Maui- the second largest island in Hawaii- is known for its clear blue waters and beautiful beaches. Home to Haleakala National Park, a dormant volcano that towers 10,000 feet above sea level, and the road to Hana, this island has adventure around every corner.
We were married in Maui June of 2021- and to this day I can easily say it was the best trip/experience I could have asked for. We arrived Saturday, June 5, and stepped off the plane to a lush, green island that was filled with magic.
We made our way to our hotel- the Grand Wailea Resort and Spa located in Wailea- which was about a 30-minute drive from Kahului Airport. We were greeted at the front desk with fresh flower leis and pleasant faces who were always ready to lend a helping hand. We made our way to the bar after dropping everything off in our room and ordered an island novelty- a Mai Tai- which became our drink of choice for the following week (oh- and I can't forget to mention about Lava Flows- a creamy pina colada inspired drink with a strawberry twist!)
The hotel layout was open and airy- complete with restaurants, bars, pools and direct beach access. Huge plus to the 5-hour time difference was being up before most of the hotel guest and enjoying the beach by ourselves before breakfast.
We enjoyed the best sushi at Mikos Cuisine after hiking Iao Valley State Monument. The hike was surrounded by rivers and lush foliage that was far from the typical West Texas scenery. The air was warm but not hot and definitely not overly humid like you would expect.
Wedding day came and we were blessed with rain at Haiku Mill, not once, not twice, but 5 times throughout the day! In Hawaiian culture- if it rains on your wedding day it is considered a blessing from the islands and is an indicator for a long and healthy marriage. We had a traditional Hawaiian ceremony with a lei exchange and blowing of the conch shell as well as special performances from the top luau performers on the island- Manutea Nui E. Words cannot describe how perfect the day was for us!
The next day was spent lounging at the Hibiscus pool (which is for 18+) & relaxing after a full day of festivities. The pool was amazing, and we splurged by renting one of the daybeds to lounge on.
The last day spent on the islands- we ventured out to Molokini for a snorkeling adventure with family & friends. I will say- if this is a "must do" on your list- find a company that has a larger boat/catamaran. The bay that the boats depart from, Maalaea Bay, is the 2nd windiest harbor in the world- and when you're on a small boat it definitely shows. Our ride out to the crater was quick an easy- about a 30-minute commute. The waters were beautiful and the reefs that we were able to explore were pristine. It wasn't until we had to make the boat ride back to the harbor that we encountered issues. What was originally a 30-minute commute turned into nearly 3 hours. The waves were coming over the top of the boat, and the water was extremely turbulent. I asked several people after our trip if they had the same experience, and it turns out the size of the boat definitely makes a huge difference.
Overall- our stay on the island was nothing less than magical. The culture that is rooted in every little detail of life is absolutely beautiful and is definitely something I long for when I came back to the mainland. The food is by far the best I've ever had and the people will always be near and dear to my heart!