Aloha! At 35yo I had never been to any of the Hawaiian Islands and now at 36yo I am lucky enough to have been twice to Maui. Our first trip in July of 2014 was amazing and extremely busy! We took all three of the kids (3yo, 16yo & 18yo at the time) and spent way more money than planned, did way more outings than planned and had way more fun than we expected to. This second trip around it was just us and our 4yo and our goal was to relax and just enjoy the island more
We had a morning flight out of LAX on Monday so we headed to LA the evening before and stayed at the Four Points Sheraton close to the airport. While it was a nice clean hotel with free shuttle service and long-term parking on site I would not stay here again if hoping to actually get some rest. The walls are very thin and with so much coming and going for flights and such, there was a ton of noise all around most of the night…definitely not restful and led to a slightly cranky morning. That being said we made it to the airport in plenty of time, got all checked in and were off for our 5hr 26min flight to Maui.
I don’t fly very often, but was pretty sure there would be some amazing airplane peanuts served (last time I flew anywhere we were offered pretzels, peanuts or chips – besides the meal and beverages that were served). This time nothing besides our sodas and water. They did have a small menu of way over priced boxed meals that we decided to pass on.
We finally land at OGG airport, pick up our checked baggage, got our rental car and head off to Kihei. On our way to the condo we made a stop at the Kihei Café – Roxy was still able to get her fish shaped pancake and you can’t go wrong with the loco moco there. After eating we made sure to get our first helping of Shave Ice during this trip. If you haven’t had it Hawaiian Shave Ice is nothing like sno-cones or icees. The ice is shaved to a fluffy perfection and sits on top of a scoop of ice cream then come the amazing flavors (my personal favorite combo is pineapple, mango and strawberry) and top it all off with sweet cream (condensed milk). Aaaaaahhhhh! The Local Boys in Kihei is just a little stand and the only ice cream flavor they have is vanilla, but it is still perfect in every way. Our last stop before checking in was to the grocery store to stock up on some staples for the week. We chose foodland because last time our condo complex gave us a loyalty card which helps because groceries are ridiculously expensive on the island. After a long day of travel it was finally time to settle in to our condo.
We chose to stay in the same complex (Kamaole Sands) as our last trip; just a smaller unit. It was still plenty big for us though. It was a one bedroom (king size bed), two bathroom unit with a full kitchen , dining room, pull out sofa in the living room and a lanai (perfect for enjoying morning coffee and breakfast on). From the lanai we had an ocean view and right across from the complexes fountains which they light up to change colors at night.
Well, by the time we unpacked and got settled the afternoon winds had picked up. The afternoons in South Kihei get very windy, so we decided to hit up the pool for a bit. I love at Kamaole Sands they have a large pool that isn’t too big, but at the same time hasn’t ever felt too crowded to us. They also have a family hot tub as well as a slightly more secluded adults only one. And for the little keiki they have a smaller round pool that is two feet deep all the way through. We swam and played the afternoon away in the big pool and when I was tired Roxy played in the keiki pool while I lounged on a lounge chair nearby. In the pool area they also have game tables, a concierge to help you sign up for island activities and a snack bar.
As tired as we were I was sure we would all get a good night sleep and sleep in the next morning…WRONG! Little Miss was waking me up at 5:51 am asking if I was ready to go to the beach. I broke her heart and told her we had to wait a bit, but could have breakfast on the lanai. She helped me make chocolate mac-nut pancakes and cut up some fresh pineapple. By the time the coffee was done brewing her Dad was up and we lounged outside eating breakfast and enjoying the perfect weather. Before long though we were reminded that it was beach time and before 8:30 that morning we were packed up and headed across the street to Kamaole Beach Park III. This is a beautiful beach area that is perfectly located right across the street from our condo. It has a grassy area with bbq’s, bathrooms and swings before walking down onto the beach. Down on the beach there are plenty of areas to play in the water with rock clusters around for great fish viewing. To the north are some tide pools and you can snorkel out around them to often see the sea turtles swimming around.
Playing on the beach sure got us hungry and I had heard about a restaurant a little north of Lahaina called the Hula Grill that has an amazing coconut crème brulee served in a pineapple. And, when I say ‘I heard about” what I really mean is I found on pinterest.
We drove up to Whaler’s Village in Kaanapali and found Hula Grill at the back of the shopping complex. It is adjacent to the Westin which is a beautiful resort that I would love to stay at sometime. We were seated outside with a beautiful ocean view. The lunch was delicious (I recommend the Firecracker Fish). Unfortunately, when it came to dessert time the crème brulee wasn’t on the menu and our server told us they had recently changed the desserts. We decided to pass and save room for more shave ice later. We spent a little time after lunch walking around the Whaler’s Village, but all the shops were ones we could visit in California so we decided to go out and do a little exploring. If you venture up this way be sure to get your parking validated…we didn’t and the parking was $3/half hour.
We decided to enjoy a drive back down towards Kiehi and continued south to the end of the road at the Ahihi Kina’u Natural Area Reserve. This is a beautiful area to go for a walk and enjoy some Hawaii scenery. You walk along the coast line among lava rocks and a forested area to see beautiful coves, rock formations and other beautiful sights. I was wearing flip flops and next time I would probably wear a sturdier shoe, but it really wasn’t too bad. I would not wander off the trail though because there are some very thorny trees and their dead branches on the ground will go right through the soles of your shoes.
The first two days were filled with so much fun already I can’t wait to relive the rest of our vacation in paradise in my continuation to ‘Chilling in Maui’.
One last pic of my fearless husband!