This January we visited the island of Maui. It's such a beautiful place. Although we are curious about other parts of Hawaii (like the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island) we can't imagine going anywhere else. I blogged about our first visit here.
We flew with Hawaiian Airlines. The plane was decorated with a Moana theme and it was really pretty. The interior of the plane:
I didn't take a picture of the outside so here is a promotional shot of how it looks:
Getting ready to land after 6 hours on the plane:
We stayed at the Sheraton in Ka'anapali. It is right behind the famed snorkeling area of Black Rock so it's a great location. Our room was on the second floor:
One of my favorite things about this trip was sitting outside on the lanai with my coffee every morning, watching the sun come up and listening to the waves and the birds singing as the resort came to life:
On our previous trip we stayed at the Grand Wailea, which was also lovely. However they have a waterfall feature at the entrance to their resort which drowns out all the natural sounds of the ocean and the birds in those early morning hours throughout the resort.
The pool at the Sheraton features a lazy river that connects two larger pools. At the smaller of those two pools there is a shallow area carved out of the pool with a low, submerged retaining wall suitable for small kids to splash around in while you can float in the water nearby. It's really pretty but I didn't get a lot of pictures to do it justice.
The lazy river:
At the Sheraton they have a bunch of red floating bean bags that they take in every night and put out every morning for people to use. I've never seen a hotel offering free floaties, so I thought it was a nice touch. Many guests- myself included- had a good laugh at themselves and each other trying to climb into the bean bags loose in the pool. For what it's worth, I think the best way to get into one is to pull it over to the stairs, turn around and sit back into it.
We brought our own floaties and snorkeling gear with us from home because we thought it would be cheaper and I am happy with how it turned out. Rental snorkeling gear costs about $20 per day, per person so we felt it was a big savings right there, by having our own. It wasn't too hard to travel with it, and we just devoted one carry on for those items. For our 4 year old's pool time we brought an astronaut themed life jacket , a cool turtle floatie that he would ride on top of while we pushed him (it's big enough for our 10 year old even) and a little ring he could sit in. Our big kids had these neon colored ring-shaped floaties The staff at the water gear concession were kind enough to use their equipment to blow them up for the kids.
A couple more shots of the pool area:
We ate twice at a place in Lahaina called the Paia Fish Market. It is on Front Street towards the historic area of Lahaina, just down from the famously massive banyan tree:
We ate outside on the porch the first night and really enjoyed our dinner. They make a yummy tartar sauce and super tasty skillet cooked potatoes. Pictured below are the chicken quesadilla, fish and chips and mahi tacos:
We drove to spend the day at Makena (Big Beach) because it's amazingly beautiful there and the water looks extra blue and inviting, although compared to other beaches we never play in the water beyond our shins here. This is because the wave break here is very dangerous. Our rules for safety at the ocean are: 1) Never turn your back on the ocean (literally) and 2) When in doubt, don't go out.
A great site to keep bookmarked if you go on vacation in Hawaii is HawaiiBeachSafety.com It will give you current conditions and advisories to know if it's ok to go into the water.
You can see the back side of Molokini from Makena:
Ah, Molokini....Once upon a time we took a snorkeling trip to Molokini. Half of our family had fun, and the other half discovered that being in the water with the more pronounced motion of the waves in that area made us super sick. Super sick with 3 hours to go. It's become funnier as the memories of hanging over the side of the boat being sick have faded. You know what they say.... "Someday we'll look back on this and laugh!"
A close up of the sand at Makena. It was almost like powdered sugar!
Another great, well-known place to go is The Gazebo in Napili. The views are incredible here and you've never seen waves as mesmerizing as these ones are, erupting as they break along the shoreline. It is a nice place to get pictures:
The kids really liked looking into the little pools and seeing the sea life such as hermit crabs and sea slugs. Just be careful how far you go out or the waves might catch you by surprise as they flow in!
The Gazebo is a pretty small establishment, so you have to plan on spending about 30 minutes in line at least...unless you get there early. They have enormous satisfying omelettes and their white chocolate chip (and macadamia nut if you like) pancakes are legendary:
We experienced a pretty big wind storm and a little rain during our visit to Maui. I thought it would be a great day to go to the Maui Ocean Center since we were trying to avoid the weather, and it was a great idea (don't forget to buy your pass online to save money!), but funny thing is, where it is located is known to be the windiest part of Maui. Here is a picture I took of the palm trees while we were there:
As we drove along it was cool to see the water looking so different because of the wind:
Double Rainbow on the way back: