So we are back in the Islands with our elder daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren… And this time, we chose a family island (Maui) and a Hawaiian island (Lanai).  More on Lanai later in the week.

Each Hawaiian island has its own personality. Maui has always seemed to me to be a family island. It has a lot of activities and choices.  Of course many people come to do very little: Sit by the pool or ocean, drink, eat, and watch the sunsets. Others can choose to drive the road to Hana…A drive of about 75 miles across the flank of Haleakala, the 10,000 foot dormant volcano that dominates the landscape…It includes about 40 one-way bridges, and meanders through a rain forest, which allows stops for picnics by a pool with cascading waterfalls.

Or, if you are here from December to March, the humpback whales put on a show while birthing their newborns in the channel between Maui and the outlying islands of Lanai and Molokai. You always know when there is a whale sighting…All you have to do is watch for the groups of 20 or more humans pointing toward the ocean.

The beaches here are terrific and plentiful…They do not seem to have the surf of Oahu, but the sand is smooth and the snorkeling is superb. The breezes can be strong, but they give Maui the self-described title of the windsurfing capitol of the world… Aruba disputes this claim.

Did I mention the sunsets???

Another popular activity on Maui is to get up at 3:00 AM to begin the drive to the summit of Haleakala. You arrive at sunrise and are given really warm clothes to witness being closer to God. Then it is a 26 mile bike ride from the summit to the beaches below. As I write these words at 4:00, Mrs Bear and children are on their way with specific instructions to take photos while I babysit the grandkids…But I am rewarded tomorrow when I tee off at the Kapalua Plantation Course !!!

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