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Re: Maui Master Thread

what is the best option for parasailing ?

I did parasailing once in Eilat. Was fun for about 2 minutes. Then its honestly pretty boring. I would skip it.

May 24, 2017, 03:51:10 PM
Re: Sous Vide Master thread
What is the fixation on long cook times? Those are only needed to get to the middle.

There are 3 main benefits to sous vide.

1. Achieving the same temperature through out the finished product. In traditional cooking, to get the center of a steak/roast to 131 (medium rare) there will be a gradient of temperatures through out the finished product. Just below the surface will be well done, then medium till finally medium rare. With Sous vide, since the item is surrounded by a stabilized water  temperature the result is the same temperature (131) through out the roast/steak. A quick sear for the maillard reaction allows end to end medium rare will little to no gray areas.

2. There are certain cuts of meat (with short ribs being a prime example)  that are very tough. With traditional cooking methods, long cooking time would dry out the meat. Due to the fact the the meat is submerged in a vacuum sealed bag in water this prevents the meat from drying out. Sous vide can transform these cuts of meat through collagen breakdown to soft, fantastic dishes. You wouldn't sous vide a steak for 72 hours no matter how large it is. But short ribs are delicious after a 48 hour or 72 hour cook. It all depends on the cut.

3. In certain settings, it's convenient. Making a BBQ for 50 people and don't want to sit grilling while everyone is having fun? Sous vide the burgers and steaks a few hours before and when everyone shows up, throw it on a smoking hot grill to get that flavor and sear. Chef at a restaurant and feeling rushed during dinner? Throw a bunch of entrees in the sous vide and when the order comes in all it needs is a sear.

There are other food items that you can sous vide as well (eggs, duck, vegetables even desserts) but the reasons why you would sous vide would usually fall under one of the reasons or a combination of the reasons above.

May 29, 2017, 12:37:14 PM
Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor Planning

My wife and I have been looking forward to going away for a few days for our 10 year anniversary. We needed a place where we could a) relax, b) have enough activities so we wouldn't get bored and c) not have zika. Unfortunately, that last criteria knocked out a lot of close options. Hawaii was always somewhere that I was really interested in but I knew that we would need to spend more time there than just a few days. (I'm not flying 10+ hours to go to one island for 4 days). I calculated that we would need a minimum of 8 days with 10 being ideal. After working out my both my work schedule and babysitting (huge shout out to my mother in law), we were able to get away for 10 days! Hawaii here we come!

Well now which of the islands would we go to? We would really only have time for 2. Besides for Pearl Harbor, Ohau didn't really seem to have anything else to offer. So that quickly whittled it down to 3 islands. After reading up online, it seemed like the big island had the most adventures/activities. If we would want to include relaxing we wouldn't be able to do everything the big island has to offer in the time period we were there. So we settled on Maui and Kauai. We weighed the pros and cons for a while on which island we should go to first and which island we should stay for shabbos. We ultimately decided on going to Maui and then Kauai. Reason being is that we a) would be getting a suite at the Grand Hyatt in Kauai (thanks @bades) which we wanted/needed for shabbos and b) because of the Grand Hyatt new kosher food restrictions we had to stay at Kauai last. After discussing with my wife, she said it would be blasphemous to go all the way to Hawaii and not see Pearl Harbor. I realized that instead of having a short stop over in HNL while flying from Kauai to NYC, I'll just expand the stop over so I'll have enough time to visit the USS Arizona memorial.

For food we ordered meals from pomegranate and bought a toaster oven for $18 in the Walmart in Maui. We were able to stuff in two meals in to it, but as there was no airflow in between the meals, we had to switch it out half way so it still took about 40 minutes to warm up the meals.

I don't remember what nights we ate what so I will just list what we liked and disliked overall.

Great: Schwarma chicken, Sesame chicken, Szechuan beef, Eggplant parm, Mushroom rice, Popcorn cauliflower, Israeli couscous, Portabella mushrooms
Very good: Brisket in gravy, Stuffed cabbage, Spare ribs, Penne Ala vodka, Eggplant rollatini, Cheese blitzes, Mashed potatoes, Garlic broccoli
Ok: Corned beef (very dry), Hot poppers (no sauce)
Bad: General tzo chicken (had a weird taste to it)

We also brought a sandwich maker, bread, cheese and a few dried Salami as well.

For a car, I rented through Costco and got a convertible for Maui. I was supposed to get an Altima in Kauai but got upgraded to a convertible as well.

August 22, 2017, 01:42:00 AM
Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor

We flew direct from JFK to HNL. There's no denying it, it's a long flight. But to put it in perspective is shorter than flying to Israel from NYC. We had an hour and change stop over in HNL so we went to the plumeria lounge with our priority pass. Nothing major just basic drinks and snacks. Quickly boarded our second flight and a short while later we landed in Maui. Now I know Walmart is right by the airport but after flying all day we just wanted to get to the hotel and unwind. About a half hour later we arrived at the Wailea Marriot.

Driving into the Marriot

Open Lounge

We got upgraded to an ocean view room which was a regular room (nice but nothing over the top) but had a great balcony with views of the adult infinity pool and ocean.

The hotel doesn't have a beach directly in front of the hotel, some might view that as a negative but we actually liked it as you had unobstructed views of the ocean from the pool.

Sunset our first night from the infinity pool (don’t worry that’s not me in the pool :P)

The “beach/coast” right in front of the hotel

Wailea beach is a 3 minute walk from the hotel where they will set up a beach chair for you.

Customer service was fantastic with everyone really accommodating. They kept my box of pomegranate meals in their freezer and gladly gave me my meals whenever I asked.

There is a Starbucks on the property and they have Nespresso machines in every room

There is a game room with ping pong, a shuffle board, an xbox and kids games. Not 100% what’s in it because I didn’t go in.

There is a mens and womens lounge right next to the lobby. If you arrive before check in or have a late flight past checkout they have showers, towels and lockers set up so you can enjoy the pool/beach until you need to leave. The bellhop will watch your luggage for you until you need to leave.

There is a $30 resort fee as well as a parking fee. $25 for self parking or $35 for valet.

August 22, 2017, 01:43:08 AM
Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor Monday

While jet lag affected me the first few days, my wife was able to sleep late pretty much every day. For Monday we had nothing planned besides relaxing and going to Walmart. I have to stress how important it is just to include at least one day of relaxing by the pool/beach. I really enjoyed all the hiking and activities that we did over the trip, but I think the "off days” were just as enjoyable. We made sure to be out by 8:00 to reserve a great seat by the pool.

There are 3 main pool areas.

The adult infinity pool in middle overlooking the ocean

Cabanas in the water which you can rent (for what I am assuming is an outrageous fee, I didn’t ask)

The Kids area with waterfalls, sprinklers and 2 water slides (which they claim are the highest in Maui)

View from the top of the water slides

Then there is regular infinity pool (for kids as well) with hot tub attached. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of this area. There is also a regular (lap?) pool and a dive pool where they offer free scuba diving lessons.

The adult infinity pool is fantastic with unobstructed views of the ocean (it seemed closer to the water than other hotels in Wailea) but it is a drop cold at night.

After hanging out by the adult infinity pool for most of the morning, we decided to go to Wailea Beach (a 3 minute walk). The Marriot has someone who will set up a chair for you at the beach. We rented some snorkeling gear and snorkeled in front of the hotel. While the visabillity wasn't as great as the morning there were at least 5-6 turtles swimming in the shallow water.

Turtle sticking his head out of the water with the Marriot in the background.

Later in the afternoon we decided to check out lapperts ice cream in Wailea shops. A bit pricey but really good.

Its kosher!

After Lapperts, we drove to Walmart to get a toaster and some other essentials and made it back in time to see another amazing sunset.

The Marriot has a luau a few nights a week. If you want to just see the show (for free) just sit on the hill outside of the kids area pool. You have a great view of the whole luau and save yourself a $110

Originally we planned on going to Front Street in Lahaina to walk around, but we had to be up early the next morning for the road to hana so we decided to go there a different day

August 22, 2017, 02:15:04 AM
Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor Wednesday

When researching the highlights of Maui, I saw that sunrise at the Haleakala summit was one of the must do’s. The problem is that my wife and I are not exactly morning people (that's an understatement!) Being that sunrise was at 6AM we would have to leave out hotel at 4AM. Further complicated the issue is that there is no real prediction if the weather would cooperate for sunrise. Even if it doesn't rain, if the clouds aren’t perfect, then it turns a spectacular sunrise into an ordinary sunrise. Well I thought, what about sunset? While it's not talked about as much, I did see that people said that sunset is also quite beautiful. So, for Wednesday we decided to end our day with sunset at Haleakala summit.

Now what to do the rest of the day? We wanted to do some watersports and my wife suggested Jet skiing as she had never gone. There is only one Jet skiing place in Maui. They have an interesting setup as you aren’t allowed to Jet ski off the beach. You meet a boat in front of the Hyatt Regency which then takes you to their jet ski “island”. There they have a large area where you can Jet ski and do tricks.

As the meetup was at Ka'anapali beach we decided that we would do the western Maui loop in between Jet skiing and sunset at Haleakala summit.

We left our hotel at around 9:30 as we wanted to stop off at Front street in Lahaina to buy some souvenirs. Front street feels like a seaside town with some cool Hawaiian flair. Nice place to have a quick stop and there is also a giant banyan tree that takes up a whole block

Yes, that’s only one tree

Ten minutes from Lahaina we pulled into the public parking lot next to the Hyatt regency. While we signed up for an hour session, from start to finish it took closer to two hours. You have to take a boat to the “island”, sign in, get some safety/instructions, jet ski and then wait for the boat back. To top it off everything is on Hawaiian time!

That being said, it was fantastic. I've gone jet skiing before, but there was something really amazing about zooming over the waves at 50mph with the Western Maui mountains in the background.

Leaving Ka'anapali beach we drove to our first stop on the western Maui loop. The two-tiered pools. This entails a 10-minute walk through a field, then to a dirt path and finally down some steep rocks and you come to, some pools by the ocean.

There was no one around and while pretty, it seemed like the reward was not worth the effort.

We then left and drove about ten minutes to the blow hole. This was pretty cool as it was erupting every 30 seconds.

After that we drove to the olivine pools. Again, another walk/hike which led to some really steep rocks and finally the pools. Not one person was there and while it looked pretty, again not really worth the effort.

We then drove through the over the top road to complete the loop. Now this is some road!

I took this picture from the plane. At the bottom of the mountain, you can see the over the top road cut into the mountain side.

This felt like the back road to Hana but was completely paved. Was great driving at the edge of the mountain with some insane switchbacks. I would highly recommend driving the over the top road as its both beautiful and adventurous.

After finishing the western Maui loop we stopped off in Walmart for some snacks (you have to bring your own shopping bags!) and started the drive up to Haleakala summit.

The drive up is really nice with some great views. The temperature kept dropping as we went up the mountain. We were prepared and I was wearing 2 sweatshirts and my wife had on a light winter coat. Truth is it was more windy than cold at the summit. We bought ski caps as well but didn't need them.

Finally, we got to the summit.

Sunset was absolutely amazing.

And Gone.

Once the sun set we waited around a bit for it to get really dark. I have never seen that many stars in my entire life. You could even see the milky way! Unfortunately, my camera phone wasn't able to capture it. We then took the long drive back to our hotel.

I think that sunset at Haleakala summit might be an option for some people who might hesitate about sunrise. It was absolutely beautiful, it wasn't crowded at all, it’s not as cold as sunrise, you don't need to make a reservation and most importantly you don't need to wake up at an ungodly hour on vacation.

September 03, 2017, 11:04:34 PM
Re: Private Island Paradise: Something Fishy's Anniversary Adventure Wow. Really incredible pictures.
September 19, 2017, 12:41:04 AM