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Monday, September 18, 2017

Our Honeymoon in Maui

Let me take you on a literary trip to the most beautiful place my eyes have ever seen. Every turn of the head looks like a scene from a postcard. 

We have been on a lot of trips together, but this trip topped the scales. We were originally considering going to Japan and Thailand but we changed our mind. I still have those vacations on our roadmap for future trips to take together, but after weighing all the pros and cons we decided on Hawaii. In our opinion, a honeymoon should be relaxing and romantic. We felt being in a foreign country that moves at a fast pace like Tokyo might be a bit stressful. Where oh where could we go that feels like a wonderland, where natives speak English, and that is relatively close to home? There was really only one option in our mind: Maui.

Can you hear the ukulele music now?

I went to Maui with my parents and sister as a gift my senior year of high school. I remember it like it was yesterday. My family has always visited tropical destinations during the winter months to escape the cold, if even for just a week. We love the heat. I've carried that love with me to this day. 

My husband had never been to Maui. While discussions of our honeymoon transpired, I raved about my family's trip. The volcano, the whale watching, the luaus...what's not to like? 

My husband and I are both love being adventurous. For most of our trips we have decided what to do once we get to our destination. Call it crazy, but we have found that we have a better time when we travel like this. No itinerary, no reservations. We do what we feel like doing each day rather than being tied to a schedule. Most of the time, we ask the locals what to do once we arrive and gather a plan from there. They are the best itinerary money can't buy!

I understand not everyone is like us, and for those of you that like a plan or simply want a few ideas on what to do and where to eat in Maui, I wrote this for you.

This is a picture from my iPhone 6 that I took on the side of the road. Maui is that beautiful.

View from the airport

Where We Stayed 

My husband and I booked our hotel through Priceline and got a great deal at the Hyatt Regency in Lahaina. The resort has two pools, a grotto bar, two restaurants, live exotic birds, and excellent service. They also host their own luau. If you walk along the ocean and walk far right, you will find a great spot for snorkeling. We were also told about a snorkeling spot by a woman that worked at the pool. If you go to the park across from the post office (2 miles from the hotel) you are almost guaranteed to see a sea turtle. Don't touch them, though - the law doesn't allow it and the locals will be outraged. 

The Pool
{ Picture from the Hyatt Regency Website }

Grotto Bar
{ Picture from the Hyatt Regency Website }

View from our room

Our balcony view

View along our walk to our morning coffee spot

What We Did - Road to Hana

We started our first day early. Mainly because we flew in at 5:00 am, which wasn't too difficult because it was 3:00 pm our time and we slept on the plane. We were told that the Road to Hana can be dangerous because there are a lot of thieves along the way...the jury is still out on that one. Rather than risk it, we checked into our hotel early and put all of our things away before our journey.

First stop on the road - Paia Town

We started at the Hana Picnic Lunch Company. I read tons of great reviews about the place and it did not disappoint. They were open at 6:00 am for hikers and drivers to grab a meal for the day. I highly recommend packing a lunch because there are not many meal spots along the way.

We each got a breakfast sandwich, sandwich for lunch, all-natural mosquito spray, an insulated bag and giant water bottles. Bring water! You will definitely need it hiking in the heat. The mosquito spray was a godsend. There were so many people complaining about bites. The all-natural spray we picked up worked like a charm and smelled amazing.

Oh, and did I mention they have amazing gelato? We stopped by on the way back and pigged out on their cookie crunch.

Second stop - Twin Falls

I hope you wore good shoes. This trail is what they would call "advanced." If you have bad balance, weak legs, or a small child, move on to the next stop. This one is not for you. The beginning of our hike was scattered with light rain showers and falling leaves. Hiking about a half mile in, there was a large gate that read "experienced hikers only beyond this point." We looked at each other and shrugged. How hard could it be? The rest of the trip was fairly simple except for one spot - the rushing waters. There is a creek in the middle of the walkway that is about 10 feet wide. The creek had a very strong current the day we trekked it. We held hands and decided to try it out. The only problem was falling. If you were to fall in the creek you would promptly be carried across jagged rocks and down a small rapid into an area that I would imagine to be very difficult to crawl out of. We were both nervous. We moved slow. Painfully slow. If one went down, the other one was coming, too. Once we crossed successfully, it was all gravy. We found the jade green pool of water that the twin falls collected in. The water was ice cold and there were jungle vines hanging down everywhere. It was really romantic until a huge group of tourists came to join us. Time for our next stop.

Third stop - Garden of Eden

This is the view from the opening sequence of Jurassic Park!

The Garden of Eden was so beautiful! As soon as we entered, there were ducks and peacocks running up to our car like little puppies. We decided we would stop for lunch at this stop because of the beautiful views and picnic tables. Word to the wise - don't leave your food for a second. The peacocks are aggressive when it comes to food. One of them literally sat next to me on the picnic chair while I ate...and right when I thought I'd have a break from an animal staring at my every bite (our dog, Laila). This is the one stop along the way that requires payment before entering. We paid $15.00/person. 

Oh, and here's your chance to go to the bathroom, too.

Can I take him home?!?

Fourth stop - Halfway to Hana

Want to have the best banana bread you've ever eaten? Stop here. This stop offers a little snack shop from 1982 that offers banana bread, ice cream, hot dogs and various other refreshments. Other than that, there's really nothing to see here, folks.

Final stop

We were so exhausted from our previous stops and our flight that we skipped the other stops along the way until we got to the little town right before Hana. They had tons of cute food trucks, set up like a fair. Predominately they sold asian food, seafood and tacos. After being on the trail for 5 hours, this place smelled delicious. 

What do you fancy?

We're so punny.

Would this surf board fit in our luggage?

Aren't these the cutest things you've ever seen?!

Where We Ate

There are several great restaurants on Front Street. Our favorites were Frida's Beach House, Fleetwood's on Front Street, and Lahaina Fish Company. One spot we were told about after our trip (bummer) that is supposed to be excellent is Mama's Fish House. From what we were told, this spot has fresh-caught fish daily at a more affordable price than the more touristy restaurants. 

This salmon sandwich was heaven.

After the Road to Hana, we spent our days lounging by the pool, snorkeling and walking down the beach. I would have loved to go whale watching, but the season was over when we arrived. 

Please let me know if you have any questions about your upcoming trip to Maui! You will have an amazing time, I guarantee it!

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