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Trip Report - 8 Nights in Wailea 9/12 - 9/20

Texas
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Trip Report - 8 Nights in Wailea 9/12 - 9/20

I just want to start by saying thank you! Months of lurking on these boards helped to send us on an amazing adventure in Maui! I started writing thank you each time I mentioned something that I found on TA, but it was every other sentence, so please accept this as a thank you to all! Until now we had been Caribbean people, but wow has Maui won us over!

As you will read this you will notice we didn’t eat at too many places, this was just our choice on how to do things. At times we were just too exhausted to do much more than grab a sandwich, and honestly we do have some diet limitations, so eating out can be challenging

Texas
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1. Re: Trip Report - 8 Nights in Wailea 9/12 - 9/20

We arrived after a direct flight from DFW. Don’t forget to take your snacks! We hadn’t flown such a long distance and not gotten a meal (but the other times were international, so I guess it makes sense, sort of), but luckily we were prepared with sandwiches and snacks! We didn’t check bags so we went straight to the Avis shuttle and since I have preferred status with Avis we were off the airport grounds within an hour of landing. We had a Chevy Malibu and the total cost was $236, however that included one free day, so the total would have been $256, for 8 days.

We went straight to Snorkel Bob’s and got our gear (snorkels, masks, fins, chairs, & a cooler). We stopped by a local grocery to pick up a few things for the next morning’s adventure to the sunrise at Haleakala. We went on and checked into the Marriott in Wailea. (for more on that hotel see my review). That night we walked over to the Shops and found the goodness of the deli in the back of Whaler’s and called it a night.

The next day we got up at 3 and left the hotel by 3:30. We had made the decision to watch the sunrise from mile marker 17 (small parking lot on the right, cross the road and take trail to wind shelter). We first found out about this on TA (shout out to kayosmitty – who has no idea we took that advice) and then read more about it in the Maui reveled book (we did not know about the dislike for this book by the locals until well after we bought the book, had we known we wouldn’t have purchased it). That stop was well worth it! The morning we were there, a total of 6 people including us watched the same sunrise view. The walk to the enclosed shelter is very easy, just don’t forget a flashlight. It was cold, but wasn’t terribly cold until the wind started, which was probably 10 minutes after het crack of dawn (before sunrise). This spot has a shelter but if isn’t too windy/cold you can easily climb up to an even higher view. Just for that extra detail some may want….I am typically cold, so I wore silk long underwear top & bottoms, jeans, 2 long sleeve t-shirts, a thin/light weight zippy, thin gloves and a beanie. All was easy to pack, as I wore my jeans and zippy on the flight. I was fine at the sunrise.

After sunrise we went by the summit, although a great view, it just solidified our opinion about mile marker 17. We could see how limited the parking is at the top and we understood why people try to get there so early to get a spot to view the sunrise.

We took our time coming down and went and ate at Kula Café. Yummy & and a nice view!

Next we went by Wal-Mart to pick up essentials, then we went by Ho’okipa beach to see the wind surfers, which there were none of, but we watched the surfers for a bit. We then headed back to the resort and relaxed and checked out the property, pools, and beaches the rest of the day. This was our first day to understand the afternoon winds. No one was lounging in those nice resort chairs along the shore watching the wave’s break…..so we indulged for a while, until we had enough of the strong wind. Then we headed to the pool.

That night we had reservations at Mulligans on the Blue for the Wille K show. It was awesome! We really enjoyed it and glad we followed the suggestions!

The next morning we planned to sleep in a bit, if our body clocks would let us and then head over the west side of the island. We were very happy we made the decision to go the west side on Friday, because we soon found out it was race weekend in West Maui with a 10k on Sat and the Maui Marathon on Sunday. I am sure it was crazy busy there on the weekend.

We first explored/snorkeled Black Rock, and then headed on down to Lahaina. The snorkeling at Black Rock was good. It was our first Hawaii snorkeling experience and it did not let us down. We saw a sea turtle and a sting ray. I have seen other people mention both of these lovely creatures, so I guess this has been their hangout for a few weeks/months. The beach there was nice, it was fairly crowded though, lots of people snorkeling and jumping off a small cliff. In Lahaina we went to the brewery for a taste of the local flavor, this is our thing. Some people like wineries, we prefer breweries. The brewery was tiny, but it was worth the stop. Then we walked around the different shops and got some shave ice at Ululani’s, it was yummy. On the way back to Wailea we stop for a scenic picture of South Maui, but by that time the clouds had rolled in and so it wasn’t as great of a photo opportunity as it might have been earlier in the day. We got back just in time to settle in for a lovely sunset and then headed back to Whaler’s for another deli sandwich dinner.

The next morning we grabbed some Starbuck’s and headed off a bit after 6 (just after kick off of the early college football games, which tricked us into thinking it was later) to the Road to Hana. We had rain off and on for the first hour or two of our drive. We purposefully drove through a number of the stops and planned on hitting some of them on the way back. One of our first stops was Wai'anapanapa Park/ Pa'iloa Beach (Black Sand Beach). There are some beautiful views from this park, and there are bathrooms (which is an important thing to know!). We then went on to Hana Bay, which we weren’t nearly as impressed with it.

There was a great waterfall just past the town of Hana on the right side of the road. The flow was pretty strong that day and for some the fact that there was no hiking to get to it is appealing. There was a decent sized pullout (on the left) just past the waterfall itself. We continued on to O’heo Gulch. The pools were not open, because of the rain, so we just hiked on up Pipiwai trail. Due to a recent foot stress fracture I was still recovering from, we did not go all the way up. We did go far enough to get some great views (we maybe went 30 – 45 min up).

After O’heo Gulch we drove the road to Hana counter clock-wise and we hit a few more stops, but the two highlights were Glenn’s Coconut Milk Ice Cream and the Ke’anae Peninsula. The Ice Cream was amazing and since one of us can’t have dairy, this was a fantastic treat. I would highly recommend stopping (it is around mile marker 27). The coconut candy there was great too! Then we stopped at Ke’anae Peninsula. To be honest the interest here was Aunt Sandy’s banana bread, however Aunt Sandy’s was already closed for the day (it was probably 3ish in the afternoon). But the location of Aunt Sandy’s was amazing. The large waves crashing on the jagged shore kept us there for a long time. We neither one wanted to leave. The tide was coming up, so we felt as if we could actually see the waves getting closer and closer.

We continued our journey back to Wailea and made a few more minor stops, views of the windy road, a waterfall around mile 11, and Ho’opkipa beach (tried again but still no wind surfers). All in all it was a great day! It was long, but you can make it as long or as short as you want. We really enjoyed the trip, and we would be first to tell you we are not road trip people. We do everything we can to fly places and not drive, so it was quite a change of pace for us, but we both thoroughly enjoyed it!

Texas
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2. Re: Trip Report - 8 Nights in Wailea 9/12 - 9/20

Sunday was more or less slated to be somewhat of a ‘rest’ day. We just casually got up and enjoyed the morning calm around the resort. We then headed in to Kihei for some breakfast/lunch. We tried out Kihei café. This is a great little place that is very reasonably priced and quite tasty. You go into the restaurant and order then find a place outside to sit. They will bring your food when it is ready. We then made a couple of stops, the grocery store and Snorkel Bob’s (I needed to change out my mask). From there we went to find some other beaches we had read about, the black lava beach and Big beach. Black lava was neat to see, but we didn’t swim, we just checked it out. Big beach was really busy (it was a weekend afternoon after all), so we didn’t actually go see it. We decided to head back to one of our nearby beaches. Once we got back to the resort we went for a long walk starting at Ulua beach. We walked all the way until the sand ended in South Kihei. What a great stretch of beach to walk along! There were parts where there were very few people, if any. On our way back we spotted some turtles and stopped to watch them for a while. By this time (2 or 3 in the afternoon) the wind had really picked up and at times the sand would hit and sting us just a bit. If you walk along these beaches, do watch out for bees! They sometimes end up right along the edge of the water and are still alive, so do not step on them (ouch!). We also saw several bees that got blown by the wind, and just rolled and rolled. We eventually made it back to the resort, and that night we watched the sunset from the lovely Infinity Pool.

For dinner we went to Monkey Pod, but they were busy and suggested getting reservations for the next night. So that is what we did, so we went next door to Pita Paradise. The food and service were excellent. In a very strange event, my husband got stung by a bee just as we were sitting down for dinner outside, but we won’t hold that against them. 

Monday was surfing lesson day. We pre-booked a semi-private lesson with Waves Hawaii Surf School (http://www.gosurfmaui.com/). Addie (sp?) was our teacher. We chose the 8 am lesson, listening to the recommendation that the earlier the better for first time surfers. We really enjoyed it and would do it again in a heartbeat. Addie was a great teacher, and we were each able to get up and ride on the first try! We each had several rides all the way back to the beach. That particular beach was a bit busy with students and more advanced surfers, but it only caused a little bit of a distraction from our lesson. There was a photographer there taking pictures, and we purchased the CD of all of the shots ($50). After surfing we went to Kihei Café, which we again enjoyed thoroughly. We then went back to Snorkel Bob’s because we decide now that we were ‘surfers’ we needed Boogie Boards. We headed back to the resort and went snorkeling at Ulua beach. It is great to be able to just walk down from the room to the beach and walk right in and snorkel. The water was already getting a bit choppy, but it was a good snorkel. We spent much of the day hanging out on the beach then at the resort. At some point that day we discovered the water slides at the resort….that will make you feel like a kid again! That evening we watched the sunset from our lovely Lanai, and then headed to Monkey Pod, which was as great as advertised!

Tuesday we started as we did a number of times, grab breakfast and a drink at Starbucks and enjoyed it at the Infinity pool. We had tentatively scheduled Tuesday to be Aquarium day or a day to drive the northern part of West Maui, however, we decided to start by hanging out at Wailea beach. We snorkeled for quite a while then just hung out and people watched for a while. This beach gets fairly busy, so there was a lot to watch, a lot of paddle boarders. We never did make it to West Maui or the Aquarium (have to have a reason to return to Maui, right?), because we decided to go back to Ulua beach and hang out there. We spent much of the afternoon at Ulua beach. After another wonderful sunset, we again decided to just do something quick and easy for dinner so we grabbed take out from Cheeseburgers. I have to say this wasn’t bad, but it certainly wasn’t anything to “write home about.” The deli sandwiches at Whaler’s were much preferred to the takeout from Cheeseburger’s.

Wednesday we started the day again with breakfast from Starbucks, enjoyed by the Infinity Pool, then headed for an early snorkel at Ulua beach. It was so much better this time, because it was much calmer. We actually saw two turtles, the first one just swam on by (he went right under another snorkeler and despite my effort to get his attention, the snorkeler never saw him!) the second one we saw was huge!! We hung out with the second turtle for probably 10 – 15 minutes. He was snacking on something in the area. We snorkeled a couple of times that morning at Ulua beach. Then the weather started changing a bit, but instead of the winds picking up, like every other afternoon, the clouds (which loomed every afternoon over Haleakala, but never made their way to the beach) came over us, and it eventually rained. In fact it rained from about 2 o’clock on. From what we heard this rain was completely out of the ordinary. We took this opportunity to go boogie boarding at Wailea beach, although the winds were calm (this was the first afternoon they were calm) the waves were still decent for boogie boarding. At some point it started to really rain pretty good and we suddenly had the beach to ourselves, except for one couple who stayed under their umbrella and watched us attempt to ride the waves (well that might sound self-centered, as I am sure they were there enjoying the beach and being with each other, not to watch us, but we were the only ‘people’ watching they could possibly be watching). They actually gave us a round of applause when we finally caught a good one.  We stayed for 3 hours of boogie boarding in the rain. It was awesome! After we were completely water and sand logged from our boogie boarding experience, we headed back to the Infinity pool to watch our last sunset of the trip. Since there had been such a good rain, the pool was completely empty, not one chair taken. Eventually a few brave people came out to join us. The clouds made for an awesome sunset. We really enjoyed this last sunset at the pool.

We ended the day by going by the shops to pick up a couple of things for our flight the next day then we picked up take out from Monkey Pod.

Our last morning started the same, we just started a bit earlier. We were out to the pool with a Starbuck’s breakfast, before sunrise. We enjoyed a number of hours at the pool, then went for a last couple of trips down the water slides, then headed to the beach for one last stroll. We got a late checkout of 2, which was perfect for us to get to Snorkel Bobs to drop off our stuff and out to the airport by 5.

We had an amazing trip and cannot wait to go back! For our next trip we learned that if we want to snorkel, do it early, the water is calmer and clearer. Boogie boarding is a great activity to do in the afternoon when it is windy. We also learned a wet suit top, or perhaps a rash guard shirt would be helpful, because it does get a bit chilly snorkeling.

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3. Re: Trip Report - 8 Nights in Wailea 9/12 - 9/20

Wow, it sounds like you had an incredible time on Maui! I really appreciate all of the details of your report, it was so fun to read. :)

Santa Monica, CA
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4. Re: Trip Report - 8 Nights in Wailea 9/12 - 9/20

What a nice, detailed trip report. Thank you very much. I like the Caribbean, too (Hawaii is my favorite, but the C. has some real charms). I always felt snorkeling was better on Maui and the Big Island. How do you think it compared to the Caribbean destinations you visited in the past? Debbie

Texas
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5. Re: Trip Report - 8 Nights in Wailea 9/12 - 9/20

Thanks for the replies and for reading my lengthy trip report!

Debbie - personally I found the snorkeling equally as great as the Caribbean. We have snorkeled in several places in the Caribbean, the best, most vivid was probably either St Lucia or St Thomas/St John. I think these locations probably had more fish, and more fish color (if that makes sense), but the reef itself was more colorful and beautiful in Maui! We had actually seen turtles before, in Playa Del Carmen, but we went to an area where they naturally eat and there are really no fish (just plants and a possible turtle), so seeing turtles just out there with the fishes on the reef was a real treat!

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6. Re: Trip Report - 8 Nights in Wailea 9/12 - 9/20

I enjoyed your report and also your review of the Marriott.

Thanks for your contributions.

Alaska
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7. Re: Trip Report - 8 Nights in Wailea 9/12 - 9/20

What a wonderful trip report with such great details! Loved your boogie boarding in the rain adventure. What fun....thanks for the report! Deb

Camarillo...
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8. Re: Trip Report - 8 Nights in Wailea 9/12 - 9/20

Beer and an Ululani's - now there's a pairing I wouldn't have thought of :-)

Thanks for a great report. Sounds like you had a memorable vacation.

Edited: 01 October 2012, 17:50
S W Arkansas
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9. Re: Trip Report - 8 Nights in Wailea 9/12 - 9/20

Enjoyed the report. Ulua is a great beach. The rain was wonderful and very out of the ordinary. First time during a Sept trip we had rain in Kihei. Wailea got rain on the 9th also but our area of Kihei didn't.

The Leleiwi Overlook does get past by, but a beautiful place to view. glad the sunrise was a treat.

Kapaa, Hawaii
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10. Re: Trip Report - 8 Nights in Wailea 9/12 - 9/20

Thanks so much for the report, hyatt. I am re-living my south Maui days through you!!