Alright guys, are you ready for our Maui blog post?! As most of you know, I’m a hardcore lover of Hawaii and have been to Oahu four times. The last time I went was with Sam in 2019. That was Sam’s first time and he fell in love with it too, like I figured he would. One of my goals in life has always been to move there and if I don’t move there, to visit about once a year. So after a year passed since our last trip, we started talking about going again. Sam really wanted to go back to Oahu but I really wanted to visit a new island and with Covid restrictions, Maui looked like our best bet.
We originally were going to go to Puerto Rico and actually booked our flights and Airbnb but the next day, I realized we were going to have to get our PCR test on a Friday because we were leaving on a Monday and we may not get our results over the weekend (according to the locations I called). It probably would have worked out but I got a little stressed and started researching Hawaii instead.
At first Hawaii seemed more complicated but when I found out that Hawaii allows a different type of test called the ID Now test and the results come back in a few hours, I knew that would make our lives a LOT simpler. Hawaii requires you get a negative NAAT test within 72 hours of your last leg of your journey. We ended up doing ours at a Walgreens that offered it about an hour away from us two days before our trip. Our negative results came back within three hours! We just had to upload them to the Safe Travels Hawaii site and receive a QR code that we would show when arriving in Maui.
I’m SO glad we ended up doing our test two days before rather than one because we actually ended up having to move our flight a day earlier! I’ve NEVER done that before but there was a ton of really bad weather in the Dallas area where our layover was going to be and our town was calling for snow too. We had no idea how bad it would be but Dallas was so bad that they had to cut off water and absolutely no flights were coming in or out.
The last time we went to Hawaii we got delayed by quite a bit so I was determined not to let that happen, and I knew our flights would be cancelled for Dallas…… We called American Airlines and were so blessed to get connected with someone who lived in Dallas and knew how bad it was! She just moved our flights up a day and we ended up leaving that night after we called!! Good thing we were mostly packed and ready. Haha!!
Thankfully everything was perfectly smooth and we arrived in Maui a day later after an overnight layover in LA! Arriving at the airport was so exciting because everything was new to me! I honestly had no idea what to expect of Maui and that was so fun. People kept telling me Maui is more chill, there’s no huge towns, and it’s more of a retirement island. I didn’t really know what that meant but regardless, I had a list of SO many things to do.
When arriving in Hawaii from the east coast, the easiest way to adjust to the time zone is to stay up as long as you can until it’s bedtime in Hawaii and then get on a good schedule so you’ll wake up early! I’ve always done that and I don’t really get jet lag at all. So we stayed up until about 7PM or so and woke up at 3AM for the sunrise at Haleakala!! I was so glad we got a ticket for this because they sold out within minutes! Because of Covid, I think they’re limiting the people up there so I jumped on securing ours the minute they went online.
We had to drive over an hour to get there from Kihei where we were staying so it was a super early wakeup call. But it was worth it!! The drive to Haleakala is one of the fastest elevation gains in the shortest amount of time in the U.S. It goes from sea level to over 10,000 feet and it’s hard to believe but at the top, it was FRIGID. We had hats and big coats and I was still shivering. With the wind chill, it was probably 20 degrees, which is so wild to imagine in Hawaii! As the sun peeked over the clouds though, it was truly one of those moments you’ll never forget. I’ve had this on my bucket list for SO LONG!! And being there felt surreal. I highly recommend it!
After Haleakala, we were driving all around the island and saw WHALES jumping out of the water off the side of the road! I quickly told Sam to pull over and we watched them for a good twenty minutes. And you guys, I cried!!!! I have always wanted to see whales and just seeing them even from so far away made me emotional. It was incredible!! Apparently we went to Hawaii at the best time to see whales, so that worked out perfectly! We went on a whale tour with Hawaii Ocean Rafting a little later in the week though and we saw them RIGHT beside our boat. It was probably one of my top three things that we did in Maui!
I could talk for hours about everything we did but I’ll just leave you with my one other favorite day and that was driving the Road to Hana!! If you’ve ever been to Maui, I’m sure you did this. You’ve probably even heard of it if you haven’t been. It is a really popular drive that goes almost halfway around Maui and it is UNREAL.
We actually did this road backwards because we weren’t sure how bad the traffic would be with tourists but it wasn’t too bad. The road is really rough in some spots towards the end (or beginning if you do it backwards) but it gets better as you go. It’s just very narrow in some spots and you have to honk before going around turns. At some places you sort of feel like you’re either going off a cliff or driving in the ocean but it’s really cool and you will see waterfalls everywhere along your drive!
Maui and Oahu now are competing in my soul for my favorite place I’ve ever been to. Haha!! They are both SO magical in different ways but one thing I loved about Maui is that is was REALLY diverse. There were beautiful beaches, volcanic landscapes, fields, and waterfalls all within a short drive! So if this doesn’t convince you to take a trip there, I don’t know what will!! As usual, feel free to message me with the best places to stay, eat, and lay out! 🙂