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Joy and Lisa hit Hawaii - Day One

Pullman, WA
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Joy and Lisa hit Hawaii - Day One

August 30 - September 4

My roommate and travel companion were talking about going on a trip to the Big Island when I received an offer from the Westin Villas for 5 nights with a rental car credti and resort gift certificate for $800. We decided it was too good to pass up so Maui was it.

I looked at the boards off and on for tips but was trying not to be the uber planner that I normally m so I would just relax during this trip and enjoy the beach. Normally we have too much planned and we end up just going, going, going.

The goal of this trip was to snorkel and take a trip to Hana. Originally we were going to go to the top of hte Volcano but then we both agreed it seemed like to much and our plans are to go to teh Big Island at some time to see an actual active Volcano. So here we go.

Day One

We flew out of Spokane, Washington into Portland where we caught a direct flght to Maui. An early flight and a great connection got us to Maui by 11:30 am and we were off to get the Rental Car.

While our package gave us a compact car that would have worked, we just couldn't pass on the upgrade to a Mustang Convertable. There is something about being on an island that screams Convertable and I will say that we really enjoyed it.

We decided to stop by Walmart first. We didn't want the supersize of Costco as there were only two of us. We picked up Sun Screen, Beach Towels, Chairs, and a cooler and planned to stop at Safeway in Lahaina to get some food. By the time we got to the car and put everyting in the trunk, we were both beginning to get a little snippy. Too much travel time and not enough beach time. So we put the top down on the car and started our drive.

We arrived at the Westin Villas and found that they did not have our room ready (no suprise) but I did ask that they move us to the North side which was no problem. We grabbed our swimsuits out of our bags, headed to the locker room and let the staff take care of our bags and parking our car.

We got into the water and the travel wearries were washed away. We did not grab our mask and fins and we were starting to regret it when someone swam up to us and aksed if we saw the turtle. Just then the turtle decided to surface no more than 25 feet away. It was an amazing welcome to Hawaii. I love turtles and so does my travel companion so we couldn't ask for a better welcome.

We laid on the beach for a while and realized we really did need some food and we wanted our masks and fins so we headed. We stopped at the Ocean Pool Bar for Happy hour and I had my first Lava Flow! YUMMY! Then we got the information about our room and an encouragement to visit the concierege for our resort gift certificate. We decided to put that off until tomorrow.

We got to our room and our veiw was not that great but we were in a very quiet corner close to the parking garage which made our trips out of the resort with beach gear, coolers, and snorkels much easier.

Once we were settled we grabbed our snorkel gear and headed out again. It was amazing the amount of fish and coral that were available just off the beach. At times, we found the current and waves a bit much but it was so much fun to get our faces in the water. We headed to our chairs to watch our first sunset. It was great to be on the beach with the sun setting and just relax.

After the sun said it's final goodbyes for the night, we returned to the room, showered and we were off to Safeway. I know that prices are higher but it still was a shock to the system to pay Island Prices. We picked up lunch and breakfast foods and returned to the room.

By that time, I was absolutely spent. We had started our day at 1:00 am Hawaii time and it was now pushing 9:00 pm so into the Westin Heveanly bed while my roommate got the pull out and I was asleep before the lights were out.

Connecticut
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1. Re: Joy and Lisa hit Hawaii - Day One

Sounds like a great first day! Love the turtle greeting you got. Looking forward to reading the rest of your trip report. We leave Saturday for our first-ever trip to Maui/Hawaii and I have been having so much fun reading what everyone else does on their trips and getting ideas for ours. I've never snorkeled before, so I'm a little nervous, but excited to try it out. Lucky for us, we're going to be in a condo near the Kamaole III beach, which I understand is perfect for beginners... I have mapped out a day-by-day itinerary, but more than half the time blocks say "Whatever we feel like," so we can relax and enjoy island time. Only actual definite plans are one day for RTH and one day at the Grand Wailea spa. :-)

San Diego...
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2. Re: Joy and Lisa hit Hawaii - Day One

What a great start to your trip report! So looking forward to reading about the rest of your vacation! Nothing like a Lava Flow and a turtle sighting to get you in the island spirit!

Saturngrrl, its pure torture right now because we're so close to saturday! C'mon Maui, get here already! At least its your first time. On a return visit, the excitement is even greater because you know the wonderful things that await you! Have a fantastic time!

Alaska
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3. Re: Joy and Lisa hit Hawaii - Day One

Thanks for the trip report! How awesome to see a turtle on your first trip to the beach. Looking forward to more adventures! I am exactly three weeks away from 16 days of no plans on Maui and Kauai.....the wait is agony! Deb

Pullman, WA
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4. Re: Joy and Lisa hit Hawaii - Day One

Saturngirl-I was nervous the first time I snorkeled but I found that I love it. I always give myself a little bit of time when I first get in the water to let myself settle that I can breath in the snorkel. It is a weird feeling at first but once I am settled that yes I am getting air I can move forward and enjoy it. I can't imagine not snorkeling now. I also invested in a dive quality mask and a snorkel that has a float on the top that does not allow water in. If the snorkel dips below water it shuts the tube down so that when I go to breathe I don't get a mouth full of water instead. I had the mask fitted at a dive shop and it just doesn’t leak so it is not uncommon for me to go 30 – 45 minutes without even bringing my head out of the water.

One thing to remember that you will find out I forgot is to put sun block on the back of your legs. We had snorkeled for a few days without doing so and then when out one day in the heat of the day. I got burned so bad on my backside that I could hardly walk and it hurt so bad to sit. I am still recovering 4 days later. It is just not worth the pain.

Lauren – This was my first trip and I can’t wait to go back. The time seems to take forever to get there and then way to fast while you are there.

Letsgohawaii-I LOVE THE TURTLES! We were so lucky to have turtles everyday except when we went to Hana. I’ll give more details as the day go on but it was absolutely amazing. I hope you have a great time on your trip. 16 days sounds like heaven

Connecticut
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5. Re: Joy and Lisa hit Hawaii - Day One

I have two bottles of waterproof/sweatproof SPF 85 sunblock and I plan to be very diligent about applying and reapplying. I do NOT want to ruin my fun with a burn! But thanks for the tip to remember the backs of my legs! :-)

I saw yesterday that there have been some whale sightings already around Maui and I'm verrrrry hopeful we'll catch a glimpse. I'm also hoping to see dolphins and, of course turtles. We'll see how that goes!

Looking forward to more of your trip report!

LA
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6. Re: Joy and Lisa hit Hawaii - Day One

Another option is to wear sunprotective clothing. I find it saves me when snorkeling. If you are short, like me, a pair of boardshorts cover the backs of your thighs to your knees. T-shirts are not nearly as sun protective and you can burn through them.

All in all, I prefer clothes like these:

http://www.coolibar.com/women-s-swimwear.html

I am never in Hawaii without them, as they are easy to pack and dry quickly. I always have a top around to cover up my chest area or my arms when I've had too much sun lying around on the beach. There are other brands, too. Many of the surf shops sell rash guards and boardshorts which also do the trick.

Nanaimo, Canada
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7. Re: Joy and Lisa hit Hawaii - Day One

Found it!!

One thing I wanted to know... I know you had the fantastic offer to go, but if you had NOT had that great deal, would you go back again if you only had 5 days again? I have trouble leaving after 7 days there! But at the same time, I figure 5 days is still better than no days.

It is easier already living on the west coast too, as the flight is manageable.

Fun to have that convertible for the RTH!

Pullman, WA
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8. Re: Joy and Lisa hit Hawaii - Day One

PareoB - Great tip. I will look at those next time. My buns are still burning today so it might be a great investment.

Joan-If I were to go back, I would most likely look at a lower priced property and stay for longer. We tend to be Condo people not resort people. I enjoyed the Westin resort but I would be just as happy at a condo without all the extras. We were in the pool for all of 20 minutes. We had done a 2 1/2 week vacation to Italy last year so 5 days was much more doable for Hawaii but I do have to admit the day we were leaving I was checking to see what it would cost to change our flight to a few days later.

LA
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9. Re: Joy and Lisa hit Hawaii - Day One

I should probably specify a pair of Men's boardshorts, as you can buy in the surf shops all over, are long enough to cover most all the upper back of your thighs and butt. Women's boardshorts are not anywhere near as long as men's are.

Just try some on to figure out what size you need. They come in all colors and patterns, so you don't have to settle for some camoflague or dark colors.

Burr Ridge, Illinois
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10. Re: Joy and Lisa hit Hawaii - Day One

A convertible in Hawaii is always a fun idea.

Thanks for sharing.