Day 5 - Big Beach and a Luau
We drove down to Big Beach, which is just south of Wailea, to spend the day with Carrie's family enjoying the sun and water. Although the weather was nice this day, the ocean was intense with waves crashing almost on shore and a strong pull out into deeper water, so we all mostly stayed up on the sand, venturing into the water mostly to just get our feet wet. Clara hung out in her cabana most of the time.
Carrie and Charlie had the same baby beach cabana that we had. I am in love with her hat.
The uncovering of the kalua pork ceremony. Another reason we chose the Marriott luau over the Grand Wailea luau is that the meat served at the Marriott luau is the same meat that we watched be uncovered. The pork at the Grand Wailea luau (according to our guidebook) is prepared a day or two in advance and then reheated.
Dinner! I actually didn't think the poi tasted all that bad. It didn't taste amazing, but I think it gets a bad rap. It reminded me of baby food - specifically, baby plums. The kalua pork was good, I really liked the teriyaki chicken, but easily my favorite dish was the pineapple coleslaw. I don't even like coleslaw, but this stuff was SO yummy.
Day 6 - Haleakala National Park
We split ways from Carrie's family this day so that they could go to more beaches while Paul, Clara and I drove up into and then above the clouds to see Maui's dormant volcano, Haleakala. We did NOT get up at 3:00 a.m. to do the drive before the sun rose, and I have no regrets about that. I am much more of a sunset person than a sunrise person, even though I am typically an early riser.
The drive was fairly long - probably around 1 1/2 to 2 hours I think - but it had interesting scenery that kept changing the higher we climbed in elevation up to the 10,000+ foot high summit. By the time we reached the top, there as hardly any vegetation covering the bare volcanic rocks that were all shades of purple, rust, black, and blue. One of the few exceptions is the Silversword - a crazy little plant that only grows here, with silver blades. I guess it only blooms once every 50 years or so (we saw one that was in bloom, which was pretty exciting, but for some reason we don't have a photo of it, not that it is a particularly beautiful bloom or anything). I guess that when the Hawaiians first discovered it they didn't have a word for silver because they had never seen that color before, silver not being a natural element in the islands. So they called it ahinahina, which means "gray-gray" or "very gray". Isn't that interesting?
In a gift shop at the Haleakala Visitor's Center, I found a book about Hawaiian names. It provides translations of common names too, so I looked up each of our names and discovered that Amy (a french name meaning "beloved") is Mea Aloha (hawaiian for "loved one"), Paul (a roman name meaning "little one") is Ka Li'i (hawaiian for "little one" or possibly "little chief"), and Clara (from latin meaning clear, bright, brilliant, or illustrious) is 'Alohi (hawaiian for "bright" or "splendid"). I love learning things like this.
Day 7 - Secret Cove, Pools again, Boogie Boarding at Polo Beach
I had read about a tiny postcard size beach that was supposedly a beautiful spot for photos (and weddings) in one of our guidebooks before we left for Maui and decided that I really wanted to hunt it down. The location isn't so secret anymore, now that the guidebooks are publishing it, but that doesn't make the beach any less charming. We knew that Secret Cove was just south of Big Beach, which we had been to on Day 5. In fact, Carrie and I had gone on a short walk that day to try to locate it but hadn't taken our guidebooks and gave up just a hundred feet or so from the entrance which Paul and I were able to locate when we went back armed with the specific info of which telephone pole the entrance was across from.
The only entry point is through a narrow opening in a rock wall, but once you find it, the location is absolutely and utterly charming. Sure enough, there was a wedding happening when we got there around 9:30 a.m. It was a strange looking wedding though as only 4 people were involved - the bride and groom, a photographer, and the officiator of the ceremony who looked like a Hawaiian priest or something. I was a creeper and made Paul take out his telephoto lense and snap a quick photo when they weren't looking. I'm not sure if you can tell from the photo or not, but the groom looked to be about 55 and the bride looked like she was maybe 25. It was kind of strange and I will allow you to draw your own assumptions.
We went on the water slide, swam in the pools, and sat in the hot tub. You can see part of the water slide, as well as our hotel, in this photo of Paul and Clara.
Day 8 - Departure Day
On our last day of vacation we finally got a photo of all of us together just before Paul and I headed back to Kahului airport to catch our noon flight back to Oakland. Baby Luke was the only one who didn't want to look for the camera, but at least we documented both families together.
It was a wonderful vacation and so much fun to experience it with friends. Aloha!