Ten things I didn’t know before I went to Maui

I usually try to keep this blog about running as much as possible…but last week, in Maui, I did pretty much no running. I ‘ran’ a 5k with my son, I ran 4 miles one morning…and that was it. I can’t remember the last time I ran less and I can’t remember the last time I felt more chilled out. I totally slacked and it was fab.

However I did learn several things over the course of the week.

1) We could potentially be beach people. 

We are NOT beach people by nature, but an hour or so a day in Hawaii is pretty much bliss. The Dude learned to snorkel and I managed to handle my fears of going underwater via a submarine trip. But best of all, on our first day, the Dude was splashing about in the water and suddenly started yelling like a crazy person ‘Sea turtles, sea turtles’. Whilst he went ballistic, crowds gathered to see sea turtles in all their amazing glory. Totally brilliant.



 2) The Husband is sometimes right

We’d planned a very tame little stroll in the Iao Valley State Park. But the Husband discovered a geocache about a mile’s hike into the dense jungle and up a mountain, so off we went. I have to be honest, I was NOT keen. I’m risk-averse by nature and I was very nervous of 1) spiders, 2) one of us falling, getting injured or dying and 3) anything else that I can’t control. So I very reluctantly followed the boys up a dirt trail through increasingly dense jungle. Several times I voiced my determination to turn back immediately but they called my bluff and kept climbing and so did I, increasingly grumpy, until somehow, a good hour or so later, we emerged onto a clearing at the top of the world and the view was so spectacularly beautiful that I immediately admitted I was wrong and the Husband had been right and that this place was incredible. Honestly…totally amazing. If you DO do this hike, wear shoes that can get muddy (we were filthy) and take water (oops). I saw no spiders at all and got back to the bottom grinning from ear to ear, if secretly relieved. Totally amazing.

The ‘trail’ got a little snuggly at times
It’s a cliché but a photo will never do justice to these views

 3) I get really excited about trees

On the road to Hana, we discovered rainbow eucalyptus trees, which were so gorgeous that I honestly nearly cried. How have I gone 40 years not knowing these trees existed? One of my life highlights and I am not exaggerating. The next day, I saw my first Jacaranda tree and it was breathtaking. And then we hiked through a bamboo forest! All the trees, please.

Rainbow Eucalyptus – currently jockeying for position as my 1st favourite tree
My first Jacaranda tree
Bamboo Forest hike
Bamboo Forest hike

4) Julia’s Banana Bread is the best on the island and I need to work harder at mine. Apparently her recipe is here.

Try it with the Lilikoi butter


5) My hair looks super-sexy with saltwater in it!

Somehow, I had no idea how amazing my hair looks after immersion in sea water. All wavy and not thin at all! Being totally vain here, but it made my day. Off to buy that Bumble & Bumble spray so I can recreate that look in the deepest suburbs.

Forgive the total vanity please.

6) I’m so glad I didn’t give up eating fish

I am SO glad that I am a pescetarian instead of a proper, bona-fide vegetarian. Because the fish on this island is amazing. Despite all the hype about posh restaurants, the best fish I had was from this food truck in Lahaina. Best meal of 2015 so far!



7) Macadamia nuts are good on everything

Like basil and cinnamon, I discovered that there’s nothing that they don’t make taste better. Banana bread and Mahimahi are just two good examples.

banana bread

8) Cane spiders are utterly terrifying (NO PHOTOS!!)

There are no scary predators on Maui. No bears, no mountain lions, no rattlesnakes. But there are spiders. And after three specimens scuttled at high speed around our studio flat, terrifying me and unnerving even my non-arachnophobe husband, we will NOT be relocating here permanently as I was starting to plan.

 9) I can beat the Husband at mini golf

It’s only taken ten years of marriage but FINALLY I won a game!

The Husband commits to the water shot


10) I really want to go back

Despite the spiders and despite the fact that we are not Beach People, I want to go back.

I could be a beach person


14 Comments Add yours

  1. Mike says:

    If you enjoyed the cane spiders, I won’t even touch on the details of the centipede we met in Maui several years ago. In our room. Marching toward my naked foot. As I stood brushing my teeth. Our travel guide described their bite as “between a bee sting and a shotgun blast.” Luckily WordPress doesn’t allow us to upload photos in the Comments section…

    Otherwise, glad you and the family were able to get away and celebrate U.S. manifest destiny in our 50th state! Hawaii’s one tough place to leave, isn’t it?

    1. Cathryn says:

      I googled the centipede…hugely glad I didn’t encounter such a beast. Ugh…definitely not moving to Maui. I still keep jumping and thinking I see a scuttling cane spider even now we’re home! But yes, Hawaii is definitely hard to leave.

  2. Grace says:

    Overcome your fears of the open sea? Great, so now you can do a triathlon… 🙂
    When my sister and I were little (about the same age as the Dude is now), our family went on holiday to an Indonesian island resort. One evening as I was hanging out on the bed reading, a large centipede fell out of the thatched roof onto the bed… cue lots of shrieking and my dad thwacking it with a newspaper. The trouble with beaches (the nice warm kind you can lounge on and swim off) is that they are often tropical, and tropical environments often come with lots of, uh, local wildlife. Also, tropical hike == always take water!

    1. Cathryn says:

      I didn’t realise we were GOING for a hike or I would def take water. I thought we were just wandering up to the look out point with all the other fat tourists 🙂

      Yeah, Mike mentioned the centipedes. Ugh all round.

  3. Layla says:

    That Rainbow Eucalyptus is amazing!!! Now I must hunt one down and see it!
    You could easily beat me at minim golf, too, if that is reassuring. 🙂 (Loved the water shot. Hahaha.)

    1. Cathryn says:

      Layla, those trees were spectacular. If you find any in CA, let me know.

  4. Our first trip to Hawaii, we had no idea what we were doing & were pretty sure that we were going to get it all wrong (ie what to pack, where to stay, how to organize our days, etc. etc.). But it ended up being *sooo* amazing and such a cool change from our usual trips (mostly ski trips & road trips)! These pictures just remind me how much I want to go back. Perhaps Maui is next! 🙂

    1. Cathryn says:

      I think it’s the change from our usual trips that’s the appeal of Hawaii. We usually ‘travel’ on our holidays too so the change is just so nice.

  5. #1 – I TOLD you you have to come live in South California. You’ll be able to be a beach person. Come live with us!! 😉
    #2 – Is that a DUDE T-shirt I can spy on “the Dude and the turtle” photo? That’s genius!
    #3 – Don’t think the Husband is always right. He got this one right but don’t be fooled. Keep strong. You know WE are right and not THEM.
    #4 – A RAINBOW TREE!!!!!???? I need to see this!! How come we don’t know that kind of trees exist??
    #5 – Banana bread + Macadamia nuts… will you stop making me hungry, please?? 😉
    #6 – I LOVE your new beach person hair.
    #7 – I HATE spiders… so, now, I know I will never live in Hawaii… that’s sad…
    #8 – BUT if you move there, I’ll come visit 😉

    1. Cathryn says:

      You are SO funny.
      1. Okay, see you soon.
      3. Thank you for reminding me.
      4. EXACTLY!!! Apparently you can go and see one near you! http://articles.latimes.com/1989-08-05/news/vw-429_1_mindanao-gum
      5. You should bake it for our SLO weekend.
      6. It’s gone back to normal and lank again.
      7. UGH…
      8. Thanks. That’s so kind of you.

  6. Nic J says:

    I am also quite in awe of those trees! To the extent I showed K twice!
    May have to add Hawaii on to the list of places to visit. The spiders are impressive, but once you’ve been camping in Africa and South America, those things cease to shock… 🙂

    1. Cathryn says:

      Yes, my friend who lived in Kenya for a few years said exactly the same thing. But yeah, the trees!!

  7. Bean says:

    Looks like an amazing time! I love that rainbow eucalyptus!

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