This was a family trip, DH and me, my mother and a niece. This was to celebrate my mother’s 75th birthday and my niece’s graduation from college. I need to thank everyone here who helped me in planning this trip. I spent months trying to decide where to stay and what to do. Everything was perfect for us and made for a vacation with lots of memories that will not be forgotten. Thank you to all the TA people on this board for your help.
Airline: American from DFW to HNL to Kahului First Class using AAmiles. Sweet. A long day of flying. Made it to Kahului at 6PM.
Flight was uneventful. Arrived early into HNL. Arranged for a lei greeting. Since the plane was early, had to wait around for the lady to show up with the leis. Not that big of a deal.
Car: Used Priceline to rent an SUV, Chevy Trailblazer for $24 a day. No long wait at check in, took maybe 10 minutes. No problems with the truck, other than it just wasn’t the cleanest one, but we didn’t care. All our luggage fit inside. The truck had 22k miles on it and it seemed really used, but no problems. Would use Priceline again.
Condo: Used the Entertainment Book discount for 50% off. What a delight that was. This place at half off was a steal. The Mahana. Molokai wing #701. Awesome, fabulous, immaculate, updated with everything. Couldn’t have asked for anything more or better. 2B/2B condo oceanfront with views of Lanai and Molokai. It has a 2 person shower in the master, which is out of this world. Lots of space and a view to die for. Would certainly stay here again with no questions. This isn’t a big resort with lots to do, which we really didn’t want. This was perfect for our family. Quiet and relaxing. There’s a Star Market across the street along with lots of dining places close by. Excellent location. The beach in front is wide and soft nice for morning and evening strolls. It’s not a swimming beach, but that didn’t bother us in the least. We did snorkel to the left about 150 yards close to Black Rock. Saw lots of fish here. …octopus, eel, yellow tang, parrotfish, trigger fish, box fish, humuhumunuk…the Hawaiian state fish, and lots of others we didn’t know.
Dining: First night was a stop by Honkowai Okazuya. Great food and lots of it. Had plenty for dinner that night with leftovers for lunch the next day.
Kula Lodge for breakfast after Haleakala. Quick service and a friendly waitress. Good food with large portions. We should have split the Bananas Foster pancakes. Breakfast for 4 people with tip was $65…..it came with a great view.
CJs Diner at the Fairway Shops. Homemade mashed potatoes, good mixed vegetables. Bad chicken though…too tough to eat. Cheap prices for Maui, but not a winner in our book. DH got roast beef and also thought it was tough.
Old Lahaina Luau – we thought the food was good and the other family at our table was from Tampa, they made several good comments about it as well. The pork was good and the purple sweet potatoes were wonderful. Drinks when you first walk in are weak. Go to the bar for better ones. Had one of the best lava flows while there. (Although DH and I think the lava flows are best at the Princeville Hotel on Kauai.) Desserts were an assortment of yummies. The show was good as well. If you’ve never been to a luau, this IS the one to see.
Las Pinatas in Kahului on Dairy Road (after our trip to Hana and back)Pretty good Texmex style food…similar to a Taco Bueno. Good hot sauce. Good prices and very satisfying after a long day to Hana and back.
Cool Cat Café: fun atmosphere and really good food. Burgers and sandwiches for lunch. Great fries. Think of a 50s type of diner. On Front Street. Would eat here again for lunch or dinner.
Leilani’s for dinner: One of our best meals. Dinner upstairs. I had some great Opa here. Dessert was the Hula Pie. Yum! Cost for 3 people with drinks, dessert and tip $120.
Canoes: at the other end of Front Street. They offer an early bird dinner special for $23 per person which includes the salad bar and dessert. Very good food. Extensive salad bar which could be a meal all to itself. The mac-nut crusted Mahi was wonderful and the lilikoi cheesecake was bliss. We were all stuffed. Total for 4 people, no drinks this night, was $115.
Moose McGillycuddy’s: had lunch here. Just fair. The onion ring starter was the best thing. Fish tacos were ok, kalua pig sandwich would have been better on different bread. Fries were below par. I think the bill was $60 for all 4 of us.
Had Lorraine’s banana bread and shave ice. She’s out on that one lane part of Hwy 30. Talked some story with her and saw her crocodile.
Almost all of our breakfast and lunches were at the condo. This saved us a ton of money on dining. Plus the view from the lanai was wonderful. Wanted to try the Gazebo for breakfast one day, but we never did. Somehow the POG, banana bread, pineapple and cinnamon rolls just kept us there.
Gaby’s on Front Street. This seems to be a local bar. Don’t order any drinks that come with umbrellas.
Highlights: Haleakala for sunrise. It was an early morning and cold, but the wind wasn’t blowing too bad. There was a group of people there chanting as the sun broke through the clouds. It was spiritual and something I will never forget.
Dragon’s Teeth and the Nakalele Blow Hole
Iao Valley. Saw a guy jumping in the water from near the bridge.
Hana, Hana Bay and Waianapanapa for the Black Sand Beach. Beautiful and worth the trip out there. Wish we could’ve driven all the way around. Most of the falls were barely flowing while we were there….kind of a disappointment. Stopped at Oheo Gulch which wasn’t flowing all the way to the ocean. Very pretty here, but would be nicer if the water was flowing more.
Hana is a place that I would really like to spent time in. Next trip will require a one or two night stay here.
Also saw Lindbergh’s grave….which is very hard to find.
Went to the Lei Spa for massages and facials. Excellent. One of the best massages I’ve ever had. DH and I had the one hour couples massage with hot stones and my niece had the Hawaiian facial. I felt like a boneless chicken when it was over with.
Niece had surfing lessons with Goofy Foot Surf School and had a blast. She got up her first attempt.
Snorkeling was good. Great visibility and lots of fish, as mentioned above. Could’ve done more of this if we had the time.
Random comments: shopping was good on Front Street, but it was hot. Go early. Whalers Village also had good shopping. We planned on going to the Swap Meet, but decided against it since it meant so much driving. There were local artists under the Banyan Tree on Saturday and we shopped with them. Pleasant.
Driving does take a lot of your time. So planning things ahead of time can save on the driving. Gas was at $3.75 a gallon and the Trailblazer was expensive to fill up.
Never did make it to the Ocean Center….had really planned to but the snorkeling took too much time. Seeing Maui in 7 days is hard. You really need more time there. But then again I knew that going in. This was a nice relaxing family vacation that we all needed. We tried to only plan one thing a day so that we could be flexible. The sunsets were gorgeous every night…..but no green flash. Molokai seems to be almost always covered with clouds and rain. Walks on the beach were daily and something I’m already missing.
I’m already trying to figure out when we can return to Hawaii. These islands, the people, the aloha spirit and the beautiful ocean have penetrated my soul and taken hold. We must return and soon.