Spending Christmas & New Year with friends

Hawaii is the 50th and most recent U.S. state to join the United States, having joined the Union on August 21, 1959. It is the only U.S. state located in Oceania and the only one made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean.
Hawaii's diverse natural scenery, warm tropical climate, abundance of public beaches, oceanic surroundings, and active volcanoes make it a popular destination for tourists, surfers, biologists, and volcanologists alike. Due to its mid-Pacific location, Hawaii has many North American and Asian influences along with its own vibrant native culture. Hawaii has over a million permanent residents, along with many visitors and U.S. military personnel. Its capital is Honolulu on the island of Oʻahu.
The island of Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands at 727.2 square miles. Maui is part of the State of Hawaiʻi and is the largest of Maui County's four islands, bigger than Molokaʻi, Lanaʻi, and unpopulated Kahoʻolawe. In 2010, Maui had a population of 144,444, third-highest of the Hawaiian Islands, behind that of Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island. Kahului is the largest census-designated place (CDP) on the island with a population of 26,337 as of 2010 and is the commercial and financial hub of the island. Wailuku is the seat of Maui County and is the third-largest CDP as of 2010.
Sophie Spinning on the beach
Īao Valley
Īao Valley (pronounced similar to "EE-ow") is a lush, stream-cut valley in West Maui, Hawaii, located 3 miles west of Wailuku. Because of its natural beauty and historical significance, it has become a popular tourist location. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1972
Nakalele Blowhole (or watercano) Slow Mo Blow
Molokini is a crescent-shaped, partially submerged volcanic crater which forms a small islet located in Alalakeiki Channel between the islands of Maui and Kahoʻolawe, part of Maui County in Hawaiʻi. It has an area of 23 acres and is located about 2.5 miles west of Makena State Park and south of Maʻalaea Bay. It is a popular tourist destination for scuba diving, and snorkeling. The islet is a Hawaiʻi State Seabird Sanctuary. This was a great way to spend Christmas Day.
Christmas Day on Molokini
Haleakala is a massive shield volcano that forms more than 75% of the Hawaiian Island of Maui. The western 25% of the island is formed by another volcano, Mauna Kahalawai, which according to volcanologists, used to be over 13,000 feet high, but has collapsed and eroded down to a much smaller 5,100 feet. Mauna Kahalawai is the older of the two volcanoes at 1.4 million years old and Haleakala is 1.2 million years old. Mauna Kahalawai, because of all the erosion giving it the look of many mountains is referred to as the West Maui Mountains. The tallest peak of Haleakala ("house of the sun"), at 10,023 feet is Puʻu ʻUlaʻula (Red Hill). From the summit one looks down into a massive depression some 7 miles across, 2 miles wide, and nearly 2,600 ft deep. The surrounding walls are steep and the interior mostly barren-looking with a scattering of volcanic cones.
Haleakala Sunrise Wave dodging
Hana Highway
The Hana Highway is a 64.4 mile long stretch of Hawaii Routes 36 and 360 which connects Kahului with the town of Hana in east Maui. On the east after Kalepa Bridge, the highway continues to Kipahulu as Hawaii Route 31 (the Piilani Highway). Although Hana is only about 52 miles from Kahului, it takes about 2.5 hours to drive when no stops are made as the highway is very winding and narrow and passes over 59 bridges, 46 of which are only one lane wide. There are approximately 620 curves along Route 360 from just east of Kahului to Hana, virtually all of it through lush, tropical rainforest.
Junior Rangers Maui Exercise