While the rest of the nation was on the US mainland enduring the inauguration of President Trump last week, I was lucky enough to be in paradise. My boyfriend and I spent January 14th-21st in Hawaii, visiting the Big Island (Hawaii) and Maui. The islands were a photographer’s dreams, and I had no trouble taking my daily photo, but the transition back to reality was rough-hence the delay in this post.
The first week back from vacation is never easy, especially when it’s also the first week of a new oppressive regime, the LAST semester of graduate school and you’re battling a sinus infection and an allergic reaction to sunscreen. Luckily, hiding out in my apartment this week has afforded me plenty of time to review and edit the 1700 photos I took in Hawaii. Enjoy, as I will be back on schedule tomorrow, and resuming the usual litany of photos of inanimate objects from my kitchen portraits of my dog, Milo.
January 15th – We enjoyed showers in the outdoor shower in the rainforest of Pahoa, took in the sites and tastes of the Maku’u Farmer’s Market, sat on Black Sand Beach, hiked the Kilauea Iki Trail at Volcanoes National Park, and soaked in a natural hot spring pool by the ocean.
January 16th – We got up early and drove to Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots State Park, then drove up the coast past Hilo, taking in the lush green scenery as we sipped on tropical fruit smoothies. Along the way, we took a short but beautiful hike to ‘Akaka Falls. Our drive north ended at Waipi’o Valley, where we took a terrifying drive down (and back up) the steep slope into into the valley. We spoke to a local about life in the isolated valley and watched dogs chase off a pack of wild horses. To end the day, we rented mountain bikes and rode out to watch the Kilauea Volcano spill molten lava into the ocean as the sun set behind it. Incredible.
January 17th – We left the Big Island to return to Maui, wishing we could have stayed longer. In Maui, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, soaked up some sun on Big Beach, watched the sunset and then enjoyed our first ahi tuna poke bowl.
January 18th – We left early to take the famous Road to Hana drive along the coast, and it did not disappoint. We stopped at countless waterfalls and ocean vistas, explored a lava tube cave, tried the famous coconut ice cream from Coconut Glen’s, drove down into the beautiful Lower Nahiku Village and stopped for lunch at the Nahiku Marketplace. We continued on to Hana, where we lounged on Red Sand Beach before continuing to the Venus Pool for some cliff jumping and swimming in a protected ocean pool. We ended the day by hiking the gorgeous Pipiwai Trail through bamboo forests to Waimoku Falls before making the long and bumpy drive around Haleakala and back home.
January 19th – Again, we got up early (an unusual trend for us) to go on a snorkeling tour around Molokini. We saw humpback whales, coral reef, so many colorful fish, eels and we swam with sea turtles (GoPro footage coming soon!). After snorkeling, we napped in the sun on the beach and then attended the obligatory Te Au Moana Luau, stuffing gorging ourselves on Hawaiian food and may tai’s while watching the beautiful Tahitian dancers against a backdrop of the Maui sunset. Damn.
January 20th – We got up REALLY early (3:30am) and drove to the summit of Haleakala Crater to watch the sunrise. It was particularly meaningful to take in this awe-inspiring site to the sounds of indigenous songs on the day that Donald Trump was inaugurated back on the mainland. What a strange feeling to feel uplifted and crushed in the same moment. We hiked down into the crater for awhile before making the arduous hike back up , taking in the sites from the highest point on the island. On our drive back, we stopped and stalled at the Ali’i Lavender Farm, then returned to Maui for one last frolic in the ocean waves. Then we put on the only nice clothes we brought and headed north, stopping to shop and enjoy a local beer in Paia before continuing to Mama’s Fish House for a feast of fresh local fish. What a way to end the vacation.
January 21st – We actually slept in for once, at breakfast on the lanai (a word I never used until Hawaii) and then strolled the Maui Swap Meet for gifts before heading (sadly) to the airport. Having developed a sinus infection our last day on the island, I slept the entire 12+ hours of flying and woke to an allergic reaction all over my face. Lovely. A trip to the doctor revealed an allergy to pineapple and sunscreen (perfect for Hawaii) and I spent the day hiding out and resting. I DID take a photo, but will spare you the experience of seeing my epic rash. Although I must say, the swell of hives on face had a lovely, Hawaiian glow.