There is something primal – an ancient healing force that seems to exist within the aqua blue waters surrounding Maui. Anyone who has visited can attest: it is a spiritual and special place.
There, lingering beneath the depths of pristine sandy beaches it feels like there is a connection to the ancient rhythms of the earth. The blue skies and sunshine and healing vibrations of the second-largest island of the archipelago help the stresses of modern life melt away. The ebb and flow of the tides, the sets of waves with their whitecapped magnificence, and the moon’s reflection all contribute to the zen of Maui. It means something, gets in the blood, provides a palpable, unshakable needed balm to the spirit. There is a pull to hearken the wind, the rustling of grasses and leaves, and also to listen to one’s inner voice, the one that urges connection to the land and the people around you.
Dr. Vivek Cheba has celebrated the majesty of Maui with his family yearly for over a decade. As life responsibilities stacked up and they added to their family, each child was introduced to the ocean from the beaches of Maui. It is a place of joy. A spot where Dr. Cheba and his wife could let go of the stresses of their day-to-day lives and just smile, embrace the sunshine and spend time with their children.
As an annual Cheba family destination, Dr. Vivek Cheba and his wife and children have spent years exploring the island.
“There is something amazing about heading to a foreign place, somewhere unique. My family has been fortunate to visit Maui numerous times. To say that Maui is special to my family is an understatement. We love it because it allows us to connect with each other in a different way,” Dr. Vivek Cheba said.
Below are some of Vivek Cheba’s family favorites:
Sacred Garden of Maliko
The Cheba family are big fans of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s “The Secret Garden.” So the opportunity to find a garden off the beaten path in Hawaii’s magic proved too tempting. The experience did not disappoint. In the two-level greenhouse teeming with native Hawaiian plants, there is a Buddha garden that is topped off by a Buddha statue carved out of a monkeypod tree. With lush, extensive gardens and labyrinths, the place is visually stunning, and that beloved sense of being in another world and far from the stress of this life is enhanced.
Five out of five stars for a unique and memorable experience.
Finding beloved hidden gems has become a goal for every family trip to Maui. Also known as Pa’ako Cove, visitors walk through two giant black lava rocks, like ancient pillars or gargoyles guarding the beach. This place is beloved by locals for a reason – hidden away, many tourists do not venture to Pa’ako Cove. Vibrant with sea life, it proves a snorkeler’s paradise. Take a picnic and watch the sunrise or the sunset and you will say Mahalo to the world for having such beauty in it.
This nearly 65-mile drive in the northeastern part of Maui has such stunning vistas that the kids will not even ask, “Are we there yet?” In all, it takes about 10-12 hours to complete and with kids in the car, it is good to make frequent stops.
Not to mention that there are so many fascinating attractions and quaint little communities along the road that it just makes sense to fully enjoy it. There is an option to self-drive the road or to go with a guided service. Both provide perks: the tour guides obviously have their fingertips on the amazing history of the island. Not to mention that the driver with the self-drive option will not have much fun at all or be able to see the scenery until stopped.
The Road to Hana is notoriously treacherous. In fact, the slow trek has earned the road the distinction of being nicknamed “Divorce Highway” due to the many heated arguments between couples attempting to navigate it. It could be seen as a marriage test. When in doubt, use the guide service. Still, the self-drive freedom to stop frequently and wherever one’s family wants is a huge perk. There are too many amazing places along this drive to list. It simply needs to be experienced for the good, the potential bad, and the sometimes dangerous.
Molokini Crater and Turtle Town
A nature preserve only accessible by boat, the water is full of life: sea turtles, exotic fish, and monk seals. Taking a boat out for a snorkeling excursion has to be on the top of the family to-do list. Having the ability to experience sea turtles? That tips the scale even more. It is a delight to experience the sunshine and the waves and watch sea turtles thriving in their natural environment – ones that can even be 50-100 years old!
Maui is full of treasures. That is one way the Vivek Cheba family has been able to visit annually and never become bored. It is recommended that families who intend on visiting Hawaii numerous times create a list of the places and experiences they would most like. Watching things get marked off of a list every year, finding new and exciting experiences, and getting to further understand the Hawaiian culture is a gift.
Life is simply better on the island.
May you find “Makani ‘olu’olu e kai malie.” (Fair winds and following seas.)