The pace of the trip has really slowed down. No more running, just sticking close to the hotel and relaxing. Several members of our group did drive up to view the sunrise from Haleakala Crater, From what I was told the drive up the mountain reached 10,000 feet and the air was thinner than what they where used too but worth the effort. They said the sunrise was spectacular. I choose to stay at the hotel and get a message and then go snorkeling. WOW, it hurt so good. My back was so tight and tense that for the next 20 minutes I was in so much pain while the muscles where being worked out. The masseuse said I should have a message once every 2 weeks, that's really going to NOT happen. It was a lot cheaper in Hawaii than here at home. SIGH!! The facial was the best part of the whole experience. It smelled so good, I really could have one of those every 2 weeks.
Off to the beach for some fun in the sun.
This is the first time in a LOONGGG time I've gone snorkeling and it took a while and a couple of attempts to get used to swimming with the mask and hose. I have to say at first I didn't get it, but after several attempts, ditching the fins and finally relaxing I did get the hang of swimming with the fishes. It was so much fun, the currents where a little strong, but I didn't go out very far. I just hugged the coast and swam for about an hour. Several of us got together for dinner that evening and I realized I forgot a vital part of swimming or being in the sun... SUNBLOCK. I put some sunblock on before we got into the water, but I forgot my back and never reapplied after getting out. STUPID. I really paid the price because my back was fried. I didin't sleep well that night. Where's the aloe. Wait, I had Kakui nut lotion and tried that on my back and it really helped with the pain. I did go get some oil and that was even better.
Up again, this time to travel into Lahaina to catch a boat to see one of the most magestic animals on this planet, the Humpback whale. Because I was at the back of the line to board the boat I wasn't able to get a good seat up top to photograph the whales so I went back below to the front, actually this happened to be the best place for taking pictures and I got some really good ones. There was a mother with her baby and an escort whale swimming in the area. The baby was so active, he was learning how to do tail flips, breching, and fin slaps. He was so cute. Where every he went mommie was always making sure he didn't get into too much trouble. At one point the escort, another male humpback, breched right next to a katermeran it was really awesome. I put the camera on continuas mode and took several shots a second, I'm glad I did because I got some good ones. After the whale watching tour we went to Bubba Gump's for lunch, it was a really good meal and I wish we had one here in the D.C. area.
In the Lahaina harbor there is a great bayan tree that is one of the oldest and largest in the islands. It was so cool the way the vines drop down to the ground and create new trunks is great.
Later this evening we went to a lua in Lahaina. It was o.k. The one I went to at Paradise Cove on Oahu last year was much better. All in all it was a fun evening and the dancers were good. Tomorrow is our departure day. It has been such a great trip. I've seen so much this past week. Some of it I've seen before, but it was enjoyable seeing it again. The best part was the new places I traveled to while in Hawaii. It's such a beautiful state and I love begin there. The worst part is the long flight from DC to Honolulu, but it's a lot easier going west than east.
We're up early to check out of the hotel and carpool back to the airport. On the trip there we made a stop at a local scrapbook store and I picked up "island" themed paper and cutouts for my memories of this awesume trip. We arrived at the airport with plenty of time. The flight was overbooked as usual so I was not able to make an upgrade to 1st class. This stunck because it was a long flight from Kona to O'hara. Especially with screaming children. It was a very long flight. I really hate red-eyes. Once in Chicago we waited about an hour for our flight to BWI. Once I boarded the plane I pretty much went to sleep and don't remember much of anything except landing at BWI. I really needed that nap. Back to the hotel to pick up the car and I was finally home. Would I go again, absolutely. I would love to have a week in Maui to see the sights I didn't this time. It was the best of the 3 islands I visited. It's now on my to-do list to go again.
We arrived home to cold weather and a week later D.C. is having the biggest snowstorm of the season. YIPPY.