Maui – part 1

November 28th, 2015

Alright, I edited enough photos to do the first entry! Out of… two or three maybe? I’ll be splitting my Maui trip up, so it’s not terribly long each time :)

Day 1 – 11/7

The start of our trip was actually not in Maui. Since we have to fly out from the west coast, we decided to spend a day in San Francisco to see two close friends and also two of my cousins. We arrived in the morning and met up with our friends for lunch before heading to Muir Woods, which is known for redwood trees. Though there were many people near the entrance, we found a longer and less traveled route that let us walk through the park in peace.


Afterwards, we stopped by Marin Headlands on the way back and saw that there was a beautiful, clear view of the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset.


Then we met with my cousins and their girlfriends for dinner! Two of my cousins moved to San Francisco just this year from New York for work. One of them has been a close friend growing up, and it was so great to see him and catch up :D

Day 2 – 11/8

The next morning, we flew out to Maui. Though we arrived near noon, we took the day easy since we were pretty tired. We got snorkel rentals for the week and then headed to our hotel, the Fairmont, where we relaxed and took advantage of a couple happy hours.

By the way, all of the rooms in the Fairmont were suites! Ours was so big! It had a private balcony and four rooms: an entryway, living room, bedroom, and bathroom. Definitely one of the nicest hotel rooms I’ve stayed in.

Day 3 – 11/9

We started the morning by hitting up a couple snorkel spots. Snorkeling is my favorite thing to do in Hawaii! It’s so relaxing, and the reefs are amazing. (I definitely recommend doing a snorkel rental outside of your hotel, like Snorkel Bob’s, because you can get better gear for a much lower price.)

First we went to Ulua beach near the Andaz hotel. This was our favorite. It was easy to swim, the water was clear, and it had some of the best things to see. We actually saw four sea turtles up close! No matter how many times I see sea turtles while snorkeling, I still freak out from excitement. (I really like turtles ok.)

After we were done at Ulua, we headed to Wailea Beach Park by the Four Seasons. While the reefs were nice, the water was very rough, making it hard to swim around. Sometimes it felt like we were stuck in one spot, swimming against the incoming wave. But you know what? That’s ok because we saw two more sea turtles!

For lunch, we were really craving a ahi tuna poke bowl. A quick search on Yelp led us to Eskimo Candy, where we ordered a poke bowl and a combo lunch plate. That really, really hit the spot! The poke bowl was especially good, and we loved that it came with four types of poke: spicy, shoyu, furikake, and wasabi.

From there, we headed over to the Maui Ocean Center. It’s not that great of an aquarium, but it did have a living reef part, which contained coral and fish that you can see in Hawaii. This gave me a chance to photograph the type of things we see while snorkeling! You really do see this many colorful and patterned fish. Seeing a plain-looking fish actually makes me do a double take because it’s way more common to see colorful ones :)

Afterwards, we just headed back to the hotel, so I could prepare for a sunset photo. I had scouted out a place the day before and planned for a long exposure shot. (Check out my long exposure entry for how to do this.) We got out there right before sunset and quickly set up my DSLR on a tripod with a ND filter. I’m in love with the results I got!

The next part will cover Iao Valley, Road to Hana, and more snorkeling!

12 Responses to “Maui – part 1”

  • Kya says:

    Wow, those woods look like such an amazing place to visit. I love the photo of the Golden Gate Bridge! It’s probably a shot that you couldn’t resist taking, just like any major city attraction. :D

    The hotel looks so great that you stayed in. It would have been nice to know that you were returning to a space that you could relax in as well. :D

    Eee. That would be so great to see sea turtles! I have never been snorkelling, but I can imagine that it would be a really magical experience, almost like you are between two worlds.

    Love the photos and looking forward to the next part! :D

  • Holly says:

    It’s great that you could make the most of your stop over in San Francisco.

    Your room at the Fairmont looks impressive. The bathroom is like the size of my entire flat! And the snorkelling sounds like so much fun. I’ve been snorkelling before but never anywhere that there has been something interesting to see.

  • Pauline says:

    I’m always so envious when I read trip posts like these because I hardly ever go away from my hometown mainly because of studies and time.

    It looks like you had a fun time! I’ve never been snorkelling before but it’s one of the things I really want to do before I die! In Hawaii too! I can’t wait to know more about your trip, these photos look unreal – so, so beautiful. I sometimes can’t believe places like these exist? So surreal!

  • Kenny says:

    It looks like you had a lot of fun. :) Love the photos of San Francisco. I’ve always been fond of trees. Also, the food looks delicious.

  • Tess says:

    Your pictures are amazing Cat!! So beautiful, especially the last one with the sunset. It looks directly out of a desktop wallpaper – super download worthy. Maui looks beautiful, I heard many times that Japanese culture and influence is greatly present in Maui. I’ve always wanted to go to Muir Woods!! That’s on our list next time we head to San Fran, I love the redwood trees. Did you get to drive through one?

    • Cat says:

      Thank you! There are some Hawaiian foods that resemble Japanese ones, like saimin or spam musubi. I think Oahu is the one with more Japanese influence though and also a ton of Japanese tourists :) Many hotels there have fluent Japanese speakers, and I’ve seen stores accept yen.

      Muir Woods doesn’t have any redwood trees that you can drive through unfortunately. There are ones in other parts of California though!

  • Tara says:

    Ahhhh! Beautiful photos! I would love to visit San Francisco! That’s really the only place in California I find myself wanting to visit :3

    And wow at your Hawaii photos! The aquarium may not have been great, but your photos are making those reef look abfab!

    Also, those sunset photos! Great shot! I’m in awe at your skills! I think it’s great you took the time to stake out a spot to shoot it! ^^

  • Jeanie says:

    Beautiful photos there Cat! I am so inlove with your sunset photo the most. The combination of orange and violet looks really nice in it. I was also surprised with the bathroom of the hotel. It is so big for a bathroom lol. Looking forward to your next posts! <3

  • Jenny says:

    What beautiful photos! I’ve heard wonderful things about San Francisco and it’s definitely a place I want to visit (along with Hawaii!)

  • Nancy says:

    It’s awesome that you got to squeeze in San Francisco into your vacation! The woods look so beautiful! I hope they preserve the trees and not deforest it. You always get perfect shots of the Golden Gate Bridge ;).

    The suite looks pretty neat! Very fancy~~ The poke bowl there looks so legit. I need to add Hawaii to my “go-to” places ;). You always get the good food!

    The ocean center looks beautiful~ I love how ~natural~ the sea life looks. It’s cool how there are fishes who swims together as a family. It’s mostly for defensive strategy, but still looks nice from a visual perspective~

  • Bhairavee says:

    Wow…. your pictures are so beautiful! Hawaii looks like a must visit destination. I have always wanted to see why people make such a fuss about Hawaii and here I see it in your photos!
    San Francisco is beautiful too!
    waiting for the next part of your travel blog! :D

  • Chynna says:

    Ah! My friend is going to San Fran this month and I’m well jealous. It looks so pretty! I would love to visit one day.

    I LOVE nice hotels. Yours looks amazing! I’ve never snorkeled before, so that’s definitely on my list of things to do. Who doesn’t like turtles, eh? Haha.

    Gosh, that food looks amazing! T_T Can’t wait to read the rest of your posts!

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