Friday, May 24, 2019

Maui - Day 2 - Sunrise & Zipline!

The next morning or should I say in the middle of the night...we were picked up at 1:25am which to us felt like 4:25am so it really wasn't that bad. Plus you have the vacation excitement running through your veins so that gives you energy. 

We had to be out at the lobby of Papakea by 1:55am so our driver could pick us up. Dave was awesome!!! 

We drove to a few different hotels picking up other folks. Then we drove about 45 minutes to get to the Skyline Tours headquarters. They had breakfast for us....muffins, fruit and coffee...and we were able to pick out our warm coats. 

There were all sorts of different tours so they broke us up into groups. There was the Class Sunrise Tour where the people watched the sunrise and then ate a nice breakfast. The Sunrise & Bike, Sunrise & Zip or Sunrise, Bike & Zip. We were taking the Sunrise & Zip Tour. We got loaded into one of the buses with our new driver Paul. He was quirky, but awesome. He got us super jazzed to see the sunrise! 

The ride to the top of Haleakala was about 1.5 hours so most people slept. When we got to the National Park entrance the lady warned us that they were having 48 mph winds at the top. Paul did a great job driving our bus because I never felt like we were being whipped around by wind. 

We got to the top about an hour before sunrise which is the best time. It's not actually the sunrise that you are going for. You are going to see the amazing display before the sun actually comes up. 

This is how the sky looked at first. The bright star is actually Venus. It was so breathtaking! 

The sky was changing minute by minute. 

Venus is getting higher! 

Michael's cousin Robin had warned us how cold is was on the mountain so I was prepared. I had leggings on under my jeans and a pair of gloves with my Seahawks beanie. We also had the warm coats that were provided by Skyline Tours. The wind was wicked though. We were partial shielded by the visitor center and we were still getting battered. Thank goodness there was a guard rail there or we would have been tossed into the crater! It was cold, but it wasn't one hand was freezing though since I couldn't operate my camera with my glove on. 

This was the area to our right. That's where Michael and I were originally standing and then we saw how the visitor center could shield us a bit if we moved. That's the great thing about Skyline Tours...they get you up there early so you beat everyone and get a great view. All those people had blankets or towels wrapped around them and they were flapping in the wind. 

Getting so bright! 

Look at that handsome guy! 

One of the other tour guides from a different group came over at one point and was talking about different things. He said that the Big Island was on our right, but we couldn't see it because of the clouds. Later on the clouds parted so we got a glimpse of it. The Big Island is the darker spot in the middle of the picture off in the distance. You can actually see 4 different islands from the island of Maui...The Big Island, Moloka'i, Lana'i and Kaho'olawe. 

Almost there!!! 

Good Morning Sun!!! 

Did you know that the word Haleakala means 'House of the Sun'? The Hawaiian people years ago would see the sun rise and it would look like it came right out of the mountain hence the name. 

It wasn't long after sunrise that Michael and I decided to head back to the tour bus. First off we forgot our sunglasses on the bus and once the sun came up it's hard to enjoy looking at it. Secondly we were COLD!!! 

The wind was so strong on our way to the railing to see the sunrise we were being pushed there, but on the way back to the bus we were having to fight for each and every step. I was leaning so hard into the wind that if the wind would have stopped blowing I would have fallen on my face. It was so hilarious!!! 

Our tour guide asked us if we wanted to go check out a view of the cinder cones inside the crater. We all said yes!!! 

It had a great little lookout area. I started singing the song from Moana...."See the light as it shines on the sea? It's blinding, but no one knows, how deep it goes." 

I love making memories together!!! 

Such a fun view! 

Our driver Paul asked if we wanted to get some cool pictures and we said yes. So we walked over to a ledge and he said that we could jump if we wanted to and it would look like we were skydiving. 

He did a selfie so we had something to remember him by! :) 

Here's the shot he got using burst mode on my phone! 

It was so much fun!!!! 

Here's how the set up worked. Even though it looks like a cliff there is a little bit of land. He just told us if we jumped to jump forward. Good piece of advise! 

It was still very windy so while the other folks were getting their pictures taken we took refuge beside the bus since it blocked the wind. 

Michael did venture out to look over the edge again. 

On our way down to the Zipline Tour we saw a beautiful rainbow! 

We stopped at the upper visitor center so we could use the restroom. Paul showed us the Silver Sword plants. They grow super slow and they only bloom once and then they die. They don't bloom until they are 30 - 50 years old though. 

Skyline Eco we come! 

All suited up and ready to go! 

This was Kevin and he was hilarious! I swear all these tour guides go to comedy school or something. They were great at making us feel at ease and super relaxed. If something happened and I asked if that was okay he would saying things like..."Oh it's okay she signed the waiver!" or for instance I would say...."Can we go to the end of the runway and jump off?" and he would say, "I'm not saying you can do that, but you should use the whole runway" and then I would try to get him to clarify and he would jokingly say, "No more questions!" 

The Zipline course is in the middle of an Eucalyptus forest. The Eucalyptus trees are actually an invasive species that they are trying to get rid of slowly, but surely. 

I had a great time except on the suspension bridge. I did NOT like that at all. I had to keep myself from hyperventilating. The Ziplines were great though. Later on Michael told me this was his least favorite part about the whole trip. He thought the Ziplines were going to be longer and more of them. I felt bad since this was the one thing he really wanted to do. But we ended up adding another fun adventure that he wanted to do just a couple weeks before our trip and that adventure ended up making up for this one. 

Here's the last Zipline! 

After the Ziplines were over we ate our lunch that was provided by the tour. I had a Caesar salad and Michael had a Turkey and Swiss Wrap. We could literally see a rain storm coming our way so we took cover. After that we went and sat in the tour bus until it was time to go. Our energy level was definitely waning. 

We ended up getting taken back to the condo by a different driver. His name was Scott. He was one of those type of drivers that needed to fill the quiet space. He was very informative, but he really should have understood that we had all been up since around 1am and we were done. Some of the other people in the bus were from the east coast so they were even more exhausted than we were. 

Once we got back we changed our clothes and headed into Lahaina. We didn't want to take a nap and get even more off schedule. It was actually raining in Lahaina, but it was so warm it didn't even matter. We found free parking on the south side and then we walked up one side of the street and down the other. 

We ended up buying each of the kids a little something. We got Ella a pretty flower necklace, Jack a Maui hook necklace, Owen another Taco Cat spelled backwards is Taco Cat shirt and we got Zeke a shirt with a shark on it that says 'A Shark Ate My Homework' since he hates doing his homework. 

We walked by the huge Banyan tree. It was so cool! 

Then we thought we should have fun with the panoramic feature! 

How many Michael's do you see???

Look I have a twin! 

One of the other places that was recommended to us was the Paia Fish Market. I got a fish taco with potatoes. You can't seem them since they are under the taco. They were really yummy before I ate the taco and then once I ate the taco the flavors didn't go together so I just finished the taco. 

Michael got a tuna steak. It was supposed to be 6 oz, but I am sure this is more than 6 oz. It was HUGE...Michael was definitely not complaining! :) 

After dinner we went back to the condo and watched an episode of Game of Thrones and ended up going to bed around 8:30pm since we were exhausted!