Lahaina on the West Coast (Maui, Hawaii)

We’ve finally started to get accustomed to the time here and woke up late (8am). After breakfast we headed to drive to the west coast of Maui to an area called Lahaina.

Used to be the entrance to the island.  The King had his big hut here.  Theres now the main street lined with small shops mostly souvenirs and Beach wear and sunglasses.

We parked and started walking down.  AT wanted to get his sunglasses nose pad fixed and we went into a random sunglasses store to ask.  Turns out it was a Maui Jim store and that’s the brand name of his sunglasses.  They instructed him to go to the office a few streets away.  Turns out that was their head office!  The lens was a little scratched up so for $60 hw got a brand new replacement sunglasses!  Great coincidence.

After shopping for a bit we found a building that used to be the clubhouse for the Chinese in this area of Maui.  They also really liked paying homage to Sun Yat Sen  whos brother moved to Maui and lived here with his family.  We paid admission to this museum (which wasn’t much,  some old artifacts and poster boards with history, and a shrine upstairs)  which also gets us into the Baldwin House later.

For lunch we found a small food stall called Lahaina Luna’s.  And for dessert tried shaved ice from the only place that matters according to Yelp, Ululani’s Shave Ice.  With so many flavours lichee, passion fruit, and calamansi. The ice was shaved so fine that it was like eating a snowball.

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We walked further along and shopped, finally we got to the Baldwin House but we were too early for the tour.  We saw on the corner a guy taking photos for people with 5 parrots.  It looked cool but the cheapest was $60! We just looked and watched.

Back at the Baldwin House,  the guide was reluctant to let us bring in the stroller and we left it outside but we could have totally brought it in.  Our $8 admission from the other place got us in here.  The tour guide was really crass and rude but funny.  He talked fast and gave a good history of Hawaii and why they missionary house was important.  Can’t imagine doing this like 10 times a day every day. 

We then went to the Banyan Tree Park to have a snack and check out the crazy tree with many trunks. 

We had dinner at Monkeypod Restaurant by Merriman.  Weird name but good food.  It doesn’t seem like it but it’s really kid friendly. It loud inside with the live band. Lots of families.  Surprised it was busy at 530pm. Free Mac and cheese for Katy which was nice. 

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Makena Beach and Resort (Maui, Hawaii)

Our first full day in Maui,  we relaxed and hung out in the hotel.  Started the day off with a full breakfast buffet included with our room.  A huge change to our makeshift breakfast this past week.  Cooked eggs!  Bacon!  Omelettes!  Fruit!

After stuffing ourselves,  we went out to the beach thats part of the hotel property.  Found a tree to situate ourselves in the shade. 

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After a bit of play KT just wouldn’t have it and I took her upstairs to have a nap while AT went to snorkel. An hour later I came back down and we had lunch poolside.

They have a brick oven that makes really good pizzas. Splurged on some adult drinks and KT enjoyed tastes of Kulua Pork.

We settled ourselves in a cabana and got ready to test out the pool.  Two pools, both round.  1 pool is 6 ft deep,too deep to stand. The other 4 ft deep, smaller and I think meant for kids.  Poor design, and therefore no one really swims.

Swam the smaller pool with KT and she was so tired that she ended up napping the stroller with daddy rocking her with his foot.

When she woke up we went up and got ready for dinner.  Went to Kihei and caught sunset right along one of the beaches. 

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Ate at Ohana Bar and Grill.  Good reviews on Yelp,  just opened.  Was okay,  but not amazing.  The Ono was a little rubbery.  KT was also not in a good mood either.  I think teething.

Before heading back we wandered the Kihei Market Village for souvenirs and local products.  It looked interesting and we might come back during the day when more store are open. 

Makena Beach and Resort (Maui, Hawaii)

Our first full day in Maui,  we relaxed and hung out in the hotel.  Started the day off with a full breakfast buffet included with our room.  A huge change to our makeshift breakfast this past week.  Cooked eggs!  Bacon!  Omelettes!  Fruit!

After stuffing ourselves,  we went out to the beach thats part of the hotel property.  Found a tree to situate ourselves in the shade. 

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After a bit of play KT just wouldn’t have it and I took her upstairs to have a nap while AT went to snorkel. An hour later I came back down and we had lunch poolside.

They have a brick oven that makes really good pizzas. Splurged on some adult drinks and KT enjoyed tastes of Kulua Pork.

We settled ourselves in a cabana and got ready to test out the pool.  Two pools, both round.  1 pool is 6 ft deep,too deep to stand. The other 4 ft deep, smaller and I think meant for kids.  Poor design, and therefore no one really swims.

Swam the smaller pool with KT and she was so tired that she ended up napping the stroller with daddy rocking her with his foot.

When she woke up we went up and got ready for dinner.  Went to Kihei and caught sunset right along one of the beaches. 

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Ate at Ohana Bar and Grill.  Good reviews on Yelp,  just opened.  Was okay,  but not amazing.  The Ono was a little rubbery.  KT was also not in a good mood either.  I think teething.

Before heading back we wandered the Kihei Market Village for souvenirs and local products.  It looked interesting and we might come back during the day when more store are open. 

Kauai to Maui

Today was our last day in Kauai. I was able to take in one of the hotels free yoga classes at 7am this morning.  It was a cooler morning but nothing beats doing yoga with the ocean facing you.  Teacher was great.

On the beach we had a visitor.  I saw people gathering so AT told me to take a look,  maybe it’s a turtle he said.  I was shocked to see that it was much bigger than that, and exclaimed WHOA in my surprise.  A Hawaiian Monk Seal had come to hang out on the shore and brought his own sign.

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These guys are endangered.  Later in the morning, volunteers came to put more signs and a barricade.  It was a big deal.

We headed off to the airport at 1pm. I regret not buying coffee at the Kauai Coffee Company or anywhere else for that matter.  We don’t have anything that says Kauai on it.  All the more reason to return one day.  Id like to,  there seems to be a few more things we didn’t get to do. 

The quick 45min plane ride was a breeze compared to the one coming from Toronto.  KT socialized with everyone around her to keep her entertained.

Arrived in Maui and after picking up the car headed straight for the hotel.  Compared to the Courtyard the Makena Golf and Resort was grand luxury for us.  A huge facade with a waterfall and pond in the centre. 

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Cost wasn’t that much different and includes a full buffet breakfast in the morning.  Our room had a proper ocean view (not obstructed like ours in Kauai) and was huge in the comparison.  KT had place to crawl around.  A small separate area to have a fridge and bar.  The bathroom had a separate toilet room (which I couldn’t even find at first). And robes! Funny because yesterday I asked why hotels don’t give us robes anymore.

After extensive research for dinner we settled on Nalu’s Bar and Grill.  Loved it so much we went back a few days later for lunch. My type of place.  Local food served in a casual setting that trendy and a little hipstery.  I got the Island Style Ribs (a very well marinated Kalbi)  and AT got the chicken salad (one of the best salads I’ve had with lots of fixings).

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KT enjoyed it too. 

West coast (Kauai, Hawaii)

Today we decided to go explore the West side of the island.  After breakfast, similar to the other days,  we headed to the Smith’s River Cruise to Fern Grotto.  The boat left at 930am and was a small group that travels up and down the Wailua River.

During the ride,  there was a hula dance and live music, which kept us entertained.  Our surroundings were lush green trees and other kayakers exploring the river. 

When we finally arrived at the Grotto they explained to us that you used to be able to walk into the cave and a lot of people got married. Can’t walk in there anymore,  the staff (including one guy that was in Elvis Presley’s movie Blue Hawaii)  performed the Hawaiian wedding song as we took in the view.

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Returning back on the boat, they tried to give us some commentary about the river but ended up being just a list of movies that were filmed in Hawaii.

We continued along the coast on the West side of island toward Ke’e Beach.  Meant to be one of the best beaches on the island,  unfortunately when we got there,  it was so windy that we couldn’t stay long.  We ended up having lunch in the forest on a log before turning back. 

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Made a few more stop along the coast to see if it was any different.  It wasn’t.  We also came across a farmers market which was a refreshing detour. 

Eventually we situated at a beach about 30 mins from our hotel, but it was short lived.

We ended up at dinner at Hukilau Lanai where I had made reservations a while back for their happy hour set menu.  It was a little chilly so AT had to go back to the hotel to get a sweater, but they also provided us with a men’s hoodie!

I was excited for this place because it says they use local ingredients. But I found nothing too special about the things I got.  The set menu comes with two appetizers and  basically 2 mains.  Two people could share this.  I don’t know how Americans can finish such big portions. 

AT got a mushroom meatloaf and a soup which he also couldn’t barely finish.  Maybe the a La carte menu had better options but I wasn’t blown away by it either.

A little disappointing we went home to a hot shower and sleep.

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Wailea Canyon and the Maha’ulepu Trail (Kauai, Hawaii)

Everyone was feeling better today and I felt like the vacation was beginning anew.  The baby alarm clock woke us up again at 5am. So we got ready and went down to the similar breakfast we had yesterday as a family. 

Today the hotel provided a Sunrise Experience which included chanting and a hula dance to welcome the new day.  It very poignant to me.

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Then we got ourselves ready to go out for the day.  The plan was to drive along the East Coast  and North to the Waimea Canyon.

We made some pit stops to Foodland and Safeway for some snacks and lunch.  I was shocked at how expensive everything was and not just because of the dollar exchange.  Maybe it’s import fees.

As we climbed up the Waimea Canyon,  we sae a random waterfall within the red rocks on the hill.  A swarm of bees wouldn’t let us any closer.

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Continuing up we finally it the apex.  A parking lot with a fresh fruit stand.  She sold lots of things like coconut, pineapple and mango.  We got a deep fried banana and apple fritter and a brownie.

We went up to the lookout and admire the expanse.

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We situated ourselves below the steps and had our lunch.  KT was distracted by all the onlookers coming down the steps saying hello. Up at the top was a native costumed person who provided commentary about the Canyon. 

From here,  AT took the wheel and drove us back down the windy path. Rocked me and KT to sleep.

Next stop was the Kauai Coffee Company and Plantation.  This company’s coffee can be found everywhere,  and they have over 4million coffee trees here (5 different types).  Each tree produces 1 lb of coffee.
You can walk around the plantation on your own or join with a guided tour. We met up with them half way. 

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I had no idea coffee came from a red cherry like berry.  Take off the peel and you find the seed.  In its raw form,  it’s moist and firm.  They take it and roast it or dry it in the sun which eventually becomes a coffee bean.  I drink this everyday but have no clue where it comes from!

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They also have some seedlings grown from the seed.  Will take about 4 yrs to grow into a tree. 

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Then you can sample some of their coffees.  My favourite was the Estate Blend, dark roast.

We headed off to our next stop, Shipwrecks Beach which was the trail head to the Maha’ulepu Heritage Trail.  We got KT strapped on into a hiking backpack (for the first time)  and she was loving it. 

The long trail leads all the way to another beach while passing a golf course.  It was hot with not a lot of shade but we saw some great views. 

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Finally we went back to the hotel,  picking up pasta dinner along the way and setting ourselves up in the hotel for a nice comfy meal. While I ran back and forth to the laundry machine and front desk and losing my mind and getting lost in the hotel. 

At the hotel (Kauai, Hawaii)

So now it at ATs turn to be sick,  so today we stayed at the hotel while he recovered in bed.  

KT and I woke up early in the morning (5am) and got ready to go downstairs for breakfast and sunrise so that AT could sleep. 

It was pitch black when we got down.  I discovered the hotel (Courtyard Marriott at Coconut Bay)  serves a breakfast sandwich for $3.50 and I could get hot water for KTs oatmeal all in the little market near the front desk.  It beats having to pay $22 per person for the breakfast buffet.  We had some banana and oatmeal by the pool. 

They also have complimentary coffee and tea that comes out poolside around 630. I got some tea and we situated ourselves on the round cushioned chairs by the beach.  They were perfect for little babies to play on.

As we waited for sunrise,  we were joined by another little friend who also woke up early.

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After going back up to check on daddy,  we came back down and got ready for a swim.  The water in the pool was a little cold but KT soon got used to it.  She also loved the waterfalls and running her hand thru it. 

We went up to change and check on Daddy again before heading back down for lunch.  We had lunch on the beach front.

Up again to check on daddy then went to the Long’s Drugs across the street to get some supplies.

Then we got ready to go for another swim.  But first hanging out on the hammock.

By this time it started to rain.  At first it spits but not for a long time.  I kept going in and oit because it seemed like it was going to last longer.  Finally after some back and forth we took another plunge in the water.

After getting changed again,  we took advantage of the happy house half priced appetizers at the bar.  KT has some chicken skewers and I had a pork belly kimchee.  We bright up some left overs for daddy.  All while watching the Oscars.

Hopefully tomorrow AT will feel better.