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Honeymoon Trip Report Part 2 -- Maui

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Honeymoon Trip Report Part 2 -- Maui

Hi All,

Decided to write up and share a trip report of our honeymoon. Had a fabulous wedding in Palos Verdes, CA (a city near Los Angeles) on Saturday, 9/7, then headed off to San Francisco for a few days starting on 9/8, and then to Maui for 7 nights starting on 9/11. The San Francisco part of this is a bit more detailed since I had less to remember and wrote most of that part of the report on the flight to Hawaii. You can read that portion of this report over in the San Francisco forum.

A little less detail for the Maui portion as I waited until back in LA for a few days before starting to write most of it (had hoped to write each night in Maui but didn't quite work out that way), and had a longer period to go back and remember. Hope the level of detail is appropriate, and it can make for an enjoyable read and helps some other travelers & forum members.

Which reminds me, this is a good point to stop and thank everyone who patiently answered some of my questions in this forum that I posted in preparation for this trip, especially my crazy questions about what roads were where.

Day 4, Wednesday 9/11 (continued from post in SFO forum): Arriving in Maui, picking up rental car, off to the Sheraton Maui hotel, getting settled

Arrived at Maui airport (OGG) - weather was quite hot. We walked to rental car shuttle area - waited for Enterprise shuttle - which we took for a few minutes to their lot - very rural area. So far DW was not impressed with Maui, but fortunately that would soon change. Went in to rental office while DW waited, waited in line for a few minutes then big Hawaiin guy helped me - turned down all the fuel and insurance stuff, went outside, he offered me a Ford Focus but I pointed out had prepaid for a larger car class (Nissan Altima, Chevy Impala etc.) - he claimed he misread the paperwork and agreed to give me an Altima - drove car over to where DW waiting and off we went.

We had elected thanks to the good advice in this forum to stay at the Sheraton Maui. Tried iPhone navigation to Sheraton but iPhone didn't know where that was so we looked up address and entered manually. Drive of about 30 miles. The immediate vicinity of the airport had a lot of traffic lights. We seemed to hit a red light at each one and each was at least 2 minutes - sort of frustrating when waiting to get to hotel to start vacation. but eventually got on to the main highway where we drove for a stretch of around 20 miles before turning on to Kaanapali Parkway where the Sheraton was perhaps 3/4 miles later. In retrospect great scenery on this drive but were a bit too busy concentrating on the road to take it in.

Arrived at Sheraton, got car valeted. They told us to valet and go get our room since we may need to park elsewhere. Complimentary valet parking for the first night. Got ticket and went in to front desk. Worth noting that as soon as you walk into the hotel lobby, which is open-air, if you had any doubts that you're in paradise, they'll vanish immediately (https:/…IMG_0813.JPG). The lobby here, and the scenery you can see from it (mostly the hotel property but also the beach and the ocean) is just stunningly gorgeous - what a way to start things off!

Found out room not ready yet, check in time not until 3PM - it was only 12:45ish at this point. So decided to use restroom and then get lunch. DW bought a small flower hairpiece at this point in the hotel lobby. After that we went to hotel gift shop (Lamont's) and bought a few souvenirs and some sunscreen. Then we walked down from the lobby which was on the 3rd floor to the hotel's courtyard - views from the whole place amazing. Eventually made our way past the hotel's meandering pool etc. onto the sand, and started walking south as the concierge had told us. Eventually ended up at the Whaler's Village shopping center about a 5 minute walk from the hotel, but DW was wearing open-toed shoes and the sand was burning hot. Took my shoes off and experienced it long enough to understand why she didn't want to walk on the sand. We scrambled closer to the water where the sand was damp and cooler, but eventually made our way to a paved path (we later learned how to reach this path from the Sheraton without ever hitting hot sand). Arrived at Whaler's Village. Found restaurant (Leilani's on the Beach -- https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-EjtYXxWU6Rk/Uj-9aYMTLlI/AAAAAAAAKko/5TT0ZoBdxKA/w1298-h862-no/DSC_2707.jpg) ate there - had teriyaki pineapple burger - good, fresh beef, teriyaki sauce good and spicy - forgot what DW ate. Great view from the restaurant, right on the beach. Menu and decor of the restaurant reminded me a bit of the Island's restaurant chain in LA, but a lot nicer and with a view that in LA can only be dreamed about. Service a little slow to get started and seemed a bit disorganized, but food was quite good and view was excellent, plus nice decor in the place. Not sure why we never made it back here to eat again since the service issues at the end of the day were pretty minor.

Back to hotel to check in. Parking guys had told us to find room location first before self parking, since there are two lots you can self park in at the hotel and we'd want to chose based on room location. Now having the room parking guys hooked us up with bellhop who took us on the somewhat long (but not too long) walk to our room. He gave us the lay of the land, told us how to get over to the fitness center, etc., and was really helpful, so we gave him a nice tip. Worth noting that we had an ocean view room on the 4th floor of building 4 at the Sheraton. View from the room and the balcony pretty amazing (https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Iw66_prDKbw/Uj-9z8LrUjI/AAAAAAAAKn0/PNNegUgmhGs/w1298-h862-no/DSC_2895.jpg

and

https:/…DSC_1150.jpg

and

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-yliDfObusUg/Uj-6HPlm7jI/AAAAAAAAKQA/LMwFhPPoyqo/w1298-h862-no/DSC_1885.jpg)

Ended up walking back to Whaler's Village to the ABC store which I think the bellhop had mentioned to us, bought some bottled water and other food. Also discovered Honolulu Cookie Company's store here (https:/…DSC_2271.jpg). They make nicely packaged shortbread cookies in about 16 different varieties and they had free samples of about half of them. Samples were all very good so we bought a box and started a frequent rewards card with them, which gives free cookies after you spend $50 or $100 - we were well on our way towards that "goal"!

We walked back to the hotel and our room, then headed down to the beach at about 5:30 to take pictures and in anticipation of the Sheraton's nightly cliff-dive ceremony, which I had learned about through research and the Bellhop had pointed out to us. Ceremony consists of a young local man in native dress walking around the property with a torch (https:/…DSC_1243.jpg), lighting various other torches along his way. He eventually walks across the sand, ascends black rock and then dives into the ocean off its peak (https:/…DSC_1285.jpg). A very nice thing to watch but I guess we weren't so blown away by it, as we could have watched it any of the other nights we were there but only saw a small part of it again on our last night, I think.

In any case I don't remember going out to eat this night, I think we went back to the hotel room and ate food we had bought at ABC earlier. Worth noting at this point if I haven't already that our room had a nice mini-fridge that's completely available for guest use - not one of those mini-bar fridges that's mostly filled with snacks that set off sensors that charge you if you even touch them.

In any case, this is a good time to talk about the hotel in a bit more detail. The property here is gorgeous - they say this is the first resort built in west Maui and they sure chose the best spot. Black Rock (a lava rock formation that juts out into the sea from the beach) is gorgeous, and this is the widest part of Kaanapali Beach. The grounds are great, tons of flowers, palm trees, open grass and a meandering, coral blue colored pool that passes under bridges, has a water slide or two and seems to be about 5 different pools connected together with water pathways. Views are gorgeous everywhere - of the beach, the ocean, of the islands of Lanai and Molokai off in the distance, and of the lush, green west Maui mountains. The fitness center, important to us, is well equipped with about 5 treadmills, 5 elipitical machines, 3 recumbant bikes, and several weight machines and free weights. The hotel is ever-so-slightly let down by the rooms themselves, which are slightly on the small side and a little older feeling, but still very nice. The rooms (at least the one we had, for which we were paying the ocean-view rate) were more than redeemed by their giant balconies with great views of the pool area and the beach, and the ocean, and of Lanai, and.... sigh - just wonderful. I must have taken the same basic picture of the view from the balcony over and over every morning and every evening, the view is just that spectacular.

Edited: 23 September 2013, 15:44
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1. Re: Honeymoon Trip Report Part 2 -- Maui

Day 5, Thursday 9/12: Iao Valley State Park, Kepaniwai Park, Bailey House, Maui Ocean Center, Old Laihana Luau

Fortunately, still on west coast time, so was able to wake up early without too much trouble. Headed over to fitness center, worked out for a bit under an hour. Back to room to shower etc. Then over to the main hotel restaurant for breakfast. Bought some coffee, bottled water and banana bread at the Starbuck's kiosk in the lobby (not a full service Starbucks - only hot drinks). Breakfast buffet for $30 each but found out starting the next Monday, for Starwood Preferred Guest members (Starwood's loyalty program) buffet cost is reduced if two people dining - I think it would be half off for 2nd diner but we never took advantage of this so not sure. In any case buffet food was mostly good, including nice omlette bar. One thing was french toast was dry. Service was not all that great - slow to come and then seemed to forget our requests for juice, etc.

After breakfast retrieved our car from the valet and found out where to go to park closer to our room which was on the other side of the property. was about to start our planned drive to Iao State Park. Was intending to use phone's GPS for this but phone was not co-operating. Spent about 10 minutes pulled over in the Sheraton's driveway mucking around with the phone before we were able to set out.

Got to the park easily enough and paid $5 or $10 to park. The park itself consists of a small parking lot and then several interconnected, short hiking trails. The park gives you a chance to get up close and personal with the lush, green mountains of west Maui and the highlight here is a needle like mountain formation called, appropriately enough, the Iao Needle (https:/…DSC_1322.jpg). The upper most trail gets you a bit closer to the needle for some good photographs. Looking back you can see out of the mountains to central Maui and, if I recall correctly, the ocean (https:/…DSC_1334.jpg). The area where the park is is called the Iao Valley and it was here that a battle long ago was faught between the native Maui-folk and the other parts of Hawaii - the Maui folk lost and this brought Maui under control of the rest of Hawaii. The lower hiking trails here head down into a stream and gulley area (https:/…DSC_1339.jpg)

Stopped on the way back at Kepaniwai Park - a small park with some Asian buildings and statues. Strolled around for 15 minutes or so, snapped some photos and then moved on. Pretty nice place and in a nice area, got some nice landscape photos here as well. (https:/…DSC_1361.jpg)

Next stop was at the Bailey House museum, which I believe had been at one point in time a girl's school. This is a smallish museum not really too much there except some antique furniture and furnishings - I think they dissallowed flash photography and it was too dark to get good photos here - not really much I would have wanted to photograph anyway. Really not to my taste and for admission price of $10 per person, didn't find it to be worth it, at least not for us.

Continuing back through central Maui we spotted the Maui Ocean Center and decided to stop there. Admission price was a bit steep - about $25 per person (AAA discount of 10% if I recall) and I was skeptical at first, but this turned out to be well worth it. A great, great aquarium and ocean exhibit focusing on fish and shark species found near the Hawaiian Islands and Maui. I haven't been to a lot of aquariums but I'd say this was on par with the Monterey Bay aquarium in Monterey, CA which is the best aquarium I'd previously been to.

In any case, they take your photo on the way in to sell to you later, and then give you a rough idea of where to start exploring. You start outside where there are some open pools containing several different species of fish (https:/…IMG_0907.JPG). Entering the adjacent building you descend a bit and then are given a through-the-glass view of these same tanks (https:/…IMG_0921.JPG). Continuing on there are a lot of other exhibits focusing on things like camoflauge (https:/…IMG_0961.JPG), what species populate the various depths of the reefs around Hawaii, etc. Later there's a huge tank at least 3 or 4 stories tall with a variety of sharks and other large fish. At least when we went by there was a museum staffer giving a presentation and some benches to sit down and watch him. Later in another building got to experience the most spectacular part of the center, which is a large tank with fish and large stingrays (and a diver performing some maintenance - https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-DkOQ_ktpvKc/Uj--9EvaWwI/AAAAAAAAKvg/PiFC8gimmj8/w1149-h862-no/IMG_1011.JPG) that features a glass tunnel you can use to walk in and under the tank (https:/…IMG_1007.JPG) - not unique to this aquarium but spectacular none-the-less.

Bought a few trinkets in the gift shop, including some colorful fish refrigerator magnets. Even spent $20 to buy a copy of the photo they took of us on the way in - something I never do but they superimposed it onto a great background photo of the glass tunnel under the stingray tank and the result was pretty spectacular, so decided to take the plunge. If your camera can at all handle low light situations well you can get a lot of good photos here - I did (https:/…IMG_0947.JPG) - but even the best cameras will get reduced shutter speeds here, making it hard to capture motion blur free and a lot of the fishes weren't holding still, so had a lot of throwaway shots but some pretty good keepers as well.

After this we drove back to the hotel (and realized that except for West Maui itself, the Sheraton is about 25 miles and a good 45 minutes away from anything else) where we relaxed a bit and got ready for one of the two luaus we had planned to attend on this trip, this first one being the Old Lahaina Luau (the other was the feast at Lele which we did a few days later - I will attempt to compare the two after I've described our experience at Lele in the section of this report covering that day). Allowed Siri to guide us over there as we drove. Tried to park in the Luau's parking lot but found it full and as we completed our first circuit, one of the staffers directed us across the street to the parking lot of the Long's Drug Store and told us to keep driving through the parking lot until we found another one of their staffers. Good of them to have arranged this overflow parking - we found a space here no problem and took the short walk back to the Luau's property and checked in.

To quickly digress, I'd been to Hawaii (Oahu and Kauai) once before - about 30 years ago as a kid - so mostly only have a vague memory of it but did recall attending a luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu during that trip and so that was my lone reference point for what a luau is supposed to be like. Old Lahaina Luau turned out to be pretty consistent with that memory.

As we entered the main area we were greeted by a staffer carrying a tray of Mai Tai's, and a lei was placed around each of our necks, which we gladly accepted. Our waiter escorted us to our seats - I had booked months in advance and it seemed I was one of the first to have done so for this date, so we got basically the best seats in the house, closest to the stage and as close to the center as there were seats. Unfortunately, when I booked their web site had asked me if I wanted the closer seats where you sit on cushions on the ground, instead of more proper seats further back. I opted for the cushions and was glad for the closer view, but may have been a mistake because was not comfortable for either myself or DW.

In any case, after the waiter seated us he invited us to explore around before the Luau and see the cultural demonstrations, and told us what time the pig would be taken out of the ground. He also described to us how dinner would be served (buffet style) and that all liquor complimentary (that is to say, included in the price). There was a drink menu but he told us the bar tender could make us pretty much anything. I ordered a Lava Flow off the drink menu (https:/…IMG_1096.JPG). This is a good point to mention that the drinks were good and not watered down or weak as you might expect when you've prepaid for all-you-can-drink drinks. Kudos to Old Laihana!

The luau's location is pretty spectacular, right on the shore (https:/…IMG_1042.JPG) We did explore around, found a professional photographer or two taking photos with patrons for the luau to sell to them later. Also found people creating various crafts (wood carvings, jewelry, etc. -- https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-m2bfXqSzMTk/Uj-_J4RdFCI/AAAAAAAAKw4/RW9UiTzLgUw/w647-h862-no/IMG_1045.JPG) and also staffers giving demonstrations. One of the girls (who later turned out to be one of the dancers) was giving a demonstration of some native musical instruments, all of which I think were later used in the performances, so we watched her for a while, then explored around to some of the other demonstrations, taking pictures, but the musical instrument one is the one I remember best. We then gathered around the pit where the pig was cooking and waited for the staffers to come and remove it from the dirt mound it was buried in. Unfortunately everyone wanted to see this so it got a little crowded, but we managed to stand where we could see well. The two staffers who dug the pig out engaged with the audience for a bit, explaining how the pig was prepared and what they were about to do in terms of removing it (https:/…IMG_1082.JPG). They also explained if I recall that they had about 275 pounds of pork prepared for the luau. When they dug it out we could see the banana leaves covering the animal, and when they were removed we also saw a bunch of pork shoulders that they had added in with the main pig - I guess one pig was not enough for the other "pigs" at the luau! This is a good time to mention that the luau grounds were pretty large and the seating, I would guess, probably allowed for 3 or 400 people, maybe more. So maybe that's why so much meat was needed.

The setting for the luau was very pretty, right on the beach, and its all laid out around a big, circiular stage with the seats arranged around part of that circle (this sort of shows it, and also shows where we sat - https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-BaQuRdEVtnU/Uj-_Ls73_fI/AAAAAAAAKxA/YBkindHCutE/w1149-h862-no/IMG_1051.JPG).

I don't recall if the entertainment started before dinner, or after, but soon after the pig was removed they asked everyone to be seated and began escorting us up to the buffet table by table. Lots of people to feed and the line moved a bit slowly, but not too badly. Lots and lots of food - many options including some salad, Poke (which is basically diced tomatoes, onions, and raw tuna chunks - if you like Sushi you'd like this, but it was a bit salty), banana bread, seafood salad, a chicken dish (good), a steak dish (good but ended up dipping it in a lot of teriyaki sauce which was available at the end of the buffet), some sort of chicken flavored long rice (ended up tasting like chicken noodle soup, to me at least), a fish dish which was pretty good, and of course the kalua Pork which was good as well. (https:/…IMG_1109.JPG)

Honestly looking back, the entertainment part of things was lengthy but my memory of it is a blur. Lots of hula and other dances - all very colorful and well done. For whatever reason I didn't bring my dSLR here and had to settle for iPhone shots (https:/…IMG_1143.JPG)

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2. Re: Honeymoon Trip Report Part 2 -- Maui

Day 6, Friday 9/13: South Maui, Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reservation, Shops at Wailea, ascending Haleakala (attempt 1)

Found out the night before that one of our wedding guests had very graciously sent a gift to our hotel before we had arrived. For whatever reason, it had not yet been delivered to us so began the day on a quest to track it down, which I did after speaking to two people at the front desk. Turned out to be a credit for the Sheraton which was really thoughtful and helped offset a few of our incidentals at the end of the trip.

After this, did our morning gym / breakfast routine and then set out for south Maui. Specifically with an eye towards heading down towards

La Perouse Bay or another unnamed area near there that the Maui Revealed guidebook mentioned where you could apparently hike for several miles through the lava fields before reaching the beach.

On the way there we found a small shopping center where we stopped for Starbucks and wandered into the local ABC store, where DW found some bracelettes that she bought a few of as souveniers. This turned into a little quest of ours later on as she later decided she wanted to buy more of these but we couldn't find them anywhere else, including the ABC store in Whaler's Village close to our hotel. But we eventually found something similar at a small shop in the Kaanapali Beach Hotel, later in the trip.

We ended up passing through the Waliea area (very tawny) and when we got a bit south of there the road turned to one lane in each direction (if even that much) and we ended up stopping at a small parking lot and trail at what I now believe (looking at Google Maps) was the northern part of Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reservation. Did a short walk / hike on the trail here down to a short black, rocky beach and took quite a few photos of the landscape and lava rock formations here (https:/…DSC_1392.jpg) but unfortunately it was a bit grey/overcast at the time. Then went back to the car with the intent of continuing further south but between the narrow roads and the fact that we had a hard time getting the car out of the parking lot (car was refusing to move - parking lot was unpaved so I thought we were stuck on a rock or something but in retrospect I think this was operator error - i.e. not disengaging the parking brake - ooops!) decided that discretion was the better part of valor and headed back towards Wailea.

Here we stopped at the Shops at Wailea which is a nice outdoor shopping center with a lot of high end shops such as St. John's. Had lunch at a sushi place here - Kai Wailea I believe. Food here wasn't disappointing but not really any better or worse than an any average sushi place back in LA, but the decor was nice at least. (https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-iKROiQCgAn0/Uj-_boB4EkI/AAAAAAAAKzE/7YBFVfWAHm4/w1149-h862-no/IMG_1158.JPG and https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-FMZDe3bWyUw/Uj-_avpzAcI/AAAAAAAAKy8/2NbhHcaSXjU/w1149-h862-no/IMG_1156.JPG).

At this point worth a small digression to say that while we planned the trip, since DW is a bit skittish with winding roads and the like, decided that I would do the Road to Hana and sunrise or sunset at Haleakala on my own. But once we were on Maui DW was in the spirit and decided she wanted to head to Haleakala for sunset with me, which is what we did next. Unfortunately the road up there did turn out to be a bit too much for her - by the time we had just passed a sign that indicated elevation was 4000 feet above sea level, she had had enough and wanted to turn back, so we did. Before we made it that far we stopped for gas and at a McDonald's next to the gas station - we tried what was called, I think, a "Hoipa Pie" - basically the same thing as McDonald's apple or cherry pies that we've all had before, but with a creamy coconut filling instead. Something that I guess is unique to McDonalds in Hawaii but really, really good.

So somewhere on the road up to the Haleakala crater around 4000 feet, we asked Siri for directions back to the hotel. Frankly, she lead us down some back roads which were a lot worse than the main road we had taken up, but we eventually made it back down to one of the main highways and back to the Sheraton from there.

Made it back to the hotel and then walked over to Hula Grill near Whaler's Village for dinner. DW had some sort of fish dish. I had the Imu ribs. Probably would have been unmemorable but the BBQ sauce on the ribs was simply excellent - sweet and spicy. Every time we walked past Hula Grill they seemed to have live entertainment, but we seemed to arrive just as the entertainment was ending for an hour or two so didn't catch much of it. Disappointing but food and the location (they're across from Lehaini's On The Beach) made up for it - it was easy to see why this place always seemed to be pretty packed every time we walked by.

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3. Re: Honeymoon Trip Report Part 2 -- Maui

Day 7, Saturday 9/14: Haleakala National Park Visitor's Center, Kula Botanical Gardens, Tedaschi Winery

DW gathered up her courage and decided that she wanted to give Haleakala another go so after our morning routine we headed out in that direction. This time happy to say we made it as far as the visitors center, which was clouded in and I think we got some drizzle here. So DW was unimpressed and not really willing to endure another 30-45 minutes to make it to the crater since she was not really convinced it would be worth it. Disappointing for me since I had really wanted to go, but gave up on the idea and figured it'd be an excuse to come back to Maui one day (Lemonade from lemons, you know...). At least I did get to see the collection of silversword plants at the visitors center (https:/…DSC_1437.jpg). Not the same I suppose as seeing them in their more natural surroundings at the crater, which had been one of my pre-trip goals, but had to make due.

We decided after this to head towards the Tedashchi Winery - maybe not so much to see the winery as a good way to see this part of Maui. So we put our faith in Siri again and headed off from the Haleakala visitor center.. A pretty pleasant drive (at least compared to Haleakala and Hana later in the trip!) and we soon came to a sign for Kula Botanical Garden where we decided to stop. Bought a few trinkets and post cards in their gift shop along with admission for $10 each, which turned out to be well worth it. The lady at the counter loaned us a laminated map of the grounds which wasn't too easy to follow but soon we were on our way exploring the garden. Some very nice grounds and some great plants, flowers (https:/…DSC_1511.jpg) and birds (https:/…DSC_1539.jpg) (some caged, others roaming freely), plus a few cool tiki / totem statues (https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Ea77EDohz0iuzexx6j23oL21SOXWF37pMrEVdggoT7s=w145-h219-p-no and https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Z7w3y1GdwGM/Uj-5phLRL9I/AAAAAAAAKME/L_wPQ3u3auU/w572-h861-no/DSC_1576.jpg). Did get a fair bit of rain up here which cut our visit short but we decided to press on to Tedaschi.

Arrived at Tedashchi around 1:40 PM. Some very nice grounds including some massive trees, a few of which were of types I hadn't seen before, such as what I later learned were Cook Pines ( think this is a Cook Pine at Tedashci but this may be another type of tree -- https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/A9g-7QZ7s5RGY63z1MzSDTljir1ty0Sg4L8yOqR9DZM=w151-h226-p-no). We went in to the main tasting room where free tastings were offered. We were presented with a list of their wines and we elected to try two of the pineapple wines for which they are known. Had never had pineapple wine before so it was interesting, but did not really care all that much for either of the two wines - then again I'm not a big drinker of grape wines, and I found myself greatly preferring the sweeter of the two pineapple wines - similar to my taste in grape wines. In any case the rain actually worked in our favor since it delayed the last tour of the day which had been scheduled to start at 1:30, but we were able to join it at the last minute. The tour was pretty brief, covered some of the things we saw on the grounds such as the large trees, also the series of wood carvings in front of the tasting rooms which they referred to as the Hula Circle (https:/…DSC_1591.jpg), which turned out to have been carved from the trunks of trees that had existed there previously but had died. They also explained the history of the property and where all of the large trees had come from. We then got a brief tour of the wine making operation, which mainly showed the machine that is used to load the pineapple grown on their property and cut them up and then crush them to extract the juice. Interestingly the remaining fruit matter is used to feed I think they said their cattle or goats. Then we saw the area where the alcohol is fermented and bottled. Then back to the tasting room / gift shop for a few more photos and tasted one more wine, their Fambroise (sp?) which is a desert wine made from Raspberries - of the three wines we tasted, thought this one was the best. We briefly debated buying some wine for the folks back home but opted not to when we found out that they are able to ship to where we live - we can always arrange to get some of the wine later.

After that back to the Sheraton, hung out in room for a little bit then over to the Kaanapali Beach Hotel where we'd made reservations at 6PM for their Tiki Terrace restaurant - mainly because it had looked good when we'd passed by earlier and they had free nightly music and hula entertainment. This restaurant was good in all respects except one - this is the one place on Maui that had watered down drinks - I ordered a Lava Flow, DW ordered a virgin Lava Flow. Mine was indeed the real deal, at least on the bill, but we could not taste or tell the difference. Beyond that, we both ordered the Ahi tuna plate and it was excellent. The entertainment was also good - a bit more laid back in terms of the hula and a little less energetic, but also some mellow island music in between the hula numbers which was welcome (https:/…DSC_1753.jpg). Overall a low pressure, relaxed place with good food and pretty decent prices. We liked it enough that we came back two more times later in the trip.

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4. Re: Honeymoon Trip Report Part 2 -- Maui

Day 8, Sunday 9/15: Road To Hana for me, spa day for DW

DW had decided during the trip planning stages that the Road for Hana was not for her, so she elected to stay behind and enjoy a massage at the spa and the resort in general.

So, I set off about 9AM - IMHO from the Kaanapali area this was probably too late - should have gotten an earlier start. Pulled over to snap a few shots before leaving the west Maui area, especially at the "scenic lookout" (not sure of its name) that is well marked and designated around the tunnels on Highway 30(? -- https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-ipt1PiStOTs/Uj-6KCPNiYI/AAAAAAAAKQY/cyuAZjWNOJA/w1298-h862-no/DSC_1893.jpg). Then proceeded towards Hana. Stopped a few times on Hana Highway / Dairy Road to snap a few shots before the real Road To Hana started. Should mention at this point, was having lots of issues with my phone but had purchased the Gypsy app for the Road to Hana and did my best to use its narrations. But did not turn it on at first and first stopped at Ho'okipa Beach Park where a lot of cars seemed stopped to take a few photos (https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-zgtwGR_0DU0/Uj-6ZGpISRI/AAAAAAAAKSE/gEVv3ExLnNs/w572-h861-no/DSC_1966.jpg and https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LCF6WB4zHzY/Uj-6VtJi2kI/AAAAAAAAKRo/zIh5_wHHmNg/w1298-h862-no/DSC_1955.jpg). I think it was here that I knelt down to shoot a photo and managed to plant my knee straight onto a rock that I hadn't seen, giving myself a messy cut on my knee but which I was able to clean up in short order. Continued on after this and soon according to the Gypsy Guide came to the first hairpin turn that was indicative of the rest of the road. To my memory of the rest of the journey, it was this first turn that was by far the worst - a 180 heading uphill on the inside lane turning right and I was not sure that the car would even be able to do this turn. It did and we continued on our way. I would say that in so far as the rest of the journey was concerned, all that talk about the difficulty of the road to Hana was pretty accurate - lots of one way bridges, though I found negotiating these with other drivers to be (mostly) easy but there were some parts of the road where things were narrow and while not quite one lane, were barely two car-widths wide, and I was amazed at what some drivers coming in the opposite direction were willing to risk for us to squeeze by each other. In terms of motion sickness etc., didn't find it to be bad at all, but I can also see how anyone prone to motion sickness would not do well on this road. In any case the proper mindset was required for sure - need to be prepared to deal with slower cars in front of you etc. Next stop was where the Gypsy guide indicated there was a short trail of about 3/4 mile and then a longer trail as well, but I forget the name of this. Unfortunately I only wanted to do the short loop and I did so, but wasted about 15 minutes on it as the trail was mostly unnotable - pretty much the same types of hikes I'd been on back home, with not much in the way of unusual or spectacular scenery. Back on the road and by this time the Gypsy Guide was pointing out that there are only 5 worthy stops unless you have lots of time. I noted that the narrator was saying things like "if its before 11AM, you're doing well on time and can stop here if you want" etc. - small criticism of the app then - it has access to the phone's clock, so it could determine on its own what time it is and adjust narration accordingly, but I digress.... Anyhow, I wanted to stop at the botanical garden / arboritum that it was mentioning as a stop but somehow managed to miss it - I think this was due to fumbling with my phone which was acting up in ways that were not the fault of the Gypsy App but were interfering with the App's operation. At some point too passed a waterfall next to a bridge and wanted to stop for that, but no real parking in the immediate area - app said about 100 yards further park and walk back, but seemed a lot further than 100 yards and didn't seem particularly safe walking along the narrow road so gave this a pass. Also looked like the waterfall wasn't really that heavy at the time. One of the other must stops according to the app was

Waianapanapa State Park which I again managed to miss heading towards Hana but did find it heading back and stopped there - more on that below.

Eventually made it to Hana Beach Park just next to Hana on Hana bay - truthfuly as sights on Maui go, this one was merely "ok" - got some nice photos of the scenery (https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-ZNWYjhpuXXE/Uj-6dL09GEI/AAAAAAAAKSs/cVnuKjai6dA/w1298-h862-no/DSC_1984.jpg and https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Guv775vK4UA/Uj-6b3Pw-YI/AAAAAAAAKSc/-bx4AO_Iz2c/w1298-h862-no/DSC_1978.jpg) and then despite needing to start heading back to make 6PM dinner reservation on time, decided I'd risk pressing on past Hana for the Seven Sacred Pools. However, here my own navigation sense failed me because I thought I was on the road heading back to the Hana Highway when it turned out the whole time I was on the Hana Highway heading back towards central Maui. Oops! Did realize this in short order but by then fatigue and time made me decide to press on home instead of turning around to head past Hana. Actually I had thought Hana Bay / Hana Beach Park was before Hana so did not realize immediately that I'd in fact made it to Hana itself - I thought I had stopped short and so was disappointed, but after my trip back on the mainland reviewing things with Google Maps, realized that I had in fact made it to Hana itself. Worth commenting at this point that the Gypsy App, on the way back from Hana, focuses more on giving a narrated history of Hawaii, Maui and their respective kings and government situation, instead of narrating the drive itself, and while it was really interesting and well done, was not really helpful on the drive back.

On the drive back, did manage to find Waianapanapa State Park and stopped here. This was the highlight of the drive for me - a couple of small, black sand beaches (though the "sand" is mostly small to medium (think fist sized) rocks, but some was truly black sand -- https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-t53kVylqaas/Uj-7Cw1f01I/AAAAAAAAKXU/IQfdfI9jIY8/w1298-h862-no/DSC_2115.jpg), as well as lava rocks (https:/…DSC_2029.jpg), sea arches formed from lava rocks (https:/…DSC_2002.jpg), lava tubes that you can peer into and see water on the other side (https:/…DSC_2066.jpg), and a real to life blowhole. Unfortunately, the blowhole spouted only once really well the whole time I was there, and of course my camera wasn't at the ready when it did. So I spent about 15 minutes just waiting with my camera pointed at it but only got a few minor spouts before I gave up and moved on to exploring the rest of the area - made my way down to both of the black sand beach areas here and over all, got some really spectacular photos. I can honestly say that I think this park is one of the most beautiful, scenic places I've ever been (https:/…DSC_2123.jpg) and was a real highlight of my trip. towards the end of my time here, I tried to buy a soda from a vending machine that was selling 20 oz bottles - I couldn't see a price so I fumbled around for a dollar bill figuring (or, hoping) that would be the price, and put it in the machine - which then asked for $1.50 more - I gave up in disgust as I'd have had to fumble around in my pockets some more and at this point I was hot, sweaty, had water in my car anyway and was under attack from a swarm of some sort of insects near the soda machine. So hi-tailed it back to my car only to find my exit path blocked by another parked vehicle, but fortunately driver was sitting in his truck / bus and was kind enough to move out of the way.

Continued on home from here (again, managed to miss the botanical gardens suggested by Gypsy) and only stopped a few more times and some minor pullouts on the road back, before continuing on back through central and west Maui to the Sheraton, which I arrived at around 5:15PM, just in time to get organized for our dinner reservation at 6PM, at the Tiki Terrace at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel - our 2nd meal here this trip. This time got BBQ's spare ribs which were pretty good - second time on Maui I'd had ribs and once again the BBQ sauce, though different than the first, made the dish. We took in some Lava Flows (despite that they are a bit weak) and the free music / hula show here. Again really enjoyed the laid back-ness of this restaurant and the show.

Before heading back, stopped again at the Honolulu Cookie Co. to buy some cookies for the folks back home.

Overall, the Road to Hana was worth it, but might not be for the skittish or those who get car sick or motion sick easily. Also, if I had it to do over again I'd do something to get more time and not feel so rushed to make it back on time - either get a real early start, or better yet arrange to spend at least one night in Hana - hard with DW since the road really wasn't for her, but hopefully this can help other travellers.

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5. Re: Honeymoon Trip Report Part 2 -- Maui

Day 9, Monday 9/16: Shipping stuff home, chill time at hotel pool, snorkelling, Feast at Lele luau

Started the day with our usual workout / breakfast from stuff we bought at ABC and/or previous night's leftovers / dress & shower routine. Then loaded up the car with our various souveniers (including the usual boxes of chocolate covered macadamias - I noticed that everyone brings these home from Hawaii but didn't see anyone actually eating them there!), cookies and some of DW's clothes knowing that her clothes barely had fit in her bag in San Francisco plus all the trinkets and souveniers we'd bought (including some boxed candies and cookies from the Honolulu Cookie Co) and we knew there was no way to fit everything in our luggage for the trip home, so we drove over to UPS in Lahaina (tried to find one that Google insisted was in Kaanapali and closer to our hotel, but after navigating to a strip mall near the golf course and not seeing any such store, we concluded it was either inside of another store or Google was wrong). Guy inside was quite friendly, told us his story of moving from Sacramento to Maui and also told us his kid attended high school at the top of Lahainaluna Road, which he said had great views. After arranging to ship our trinkets (all 20 pounds of them, it turned out! Shipping costs pretty much wiped out any "bargains" we'd managed to find) we took a quick detour up to the top of the road and looked around the high school, or more properly, the views from the high school, and took some nice photos.

After that we headed back to the hotel to use the pool / jacquizi / beach and for me to get in some snorkling time. Started out in the pool where we spent about an hour in the not-so-deep part as DW does not swim. Must say if I haven't yet that the pool at the Sheraton is pretty spectacular - its continuous but stretches into a bunch of little coves and goes under bridges and walkways through a huge chunk of the property. Pool hours end at 8PM which is good since most rooms would otherwise have to contend with the pool noise at night - but also a bit constraining since we kept wanting to swim in the evening. Fortunately the jacquizi was open until 10PM.

After our swim headed over to rent snorkling equipment from the hotel's pool / dive shop. Got my snorkel, mask, and fins (all together $8/hr or $20/day max) and proceeded to head out onto the beach next to Black Rock as DW lounged by the pool. Got everything on and must have looked awkward walking into the water with fins and someone was kind enough to advise me to walk backwards, lest I fall face first - hey, first time snorkeling so needed all the help I could get! Managed to back into the water and set out. Shortly after I got deep enough to start swimming, discovered did not have mask securely fastened so after getting some salt water in my eyes (stings!) quickly regrouped and rearranged the mask. Started out again and in short order - really not far off shore at all started seeing all sorts of fishes - I think I'd seen all of these at the Maui Ocean Center a few days earlier but it was a blast seeing them as I was swimming with them. Headed towards Black Rock and soon made a few discoveries - with your head down in the water its easy to lose track of your location with respect to things on the surface - found myself closer to the rocks and/or further out from shore than I had intended to be a few different times. Also managed to get into areas where things were too shallow / undersea rocks too close to me and had to fight the current a bit to get myself into less hazardous locations. Finally learned the hard way to keep head close to the surface and not let the top of the snorkel go under the waves - got a few mouthfuls of seawater for my trouble. In any case, I was mor or less having a great time - seeing lots of fish, water pretty clear, but it was around this point that disaster struck. For some reason that I'll never quite understand, I neglected to take off my wedding ring before I entered the water. Well, the ocean took care of that for me in the worst way possible - I didn't see it coming off but I sure felt it leave my finger - in 40 or 50 feet of water. I could see the bottom clearly from the surface but if the ring made it down onto the sand, or not, I couldn't spot it. It was almost certainly too deep for me to dive on my own in any case, but there were scuba divers nearby and I'd have asked one of them for help if I could have at least located the ring. But had to accept the fact that the ring was gone - truly gone - and after yelling and cursing into my snorkel for a few minutes, decided it was time to make lemonade from lemons and continue on with my snorkel to see and enjoy as much as I could. Eventually made it around the point of Black Rock and to the small cove that it forms to the north. Here got a great thrill as there were two huge sea turtles in clear view frolicking around which was the highlight of this snorkel by far. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a balancing act trying to keep my distance from the rocks and the turtles, while also trying to not get too far off shore, and at this point was weighing my options if I wanted to head north out of the cove or back out of the cove to the south. Since I had been in for about an hour and was getting a bit tired, elected to head back. Besides, it was my hope to go over to Whaler's Village and try and buy a replacement ring. So, headed back to shore - at this point, since the ocean was probably not done with me, a fin came off while I was still in the water and had to scramble to get it back - but as I did so the other fin came off and had to scramble and get it back too.

Finally made it back to shore sans wedding ring but with all snorkeling equipment in tow. Returned the snorkeling equipment, had the charge billed to my room and headed back to room, where I told DW what happened and she agreed to come with me to Whaler's Village to try and get a replacement. So we walked down the beach path over there and went into the first place that looked like a Jewelry shop. Described the ring I wanted and they didn't have it, but pointed us towards another shop that might. Long story short, four or five shops later we left empty handed and walked back to the hotel. On the walk back I called the store back in LA where I had originally bought the ring, they looked up my customer information, saw the ring I had bought, had the same ring in the same size and put it away for me to pick up on Thursday, the day after our planned return to LA (which I've since done - huge sense of relief but still P/O'd to have lost the actual ring from my wedding ceremony).

That evening we drove over to Front Street to attend the Feast at Lele luau. Yes, the second luau of our trip but DW wanted to try multiple luaus and its not every day we can attend them, so why not? Found parking just south of there in a lot marked for 3 hours. We wandered into the shopping center where the luau is held and found a member of the luau's staff, who confirmed it was ok to park where we did even though we'd be there longer than 3 hours. Got our seating card but were about 20 or 30 minutes too early to be seated so decided to explore the shops. A couple of art galleries near the entrance to the Luau so we spent most of our time in one of them, which I believe was named "505 Gallery" - knowing some galleries don't like people taking photos of the art, I asked the guy who I think was the owner if it was ok to do so - he turned out to be a really cool guy - he said something like "sure, go ahead. Some galleries don't want you to but I say 'Crap, why not?'" As we browsed around and took interest in various pieces he came by and explained various aspects to us of the pieces - the painting techniques, reproduction techniques etc. I'm sure he would have liked us to buy something but things were a bit out of our price range and he didn't pressure us at all. The art here was quite cool and he had several pieces by an artist I don't know his name but he makes vividly painted bronze frog sculptures in various sizes - I've seen him back home and saw his work at several shops in Maui as well (https:/…DSC_2289.jpg). In any case we wandered over to the other gallery next door and they had some cool pieces as well, but most here was really quite pricey. By then it was time to enter the Luau.....

Got to give myself a quick compliment here - booking this Luau early was SOOOOOOOO worth it. We were right up next to the stage, front and center and close enough to nearly reach out and touch some of the dancers, no other patrons in front of us. Like the Old Lahaina Luau, the setting here was lovely, stunning (https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-u4m7xJyvse8/Uj-7mNWFHjI/AAAAAAAAKb8/4jyZ-ri5POg/w1298-h862-no/DSC_2320.jpg and https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-1QEmOUOHInI/Uj-7uhAbeNI/AAAAAAAAKdM/uLsTyrXCMT0/w572-h861-no/DSC_2388.jpg) - no words to describe it really but unlike the other luau, this one is smaller and more intimate. I would guess they only seat about half the number of people. We were actually in proper chairs this time, no sitting on the ground on cushions. Some notable differences between the Feast at Lele and the Old Lahaina Luau:

a) At Lele, dinner served in courses, by waiters. Its all you can eat (you can request more of any food you like) but its not buffet style. Its a five course meal plus desert.

b) Like the Old Lahaina Luau, at Lele most drinks are free, but unlike Old Lahaina, at Lele certain wines are an extra charge - still, the usual Mai Tai / Lava Flow / Pina Colada & other mixed drinks are included in the price.

c) At Lele, a nice printed menu describes each course - each course is themed from a different geographic area - Hawaii, Polynesia, Samoa, and New Zealand if I recall correctly, and suggests a wine pairing for each - I believe all the suggested wines were an extra charge but did not check.

d) At Lele, the pre-show cultural demonstrations are much more modest than at Old Lahaina - a small area where totem poles / wood carvings and some small bone / ivory jewelry and other similar necklaces / bracelettes were being made (and of course, sold), but that was it. Not really any demonstrations of any other cultural aspects. (https:/…DSC_2316.jpg)

e) At Lele, unlike at the Old Laihana Luau, the pig is nowhere to be seen. You don't see it being cooked, removed from the earthen mound, etc. For all I know the Kalua pork you're eventually served at least started out as cuts of pork from Safeway.

The general consensus I had read on Trip Advisor while researching luaus on Maui was that the Old Laihana Luau had the best entertainment, but the food was just "typical Luau food", while the Feast at Lele had better food but more modest entertainment. To be honest, I'm not sure I really agree with this.

I would agree that (from my limited Luau experience) Old Laihana's food was more typical - Feast At Lele's was different and I guess tries to pass itself off as better or even gourmet, but to our (perhaps unsophisticated) palettes, we did not find Feast At Lele's food to be consistently better. Some of it was simply not to our liking at all. I will say that their kalua pork, whereever it came from, was better than Old Laihana's - Lele's had a really deep, smokey, salty flavor that was excellent. The other dish that stood out for being good was a ceviche made from Ono (Hawaiin Mackerel). A duck salad served as part of one of the other courses was pretty good. Like the Old Laihana Luau, I didn't find them taking advantage on the liquour front - I'd expect any place that gives you all you can drink liquor for a set price to serve watered down drinks, but the Lava Flows I had here did not skimp on the rum.

As to the entertainment aspect of the luau, I did not find Lele's entertainment to be any worse, at all. I think they probably did fewer numbers but I didn't count. We had the best seats you can get at both Old Laihana and Lele, and at Lele we were soooooo much closer. That, combined with sunset this day being the best and most colorful of our seven on Maui, and whatever lighting the Luau added, and I got some really spectacular shots of the performances (https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LSCWe4d5iMk/Uj-72gW3LSI/AAAAAAAAKek/ky4bhX_1gAQ/w572-h861-no/DSC_2450.jpg and https:/…DSC_2438.jpg and https:/…DSC_2453.jpg and https:/…DSC_2530.jpg and https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LEfOr7Nm8rQ/Uj-7xcV5VgI/AAAAAAAAKds/icG312eD7_c/w1298-h862-no/DSC_2425.jpg). I'd also say that one of the finale acts of the entertainment at Lele was a fire dancer, which (if I recall correctly) they did not have at Old Laihana, and this was, by far, the best act of either Luau (https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-asMt-frJ8bk/Uj-9USUTLHI/AAAAAAAAKjk/sOm1kvZ0gTQ/w572-h861-no/DSC_2677.jpg and https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-bqxsuZoltPs/Uj-9RuY6NqI/AAAAAAAAKjI/lZ-YbmRxRZk/w572-h861-no/DSC_2670.jpg)

After the luau, headed back to the hotel room to rest for our last full day on Maui.

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6. Re: Honeymoon Trip Report Part 2 -- Maui

Day 10, Tuesday 9/17: Lei making class at Whaler's Village, Kapalua, Ritz Carlton, Dragon's Teeth, more chill time at hotel

Our last full day on Maui - we were a bit more tired than usual so woke up a bit later and took a bit longer in our morning gym/breakfast/shower routine than we had on other days. Planned for a relaxing day today - first attend a Lei making class at Whaler's Village, second drive north of Kaanapali to the north part of West Maui which we had not really seen yet, and then to head back to the hotel for some last chance pool / jacquizi time.

Walked over to Whaler's Village to attend a Lei making class. This was done in the center's courtyard - a nice lady provided us with string, needles and flowers and showed us how to thread the needle and how to properly use the needle to get the flowers onto the string, one by one. Really only took us 15 minutes or so to make our own Lei's, but was pretty cool to do it. (https:/…DSC_2722.jpg)

Before we left, we'd remembered that we'd spent the requisite $100 at the Honolulu Cookie Co., so took our rewards card there to get our free box of cookies.

Then back to the hotel where we spent some time consulting the portion of the Maui Revealed book that covered the area in question to see where we wanted to go, exactly. Settled on trying to see the "dragons teeth" rock formations near the Ritz Carlton. Couldn't figure out from looking at Google Maps exactly where the book was suggesting to park for this, so entered something that seemed close by into my phone's GPS and we set off.

I think GPS had us on highway 30 (Honoapiilani Highway) until around Napili, then had us turn toward the coast and take Lower Honoapiilani road. By the time we were on this latter road, it was pretty clear we were in yet another ritzy part of Maui. When we arrived at the point I'd programmed into the phone, we managed to find free parking in short order next to the golf course. We started walking toward what seemed like the peninsula where it looked from the map that Dragon's Teeth was. This took us across the golf course where we encountered an attendant who spoke to us in a hard-to-understand thick accent but seemed to be trying to direct us to certain paths to see the rocks - the only words he said that we clearly understood were something like "ball hit you, your problem". So decided to pay a bit more attention to where we were and to be on the lookout for any flying golf balls.

Eventually found the Dragons Teeth rocks and headed down to take a closer look. Very cool lava rock formations that yes, indeed, do look a bit like teeth (https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-etpu36h9tUY/Uj-9o0NNTzI/AAAAAAAAKmY/FVA7rLjtKvc/w572-h861-no/DSC_2794.jpg and https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-x20m74OoMM0/Uj-9pjRiX_I/AAAAAAAAKmg/QsbUBuzF1Ys/w572-h861-no/DSC_2806.jpg). A nice beach (I think DT Flemming) off in the distance to the north (https:/…DSC_2773.jpg). A bit slippery and muddy in parts, with lots of crashing waves to make some pretty nice photos. The most spectacular wave was the last I photographed as it managed to get both me and my camera with a good amount of spray (https:/…DSC_2819.jpg)

After this we decided to take a restroom break before heading back, and walked to the most promising building off in the distance, which turned out to be the Ritz Carlton hotel. Very, very nice place as you'd might expect - certainly more modern than the Sheraton where we were staying but set way further back from the beach (which isn't quite as nice there) for reasons explained in the Maui Revealed book. We decided to get lunch at their pool bar which was good food (best Lava Flow we had while on Maui -- ) but probably the worst "bang for the buck" meal we had on Maui - it was quite overpriced. While we were waiting at our sunny table for some food, it started to drizzle. Our waiter urgently waived us over to the bar area - very nice of her since she must have known from experience what was coming - a torrential downpour that lasted for 7 or 8 minutes followed by about 5 minutes of cloudiness,then sunshine again. So we ate at the covered bar area. One notable thing is we ordered a fruit plate which included Dragon Fruit - something I'd seen before but neither DW or myself had ever tried before - I'd describe the part you actually eat as a bit like an inside-out strawberry, since lots of seeds inside but the flesh had a strawberry-like texture. The flavor, however, was pretty mild and not that notable. On the other hand, the exterior of the fruit is gorgeous and colorful.

We then walked back to hotel, and used the pool for a bit. It got a bit chilly and windy at this point (overall I'd say the weather this day was the worst we had on Maui) so we made an unplanned visit to the jacquizi to warm up, then back to hotel room to get ready for dinner. After that, walked along the beach path to the Kaanapali Beach Hotel for one last meal / dinner show at Tiki Terrace. This time DW had stuffed shrimp while I went for the Ahi tuna again. Both were excellent. Decided to skip the Lava Flows this time and stuck with water and ice tea - as much as we liked this restaurant, the Lava Flows here were the weakest we had while on Maui.

Next, I went into the Kaanapali Beach Hotel's lobby, next to the restaurant, to use the restroom and while there noticed that one of the shops in the lobby had a particular bracelette we'd bought four of earlier but had been looking for more of ever since to bring as souveniers for more of my wife's friends. So we hung out for about 10 minutes at this gift shop and bought a few more of these bracelettes.

Then walked back to the room, and spent the rest of the evening downloading photos onto the laptop and packing everything we weren't going to need the next morning. Then called guest services to arrange a 6AM wakeup call.

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7. Re: Honeymoon Trip Report Part 2 -- Maui

Day 11, Wednesday 9/18: Aloha and Mahalo, Maui

Got up early, went and used gym for about a half an hour. Ate some food we'd bought at ABC previously for breakfast. Did our final packing, put our luggage in the car and checked out of hotel (found out AAA rate gave us $100 credit - nice surprise to end trip). Walked back to car and hit the road back towards the airport around 9:30 AM. Stopped for gas near the home depot in Kihei and bought a few snacks for the plane ride. Then drove a few more minutes and managed to make our way back to Enterprise where we returned their car and got their shuttle back for the airport.

A few things about OGG that could have been better. USDA was there x-raying luggage looking for fruits and veggies - these stations were separate from TSA security so an extra line to go through and seemed to me like they could have combined so passengers only had to go through one line. Oh well. Other annoying thing was TSA here insisted that your clear bag with liquids be removed from luggage and placed in one of the trays that you pass through security. A bit unexpected and yet another thing to fiddle around with (in addition to shoes, emptying pockets, removing laptops from bags etc.) while going through security - something that TSA at LAX and SFO had not made us do. In any case the security line at OGG was long but we made it through in 10-15 minutes.

After that, as we walked through the terminal, even though don't usually go for airport food, we decided to grab a quick bite at a place called Stingray Joe's (I think). Interestingly, this was probably the most stereotypical 'island' type eatery we saw on Maui - surf boards, Tiki, the whole works. We ordered nachos and onion rings. The former were excellent - a very unhealthy indulgence but we had leftovers for the plane too. Then made our way over to the gate, where we met another couple from Riverside, CA, who we chatted with for a while - they had stayed at a condo in South Maui, in or near Wailea I think. Boarding the plane was delayed about 30 minutes while an unspecified "maintenance issue" was worked on, and we took off about a half hour late, but airline schedules seem so padded these days, plane still made it back to our gate at LAX a few minutes early.

When we arrived in baggage claim, had a bit of difficulty finding our driver but managed to in short order. A quick drive later and we made it home - happy to be back, sad to leave Maui behind but hoping to be back one day.

https:/…DSC_2915.jpg

Maholo, Maui!

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8. Re: Honeymoon Trip Report Part 2 -- Maui

P.S. sorry some photo links may not be directly clickable - not sure why some are and some aren't - in any case I will try and post a corrected link to all of the photos later tonight.

Edited: 23 September 2013, 15:51
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9. Re: Honeymoon Trip Report Part 2 -- Maui

Wow--very detailed report!

Next time, please don't go to "Dragon's Teeth". This is a sacred site to Hawaiians. Not your fault that MR recs it.

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10. Re: Honeymoon Trip Report Part 2 -- Maui

I agree...very detailed!

Yes..the reason they said ball hits you, your fault is because you are actually trespassing on the golf course...and the description of the waves splashing you...you are lucky. It is an area that rogue waves have hurt and even killed people sweeping them out to the ocean. Many reasons not to go there, unfortunately it is recommended to people and people don't know.

Sounds like you saw and did a lot. Glad you enjoyed your time!