Sorry it has taken me so long to share our trip with you all. First of all, I want to thank this forum - you'll notice that many of our activities were based on forum advice. Because of all the knowledge and experieince shared, we were able to have the best trip ever!
Trip Report – Mar 31 – Apr 9
My husband, myself and our two teenage boys (from Saskatchewan) went to Maui for the first time over Easter break. We had been to Oahu a few years ago – this time we were looking for a bit more laid back “aloha.”
We booked the entire trip through Air Canada Vacations for a screaming deal. Let me just tell you, we couldn’t have gone to Cuba or Mexico for what we paid to go to Hawaii. Not even close. Because of the price, I was a bit worried about the accommodations (Outrigger Royal Kahana) – but the condo turned out to be great – spacious, clean and comfortable with a full ocean view! We saw tons of whales and turtles right from our lanai.
The first morning we went to the Sunrise Cafe in Lahaina for breakfast. Really good. Spent the morning exploring Lahaina (really love that town) and then driving to the blow hole. (We should have worn better shoes than flip flops to walk around there.)
That evening we had tickets to Ulalena in Lahaina. We had heard about a Travel Zoo deal on this TA forum. I will be brutally honest – we all hated it. We found it so boring and couldn’t wait to get out of there. The theatre was maybe a third full.
On Tuesday morning we had our pictures taken by a photographer (I had hired him via email a few months prior – Bruce Wheeler). It took about an hour and was more fun than we all expected. The pictures turned out great – I was hoping for maybe a handful of good ones – instead I have dozens (all on cd)!
After pictures we headed to Napili Beach for some boogie boarding. We went to the Sea House restaurant for happy hour appies. Very good.
Then we were off to the Haleakala crater. We were worried we wouldn’t get there by sunset and the drive was crazy scary. But we got up to the 10,023 foot summit in time. Wow – it was worth the drive. (However, the only way you’ll ever get me up there again is to knock me unconscious).
On Wednesday we drove the Road to Hana. Definitely a highlight of our trip. Compared to our trip up to Haleakala the day before, this was easy peasy. Not scary.
We stopped so many times to view awesome waterfalls and ocean views. One thing that made the trip even better was the Road to Hana cd we bought to alert us to all the sites along the way. Very handy.
The best stops on the Road were:
1. The arboretum – my 16 year old said it was like walking in a fairytale. He was exactly right. I loved the rainbow trees.
2. Black Sand Beach. Fun to explore the caves.
3. Hike through the bamboo forest to the most enormous waterfall. It’s a more strenuous walk than we expected – we should have taken more water. But definitely a great thing to do.
On the way home, my husband took full advantage of his comfort with the curvy road. People were moving over for him to pass. Yep, he became one of THOSE drivers. We called him Jeff Gordon.
It was fun.... for awhile... and then my 13 year old felt sick. And less than 10 minutes before we were out of the curvy road, he vomited. Poor kid. But we all laugh about it now :)
Thursday was our snorkeling day. Based on all the recommendations on TA we went with Trilogy.
We all loved this tour so much. The two places (Molokini and Turtle Town) they took us too had such clear water, beautiful coral and amazing fish. My 13 year old and I even saw two reef sharks!!!! (They were smaller than us and quite deep down so I wasn't afraid at all – my son, on the other hand, said he was terrified - but he loves to tell the story about how he saw sharks :). At the second place we swam with the turtles which was one of the coolest experiences of my life.
They also fed us very well - cinnamon buns, fruit, juice and hot chocolate for breakfast. A wonderful feast of chicken and salad for lunch. I couldn't believe how good snorkeling tour food was.
We loved this experience so much we even discussed booking another snorkel trip while we were there. We just didn't have enough time. When we go back to Maui (oh, yes, we'll be going back!) I want to take the snorkel trip to Lanai.
That night we went to Ka’anapali Beach to watch the sunset and then to Lahaina to check out the Cool Cat Cafe recommended by a friend. We had fantastic burgers and sundaes. (My son had found coupons for the sundaes – we teased him about being an extreme coupon-er after that.)
On Friday we went to the University of Hawaii Maui College Culinary Institute Class Act restaurant. I had heard that this restaurant was chosen as best place to eat in Maui. They are only open two days a week - our seating was for 11:00 am. We could have brought wine in but it seemed a little early to begin drinking (although we were on vacation....) The theme of our meal was Moroccan.
It took us nearly two hours to eat our entire meal. It was amazing. I would definitely recommend going to Class Act. I know we'll go back.
That afternoon we went to Napili beach for some swimming, boogie boarding and relaxing.
Saturday – We went to DT Flemming Beach and decided that was our favourite beach – it was beautiful and had great boogie boarding waves. That evening we went back to Cool Cat Cafe because the boys liked it so much.
Sunday – last day. DT Flemming Beach. Mini golfing in Maalaea Square. (It was really fun!) Had Ululani Shave Ice one last time (sour cherry is my favourite!).
Just writing this all down makes me want to go back right now! Maui is where my heart is.