The Sun Did Come Up…

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After getting up at 1:30 (ok, 1:40 after hitting snooze), we took a sunrise tour up Haleakala to see the sunrise. Unfortunately, nature wasn’t on our side. We glimpsed beautiful streaks of pink between the clouds, and then it was light. I was freezing the whole time, but despite all that, it was worth it. Our tour guide from Haleakela Bike Company,  Derek, was entertaining and helpful and our driver, Keith, made the trip seem like a breeze even when the road wound round and round as we climbed. I have a couple of suggestions: Bring snacks, because you won’t have a chance to eat for many hours and if you are like me, your stomach wakes up hours after you get out of bed. Also, warm clothes are essential! Brrrrrrrr.

20180427_073051Even if the sunrise had been perfect, I think the best part would have been the bike ride down. I was still bundled up in two fleeces and Under Armour winter pants, but cruising down a volcano on a mountain bike is FUN. You can see for yourself on the video. We did the whole 22.5 miles by 9:30 am just because going fast feels great. Then, we went to Colleen’s, a breakfast spot in the same strip mall as the tour company. If you love coffee, check it out. The Maui Roasting Company does a special blend for the restaurant and it was delicious. The food was good too.

6016728A-5C4A-47DB-8499-BD15E6EB8C2ASteven’s lunatic thought of the day:  Maui is at 20.7984° N latitude. The diameter of the earth at that point is 7,923.054 miles (Google it!), which means that the circumference is about 24,891.01 miles (using excel which does π to 15 decimal places).  Last year we saw the sunrise over the Sahara, just outside Merzouga Morocco (31.0802° N latitude). The distance between the two is 8,400 miles and 12 time zones. Maybe for our next trip we will try and figure out what is equidistant of the remaining 16,000 miles and watch the sun rise there…. I think it’s the middle of the ocean …so maybe we will bobbing on the water somewhere.

The Booking Elves

Well, the booking elves have been busy (read Sue, as she is our official booker).   (I found this out accidentally, when Steven said, “Did you book that? You’re the booker.”) We broke down the trip by day and then started to work through our list of possible adventures.  Some of them we don’t need to book–hiking, visiting Haiku/Paia, driving the road to Hana, etc., but for others, it was time to pull out the iPad and laptop and start to make reservations.

There are a few things we had to be aware of when we started planning.

  1. We have only 2 full free days on Maui, 2 days we have work events (one dinner & one breakfast).
  2. We can’t go up Haleakala and scuba dive on consecutive days as it isn’t safe.
  3. We can’t fly for 18 hours after a scuba dive.
  4. Most trips on Maui seem to start early (7-7:30 am)–especially the ones on the water. (I don’t like the morning, especially on vacation.)

This is our schedule before we started booking things. (Get used to spreadsheets; Steven LOVES them. This hardly counts.):

Day
1 Arrive on Maui at about 5 pm
2 Work dinner at 7 pm
3 Work meeting (Steven only) 9 am
4
5
6 Flight to Oahu 1 pm
7
8
9 Flight home 1 pm

 

Sunrise on Haleakala and then a 23-mile bike ride down the mountain

WOW!  This starts really really really early–can’t they reschedule sunrise for a more reasonable time?  We are on vacation!  We need to be at the departure point at 3:30 am.  UGH!  After a little discussion, we realized that Maui is 5 hours behind our home time zone and figured that if we did this trip the first morning (Day 2), our bodies would think it was 8:30 am.  So we booked it–I will let you know on the day if we are fooling ourselves on this one. (Steven neglects to mention that he then told a friend/work colleague that we would have drinks and dinner with him and his wife after we arrive in Maui. So, late night, early morning given that we won’t get to the hotel until 7ish.)

Kayak to Molokini

I emailed one of the places to understand how hard a 3.5-mile (each way) kayak trip would be.  The reply came back: “It is really good for triathletes.”  I am more of a “try athlete”–you know I try to be an athlete, but not really hard, because then I sweat and might spill my drink.  We pass.

Sunset kayak tour

We could only find one place that did this and not on the days that we were available…strike 2 for kayaking.

Scuba

After poking around for a while, we found a dive shop on Oahu that looks good.  Only 6 reef piratespeople per dive, two-tank discover diving trip, they have their own boat, and they have lots of good reviews on TripAdvisor.  But more importantly, they have a great name & logo – Reef Pirates – which any real diver will tell you is the right way to pick a dive shop.   We booked this for the afternoon of Day 7.

Kayak trip to Gilligan’s Island

This is a four-hour tour (of course, it would be more apropos if it were a 3-hour tour)…plus travimagesel time to and from the north side of the island.  Officially, it is Coconut Island–but it is where some (all?)(at least the pilot) of Gilligan’s Island was shot.  If you are too young to remember the show….Boy did you miss one of the truly great quality high art television events.  A true tour de force with nuanced and carefully planned plot lines and characters (Ginger or Mary Ann? The Professor or ???)….you absolutely should find some reruns of it.

Anyway, we decided to book this on Day 8, our last full day in Hawaii, so if we are shipwrecked and can’t get off the island for three seasons, we won’t have missed any of our vacation.

paul ryan

(Total aside: I Googled fair use Gilligan’s Island images and this appeared.   No comment.) Perhaps more of a comment on Google’s search process rather than a political comment.

 

 

Aloha

indexWe leave on an April 26 flight to LA and then to Maui; we arrive at 5 pm.  We are staying on Maui until noon on Tuesday, May 1, when we fly to Oahu.  We are in Honolulu until noon on Friday, May 4; then a stop in LA and finally to Chicago at 6 am on Saturday.

Since the airfare and hotel are paid for by my company we have to do a little bit of “work stuff.”  We have a meet & greet dinner on the first night. (I am not looking forward to this. I will have to be on my best behavior. Boo!) and then I have a breakfast meeting the next morning for 90 minutes.  (Read: Sue sleeps late.) Other than that, we are on our own.  I am very excited about this trip–especially since it is snowing this morning (April 9; Cubs home opener postponed).  We have created a short list of potential activities and will need to figure out which ones we have time/energy/inclination to do:

  1. Watch the sun rise on Haleakala and then a 23-mile bike ride down the mountain
  2. Scuba (try dive for Sue)
  3. zip lining–yes, Steven, who is petrified of heights, thinks this would be fun.
  4. Hiking on Haleakala
  5. Hiking on the Acid War Zone Trail
  6. Drive the road to Hana and hike along the way
  7. Visit Haiku and Paia
  8. Kayak to Molokini
  9. Sunset kayak tour
  10. Some other kayak tour
  11. Surfing!
  12. Kayak trip to Gilligan’s Island! – wonder if it will be more than a three hour tour (a three hour tour)
  13. Hiking on Diamondhead
  14. Visiting with Sue’s niece (actually my second cousin’s kid) who lives in Honolulu
  15. Relax? – probably not, but figured I would put it in anyway
  16. Avoid Steven’s colleagues

A couple of interesting points.  Seems like everything starts early in the morning especially the kayaking.  Haleakala is about 11,000 feet high and the sunrise tour starts at 3 am, so it will be cold.  The kayak trip to Molokini is 3.5 miles each way and since neither Sue nor I are real kayakers, we have no idea how hard that would be. (How hard could it be???)  Sue is not interested in surfing (I have trouble balancing on firm ground.), but I don’t think that will stop me.  I am a certified Scuba diver, but Sue has never done it, so maybe we will try and fit that in to see if she likes it.

When we decided to start up this blog, I did the only thing reasonable –I went out and bought a new toy–a GoPro camera.  (I helped the purchase along when he was dithering by suggesting the blog.) Now I am trying learn how to use it and will hopefully master it before we go. (Hmmm, I noticed this is I and not we. Where’s my GoPro?)   I’ll post some videos before we go so you can see the learning curve (which hopefully isn’t too long) on my new favorite toy.