This is Part 1 of 4 about our trip to Maui. Click on the links here to visit Part 2, (Iao Needle & drive around the island), Part 3 (Snorkeling Trip) and Part 4 (Trip to Lahaina). Also, for a comparison of Maui versus the Big Island, see this post.
We've been wanting to take a trip to visit some of the other islands while we live in Hawaii. The opportunity finally presented itself in the form of the boys' spring break, a good deal on a hotel room on Maui, and an apparent good deal on airfare (more on that later).
We took the 37 minute flight from Honolulu over to Maui on Saturday afternoon. LW and I were teasing YB. He couldn't believe how short the flight was. After all, he didn't even finish ONE of the several sticker books LW packed for him. We tried telling YB that we just flew around the island once and landed on Oahu again. He spent the next hour or so as we got our luggage and rental car pointing out everything he could that was different about Maui to PROVE that we weren't back in Oahu. He must've used the expression, "SEE! It's different!!!" a hundred times before we finally conceded that we really did fly somewhere new.
OMG... As the shuttle bus pulled up to the rental car company and I saw the hords of people waiting outside with luggage and the insanely long line of people waiting inside, I just about choked. I thought we were going to be there all night.
I tried to be sneaky on my BlackBerry and went to the company's website to see if I could sign myself up for their premier membership to get us into special counter with no line. The website was down though, and I could hear the customer service people at the counter apologizing to people for the wait because their computers were down.
An hour later, I made it to the counter and watched the lady fill out the forms by hand that are normally done by the computer, and then she picked up the telephone to call in the order and process the credit card, etc.
Okay, before I get much farther, I'll just say that we will get out the more complete photo album on Shutterfly later. I'll try not to inundate you with too many pictures here, but just try to provide a recap of our vacation so far.
We got checked into our hotel, the Wailea Marriott, and walked to dinner at a really good cheeseburger restaurant.
I love my boys, but sometimes they drive LW and I nuts when they can't follow Rule #1.
Sunday morning, we had breakfast at the hotel. They somewhat covertly stuck a vacuum cleaner in my walet as we got off the plane in Maui, so the prices at breakfast shouldn't have surprised me, but they did.
I took this picture during our walk to breakfast. This is the Serenity Pool just outside our hotel room. This pool is for adults only.
After breakfast, we put on our bathing suits and headed to the kids' pool. Between this and the two water slides, this is worth the price of admission to the Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park, so I think that just about paid for our hotel room.
When we started getting hungry for lunch, we got cleaned up and headed into town. LW likes doing lots of cross-checking research with multiple travel guides. Peggy Sue's Diner in Kihei had good reviews as a kid-friendly restaurant in both the Maui Revealed book and in the Frommers Hawaii with Kids. They had AWESOME old-fashioned milkshakes, too.
After lunch, we drove up to the Iao Valley in central Maui. First we went to the Nature Center, which had good reviews in the Maui Revealed book as a hands-on, kid-friendly place, and it was. The boys really enjoyed it.
As we were leaving, I'm not sure who this was, but he must have been a celebrity. He was very concerned about paparazzi, even the 6-year old variety.
From the Nature Center, we headed farther up into the valley to go see the Iao Needle. I was thinking this was going to be more of a "hike," but it was really just a short walkabout. GPS trip mileage said we walked 0.6 miles and had about 143 feet of elevation gain (including both going up to see the Needle and going down to the stream bed and back up again).
This is the "Needle."
Here's the trail map for anyone else headed this way. (Click on image for larger view)
ES had the camera and took this photo of me carrying YB after he slipped and fell and got a boo-boo. How did my youngest son get to be 4 years old?! He's HEAVY! I got a good workout carrying him back up the stairs from the stream to the parking lot though.
ES also took this picture of LW.
Of course, we had to get a geocache while we were there. (Another photo by ES)
We stopped at the store to pick up some basic stuff like breakfast so we could save some money on eating out. After going to the room to put the milk in the fridge, we walked to the hotel restaurant to check out their menu for dinner. LW and I decided to just get salads, so it didn't require another home equity loan to eat there this time.
We enjoyed the walk to dinner. The boys continued to do their best to help keep me in shape.
We also really enjoyed the sunset from our dinner table.
Luckily, LW overheard someone talking about Aloha Airlines stopping their services on 31 March (tomorrow) and that everyone had to rebook their flights on Hawaiian or United. I let my fingers do the walking tonight, read the news on the Aloha website and went on over to Hawaiian Airlines and booked us some new flights home.
Well, that brings to an end our first day and a half in Maui. On the agenda for tomorrow is more pool and waterslide time. Then Tuesday we're going on a boat ride to go snorkeling at the Molokini Crater.