We moved on to Maui after The Big Island. The flight itself was noteworthy because of how small the plane was: I had been on island-hoppers before, but those were all dual-prop planes you could stand up in. This was a single propeller plane and there's no way you could stand up in it. W felt every drop and turn and moment of turbulence acutely, like being in a car with an extremely tight suspension strapped to a roller coaster. The cruising altitude was also quit a bit lower than normal, which gave me a great view for watching the water and islands go by.

Clouds on the flight to Maui

Clouds just above the surface of the ocean on the flight to Maui.

Maui from the air

Maui from the air. It seems obvious why Jurassic Park was filmed here. Jungle everywhere. Ravines and waterfalls accentuating everything. It's wild and gorgeous.

We stayed at the Royal Lahaina Resort. It was a short distance from a bunch of other resorts and a small shopping and dining area known as Whaler's Village. And since all the walking was along the beach I didn't mind hoofing it everywhere. Though being in the resort-oriented part of town meant that prices were pretty inflated. The quality of the food made up for a bit. We especially enjoyed putting coconut syrup on our pancakes and waffles each morning - it's a unique, tasty substitute for maple syrup that I wish was easy to find back home.

Other islands seen from Maui

From the west side of Maui you can see some other islands.

Maui Beach

Where The Big Island was black and gray and stony, Maui is full of color. I didn't need any filters or manipulation for this shot.

Our resort was known for having a good luau, so one of the nights there we went and got front row seats. It was the usual family-friendly show of dancing, history, and fire poi that you'd expect. Overall a fun diversion that I feel like you have to do at least once during every visit to Hawaii.

Us at a Maui Luau

Luau time!

The nearby city of Lahaina offered a lot more to do. This included many more shops and restaurants, but also a few unique attractions. Chief among them was the banyan tree in the middle of the town square. It's one of the largest examples you can find of this fascinating type of tree, which generates so many different trunks that a single tree can appear to be a forest all on its own.

Banyan Tree in Lahaina

The banyan tree in Lahaina. Yes, that's all one tree. It has 16 different trunks and covers two-thirds of an acre.

In Lahaina, we also got to experience Warren and Annabelle's Magic Show, which is a neat little semi-participatory event that starts with food and drink and music and then turns into an evening of comedy and magic. There are similar shows in places like Las Vegas, but none quite this intimate. Since the theater only sat about 30 people it was more like being in a classroom right next to the magician than being in a huge auditorium. And being that close meant we could scrutinize all the prestidigitation, which made the tricks we couldn't figure out all that more impressive.

Our last night in Hawaii we took a cruise on the Pacific Whale Foundation ship Ocean Quest. Dinner and music were provided as we moved out into the Lahaina harbor. At one point we were lucky enough to have a trio of dolphins come right up next to us and swim alongside. Then we watched the sun set on the ocean and tried to hold on to those last fleeting moments before having to return to solid ground and thus admit the vacation was ending.

Lahaina Harbor

This is looking back at Lahaina Harbor as we pushed away on our cruise. The clouds were so low in the sky I felt like I could almost touch them.