Get set, this is going to be a very picture heavy post as the day certainly was an adventure. Today was all about ZIPLINING!!! However, when we awoke early in the morning, we were full of doubt as to whether it was going to happen. For our family, we heard the winds HOWLING - definitely the windiest day so far, and we were certain if it was this bad down by the beach, then most certainly they'd be canceling the activity as it was bound to be worse at the higher elevation. Also, poor Travis admitted going back and forth about three times in terms of deciding whether or not his body could actually sustain the energy level required as he was feeling so crummy. Not sure if it's a flu bug, or just a nasty cold (pretty certain its not Strep), but he nearly backed out. He probably told us about ten times, when it was all said and done, how thankful he was that he decided to buck it up!
Our plan before showing up at the Kapalua Activity Center was to stop by the Gazebo restaurant which was only five minutes from there. Unfortunately, that place is so popular, that even showing up 15 minutes before it opened at 7:30, there was a lengthy line. We gave it about a half hour before giving up - recognizing we wouldn't be able to get seated and get our meal in time. McDonald's drive-through had to suffice, and surprisingly, I was actually pretty impressed with their sausage and hotcakes! =)
It took about 45 minutes after checking in to get to this point - where our whole group was gathered with equipment put on - ready to hop in the van for our ziplining destination. We absolutely lucked out with the crew we were put with. Peter and Smittie - our two guides, were both natives and so much fun. In addition, there was a threesome from Georgia - a mom and her two daughters, 19 and 23. As well as Janis and Kevin, a couple celebrating their 25th anniversary from Indiana. I immediately felt drawn to Janis - and the more we chatted the more we bonded. She's one of those people that you meet and feel sad that the distance between us is so big, otherwise we'd end up as fast friends. Thankfully, we are already Facebook friends, and for now that will have to suffice until we figure out a way to meet up someplace to go camping together or something else that we chatted endlessly about.
Our choice for who we went through to go ziplining was determined solely by the fact that this was the only outfit that permitted someone as small as 60 pounds to participate. Given that Mikayla is about 65 pounds, we were pretty disappointed looking through the options, nearly giving up as everyone else mandated a weight of at least 75 pounds. So, it was by default that we ended up here, which is wild as I can't imagine being any more impressed than we were by our experience. The location was just what I wanted - in the lushness of green vs. the arid areas over Haleakala. It was close by (the check in only about 10 minutes from our hotel). The guides were experienced and super attentive to safety (not to mention a lot of fun). The runs were fast and long and innovative in their diversity. And finally, the equipment (i.e. harness) was so comfortable. My only other experience ziplining was at Camp Harlow and lets just say that after that very short run, my private parts were in tremendous pain. Anticipating hiking and five ziplines to go down, I was concerned with even being able to walk if the equipment was anything like Camp Harlow's. But, oh no, this place has harnesses used for hang-gliding - once you were seated in it, it felt like being in a hammock chair that fit you perfect. So comfy!
On the ride up the mountain in the van, we were told we were on property owned by a pineapple company that leased the land Kapalua Adventures used. They pointed out the baby pineapples that sprawled the lower parts of the property.
The van stopped us at this huge suspension bridge (the mini Golden Gate, as they called it). We had to walk across it and then hop into more of a military style humvee vehicle on the other side for the rest of the trek.
Those blue skies...uh yeah, we were blessed alright. This mountain we were on is one of the wettest places on earth getting 400 inches of rain a year. It's almost always raining at the top, but we scored with gorgeous sunshine.
Check out Mikayla's grip on me. She was not comfortable on this bridge and did not want to even stop to take our picture.
As you would expect, ziplining is not the sort of activity a gal who is 22 weeks pregnant should be participating in. So, with Steph holding down the fort poolside, we tried to make sure Travis felt included...
Quite the view straight down from the bridge.
Janis was a little leery of the bridge too - she endeared herself immediately to me by clutching me as we walked across (she reached for Travis too - so cute. I think her hubby was taking pictures at the time).
We got to do a little hiking. I was LOVING it, despite the weight of the trolley on our shoulders. I was so proud of Mikayla carrying her own weight. It was cracking us up listening to the daughters from Georgia. They were not enjoying the hike and particularly the younger one was most concerned about just how much more of that we were going to have to do.
The ziplines were set-up for two at a time. For four out of five, John and Brayden went together while Mikayla and I were joined. For one of them, Brayden and Mikayla raced - as did John and I. The trolleys were set to try to compensate weight differences so that folks would hopefully go at similar speeds. However, gravity tended to win - so even with head starts, the heavier folks almost always reached the end first. Here's Brayden on the first run.....woo hoo!
And, Mikayla. She was a tiny bit nervous, but this was the activity she had most desperately wanted to do, so she was more than game to try. After the first run, all nervousness was gone - we were all loving it!
This was the entrance to another one of the lines....very cool, huh?
We had a bit of a wait at this location, so Peter too us to a place he supposedly doesn't ever take groups to see (he really liked our group - and we liked him!) This is a look-out to a valley of protected government land - so gorgeous!
Had to take a picture with my new BFF while we were waiting. =)
Yep, it's these bridges Mikayla's much more concerned about than the flying through the air. Lovin' that grip she has on me.
This was the run that the kids competed on. Brayden won, but Mikayla made it a close run.
After we'd done all five runs, we were treated to a picnic lunch at this lookout atop the mountain.
There's more to come for the rest of the day, but for now, I'm going to take a break from the two hours its taken me to upload, sort, and then download all these pictures to get into post format - and join the rest of the crew poolside. Thanks for all who are reading (and commenting) - we are having the time of our lives!
I had anticipated being super worn out upon returning from ziplining, but instead we were all eager to join Steph poolside. Mikayla and I hopped in the ocean for a bit, but the majority of time was just spent lounging. At around 5:00, we all hopped in our van to head back into Lahaina.
"Cheeseburger in Paradise" was the destination of choice. Again finding
success in a good parking spot, we opted to wait 20 minutes to get
"ideal" seating vs. getting in right away. In the meantime, we let the
kids play a bit in the one beach access of the strip next door to the
restaurant - as well as take some family pictures.
John and Travis all made friends with the store manager while waiting - I wasn't privy to their conversation, but apparently he made an impression as we scored a free coconut shrimp appetizer. Way to go, guys!
While waiting for our meal, we were able to spot some blowholes of a mommy and baby whale in the distance....so cool!
And, the view of the sunset that appeared just as we were finishing our meal.
Brayden chose some shaved ice as his dessert of choice while we spent the rest of the evening walking the main stretch of Lahaina.