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First half - trip report (which was supposed to be short!)

Chicago
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First half - trip report (which was supposed to be short!)

So, its about 7 pm here and we have exhausted ourselves and I figure now is a great time to provide a little trip report for the first half of our stay in South Maui as tomorrow we will be off to Kaanapali.

After an 8 hour 50 min flight from Chicago, nonstop on United, we arrived quite tired. The flight was packed so we upgraded our seats to Economy Plus - thank god, Economy (which we may have to ride on the way home), looked pretty cramped. Especially for my boyfriend who is 6'2". I still can't believe that on a flight that long they don't serve ANY food for free. Just soda, juice, coffee, etc. Kind of a rip off these days.

We got to Maui, I quick ran over to Alamo (beating the crowd by leaving boyfriend at OGG) and picked up a midsized car (even though I rented a compact) for the same price.

We drove to Kihei and first things first, ate dinner (or lunch, whatever it was since we were all messed up). Coconuts Fish Cafe in Kihei has some SERIOUSLY good fish tacos!!!! Yum. Onion rings and fish tacos were a great start. We checked into the hotel after getting a few things from the grocery store and were seriously asleep by 8:00.

We woke up early on Thursday and I mean early (like 4:30). We went to Kihei Cafe which we had been super excited about. Well, I guess we were the first people there because the waitress/chef/know-it-all was super rude to us (was great our last visit in September). Customers don't want to hear about how you have been there since 2 a.m. just to feel guilty about wanting to eat when you are open. Then, I pulled out a fifty dollar bill. When I asked her if that would be OK, she snidely replied "well, you'll just be getting fives and ones back." I said I could go to the ATM across the street but she kept on counting her money. This was the start to a bad day. Later we found that she ripped us off by a good ten dollars in singles. I don't want to sound cheap but ten dollars is ten dollars. Add that to her attitude, no thanks. Although we love the food, we won't go back.

Then we drove up to Makawao (I only had an egg and one piece of toast as I had been waiting for pastries at T. Komoda's store). The drive to Makawao was gorgeous. The mac-nut doughnut stick was amazing. The "cream puff" was good but it was filled with custard, not cream.

We got back to Kihei around 7:30 and went to snorkel bob's to rent our snorkel gear. We came back to the hotel for a bit and then drove down to Ulua Beach. Unfortunately but 9:00 or so the parking lot was packed so we just drove to Polo Beach. The wind was INSANE that day and I did not feel comfortable snorkeling. Boyfriend went in for a bit but then we just laid on the beach for awhile.

For reasons I cannot all recall right now (only 2-3 days ago), nothing seemed to go right that day and we were getting super cranky. After killing some time at The Shops at Wailea (and gross pupus at Cheesburger in Paradise watching the Lakers/Celtics game) we took a walk until it was dinner time. Thankfully the night ended well at Sansei's. Amazing food and although it was a rip off, I got a nice tuberrose lei which smelled amazing.

On (full) day 2, we got up and headed down EARLY to Ulua Beach. We beat the crowd and we also saw a Monk Seal swimming right at the shore! After that, I really didn't want to go snorkeling so I just sat on the beach and watched my boyfriend. We got back to the hotel to watch some of the World Cup, I took a nap. We went to the ABC store and then headed to Big Beach only to find the sun hide out for a bit. Of course when we left the sun emerged again gloriously! We had sandwiches at 808 Cafe in Kihei (pretty good) and then came back to the hotel for our game plan. We later headed up to Iao Needle. It was pretty nice at that time and we got some great pictures and took in great scenery. After that we headed to the Acquarium which we also found great! For dinner we drove to Paia for Paia Flatbread Company (I'm Italian and live in Chicago and this does not pass my test for pizza!). The gelato at Ono Gelato WAS however, great!!! On our way home we did some shopping at a nice outdoor mall in Kahului (or Wailuku I can't remember) and I finally found where people actually SHOP (you know, not the touristy stuff). Yes, they have a Macy's and all the stores we have back home. Well, almost.

We were beat after a FULL day on the go.

Today we got up and did a kayak tour with Keliis Kayak. OK, I decided I am a LAND person only. I even got motion sick on a kayak! After our first snorkel spot I decided that was enough and just stayed in the kayak. My eyes burned and it hurt to open them. Thankfully boyfriend did all the paddling back! The best is yet to come! On our second and last snorkel spot, the guys in our group (it was only six of us and a guide) saw a 4-5 foot white tipped reef shark RIGHT below their feet! We were alerted when they all simultaneously yelled SHARK. I really appreciated it when my boyfriend, trying to get back in the kayak, capsized our kayak wherein I dove into the shark infested water, ball caps, fins, masks, flying out of my hands. I hightailed it back in the kayak (just what I needed when I already was white as a ghost and trying hard to not throw up). I decided, thats enough for me ;)

Almost done here :)

I saved the best part of the day for last - Mama's Fish House. YES it is expensive. It was just what I figured for lunch for two = $150. We had one app., two entrees, one drink and a dessert. With tip and all, it was $150.00. Good food. I know you can't really justify 50.00 entrees ANYWHERE but I'd still do it again! I was nervous my boyfriend would moan and groan about being ripped off but he liked it too. Aside from breakfast, that was the only thing we ate today and I'm still stuffed.

Now tomorrow we head up to Kaanapali for phase II and I'm super excited. I think the rudeness of people we observed stemmed from a full-moon - thats my only explanation! I'm hopefully we'll keep encountering pleasant people and hopefully a bit more sunshine and less clouds.

Part two to follow!

Treasure Island...
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for Ronda
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1. Re: First half - trip report (which was supposed to be short!)

I'm 6'6 and any flight for me is hell. So glad you are having fun, name of the game. We have not eaten at Mamas yet, just to much money for us. Have more fun.

Maui
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for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
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2. Re: First half - trip report (which was supposed to be short!)

Aloha,

Good to hear from you, MissCarioca! Sorry that your trip started off badly, but it sounds like you are making the best of it. I suspect part of the crankiness you've encountered was due to the fire and the immense amount of smoke in the Kihei and Wailea area.........people's lives and work schedules are horribly affected by these fires. I hope you escape the "stink" on the West side!

Albuquerque, New...
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3. Re: First half - trip report (which was supposed to be short!)

misscarioca,

Tell me more about Paia Flatbread Co. Specifically why didn't you like it?

I have been hearing about this place, and wondering whether it was worth trying. I am also Italian (raised in the Pittsburgh area) and I dislike when Italian food is not done "right". The actor who played Hurley on "Lost" (Jorge Garcia) has said that it was the best pizza he's had in Hawaii. I'm interested to know why you didn't like it there.

washington
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for Maui
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4. Re: First half - trip report (which was supposed to be short!)

Sounds like you are making the most of it girl! LOVE having another Mama's convert! Can't wait for the rest!

Hartford...
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5. Re: First half - trip report (which was supposed to be short!)

Well I hope things turn out a bit better for you on the rest of your trip. Remember it could always be worse.

I LOVE FLAT BREAD CO pizza. Is it Italian pizza Hell no, is it Chicago pizza hell no, is it NY pizza Hell no. Tryin to compare any of these to it isnt going to work, Its all on its own and awesome! And the salads there are not bad either. And I dont think they (flatbread) consider themselves to be Italian cuisine or any other. Maybe thats why the name is Flatbread co and not pizza co. I duno.

But keep the faith and if you wanna switch places I'll switch with ya.

DeWitt, Iowa
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6. Re: First half - trip report (which was supposed to be short!)

Thanks for the trip report Misscarioca! Sorry to hear that you're not encountering Aloha in all of your travels. Just goes to show that there are grouchy people everywhere, even paradise! Did you have the Black Pearl at Mama's? I live for the day I get to have it again!

Your shark story had me in stitches! I know it must have been scary for you but I laughed because I could see myself panicing the same way!

Looking forward to your second half report. Hopefully, Kaanapali will be better for you!

Oregon
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7. Re: First half - trip report (which was supposed to be short!)

That makes me laugh about the parking lot being full at Ulua beach. Musta been something special going on at that time. Usually the lot and the beach are kinda dead since the Renaissance closed down. I hope you can get up to Kapalua for some snorkel time with no sharks. That capsizing thing was priceless. Probably scared the shark to death.

Edited: 14 June 2010, 03:20
Chicago
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8. Re: First half - trip report (which was supposed to be short!)

Hey guys. Quickly checking TA while at Royal Lahaina (just got here this afternoon) and they are waiting for me to finish to close up the guest services where you can use computers. Today has been like our first day. Not much going right AGAIN :( Got here and first room AC didn't work, then remote to TV didn't work. Then went up to Sansei's at 5:30 to take advantage of early bird special. Line WAY out the door. 1 hour 15 min wait! Skipped that. Went on to Mala Ocean Tavern - 1.5 hour wait! Made reservations for Tuesday and girl told me to come 30 mins early. WHY do I need a reservation to come 30 mins early? Explain this! Off to Aloha Mixed Plate . Not bad but I was in the need of some greasy grub to cool me off because being Italian (no, not part of the Guido/Jersey Shore gang) :) I get worked up fast. Anyway, I'll provide a full report soon but my mantra from now on - NEVER AGAIN IN JUNE!!!!! I'm making the best of it though. It IS maui afterall!!!!

Oh, and about the Flatbread Company. . whether its flatbread or pizza, I dunno but I just didn't think it was worth the hype unfortunately!!!

More to come soon!

Camarillo...
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for Maui
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9. Re: First half - trip report (which was supposed to be short!)

Thanks for the great report. Holy smokes, I can't believe you drove up to Makawao and were back by 7:30! Loved the capsized kayak story. I'm sure that really got your adrenaline pumping. Looking forward to the second half report. Hope the trade winds die down a bit and you enjoy West Maui.

Camarillo...
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for Maui
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10. Re: First half - trip report (which was supposed to be short!)

By the way - I'm assuming since you are now in West Maui you are referring to the Mala in Lahaina. We were in West Maui just a couple of weeks back and had a meal at Mala - VERY underwhelmed! Food was okay but not great - especially for the prices they charge! Environment was noisy, service spotty, virtually no nearby parking. For what you'll spend there you can have a much nicer meal in any number of restaurants in West Maui.