I kept a handwritten journal throughout our trip so I wouldn’t forget anything…it’s detailed enough to write my own guidebook, and probably far too detailed to keep your interest, but should you ever visit this paradise you’ll have more advice than you’ve ever hoped for. I’ll try to eliminate as much as possible to keep it shorterand sweet. Here we go.
It’s Friday morning on the first week of our honeymoon and I’m on a private, secluded beach in Maui. I’m pretty sure I’ve either died and gone to heaven or found paradise. Chris and I thought about not coming to Hawaii for our honeymoon even though my parents gave us free plane tickets here, simply because it’s such a typical honeymoon destination. Just as stereotypes usually have some truth to them we now see why this is a huge romantic ‘hot spot’, and thank God we came. We flew out Tuesday, Oct 5th from Boston at 7:40am. From there we had a relatively short layover in Dallas, and then we had a 7+ hour flight to Maui. We arrived at 3PM Hawaiian time, which is 9PM our time. The time difference has been BRUTAL. The latest we’ve managed to stay up thus far has been 9PM. Lame. After we got our bags and Chris grabbed some Starbucks in the airport, we went and picked up our rental car. I rented a Jeep Wrangler through AAA. Unfortunately when we got there we realized Hertz only has 4 dr Jeeps…go with Avis if you want a 2 dr. We drove to our condo in the Kamaole Sands resort in Kihei. It’s towards the center of the island and right across the street from the beach. Auntie Kathy’s godson owns the condo and she and Uncle Leo gave our stay there to us for part of our wedding gift. Not a bad gift, huh? It’s a two bedroom and it’s worked out great so far. It’s nice to have the condo because we’ve made bagels and english muffins for breakfast every morning, and it has things like beach towels and chairs that we wouldn’t have had if we were in a resort. We checked into the condo, headed across the street to the beach, and watched teh sunset. We have since found out that Kihei has the best view of the sunset, so we were spoiled from the beginning. It was amazing-the sun was so much bigger than it’s ever looked in Rhody, and it looked as though it was being swallowed into the ocean as it set. The sun sets at about 6PM every night, the temperature has been 85 with low humidity during the day and 75ish at night.
After the sun set the first night we drove around Kihei a bit and stopped for dinner at
-Maui Thai: Decent, inexpensive. Satisfying, but nothing to go out of your way for.
The next day we woke up around 3am and forced ourselves to stay in bed until 6:30am. Over bagels we picked up the night before and the realization that we didn’t have tea bags, I read through our guide book and plotted out the “must dos” and “must sees” for the week. At 8:30 we met at the pool in the condo and listened to Expedia try to sell us a million adventures. We gave in and signed up for a few. We had lattes at:
-Lava Java in Kihei: Sub-par lattes.
We then drove to Front Street in Lahaina, about 35 minutes away. The drive along the coastline was beautiful, the views were jaw-dropping. We had the ipod plugged into the jeep and the top down…it was perfect. The landscape changes so quickly here and is so diverse. I’d describe it, but the pictures really are worth a thousand words. We had lunch at a gem of a place:
-Aloha Mixed Plate: If you’re in Lahaina, a must visit—inexpensive, delicious and local.
We then parked and walked around the tourist trap of Maui–Lahaina’s shopping district. I wouldn’t call visiting here a must, but it’s a good day-between-activities stop. We had delicious gelato at:
-Ono gelato: Try the Maui Mokka, they make their own here and it’s great. They have a few locations on Maui.
We stopped at the Lahaina Mai Tai Lounge for a mai Tai and a Kona beer. The two drinks together were about $20 before tip, and not the best Mai Tai’s we’ve had—though they plaster “votest best Mai Tai in Maui” all over the place.
We finished walking around and headed back to Kihei, past it, and to Waikea. The area is really wealthy; Chris called Waikea the Manhattan Beach of Maui. The Four Seasons hotel is over there if that gives you an idea. The nice part is that it’s kind of deserted and away from the tourist stuff for the most part. We found a locals beach hidden behind some trees and stopped for a swim. The water was so clear you could see right to the bottom and the bottom was soft sand. Bev gave me a “bottom of the ocean” complex by making me wear water shoes and telling me about the creepy things that bite the few times she took me to Narragansett beach growing up. This is about the only combination that will get me in the water, and even then I envision killer crabs emerging from the sand and eliminating my big toe. We spent a few hours at the hidden beach, then went back to the condo for free Mai Tais by the pool. We took a bottle of wine to the beach across the street and watched the sunset,
followed by dinner at:
-Angelo’s in Kihei: Chris was craving Italian. This was not good, though Chris’s dish was admittedly better than mine. The chefs were Hawaiian…leave the Italian cooking to the Italian’s.
Thursday morning we woke up around 7am and still felt groggy. We had bagels and headed out for lattes, then stopped at another beach in Kihei to drink them. We went back to the condo, swam in the pool and got ready for ziplining. The zipline tour was a gift from Nick, Courtney, Billy and Stephy. We did the Skyline one in Lahaina. We’d already done a zipline adventure in Costa Rica, but the one in Lahaina put that one to shame. We checkedin, took an extremely bumpy off-road van up to the zips and they geared us up. We did a total of 8 zips, stopping after the first four for lunch, which consisted of a chicken sandwich, chips and salsa and brownies. It was catered by Cilantro in Lahaina and it was really good. Our guides were Patrick and Kaoki and they made it that much better. Kaoki had lived on Maui his entire life, and had never traveled off the island. He and Chris ended up exchanging phone numbers and he told us all of the best places to eat.
After zip lining we took an unplanned drive along the western coastline past Lahaina, through Ka’anapali and Kapalua, all the way to a yellow school bus perched on the edge of a massive cliff. We were probably in Kaha Kuloa based on the map. The views were the most spectacular I’ve ever seen, and I think there are probably very few people who visit Maui take advantage of this drive, and it was the most spectacular part of the island (looking back). Every switchback in the road brought a new type of vegetation. I could have stayed driving on that road forever, but after it turned into a very narrow one-lane section at the edge of a probably 1200-1500′ cliff. I started my first and only panic attack of the honeymoon (that’s a huge exaggeration, but I was seconds away from peeing myself). The curves were extremely sharp and you couldn’t see if a car was coming from the other direction along this ONE LANE road, and locals have no hesitation in driving twice the safe speed to drive on that road. We later found out it’s called “divorce road” among the locals…go figure. Despite being a little anxious during the drive, it was fabulous and a must-do if you visit the island.
Chris and I changed into presentable clothes in the car and went to Betty’s beach cafe in Lahaina for dinner. We heard the food was good and there was a free view of the Luau next door. The view of the luau was as good as the view those that had paid had. Chris and I were both very disinterested in a Luau so we thought we’d take the free one. More on this later.
-Betty’s beach cafe: decent food, small portions, good free luau (we don’t think it’s worth paying for one, just go here if you want a view of one), strong/delicious drinks
Chris was feeling pretty good by the time we left so I drove the jeep back to the condo and we were asleep by 9PM again.