Arriving at the Maui airport
Hawaii consists of 137 islands spread out over 4,028 square miles (10,430 sq, km) and is part of the Polynesian subregion of Oceania. Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian islands and was formed by two volcanos that overlapped each other, merging into a single island about 1 million years ago. Maui's last volcanic eruption occurred around 1790, with one of the lava flows in La Perouse Bay, just south of our destination in Wailea.
About 20,000 years ago, Maui was joined to the neighboring islands of Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe, forming one large island called Maui Nui, during a small ice age which caused the level of the Pacific Ocean to drop. Erosion and the return of the Pacific to higher levels after the ice age separated the islands by narrow channels. Geologists believe that this process is continuing and will separate the two volcanic sections of Maui into two islands in about 15,000 years.
Heading over to our hotel, we find tropical beaches, tropical plants, and more warm, sunny weather.
We head out for a walk along the beach, enjoying the sights on Maui and of the nearby islands of Lanai, Molokini, and Kahoolawe in the distance across the water.
Along the beach
Back at our hotel, the Grand Wailea, we stroll the grounds, taking in the fabulous pools, waterfalls, landscaping, and plantings. Soon, it's time to paddle around the pools and ride the water slides.
As the sun sets, we watch the colors change over the Pacific and the islands in the distance, relaxing in this tropical paradise, as the hotel's luau begins, with roasted pig, ahi tuna poke, and traditional Hawaiian hula dancers on the stage. We enjoy from afar as we stroll the grounds.
Hotel grounds at night