We’re back from Maui! Mia is pleased to come home again as well. Maui is not really what I expected it to be. I was imagining lots of beaches, beaches for miles, surfers, villas and small houses, and a bunch of Sarah Marshall going on. It wasn’t really like that at all. In fact, Maui is pretty built up… we went to a Walmart and did lots of shopping at Safeway for example. I thought it to be a little too built up for my taste at first, but then we saw the countryside on the road to Hana.
Our hotel wasn’t very good, it was just very run of the mill and it didn’t have a beach front. What kind of hotel doesn’t have a beach in Hawaii? It was a Marriott, and we did use points to stay there, but if we hadn’t we wouldn’t have stayed in that hotel or in that area (Wailea) since it was a much quieter area. The place to be is Kaanapali which is more north of Wailea but still on the west coast with nice beaches and lots of availability to water sports and tours. Since the hotel was just Mehh, we really got out and about a lot – we just drove to beaches and ate out at restaurants (hotel food was not good and super over priced). This is the most adventurous/self-sustaining we’ve ever been while on a vacation. I’m sure other people go to grocery stores and stock up on waters, snacks, lunch sandwiches etc, while on vacation but this was our first time based on fear. We were really afraid that we’d end up spending a million dollars if we weren’t careful. Because of this new lifestyle, I’m pretty sure we saved a ton of money compared to what it could have been. The one day we ate lunch at the pool it cost us $65 for lunch and Abe had a couple drinks, the next day we took huge and tasty sandwiches and stuff to the beach for only $20. The one night we ate dinner at the hotel (our first night) was close to $100 and it was also not good. Later we found a few local delicious restaurants where we could eat for much less than that – try Monkeypod
if you are ever in Wailea, it’s awesome! There was a good combination of cafes, breakfast joints, store bought meals, pizza, Coffee Bean, and special restaurants, etc. Everything there can be macadamia nut crusted as well… I’m sick of macadamias.
Another major money saver for us in Maui was all the stuff we did for little to no cost. It might be because we typically do tours and group stuff everywhere we go – we always do the group snorkel trips, or a boat ride, or horseback riding or whatever. Generally on vacations we’ll spend up to $500 on tours, which sounds crazy. This time we didn’t do any tours but it was really helpful that we had a car on this vacation (you totally need a car in Maui, bring your own gps or use your iphone). We went to the top of a volcano to view a sunrise at 3am $10 park entrance, rented snorkel gear for the day $11 per person, went to see the Iao Valley Needle $5 park entrance fee, drove the road to Hana $20 for the cd and $10 to park at one of the locations. That availability of stuff to do and see in Maui is great. The only thing that we didn’t get to do, which I wanted to, was a snorkel tour to Molikini where there is an island nature preserve and you can swim with sea turtles. Being pregnant sort of limited our activities anyhow, but the more limiting factor was the short period of time that we were there. Next time we go to Hawaii, we’ll go for longer and try to see more than 1 island.
My favorite island activity was this Pipiwai Trail to the Waimoku Falls at the end of the road to Hana (a long winding road with a plethora of things to see and places to stop). It was amazing. You start off on this nice moderate hike, and then suddenly the forest becomes all bamboo. The bamboo is so tall and thick that the sunlight is completely blocked out. It was really hot and humid and mosquito-y, but it was one of the most amazing things that I’ve ever seen. It was really hard work for me, and when we were done I seriously wanted to die. Carrying around 12 extra pounds all in the front while hiking over rocks and whatever on an 80 something degree day was a challenge. I think that night and the next day are the most physically exhausted I’ve ever felt, I think Abe felt the same way, it was not a beginner activity.
This is also the most active that we’ve ever been while on a vacation. Normally it’s all about eating, but this time it was more all about seeing and doing.
This is kind of scary. When I went to Maui my stomach was big, but now that I’m back it’s even bigger. The bottom has dropped out or something and I think my belly button is about to do something weird, the pressure around it is crazy. I wore a bikini most of the time at the pool or at the beach, I only wore my tankini once – and Abe had a stomach bug that day so he didn’t get to enjoy the view. Bikinis were more comfortable though in the end.
Maui is great, not my very favorite place that I’ve been but I did really enjoy myself there and it’s unlike any other place that I’ve seen.