A weird and nice effect of a really good vacation for me is that, when I'm organizing pictures after, I often have no idea which day we did what. I believe it's because I had no idea what day it was at the time we were doing these things--don't you love it when that happens?
With that being said, here are some things that I'm pretty sure we did towards the beginning of our trip....
During the Winter in Hawaii, humpback whales come down from Alaska into the sheltered, warmer waters to birth their calves. I didn't get any really good whale shots (using a waterproof, film camera--something completely different for me), but even from a distance, in person, watching the whales jump out of the water and spray from their blowholes was pretty awesome.
And being out on the water in a kayak like that has Sweet Husband trolling craigslist for a kayak closer to home. We don't always paddle perfectly together, but we can usually get where we want to go. And--in the early morning light, out in the gentle waves--I would have been happy even if we hadn't seen a single whale.
We also jumped off the "boats"--some of us more gracefully than others!--to do a bit of snorkeling. I think we saw about six sea turtles. We didn't want to harass them, of course, but I couldn't help but follow a few from a respectful distance. The way they float through the water is just so cool.
On a different day, we made the drive up to Haleakala National Park. Haleakala (Holly-uh-call-uh, to the best I can pronounce it) is a dormant volcano, which last erupted several hundred years ago. The crater at the summit (10,000 feet up windy, twisty roads) looked like someplace off the moon.
Despite reading in several places that we needed to bring warm clothes, I managed to forget. We didn't get to do quite as much exploring as I would have liked because--in our tank tops and shorts--the 50 degree temperature at the top was freezing.
So we made our way back down into warmer altitudes, and visited a lavender farm and a winery on the way. In addition to chasing the Kiddo through the flowers and stalking the local poultry, we scored some pineapple wine and one delicious jar of lavender honey. (I can only say, it tastes like Maui.)