|our hosts for Whale Watching|
|early morning sunrise over the ocean|
We arrived right on time to check in for our tour and boarded our vessel. Danny and I stayed on top of the boat and Andy and Laurie moved downstairs along a rail for most of the tour. We were surprised quickly with a sighting of a female and calf fairly close to shore. We also saw a whale do something called a spyhop which the Naturalist on board said was unusual to see it happening for such a long time. It requires the whale to literally stand on it’s tail in the water and keep it’s head out of the water. We were surprised at the sheer number of whale sightings we saw. The Naturalist described it as “whale soup” this time of year. It’s the time of year that the whales come to Maui to have their calves and also to breed for the next round. We saw at least three sets of females and calves. The Naturalist said as a reference to the size of an adult female whale to baby whale is like a bus giving birth to an SUV. We didn’t see many sightings close to the boat, but saw lots of tail flukes, water slapping, and several breaches. The breaches were the coolest because the whale actually jumps out of the water and slaps back down on its side with a violent splash.
|We were amazed that the whales were so close to the boat|
|these Asian tourists cracked us up! They just got tired of watching the whales.|
After whale watching, we were pretty hungry and stopped at a local spot, the Sunshine Cafe, for a late breakfast. The waiter thought it was funny that we all ordered eggs but each of us wanted our eggs cooked a different way.
|The gigantic Banyan tree in downtown Lahaina|
|All one big tree|
|Sunrise Cafe in downtown Lahaina for lunch|
|the view outside of the Sunrise Cafe|
After “brunch” we walked through the town of Lahaina, stopping at the Honolulu cookie company to taste test chocolate dipped shortbread cookies, window shopping, and breezing through souvenir shops.
|Breezy and Sunny|
Before leaving Lahaina to go back to the hotel we stopped at Ululani’s for Shave Ice. This is very similar to New Orleans Snowballs, but the ice is even softer and more fine. It literally melts in your mouth like snow. You have an option of putting the ice on top of ice cream, but we had it plain with just flavored syrup. My favorite turned out to be the Passionfruit, also known as Lilikoi fruit. I had read that the best place for Shave (not Shaved) Ice was Ululani’s and it did not disappoint. The serving sizes are also enormous!!
|the most delicious Shave....not shaved...ice!|
After our delicious treat, we walked back to our car and stopped to rent some snorkel gear on the way to the hotel. Once at the hotel, Laurie and I had big surprises in our room. Our sweet husbands had ordered beautiful Hawaiian flower arrangements for us for Valentines Day and had them delivered today, while we were out, so we can enjoy them all week! Andy and Laurie have friends here on Maui and one of them is a florist. She hand delivered our bouquets and also brought us a gift basket of Hawaiian treats and beautiful Leis for all of us!!
|Happy Valentines Day!|
|a wonderful guest from our new Hawaiian friends!|
|our beautiful Leis|
|My lovely Lei made by hand of flower petals|
After admiring our gifts, we changed quickly into our swimsuits and set out to explore the beach. The wave action has been very unusual this year and they have some pretty rough surf right now. Danny could hardly stand up in the waves, much less get on his snorkel gear so mostly he and Laurie just tried not to get knocked down and I just kept my feet in the water. Andy watched our stuff in the shade of a big tree!
|the hotel almost has a private beach|
|larger than usual waves makes going in the water a little difficult|
|Ready for dinner in his new Lei and his new Hawaiian LSU shirt|
Before dinner, Danny and I sat on our hotel balcony and watched the water for more whale spouts. We saw a lot and a breach or two as well. We ate a super early dinner tonight at Hula Grill in Kaanapali at Whaler’s village. We were able to walk there and back and our dinner was fantastic.
|Ready for dinner wearing our new Leis|
|Hula Grill for dinner|
|every fish dish we ate was fabulous|
|Flourless Chocolate Cake that was divine|
|our sunset view at dinner|
|After dinner we stumbled upon some Hula dancers at a local outdoor mall|
After dinner we strolled over to the Westin hotel to reminisce with Laurie about a previous trip and to see the very cool lobby without any doors! Everything is open air. We are trying to get in bed at a decent hour as we have a very early day tomorrow to go and visit the island of Oahu!