Throwback Thursday: Haleakala National Park in Maui, HI

Today I’m throwing back to my Hawaii trip from April of this year to talk about Haleakala National Park on Maui! You can read my last throwback from this trip here.

We almost skipped visiting Maui’s volcano because the sunrise/sunset trips to the summit are so hyped that we didn’t know if a midday trip would be worthwhile. I’m so glad we went because Haleakala is out of this world!

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It was a cloudy day on the beach but we ended up driving through all the clouds for clear views.

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Volcanic rock formations

It’s much colder at the summit than it was at our condo so we made sure we wore pants and jackets.

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If you start at the beach (aka sea level) it’s a 37 mile drive to the summit which makes Haleakala one of the greatest elevation gains in the shortest distance in the world!

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Haleakala crater

The most stunning part of the trip was seeing the volcanic crater. The different colors of the dirt and sands were beautiful and really made me feel like I was looking out at a scene from Mars!

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It was amusing seeing planes go by because it was like I was looking down on them! Haleakala was amazing and I’m so glad that we didn’t skip it! If you’re not a morning or a late night person don’t let that deter you from visiting. I would love to go back and see a sunrise or a sunset next time but I didn’t feel like I was missing out at all this visit!

Having done the drive up and down in daylight I would HIGHLY recommend doing a tour bus to the summit if you want to do a sunrise or a sunset tour. The roads are winding and narrow so personally, I’d be uncomfortable driving them in the dark.

If heights aren’t your thing consider visiting the coastal area of the park called the Kipahulu District which can be found just past the town of Hana. Make sure you dress appropriately for either side of the park you visit as weather can be vastly different!

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Stay Adventurous!

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Arrigoni Winery in Portland, CT

With the holiday season gearing up I definitely fell off the blogging wagon a bit. I usually keep all my blog ideas saved as scheduled drafts and I make sure I write them up before the schedule posting time but I felt so unmotivated that I procrastinated writing one and accidentally posted a title with no post body! Whoops! Before you go looking- yes- I deleted the post and tweet out of complete embarrassment.

I’m feeling back on track today so I’m going to write about my hands-down favorite Connecticut winery: Arrigoni Winery in Portland, CT!

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Every good winery needs to have a giant shrimp statue outside!

Not only do I really love Arrigoni’s wine but it holds a lot of sentimental value as the first Connecticut vineyard that I visited. I’ve also visited here the most and made a lot of fun memories that set it apart from the rest. Arrigoni is open year round so I’ve been in the spring as the trees start to bloom, the summer for yoga by the vines, and for fall which is complete with a fire on the back patio! They have a Christmas shop which makes them a perfect destination to sip wine and shop this holiday season!

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My favorites are the Orchard Valley and the Sugar House (bottom left corner.)

 

To be fair the one thing I don’t love about Arrigoni and that’s their tasting set up. Arrigoni uses a set tasting list so as a repeat offender I’ve tried those five wines many times! However, I like that they allow you to add on additional pours off the extensive wine list for $1/each. Often everyone in my party will pick one more to try and then we all share a sip which makes for a cheap way to try a bunch of new wines!

During summer months Arrigoni has wine slushies available in Mango Madness, Blackberry Sangria or a swirl of both flavors (my favorite!) During the fall and winter Arrigoni Winery serves mulled wines available in an apple or red flavor.

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I thought their slushies were good but HOLY MOLY THIS MULLED WINE IS AMAZING!

My most recent visit was my first one trying the mulled wine and it was amazing. Lucky for me Arrigoni is willing to share their secret by offering the mulling mix for sale!

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Arrigoni’s spacious grounds- during the summer they offer monthly yoga classes on the grass complete with a tasting on your yoga mat afterwards!

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If I’ve interested your enough to try Arrigoni Winery out make sure to check Groupon before you go. They offer a Groupon for first time visitors for a tasting for two or four people with a cheese plate. Exact hours and special event info can be found on their website here.

Building your travel scrapbook

Stay adventurous!

November Blog Review and December Goals

Wow- I can’t believe it’s already December! It feels like November was over in the blink of an eye. I swear I was just passing out Halloween candy! I really enjoyed trying to meet my goals from last month so I wanted to take a post and reflect on my stats, goals, and make new goals.

Don’t have many pictures to share with this one so here’s my Christmas tree!

November stats:

Number of posts: 29

Number of total views: 498

Most viewed post: runDisney’s Dopey Challenge: 4 days, 4 races, 48.6 miles

Most commented post: runDisney’s Dopey Challenge: 4 days, 4 races, 48.6 miles

Number of Twitter followers: 645

Number of Instagram followers: 457

Number of Pinterest followers: 107

November goals:

  1. Focus on growing my Pinterest account– Success! I increased my followers and joined one group board though I’d like to join more in the future.
  2. Grow my Twitter followers to 600– Success!
  3. Participate in four blogger chats– Success! Squeezed some in late in the month but I made it.
  4. Comment on one blog every day– I fell flat here. I did comment on a lot of blogs but I didn’t end up with 30 comments.
  5. Stick to planned posting schedule– Success!

December goals:

  1. Find or make three group boards on Pinterest- Anyone interested in joining a group board? I think this would be a great way to boost my engagement.
  2. Curate my Pinterest boards to 50 pins each- Despite getting more followers I neglected building my boards which I’ve heard is key to success. I want to find meaningful pins that I enjoy for each of my boards to build them to about 50 pins each. If you keep a Pinterest board for your build posts please send me the link. I like supporting other small blogs!
  3. Tweet 4 times per week– I want to write/post original tweets 4 times per a week. This doesn’t seem like much but lately I’ve fallen into the rut where I’m using Twitter just to like/retweet other people which is a great way to support but doesn’t do much to show more of my personality.
  4. Beat out my old record for a post with the most views or comments- Just for fun I’d like to write a post that beats out the aforementioned runDisney post for most comments or most views. I’m hoping that a combination of a popular topic and a lot of publicity will do the trick!

What are your goals, blogging or otherwise, for December?