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Maui in May

06/5/2015

Island Hopping

While we’re here in Hawai’i we wanted to travel to some of the other islands and experience the wild and culture that each has to offer. Looking at our travel schedule earlier in the week, we realized that we need to start getting some things booked so we decided to head to Maui this past weekend.

Early Departure

We had to wake up at 3:00am in order to get Keona dropped off at Heather’s, (her sitters for the weekend, whom we found on Rover.com). After getting her dropped off at ~4:30am near Honolulu, we headed to the airport to get checked in for our 6:30am departure.

I’ve never been on a prop plane before or boarded directly on the tarmac so it was an interesting experience. The gate is on the ground floor and you simply walk out and follow the path guarded by the security ropes on both sides.

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Boarding the plane from the tarmac.

Propeller View

Our seats were right next to the propeller which made really interesting sounds as it ramped up and took off – much louder and more variable than jet-engine planes with internal props. The views were amazing, as you’ll see in the video towards the end of the post.

Early Arrival

When we landed, we were greeted by Celine, our RelayRides host for our trip. We rented her 2015 Honda Fit and it proved to be a great decision as we travelled the island.

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Our 2015 Honda Fit.

Since we arrived so early, our hotel wasn’t available for check-in yet so we decided to grab some breakfast at a local joint. We ate at LuLu’s Lahaina Surf Club and Grill – which appeared to be one of the top local spots. The ceiling was decorated with canoes and old surf boards, with lots of local woods.

While at breakfast we looked up some area attractions and entertainment where we found the Dragon’s Teeth Hike on our list so we headed about 5 miles north to start exploring.

Dragon’s Teeth Hike & Lunch

The hike lead us past one of the holes on the golf course and along the shoreline. We were met by walls of large, sharp & point lava rocks that had been shaped by the water and wind over thousands of years. It was interesting to see all of the little creatures that were in the small tide pools while the tide was out. Everything from eels to fish and sea urchins.

After the hike, we headed to Dukes Beach House that was right on the water and enjoyed some lunch. We both went with the local Fish & Chips (caught locally) and enjoyed a couple island beverages.

Aston Kaanapali Shores

Once we were finally able to check-in we headed down to the resort pool and decide to relax for the day. When we checked-in, they upgraded us to a suite from a single room, which ended up having a full living room, kitchen, bathroom and a separate bedroom with a large king bed. We definitely didn’t have any complaints and we also had a partial view of the ocean.

The drinks were good and the sun was hot. It was a great day to relax by the pool, read a book, and enjoy some down time. We knew we had quite the trip for us in the morning, as we were about to wake at 2am and make the trek up to the summit of Haleakala.

Mount Haleakala

Haleakalā means “House of the Sun” in Hawai’ian and rightfully so. You’re able to witness God and the most gorgeous sunrises here. The park ranger said that she’s been working there for 17 years and has never seen the same sunrise twice. Talk about magical.

We started our morning on Saturday with a 2:00am alarm and got ready for the trip. We left at 2:30 and it took us about 2.5 hours to make the drive across the island and up to the summit at 10,000 feet. The winding and curving roads on the way up kept us alert as we passed through layers and layers of clouds.

The clouds were plenty at the altitude of the summit, but we were still able to witness a great sunrise. As the sun broke through, there were some native Hawai’ians that were belting out a warrior sunrise chant, it was a powerful atmosphere.

Here’s the video of the flight scenery and the sunrise at Haleakalā National Park at the summit.

Maui in May - 2015

After the sun rose, most people made the trip back down but Lauren and I drove up to another look-out where the observatory is and hiked around for a bit, waiting for the fog to finally clear. It never fully cleared but we got some photos of the landscape and even one of the observatory.

I’m glad we stayed because we were able to take our time on the way down and take lots of photos and stops and enjoy the gorgeous views. We stopped at a lavender farm at the bottom of the mountain where we also grabbed coffee and some breakfast.

Road to Hana & 7 Sacred Tidepools

With our limited time on the island we unfortunately weren’t able to make the drive on the road to Hana and see the 7 sacred tidepools which have a lot of mystical and mythical characteristics. There’s been tales of everything from aliens and bases to government coverups, which I definitely would have been interested in. Not to mention the flowing waterfalls and tidepools that you’re able to cliff jump into.

Until next time,

Aloha & Mahalo!

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Lanikai Snorkeling

10/17/2014

Conquering Fears & Living Full

When you’re afraid of something, run towards it!

That’s exactly what I did and is my goal starting while we’re here in Hawai’i, continuing into the future. I’ve been afraid of the ocean and murky water for as long as I can remember, despite growing up on the Bay of Green Bay.

Today I snorkeled in the ocean for the first time. It was absolutely amazing. I was a little timid at first but once I got comfortable, I felt the calmness of the ocean and the pulse of the energy and life flowing through it.

We snorkeled at Lanikai Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It’s only ~2 miles away from our new place that we move into in November. Lanikai Beach features a light-tan sand that massages your feet and turquoise water as far as you can see. The views are amazing, with The Twin Islands just a few hundred yards off shore.

We spent the day in and out of the water between relaxing, reading, and snorkeling.

I could get used to this Aloha lifestyle.

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Adventure Awaits

09/30/2014

Making Dreams Reality

When Lauren I first started dating, one of the most important things we did was talk about our dreams. Her dreams of working with animals, Dolphin & Marine Mammal training and my dreams of NFL, Business & Travel.

It’s always important to have the goal in mind and to have the future version of yourself visualized. We are not what we obtain by doing things, but we are who we become in the process.

“What you do Today shapes your Tomorrow.”

Letting Go & Letting God

We’ve had the goal of traveling and moving to Hawaii in mind for a couple years now and those of us that are close to us knew that we always talked about it but didn’t know when it would actually happen.

With my NFL Regional Combine and rookie camp coming and going earlier this year, without any calls or interest from teams, we decided that we’ve waited enough. It was time to let go of chasing the NFL and focus on family, business, and getting ready to move to Hawaii in October.

Lauren was able to connect with one of her friends & co-workers from the first time she lived on Oahu and coincidentally her mother was renting out a room in Aina Haina just outside of Honolulu. During our first month, we’ll be deciding if we should stay in Aina Haina or move to another part of the island once we become more acquainted with the ins and outs of life on the island.

Lauren has been doing so much to help prepare, plan, and make sure everything goes smoothly with the move. Hawaii has a really strict animal import process so there has been lots of tests, vaccinations, and plans to make sure that Keona is released once we land and isn’t quarantined. If immediate release isn’t applied for and organized, Hawaii’s quarantine policy is up to 120 days to make sure rabies and other diseases that aren’t currently present on the island stay out.

Family & Friendly Festivities

The last month of our time in Green Bay were filled with lots of family & friend activities; Labor Day weekend up at Shawn & Becky’s Cottage in Pound, WI, the Matt Wertz & Parachute Concert in Milwaukee, Dinner & The Head & The Heart concert with Chris & Pam at The Meyer, Darren & Kendra’s Wedding in Minnesota, Startup & Design Meetups, a Wisconsin Badger Game with my dad and my brother, a Packer game with Lauren, my nephew Nick’s baseball games, Carly’s half-time dance routine, Thursday Night Football games & drinks with my Brothers and our Team, lots of dinner dates and we capped it all off with a going away party at Fox Harbor with our closest friends and family. It was amazing spending so much time with everyone and made me wonder why we don’t make a point to all get together more often. We’re leaving for an adventure and I can’t wait until we get to come back to WI and spend time with everyone again.

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Tomorrow we wake up at 2:00am to finish loading the car, fill up on gas, and head over to my Grandma’s. My dad is bringing us down to Chicago where we have a direct flight and arrive in Hawaii at 4:30pm.

Mahalo for all of the Aloha, we’ll see you on the other side!

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