Okay, so it's 4:30 a.m. and we got to bed at 11:30pm after a very long but hassle-free trip from Vancouver Island to YVR. Ferry, bus, Skytrain, all seamless. Am I the only person who thinks Vancouver Airport is stunningly beautiful? The bathrooms (no kidding, the tiling is a work of art in itself)!!! The art and design on display everywhere, the sense of fun, the light and airy feel. Sorry, I don't heve much yet to say about Maui but, I'm starting as I mean to go on so am on here, since I'm up anyway, just sharing my thoughts about our Day 1 of travels. These posts, which may vary in frequency and length, are for Joan123 (any anyone else out there who cares to read my ramblings), 'cause I promised I would.
Anyway, our flights was jam-packed with, what sounded like the TB ward at BC Children's Hospital! So, so may sick, hacking children and even a few adults. My daughter handed round a few Jolly Ranchers which made our immediate vicinity a little quieter but, I felt sorry for the parents, the children and, us, who were being exposed to what sounded like nasty viruses. Finger's crossed we've made it through unscathed. The icky "icing" on the cake was dodging the vomit mounds on the off-ramp of the plane.
So, here we are! It was warm but not hot, probably given that it was 9:00p.m. About 22 degrees. The first thing that struck me was how incredibly busy it was. People everywhere! I grew up and lived in big cities but, where we are now is a lot smaller by comparison (85,000'ish people in our town). It's March Break so, I'm thinking this is probably one of the busiest times on the Island, although it sounds as if things are pretty steady here year-round. The whole feeling I got was, crowded!
As instructed, I'd telephoned Kihei Car Rental as we landed and we followed their simple instructions to head to stop 3 just outside baggage claim, Within minutes their black van pulled up to take us back to their Kihei office location. We had a charming driver who made sure to point out all the "important" things (Costco, turns for Hana, Lahaina etc.) and told us about the Maui Swap Meet and other tidbits. Being so dark and with us tired from the trip, that was enough to take on board so, we just chatted about him and his family. We soon reached Kihe Car Rental. A small light-wrapped-palm-tree lined drive lead to a homey office where we were encouraged to help ourselves to the free avacados sitting in a large bowl on their counter. THIS was our kind of car-rental place! Paperwork was simple, minimal. No sales pitches, warnings about anything. Two drivers licences handed over and a 5% discount offered as soon as they saw my husband was 56. A map and quick direction to Kihei Bay Surf as well as directions to stop at Tom's since were just looking for milk for the morning tea. Then, out to our 4-door, 1994 Nissan. No walkaround necessary. They know the customers don't expect, or even want (in our case), new. What a relief for us, knowing we weren't going to have to babysit our car for the next 15 days. We were told to "bring it back dirty, 'cause if it isn't a little dirty, you didn't have enough fun!". (just so you know, they were handing it over nice and clean). We were also told that, any problems, 24-hours a day, they're at the other end of the phone, even if we're calling from the southern gravel tip of the Road to Hana. Ahhhhhhh, EXACTLY what we wanted to hear and exactly why we booked with them The trip is young (it's not really born yet) BUT, this first Maui experience has been an excellent one. I'll keep you updated on KCR and will let you know if our impressions change but, I can say right now that their customer service is just great so far and the car is fine.
Now, where IS that ocean anyway? We head out onto S. Kihei road and turn immediately into Tom's. I point and say, the ocean's just somewhere on the other side of here, dear. Inside Toms subby's thrilled because they've got a huge stack of Guinness (his beverage of choice at all times) at half the price we pay at home! Forget the milk, Guinness and cheerios for him tomorrow! We really just wanted to get to our studio so, not much wandering the unfamiliar aisles (something I usually LOVE to do in the States supermarkets but, not tonight) - just mayo to dab on the gifted avocados, a pac of Maui Onion chips and, a small pack of tofu poke just because I'd read about poke and wanted my first maui food purchase to include some. Why tofu? My daughter likes it, I have never bought it at home so, why not, treat for her.
Back to our roomy "locals" rental (we fit right in that parking lot, that's for sure!) and, within two minutes, we were turning into Kihei Bay Surf. Impossible to get any kind of impression, really, since it was so dark and, all we could see were vehicles parked outside units. They looked nice though (the vehicles)! I know there's a nice pool/BBP area and I do believe our lanai looks out on the tennis courts but, again, really too dark and we're too tired to see properly. Inside, our lovely little studio didn't disappoint. It's larger than it looked online and has everything we need. Except a kettle - strangely, to us and in our experience, most US rental places don't have kettles (in OUR experience)? How do people boil water for hot chocolate, tea, instant oatmeal, hot cold remedies? We're British and, tea runs in our veins. This is just an observation and a true request for clarification because, we really don't understand how people in US rentals do without given the need for boiling water for so many things. We work around it, wherever we stay. Just pop a pot of water on the stove and, works fine. Might pick up an inexpensive whistling kettle for here though, to enjoy while we're here and leave behind for others to use. I'd add it to the list of "don't you wish you'd brought" stuff but, it's sort of a pain to pack a kettle, electric OR stovetop.
Haven't unpacked yet. DD did her things, while I was prepping our simple little late supper (the avacados were just AMAZING). Her next priority was wifi which worked no problem. There are a few DVD's here that we'll enjoy of an evening. Also a crock-pot that I'll be putting to good use (there's nothing better than being out all day and coming home to a home-cooked supper you don't have to cook!). I'm thinking pulled port, chilli (with guacamole made from these local avocados) and beef stew. Those three, with double-helpings will take us through almost a week. Any more suggestions out there? Fave slow-cooker recipes? Bring 'em on (in the next few hours, if possible) since we're doing our Costco run in about 7 hours. We'll also be grilling a few nights so will pick up some Costco steaks and chicken (although I understand that Long's has great steak) and loads of maui onions.
That's it, really. First impressions of a bunch of stuff that nobody really wants or needs to know about but, as I said, I'm starting as I mean to go on and want to get in the habit of a daily post for Joan123 if for no one else.
Thank you ALL for getting us here and giving me that "this is so familiar" feeling. My husband and daughter just keep looking at me and saying "How did you KNOW that.". Example lovely Kihei man mentions the market just up the road from Kihei Bay Surf. I say, "We're definitely going to get some Huli Huli chicken,", "Yes (he says pointing vaguely North), there is somewhere....", "you mean the man by the Church?", "YES! (he says, surprised)". DD and DH just smile, shake their heads and know that they're going to enjoy the whole trip's ride, sponsored Trip Advisor Maui posters!