Less than a month before our wedding, Scott and I went to Maui to celebrate his Uncle Tom and Aunt Lori’s 25th wedding anniversary (July 2017). I titled this blog “Part 1” because we will be returning to Maui for the wedding of our friends, Vince and Morgan, in March of 2018. Maui seems like a pretty great place to celebrate love, but it’s also a great place to have some adventures. Hopefully, “Part 2” will be full of totally different experiences on this incredible island!
This time, we stayed at a condo at the Maui Schooner Resort which is in Kihei. The beaches here are lovely and it’s a quieter part of the island. I definitely recommend it for people who like to stay out of the super touristy parts of the island. However, the rest of our family were staying at the Marriott Ocean Beach Club in Lahaina which is heart and center of tourist activity. Although these two resorts were a short distance apart, the traffic on HI-30 made for about an hour drive in between. Luckily, this highway is incredibly scenic and makes for pretty great ocean viewing.
For our first full day in Maui, we enjoyed the very family friendly pool at the Marriott and then swam in the ocean. It was hilarious to watch the waves force us all to take a tumble at some point. There was quite a bit of coral in the surf and eventually, I sliced my foot open and ended my ocean fun for the day (this seems to happen to me a lot). I took the opportunity to go snuggle my brand new, baby niece Alice and get ready for our first ever Luau.
The luau was at the neighboring Hyatt resort. We watched several performances which portrayed the history of island cultures (not just Hawaiian) and they saved the best for last: the fire dance, of course. The food was incredible and we ate too much, but the drinks were basically sugar bombs with no real alcohol in them.
The next day was my favorite day from this short trip. We took a Trilogy Snorkeling tour to Molokini Crater. They played Pirate and Moana music while we sailed away from the marina eating cinnamon rolls and drinking coffee. We took about an hour long catamaran ride and arrived at the Molokini Crater where there was incredible marine life and crystal clear waters to explore. They also offered professional photography and and snuba diving. On our way back to the main island, we took another stop to see massive sea turtles and eat a delicious BBQ chicken lunch. I got a little sea sick, but it was totally worth it. At the very end of the day, the captains turned off the engines and we did some true sailing back to the marina. The crew made this so fun and you can tell they really loved their jobs (I mean, who wouldn’t?).
After an exhausting day, we stopped at a fruit stand and went back to the condo. The mango and pineapple were out of this world! I also finally got to stick a straw in a coconut!
The next day, we did a little shopping at some of the markets and craft fairs in Kihei. I was on a mission to buy my bridesmaids all gifts and was able to find plumeria earrings for all of them. You can definitely find a lot of Larimar, pearl, mother of pearl and opal in jewelry stands throughout Hawaii. We ended our shopping experience at a restaurant called Three’s Bar and Grill which had AWESOME food and drinks and a fun, tropical sport’s bar type of atmosphere. That night, we got dressed up and went to Tom and Lori’s anniversary celebration in Napili Bay. Scott took a bunch of family photos and we had an incredible special menu at Sea House Restaurant for a night of celebrating.
On our final full day in Maui, we did The Road to Hana. We took our rented Jeep, Tahoe, and Old-Van-With-No-AC and drove them ALL day over winding roads and past incredible scenery. There are tons of hikes and adventures along this old road and views that take your breath away. Although any of these stops are said to be fun and exciting, we were heading for The Pools of Ohe’o (Seven Sacred Pools) in Haleakala National Park. You can no longer swim in The Pools, but it is still a sight worth seeing. There are cliffs, jungle hikes, waterfalls and sapphire blue oceans. There are also lots of fun places to eat on The Road to Hana. We stopped at a taco truck at the entrance to another park and it was DELICIOUS! They also had any kind of fruit smoothie you could ever want.
Until next time, Maui!