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Trip Report Dec 25th thru Jan 1st

Iowa
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440 posts
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Trip Report Dec 25th thru Jan 1st

Day One Wednesday Dec 25th We arrived in Maui at 3:30pm Maui time. We flew US Air. Flight from Omaha to Phoenix was TERRIBLE! 1st they had to D-ice our plane then the air either wasn’t working properly or someone up front was cold because it was around 79F the whole way and bumpy and we got to smell D-ice fumes all the way! I had the B bag in my hands 3xs before we finally landed. Fortunately for us the flight from Phoenix to Maui was much better. They held the plane for a while for missing passengers but then finally let us take off. Needless to say we were missing probably 75 people and those of us on the plane got to spread out. I actually laid down and got to sleep for a few hours. So glad to get back on the ground though. Spent the next 3 hours getting rental cars and picking up other family members arriving from different places at different times. There ended up being 19 of us. I and DH and mother are from Iowa others from Dallas/Fort Worth, Phoenix, Seattle, Las Vegas and Australia. We had several rooms rented at the Marriott near the airport that night as our vacation rental home wouldn’t be ready till 3pm the next day. Had supper at the hotel as there wasn’t much of anything else opened that night near there. Food was good but it took FOREVER!! Super slow service. We all went to bed early as everyone was exhausted after the trip. The beds and service (other than the kitchen) were wonderful at the Marriott. They even stored our luggage till we could check in at our vacation rental.

Iowa
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1. Re: Trip Report Dec 25th thru Jan 1st

Day Two Thursday Dec 26th We all went out for breakfast at Denny’s restaurant near the airport. What can I say?? Food was terrible and so was the service!!! And we had a 2 ½ year old that wanted to really make a fuss so you think they would of wanted to get us out of there quick but no such luck :{ They were out of waffles, bacon and other things were completely cold and I ordered a fruit cup and mind you it cost $4.29 and had….. wait for it…. LOL 4 little pieces of pinnapple and 3 grapes!!! I kid you not! My cousin also ordered a fruit cup and all we could do was laugh!!! Oh well on to the day! We then drove over to Kihei and found our rental home :} perfect location right on the beach! Couldn’t wait to get there. We then went south in Kihei stopped first at a craft fair. Had to laugh there is a sign there that says craft fair today 9 -4 Makes it sound like it is only there that day! LOL From there went further south to the larger shopping area with many stands. We had a great time browsing there and enjoying some shaved ice. Decided it was time for a late lunch and went to Rita’s. Great margaritas there. I had a ceasar salad with shrimp. It was wonderful! Quite a few of the others also had salads, some had fish. Everyone enjoyed their meals and drinks and service. Time to check into our house :} Beautiful property, with a large yard and pool. Lovely patio out back with a view of the ocean and sunset every evening. Took a quick inventory of spices and things in the house and a group of 4 of us off to Costco and Kmart for groceries. Almost $1,000. later back from a massive shopping trip quick supper and showers for everyone and off to bed.

Iowa
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2. Re: Trip Report Dec 25th thru Jan 1st

Day 3 Friday Dec 27th Fed everyone breakfast then we broke off into separate groups. I, DH, mom and a cousin decided to spend the day at Wailea beach. So we packed up our car and off we went :} It is a lovely beach with restrooms and shower available. I had brought a raft and floated for hours. It was wonderful!.. Exactly what I wanted to do in Hawaii. Just be and enjoy! We went for a very late lunch at Coconuts. It was delicious. We all either had shrimp or calamari. Then back to house for showers and rest and drinks. Spent a little time on the beach right in front of our home and watched the sunset. For supper that evening we grilled rib eye steaks that we had brought from Iowa and had mixed salad, fresh mixed fruit, garlic bread from artesian bread toasted on the grill, potatoes on the grill and a variety of drinks ranging from fresh margaritas and bloody marys to wine :} Was a great evening, we ate on the patio and just enjoyed being together.

Iowa
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3. Re: Trip Report Dec 25th thru Jan 1st

Day 4 Saturday Dec 28th We had a bus trip planned for everyone with Paradise Tours to go to Hana. Our drivers name was Bruce and he did a great job. I had a friend who had advised against taking a tour group to Hana. They had just driven it themselves… With 19 of us that would have meant several vehicles. I am so glad we went with the tour. We heard so many stories and facts and interesting things that otherwise we would have never known. And yes I know we could have gotten dvds to guide us, but I think the tour was a better choice for our group. Because our group was the whole van (they only hold 20) we got to stop anywhere we wanted. I don’t think we missed anything except we didn’t get to swim in the seven pools as the nights before it had rained a lot and they were too dangerous to get into. :{ Oh well they still made for neat photos. We ate at the Hana café. With that many of us we had a large variety of meals and everyone enjoyed theirs. I had a fish sandwich and it was great. We took the back roads back. Amazing that such a beautiful island can have such a dissolute area. At lunch we visited with a tow truck driver. He said that some tows on the Hana road cost people as much as $1,000 and that the vacationer is responsible for that and also any damages to the vehicle as they are on an unapproved road according to most rental contracts. Another reason I am glad we were on a tour bus! I am a pretty brave driver and have driven in several foreign countries however I was glad to take a pass on that road after traveling it. I know I also got more time to enjoy looking at everything other than having to only watch the road driving. Another advantage of the bus to ourselves is that he picked us up and dropped us off right at our home :} It was an another fun day and we went home to showers and cooking hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill for the bunch and I made a huge plate of guacamole which was gone instantly. Fresh avocadoes are so good!

Iowa
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4. Re: Trip Report Dec 25th thru Jan 1st

Day 5 Sunday Dec 29th Some of the group went to mass at the Catholic Church on south Kihei road. Came back to the house for brunch then most went off to Lahaina. They had a large Art Fair thing going in the main square area. Being a photographer I really enjoyed it. Spent most of the day there shopping all the cool shops and of course hitting a few of the local cafes. I enjoyed shaved ice again. I think I lost count how many times I had it and where :} What can I say, you don’t get that in Iowa in the winter! We all reported back to the house by 2 and most all the others got ready for family photos. Time to earn my keep! The main reason for this trip was my cousin’s 50th wedding anniversary. I was honored to be invited as I was their flower girl at their wedding and now I was their photographer for their anniversary. They all met me and DH (he was my assistant for the day) on the beach right in front of our rental home. I did a full family shoot with special photos of the happy couple and others. Wish I could always work on a beautiful beach like this! :} At 5:30 we had a catered meal ready at the house complete with wedding cake. We had a huge party that night and a really great time.

Iowa
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5. Re: Trip Report Dec 25th thru Jan 1st

Day 6 Monday Dec 30th Got up super early and drove to take the early whale watching tour with the Pacific Whale Foundation. There was a group of 8 of us that went there. Had a great time and it was very informative. Saw whales in the first 15 minutes. Got some fun shots of whale tails. No full breach but still a good time. I really enjoyed when they put the hydrophone into the water and we got to listen to them at the same time as watching them. Another group of 7 drove North that day and did some touring that way. After the whale watch we went back to the house and I enjoyed a long nap :} while others hit the beach. Later after my nap I again went and spent time on the beach right in front of our home. That night we grilled Iowa smoked chops and fresh pineapple. It was amazing! We had a late night with some fun card games and drinks.

Iowa
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6. Re: Trip Report Dec 25th thru Jan 1st

Day 7 Tuesday Dec 31st Got up early again and I & DH & 3 cousins took the ferry to the island of Lanai. Spent the day on the beach there and snorkeling. Excellent snorkeling. The coral is not near as colorful as Honduras but I was very impressed with all the different species of fish that we saw. I found it interesting that there is nowhere at the dock or on the beach of Lanai to buy any refreshments. We didn’t go into the town area as we went there for the snorkeling. As a major bonus that day on the ferry on the way back to Lahania we saw many whales and one pod of spinner dolphins. I didn’t get any good shots of the dolphins :{ trouble with a ferry is that they won’t stop to let you look at them. That afternoon a group of 4 of us women decided we needed a girl’s time out and we drove to Paia and surfed the shops there. It was great fun! And of course had shaved ice there before leaving. Stopped at a couple of beaches so I could get some shots of that side of the island. We all met back at the house for supper and intended to watch all the local fireworks. Unfortunately I didn’t make it :{ I was just too tired and went to bed! Several of the others stayed up to watch.

Other thoughts… It took me several nights before I slept decent. I am not used to all the traffic noise and no air conditioning. Where I live in the country if you heard that much traffic at night you would be up and looking because they would coming to your home! Also, I would like to hunt up and kill the stupid rooster that needed to start at 4:30 every morning! Also there is some bird that sounds like a cross between a hawk call and a dog bark :} These must be pretty common on Maui as we heard them a lot. We all would have like to get rid of it also by the end of the week. LOL

Iowa
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7. Re: Trip Report Dec 25th thru Jan 1st

Day 8 Wednesday Jan 1st Everyone up and getting the house in order and packing. We have to check out of our wonderful adopted home by 11:00. The first two need to be at the airport by 8am. One cousin will be leaving first thing on the 2nd so he has a room reserved at the Marriott again. This works out great as it gives us all a place to store all of our luggage till we need to go. We drop off the luggage and continue on to Paia. After our girls day there everyone else wanted to check out fun little town. We did a little shopping then we went to Charley’s to eat. Things kind of got interesting there. There was 19 of us, we walked in and one waitress (a gal about 60 with very curly hair) sat 5 of our group in a booth and assured the rest of us that we would have seats shortly. Before the rest of us totally got seated another waitress (about 40 with longer dark hair) very VERY rudely told the group of 5 to get up and get out as they were not just supposed to come in and sit down! They tried to explain to here that the other waitress had sat them there and they even had menus, but she RUDELY wouldn’t even let them explain!! Had the rest of us realized what exactly had went on I don’t think we would of stayed there. As it was the older waitress had found a table for another 5 of us and we were busy sitting down. After a brief discussion of do we leave or do we stay we stayed as we had went there just to eat at Charley’s……. We just made sure to request that we all had the older waitress as no one wanted to have or tip the younger one! I had Poke there and LOVED it! Didn’t know if I would or not as I am not a big sushi eater. Also had the Coconut Mahi Mahi sandwich with mango salsa. It was very good. DH had fish and chips and it also was good. From there we stopped to explore a couple of the beaches on that side of the island and get one last look of that beautiful ocean :{. Back to the Marriott where some had to pack up and head for the airport. I & DH and several others went down to enjoy the pool for a few hours. When the next group was set to head for the airport, I and DH & mom and 2 cousins drove back over to Kihei for one last shaved ice at our favorite place. Then had supper at the Taco House or Taco something. Right on the main drag. We all had fish tacos there and then headed back to the Marriott to clean up and head for the airport. Our flight took off at 10:05pm :{ Goodbye Maui! I sit here tonight writing this report and the wind is blowing so hard outside. Our temperature right now is -11*F with wind chill down to -40F. Many of our schools are called off for tomorrow because of the chance of frost bite….. Wow I miss Maui and hope that I get to go again someday. The week just flew by! I am partial to winter vacations in Mexico but I really enjoyed seeing some of Hawaii. Next time I would definitely like to go longer and go to Pearl Harbor. I would have really liked to fit it in this trip but you can only do so much in so few of days!

Nanaimo, Canada
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8. Re: Trip Report Dec 25th thru Jan 1st

What a celebration! And so glad to hear you took lots of pictures. Wonderful to have those memories to look back on next winter if you are stuck in the snow!

I am sure the weather played havoc with a lot of travelers that week. So good that you got out when you did!

Kapaa, Hawaii
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for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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9. Re: Trip Report Dec 25th thru Jan 1st

Wow, such a big group and it sounds like it went off like clockwork!! Thanks so much for the report.

Maui
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for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
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10. Re: Trip Report Dec 25th thru Jan 1st

Sounds like a great trip! Glad it all worked out and you had your Iowa pork (and beef?) too, LOL!