We arrived in Maui around noon, went to pick up the car through Alamo. Since there were three couples, we cruised Maui in style in an awesome Chevy minivan. Stopped first at Wal-Mart for groceries since we were staying in a Condo in Kaanapali. It was very busy and yes more expensive, but we were prepared for that.
We were all starving! I referred to my handy Maui revealed bible (which proofed to be my life blood on this trip) and we headed over to Ba-le which was very close to Wal-Mart. My husband had the Chicken Lemon Grass Sandwich and I had the turkey avacado sandwich. Loved Loved the chicken lemon grass. Mine was very good also, but I would definitely go back and get his again. The rest of our party ate at the plate resturant to the right of Ba-le. I can't remember the name. They all liked their food too.
Onto the condo to settle in. We stayed at the Mahana. It was nice, middle of the road accomodations. The staff was always helpful and friendly. Each of our rooms were very different. R/D room was just down right outdated and very old folks home. Our room was average, needed painted and the bathtub was yucky. D/A room was actually very nice. The furnishings were new and the bathroom had been updated with nice tile. The things I liked about Mahana was it's awesome ocean view and the location was fantastic! Would I stay there again....maybe through a private owner. I had read some stellar reviews about the Mahana so I was excited. Had we had D/A room, yes my expectations would have been met. We did try to change rooms but they did not have any available for the length of our stay. Oh well, being right on the ocean was worth it.
We then got in our stylin' minivan to do a little sight seeing. We went to Napili beach and people watched. What a great beach. This turned out to be our favorite one and we returned twice more during our stay. We walked up and down the beach and it had a wicked current. We then decided to find Front Street and get some dinner. It was now around 6:00 pm. After about half an hour of driving back and forth, we found it. We passed Aloha Mixed Plate and I recalled seeing it in the MR book. Plus R in our party sat next to a lady on the plane that had been to Maui many times. She too recommened Aloha Mixed Plate. We stopped and were seated right away. The view and atmosphere were fantastic. We were all in awe as we watched the sun set over the ocean. D and I ordered the Chow funn noodles. My husband had the Kalua BBQ plate. We all ordered the coconut shrimp as an appetizer. I did not like the shrimp! or the noodles. I did however enjoy my husband's plate. Especially the chicken. The prices were quite reasonable and the view spectacular. The staff was a bit rude. But all in all an enjoyable evening.
We left our Condo at 3 am to drive to Haleakala. We got there still in the pitch dark. Upon arriving we followed a group up a trail. It was full of rocks and it would have been nice to have a flashligh. We used the light from our cell phones and only had one injury that required a band-aid. We didn't really know where we were going, just following a guided group. We did not go to the observatory to watch the sunset and I was estatic that we didn't. As the sun rose, it seriously felt like heaven. With the beautiful clouds floating around us it was brethtaking. This could have easily been the highlight for me. It really wasn't that cold either. Of course I am from Utah and 50 degrees is nothing! I had a long sleeved shirt and a hoodie on. Others in our party had sweatshirts and none of us thought it was ski jacket worthy. Of course the wind wasn't blowing and so we lucked out there. We did go up to the observatory after sunrise and it was all very beautiful. On our way down I wanted to stop at Leleiwi Lookout but the fog was so heavy that you couldn't see a thing, next time I told myself.
We stopped at Kula lodge for breakfast. Gigantic Macadamian nut pancakes with coconut syrup...yummy! The hot chocolate was very very good! A bit pricey (around $30) for breakfast but I still crave those pancakes. The view was magnificant. We took pictures and emailed them to D/A who had decided to sleep in. They really missed an incredible morning.
A couple of tips about Haleakala: Check the weather! I called the toll free number the night before to make sure there would be a little cloud cover. Also, since we were still on mainland time, the 3 am wake up wasn't horrible. It felt like 7 am. Which to my body it was. I would definitely recommend doing this the morining after you arrive.
We then headed over to Iao' needle. It too was beautiful, much more the image I had of Maui. It was lush and green. We walked several of the trails and took pictures of the needle. I liked that it had so much history. Back to the condo to take a shower and a nap.
Around 5 pm we were rested and rented snorkel equipment for the week at Maui Dive Shop which was just across the way from the Mahana and in a little shopping center next to Star Market. The staff was great and very helpful. We told them we were to take a day trip with Trilogy and he said that was his favorite and that we had chosen the right tour company. Gave us a great map of the best snorkeling spots. Nothing that they didn't give to everyone, but it helped alot.
Back to front street for some shopping and dinner. D/A shopped and shopped and shopped. Front street was great for all the little trinkets and t-shirts etc. They all wanted to eat at Cheeseburger in Paradise. We had eaten there previously in Waikiki. We knew it wasn't fantastic, but it was good so we agreed. Our waiter Gary was a little strange but we never wanted for anything. Everyone seemed to enjoy their meals.
Our Road to Hana Day
We started early and bought some sandwiches (for our picnic) from Soup Nutz and Java Jazz. It was a bizarre little place and the sandwiches were very average and expensive. In the MR book it received and "ONO" but I'm not sure why. Would not go back.
It was about 8 and we headed over to Hana. Our first stop was twin falls. Although it was only a single little fall, it was still cool. There were others swinging from the rope swing into a beautiful pool. Since it was our first stop we opted not to do the rope swing and stay dry. We did buy some banana bread at the road side stand that was super yummy.
We were following the MR book for each stop. Our next stop was just passed the 10 mile marker. We got out and there were many other cars there. A kind gentleman pointed us to a pathway leading to the Lower Puohokamoa Falls. We started down the path to the left. It was not so well worn and we realized we had made a mistake and needed to stay to the right. We headed back as we were walking the path we heard someone yelling to get off the path. We thought it was a joke and kept walking. Then an older lady looking very scared told us that she didn't think it was a joke. There was a very grumpy old troll at the top of the trail yelling at everyone to get off the private property. We tried to apologize but he was just plain grouchy. We didn't see any signs saying it was private property. He was very angry saying that it was not our right to view the falls unless we had bought the property. My husband tried to shake his hand to say "no Harm done" but the man refused. We were all a little shaken up after that. He became the butt of many of our jokes the rest of our trip. Needless to say, we didn't want to break any more rules and we didn't enjoy the road to Hana. The waterfalls were basically non existant. September is a very very bad month for waterfalls. It was just to dry. But we continued on.
We then stopped at an overlook that viewed the small town of Wailua. Three Bears falls were nice to look at but not has we had been anticipating. Again, just not enough water this time of year. We stopped at Pua'a Ka'a State Park to use the restrooms and walked the grounds. Nahiku was beautiful lush and green. We didn't dare stop at blue pool with our tramatic experience at the falls before. We headed over to the black sand beach. At Wai'anapanapa Park we ate our picnic lunches. Great spot to do so. Walked down to the black sand beach. Walked over to the blow hole which was neat.
We drove through Hana and enjoyed the quaintness of the town. Stopped at Tutu's for some fries and shaved ice. Back on the road to stop at Hamoa Beach. We all got out and loved this beach. The boys did some body surfing while the girls all took naps on the beach. The sand was silky smooth and stuck to everything. It was a great stop. Now for the drive back. Tragically, we got stopped at around 5pm because of a accident that happened at the twin falls turn off. We were the 45 car stopped on the road. We (along with hundreds of other tourists) were stopped here for 4 hours. It was ridiculous! It took some time for the police just to show up. Then they wouldn't move the cars off the road, or to one side even. The authorities said it needed to be investigated and therefore could not move the cars. Since we were so close to accident. The boys walked up to the scene to check out what was going on. Apparently a tourist in a jeep was waiting to turn into the twin falls turnout. A local was speeding (as they all do) over the bridge and clipped the side of the jeep. No major injuries. It was funny to hear all the different stories as people walking back would pass along information. "There's blood everywhere and 4 people were killed," reported one teen age girl. It seriously took them 4 hours to clean it up. They wouldn't let anyone pass on the side that was clear. It was a mess. It made for a really long disappointing Road To Hana. We got back to the condo around 10 pm. Everything was closed. We ended up going to Star Market and buying frozen pizza for dinner. Later in the week I bought a sticker that said "I survived the Road to Hana."
Day 4 and Garren's birthay!
One of our best days in Maui...okay they were all great! (Except the road to Hana day) We went to Kapalua beach and did some snorkeling. It was a great cove and we had some great snorkeling. Right off the bat we saw many different fish. It was calm and perfect.
Around 1 pm we stopped at our favorite little deli, Honolowai Okazuya. This place was great! My hubby had the steak which was AWESOME! The first day I had the Kung Pao Chicken, which was good and the second day I had Korean Chicken BBQ which I thought was outstanding. Garren had the teriyaki steak both days and to this day talks about it. The staff was sooooo friendly and it just made for the best experience. We would have eaten here everyday if we didn't have so many other places we wanted to try. My highest ratings go to Okazuya! YUMMY!!!
We then went up the blow hole. It was amazing. Another highlight of our trip. Back to Napili beach where we had a great time. We were having so much fun we couldn't stop laughing. We were trying to do the Monastery tag as explained in the MR book. I will have memories forever of this.
Feast at Lele that evening. Loved everything about it. It was intimate and the food was fabulous. The entertainment couldn;t have been better. We would recommend this to anyone. The price tag didn't scare us, it was worth every penny. We had been to other luaus that didn't even touch the beautiful setting and the food. Great birthday night. They even brought a plate out to my husband that had Happy Birthday written in chocolate and a candle.
We went over to Turtle town in south maui. With great directions from a post here on TA we found it without any problems. There were lots of turtle here! By lots, I mean 5 or 6. The snorkeling was great and the beach was beautiful. We didn't spend much time in South Maui. I don;t know why not. I guess we felt that we had everything we needed closer to where we were staying. I was the only one that wanted to try some new resturants out in this area, I got voted down and we headed back to Okazuya. This was kind of a weird day. We did alot of relaxing, spent some time in the pool.
The other two couples wanted to go back down to Front Street for more shopping. I was shopped out so hubby and I went and had massages while the rest of the gang headed back. They enjoyed the Banyan tree and finished up shopping. We met back at the condo. We were all ready for a nice relaxing night. We went across the way to the Nacho place next to Maui Dive Shop and ordered take out. We went back to the condo and ate and all met up for some whirlpool and swimming pool time. There was a light drizzle so the whirl pool sounded nice. We were enjoying our time and a nice young couple hopped in. We said our hellos and then this couple had a full on make out session in front of us. It made the rest of us uncomfortable so we got out and went into the pool. It was too cold for me and with the hormones flying in the hottub, we went back up to our room. We listened to the ocean and watched a little TV.
Early morning headed over to the dock to board Trilogy. We did the morning Lani tour and it was great. The cinnamon rolls were yummy and the staff was very friendly and funny. As we got closer to the island, a family of about 40 dolphins swam next to us. It was again another highlight. We were on the right side of the sailboat to have great seats to watch them. The snorkeling on Lani was good once you actually got in. The entry was a bit difficult but, we all managed. The staff was very helpful here. We felt very safe and appreciated their enthusiasm for snorkeling. It was a little chilly so I didn't stay in the water as long as I usually do. They had great chips and salsa and POG for everyone. I felt like a pig hovering over the salsa but it was soooo good. We played a little beach volleyball but the dog gone sand was sooo hot we couldn't handle it for long. We decided not to do the town tour and instead hung out on the beach. A couple of the guys went back out to snorkel. We then headed to the pavillion for lunch. Trilogy has basically taken over Lani. They had their own beach, and their own pavillion. It was great. The captain made the lunch. It was Chicken, yakisabi noodles and salad. It was terrific. Very very good food. We got back on the boat to do a little sailing. The wind wasn't good but they got her going. During our sail the captain got a call about some whales close to where we were. We stopped the sailing and headed over to where another boat was. We didn't see any whales, but it was exciting. On the ride home they served ice cream which hit the spot. I loved this tour as did everyone else in our group. Trilogy was professional, fun, and informative. The food was great!
We got back around 3 pm and had dinner reservations that night for Kimo's. We didn't have the best view. Since it was blocked by an awning. But we could smell the sea breeze and the atmosphere was lovely. We felt the service could have been better. It took over 20 minutes to even be served drinks. The boys had steak and lobster. The girls all had fish. I had Mahi Mahi that was stuffed with lobster. It was very good and I would order that any time. The steak and lobster was....satisfactory. With all the Kimo's hype, I think we built it up too much. Both my husband and R said they had had better steak. We had previously all gone on a cruise together and they both said the lobster on the cruise was much better. We all shared a Hula pie for dessert which was heavenly. We received our bill and we had been mischarged for things we didn't order. No big deal. Just saying that the drink service sucked...she had put drinks on the bill incorrectly. About $35 worth, all wrong! It was fixed with many apologies, again no big deal. I would go back to Kimo's but knowing that it wasn't the God of all food in Maui.
Our last official day. We went to Black Rock to do some snorkeling. Great snorkeling! We saw some turtles and tons of fish. Unfortunately all of Hawaii was there too. Soo many people that it was hard to manuever around each other. I liked snorkeling at Kapalua beach much better.
We headed over to Hula Grill for lunch and it was another great resturant. Had we had more time I know we would have gone here again. The atmosphere was great and the food even better. I had the pork sandwich and hubby had the fish and chips. We also had the shrimp potstickers, it was more like an eggroll but whatever it was, it was really really good.
We then drove over to the Maui Ocean Center. It was expensive but as we walked around we all had a good time. The turtle exhibit was being renovated so no turtles, but it was interesting. I can't really say I would recommend it but I'm glad we went just once. We especially liked the shark tunnel. It closed early so we were booted out around 5 pm. We drove over to Pa'ia. We all have a mutual friend that loves Pa'ia so we wanted to check it out.
I had wanted to make reservations for Mama's but we all were filling full from Hula grill and over budget. So, Mama's will have to wait. What a crazy little town. We saw so really strange people here. We laughed! We went to the fish market for dinner. I had the fish taco with mahi mahi again. I loved it. I was surprised that the fish wasn't fried. (too many Mexican fish tacos I guess) Hubby had the fish sandwich. A had the clam chowder and D had a quesadilla. We all liked the food and gave it a thumbs up. I'm still trying to figure out why he likes Pa'ia soo much. Maybe we missed out on some incredible scenery or something.
I don't even want to talk about day 7 since we had to go home.
This was my favorite all time trip ever. I loved the diversity of Maui and all the things to do. We initial thought it was just going to be a beach vacation, but it was soooo much more. In fact, I only spent a small portion of my trip on the beach. I loved the sunrise in Haleakala and the Iao' needle. Snorkeling was subperb and the blowhole amazing. All the food, oh the food!! We still have things we want to do. We totally look forward to another trip to Maui. We didn't get to see the 7 sacred pools or do the pipiwai trail. I would want to explore south maui more and check out some of the resorts. We still want to snorkel in Honolua bay and learn to scuba. I'd do the road to hana again, in a different season. We loved Maui and can't wait to return.