Well, today is our last full day in Maui (we leave at about 9:00 AM tomorrow, so that hardly counts). And since it is our last day, we didn’t do much but laze around our condo, Napili Beach, and snorkel a bit. Since we didn’t do much today, and in honor of this being our first time on Maui, I thought maybe I’d list some of our firsts on this trip, so here we go: It was my first time getting seasick, and getting my feet sunburned. It was Pete’s first time to play horn and conduct a concert band in Hawaii, and It was our first time hiking in a bamboo forest, swimming in a pool at the base of a waterfall, and snorkeling to a restaurant and being refused service (stupid really, they said we needed shoes, even though every time we’ve eaten here we see people soaking wet in bathing suits and completely shoeless, we think it was the snorkel gear, little did they know what great tippers and YELP-ers we are, their loss). Not firsts for us were unfortunate boat excursions, lots of snorkeling, and lots of alcohol, and unfortunately some sort of tragedy. The first two times we were in the islands there were shark attacks on the beach near where we were staying, a few trips later Katrina hit New Orleans, and even later (when visiting with William for his college graduation trip) Japan was hit by a massive earthquake and Hawaii was under a tsunami watch. This time my mother was bitten by her dog (never get between him and his food), got a tendon sheath infection, and ended up requiring surgery on her hand! Any-who, we were smitten by Maui, there is still a lot we haven’t seen, and even though it’s a little faster paced than suits us, it will definitely be on our list of places to visit again! Aloha Hawaii, and Aloha to all of our friends who visited with us vicariously, we’ll be happy to see you all on the mainland!
Today may have been our best (and most frustrating) day so far of the Maui vacay. The day started with news that my mother Betty was definitely having surgery today. Luckily she has my two sisters, my ex-wife, and a good friend of the family taking care of her, and we couldn’t really do much ourselves except keep in touch. So we decided today was the day for the road to Hana trip, and some snorkeling at our very own beach here at Napili (my feet are finally feeling recovered enough). We stopped at Lahaina for Macadamia Nut Pancakes at the Pioneer Inn (one of the stops on our walking tour), and then on the road! The drive is beautiful, but also really curvy, and really crowded. We passed the first place we planned to stop because of all the cars. It looked way too crowded for me, so we went to the second stop we had planned. The 6 mile marker is where you find the bamboo forest. Yes, an actual bamboo forest with paths hacked into it. The trail through the forest leads you to several waterfalls, the second of which has a wonderfully refreshing swimming hole at its base. The trail is muddy, and not incredibly easy, but also not much more than a 20 minute hike in. We decided to stop, swim, take pictures, and head back. We were not disappointed! It’s a great photo-op and quick dip. We were also treated to a stupid woman climbing on the rocks at the base of the falls (yes, of course she fell and received some well deserved scrapes and bruises). We dressed and headed back. Our second stop was a fantastic little town called Makawao. Here we found a great little lunch spot called Market Fresh Bistro, and Zforrest Maui Gallery where we HAD to buy something. We bought a beautiful river rock inlaid sushi plate (which we’ll use as a cheese board) an equally lovely turquoise inlaid cheese knives. We decided we had spent enough, and headed home to the Snorkel Bob’s only a few hundred feet from our resort for snorkel equipment, and headed to the beach. I can say without a doubt, this turned out to be our best snorkeling ever! We saw more fish and sea life than anywhere we’ve ever stayed, and we’re heading back for a rerun tomorrow AM. Stay tuned for our last full day 😦
Pete went off to have breakfast, and I slept in this morning. He brought me iced tea and a cinnamon roll, because that’s the type of person he is. The rest of the day consisted of gallery hopping and lunch at Mala Ocean Tavern in Lahaina. Then back to the condo for a nap and a message from my mother telling me she’s in the hospital thanks to a dog bite, from her own dog!! Not much we can do at this point but wait and see how it goes. After a couple of hours rest we headed around the west end of the island to visit the north shore of the west side of Maui (you really have to check out a map to get it). It’s a relatively unsettled, and ruggedly beautiful area. When we got back we took a dip in the ocean, a dip in the pool, and then headed out for a cheap bbq dinner. Turns out we’re not the cheap bbq dinner type, so we ended up having drinks, dinner, and an awesome Carmel Macchiato Ice Cream Pie back at the Sea House. Oh well, it’s my new happy place…
Day four of the Maui vacay started bright and early as we headed to Haleakala National Park this morning. We left around 8 (yes that’s extremely bright and early for me on vacation), with a stop at The Coffee Store for a quick breakfast, and then headed out to see the “dormant” volcano. Some people claim Haleakala is extinct, but in fact it could, and most likely will, erupt again some day. Also, for the geeks out there, it’s not really a “volcano” or a “caldera”. I don’t know why, and I didn’t bother to research it for this blog. That’s not my job, so don’t leave snarky comments (you know who you are).
After Haleakala we headed to Paia, a very weird little hippy town on the Central Maui side of the island, which sort of means the middle of the north side. Not much to see here except some really weird locals, a few very windy beaches, and a local volunteer concert band that Pete was spending the evening playing with, and conducting a bit. Turns out he filled in for some missing horn players, and conducted about the last half hour.
After killing as much time as possible with driving around aimlessly, eating some local mexican (not nearly as good as our Sacramento favorites), and visiting the local Aquarium, the Maui Ocean Center, I dropped him off and headed back home to hang out at the condo. Aloha!
Day three of our Maui vacay. It started out wonderfully with fabulous weather and a quick trip to The Coffee Store for iced coffee for Pete, and an iced Latte for me. Then we were off to the Trilogy for our Molokini excursion. We were excited since we had seen tons of glowing reviews, and they MORE than lived up to the hype. The crew is friendly and bend over backwards to make your trip awesome. The catamaran is the perfect size for a small group of passengers, and the trip itself is the perfect amount of travel and snorkel. Bad news for me however, for the first time ever, in-spite of the Dramamine I took before boarding, I got dreadfully seasick while snorkeling! Pete and I got separated and while I was looking for him, the waves got the better of me, so I spent the rest of the trip feeling horrid. Pete says the lunch was great, I have no idea. Sitting sick on the upper deck for the entire last two thirds of the trip, I also managed to burn the tops of my feet. Oh well, the little snorkeling I got a Molokini was definitely the clearest and best snorkeling we’ve had in the islands, and once again I can’t say enough good things about the trip and crew. Mahalo Trilogy!
Yay, day two in Maui! We decided to take it easy (it is a vacation after all). The only thing on the schedule is a historic/restaurant walking tour of Lahaina. lucky us, our tour was a little “problematic” and since we had definitely been charged for the tour, but had not been told where to meet our guide. I called and emailed the day before only to find that we were getting a private tour with Kent. In other words, they weren’t expecting us, and were doing their best to make it work. And work it did! Kent was not only incredibly knowledgeable about the history of Lahaina, but also a horn player, and member of a local volunteer concert band. Guess what Pete has planned for Thursday evening? I let you know Thursday if you haven’t figured it out yet. The rest of our day was spent swimming, and drinking on the lanai. Oh, and a napping of course!
Here we go! Day one of our Maui photo blog. The day started off as most Hawaii trips do, with an early (but not too early thank goodness) ride to the airport (thanks Mom!!). The dogs are already at The Pet Lover kennel, where they think they have died and gone to heaven, and the next 7 days should be all about sand, water, tropical drinks, snorkeling, and lots and lots of naps! Naps by the pool, naps in the studio condo with the FABULOUS beach view, naps on the beach, and random naps wherever the heck we feel like it. Of course there will also be lots of scenic drives, random restaurant finds, and the occasional excursion (such as our walking food tour of Lahaina in the morning, and the catamaran trip to Molokini later in the week). Hope you enjoy our little vacay, I’m sure we will!-David and Pete