The author (pictured here) especially loved Maui's tropical fruit. // © 2017 Natalie Stevenett
Feature image (above): Sisters enjoying a snuba excursion to Molokini Crater // © 2017 Natalie Stevenett
Over the summer, my meme (French for grandmother) surprised my mom, my sister Bailey and me with a trip to Maui. Bailey and I had wanted to go there our whole lives; our dream had finally come true. The sky was so blue, and the air smelled like plumeria. We were in heaven.
My favorite adventure was a “snuba” excursion to Molokini Crater. Snuba is a hybrid of scuba diving and snorkeling, and Four Winds II does it best. Diving down 20 feet felt surreal, and I didn’t want it to end. I never realized that the ocean was full of so many fishy friends!
Speaking of friends, on our third day on Maui, we headed to Napili Bay, and I met the prettiest and most playful sea turtle. I snorkeled with her for more than two hours — I’m rarely in the water for that long!
I also ate some of the tastiest local food: sushi that melted in my mouth, the fluffiest fish and chips from Da Kitchen, sweet-as-candy pineapple from a little fruit stand on the way to Lahaina and my first taste of fresh coconut water at a stand along Hana Highway. Another fun stop was Maui Tropical Plantation, where the grounds are covered with exotic trees and plants — not to mention quite a few crazy chickens.
We wanted to get to know Hawaiian culture, so we took ukulele lessons from world-renowned artist Derick Sebastian and watched a hula show at Whalers Village, where we spotted an Elvis impersonator. We also ventured onto the road to Hana. Though we didn’t quite make it all the way to Hana, we stopped at a mystical bamboo forest and hiked to the most beautiful waterfalls. I felt so tiny in the middle of all the tall bamboo stalks, and the ambiance made me feel as if I was on another planet.
Maui was definitely the most memorable trip I have ever taken, and I can’t wait to go back so I can continue exploring the island. Thank you meme, and aloha!