Hawaii | Our Tropical Vacation to Maui
I’m currently writing this post while sipping a piping hot mug of coffee and sitting underneath a pile of blankets. Staring at pictures of the warm sand beaches while Wisconsin attempts to warm up to a whopping 9 degrees (it currently feels like -8 outside) is almost pure torture but hopefully it makes you feel a little warmer inside!
A little background story about our trip! As many of you know, my husband Ben is a numbers man — which is code for he handles all of the financial aspects of our household because frankly, numbers make my head spin. Ben & I had been talking about planning a “real” vacation for months because the longest trip we had ever taken was a 4-day getaway for our honeymoon. As we started to dream about possible travel locations, Ben looked at every single angle to decide what we could afford financially. After talking to some friends at his work & digging around on the internet, Ben discovered that we could maximize the points on our credit card and pay for almost ALL of our travel expenses to Hawaii with credit card points. Say what?! Say yes. That’s right… my super-sexy-numbers-man-husband found a way to use credit card points for airfare, a hotel, and a rental car.
Since returning back to Wisconsin, I’ve been asked what our favorite memory from the trip was and I’ll be honest — it’s really hard to decide. Our trip was packed with so much adventure yet relaxation that I have a hard time picking a single favorite moment but for the sake of this blog post, I’ll pick three to share:
- The Baleen Whale: Our biggest “WOW” moment came when we were on a snorkeling trip to Molokini Crater, just off the coast of Maui. Throughout the entire boat ride, our captain spoke to us about whale season and how early the Baleen whales had migrated to Hawaii this year (like, an entire month early). He mentioned that we might get lucky and see a pod, probably just their tails skimming over the water. It was on the boat ride back to harbor that we caught a glimpse of a pod chasing a female whale and their tails slowly rising out of the water. Out of nowhere and like a scene out of National Geographic, a Baleen whale jumped COMPLETELY out of the water and slammed down into the ocean near our boat. It was truly an incredible thing to witness and we were SO lucky to have seen it.
- Red Sand Beach: A popular tourist attraction in Maui is a day trip to Hana — the “trip” is called the Road to Hana and it’s a 3 hour drive with hairpin turns, waterfalls, and the most breathtaking view of the island (seriously, Google it). Along the drive are mile markers with popular tourist stops and great photo spots but we did a little research and found out about a local favorite that was off the beaten path. Red Sand Beach was a bit tricky to find but as you hiked up the bluffs and turned the corner, it was a like finding a slice of uninhabited heaven. GORGEOUS red rocks, aqua water crashing into the bluffs… you’ll just have to scroll down and see the photos. It was unforgettable.
- Ben’s happiness: Okay, bear with me for a moment as I love on my husband for a moment. Ben spends 5 days a week working long hours & planning for our future. He’s the most responsible & selfless person I know — he gives me the first + last + and best bites of his food, he walks our dog in the bitter cold because he knows I hate it, he encourages me to travel with other people because he knows how happy it makes me, he supports me in my business endeavors and tells me how proud he is. This man is my everything and he, above everyone else, DESERVED this vacation. When Ben & I were hiking at Red Sand Beach, the world stood still for a moment because I saw this biggest & happiest smile come over his face. The happiness on his face is something that will stick with me forever & in that moment, to see him experience a sliver of the happiness he brings me every single day, was so good for my soul.
If you’re considering taking a trip to Hawaii some day, don’t hesitate to reach out and share your trip plans — also, check out The Points Guys to see how you can maximize points on your travel. Alright, I’ll stop typing so you can enjoy some of the beautiful scenery Maui had to offer! Grab a cub of hot coffee & think warm thoughts! <3
Ben’s “happy place” at Maui Brew Co – best beer & food trucks!
The next few photos are from our sunrise trip to Haleakala National Park. We left at 3:00am to watch the sun rise at 10,000+ feet above elevation on the top of a volcano.
Sunset photos from a local surfing spot, Big Beach.
This is where our Road to Hana photos start! So much beauty.
Red Sand Beach — the colors are UNREAL and so breath taking.
Every morning, Ben & I would drive to a desolate beach — we called it “our beach” because we couldn’t remember the name but we walked it every morning together. Our last night in Maui, we went back to our beach and caught the most spectacular sunset. I’ll never forget it!