Sunday, October 27, 2019

Maui Part 1

   We are back from our week in Maui and it. was. amazing. Truly, even better than I could have imagined. AJ and I have always wanted to go to Hawaii. We were beginning to plan a trip there in 2015 for our 1 year anniversary, but decided it would be too costly at that time (so we went to Lake Tahoe instead. That was pretty great too). Well, the stars aligned for a 5 year anniversary trip this year. We had a whole week for Fall Break (that has never happened before, and I doubt it will again!), two sets of grandparents free to care for Hank for the week, and a great deal booking through Costco Travel and we were Hawaii bound! I did lots of research before we left and it all went off without a hitch. Now the only question remains (as I type watching the snow fall), when can we go back?!

I decided to document our trip into 3 recaps....1 (this one), for our arrival and first 2 days. Then, a Road to Hana post. Finally, our last few days and Luau. Ok, here we go......

AJ's parents were in town for the weekend and watched Hank Sunday through Wednesday morning. AJ's dad brought us to the airport at 4 am. In the freezing cold. Yikes. I cried the night before knowing we would miss Hank tremendously but I knew he was in great hands. AJ and I needed this time together. Our fall has been SO BUSY at 100 miles and hour, that many days, we feel like ships in the night, passing for a quick second amidst our busy days. We were psyched for some "just us" time and we were looking forward to some kid-free dating! Can I get an amen! After a quick layover in San Francisco, we arrived in Maui at around noon-ish. We wore long sleeves and jeans and by the time we got out of the airport, we were roasting! It was a balmy 85-90 degrees every day we were there.

We got our rental car and hit the road! We were sooo hangry (yes, with an "a"), that we asked the rental car guy what would be a quick, authentic lunch. His suggestion did not disappoint, we hit up Poi by the Pound for an amazing Hawaiian plate lunch. We were excited to discover that the restaurant was right next door to Costco so we hit it up for some bottled water for the week and some Hawaiian snack treats to take home and enjoy for the week (macadamian nut popcorn has changed my life). It was about an hour drive to our hotel from there. The drive was beautiful, I had no idea Maui was so mountainous.

The hotel was wonderful and of course they presented us with shells and "aloha" greetings at check in. We immediately changed into summer clothes and packed away our jeans never to be seen again all week. Haha. We set out to explore the grounds just as the sun was setting. We got to watch the traditional tiki lighting ceremony and cliff divers show from Black Rock. It was dramatically narrated with Hawaiian music, I felt like I was at Disneyland.

We walked along the beach, discovered Whaler Village (an outdoor mall), and just enjoyed the warm weather and amazing scenery. We ended up back at the hotel bar for some tropical drinks and nachos before crashing into bed. There is a 4 hour time change, so our 9:00 bedtime was really 1 am in Utah. We were beat after having been up nearly 24 hours!

The next morning we hit up the breakfast buffet where I discovered my deep love for guava juice. Seriously, I could not get enough. One of the perks of our vacation package (in addition to a free ocean view room, holla for Costco travel!), was breakfast every day. I pictured your standard continental breakfast fare. I was wrong. Between the amazing omelette station, the incredible fresh fruit, the pastries, eggs, every breakfast meat and sweet you could imagine, we loved it!

We headed to the beach/pool and proceeded to park ourselves there for approximately 5 hours. Seriously. We tried some new drinks, played in the surf, floated in the lazy river, and read beachside. It was perfection.

Look what restaurant was at our pool!!! Hank's Haute Dogs! 

After a brief power nap, we headed back to Whaler's Village for a "lunner" at Hula Grill on the water. I had an Asian chicken sandwich that I'm still dreaming about. We discovered there was a complimentary shuttle from our resort area (Kanapaaili)  to the town of Lahaina (about 15 minutes away), so we hopped on and explored there for the evening.

. Lahaina was bustling with fun shops and restaurants. Seeing the Banyan tree in the park there was on my list and it was incredible. One tree has 16 different trunks/trees growing off of it. It was beautiful. Shaved ice was also on our must do list so we found Ulani's shaved ice and it was heavenly. We both had macadamian nut ice cream under our ice. AJ got tropical rainbow flavor and I got pineapple coconut with toasted coconut on top. BLISS!

We fell into bed early that night tired from the sun and fun. Plus we had a 5:30 am wake up call the next morning for the Road to Hana! Until next time!
Savor Your ALOHA,

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