Thursday, October 13, 2011

Maui/(Moloka'i) Day 13


So ready to be with the kids, but NOT ready to be done with vacation. Are you sure we can't just send for them all and keep the bliss going???

We lolly-gagged around this morning then got our act together and headed out for a last full beach day. We decided to head north again, up toward Lahaina because our luck at the southern beaches had not been too good, weather-wise. (Sure enough, the whole day, when we looked south, the area was still shadowed by the huge bank of cumulous storm clouds, whereas we had lovely - hot - sunshine all day!

The Hawaiian Monk Seal was back sleeping in the same spot again. We filmed her and sat and watched her for a while. We thought she was just sunbathing... came to find out later that they beach themselves to SLEEP. And they are severely endangered, only like 1200 left, total!!!! She was eyeballing us as she was trying to sleep... so we totally got too close and interrupted her sleep. OOPS! (Live & Learn.)

After the beach, we went into town one last time. Last time we forgot to take pictures, so this time we got a few. We TRIED to shop for souvenirs... but is is just all the same old crap; turtle or pineapples keychains, cutting boards, bracelets, earrings, etc. Hawaii embroidered beach bags and towels and hats and shirts. All over priced and all SO junky. Just a waste of time and money. Sorry, loved ones... your souvenir is US coming home!!! :)
We ended our time with dinner on the water, during sunset at Bubba Gump's. The location was great, there were seats available, and we were hungry... I'd call that a "win"!!!
Back to the hotel, maybe a movie, then waking and packing and flying home.
A L O H A!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Maui/(Moloka'i) Day 12

Today was a rather uneventful day.
We slept in a little.
We got up and I finally updated the blog ;)
We ate a little yogurt then eventually (10:45) headed out to the beach.

We went to the far south end "Big Beach" (down by Makena).
The sun was out and it was H O T.

Then the dark, ominous clouds came roiling in and it looked gray and cloudy all day. When the sun did peek out, it was still SUPER hot... so although we didn't love the gray day, we DID love enjoy a respite from the heat. (However, I would've preferred the heat, then I would've just gone into the water to cool off or popped up the umbrella. As it was, it was not hot enough to really even care to go into the water.)
Thankfully, it wasn't windy... the wind didn't pick up until after we left.

When we were done with the beach, we drove down to La Perouse bay which was lava rock and where the lava flow meets the ocean. La Perouse Bay makes up part of the Ahihi-Kina'u Natural Area Preserve. (It is at the very end of Makena)... this lava strewn, alien looking landscape is the result of the last volcanic eruption here.
This is the bay where we saw all the spinner dolphins and later snorkeled and saw the octopus and sae snake (?) on our raft trip.
It started POURING rain and we were gald we were in the car and not on the beach!
You can't really see it very well because it was raining and gray, but the lava flow is coming down the hill in the background all the way to the ocean.

Maui/(Moloka'i) Day 11

This day started at 6:00 when we had to get up to get to our rafting trip. This was "adventure rafting" and there were only 8 people on our boat, plus Captain (Brad) 'first mate' (Eli).

We ate our breakfast in this cove where there were probably 100+ Spinner Dolphins. They swam right around the boat.

They took us to the old lava flow and showed us all the basalt and caves and arches. It was pretty spectacular.

Then we snorkeled and snorkeled and snorkeled.
Apparently the tour we took is the only one that takes you to the BACKSIDE of the Molokini crater... this was AWESOME!!!!
Most of the tours have 50-100 people and they all flock to the inside of the crater first thing in the morning. It is like "combat snorkeling" with 1000-2000 of your closest friends!
What we really liked was that this tour saved the inside of the crater until the very end and it was virtually empty when we got there... pretty cool.

This photo was on the backside of the Molokini crater.
This crevice in the huge crater let off pressure, so it was the one place you could go right up to the crater and not get slammed against the rock by waves/current. (The rest of the area, you needed to stay back about 6-8 feet.)

Right up against the crater was reef and sea life, then it just PLUNGED to depths of hundreds of feet... the clarity and color were just spectacular!!!

Our last stop after the crater was a turtle nesting area. We got to swim around with them as they came up for air... just inches from us. (They are protected, so you can't touch them etc.)
The colors underwater were magnificent!
We held hands while we snorkeled...

Maui/(Moloka'i) Day 10

We decided to go up to through Lahaina and into Ka'anapali today to go to the beach. First we stopped at Moos McGillicuddy's (in Fred's Mexican restaurant - weird)in Kihei and ate breakfast (I really wanted to eat Banana Pancakes with Coconut syrup at least ONE time while we were here!).

We got up there and looked for good out-of-the-way beaches and it was tough because all there are are HUGE mega-resorts along the whole coast line. We found one beach access road and sat on the beach a while. It was a rocky entrance and windy with sand being flung at us. We decided to leave and head back down through Lahaina and to the beaches south of Lahaina we had seen.

We DID drive through the town of Lahaina, through the little tourist Front Street which was great people watching.

We eventually made our way back to the beach park/camp ground along the highway and pulled in and found a little slice of serenity!
We hadn't been sitting there long when a local walked by with her gaggle of darling little kids and told us that a Hawaiian Monk Seal had beached itself a little ways up the beach.
We hopped up and made our way down there.
It was actually TWO Monk seals and they laid there ALL day... pretty cool!!!
It looks pretty serene, but...
we WERE on a main road.
Kinda reminded me of San Onofre in San Clemente!
D took this from way out in the water.
Staying until almost sunset.

After our lovely day at the beach, we went BACK up to Lahaina and walked down front street, shopping a little. Then we had dinner at Kimo's.
We still had a long drie back down to Wailea afterwards, but it was worth it!

Maui/(Moloka'i) Day 9


My whole life we have heard about the "Road to Hana" so we made it a point to drive it while we were here. We got an early start - 7AM. We fueled up the jeep. We stopped in Pa'ia and grabbed picnic lunches. Then we popped in the "Road to Hana' CD and listed as we drove the 68 twisty, turny, lush green miles.

We crossed a zillion one-lane bridges (59 total bridges/46 are one-lane), each which require you to yield to oncoming traffic.

We pulled over at various look outs and hikes which the CD guided us to. We found the CD confusing and did not understand half the directions which got frustrating... but the drive itself was GORGEOUS and well worth the trip!
Our favorite part had to be the Oheo Gulch (Pools at Oheo or the "7 Sacred Pools"). We were hot, hungry, tired, irritable and finally arrived at the pools (we had been SEARCHING for a place to picnic and swim). We hiked over and picnicked by the pools the dove into the chilly water for a refreshing swim!

Then, instead of taking the Road to Hana back, we took the back way around the barren southwest end. This was NOTHING like the jungley road to Hana but it was interesting to see the other side of the island, to drive the largely unpaved roads, and go where your rental car contract says you can't go (but the rental agent says you can - and should - in a 4WD vehicle - Yay!)
I can't remember where we ate dinner this night... maybe WokStar Noodle Cafe in Kihei? Then watched "Cowboys Vs Aliens" in the room.

Maui/(Moloka'i) Day 8

Sorry for the interruption... we had been told internet would be free but the INTERNET IS $15 A DAY, and being cheap, I decided not to get it until today.

We were ready to leave Moloka'i. Although we enjoyed exploring a new island and relaxed a lot and had fun with each other, this was not our favorite island of all time.
Our condo was not on the beach (although it WAS on the water).
Our condo had no air conditioning.
Our condo was up 3 flights of stairs.
Our condo's beds were not comfy.
Everything was a far drive.
Our property was 13 miles from town and there was only ONE town.
There were maybe 5 restaurants on the island... none were good except The Cookhouse and it was 30 minutes from our condo.
The beaches we found weren't that great.
The weather (because of the mountains) was always gray and cloudy, while we were there.
All that said, we were ready to move to Maui.

We had an early flight and before we went to the airport we had to return our movie and get gas and return our jeep. We were on our tiny little single prop plane at 9AM and in Maui before 9:30AM! We would still have the whole day to get our car, findout hotel, check in and still get to the beach!

This is the beach we went to on Moloka'i on Day 1.

We got upgraded at the Marriott Wailea to "ocean front". Again, this means facing the ocean with no one in front of you, but this property in on rocks, not on a beach... althought there is one to the right and left of the property... plus, we have a car, so we will go scouting for one.

We NEVER stay in hotels, only condos or time shares, so it was weird to check in to a big resort. Kind of fun & different. We do not like not having a kitchen and getting nickel and dimed for every last stinking thing, but the customer service and amenities are nice! (I wish we were pool-goers because the adult-only/no cell phone infinity edge pool overlooking the ocean is pretty spectacular!)
After a lovely lunch at the restaurant by the pool, one of the girls who works at the resort told us she liked "Kam 3" beach in Kihei, so that is where we packed up and headed out to. Ahhhh... our Maui portion of the trip had finally begun!

After the beach, we went to Foodland and grabbed some sodas, waters, and snacks and - stocked up, we brought it back to our room to have on hand for the rest of the trip.