. Looking out at this monolith, which stands about 80 feet high jutting straight up out of the water, it's hard to envision any human capable of such a feat. However, I've learned that the ancient Hawaiians were no ordinary people. A promontory of lava rocks sweeping out to the ocean floor forms the far end of the crescent, intercepting wave energy as they crash and showcase their awesome power....if we could harness that energy!! The gods were smiling on us as we enjoyed the most glorious morning, the sun glinting off the water, sparkling like stars in the night sky. We walked back to our spot under the soft shade of the ever graceful coconut palms, balming us with cool cover from the now scorching sun. We played like teenagers, body surfing and diving into the huge waves, then collapsing onto the sand. After we'd had enough, we lurched up towards our picnic of strawberries and champagne!! A surprise birthday treat from my good friend Jeff. We drank, ate and thoroughly enjoyed our morning. Later, we walked through lush vegetation to the Four Seasons Resort at Manele Bay and gawked at the lavish hotel. We explored the elegant lobby, decorated with Chinese antiques and relics, and took in colorful murals of Hawaii'an myths and legends over the front desk. Even the floor rugs were custom designed with colorful depictions of Hawaii'an life in and out of the water. Quite a lovely place, except no one hung out.....of course, as they were all at the pool and the beach!! There's no way to compete with Mother Nature here. We fully explored the grounds and spa and find that the outdoor cafe offers a nice lunch, if you want to pay $16 for a grilled cheese sandwich!! We opted for the delicious food we brought across the channel. Our only regret was that we forgot the good camera so I only have pics of what I could take on my phone, but thank goodness for these!! Enjoy!
A fantastic birthday!! An hour ride on the early morning ferry out from Lahaina, Maui lets us watch the sun rise over the picturesque and remarkable West Maui Mountains. We cross the 'Au 'Au Channel to the nearby island of Lanai to the "most beautiful beach in the world" or Hulopo'e Beach where my good friend and I explored tidal pools, walked up the cliff to look at Sweetheart Rock or Pu'u Pehe and the most gorgeous, yet unattainable, crescent beach below. Legend has it that a warrior fell head over heels for a young gal from Maui. Yet he was forced to leave his sweetheart huddled in a cave along the shore while he went to gather supplies due to an upcoming storm. By the time he got back to rescue her, the tide arose and she had drowned. The grieving warrior summoned the Gods help, retrieved her body and ascended the summit at Sweetheart Rock, carrying her on his shoulders, burying her on top. Some versions of the story say, being so love stricken and heart broken, he then leapt to his own death to join his sweetheart in the spirit world