Scenes from Hawaii | Part One | Maui, HI

For those of you who I don't know personally, I got married two weeks ago! It was a bit of a crazy three months worth of wedding planning and then the day went by in a beautiful blur. One week -- and 300 graded undergraduate exams -- later, my husband (what a strange word!) and I hopped on a plane and we began the *real* trip we'd been waiting for this whole time. We chose Maui, Hawaii because we wanted something mellow, but also because our options were quite limited given that we got married in the winter. I wasn't too enthused at first, thinking that Maui was the "go-to" for most honeymooners. But after our first day of 80 degree weather, beautiful blue skies and scenery, and beaches littered with palm trees... well, let's just say that helped me get enthused pretty quickly : )

(Below) Miles and miles of sugar cane fields became a familiar sight while driving around South Maui highways. This one was taken on one of Maui's moodier days.

As the obvious tourists that we are, we basically cradled a copy of Maui Reveled wherever we went. We dined, entertained, and relaxed according to its wise words. A couple of small, hole-in-wall places we hit up during our first two days in Kihei and Kahalui: 808 Deli, Maui Coffee Roasters, Three's Bar and Grill, and Coconuts.

The Warren and Annabelle magic show was highly recommended. I'm not really one for magic shows, but the evening turned out to be pretty hilarious and mind-blowing -- I'd definitely pass on the recommendation. The theatre sat no more than 40 people, so all the magic was practically happening under your nose, all sleight-of-hand.

Warren, the magician, is a funny man. Let's just say, I had the song "Burn Baby Burn" stuck in my head for the entire week. Photography was allowed... but too bad I was so engrossed in the show that I forgot to take photos once the show began : ( So, all I have to show for it are... curtains. Guess you need to go see for yourself.

Another recommended activity: Zipling! We went with Flyin' Hawaiian for the (supposedly) biggest and baddest ziplines on Maui. First awesome/scary thing: riding an ATV up the mountain. Super steep, and bumpy -- looking back gave me chills. The guys were super fun and calming (calming? Yes... looking down a cliff from a couple thousand feet up can definitely stir up some butterflies).

The scenery at the top was pretty amazing.

The scenery on the mountain wasn't too shabby either.

Moment of truth.

Yeah, there were a lot of random roosters running around Maui.

Relieved to finally be on the ground. Looking up at the mountain we had just conquered. Eight ziplines total across those ridges -- from right to left.

We had omakase at Koiso Sushi in South Kihei to treat ourselves. Pretty yummy.

In the evenings, we'd head off for sunset at Kama 'ole Beach in South Kihei.

San Diego is great. But Maui is wow. It was pure joy sitting by the ocean at 6 pm in the dead of winter, wearing a tank top and flip flops and feeling the most relaxing warm breeze ever. Helloooo, Maui.

Part two to come soon : )