I honestly don’t know where to start with this post. It might be all over the place, so work with me here.
Alaska airlines. Quick and painless…..but no THANKS to the $25 per bag checked in. Ouch!! The free maitai was nice.
On the way home it was anything but painless, the route in which you’re suppose to check your bag at agriculture or whatever, get it tagged, print your shit, was SO BAD!! It sent us literally in circles and there was no direct obvious way of doing it. Why? It was such an easy fix in my mind. It was such un-needed stress. Whatever. They did let us check in our second bag for free to even out the weight distribution on the plane, also there was very little people on our flight so we got a whole row to ourself. We checked in quite a few hours early and mellowed out. Flight home was quicker.
We stayed at 2 Airbnb places, and it was a embarrassing mix up on day 1. I got my emails in advance before our trip from Airbnb about one of our stays first, and somehow in my mind I figured oh okay, this is the first destination we booked. So we got there, used the code to open the door, settled in, popped a beer…and heard someone open the door. It was another young couple claiming they booked their stay at the ‘same time as ours’….I realize quickly this was our SECOND place we booked and we were early!!!! I was M-O-R-T-I-F-I-E-D. I felt so bad that couple got there, wanted to rest, only to find us bum rushing their place.
We packed up, went to our CORRECT first Airbnb place. I talked it through with the first Airbnb place owner after they called me and told them PLEASE change the lock code per person. I couldn’t believe more than one customer has the entry code for that apartment at the same time. Who is to say I can trust that other person??? The couple who rightfully had the reservation expressed concern about us knowing the code, because I mean anyone would! I could waltz on in and steal all their stuff. I found that seriously disturbing, and won’t be staying at a place like that again.
Now onto the first airbnb place, that thankfully was a REAL Bed and Breakfast place.
The owner was SO NICE! Man and wife, although I saw the wife once. She makes her own muffins and they were amazing. With local mango trees on their property. They supplied so many items for us, snorkel gear, tips on the island, privacy, a bird house and koi pond, AMAZING view of sunset;
choices for breakfast….I mean it was seriously such an amazing treat and I CANNOT recommend that place enough.
So onto the second airbnb place,
it was such a serious drab to arrive to. No host to help or provide questions, and more importantly, no one was there to take care care of the place or CHANGE THE LOCK CODE. All of the interior decoration had no heart or soul to it, there were 3 framed pictures ALL THE SAME next to each other, and I found 3 more identical. That may not speak volumes to you, but as a designer, it does to me. Yes, it had a beach feel, but it was lackluster and depressing. Yes, it was a quiet place, but it was at an apartment complex that didn’t scream …I don’t know, it wasn’t unsafe feeling but it just felt weird staying in a permanent living facility. Lots of things were broken at this place. Anything hanging on the wall was just slapped on and fell off. Lazy. I mean the only pro’s were quiet, close to the beach, AC units, fans, comfy bed. I felt really spoiled spending time in the other Airbnb place, because the other place was astronomically better.
IT DID have an amazing Monarch nursery that I fell in love with, didnt realize it was there until 2 days before leaving;
One thing that let me down about Maui is that the food was sub par (in restaurants), NOT amazing. I mean, we didn’t eat at the ritzy areas like Wailea, but come on?
- The fish and chips place was forgettable. Yuriy enjoyed it though.
- Joy’s Place was yummy, ultra clean foods. Kombucha.
- DO stop multiple times to refuel with dried fruits at Yee’s Orchard, witness the gorgeous peacocks feasting on coconuts.
- One yakitori, Izakaya Matsu, place told us they had NO SUSHI/FISH…what?!!? I couldn’t believe that. The server was very sweet, and some of the food was indeed unique and authentic.
- DO NOT!!!!!!!!!! stop to get coconuts on the side of the road near Wailea, from an obese local looking woman and her younger counterpart. She doesnt reveal the price of her coconuts until she hacks it open with her machete, $20.00! Yes it was delicious, YES it was a horrible rip off.
- Cafe O’Lei, DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME. This place doesn’t even serve sushi until dinner time. We sat and decided to just get drinks and then eat a real lunch elsewhere…we sat… We waited….& waited… And then left because no one came to serve us. This place was cheesy as hell, do not waste your time on this unauthentic Hawaiian place.
- Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar was packed with cringe tourists, and the sushi was….eh? The rolls were good, and the sushi chef was very passionate about his work which I loved to see.
- We walked into a place that we waited an hour for to get sushi, only to learn its reservation only. The woman penciled us in for our last night on the island. When we got there and ate there, oh my god in Heaven…it was worth the wait and frustration. Best, sushi, ever. I say that never because I’ve eaten sushi a lot, and GOOD sushi. But this place was other worldly. Koiso Sushi Bar. FYI Hiro the sushi chef does not take gifted alcohol drinks while working, some sushi chefs allow and welcome this, the waitress told us not Hiro. Respect.
Us and Hiro the man himself. SO NICE.
- Braddah’s hut on the Hana route was the best highlight next up after the sushi. It’s a food truck.
We got so fed up with the boring food, wasting our precious time, and money on the island we just wound up frequenting the Times supermarket and buying our own shrimp and octopus. The shrimp was so good even if it was from Thailand? The sushi at Times was SO CHEAP! That was awesome.
saltiest roe of my life from Times supermarket
- Da Kitchen was DA BOMB. It was horribly unhealthy but so worth it. The spam sushi looking thing was UNREAL SO GOOD.
- The place we visited the most was South Shore Tiki Lounge, slightly hard to find as its sort of hidden. The calamari was outstanding, the drinks needed a bit more kick (ask and you shall receive), pizza was good. The whole atmosphere was just spot on perfect for an island vibe.
Get your buzz on!
Burger was divine
gobble it up.
We didn’t bring our bikes and that was mistake 1. We did a pre ride the day before our big Haleakala ride on rentals from West Maui Cycles, it wasn’t so bad. Horrible handlebars, and I couldnt reach my brakes. We went in that day to get that stuff fixed, specifically not being able to reach the handlebars. The guy who previously helped us kind of gave me the “ehh? and you want me to do what??”….and lowered the handlebars. That doesnt help my reach. So yeah, it was raining on our start up Haleakala the next day, we quickly realized my bike fit wasn’t going to work the rest of the way, and we wouldn’t dry up in time before we hit the clouds. Such a huge bummer.
Hiking the 7 sacred pools was, annoying.
I know I sound like a diva, but it was muddy, wet, and slippery. Not ideal and more stressful than needed. Husband forgot his hiking boots so he was hiking in sandals, that was double stressful I didnt want him to injure himself. So we turned around at the first bridge, although almost to the end it wasn’t worth finishing. What we saw we would see again, so we headed back. Plus the pools were closed to swimming, the big reason I wanted to go to this place 😦 Seeing tourists climb on gorgeous ancient trees treating it like it was a jungle gym hurt my hippie heart. I just couldnt believe a father in a family of kids was egging his kids on to climb and hang from the old weathered tree. Historical old trees are NOT your personal play ground. Good God.
The tree of life, the one I was speaking of up there ^
- We biked the West Maui loop and damn yes it was worth it.
But prepare for the worst wind of your life. Enough to make you cry, as it did for me. It wasn’t helping that I could not reach my brakes, so descending a big ass hill in the awful wind, I finally broke down. Not having control over something that you SHOULD be able to control scares the living shit out of me. Yuriy was sweet enough to lower my handlebars REALLY low so I could descend and brake appropriately.
DO stop at Lorraine’s Shave Ice!!!!!!!! OMG her banana bread is amazing, and her sweetness and concern for us was so lovely. A must must must stop place.Happy face and bellies with Lorraine herself. No bathrooms at this stop, but free water.
DO the entire Road to Hana loop.
There are warnings everywhere about DO NOT do the whole route because the south section is a NO NO PLACE, especially for the rental cars. But honestly, we did it, and as long as you drive slow, you’ll be fine. Toot your horn on blind corners. Bring A LOT of snacks, gallon of water, lunch or dinner. DO buy or rent (local library maybe?!) a audio guided tour of Hana. Worth it.
Do not overpack with clothing, its true. You really do wind up wearing one flowy dress after a day at the beach, 1 over tank top for to and from beach, 1 pair of sandals that goes with every outfit—COMFORTABLE SANDALS!;
No fashion zip up sandals. Comfort is bigger than fashion when you walk a lot exploring on the island. I bought some on the island that were well worth the purchase at Local Motion- Reef brand.
- DO try the Airbnb route instead of the big chain hotels
- Make sure it’s one that has actual breakfast and host, if you prefer that
- Don’t hesitate to buy your own seafood at the grocery store and grill yourself, save your money
- Do pack lightly when it comes to make-up ladies, only bring the essentials
- DO bike beyond south Big Beach and find this:
- DO bike the West Maui loop
- bringing a towel just in case is good
- sunscreen and aloe
- a good camera besides your phone
- bring towels on road trips to wipe sand or wetness from feet/body
- DO not bring but 1 pair of socks unless you do more hiking or biking
I guess that’s all for now. Thanks for reading! Hope this helped you out.