we got to Hana, we drove right on through to Maui stables where we went on a guided mountain horseback ride. Our guide was a half Irish Hawaiian with royal Hawaiian lineage, and his family owns hundreds of acres of land on the mountains there. When we got to the top of the ride, which was about a third of the way up the mountain (oh yeah, by the way, this mountain is a volcano!) we dismounted, and saw some awesomely huge water falls, taller than Niagra (although only a sliver in comparison width-wise). The guide told us stories about Hawaii, and what it means to be a Hawaiian, and it was all very enchanting. The we rode back down (which was the scariest part).
That night, after the long ride back from Hana, we saw Taiko drummer Kenny Endo in concert at the Maui Arts and Culture Center. His band had a flutist, an electric violinist, there were dancers for one number, but best of all, there was a second AMAAAAzing percusionist, Kiyokiko Semba.
Today (Sunday) is another lazy relaxing by the pool day. We probably won't buy internet again, so Aloha, and we'll write again when we get back to Portland. We fly out Tuesday night.