Hawaii holds a special place in my heart. Sure, I might be biased considering it’s where my husband and I spent our honeymoon while on Kauai back in 2015. However, this time, we traveled to Maui with certainty that it would not disappoint just as the last island did not.
Andrew and I spent our days in the rainforests of Hana and the east side beaches. Our nights were usually up north in the hustle and bustle of Kahului –a populated, vibrant city. Among all the locations that we visited, we were eternally grateful for the historic beauty of the island.
We wasted no time our first day on Maui, traveling to Iao Valley. Unfortunately, the Iao Valley park was closed due to flooding that had wiped out a section of the park, so we were unable to travel the full extent of the road that danced about the base of the mountains. However, we were blessed by the rich greenery that we did experience in the first part of the valley. The rivers there ran gently with a quiet growl. Its beauty sparked my curiosity about getting in, but after testing the water, I soon learned that mountain water was way too cold for my liking!
A few days later we traveled along the famous Hana highway and boy was I speechless! We stopped by waterfalls and got ourselves pretty muddy. Let me be honest with you, it felt pretty good to get dirty! It may not sound very lady-like, but sometimes the little furnace inside of me desires to get a little unrefined, especially if there’s a waterfall involved.
Further from the valley, we explored beaches near Kihei and up north. My husband and I loved that there were so many private spots to relax at. I cannot put into words how tranquil the beaches were as we lay and listened to the ocean play its tunes. Honest moment #2: I was a total chicken in the water! I couldn’t get the horrifying image of a jellyfish wrapping its tentacles around my ankles out of my mind as I waded close to shore. I’m such a mainlander, but not as much as my husband who didn’t step more than ankle deep in the ocean. I love you baby! :p
The evening that we left the island, Andrew and I sat on the beach as we talked about our future, children, and life itself. We couldn’t help but think about the reality that was awaiting us once we got home. I would still be walking through my cancer journey and awaiting my next surgical treatment the following month. I became aware that those thoughts were preventing me from enjoying the moment, so I pushed them aside to “Selah” at God’s glory as the sun set in a fiery display across the other end of the ocean.
You’ve been so gracious to me. The spirit of aloha radiates through and through this little land in the ocean. I had the opportunity to experience peace throughout this challenging chapter. I’ve also met the most genuine and hardworking people that I now get to call my friends. With gratitude and a full heart, thank you.
Mahalo nui Maui,
P.S. Our next Hawaiian adventure: the Big Island!