Maui, Hawaii, Oh how I miss you!
My husband and I recently traveled to Maui. When we first started daydreaming about this trip about a year earlier, I had no idea where to stay, which island to choose, or what we were going to do there. So I began researching the islands online and enlisted my trusty travel agent who had booked our honeymoon and other successful vacations. I knew she’d steer us in the right direction.
My Hesitations for Hawaii Vacation:
- Long flight: After leaving the kids on the East Coast with my parents, it was a 4-hour flight to TX. And then an 8-hour direct flight to Maui–All in the same day.
- Far away: I would be almost 5,000 miles away from the kids, but who’s counting, right?
- Time Change: Hawaii is a 5-hour time change from TX; it was a 6-hour time change from where the kids were staying with their grandparents on the East Coast.
- Costly: Many things on the island are imported and cost a little extra.
- Wanted trip to be worth it: Going to a new place for vacation is a bit of a gamble, hoping that it lives up to your expectations. Because I was leaving my babies to go so far away, I didn’t want to regret our decision to go there. We seldom travel, with kids so young, and not living near family. I was just hoping it was truly worth it. My travel agent assured me that it would be. . .she was SO right!
Why we Decided on Hawaii:
- Still within the US: No passports needed/English speaking.
- New for both of us: Neither my husband nor I had been to Hawaii before. So it was exciting travelling somewhere new and exploring the island together for the first time.
- Hawaii was on our Honeymoon list: In between getting married and moving for my husband’s job, we didn’t have time for a long honeymoon. While we realized Hawaii was out of the question then because of time constraints, we still wanted to go someday. Furthermore, we didn’t know the next time we would get this opportunity.
From the moment we first spotted ‘land’ of the Hawaiian islands after hours of nothing but ocean, it was such a thrill! It really felt like we were headed to a magical place far, far away. (Turns out, we were.) That first day we arrived, we were sipping Mai Tai’s watching the sunset and I told my husband, “I already want to come back.”
Here’s a recap of our Maui, Hawaii vacation. I could go on and on about how wonderful Hawaii is, but I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. And there are a lot of them. A LOT. Can’t say you haven’t been warned, folks.
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When did we travel to Hawaii?
Anyone remember that volcano that erupted on the Big Island in May, 2018? Yeah, well I definitely won’t forget it. Coincidentally, several days after that eruption is when we were to arrive in Maui! Thankfully, it didn’t affect our travel or anything during the trip. I felt bad for the people that lived where the volcano was and were affected by its destruction. (And yes, there were a few selfish “I hope my trip doesn’t get cancelled” moments, too. Not gonna lie).
We had looked online at the best times of the year to go to Maui. I mean, is there ever a bad time to go? I don’t think so. But May had the perfect balance of great weather (less chance of rain), not as crowded as the months when kids are out of school, and my parents could watch the kids that week. The anniversary vacation stars had aligned.
Where did we stay?
The travel agent recommended three hotels, all of which looked wonderful. But we ended up choosing the The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali. The hotel is located on the famed Ka’anapali beach, and is within short walking distance to Whaler’s Village, a cute open air shopping mall and dining area.
We selected an ocean view room and stayed for 7 nights, 8 days.
The lobby area had waterfalls, a large lagoon with flamingos, and lush tropical landscape all around.
Upon check-in, they give you a sheet with all hotel activities listed with the day and time. They have lei- making classes, hula lessons, and fitness classes to name a few. Most activities are free, but some come with additional charges.
It was a clean, beautiful hotel and we really enjoyed our stay there. We would definitely return there again.
There is a cement-paved promenade that runs along the beach connecting the strip of hotels. This makes it easy to access other hotels for dining, luaus, for taking walks, and for admiring the breathtaking views.
The Westin was in the perfect location for walking to other hotels along the promenade, and especially to Whaler’s Village.
Where did we eat? (A Few Favorites)
(Located in Whaler’s Village) The atmosphere, the poke tacos, and mai tais are what made Monkeypod an instant favorite.
Down the Hatch
Island Vintage Coffee
(Located in Whaler’s Village) We first went to Island Vintage Coffee for the coffee. But once we discovered their acai bowls, we couldn’t stop coming back! If you go there, make sure to try one out. I ended up buying some of that delicious granola to take home. It is THE best granola I’ve ever had.
(Located in Kapalua) You can’t beat the breathtaking views at Merrimans. Delicious brunch and cocktails.
What did I wear?
I packed several items that I already owned, and bought some new fun pieces that would be cute, comfortable, and appropriate for the Hawaiian weather.
What did we do in Hawaii?
Drums of the Pacific: The Luau at the Hyatt
Star Gazed at night
Helicopter Tour of Maui
The concierge at the Westin arranged for us to do the Maui Dream Tour with Maverick helicopters. The tour takes you over the whole island and allowed us to see sights we weren’t going to have time to drive and see on this trip.
Lounged by the Pool
Relaxed on the Beach
Strolled around the town of Lahaina
What would we do next time in Hawaii?
Our time there wasn’t enough. Because there is so much to do on this beautiful island, I could’ve stayed a month just on Maui. I’d love to explore some of the other islands too.
Noteworthy Trip Highlights
While we didn’t meet a mai tai we didn’t like in Hawaii, our all time favorite was from Monkeypod. When trying to recreate our own version this summer, we googled “best mai tai in Maui,” and came across this magazine article listing the Monkeypod mai tai as one of the BEST in Hawaii! I’m telling you, they’re THAT good!
The Maui sunsets are one of a kind.
Drinks in a Pineapple
When in Hawaii. . .
The color of the grass is unreal. . .I mean, it IS real. It’s just that it’s so gorgeous it looks unreal. It was the prettiest grass I’ve ever seen—and really added to the beauty of the scenery all around.
I wanted one since I landed in Hawaii. Even though they sold them at the airport in refrigerated cases, I figured I’d get one later. But I didn’t think our hotel had them because I didn’t see them anywhere; however, they did have them, and my husband surprised me with one before brunch one day. Yep, he’s a keeper.
Traveling to Maui, Hawaii is definitely a bucket list destination.
Once we got there, we were swept away with the beautiful landscape, unique island culture, and of course, the mai tais. Roaming around like the two carefree young adults we were back in our dating days made it the perfect anniversary getaway. The entire week was a dream.
I encourage you to go there at least once if you can. And I certainly hope to return someday. Sooner, rather than later, would be nice.
Mahalo, Hawaii. . .until next time!
Have you traveled to Hawaii? Any favorites or recommendations for me? Let me know, so I can add them to my next Hawaiian bucket list!
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