Maui, Days 0-3

Kara’s sister is getting married on Maui so we had a good excuse to head to Hawai’i. Even though the timing wasn’t perfect with my class schedule, we decided to take a little bit of extra time for a real vacation. Because if you’re going to fly twelve hours each way, you really should.

The trip started on Monday with a very reasonable flight time (11 am) out of Logan. Traffic wasn’t too bad heading to the airport and we checked in and had plenty of time. We also grabbed a sandwich to have on the flight since we figured food options would be scarce and we’d be hungry. We were right. The first leg from BOS to LAX was pretty uneventful. I read a fair bit without getting motion sick (yay!) and the time went by pretty quick. We landed at LAX and had a few hours until the next leg of flying. So we wandered around the terminal to stretch our legs and then got some “dinner”. Not great options, but the Chili’s was as expected. We then boarded the next plane a little late and were on our way to Maui (OGG). This flight was a little bit less tranquil — lots of early elementary school aged kids running around and yelling. I never quite realized that Maui was a popular destination for families, but apparently it is (now?). We landed a little later than intended, picked up our bags and headed to get the rental car. Not too long later, we were on our way to Kapalua and our condo. We made a quick pit stop for another meal and finally got to the condo at 10 pm local time. 4 am Eastern. After being up at 7. Long day. We quickly looked around the (nicely set up) condo and wasted no time in falling asleep.

Tuesday morning, I woke up at just before 6 am local time and caught the sunrise out our bedroom window. Was quite nice. Then I relaxed a bit, had a little bit of breakfast and waited for Kara to get up. Then we showered and headed out to pick up some supplies. We hit the grocery store and headed back to go down and check out the beach. While we can see the ocean from our condo, the beach is a short walk but it was nice. We sat there for a little bit and then headed out to find some lunch. For lunch, we ended up at the Cool Cat Cafe in Lahaina Center. Kind of cool with basically an open air covered deck for most of the seating with typical sort of diner-y fare. I had a Hula Chicken sandwich — grilled chicken with Hawaiian sauce, bacon, pineapple slices and cheese. Food was pretty good, the service left a little to be desired. Then we wandered around Lahaina a little bit.

For dinner, we went to Whaler’s Village and ended up eating at the Hula Grill for what has so far been our best meal. It’s really sort of two restaurants in one — one being outdoors and on the beach and the other being a more normal dining room. We ate at the outdoors portion and I had a spicy roasted fish which was delicious. Perfectly prepared and the fish was clearly very fresh. We also had much better luck in terms of the service we received. Atmosphere was also kind of cool with lots of tiki torches, a little band playing Hawaiian music and just being beachside (even though it was dark by then). While we waited to be seated, we also got to see the sunset over the water which was pretty nice. After that, it was back to the condo and another night of turning in early.
Sunset in Maui from the Hula Grill

Wednesday morning I again woke up at around six. Spent a little bit of time prodding the wireless router in the condo and finally sort of got it cooperating. Makes uploading pictures and writing blog posts a lot easier! Then, we decided to set up and go on a tour of a Maui Gold pineapple plantation. This was awesome. The driver/tour guide (Carlos) is an employee of the company but basically is in charge of the tours. He either knew a lot of Hawaii and pineapple history or he was really good at making it up 🙂 Out in the fields, we got to taste pineapple straight off the bush at various levels of sweetness/ripeness. Usually you’d wonder if your tour guide got off the bus with a machete, but in this case it was a very very good thing. We also got to pick pineapples of our own (two each to take back plus one to take back to eat while we’re here). All in all a very good time.

In the afternoon, I went out for a quick little ride on the bike I’m renting. I rented from West Maui Cycles and ended up getting a Cannondale Synapse with an Ultegra/Dura-Ace component mix. Maybe a year or so old? In any case, a pretty nice bike. I headed out west on highway 30 and into the West Maui mountains. Got in a good 26 mile ride with a significant amount of climbing — there’s certainly not climbing like that at home!

Then for dinner, we headed back to Front St. This time, we ended up at BJ’s Chicago Pizzeria as it had pretty good reviews as far as pizza in Maui. I only later realized it was a chain. Was pretty good though. We then grabbed some shave ice and headed back to the condo after walking around a fair bit.

On Thursday, I again woke up pretty early and this time went out on a ride when I woke up. Headed out the same way trying to see how far I could make it before needing to turn around but hit a pretty weird storm with heavy rain and wind not that far out. Rather than ride through it and end up soaked, I figured I’d turn around and ride east/south towards Lahaina in the more “urban” area. Was fine, but nothing to really speak of.

The afternoon was pretty low-key and then Kara’s parents and one of her sisters + husband + six month old got in. So we went over and talked with them for a bit. Then we went to dinner at Kobe — a teppanyaki place. It was your pretty typical teppanyaki place. But a good time and the food was definitely good. Then it was an early night to turn in as I was planning to get up extra early to head out and ride up Haleakala on Friday. But that post will have to wait for later.