For my husband's version of Day 2, click here.
Since Hawaii is three hours behind Arizona time, and we had gone to bed early the night before, I expected to wake up early on our first full day in Maui, but not quite as early as we did (around 3 a.m.). I don't remember the part about "sleeping in" until 4:30 a.m. that my husband talks about - we left the house at that time, and presumably I spent some time getting ready for the day, and begging for "just 5 more minutes"... At this point in the trip, we were the only party staying at the guest house, so nobody else was being disturbed by our early morning wake up times.
It ended up working out well, since we had time to make it up to the top of Haleakala (a dormant volcano, and the highest point on the island) with just a minute to spare before sunrise. I hadn't planned on this as an activity, as my husband is not usually one to want to get up hours before dawn, but we were glad we were able to go.
From that high up, we were able to see the entire west side of the island, although the crater blocked our view all the way to the ocean on the east side.
There is an interesting plant that only grows in this one place in the entire world, the silversword. We got to see quite a few of them since we drove all around the top of the mountain. The other thing that stood out to me up there is how poorly the restrooms were being maintained in this National Park - as a pregnant mom in need of frequent bathroom stops, this is definitely something I took note of (for better or for worse) everywhere we went.
On the way down, we drove through some lush green backroads in what is know as the "upcountry" part of Maui. Everything smelled so sweet and flowery. We had breakfast along the road, before stopping at a beach on the north shore, since we had some time to kill before our helicopter tour shortly before noon.
It was the first time either one of us went on a helicopter, and it was really neat, especially the takeoff as it happens right away, with no taxiing like on an airplane. I was a little concerned about both of us parents flying together, lest we would get killed in an accident and leave our children orphaned. So I did my homework, and decided to fly with Air Maui, who have a perfect safety record in almost 30 years of doing this, as opposed to some other companies who have killed several of their passengers in multiple incidents - eeek! Costco has great deals for a couple of their tours.
There were a total of 6 passengers plus the pilot on board. The lady right next to him kept shoving her huge camera lens in his face. He kept saying, "Wow, that's a big lens!" and "That's about the biggest lens I have ever seen!" every time she would telescope it out even further in front of his face, but she failed to catch his drift. It was kind of funny, but we were rolling our eyes about her at the same time.
We did the 45-minute West Maui and Molokai tour. Molokai is an island right near Maui, that is still very remote and undeveloped. It used to be most known for housing the leper colony of the Hawaiian islands, and in fact, a handful of patients remain there to this day. There are only about 8,000 people on Molokai, many of whom live a Robinson Crusoe type life with no electricity, living off nothing but the land and sea, and homeschooling their children in remote valleys on the island. Pretty cool - until you need a Costco and some internet access, ha!
After the helicopter tour, we headed back to the town where we were staying, Kihei. Back in December of 2014, my husband had gifted me with a pedicure in my advent calendar, but 15 months later I still had never had time to take advantage of it. So getting my nails done was on my list of priorities for this trip. Sadly, my heels were looking so rough and cracked after years since they last been properly cared for, that I was almost afraid to even go. I felt like a backslidden Christian who had been out of church for years, and was now too embarrassed to show up again.
Sure enough as soon as the lady lifted my feet out of the foot bath, she gasped, and looked at me sternly. She was so sincere, it didn't even offend me. I told her how I have 8 kids, am on my feet 16 hours every day, and had not had time to get my heels pampered in years. She was very nice, and did all sorts of things on my feet to get them up to speed.
While I was sitting there, my husband was going on a run, lest he be seen in a nail salon. But after about an hour (I told you my feet needed lots of work...), he came hobbling in, after having gone for a cool-down swim and having stepped on a sea urchin. The lady who was getting close to being done working on me made him sit down to assess the damage. She told him to buy vinegar at the store in the parking lot so she could soak his feet. She then prepared a hot soak for him, and proceeded to spend over an hour doctoring his foot up. When all was said and done, she refused to charge anything for all the work she had done on him. The fact that my husband was already taking a steroid and antibiotics for his infected gums came in handy yet again, as it both prevented an infection, and helped him heal up faster. Moral of the story: When vacationing with my husband, preemptively get a prescription, since he will end up needing drugs one way or another. My nails came out perfect, too - turquoise to match my flip flops and swimsuit, with white hibiscus flowers on them.
We ate dinner by the beach, and went to bed early again, very happy and tired.