Flashback Friday: Maui

While I was taking a blog hiatus a lot of awesome things happened, which leads me to a new (and hopefully reoccurring) theme: Flashback Friday (original name, I know).

Let’s start with June. 


Luke was a groomsman in one of his friend’s weddings which was in Maui. Not a bad excuse to go to Hawaii, right? Be prepared for pictures.



Because Luke travels so often, we were able to fly first class all the way to Hawaii– all 8 hours of it. I’ll spare you the pictures of our multi-course meals and free adult beverages. So alas, we arrived! 

This was one of my first views from the plane.
And we experienced Hawaii the way young, childless adults should experience Hawaii–via jeep! Which means I saw Maui like this. 

My model-esque hair
Don’t worry. I eventually smartened up and wore my hair in a ponytail in the car. Anyway, we arrived at a beautiful hotel and found this to be the view from our room. 


Hotel on the left, beach on the right. It was amazing. While we were there, we found out that Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler shot the movie “Just Go With It” at our hotel. I sat in the same spot as Jennifer Aniston, which I think is pretty awesome!

Since we were there for a wedding, we settled into our hotel and headed to the rehearsal! Hawaii has the most eclectic group of plants and trees I’ve ever seen! Here is my favorite tree that was found all over the island.


We had only been Hawaii a few hours before coming to the realization that it is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world. And the wedding was to be held on a private beach. How much more perfect could it be? Here’s a view of the ocean from the private beach.


After the rehearsal, we saw a stand on the side of the road selling fresh pineapples and coconuts. You know what happened next… 

I actually don’t like coconut, so I was holding this for Luke while he drove 🙂 We bought a pineapple too, but I really think it had spiders all over it. Some things just aren’t meant to be bought and consumed from a stand on the side of the road. 

So the next day, the bride and groom had a snorkeling trip planned for us. Luke and I had only been snorkeling one time before, so we were excited to go again! We boarded the catamaran and headed out to our first snorkeling spot. On the way, we stopped by an area that often has sea turtles! *Pause the story for a second* I love turtles, and actually have a pet box turtle, so to see a sea turtle was amazing! I’m pretty sure I cried. *Story continues* The turtles were pretty fast and sneaky, so they were hard to get a picture of. They are massive, but still fairly easy to miss if you aren’t looking at the right place at the right time. In the picture below, if you were to fold the picture in half, the turtle’s shell is right above the halfway line. It’s smooth and looks like a rock.


Snorkeling stop #1. We got into the water and I barely stuck my head in the water and see this…

Amazingly clear water, and the sweetest, friendliest fish! They really did like to swim right next to you. Also notice in the picture (and in the next picture) how you can see the sea floor. We were still a LONG way from the sea floor (remember, because I barely had my face in the water) yet you can clearly see the details of the sea floor.  I’m so thankful we bought an underwater camera to capture these moments. *Pausing story again* When we were on our honeymoon, we went snorkeling and had an amazing time! While we were snorkeling, I kept thinking about how everything we know about our world has been altered. Buildings have been built, roads have been created, plants have been torn down or planted, etc. But the ocean is still the same as when God created it. He put the water into motion and it’s still moving today. He created the ecosystem, and they’re still surviving today. It’s so peaceful to watch the fish in their environment. So when we found out we would be snorkeling, we bought a nice underwater camera so we could capture the moment 🙂


After we snorkeled at this spot, we moved to another spot on the island. Unfortunately, I got a tad sea sick, so I skipped that location. 

That evening, we had the rehearsal dinner, where I ate fish for the first time. Ironic that after snorkeling with the fish, I wanted to eat one, but when in Rome… I had the most amazing macadamia nut crusted Mahi Mahi. It was to die for. Now I eat Mahi Mahi at least once a week.

The next day, aka Ross and Nikki’s wedding day, we spent the morning swimming in the ocean and in the hotel pools. 

Then, the moment we were all waiting for… the wedding! Seriously, how AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL is this picture?!

The ceremony was beautiful and heartfelt. It was a perfect reflection of them as a couple.


Then Luke and I took a few pictures before the reception got underway!



As beautiful as the scenery looks, the pictures don’t do it justice.
Here’s another picture from the wedding site

And how amazingly beautiful is this cake with the sun behind it?


I couldn’t get enough of the sunset and the beautiful ocean view accented with wedding decorations. 



The next day, Luke and I set out on a traditional Maui-tourist adventure called the Road to Hana. We stopped at Willie Nelson’s restaurant and had breakfast… 

Yes, we split that pancake and still couldn’t finish it. It was over twice the size of my face.

On Maui, there’s one main road that goes all around the island. Hana is a town on Maui. So tourists drive on this main road and stop at certain mile markers to see different sites. Some mile markers are waterfalls, some are beautiful views of the ocean, etc.
Part of the road
One of the stops on the road was a botanical arboretum where you can see where they shot the opening scene of Jurassic Park.


The little mountain below is part of the opening scene of Jurassic Park.

While walking through the arboretum we noticed a waterfall at a distance. So we decided to get back in the car and drive to the waterfall.


We hiked down to the waterfall and jumped in! It was COLD, but we didn’t care. We were swimming in the pool of a waterfall! I’ll spare you the pictures of us swimming, but this is how clear the water was.


We continued on the Road to Hana and saw even more beautiful sites. I came to the conclusion that when driving, you have about 3 seconds to capture a picture before your scenery totally changes. Whether that means you go from an open view of the ocean to dense trees obstructing your view, or from a straight part of the road to a curve in the road, you have about 3 seconds to capture the picture or else it’s gone. So we pulled on the side of the road to get this panoramic.



After a long day of driving around the island, we ate a great dinner at a restaurant on the hotel’s property–Humuhumunukunukuapua’a (who-moo-who-moo-new-kew-new-kew-a-pu-a-a). Look it up on dictionary.com and the computer will say it to you 🙂


How incredible is that sunset? We are so blessed! 🙂

The next day was our last on the island. We breakfast at one of our new favorite restaurants, Maui Tacos. 



Seriously, if you’re ever near a Maui Taco, you HAVE to eat there! Your life will be made!

Then we drove around to look at the scenery one last time and ate at the AMAZING restaurant, Mama’s Fish House, where I had Mahi Mahi again 🙂

We flew back to DFW through the night. This was the last Hawaiian sunset I saw over Maui.


God is so good! Hawaii was so incredible. I miss it so much. The Lord was so apparent throughout the island. It’s amazing to think how He loved us so much that he could make something so beautiful just to make us happy. It made me think of what Heaven will be like. Accounts from books like “Heaven is For Real” and “90 Minutes in Heaven” tell us that we’ve never seen the colors that exist in Heaven. That colors are so bright and vibrant that our world cannot contain them. Why? Because as powerful as the earth’s sun is, in Heaven, The Lord is the source of light, so we’ll see all colors according to His light. From what I’ve read, we don’t even have words to describe the beauty of Heaven. Literally. Words do not exist for what Heaven contains! Why? Because our earthly selves weren’t made to comprehend it. Even our imaginations fall short of the details of Heaven.


It just makes me happy and excited. Going to Maui was truly a blessing because it was a spiritual experience for me. I feel closer to God for having seen a fraction of His capabilities. And why would He create something like this? To show us that He loves us. I could go on for days.

Kristen

“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” CS Lewis

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