Kerri Ough - a work in progress...

Maui in Eight Days

Our goal was to relax, swim, explore and take photos. Brian wanted to surf, I wanted to read, we both wanted to swim in the ocean and lay around on the beach. We had eight days to do just that, and here’s how we spent them.

Day One (March 21) After a long journey from YYZ-YVR, a five hour layover, and then another 5 hour flight from YVR-OGG – we arrive in Maui at 9pm, local time. We pick up our rental car, breathe in the fresh air and feel the wonderful Hawaiian heat on our faces. It takes no time to fall in love with Hawaii, even in the dark. We arrive at our hotel, get into our room and pass out from exhaustion.

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Day Two (March 22) We wake at 4am (the time change from Newfoundland to Hawaii is  7.5 hours back, so this was practically sleeping in.) We quickly learn that the town we’re in, Kihei, and all of the nearby towns cater to jet-lagged tourists. Coffee shops and breakfast spots are open at 6am, some at 5:30am (I’m looking at you Kihei Caffe.) This is incredible news and suits these two early risers perfectly. We spend 6am-11am walking along the beaches between Kihei to Wailea. It is a gorgeous and long morning of walking. It is the law in Hawaii that all beaches are accessible to the public – something I wish were true everywhere. It’s a beautiful experience to walk on continuous beaches for hours – this is the first time in my life where I have that chance.  At one of the fanciest resorts we pass, we spot Guy Fieri on his laptop, soaking up some rays and likely choosing the next burger place he’s going to make a show about. Our pale skin is getting pinker by the hour so we seek refuge in the Shops at Wailea where Brian buys a new vacation hat and we drink the finest coconut water ever made. (No photo, as we drank them too fast.)

On our walk back to Kihei we stop for lunch at 5 Palms Restaurant and are given literally the best seat in the house. We drink Aloha brand beer and eat fish fresh from the ocean. We take in the view for as long as our buzz lasts. It is perfect.

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That night we watch our first Maui sunset – and it’s as everyone said it would be: beautiful, tranquil and never boring.

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Day Three (March 23) Haleakala Crater Sunrise (and Moon Set): We decide to take advantage of our early morning rising and get up at 3:30am to head up a mountain to see the sunrise at 10,000 feet. It’s a two-hour winding drive up a mountin before arriving at the top to watch the sun come up over the Haleakala Crater. The parking lot is full of tourists doing the same. We bundle up in all the warm clothes we brought with us – lucky for us this wasn’t a big deal since we had just come from Newfoundland winter – and we head out to watch a spectacular sunrise.

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Watching the sun come up was totally worth the early morning in the car. However, what thrilled me more was the full moon setting behind us. I was torn between glancing at the best sunrise I’ve ever seen from above the clouds, and sneaking peeks at the pinky-purple setting of the full moon. Even today, looking back at these photos, I can’t decide which was more satisfying to watch.

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After I photograph the bejesus out of the gorgeous moon, we try to hike part of the crater. We hike in maybe a mile, but the thin air, lack of food and coffee catch up with us and we turn back to start looking for a delicious breakfast.

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KO Halerkala

Day Three continues with a drive along the Hana highway since we’re already up that way. We stop in Makawao for coffee at Sip Me (awesome name for a coffee shop) and indulge in breakfast at Market Fresh Bistro. Both places are excellent and we sit awhile enjoying the 10am heat already laying into us. Along the Road to Hana we pull over and hike toward a beautiful waterfall. Brian goes in. It’s so cute I take his photo.

Brian contemplates the waterfall

Day Four (March 24) I think this was the day we set for a full relaxing beach day. This was also the day of our first Hawaiian sunburns. Brian got burnt for sure, but I won the prize for worst burn ever. We pick up a six pack of beer, an a six-pack of aloe soothing lotion and cower from the sun under patio awnings and on our hotel deck. I am so burnt, we make a plan to cower for the entire next day.

Day Five (March 25) Good Friday It wasn’t a bad day for a drive up around the other side of the island. There was still lots to see, food to eat, ocean to soak in and jungle to hike in. We headed to Lahaina and shopped and read, and got caught in the rain.

Lush everything, Hawaii

Day Six (March 26) Still waking up with the sun everyday, we spent the morning in Kihei, me reading, Brian taking a surfing lesson.  Although I want to surf in general, Maui was the part of the trip where I planned to relax and do as little as possible – as the second part of our trip was our adventure on Kauai. We’re a good team, though, so as Brian took his surfing lesson, I photographed him from the beach.

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Day Seven (March 27) Easter Morning. We spend the day reading at the beach, swimming, cowering from the sun (I realize I am not meant to live forever in a tropical climate, as I freckle and burn easily.) I am a fan of the shade, I am a fan of long-sleeved shirts. We snorkeled at Maluaka Beach and followed a big old turtle around for 45 minutes. By this time in our trip, we had already gone through a bottle of sunscreen each, we had each read four to six books, and we were beyond relaxed. It was our last night in town, so we took a drive up past Wailea to start our long goodbye to Maui, and settled on dinner at Five Palms, where we watched the sun turn the ocean to a beautiful orange. It is safe to say, Maui is one of my favourite places on earth. When we got back to our room, we packed our bags as we were heading for Kauai the next day. I flipped on the tv, to the Food Network and one of those food shows was featuring restaurants from St. John’s. I love that even from that far away, Newfoundland still paid us a little visit. “Don’t forget about me, your chilly home city…” It was kind of great to see scenes from Quidi Vidi, Mallard Cottage, Raymond’s Restaurant, and Bidgood’s Grocery Store from my hotel room in Maui. A little reminder to soak in Hawaii while I could. Here I am, soaking it in.

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Day Eight (March 28) We left Maui for Kauai today for part two our our trip. We had a whole different adventure on Kauai and you can read about that HERE.

Our Best Of Maui List

Best Breakfast in Kihei: Kihei Caffe

Best Fish on the Island: Paia Fish Market

Best Beach for swimming and snorkeling: Maluaka Beach (near Wailea)

Best Beach for being tossed around by waves: Big Beach (near Maluaka Beach)

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