For a long time, I gazed longingly at Hawaii on the map and envied my friends who traveled there – despite living in California, literally a hop / skip / jump away, I never had been there! Then I resolved to find a way to travel there, even if it was on my own, but luckily my family agreed to a week vacation there together a few Thanksgivings ago.

We stayed in a condo right on the beach in Maui, and ate delicious fish, sat in the sun, traveled up to the volcano to see the gorgeous heights, and generally enjoyed the laid back atmosphere. One thing that really stuck with me – as we drove our rental car from the airport to the hotel, it was extremely bright and clear, and looking out, I saw the ocean out to the horizon. Since it was so bright, there was a sharp cut at the horizon that made it look like the edge of the world. Just Hawaii and nothing else.

I would love to return and do some hiking adventures, especially on the big island. But Maui will always have a special place in my heart.