Maui ignited the spark. (I fanned the flames.)

My feet first touched Hawaiian soil in April 2003. That’s when I was first infected by Hawaii.

I was on a nine-night, “once in a lifetime” vacation to the state of Hawaii. At least that was what I thought before touching ground on Maui.

I vividly remember so many details about that trip. As I reflect back on those memories now, I can almost smell the air, hear the birds and feel the gentle, cooling touch of the tradewinds. Memories and images like these come to mind:

– Being amazed at the glorious sun coming into view just above the clouds from the peak of a volcanic crater. (See my post: See An Unforgettable Sunrise at Haleakala National Park.)

Haleakala Sunrise

– Standing in Iao Valley Park with eyes wide open in admiration of the green spire – that is the Iao Needle. (See my post: Making a Point to Visit Maui’s Iao Needle.)

Iao Needle

– Observing in the vibrant colors and pageantry of Polynesian dances at the Old Lahaina Luau.

Hawaii Luau

– Savoring the many waterfalls and coastal views through the rainforest on a journey to Hana and beyond.

A waterfall off the Road to Hana

– Observing pink, purple, and orange sunset skies.


Ah, sweet memories!

So, that’s where, when and how my love of Hawaii began. What’s your story of how Hawaii first captured you?

  1. I fell in love last week! It was magical, and I was there on business, not for pleasure.

    I loved the sights, the sounds, the beaches were fabulous, and I am determined to take my family back with me next time. Maui was amazing, from the diverse history and climate to the best sushi ever at Sansei – I’m hooked!

    1. Glad you finally got to Maui, Carrie! The fam will love it, too! I can’t wait for you to return.

  2. All of my friends who visited Hawaii all said the same thing when they returned: “I want to live there.” So… I decided to buy a one-way ticket. I still remember seeing Oahu out the window as we flew past Diamond Head and Waikiki. I still remember steeping off the plane at taking my first lung-full of moist, warm, sea-level air that seemed awfully thick and rich compared with the air in Denver and I still remember sticking my feet in the ocean in Waikiki and being overwhelmed with the sights and thoughts about relocating. It was like Hawaii was saying “Welcome Home!” 🙂

    1. Dave — it’s a good thing your gamble on a one-way ticket worked out. 🙂

  3. Beautiful pictures!!

    Our 1st experience there was a Cruise so luckily we got to see all 4 main islands our first time around rather then one island as many do.

    Due to that, we saw how different each island was and knew we had to go back for more…

    …1 year later we Honeymooned there (another Cruise) but now have the desire to spend more time on each island… hence the 5-6 weeks we’ll be spending there starting September 2nd…

    …can’t wait!

    Nancy & Shawn

    1. Looking forward to hearing about your experiences on you land-based trip. Maybe you’ll want to write a guest post? 🙂

  4. I remember returning from our first trip and thinking. “well, Hawaii just ruined the Caribbean for me!” In a good way, because once you visit Hawaii, you’ll find very few places can compare.

    1. You’re right — Hawaii totally ruined the Caribbean for us.

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