I did not know that ocean water could be at once so clear and yet so many different shades of blue -- from aquamarine, to azure, to navy.
I did not realize how exciting it would be to drive and hike along the coast of Maui, while below us Pacific swells crashed against volcanic cliffs and broke on sandy beaches.
I was not prepared for the wonder of exploring reefs filled with corals and fish of all colors and sizes, and doing it in the company of curious green sea turtles.
I did not understand the remarkable nature of a place like Oahu where you can be standing on the beach one minute and striding through a dense rain forest less than an hour later, en route to to a beautiful waterfall.
It caught me off guard how quickly we settled in to this place and took it as natural to spend evenings watching the sun set over the ocean while enjoying the soothing strains of Hawaiian music.
I fear that photographs are not enough to fully capture and convey the sense of these islands, but still I offer them to you.
Photographs From Maui
Photographs From Oahu
We were moved by the beauty of this place and the graciousness of the people. And we brought a bit of the Aloha spirit with us when we departed.
Mahalo nui loa, Hawaii!