Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hawaii Trip

In February, Jen felt like a "true Alaskan." What do Alaskans do in winter? They leave on vacation for Hawaii. Chris had already been to Hawaii six times with his family. This was my first trip there. We went to the island of Maui, staying in historic Lahaina Town. The trip was compliments of my residency program, as we are allowed so many days off and money for Continued Medical Education. We went with two of our friends, Alice (another family medicine resident) and her husband Erik. Every morning Alice and I were in conferences, but we had the afternoons to enjoy the weather and the island.

The weather was FANTASTIC, almost no rain and lots of sun. The whales were in full force, also traveling from Alaska to Hawaii for winter. Here's a pic of Jen on some funky volcanic rock:

We drove to the "end of the road" (past Makena) where there was a hike across a lava field that led to a black sand beach. We took a wrong turn and never did find the beach, but we did find an amazing coastline. We also saw this boat anchored...definately a cruising boat...which got us dreamin' ...

Funny how vacation brings out the exploring child in everyone....Jen, Chris, and Erik:
There were beaches of every color on Maui. Here's Jen on a tri-colored beach. The sands were black, red, and white all mixed together to form this spectacular color. There were also rumours of sea turtles on this beach, which Jen was desparate to find, but no luck here (though she had luck later on in the trip!).We enjoyed a fantastic hike on the west side of Maui to Nakahele Blowhole. The hike went along the coast, to an area that looked like Mars (the water having carved the lava into strange domes and structures), down to a huge blowhole (that I climbed down by):

Erik and Chris grilled almost every night, from swordfish to scallops. Jen and Alice made pu-pu's (pronouned poo-poo's) - that's Hawaiin for appetitizers. We ate very well!

Jen and Chris at Haleakala Crator - the temperature dropped to the 40's and was rainy at the top. We went for a hike down into the crator. While in there, it started to thunder and the clouds poured in. It was eerie - was the volcano coming alive or was it just thunder?

We drove the famous HANA HIGHWAY with constant hairpin turns and over 50 one-lane bridges. We were on the road by 7am to enjoy the full day. Here are some highlights, from red and black beaches to waterfalls galore:

Last day in Hawaii...Erik, Alice, Jen, and Chris:

I think we'll go back :)