Saturday, February 17, 2018

Vacation Learning: Maui #14

Our Christmas day was an adventure. We headed to the "Road to Hana."  With more turns than I would like to remember, countless waterfalls, stunning views, and by far the best banana bread, the road to Hana was my favorite part of our Maui vacation. We opted for doing it slowly, and spent the night camping at the Wai'anapanapa State Park.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Vacation Learning: Maui #13

On December 24th we said good bye to the Ka'anapali coast and headed to Haleakala National Park. Our goal was to visit the "House of the Sun."  We visited during the mid morning hours. When we entered the visitor center we were given a certificate that says: "I survived the 37-mile drive up from sea level to the summit of Haleakala Volcano (10,023 Ft/3,055 m) one of the greatest elevation gains in the shortest distance in the world!" We got our Junior Ranger books and got right to work.  I love the Junior Ranger Programs at the National Parks because we get to learn about what we are exploring. We learned about Silversword plants, and the animals like the honeycreepers.

With the booklet at hand, we hiked the Hosmer Grove Campground Nature loop.  It is a beautiful loop with lots of colorful birds, and exotic plants.  We will definitely camp there on our next trip. 

On our way down,  I opened the windows to let the kids "eat the clouds." It is something my kids still talk about today.  I, on the other hand, was not thrilled.  I was terrified! Can you see the cow crossing the road? I am glad I did too!
That night, we headed to the airport to pick up our Christmas gift.  My husband flew in to join us!

Vacation Learning: Maui #12

I apologize because my memory is starting to fade...Now, the bliss of spending time in Hawai'i lives within me.  But I just cannot remember the name of this beach.  It was north of Big Beach, somewhere between Wailea, and Kihei. We didn't swim there.  Instead we went rock hopping and exploring.  We were in for a treat.  after some climbing, and jumping, we found a sea turtle resting on the shore.  
On our way back to the western side of the island, we saw a few wild boars. Since we were reading the Newbery Award winning book Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry, the kids were thrilled to see a boar just by the side of the road. 
I want to add that during our trip we also read The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell.  Both books were fantastic. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Vacation Learning: Maui #11

First, we stopped on the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge. We were able to see interesting birds and insects right next to the boardwalks.

Since we had packed lunch, we decided to return to Big Beach. Note: It is an undeveloped area, hence bring everything with you.   We visited earlier but the water was too rough to get in.  On this occasion, it was simply perfect. Waves were minimal, and the water was absolutely clear.   It felt almost like a pool.  A very kind lady let the kids use her boogie board to play with.  
I wanted to add that Big Beach can be a very dangerous place.  Lots of people get hurt and there has been shark sightings, and attacks too! If you are visiting, please make sure you: talk to the lifeguards, watch the waves, and  never turn your back to them. Be careful, and like us, chose to enjoy the sand and watch for dolphins or whales when the sea is rough.  

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Vacation Learning: Maui #10

We spent the morning playing at Ka'anapali Beach...

...and our afternoon searching for whales aboard the Pacific Whale Foundation boat.  We were lucky to see a whale breached, and show its tail.  The knowledgeable and passionate staffed gathered the kids for a fun hands-on activity to learn about humpback whales.  

Vacation Learning: Maui #9

Rain in Hawai'i = beautiful rainbows.

We went to the Luau at the Westin hotel for several reasons: 1. Little Guy wanted to see the fire dancers. 2. It was close to us. 3. We got an awesome discount. I have to say the show was interesting,  and the food was delicious.  As a side note, we found out that some dancers in the Luau also perform in the 'Ulalena show. 

We walked around the Westin hotel (we were not staying there) to check out their Christmas decorations.  We saw the "Hawaiian Santa" made out of sand, and enjoyed the flamencos eating by the Christmas tree.  

Friday, February 9, 2018

Vacation Learning: Maui #7 and #8

We went to the 'Ulalena show to learn about the history of Hawai'i.

These three pictures are from Big Beach.  That day was a bit cloudy. The waves, although gorgeous, were too strong to feel safe swimming in the water.  We sat at the beach, had a snack, and jumped by the end of the waves crashing in.  We were lucky to see a pod of dolphins swim by.  

We also visited the Maui Ocean Center.  We learned about their job with sea turtles, and got to see interesting fish like the blue one above.