Say what? The title of this entry is named after Hawaii’s state fish: the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. Pronounced: Who-moo, who-moo, new-kew, new-kew, ah, pooh, ah, ah. Trust me, it gets easier [and more fun] to say after a few times.

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend, myself and four our our friends vacationed in Hawaii for a week. We stayed in Kihei, Maui. The trip actually started 7 to 8 months ago. The boys had been talking about going to Hawaii for weeks and weeks. It started out somewhat to be a joke [in my opinion], but then turned into a “let’s really do this.”  With me still being in college and not having a full time job, I felt financial restraints and continuously said I wouldn’t be going. Aaron continuously kept his eyes on airfares, and one Friday  night while at a bar he checked the ticket prices once again. Low and behold, tickets had dropped from $900 roundtrip on Monday to $530 roundtrip by Friday. By this time I had gotten my tax refund, so I felt a little better about dropping money to go. So, we booked our plane tickets right at that instant in the bar. I remember thinking…”I’m going to need another drink.” It was one of the moments when I put my guard down, and just went for it. Sometimes, it’s just necessary to look at things in that perspective.

Hawaii was gorgeous. Sure, there isn’t much for nightlight on the island of Maui, but the one thing we did that made up for it happened the very first morning we were there. We decided to get up at 3:30 AM (8:30 AM in STL) and make the hour and half drive up the Haleakala Volcano to watch the sunrise. This was probably my favorite part of the entire trip. Tim and I split from the other four and made the short hike from the visitor’s center to the top  to watch. There were only a handful of other people at the top, so it was much more quiet and peaceful. We were above the clouds, and I literaly felt like I was on top of the world—and in a sense, I was. The sun rose just before 6:30, and it was probably the most spectacular thing I have ever seen. Sure, I’ve watched countless sunrises, but never from on top of a volcano. It was the way the sun crept up above the clouds ever so slowly, and then seeing beams of its lights spread across the clouds below you. Unbelievable. It was only about 35-40 degrees at the top, but once I saw the sun appear I almost forgot about how cold I was. I could have stayed at the top of that volcano and watched it over and over again. It would never get old to me, because seeing the sun every morning reminds me that it’s the start of a new day. A new day to try or do something new. It made me think of everything I was so thankful for, and how exciting it was to be experiencing something so remarkable. I took countless pictures that morning. I was scared that I wouldn’t remember the moment I saw the sun appear over the clouds. I felt like I had to capture it. Take it with me.

The rest of the trip was filled with going to the beach, laying by the pool, exploring a couple other towns, shopping, a luau, exploring the Road to Hana, and going on a kayak/snorkling excursion where we were able to see the coral reef and swim with sea turtles. Another memorable experience. I’d like to go back to Hawaii someday. Maybe not Maui, but another island to see if I can experience something as amazing as that first morning. Until then, I just have my pictures to remind me how I felt at that exact moment.

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