Thursday, February 20, 2014

Maui, Hawaii

Maui is such a beautiful and peaceful island and it is the 2nd largest Hawaiian island!  We like to mix things up so we started our adventure on Oahu where there is a lot more populated activities.  It was great to spend the last half of our vacation on Maui relaxing on the beach and taking in all the beauty!

Maui is separated into a few popular beach areas:

Lahaina is the area where we always spend the majority of our time.
There is a lot more to explore than what this map shows!
I always start the trip off (just like any) grabbing brochures and coupon books that seem worth looking through later:

Okay - I guess this is a "something different" activity you can do on Maui ;-)

#2 sounds fun and I have heard that #3 is awesome!!!

Of course I had to stop here!
The ad makes it seem as though its right in the area of the coffee fields.  But, its really just a small store in town...
They do have a variety of coffee for sale, samples (3 or 4 blends at any given time), and staff to help answer questions.  I enjoyed my visit even though it wasn't as big and beautiful as I had expected.

So many options to consider!

And a verity of coupons to work with.

As you can see, some coupons are more desirable than others.
I found these 4 in different booklets so I had a choice of what we wanted.
We used one with our meal and another with our shop purchase.

Amazing view from our resort balcony!!!  Royal Lahaina Resort never fails us!

I love ice water with a wedge of lemon!
Well, ice water with pineapple is awesome too!!
This was at the entrance to our resort.
Most of the days (smaller group on Sundays) we found a craft area in the resort lobby.  It was alike a market where locals could sell their hand crafted merchandise.  There were only 4 vendors but we were impressed.
Personalizing a tiki for us.  The tikis are very strong.
He is using one as a hammer to hit the chisel to carve into ours.

Making tikis.  Made out of Koa trees.
It is illegal to cut down Koa trees so they search the jungle for trees that have fallen.

It's hard to tell in this picture but:
Round eyes for protection.
Eyes up for happiness/love.
Eyes down for good luck.

Having a little fun close to Christmas.

Hanging out by the beach.  Lots of options for kids and adults.

The water was beautiful!

It was surfing season so, as you can tell in this photo, there was a strong undertow!
My daughter was pulled under shortly after taking this picture so we just played in the sand and then swam in the pools.
That was the case for most of our time on Maui.  It was even too strong for me!
We did see some surfing competitions take place :-)

View from our pool!

Swimming in the pool.  I highly recommend a waterproof camera for this vacation!

Coconut tree!
Did you know...?
Coconut trees start producing after 10 years.
They only produce about 11 coconuts the first year but about 50 each year after.
They produce year round.
I learned all of this at a luau (post to come later).

We found this beautiful thing on the ground at the local Costco.  They were all over.
I later found out that it is from a Hawaiian Autograph Tree.  Beautiful but apparently they cause problems.
There is a lot to do on Front Street in Lahaina:

The banyan tree in Courthouse Square.
Very interesting and beautiful in a unique way!

Of course we had to stop here!

Even the tiki's are rocking out in at Hard Rock!

Bracelets for a cause - Imagine a World Without Hunger.

Cool Cat Cafe is a fun place to eat.
It's on an upper level so you can people watch very easily while you eat.

And Cool Cat Cafe has delicious homemade onion rings!

And Hawaiian decorated hot dogs (my son refuses to have any bread with his hot dogs).
Other things to do on Maui:

  • The Road To Hana:  My Blog Post
  • Laua:  My Blog Post
  • Atlantis Submarine Adventure:  My Blog Post
  • Maui Pineapple Tours:  This looked very interesting and educational.  Unfortunately we did not have the extra time to check it out.  Plus, we had just visited the Dole Plantation on Oahu.
  • Sunset Dinner Cruise:  There are so many to pick from!  We did not do a dinner cruise this trip because my kids would have probably been bored.  We did go on a dinner cruise 10 years ago as part of a honeymoon package through our resort.  It was fun but the fruity drinks and the rocking boat didn't settle well with me.
  • Snorkeling:  So many places to snorkel and so many beautiful fish!!!  I highly recommend getting recommendations of safe places to snorkel.  You have to remember that there are sharks and other dangerous predators in the water.  One place that is very well know (but you need a boat to get to) is Molokini.  There are many tour options for this adventure!
  • Scuba Diving:  We have never done this but the opportunities are abundant - including classes to learn how.
  • There are a lot of places to shop!  The bigger chain stores (Costco, Krispy Kreme, Walmart, fast food, Whole Foods, ...) and a shopping mall with a movie theater are near the airport.  I was surprised to see that they had such a variety but no Target store...  We were specifically looking for one.  No Target means that I couldn't live there - LOL!

On the way to the airport I decided to purchase some pineapples to take home.
I had two advertisements and one was near our resort.   However, I didn't realize that until we were already by the airport.
So, I purchased some pineapples from this place.  It all worked out okay but it was above a gas station....
Really wish I would have checked the other place out!

I purchased 3 pineapples and they were packaged so that I could take them as a carry on.  The idea of hauling them around from one plane to the next wasn't appealing but I loved the idea of bringing home fresh Hawaiian pineapple!  We were lucky, the carry on area of the airplane was small so they let me check the pineapples free of charge (no need to see them again until I arrived to my final destination).  The pineapples:  the place I purchased them from already had them packaged so I could not see the condition they were in when I purchased them.  When I got home there was one in great condition and two that had soft spots (either from travel or they weren't great in the first place)...
Note:  Pineapples are supposed to last 1 week when refrigerated.  You can cut the pineapple and freeze it but that just wasn't the same.

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