A Shock to the System
I stood in line and fidgeted with my phone trying to keep it from falling asleep before the check-in gate. It had been over a year since I last left the island and the new ever-changing procedures had me on edge. I had a family waiting for me on Maui. One who had been trying to schedule a photo session for almost a year. We did a big cheer when they all made it to Maui. Now it was my was turn.
My brain went through the list again – COVID test – check, safe travels form – check, ID – check, rental car reservation number – check … Many lines and many hours later I found myself cruising along the Honoapiilani highway in a fresh rental car. There was a brief scare when they told me they ran out of cars, but then they upgraded me to some flashy monstrosity that screamed tourist.
My eyes feasted on the Maui landscape – at once familiar but also a welcome break from Oahu- as I wound my way up the coast toward Kapalua. Over my shoulder, I caught glimpses of the bright blue ocean. It always feels a little sad and empty when the humpback whales are away, but always stunning.
A Magical Coastal Rainforest
My destination was a coastal rainforest in Honolua Bay dripping with life and lushness. The shoreline was littered with masked beach-goers gawking at brightly colored fish, but we wanted the interior. Jess loved the idea of two locations for their family photos. We would start with the rainforest just as the golden light lit up the branches and end splashing along the shore at nearby Ironwoods beach.
We shared jokes and climbed overgrown tree roots under the sun-warmed canopy. It was in truth hard to leave all the beauty behind but the sun was sinking and we needed sand under our feet.
Kapalua Ironwoods Beach – A Sunset to Remember
We made the short drive following the sun it’s place poised about the water. There was more space to run and play here and we felt energized by the crashing waves. More laughs, hugs, and exploration ensued until the sun faded like a memory. We squeezed every moment out of that beautiful afternoon.
Planning a Family Vacation on Maui?
I’m happy to play tour guide and show you some of my favorite places to explore on Maui for an evening of fun memories and photographs to cherish. I photograph a limited number of families on Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island each year. If you have a fun family who likes to explore, let’s start planning! You can find information about my family photography sessions here.