Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Our Hawaiian Adventure - Part 1 - Maui

In October 2008, The Husband used a big chunk of our airline points to book first class, round trip tickets to Hawaii. We planned the trip to celebrate my 50th birthday and our 15th wedding anniversary.

As 2009 progressed, we thought, “Let’s use more airline points and the hotel points I earned in my corporate travels and go to Chicago for the birthday!” Which we did and I wrote about here.

The Hawaii vacation then became a celebration of our 15th wedding anniversary.

Day 1 - Tuesday Sept 15th

We spent all day traveling. All. Day.

We left our house at 7:00am central time and arrived at the Royal Lahaina Resort in Hawaii at 7:15 pm Hawaiian time. Hawaiian time is 5 hours behind Central time, so it was actually midnight for our bodies.

Thank goodness we were in first class, which afforded more room and much more comfortable seats. The Husband said to me, “We’ve must figure out how to travel in this style all the time!” That would be nice, but unfortunately isn’t going to happen!

We had a bite to eat and were sound asleep in our Cottage by 9:30pm.

Day 2 - Wednesday Sept 16th

We were “up and at ‘em” at 6:00am. The Husband went for a quick walk to get the lay of the resort while I got ready for the day. We had a lovely, big breakfast at a table adjacent to the main pool and with the ocean just over the sand dune.

After breakfast we changed into our swimsuits and remembering the wise advice from our cab driver* of the day before, we liberally slathered on sunscreen.

* The driver said there was nothing sadder than arriving at the local hospital to pick up a tourist (who had to spend 3 days there because of severe sunburn), only to deliver them to the airport for their flight home.

We went for a walk along the beach and got our feet wet in the ocean for the first time.

Before we knew it, the time was 10am. Time for the first umbrella drink! (Don’t judge…we didn’t participate in the first drink special of the day: $5 Bloody Marys and Mimosas from 8-10am!)

Back to the room around noon to get out of the sun and, imagine this, a nap! It was lovely.

The Husband snorkeled in the afternoon. He had a great time. He saw some colorful fish and a really big turtle.

We attended the Royal Lahaina Laua that evening. Here's a picture of the pig!

We were seated at a table with three young newly wed couples. We had a great time with all of them. The couple at the laua who won the “longest married” prize had been married 63 years. 63 Years! I hope we have 63 years together!
Day 3 – Thursday Sept 17th

We were up early, partook of the yummy buffet breakfast at the resort and then picked up our blue, convertible Mustang. Isn't my driver handsome?

We drove the Road to Hana, which is an amazing. A winding, narrow road with 59 bridges (46 are one-lane) and 620 curves. For those readers who have been to the family cabin in New Mexico, it makes the road to that cabin feel like a breeze!

Here is just one of the amazing views on that trip.

We went to Whalers Village in the evening for dinner at Leilani's, which was excellent.

Day 4 – Friday Sept 18th

We got up early and went to the small town of Lahaina. Our day started with breakfast at Longhi's.

This town is an interesting mix of history and tourist commerce. The Husband and I both enjoyed it tremendously.

My favorite thing was the Banyan tree planted in 1873 to honor the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the missionaries. It is huge!

We both enjoyed the tour of The Baldwin Home, which is the oldest house still standing on Maui. It was built in 1834 and occupied by the medical missionary Dr. Dwight Baldwin and his family beginning in 1836.

There are numerous plaques placed around the town that provide historical information. They were well worth stopping to read.

We spoke to many interesting people who work in the art galleries, jewelry shops, and other businesses. Many of them came to the island 25-30 years ago from the mid-west mainland. We met several people originally from Texas and Kansas!

We returned to the resort and had a couple of drinks and a pizza for dinner. Back to the room and in bed, asleep by 10pm!

Day 5 – Saturday Sept 19th

It was quite strange when we woke up and The Husband turned on the TV at 7:00am. The college football games were already on! Being 5 hours behind the central time zone is a bit strange.

Stayed at the hotel all day. There were definitely naps involved! And lounging...lots of lounging!

Using the free trolley, we returned to Whaler’s Village in the evening for dinner. We had planned to eat at Hula Grill, but the wait was more than an hour. We checked with Leilani’s Beach Front Grill and, after a shorter wait, got a table. My fish tacos were great. Steve’s fish and chips were not.

We rode the free trolley back to the resort and were quickly in bed and asleep!

Day 6 – Sunday Sept 20th

We did not partake of the breakfast buffet, which meant we had lunch and dinner at normal times. What a concept!

I did laundry at the guest Laundromat this morning. It was the modern day equivalent of meeting at the stream and pounding our clothes clean with rocks! I meet very nice folks from Canada and California. We laughed about doing laundry on vacation, but all agreed it was nice to be able to do so.

Steve enjoyed snorkeling again in the morning. He was really pumped and happy about the experience when he returned to the room.

He went to lunch and I stayed in to read. Which meant I read 4-5 pages and then slept. J He returned with a snack for me and then he took a nap.

We took the free trolley and $1 bus back to Lahaina Town in the evening. We walked Front Street and did a bit of shopping.

We had a lovely dinner at the Lahaina Fish Company. The Husband had ahi tuna and I had scallops, both of which were perfectly prepared.

We returned to the resort and repaired to the lounge for a cocktail and farewells to the staff who had been so nice to us during our stay.

Day 6 – Monday Sept 21st

We had our last buffet breakfast and returned to the room to finish packing. We took a cab to the airport and took a short flight to the island of Oahu.

Since I didn't write notes about our Oahu activities as they occurred, you will have to come back in a day or two to read another posting!

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