This is what we woke up to Tuesday morning:
Word. We made a quick batch of energy balls and headed out the door asap! We weren’t allowed to make plans this day, just follow the path set in front of us and see where we wound up 🙂
Days like this are my favorite–sunshine, my amazing hubby, and a wide-open world! A lot of people think that, because we live on an island, there’s nothing to do. For outdoor-lovers like me and Ben, Maui presents endless possibilities! We could head to the rain forest side of the island and hang out in waterfalls, explore the arid crater, chill on world-class beaches, pretend to be tourists lounging poolside… but really, it didn’t much matter what we did, so long as Ben and I spent the day together adventuring.
When we first met as college freshmen, we were the friends who would venture off because we heard water in the distance. Then when we started dating, we went on ridiculously long adventures together (the kind that would worry our roommates because there was no possible way we could have not gotten lost somewhere along the way). We would find crevices in neighborhoods that no one noticed, sit on swings for hours, and bike so far that we wondered if our bodies could handle biking all the way home. We can really do anything together and make it an adventure.
“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.” –Kahlil Gibran.
Because it was Election Day, we had to first (duh) vote!
[Sun was blazin’ at our polling station!]
Ben started driving west, which was suprising to me since that’s the drier side of the island. When he turned down `Oma`opio, though, I knew exactly where we were heading! One of my favorite places on island:
Surfing Goat Dairy!
This place humanely raises their animals and makes the freshest, creamiest goat cheese I’ve ever tasted. I’m not a goat cheese snob or anything, but it is the only type of cheese I’ll typically eat (plus, when a place has won as many awards as Surfing Goat, it’s got to be good). Ben and I usually visit three or four times a year, depending on how many visitors we have (we always take our visitors to Surfing Goat). We love the vibe of the farm and enjoy seeing random animals roaming around. The best part though? Cheese tasting! They have an incredible selection with seasonal cheeses, so there’s often something new for us to try each time we go. This time it was the “Canada”, which had cranberries, cinnamon and honey. It is amazing. I swear it tastes like cheesecake! Danger!
With so many unique and delicious flavors, it’s hard to choose. Luckily we only live about fifteen minutes from the dairy. We had just eaten breakfast, so we tasted and then got a few cheeses for later :). We said goodbye to the goats, promising to come back in December when all the mamas are due to give birth.
“Life is either a great adventure or nothing.” –Hellen Keller.
We headed down the mountain toward the West Maui mountains because they were so pristine that they seemed to be calling our names. It was so nice out that we decided we’d rather go hiking in the valley (where there’s water and shade) than on the ridge (where there’s not) and headed into `Iao Valley.
On our way in I realized that a good friend of mine runs a business in the valley. We stopped for what we thought would be a quick pit-stop, but turned into our hike for the day!
Tropical Gardens of Maui
As it turns out, my good friend Sanoe runs a full-blown plant company in the heart of the West Maui mountains called Tropical Gardens of Maui. For over 24 years her family has specialized in raising and exporting quality orchids, palms & other rare and exotic plants. I knew they had a plant nursery. What I didn’t know was that they have 4-acres of lush gardens to explore! We were lucky enough to get the V.I.P. treatment with a tour by Sanoe’s two sons!
These two were the greatest tour guides ever. They showed us all their favorite hide-and-seek spots, played “who’s rock can roll the longest?” with us, and explained how to catch tadpoles. They kept calling me grandma because there were so many gorgeous photos to be taken and I couldn’t keep up! If you haven’t been here yet, go! You’ll be pleasantly surprised by all they have to offer (including a waterfall, a river flowing under the bridge, the biggest palm–and papaya–you’ve ever seen, a lo`i [taro patch], and outrageous plants!).
[I’ve made them all thumbnails to save space, but you can click to enlarge them. Not bad for a point-and-shoot, yeah?]
After over an hour of fun, our opu were growling. It was hard, but we said goodbye to our tour guides and headed into the valley to have a snack.
We found a great spot in the valley and ate our amazing goat cheese with our favorite gluten-free crackers (low sodium nut thins!) with our toes in the ice-cold fresh mountain water
“Through the world in which i travel i am endlessly creating myself.”
We left the valley rejuvenated and refreshed. It was time to go check out the North shore swell.
[K-Bay on our way to Jaws]
Our final stop of the day: Pe`ahi. (a.k.a. Jaws). You know, the world-class tow-in surf spot? Yeah, no big deal. Just another Tuesday afternoon in paradise ;). The surf was up but the waves paled in comparison to what winter swells look like at Pe`ahi.
We capped off the night celebrating one of my favorite people in this entire world’s 25th birthday (with a crazy ice-cream cake recipe that I’ll be sharing asap). We love you Kamaile! Best. Tuesday. Ever!
[Ben was obviously in charge of the camera at this point 😉 ]
How do you spend special days off? How do you reconnect with your partner (or yourself)?