Usually if I’m going to spend more that six hours traveling, I’d like to go see a new country, a new culture, and have a whole new experience. But this time, six hours over the ocean and we found ourselves in beautiful Hawaii!
Staying “in” America by visiting Hawaii wasn’t at the top of my bucket list. But we’d known for a little while that Southwest Airlines was opening up flights to Hawaii. We assumed this likely meant smokin’ deals opening day. And that’s just what ended up happening. Prices were jumping all over the place with supply and demand, so we quickly settled on the dates we could clear our schedules for and hit “book”!
Justin and I have the companion pass through Southwest, which we are HUGE fans of because we get BOGO flights! Nothing special, we just researched their points requirements, followed the instructions, and have taken full advantage after qualifying for a companion pass.
Five quick days in Maui was enough to fall in love, and be reminded of our own love as it was a pseudo three year anniversary trip. It was probably the most relaxing trip we’ve taken. Since our flights were so cheap, I was committed to finding an Airbnb where I could fall asleep and wake up to the sound of the ocean. Mission accomplished at Paia Bay Cottage!
Paia Bay Cottage was a cozy little homebase with a view. We could walk to the beach, restaurants, and hidden rocky lookout for some turtle watching. I often go for the thriftiest housing as we’re about getting out and adventuring. But this time I thought we’d spend a little more time just relaxing and watching the ocean waves come crashing in. Paia Bay Cottage was a dream. We watched the sunset on our patio every night as the sky changed from bright with light to a shade of peach, and watched the sun fall behind the ocean. That was definitely a highlight. For food during our stay, we frequented Flatbread Company, Paia Bowl, and Mana Market for supplies to make meals at home.
We watched the sunrise on top of the crater in Haleakala National Park. FYI, you have to reserve your parking pass to visit during sunrise. It might have been our favorite part. Just watching the day begin from above the clouds was pretty unreal. It was a lovely visit to Haleakalā “house of the sun”. On the way back down the winding road, we visited a lavender farm, Ali’i Kula Lavender. I enjoyed their property thanks to all of the protea varieties and various flowers they grow, in addition to the many types of lavender.
Experiencing nature is something I just love on vacation, and Hawaii was an exception place to do so. I think that’s the thing I miss out on the most when I’m caught up in the everyday. Sure, I’m a florist so I get to see and work with beautiful flowers. But seeing flowers where they grow naturally definitely inspires me. I love hiking to see the different types of flowers and foliage, visiting farms that grow native plants, and just observing my surroundings a little more closely.
The best thing about this hike, sword ferns everywhere. They have been growing on me lately and after Maui I just think they’re so wild! It was fun seeing them growing so tall and free. The hike was tropical at first with lots of shade trees, and then transitioned into amazing views of the mountain and the ocean. We stopped for breakfast on the way there at Vanta Coffee Hub. They were truly the sweetest folks and had such delicious food. I love a good veggie omelette and they fulfilled my breakfast dreams. It’s kinda my favorite meal of the day.
We wandered to the resort towns to see the amazing beaches they have cornered. The sand and waves were beautiful. I was amazed at the easy free parking nestled between the luxury resorts. We even saw a simple wedding ceremony begin as we took the hint to scoot out of the way before the bride walked down the stairs to the beach. It was sweet. I loved playing in the waves and seeing Justin attempt to snorkel before deciding he was ready to return his flippers. We stopped for my first Acai bowl as a snack before heading back to our spot for the day. I think it was the best bowl of the whole trip at Hawaiian Moons Natural Foods.
It was a quick trip, but we were enchanted by the little taste of Maui we experienced. We will definitely be looking to visit more of Hawaii in the future. What are your favorite Hawaii spots?!