This year in September we visited the island of Maui in Hawaii. I went with my girlfriend, Alex and my sister. The trip to the airport was uneventful, and quite easy, since we had Primetime Shuttle service pick us up at 5am PST. Once we landed in Kahului, we spent about an hour hanging out at the Hertz waiting in line for our rental car. It ended up being a Subaru Forester, which is kind of a hybrid between an SUV and a car. I kept trying to shift on the steering column instead of in the center console. It was comfortable and plenty large enough for the three of us. After that we headed down to Kihei, where we checked into the Maui Lu Resort, right on the beach. We had booked a garden view room, and in hindsight it probably would have been better to upgrade to the room on the beach for only a few dollars more per night. The beds were horrible, and the air conditioning was in energy saver mode, which meant it kept turning off and on all the time. But it was cheap, and that was our ultimate goal.
After getting settled in the room, we went down to the beach, only to find some pretty large swells coming in from the south. Later on the news we found out the was a storm off of Tahiti causing an unusual large south swell. After a little bit of swimming in the ocean, we headed to the pool, which was much more relaxing and the perfect temperature.
The next day we headed down to Makena State Park to visit “Big Beach.” It was pretty crowded and the surf was still too large. We all decided to stay out of the water and try somewhere else instead. After driving down the road a little further, stopping to watch some people on paddle surfboards (and a semi-naked lady), we headed back through Wailea to the hotel and hung out in the pool the rest of the day.
Figuring that the northern part of the island might have some more favorable conditions, we headed up to the Kaanapali cost to find a nice beach. After driving around in the huge resort area, we finally found a public beach park and headed down to the water. It was much calmer and we got a little snorkeling in, but there wasn’t much marine life due to the amount of people around, I am guessing. We hung out on the beach until lunch time and headed down to Bubba Gump’s in Lahaina, followed by some browsing of the shops in Old Lahaina. Eventually we made our way back down to Kihei to finish up the day relaxing and getting a bite to eat.
Our trip to Haleakala was next on the agenda. The plan was to go to the top of the mountain and view the surrounding islands and ocean. Instead, we were met with rain clouds and very chilly weather, something like 46°F at the top. Luckily we came prepared with warm clothing and made it to the top. Since there was nothing to view outside, we read all of the information about the summit and headed back down the mountain. I had a secret plan that was foiled by the clouds, but it was saved at the last minute when we saw, and stopped at the Kula Lodge restaurant. The view from the terrace seating is beautiful, with a nice fountain and valley full of green foliage below. It was here that I got down on one knee and proposed to the love of my life. She accepted, and I can now happily call her my fiancé. Also, the food was pretty awesome, if not a little expensive.
After the drive back down the mountain to the coast, we hung out in the hotel watching a movie and eating leftovers. Eventually we got hungry and had to cruise down to Jack-in-the-Box for a quick late evening meal before going to bed. We had exciting plans for the next day and wanted to get as much rest as possible.
In the morning we drove up to Maalaea Harbor to board the Four Winds II, a charter boat that would take us to Molokini for some snorkeling. The boat cruised at about 17mph all the way to the island where we jumped in the crystal clear water to take in some fishes. There were a lot of the black fish that I like to call Nike fish due to the stripe along their fins that kind of looks like the Nike swoosh. As a frequent visitor to the Big island of Hawaii, I was disappointed with the amount of fish viewable at Molokini. I was anticipating an exorbitant amount of fish, but that was sadly not the case. We ended up eating our BBQ lunch and then riding down the slide and jumping off the front of the boat while other folks swam around searching for fish. After the boat trip we went down to the beach at the hotel, and the waves and water was much calmer. We swam for a few hours and got a little sunburnt before turning in for the night. The next day was going to be a long one.
Our final day started out with us hanging around the hotel as long as possible. Our flight left the island at 9PM, but we had to be checked out of the hotel by noon. After finally checking out of the hotel, we went up to Maalaea harbor again to visit the aquarium there. We viewed lots of cool things, including sea turtles and hammerhead sharks (not together), and enjoyed all the exhibits that taught about history and Hawaiian culture. I had a pretty awesome chicken sandwich for lunch at the restaurant in the aquarium. It was pretty much chicken parmigiana on a french roll. The rental car wasn’t due back until 8PM, so we drove to various malls and shops searching for gifts and souvenirs to take back with us, and finally returned the car about 6:30. After hanging around in the airport for a little while, our flight left, bringing us back home… until next time.