Maui Day 2: Efficiency is our middle name

(posted by Emily)

Today was an awesome day. There's no other way to put it! I suppose it's not over yet, but now that we're taking a minute to sit down and relax, I figured I could start writing about it.

I woke up, ready and raring to go, at 4am. Not exactly ideal. I got out of bed to use the restroom (and check Facebook in the light) and Rick ended up waking up, too. We sat out on the lanai for a little while and listened to the trees and the ocean, and decided that we would head up to Haleakala to watch the sun rise over the clouds. It wasn't a trip we were planning to make, and I am glad we did.

After the sunrise, we headed to the Upcountry Farmers Market in Kula. Many people say Hawaii is paradise, and we found our own special paradise at the market. We must have walked the loop of stalls 6 times, just check out the crops and other items the vendors had for sale. All the stalls had very small inventories, and all had to declare whether their items were grown organically or conventionally. Lots of granola, hippie types and we felt right at home! We had a fresh coconut, kombucha, samosas, and picked up some produce for the vacation rental.

Since it was still early (again with those "long" driving times that actually aren't long at all), we decided to head down to the Maui Swap Meet. It costs 50 cents to get in, and we had a fun time checking out the local arts and crafts and food vendors. We picked up a Christmas ornament for our tree--my new goal for the year is to have one from every place we visit. 

After the swap meet, we realized we had just enough time to make it to Maui Winery in time for their 10:30am tour. We headed up country to check out the ranch, tried a number of different wines, and learned how the winery makes all of their wines. Hands down, the Maui Blanc, made from pineapple, was our favorite. 

We stopped by the lavender farm and Ocean Vodka to see their properties, but didn't take tours. The views were incredible!

After a quick stop at KMart for an aux adapter cord, we came back down to Kihei to drop off our groceries and grab a quick lunch at Maui Tacos. Rick had done some reasearch about snorkeling with turtles near Makena, so we headed off to "Turtle Town" to check it out. We spent some time on the beach reading and napping, practiced with our snorkels in the open ocean, and then moved over to a different cove down the way. Rick wasn't initially thrilled by the idea of getting back in the water but after chatting with a nice gentleman, we decided we had to get out in the water. 

We got our flippers on, and made our way into the water. Rick actually almost stepped on a turtle as he first got in the water--it definitely spooked him :) Once we got going, we swam aound the rocks and encountered at least 6 turtles in the water. It was incredible to see them swim so gracefully under the water. At one point, we must have gotten too close to a nest or a habitat or something because one of the turtles came toward us, and sort of shoo-ed us away from the rocks. Or maybe he just wanted to say hello! I was able to snap a few pictures with my waterproof digital camera before it gave up on me.  

Exhausted but so excited, we came back to the rental and put on some Amy's thai food bowls (from the frozen section at Costco) and attempted to look at the underwater pictures. In a moment of panic, we had a memory card error message pop up on the camera, but after a quick treatment with the hairdryer, everything is working normally and I was able to take a few pictures of my pictures :)

After dinner, we stopped for a Hawaiian shaved ice, and drove over to Lahaina. It was a bit rainy, and we couldn't find a place to park, so we decided to head home. Both of us are pretty worn out from a packed day, to say the least!

We did a lot, and had a blast. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!


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