Off to Maui in January

Sugar-Beach-St.-Licia-3Fresh back from Europe and I am ready for more adventure. When I decided to go with my friend, Alesia, on a tropical vacation, I did not take into account some realizations. I had all my energy in planning for Eastern Europe. The Hawaiian trip was planned long before, and it did not dawn on me that the Hawaiian Islands lie some 2,400 miles off the coast of California. They are a very geographically isolated population center out in the middle of a very big ocean.

What made that light bulb go off was seeing how long a flight it was from Seattle to Maui – 2,646 miles if you are a crow. When checking out flying across the Atlantic at least there was a few places of refuge (Newfoundland, Azores), but the Pacific it just looks like Hawaii is it.

Hmm, not being fond of flying, I really will have to put that thought out of my mind – and keep in mind those waiting white lounges above calling my name. They were a bit of heaven on earth in St. Lucia.

Wave-St.LuciaTsunamis are a threat, as are hurricanes, whose season runs from June through November. I am visiting in January so hopefully no tsunami decides to break our way. What brought this to mind, I just finished watching Tsunami, The Aftermath Part 1 and 2 on HBO. I have a lot to stop thinking about now it seems. I am not fond of swimming either. Hey, I have issues with situations where my feet don’t touch the ground!!!

I know when I visited St. Lucia in January 2013, I never once got the feeling of being confined to an island. I could see other islands off in the distance. Horizontal to our location was Costa Rica, a place I was in the 90’s.

Costa Rica was not that big and four of us hiked up the mountain in the Central Highlands of Monteverde, seeing both the Pacific and Atlantic. Right after that magnificent sight, we got stuck in a monsoon, with rain so hard you could not see in front of you. That was one very long, wet walk back. I bet there are movies about being stuck on a far-off island or lost in the rainforest too.

Piton_ViewI was surprised to read that there are familiar Northern Cardinals in Hawaii. Now how strange is that? They were brought there around 1929. I am not sure how much wildlife I will see. I thought Eastern Europe would have lots of birds, but boy was I wrong. I am pretty sure to see beautiful flowers on Maui though, just like in St. Lucia. Hopefully, fish too.

FishWhich camera to take? I want to snorkel for coral and fish, so the AW100 for sure. The P510 is handy being small. If we go watch whales, the volcano or lava flows, then I would surely want the big camera. I may have to plan activities to decide. Having the little cameras in St. Lucia, I was not disappointed in either of them, especially the P510 with perching hummingbirds. Only with hummingbirds in flight did I wish I had the speed of the larger Nikon.

What kind of images should I take for the authentic island experience? Have any suggestions? Food might be a good photo subject to try. Street scenes would be interesting. Of course, the big epic scenery and surely, the beaches. Plenty of you have had Hawaiian vacations, let me know what you might have missed photographing and wish you did.

Oh the beaches await…

Over on Nature and Wildlife Pics, the post CoverSquirrel. Cute look at a few forest squirrels. Please have a look at our furry friends.

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About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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63 Responses to Off to Maui in January

  1. johnvic8 says:

    Just have a good time and send us lots of neat pictures.

  2. Since we went for a family wedding, I took photos of family and the wedding. The rest of the time I just wanted to enjoy kayaking and swimming, so I didn’t take many photos.

  3. I would love to be able to go to Hawaii someday. I understand that there are lots of birds. Maybe it depends on where you are going.

    • Too bad, you could have joined us if it would have been OK with Alesia. I would have had to change the time in Seattle since I am staying at Alesia’ home for 6 days. The condo in Maui is one bedroom, but the couch in the livingroom pulls out into a bed. Birds, well, so many are the same as here because they were imported. The native birds have been reduced in numbers, like happens in any invasive situation where they compete for habitat and resources. At least that is what I read.

  4. Jardin says:

    Sounds like a wonderful trip. Good luck & Bon voyage!

  5. I’ve visited there and it was great but I would never suggest to a photographer such as yourself what to snap. You have the eye, girl. Surprise us, and enjoy your time!!!

  6. Annette says:

    Oh, I wish, I wish, I wish…there was some room in your luggage for me to squeeze in, Donna! I’d love to join you – have fun and bring back good stories and pics. 🙂

    • LOL. It would have been great to bring you along. Flowers and gardens should be wonderful. I really hope to see much that I never have seen before. I did see an active volcano both in St. Lucia and in Costa Rica, but never lava flows. I would love to see that.

  7. alesiablogs says:

    The sights will be so amazing you will not know which way to turn whatever camera you may have brought with you. I may live through your camera lenses and take only a few shots. Time will tell! It is amazing thinking of traveling that far as you remark.

  8. The first time we went to Hawaii, what got my attention was all the marvelous scents from all the different tropical flower blossoms. My favorite was the plumeria (but this also grows in Florida). There are so many beautiful, tropical flowers and foliage that you will be amazed. There are a lot of birds, too, but I was most impressed with the flowers and landscaping. Especially at all the hotels; and the botanical gardens are amazing too. If you have the time you might want to get a book on the tropical flowers of Hawaii because no matter where you go you will see some whether in natural settings or at the hotels.
    As far as the volcanoes, if you want to see the current active one you will have to take a flight over to the Big Island of Hawaii. On our last trip we stayed on the Big Island for a week and did a helicopter flight over the volcanoes.
    You will also see lots of rainbows! It rains just about every day there, but it dries up so fast you wouldn’t even know it even rained.
    Have fun and I’m looking forward to your follow-up photos!

  9. Is that fish real? ;-). Lovely colors on it. I hope you get many more. Since I am fond of birds, would love to see them in your post from Maui. All the best – have fun!

  10. My Heartsong says:

    I haven’t flown in a while but found the “Relaxation Response” helped me when I was flying back and forth across the country. I enjoyed watching the in-flight movie too.I will be dog-sitting in January while the owners are in Hawaii, often with a difference in temperature of 60 degrees between us.I just find that fact interesting.Whatever you shoot and whatever you take, I know that I will enjoy your photos.Enjoy!

    • That is coincidence. They should bring you and the pooch along. You could watch the dog there! I bet there is 60° difference from Buffalo too. I really do hope to find nice photo subjects. I also really want to snorkel too.

  11. Just enjoy yourself, the photos will come. There is so much lush plant life and colourful birds (I imagine). I look forward to seeing what you do take. 😀

  12. Laurrie says:

    The whales! With your photography skills at catching birds in flight and water flowing, you should be able to get some great whale action shots. Winter is the time they will be near Maui in their breeding grounds (I hope January isn’t too early). We saw them every day from our condo when we were there in February a few years ago, breaching and tail slapping and spouting and gracefully rolling — please get some great humpback whale shots. Have fun!!

    • Thanks Laurie. You gave me hope now for seeing the whales. I will be there the end of January and leave the first week of February. So maybe… We were talking of taking the fishing/whaling boat, but I know the rough seas will get to me. I do plan to take the seasick medicine. Our condo is on the beach too, but I guess it depends on which side of the island. We are on the side that has good snorkeling. Not sure where the whales go.

  13. For those of us not getting to Maui this winter a beach photo here and there would be just a bit special.

  14. A.M.B. says:

    I would never expect to see northern cardinals in Hawaii! Have a wonderful time there.

  15. I don’t like flying either but if I had the chance to visit Hawaii I might change my mind about flying.

    • I used to fly quite a bit with business, but a few close calls (one plane the engine caught fire) on flights gave me the willies. For years after, I just drove everywhere. Then I got to go places that driving was out of the question, so I am getting better about flying now.

  16. Insanely breathtaking and serene

  17. Karen says:

    I can’t think of a better time to escape the cold and snow than January. Just don’t think about all that water and plan for lots of sun and warmth in beautiful Maui. 😀

    • I do like leaving in January, but always have the fear of really bad weather at that time though. Buffalo is always iffy in winter. I do have my swimsuits ready!!!!

      • Karen says:

        I know what you mean. We used to go to Europe for Christmas until we got stuck in London because blizzards in Boston closed down the airport. I’ll be wishing you good weather from and back to Buffalo.

  18. You are becoming quite a globetrotter, Donna. I’ve never visited Hawaii, so really look forward to following your adventures again. P. x

    • I have been lucky lately having friends that like to travel. One thing about traveling is I don’t really spend much money visiting places because I don’t like to shop. This trip, we have a condo, so food cost will be lower if we cook some of the meals. In Europe, almost all the food was in the package.

  19. Hi Donna. Hawaii is a wonderful paradise for the photographer so no doubt you will have a lot to show us on your return! We just back back from a trip to Kauai a couple of weeks ago and the views and flora are breathtaking! I am a gardening enthusiast so we visited the McBryde and Limahuli Garden and Preserve which are both part of the National Botanical Gardens. I couldn’t stop snapping away, trying to capture the beauty of these places. There is another botanical garden on Maui Kahanu which I am sure you would love. There are also helicopter tours of the coast in which the view is breathtaking beyond belief. No matter what you see it will be absolute paradise and I am so happy for your plans! I wanted to be able to carry my camera EVERYWHERE so I used my small Canon Powershot which got the job done. I can’t wait to see your photos! Here are some photos of the Limahuli Gardens on the north shore of Kauai for fun! http://landscapedesignbylee.blogspot.com/2014/11/limahuli-garden-and-preserve-kauai.html#.VHzCijHF98E

  20. Hi Donna. Hawaii is a wonderful paradise for the photographer so no doubt you will have a lot to show us on your return! We just back back from a trip to Kauai a couple of weeks ago and the views and flora are breathtaking! I am a gardening enthusiast so we visited the McBryde and Limahuli Garden and Preserve which are both part of the National Botanical Gardens. I couldn’t stop snapping away, trying to capture the beauty of these places. There is another botanical garden on Maui – Kahanu, which I am sure you would love. There are also helicopter tours of the coast in which the view is breathtaking beyond belief. No matter what you see it will be absolute paradise and I am so happy for your plans! I wanted to be able to carry my camera EVERYWHERE so I used my small Canon Powershot which got the job done. I can’t wait to see your photos! Here are some photos of the Limahuli Gardens on the north shore of Kauai for fun! http://landscapedesignbylee.blogspot.com/2014/11/limahuli-garden-and-preserve-kauai.html#.VHzCijHF98E

    • Thanks Lee. I will have to check out the Botanical garden on Maui if we are near it. I am going to take your advice on the helicopter tour. I know I would love the birds eye view from above. That was my thought on the smaller camera too, but I never did mind carrying the big camera and 300mm lens in Europe. Thought I would, but I took it everywhere. Even when I wanted to leave it, others made sure I brought it.

      • Donna-you asked about birds on the islands. There are many exotic looking birds and many of them are native to the area. They don’t even seem to mind the camera so you should be able to get some excellent images. I think you are going to be in your glory in Maui!

  21. I love Maui although it has been years since I was last there. Lucky you!

  22. debsgarden says:

    Have a wonderful trip, and keep counting your frequent flyer miles! We visited the islands of Oahu and Kauai, and it was one of the best vacations of my life. I took pictures of everything. The ONE time I decided to leave my camera at the hotel and just enjoy a walk on the beach was the ONE time we saw an absolutely stunning rainbow arching over Diamond Head. So if you can get that photo, that would be great!

  23. debsgarden says:

    Oops, I just realized you are only visiting Maui, so no chance to see Diamond Head. But there will surely be plenty of rainbows!

  24. Winter sunshine sounds like the perfect remedy to start the year. I hope you have a wonderful time!

  25. Indie says:

    Wow, you are busy traveling this year! That sounds like a heavenly vacation in the middle of winter. I have always wanted to go to Hawaii – it’s on my list! Have a wonderful vacation!

  26. Denise says:

    A tropical vacation, I envy you Donna. Although I am not fond of flying either.
    Thank you for your comment on my blog. Did you click on the spider to watch my little spider video?

  27. I LOVE the Hawaii Islands – just relaxes, refreshes, renews, and recharges me 🙂 Enjoy Your Escape to Paradise!

  28. bittster says:

    You’re going to have a great time!
    Bring a book and crossword puzzles or something else for the flight… it’s a long one.
    Although it’s been a few years I loved the ride up the volcano, make plenty of stops along the way and check out a few of the trails to get a taste of the landscape.
    I thought the road out past Makena was cool. You travel through barren lava fields before the roads becomes a jeep path and you can just walk for a bit once the road becomes more than you want to tackle.
    The Wailea resort area is great for eye-wateringly expensive meals at the hotels, celebrity watching, and a nice walking trail along the beach and bluffs.
    My favorite beaches were around Kapalua. We strolled through the grounds of the Ritz-Carlton and felt like peasants, but the scenery is awesome and the nearby beach pristine. A little further and we went snorkeling at Honolua Bay. The walk down to the beach was cool with it’s jungle feel but the beach is all rocks and only worth going to for swimming with the fish and turtles. Get there early, the parking stinks.

    • donna213 says:

      Thanks Frank for all this information. I really do want to get off the beaten path, but my friend may have difficulty hiking the trails. She did rent a car so we will be going sightseeing along scenic roads. She lived in Hawaii, so I think she has some of our places planned. I do want to see the turtles and also your suggestion of celebrity watching at the Ritz-Carlton sounds like fun. That could be my street photography photos! I do know we will hit the beaches. Even though I am as pale as fresh fallen snow, I do like beach walking. I will be going through a gallon of sunscreen. In St. Lucia, oddly even though wearing it most days, I went without it too and did not get burnt. I did read the sun is worse in Hawaii though.

  29. Tropical vacation is always welcome in spite of the long flight. I am very glad for you, Donna.

  30. Well good for you Donna….I have wanted to go to HI and plan to go with my sister in the near future…she went in August but I was still recovering from surgery…I might have an issue flying across such a vast ocean but perhaps not…have fun and can’t wait to see your pictures.

  31. I agree with John in the first comment.

    And I’m terribly jealous. My hubby and I went to Maui in early January one year to celebrate a milestone anniversary. What can I say? Maui is paradise on earth. Our comment to each other upon waking each morning was, “Another perfect day on Maui…” I’d suggest taking the P510. You’ll be more comfortable, and you’ll capture amazing photos. The nice thing about Hawaii is that it’s almost always bright enough that you don’t have to worry about low light. Your P510 will be fine. Be prepared for amazing wildlife–especially birds! And the plants! I captured some amazing shots of Heliconias and Etlingeras, and all I had was a point-and-shoot digital camera along. I can only imagine the photos you will capture! Most of all, relax and enjoy your vacation. The only disappointing part of a trip to Hawaii in January is that you have to come back to a second stretch of winter. You might be tempted to stay there. 😉

  32. Brian Comeau says:

    Funny I’m not fond of flying either and never thought about where to land if required as Hawaii would be on my list as well. If you need suggestions for subjects check out Dewitt Jones who lives in Hawaii. He has some great images.

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