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Old 05-10-2011   #1 (permalink)
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Maui, Hawaii -25th anniversary trip report

On June 14th, Dee Dee and I will have been married 25 years. We decided that we wanted to do a special anniversary trip to celebrate. We threw around a few different ideas and it came down to either Italy or Maui. We ended up going with Maui. We decide to go when we could get decent rates on airfare and a condo rather than on our actual anniversary. That turned out to be a great decision as the spring weather in Minnesota has kind of sucked this year and the week we were in Hawaii was no exception.

Our trip started out on April 26th. That first day was a killer… We flew from Minneapolis to Dallas and then on to Kahului Maui. That second flight was a tad over 8 hours. I get really bored on flights like that. The flights were all good and we made it to Maui safely and on time. We caught the Hertz shuttle over to their nearby car rental place. DeeDee had got us a great deal on a convertible on priceline. It ended up being a white Mustang. White isn’t my favorite car color, but hey it’s a convertible and we are in Hawaii. Honestly, before we went, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal to get a convertible. That was one of Dee Dee’s things that she really wanted. Man was she ever spot on with that one. Having a convertible in Hawaii was awesome!!!!! Good call hon .


Here's a pic of the Mustang later in the trip

We made a stop for some supplies for the condo and then were on our way to the condo. We rented a ground floor studio condo unit at Kaanapali Villas on VRBO. When we got there we checked in at the front desk just like we would have if we had booked through the resort. The condo was exactly as described and we were very happy with it. Kaanapali Villas was a great place for us to stay. It was so peaceful and quiet there. The grounds were extremely well taken care of.

Here are some pictures of the condo:









Where we enjoyed breakfast and lunch many times during the week



We unpacked a bit and then headed out to find a place for supper. We drove down to Lahaina and walked around Whalers Village awhile.




We decided on the Hula Grill. That ended up being a great choice. We first ordered up a Mai Tai and some Hawaiian Ceviche to start with. The ceviche was fresh fish in lime, coconut milk, mango and Maui onion.




For dinner we really weren’t that hungry so just got an order of mahi mahi tacos. I forgot to take a picture of that. While we were eating I noticed a couple others tables had awesome looking ice cream sandwich type desserts. We had to try one of those and were glad, as it was really good.





Everything was really good, including the service. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset and live Hawaiian music as we ate too. A perfect way to start the trip.

Here are a couple sunset pics from the first night:





After supper we were really tired as it was almost 1:00am Minnesota time, so we just went back to the condo and crashed. Another reason for going to bed early was that we were getting up early the next day to drive up to the top of Haleakala to see the sunrise.
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Old 05-10-2011   #2 (permalink)
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Looking forward to this! Thanks for sharing. Food looks delicious.
Happy 25th!
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Old 05-11-2011   #3 (permalink)
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Happy 25th anniversary! What a great way to celebrate- the food looks awesome! Can't wait for more

edit- love that pic of you two- you look great!
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Old 05-11-2011   #4 (permalink)
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awwww you two...congrats.

I saw a few of your pics on FB and was hoping you would do a report.
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Old 05-11-2011   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TnTWalter View Post
Looking forward to this! Thanks for sharing. Food looks delicious.
Happy 25th!
Thanks, hopefully the report won't disappoint.


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Originally Posted by Buggirl View Post
Happy 25th anniversary! What a great way to celebrate- the food looks awesome! Can't wait for more

edit- love that pic of you two- you look great!
Hey Sara, Thanks, I plan to get day two up tomorrow.


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awwww you two...congrats.

I saw a few of your pics on FB and was hoping you would do a report.
Thanks Tappy, I haven't been as good about doing trip reports on here lately, but thought I would for this one since I'm hoping that it can help someone that might be going to Maui. I know I got a lot out of cmsitaly's Maui report. Hopefully it will also be a little interesting for all too.
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Old 05-11-2011   #6 (permalink)
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Happy 25th!!! We spent ours in Playa last year...Congratulations to you both
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Old 05-12-2011   #7 (permalink)
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Happy 25th!!! We spent ours in Playa last year...Congratulations to you both
Thanks, Playa sounds like a perfect place for a 25th anniversary. I guess since we go there every year at least once, we figured that we should go somewhere else for our 25th. I think for us, Maui was a better fit for our 25th. That being said I'm not sure we will go back to Hawaii again, but I can't wait to go back to Playa next February, if not sooner .

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Old 05-12-2011   #8 (permalink)
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Day 2

The alarm went off at 2:15am. That might sound kind of early for getting up when on vacation, but I was wide awake as in my mind it was really 7:15am (Minnesota time). We got ready and were on the road to Haleakala by 3:00am. When we first talked about going to Maui we had planned on doing the bike ride down Haleakala. However, when we looked into it we decided against it. The main reason was that a few years a go they changed it so that the companies that do the bike rides now cannot operate in the park. That means instead of starting out up at the top of near 10,300 feet, they now have to start down at 6500 feet. We just didn’t think it was worth it.

We made it up to the top at 4:50am, which is about an hour before sunrise….perfect.
When I read about watching the sunrise from Haleakala I knew that some days are better than others. I would say that we got to see an OK sunrise. It really wasn’t anything overly special other than where it was. I guess the coolest sunrise I have seen was one year when I was elk hunting in Idaho. That time the clouds were just below my feet and the sun seemed to inch up through the beautiful blanket. OK, I didn’t describe that very well, but believe me it was really cool…
Back to Haleakala, we parked in the parking lot and walked up a short distance to the summit. Up there we found a glass enclosed observatory. We went in there for a while to keep warm. It was really cold up there. Well, at least it seemed cold with the wind blowing. I think it was really about 40 degrees. When it got close to the actual sunrise we went outside and watched it come up. I guess it was pretty cool.


Here's what it looked like when we first got there



after a little while it looked like this


and then as the sun began to rise here was our view


I really liked this view of the big Island from here too


Here a pic of us that didn't turn out very well, but I still like it


After the sunrise we walked around a bit checking out the area.

We saw these really cool Silversword plants up there.



We then drove down to the main visitor center and looked around a bit and then did a short hike on part of the Sliding Sands trail. The trail goes a long ways, but we just weren’t really in the mood to go that far.










We saw a couple Chuckers along the trail



We then drove down just a little further and stopped at the Leleiwi overlook. To get there we hiked in a quarter mile or so. If I had it to do over again, I would go to Leleiwi overlook to see the sunrise. We were the only ones there and it was really beautiful. You would need a flashlight to walk into that one in the dark though as it’s a real trail in the rocks, not a concrete path like there is at the summit.














We then drove down the mountain to Makawoa. I wanted to stop at the Komoda Bakery for some banana bread. I liked Makawoa, it had an interesting small town vibe. Unfortunately for us, the bakery was closed as the owners were on vacation. We decide to drive on to Pa’ia for breakfast then. We ended up at Milagro’s. I had the hippy hash and Dee Dee had the macadamia nut banana pancakes. The food and service was excellent.

The hippy hash (fried potatoes, sausage, eggs, peppers, tomatoes and more



Dee Dee with her macadamia nut banana pancakes



I really liked Pa’ia too. Again, the vibe just seemed to be more my style than the fancier parts of Maui. We planned to come back here again and maybe hit up the Pa’ia Fish Market for lunch or supper.

After the great breakfast we headed back toward the condo. When we got to Lahina we made a stop at the Safeway store to stock up on food and drink stuff for the week. We don’t have a Safeway in Minnesota so we were able to fill out a form and get a Safeway card on the spot. That saved us over $20 on this one visit alone. I think the bill was over $60 before the Safeway member discount.

Back at the condo/resort we walked around a bit to check things out and get a better feel of the place. It’s a little different here that what we are use to in Mexico. Apparently the resorts/hotels can’t put their chairs on the beach. They did offer some wooden loungers that we could have rented that were on the back end of the beach. We decided to just spend a couple hours hanging out on some lounge chairs near the beach this afternoon. We were the only ones in the area we were. It was so quiet and peaceful.


The beach with Moloka'i in the background


Here’s where we spent the afternoon.

Here’s a picture of a gecko that hung out with us




These cool Red Capped Cardinals visited us almost every time we sat on the Lanai. Me feeding them little pieces of bread or crackers might have helped.


Birds of Paradise flowers that were by the small pool near the condo

Later on we drove to Lahaina. I read that parking can be a pain there and expensive. They do have one small free parking lot, but the book says that it is usually full. There is another one that I guess is free for 3 hours of parking. I had put the address of the free one in our GPS and it took us right to it. I am glad that I had done that ahead of time as it was in a kind of hard to find out of the way place. We pulled in and found an empty spot. Cool that was easy.



We walked around town a bit to see what was there. We ended up at Kimo’s restaurant for supper. We wanted to just eat in the deck/bar area instead of the fancier area. We were able to get a table right next to the railing of the deck next to the ocean. I think I had a Longboard Lager beer and Dee Dee had a Mango Colada.




Some gal at one of the shops said that Kimos was a good place to eat and my book said they had good burgers. Anyway, since we were in the bar/deck area our choices were limited so I ordered a cheeseburger and DeeDee got a Ceasars Salad. I guess her salad was good, but my burger was way too done to be very good.

For dessert we ordered a Hula Pie. Now that was awesome!!!! It is made with macadamia nut ice cream and lots of chocolate on the top and bottom.





The service was pretty good and the view was awesome.





We walked around town some more after supper and I took a few sunset pics. Here is my favorite




After that we headed back to the condo as we were planning to get up fairly early and do the road to Hana trip tomorrow.



A few thoughts after being here for a couple days now.

Why do I keep wanting to put the toilet paper in the garbage?

Why do I want to say “hola” instead of “aloha”? and "gracias" instead of "thank you" or "mahalo"?

I wonder if Dee Dee will see that mouse that I saw in the condo this morning or if the first time she learns of it will be when she reads this?

On the TP thing and Hola vs Aloha…. I guess we really have spent a lot of time in Playa del Carmen over the last several years and this must kind of feel like that. But it is also so different. Only one time did I actually say Hola to someone that said Aloha to me. I hope they didn’t notice….

Last edited by cazador; 05-12-2011 at 02:48 PM..
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Old 05-12-2011   #9 (permalink)
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Very nice start to the trip report and Happy Anniversary to you and your wife! My husband and I went to Maui for our honeymoon 10 years ago so it's nice to read about similar things we did when we were there. We loved it and thought it was very nice! Since then we have been to Playa two times and loved it. This past March we took a last minute trip to a small town near Zihuatanejo, Mexico - called Troncones which we really fell in love with! Hawaii is great - especially if you don't mind the long airplane ride! We found things to be more expensive in Hawaii compared to Mexico and it seemed more "upscale". Don't get me wrong - Hawaii is beautiful - but hands down - I'd go back to Playa or Troncones again. Fun to see the differences of both. Keep writing!!!
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Old 05-12-2011   #10 (permalink)
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Very nice start to the trip report and Happy Anniversary to you and your wife! My husband and I went to Maui for our honeymoon 10 years ago so it's nice to read about similar things we did when we were there. We loved it and thought it was very nice! Since then we have been to Playa two times and loved it. This past March we took a last minute trip to a small town near Zihuatanejo, Mexico - called Troncones which we really fell in love with! Hawaii is great - especially if you don't mind the long airplane ride! We found things to be more expensive in Hawaii compared to Mexico and it seemed more "upscale". Don't get me wrong - Hawaii is beautiful - but hands down - I'd go back to Playa or Troncones again. Fun to see the differences of both. Keep writing!!!

Thanks, Yes, there is quite a difference between Hawaii and Mexico. Both having their pros and cons. Rural northern Minnesota, huh? I'll be heading up to Lake Kabetogama tomorrow for the fishing opener. I love northern Minnesota too, just not as much in the winter

Tim
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Old 05-17-2011   #11 (permalink)
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Day 3

Today is the day were are doing the Road to Hana trip. We have read up on it as much as we can and have a plan. We weren’t sure how many things on the trip we could actually get in though in just one day.

We got up at 4:05am. Made some sandwiches, packed a cooler and were on the road at 5:00am.

The timing was pretty good. By the time we got to the first waterfall that we wanted to see the sun was well up.

Our first stop was a place were we took a short walk to and saw Lower Puohokamoa Falls (at least I think that is the first one we saw)




Then we drove a little ways and took another short hike to see Haipua’ena Falls. This was a cute little falls.




We drove on and then stopped where we hiked in on some boulders to see Punalau Falls. Well…. At least where the falls would have been if there had been any water flowing. This is where we realized for sure that things were kind of dry and we weren’t going to be treated to the best possible waterfall views today. Oh well, it was a beautiful day and we were still going to see some incredible sites that we don’t get to see every day at home.





We did find our first geocache of the day here though.


A view of the coast along the way



Our next stop was Ching’s Pond. This was kind of a cool spot right along the road.








After that we stopped at a place called Halfway to Hana and picked up a loaf of banana bread. It was pretty good.





Next stop was the Wailua Valley State wayside. There really wasn’t much to see there other than a pretty cool valley.




along the way




Then we drove on to the Upper Waikani Falls, also know as Three Bears Falls. That one was right along the road and pretty cool.















The next stop was Pua’a Ka’a State Park. There is a very small water fall there that was obvious to people passing through.




The book said that we should walk past it and up the hill to find a better waterfall. The trail wasn’t the best and after taking a wrong turn once we found it. We were pleasantly surprise to have it all to ourselves. We took a couple pics from up top and then climbed down to the waters edge. I think this was my favorite waterfall of the day.












Back on the road we soon found Hanawi Falls that was next to the road.




We then took a little detour 2 ½ miles down Nahiku Road. At the end of the road we found a really cool spot that had great views of the shoreline. There was suppose to be an artesian waterfall and pool near there too, but it was dry. We had our lunch here on the point. Most of the time we were there, there was one other guy nearby with his dog. Other than that we had it all to ourselves.














After we got back on the main road we came across a place called “The Big Dumb Coconut Stand”. Dee Dee wanted to get some coconut ice cream so we stopped. I think what she got was some mango coconut ice cream that the gal served her in a coconut bowl with a coconut spoon.









At this point we wanted to try to go to a place called Blue Pool, but everything we have heard and read lately says that the locals won’t let you go there anymore. Looking at the time and not wanting any hassle we decided to keep moving and not check it out.

Our next stop was Wai’anapana Park to see a black sand beach. It was a very nice park and a cool spot. I liked the lave tube that you could go in that went down to the beach. The only bad thing here was that it was kind of busy, at least compared to all the other stops we had made.














Now ready for another hike, we are off to find a red sand beach. If it weren’t for the Maui Revealed book I’m not sure how we would find places like this next one. You have to park along a dead end street and then walk across an opening that the book says is public land to a trail in the trees along the coast. Since it was dry the hike wasn’t too bad. If it had been wet it could have been treacherous. It was a really cool spot and I’m very glad that we found it.


















Our next stop was supposed to be at a place called Venus Pool. However here is one of those places that it appears the locals do not want tourists to go. Where the book said to park there were no parking signs all over the place. I don’t really think they are legal signs , but we didn’t want to get into it with anyone and we still had a lot we wanted to do so we moved on……


As we kept moving around the island we came to another waterfall along the road. Sorry, but I just don’t remember the name of this one.






The we saw a cool thing along the road that I guess is called a Blessed Mother Shrine that is in the remnant of an old lava tube.




Finally we arrived at the Ohe’O Gulch, better know as the Seven Sacred Pools. They are in part of Haleakala National Park. We were able to get in free since we still had our receipt from the day before when we drove up to the summit of Haleakala. I guess it’s good for three days.

I had wanted to hike around here quite a bit, but it was getting later in the day so we just did the shorter loop to the lower pools. It was really cool and we were even able to take a swim here. I guess they close this off to swimming quite a bit for fear of flash floods, but today since it was dry we were able to swim. There were quite a people here, but it was still very much worth it.










After the hike back to the car we changed into dry clothes. I had forgot to pack a pair of dry underwear. I had my worn my only pair under my swim suit as I had the swim suit on all day under my shorts. When I came out of the bathroom and told Dee Dee about it she pulled out a nice pair of purple underwear as she had accidentally packed two pair….. I thought about it for a second and quickly decided that I would rather go commando than have my friends hear about me wearing purple panties…..

We had already made up our minds to drive all the way around the island. Back at the airport at the Hertz counter I had heard the lady telling the person in front of me that he couldn’t take a rental car there. I ended up just getting on the shuttle and going to where the cars are since we had already paid for the car. The gal there never mentioned it and I didn’t ask…. We had also heard from other people not to go all the way around. Oh well, I wanted to keep going and not have to back track so onward we went. Yep, the road is even more narrow and rougher than it had been up to that point. It was gravel for a few miles too. No big deal though for us and our Mustang. I am very glad though that we didn’t meet very much traffic and what we did meet seemed to always be in a good spot. I guess it was our lucky day.

Maybe it’s not really that big of a deal though as we caught up to a couple tour buses along the way and they were also doing just fine.

Here are some pics from our drive along the south side of Maui.











We decide to head for Pa’ia to have supper at the Fish market. The Fish Market is a cool busy place . You order from the counter and then find a place at one of the long tables to sit and eat. Since they are long table you are more than likely going to be sitting next to someone you don’t know. We ended up sitting my a nice young local guy that was there with his two son’s and one of their friends. I had the Mahi fish and chips, which is Mahi Mahi fish with French Fries and cole slaw. Dee Dee just had the deep fried shrimp appetizer as she wasn’t feeling the best. It was hot all day and we had done quite a bit of hiking and we think she was dehydrated. Our food was very good.





After supper we drove back to the condo. The whole day trip took just a few minutes under 14 hours. I really enjoyed the long day. If you ever go to Maui, you have to do the road to Hana. That being said I’m not sure if I would do it again. That road winds and turns so much and all those one lane bridges, unreal….. We would kind of laugh at all the “road narrows” or “one lane bridge ahead” signs. OK, yeah, we get it, the road is very narrow and there are lots of sharp turns….

Last edited by cazador; 05-17-2011 at 04:49 PM..
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Old 05-17-2011   #12 (permalink)
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We're jealous.

Beautiful pictures Tim..it looks like you and Dee Dee had a great time...

Congratulations on your 25th Anniversary....


Phillip and Shannon
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Old 05-17-2011   #13 (permalink)
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We're jealous.

Beautiful pictures Tim..it looks like you and Dee Dee had a great time...

Congratulations on your 25th Anniversary....


Phillip and Shannon
Thanks, we did have a great time. Lots of stuff to see and do there so we stayed pretty busy the first half of the trip.

Tim
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Old 05-17-2011   #14 (permalink)
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This is a wonderful trip report. I'm really enjoying your anniversary adventures.
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Old 05-18-2011   #15 (permalink)
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This is a wonderful trip report. I'm really enjoying your anniversary adventures.
Thanks for the nice comment. I'm hoping to get the next day done soon

Tim
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