Tuesday, May 26, 2015


We just got back from Hawaii for our 10-year anniversary. If you read my post about going to Ecuador last summer for a mission trip, then you know that I had some pretty major panic attacks on the airplane. I went to counseling for a few months before this trip to learn how to deal with my anxiety, but I was still pretty anxious about my 8-9 hour plane ride over the Pacific ocean with no where to land in case of emergency and being far, far away from my precious children. I prayed about it a lot and my friends prayed about it. God was faithful. All three of my flights were awesome. I still had anxiety, but I managed it. My prize: Hawaii. 

Waiting for our flight to Hawaii

I expected to get a lei when we arrived in Hawaii, but I thought it would be like one you got at the party store. Our hotel gave us fresh flower leis that were gorgeous! 

Our Hotel: The Fairmont in Wailea, Maui

The time difference is 5 hours. We tried to stay up as late as we could the first day but we were exhausted from traveling. We were wide awake by 4 am and decided to walk down closer to the ocean to watch the sun come up. 

We spent the first full day on the island just relaxing and enjoying the beach. We ate at the most amazing restaurant at our hotel called Nick's Fish Market. It was my favorite meal of the entire trip! It was super fancy. It was an open-air restaurant and we had at least 4 people serving us our meal, which was the best service I have ever received. I had fresh fish and Matthew had a steak. We couldn't decide which one was more delicious. 

The beach at our hotel. 

Matthew's favorite restaurant was a place called Pita Paradise. It was the very first restaurant we went to after we got off the plane. You should try it if you are ever in Maui! He would recommend the Teriyaki Chicken Pita. 

The next morning, we got up bright and early and took the Road to Hana. It is a very tight winding road that leads up the coast. When you go to Hana, you have the mountains on your right and the coast on your left, but when you come back down, you are driving your car right on the edge of a cliff. Most of the bridges are 100+ years old and one lane only, so you have to wait for other cars to go first before you venture across. It was terrifying at some parts, but completely gorgeous. 

Along the way, there are tons of places to get out and take pictures and many waterfalls. 

We hiked back on a muddy trail while it was sprinkling so we could see the waterfall up close. 

Before our trip, I reserved a small SUV for our week in Maui, but when we went to pick up our car, they gave us a GMC Yukon XL. I called it "the bus." It was gigantic and difficult to manage on the road to Hana, but otherwise it was great to drive and had lots of cool features. The driver's seat would vibrate if it felt like you were getting to close to something. Every time we drove over one of those tiny bridges, the seat would vibrate and we would scream at the car "We know!" 

Bridge Railing

The next waterfall we stopped at, was quite a hike. We found out about it from a book that I had purchased. When we finally got there, there was only one other couple there. The water came from a fresh water spring and was ice cold. Matthew jumped in first and then peer pressured me into the pool. I knew it would be cold, but I did not expect my body to start seizing. I felt like I couldn't breathe. I swam about half way, smiled for the picture, and then swam as fast as I could back to shore. Matthew LOVED it! 

I'm freaking out. 

Fake smile

This cool waterfall came out right under the bridge. 

Our final stop was at the black sand beach in Hana. It is made out of crushed lava rock and is about as comfortable to walk on as you can imagine lava rock to be, but the color of the water here was breathtaking. 

There was a cave with bats right off the black sand beach. 

On our way back from Hana, we stopped at Mama's Fish House for dinner. They have the most amazing location, right on the beach. The food and the service was really good. 

We spent the next day snorkeling, and trying out some of the more famous beaches: Black Rock and Wailea Beach.

Our hotel 

We drove about half way up the crater on Maui and took a horseback ride that looked down on the island. I loved it and thought it was beautiful. Matthew, not so much. 

We went on the trail with one other couple and a man named "Frencie", a jockey from France. 

I was obsessed with this gorgeous tree. 

Our final full day on the island, we spent going to Big Beach and Polo Beach. We rented a boogie board and had a blast playing in the water.

We loved our trip and were not ready to go home. It was so good for our marriage and made us realize that we really enjoyed being with each other, not just as parents but as friends.