What a great trip. Only one hiccup. (I'll get to that later)
First of all - No flight delays!!! We've flown to Hawaii a few times now, and this is the first time where we were not delayed at all. Will post the places we ate at, at the end.
We arrived at the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas on Thursday, October 18th at about 9PM, only to be told that we were UPGRADED from a studio mountain view to a 1 bedroom, partial ocean view. Score!! The Villa is amazing! More then we could have dreamed of! My wife works for a Sheraton Hotel at home, so we got the employee rate of $89/night, which is just crazy, considering the room we got. I could live there! Just crashed the first night, as we were jet-lagged from flying all day. (from Green Bay WI)
Friday was spent getting aquainted with our resort and walking up and down the boardwalk along the ocean. Later in the day, we took a drive to Lahaina and did some shopping at ABC and Hilo Hattie. Got back to the resort, had a few drinks/dinner and called it a night. (still a little tired from all the flying the day before)
Saturday - spent most of the day in Lahaina. Visited many of the shops along Front Street and also went to the Cannery Mall. (so so) We had reservations at the Old Lahaina Luau for that night as well. This was our one hiccup for our trip. The luau was great. The food and drinks were good and the service was top notch. The problem was that it was really humid, with virtually no breeze. My wife had a fainting episode during the show (because of these conditions) and got sick after waking up. We left the show early and headed back to the villa to cool off. All the staff of the Old Lahaina Luau were wonderful in helping us and indicated that this happens quite a bit at their show, due to the grounds being surrounded by buildings that block any breeze there may be in the area. If we had known that, we would have come prepared, but all is well that ends well.
Sunday was originally supposed to be our trip to Hana, but because of the events of the prior night, we decided to take it easy for the day. We went to the Aquarium for a few hours in the afternoon. Very nice! It was better then we expected, so we ended up spending more them there then we planned. Got to see the shark feeding which was cool.
Monday - Now that we had a nice relaxing day behind us, we decided to make the drive to Hana this day. I'm getting dizzy just thinking about it! We stopped at the Maui Garden of Eden along the way. I know it has gotten some negative reviews on TA, but we thought it was wonderful. Most of the negative reviews complain about the price, but where else can you spend a few hours on Maui for $15/person? Didn't seem like a rip off at all. The people that complained, probably didn't get out of their car and walk around. The grounds are very well maintained and the trails are clearly marked. It was a very nice 1-2 hour break from the twists and turns of the Road to Hana. When we got to Hana, we stopped at Wai'anapanapa State Park to eat the lunch we brought with us. (more on that in the food section below) The park was nice and we walked over and saw the only black sand beach on Maui. Very cool! After lunch, we decided to continue around the backside of Maui, instead of returning on the road to Hana. That road is not for the faint of heart!! We were lucky and got behind a tour bus that was also making that trip, so we just followed what the bus did. Many one-lane roads along steep cliffs, with no railings, so I understand why the rental car companies don't like it when people take their cars on that road. Anyway, we survived, and got a lot of great photos for our troubles. By this time, it was getting later in the day, so we picked up dinner and headed back to the villa for the night.
Tuesday - We spent this day going to Whaler's Village and at the beach/pool. Very relaxing and uneventful. We needed that after the trip to Hana!!
Wednesday - We decided to drive around the other part of the island that the rental car companies frown upon. (North of Kapalua to Kahului) Again, I understand why they don't want people taking this route. Very narrow road along sharp cliffs. The photos are amazing though!! Went back to the Villa. More pool/beach/relax.
Thursday - Our flight wasn't until later in the evening so we spent our last day, exploring the upcountry part of Maui. First we went up to the summit of Haleakala. Kind of cloudy, but got some good photos. I got a headache from the altitude, so we headed back down. We then went to the Lavendar Farm, as that is my wife's favorite scent. Well worth our time. Only $3/person to get in and the views are worth 10X that amount. Since it was cloudy on Haleakala, we could not see the island too well from up there, but when we got to the lavendar farm, we were just below the cloud level, so the view was amazing. After that we spent the rest of the afternoon in Kahului getting souvineers and scrapbook supplies to bring home. Returned the car to Alamo and headed to the airport for our long flight home.
Now for the food... (we usually only ate two meals a day) Since my wife works for Sheraton, we got 50% off at any of the restaurants at the Villas, so we took advantage of that, quite a bit.
Day 1 - Breakfast at the Ocean Pool Bar/Grill at the Villas. Buffet style, Good food. We did this a few times during our stay. Dinner at Pulehu, Italian Grill. Food way ok. (Not worth full price, but we got 50% off, so we didn't feel cheated) The view made up for it. Very nice
Day 2 - Breakfast at the Ocean Pool Bar/Grill at the Villas. Got some shave ice at Ululani's. Amazing! Dinner at the Old Lahaina Luau. Very good.
Day 3 - Had McDonalds for lunch. (after the events of the night before, it felt good to have something that our bodies were a little more used to) Just snacked the rest of the day.
Day 4 - Road to Hana day. We got the Road to Hana lunch box from CJ's deli in Kaanapali. Very good idea. They give you a cooler with ice, a huge sandwich, pineapple, chips, drink, and desert for only $12/person. (assuming you return the cooler) This was more then enough food for the day, but we stopped and got a Round Table pizza when we got back to the Villas.
Day 5 - Breakfast at the Ocean Pool Bar/Grill at the Villas. Ate later at Whaler's village. (nothing fancy) Subway, I think??
Day 6 - Breakfast at the Ocean Pool Bar/Grill at the Villas. Later walked down to Duke's Beach House for dinner. Very good happy hour specials.
Last day - Didn't each much this day. Don't like to fly on a full stomach. Just snacked throughout the day.
As you can probably tell, we don't really focus on eating fancy when on vacation.
All in all, a great trip, but will probably not return to Maui, as we found ourselves looking for things to do toward the end. We are not really the type to just sit by the pool/beach all day. We've now been to Oahu, Kauai, and Maui, so maybe we'll try the Big Island next time.