The second my brother, aunt, and I touched down in Maui, our moods went from 0 to 100. Although exhausted from lots of flying, crappy food and minimal sleep, we were extremely chipper and overall happy as heck. The air smelled of coconuts and just moments after exiting the airport we were greeted with ocean winds and warm sunshine on our skin. The difference between sunshine in Illinois and sunshine in Hawaii is incredible. Much closer to the equator, the sun’s rays were stronger and brighter than what we were used to, which was heaven on earth to me. After the airport we rode a shuttle to the car rental and got ourselves a four door Jeep Wrangler. We packed our stuff in and headed to a grocery store about 20 minutes away. That drive I took some time to just breathe and think about this beautiful place I was in. We loaded up on food (mostly organic!), drinks and whatever we had forgotten back at home. We had plans to camp in some of the state parks for a few nights and then stay at hotel on the beach for the second half of the trip. We drove the “Road to Hana”, which was nothing short of breathtaking. Frequent stops were made where we would walk to fruit stands, watch the surfers in their natural habitat, explore and jump in some waterfalls and look out onto the ocean. I was amazed by this beautiful land and so envious of those who called it home. We drove windy roads for hours, in complete awe of the colorful scenery. We parked the car at a few beaches and curiously investigated the different rocks, colored sands, and pathways. At our first campground, we got their early enough to pick almost any spot we wanted. Hammocks, tents, and camping gear in hand, we walked down a path that lead us to a few different openings. The one we chose was right on the side of a small cliff, with two trees and a picnic table. We hung out hammocks, set up our tent and repeated this same process for the next few nights as we traveled to different state parks. The views we found were always mind blowing to me. We hiked along numerous trails, each one different in their own amazing way. Some with three story waterfalls, some with endless rocks, and others with the most unique trees and plants that I’d ever seen. Wild little cats were always roaming around the campsites keeping us company. After our meals we would give them a few scraps and water and they’d hangout for awhile. On our second to last day of camping it began pouring rain so we decided to start our hotel stay a little earlier than planned. Which was A-okay with my brother and I, we loved camping but definitely missed warm showers and sleeping comfortably. We all loaded the Jeep back up and made our way to the hotel in Kaanapali.