Day 1 - April 12 Friday
Warning - this is long report - no much action but I hope you will enjoy the overall experience.
If you get bored click the picture link below and browse through the few pictures (better quantity and quality of pictures for day 2).
I started planning this trip in January for our anniversary in April.
It was kind of a surprise for my DW until I was ready to click "Book flight" button.
I almost booked the trip was told that I will need to stay at work.
But soon after things changed and I booked a flight for the exact dates I was planning all along after few days of watching the fares.
I had to choose islands and with only 10 days I chose Maui followed by Kauai and left out Big Island Oahu for future trip.
I was not sure how April weather is going to be.
I started watching weather in first week of April and soon it was evident weather will be summer-like in Maui with great ocean conditions for snorkeling.
The day before I ran a 5k race for charity at work and DW was worried that that with I will not be much help the packing and shopping.
I felt fine after the race but with all the work (emails before taking off, etc) I had to do, I stayed up all night for catching the 7AM flight.
I had 30-40 minutes remaining before calling cab so I chose to play on PS3 to keep myself awake.
DW only got 2-3 hours of sleep herself.
We had connection in LAX (direct flights were 200 more) but it worked out fine.
I slept in first flight and stayed awake on flight to Maui reading guidebooks because it eas early morning in Maui.
Soon the captain announced that we were landing and I was surprised to find we were already making final approach because Haleakala was on right.
Soon we were passing over Molokini and South Maui.
Seeing the weather forecasts, I had got my hopes up and was expecting blue green waters but was disappointed seeing the haze.
But I knew weather changes rapidly so was hoping for the haze to go away in days ahead.
I quickly grabbed my camera and took some shots before the announcement was made to shut off electronics.
We reached 10 minutes early around 11:30 AM but the bags took much more time than we are used to in DFW.
I got my first sticker shock (expected it but still) at baggage claim Starbucks.
Instead of taking all bags (one too many for a couple but DW insisted), I ran to Avis and got my Mustang convertible.
Convertible turned out to be more of a hassle with high temps and little trunk space.
I did not open the top except when there is shade on road to Hana.
We had suncreen on when we did open the top.
DW was also feeling car sick most of the trip in convertible.
I knew all these drawbacks reading the forums here on TA but I wanted to try this on thsi trip and experience it (never drove a convertible).
The guy at counter started to ask me about my life more than small talk.
Then he started to explain me insurance in Hawaii and how it is different from rest of the states (each driver pays for himself no matter where the fault is).
I declined additional coverage and told him that I trust my driving skills.
I finally got out with a red convertible and picked up DW from the terminal.
The first few minutes was very hot.
We live in Texas but inside the car it was more than 100F.
We were tired and very hungry (airline food was so bad that after spending $20 we were still hungry).
I wanted to head straight to Iao valley or Haleakala. I can find energy when I am close to nature (16+ hour days photographing in west coast).
But DW was in no shape so I took her to a place where she can order from familiar menu - IHOP in Maui mall.
After a quick meal we reached our hotel in Kihei at 2:20 PM but room would not be ready until 3:00 PM.
DW was too tired to drive anywhere so we parked our car and walked briefly on Keawakapu beach.
After checkin and nap back in our hotel room we decided to go for a stroll on the beach.
It was not too impressive initially but after some time we got into the island spirit.
There was a wedding on the beach that afternoon and we relaxed watching people and waves.
It was busy but nothing like Florida or California beaches.
We watched the sunset from the beach and headed to Kihei to get some groceries.
Foodland prices were so expensive that we only bought essentials.
For dinner I tried to drive to Thailand cuisine in Kihei but in the dark missed the turn and ended up at Royal Thai further north.
I am a huge fan of Thai food and so I had all thai restaurants marked on my google map.
I would rate Royal Thai good for service but lacked Thai flavor.
We took Thai rice - the rice looked well prepared, healthy - just no flavor.
If Thailand cuisine was not close I would go here.
Atleast they were not trying to sell deep fried Chinese food as Thai (Tois Kitchen in south Kauai did that and ruined our dinner).
With snorkel trip planned for next morning, we came straight to hotel and went to bed.
Day 2 has more action and awesome pictures so stay tuned.