Maui 2013 || Day 7 : Exploring Lahaina and Napili Blowhole

It was a Thursday, it was the seventh day of traveling, and things could not have been more amazing.  Since the wedding festivities were now complete, this was the first day where we woke up and had absolutely no plans.  We didn’t have to be anywhere by a certain time, or do anything specific, so once our eyes opened up to the bright new day, we had only one thing on our minds :: breakfast!

One thing I will continue to recommend to those traveling to Hawaii for an extended period of time, is to stay in a place that has a kitchen.  We stayed at the Aston at Mahana and could not have been more pleased with our room and service {a more detailed review post to come}

We love to cook, so we did not mind making ourselves some of our meals and we absolutely did not mind lazily starting our day with some scrambled eggs, coffee, and juice overlooking the ocean on our lanai {that is what everyone in Hawaii calls a balcony}.  Oh yeah, and we had more banana bread {that is the one thing that is NOT on short supply in Hawaii}.

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After breakfast we decided we would do some exploring and learn what Lahaina was all about.  We drove into the city and parked in the lot at the corner of Front and Shaw street.  If I had to choose one place to park when going into the city {parking is a little more troublesome than you would expect}, I would definitely choose this lot again.  It is at the end of the popular Front Street of Lahaina, so you can easily start and then end your day at the car and everything we went into Lahaina to see {which was mainly to eat and shop} was within walking distance.

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By the time we actually got into the city, it was almost lunch time {that is how lazily we started our day….it was amazing}.  So, we found our way to the Cool Cat Café in the Wharf Shopping Center.  They specialize in floats and burgers….not something you would expect to eat in Hawaii, but we had spent the last six days eating the typical Hawaiian foods {at least for us visitors}, so a shake and burger sounded just right.  To be fair, I did order the coffee flavored shake, that used Hawaiian Kona coffee, so I didn’t escape the food culture completely.

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The food at Cool Cat was great!  But, it is A LOT, so make sure to go with an appetite!

The restaurant was on the second floor of the Wharf, and since it was an outdoor/open area, we sat overlooking the giant Banyan tree that is in the middle of the street.  After we ate, we went to take a closer look.

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The Banyan trees {including this giant one in Lahaina} were so amazing to see.  Take a look at the pictures closely…see those brown roots hanging down?  Those roots grow until they reach the ground and then form themselves into another “leg” of the tree.

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This is the giant center of the tree in Lahaina.  This is what was planted oh-so-many years ago and each limb has extended itself down to form additional legs of the tree into the ground.  My pictures do not do this amazing tree justice!

After the tree we did some shopping and then headed to the beach and just sat around people/boat watching.

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Before we left for Hawaii, one of my friends from the Wedding Planner and Guide show {which I was a vendor at the day before we left….it was a crazy week} told me the one thing we needed to see while in the Lahaina area was the Napili blowhole.  After we got back to our condo after visiting the city {and eating SO MUCH}, we thought the hike to the blowhole was just the perfect end to our day.

That was until we got there and saw this:

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Just kidding….we still hiked down to the blowhole and did our bests to listen to what that sign warned us of.  However, once we got there, it was obvious how hard it was to resist getting really close….case in point {from where we stood at this moment, that little girl looked uncomfortably close to the blowhole}:

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When I started taking pictures, I kept moving closer and closer, and was finally told to stop….thanks, Graham, for keeping me safe.

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We met a few others as we headed to the blowhole that informed us the current wasn’t very strong that day.  But, I still felt like it was a very cool thing to see.

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{getting this picture of the actual hole was when Graham told me I needed to back away….as he could hear the water rushing back in!}

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Another neat aspect in the area was this heart-shaped rock formation.  I couldn’t help but take a million pictures of this thing….all while designing a cute destination wedding save the date in my head!

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The lava rocks and fossils all around were pretty cool too.

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I wanted to get a picture of what the hike looked like…..Graham was SO OVER my picture taking at this point as it was getting dark and looked like it was about to rain.

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He was right, it did start to rain…the second we got back into the car!  This was also when we saw our first rainbow on our visit to the rainbow state.  We saw a rainbow every day after that!

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{taken from our car while driving back to the condo}

The rainbows did not last long, the one we saw on our five minute drive back was almost gone by the time I got up to our floor’s balcony at the condo:

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Up next is a day at the beach including Graham jumping off a cliff!!