Monday, March 30, 2015

Mai-Tais & Makena {Maui, Part 4}

What is Maui without a little relaxation? I've definitely saved the best post for last - beautiful beaches, strong cocktails and an infinity pool with a view. Perfection! 

We spent the large part of 2 days just sipping drinks, reading and relaxing at the Wailea Marriott's pool.  We stayed at the same hotel for our honeymoon and they were nice enough to provide us with a free bottle of Cava as their gratitude for our return visit. 

Another thing was that we were in Maui at the peak of whale season, so we were able to watch them from the pool and even hear them when we were snorkeling!

We made one of our favorite stops on our last full day. We spent almost the entire day at Big Beach snorkeling, drinking pineapple wine, sunbathing and getting tossed around by some insane waves. You can't really tell from the pictures below, but it would be calm and all of a sudden, random swells would come in at 6-7 feet!

While staying in the Wailea/Kihei area, we ate at some delicious places. Our favorites were: Big Beach BBQ (pulled pork sliders on taro buns), Coconuts Fish Cafe (delicious fish tacos), Local Boys Shave Ice (don't forget a snocap!), Kumu Bar & Grill, Fabiani's and Wow Wow Lemonade (acai & pitaya bowls).

We BARELY made it back to Texas due to weather cancellations and delays, but somehow we did. It made us realize how much easier standby travel is in a sense. We called to see if we could move up our booked flight by one day from Maui to LAX and were told that it would be $400 to change! No thanks Hawaiian Airlines. Standby would have strangely made our lives much easier in this instance. 

I really think 9 days is the perfect amount of time to spend in Maui. We were able to explore the whole island while also getting in plenty of relaxation time. Maui is pretty amazing in the sense that there are STILL things we want to go back and do! Jason may have shed a few tears on our drive to the airport, so I know we'll be back. Mahalo Maui!

Up Next: We'll be headed to Toronto for a long weekend with friends! I am beyond excited to see them both! Pray we don't freeze!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Road to Hana {Maui, Part 3}

It's really no surprise that when people think of Maui, they think of the Road to Hana. It is one of the most beautiful drives we've ever taken with over 600 curves along the way. Thanks to a great deal we scored (thanks SWA!), we were able to rent a convertible and never was it more appreciated than on this day! 

There are literally hundreds of ways to organize your day, but this is what we did:

Mile Marker 9 (before Road to Hana starts) – Get an early start and head straight to Ho'okipa Beach. We saw a beautiful ceremony here. A surfer had died and a huge group was spreading his ashes out a sea.

Mile Marker 2 – Twin Falls. There is a stand for juice and fruit, but if you hike past this for a mile or so, you actually reach the falls. Be prepared to wade in thigh-high water to get there, but it was definitely worth it!

Mile 7 – Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees. Right off the road, easy to spot.

Mile Marker 10.2 – Ka Haku Smoke Shack. We had the BBQ chicken and pork combo with rice. Jason says this was his favorite meal of the entire trip! It doesn't look like much, but it was finger-licking delicious.

Mile Markers 14 - 16 - Good lookout points and family farm stands everywhere!

Mile Marker 19.5ish – Upper Waikani Falls

Mile Marker 17 1/3 – Halfway to Hana. Good stop for Banana Bread!

Mile Marker 23 – Lava Tube. This is right on the side of the road. No one else was there, so we felt like we were in on some secret adventure (rare on the Road to Hana). Make sure you have your phone's flashlight. It's pitch black in there!

Mile 27 1/2 - Coconut Glen's Ice Cream. Absolutely delicious (dairy-free) Coffee Toffee and Chocolate Ice Cream!

Mile Marker 32.2 - Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach & Lava Tube

Hana - We literally didn't even stop. There is apparently a red sand beach there, but we missed it!

Mile Marker 42 (Past Hana) - Ohe’o Gulch aka Seven Sacred Pools. We hiked up the Pipiwau Trail. It is a one mile hike (straight uphill), but the views are awesome. Just a tip: If you keep your receipt from your visit to Haleakala, you get free entry! (It's all part of the Haleakala NP system.)

We ended our day driving behind Haleakala, through Upcountry Maui and back to Wailea. We hit this last stretch of the drive when the lighting was just perfect. It was just stunningly beautiful. The pictures don't do it justice. If you do the Road to Hana, PLEASE make sure you drive all the way around!

Up Next: Our final Maui post. It will be about all things South Maui - Wailea & Kihei!